Mimbo: a beach, a mountain, a universe


CATEGORY: Packaging design BRAND: Montalbán Estudio Gráfico

The wine company La General de Vinos produces wines with various Denominations of Origin exclusively for the on trade channel and speciality shops.

Victor Montalban and Cristina Caballero


Their products are aimed at people who share their philosophy: daring, restless and extrovert, who appreciate their work and appreciate distinction. Their aim is to strive for excellence and to satisfy consumers. This philosophy is carried over into the designs of their wines: Mimbo, a wine conceived for modern consumers, with a festive character and an elegant presentation - designed by Montalban Estudio - is a good example.

This project was a natural development, since apart from designing for La General de Vinos, we are also partners, so we get very personally involved in all of the wines we produce. The products we create are born out of our knowledge of all of our areas, from wine tasting and blending to marketing and design.

Mimbo was not going to be an exception. We proposed the creation of a fresh, smooth Rioja wine that would please new wine consumers, especially the ladies, so we chose a sonorous name, amusing and colourful, and we dressed it with a clean, transparent bottle, so that the experience of consuming the wine is the important thing, rather than the wine itself.  On this basis, we decided to associate white Mimbo with the beach, rosé Mimbo with mountains, and, finally, red Mimbo with night life, anywhere at all; for that reason, we can say that “everywhere is the ideal place for Mimbo”.

From the start, we understood that, in a market as atomized and complicated as the wine market, creating a product that works means accepting risks. Being partners in La General, we accepted these risks, and from the start, we decided on a bottle that revealed the colour of the wine, with its reusable glass Vinolok plug and this fresh, light-hearted way of displaying the product.

If we had made a wine called “Viña de la Ribera”, with a classical typeface and a normal bottle, we would just be one more among thousands of wines with a Controlled Denomination of Origin: Rioja. However, our wine is totally differentiated, Mimbo stands out in restaurant windows and even, thanks to its name, in the wine lists. That’s why it works.



Colour talks

We thought that it was most important that the colour of the wine itself transmitted its virtues, so we chose a transparent bottle for the white and rosé wines, the first two that we launched onto the market. To avoid hiding the colour of the wine with the label, we printed it directly onto the bottle using vitreous enamel, a distant relative of silk screening. This reduced the palette of colours that we could use, but allowed us to conjugate the transparencies and reflections that we were seeking. 

During the creative process, we often referred to the idea of a paradise, of a happy, personal place where we could enjoy a glass of wine, so we set white Mimbo in the context of a splendid beach-side holiday, and rosé Mimbo in an adventurous trip in the mountains. When we confirmed that the brand was appreciated and it started to work in the market place, we set about creating red Mimbo, which obviously needed a darker bottle. We used a grey bottle, enamelled in white and yellow to suggest night life, in a disco or a party. While we were doing this, we tried the first samples of red Mimbo, and we liked it so much that we joked about it, and one comment was that there wasn’t a better wine in the Universe. We developed this internal joke, to the point that we modified the original design and converted it into its present form, a science fiction wine, with aliens, nebulas and space ships. We are also working on the possibility of producing a luminous limited edition that shines in the dark, but this isn’t in orbit yet.


Wine producers must take risks

The truth is that it is increasingly difficult to innovate in a market where practically everything has already been invented. Even when we work on naming for wine brands, we find a lot of obstacles and may consider over two hundred names before we find one that is available. This clearly shows the tremendous saturation and diversity of the sector, and so we believe that the most important thing is to find a different concept and then improve it in terms of materials or image. There is still room for innovation, but wine producers are not always bold, so perhaps we shall have to work on this factor. You have to take risks. There must be many innovative resources that are waiting to be discovered.



Victor Montalban is the founder and creative director, and Cristina Caballero is art director and a partner, in Montalban Estudio Grafico  (Zaragoza), a team specialized in branding, packaging design, editorial design and visual communication. “We create ideas, design images that move you and that help to construct brands and influence consumers. We help our companies to display their best facets”.


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