Trademarking Wine Brands: Don't Find Out the Hard Way

Rabble Wine Company Renames its Force of Nature Brand

Feb 09, 2016, 08:30 ET from Rabble Wine Company

PASO ROBLES, Calif., Feb. 9, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- California Central Coast's Rabble Wine Company, producers of the Tooth & Nail, Force of Nature, Stasis and Amor Fati brands, is renaming its Force of Nature brand to the portfolio's flagship name, "Rabble".  The change takes effect with the 2015 vintage wines.

"Apparently, trademarks are important in this industry," Andrew Nelson, partner and vice president of sales and marketing sarcastically stated.  "First to market is not enough.  Changing from Force of Nature to Rabble will ensure we're able to continue our explosive growth.  Winemaking and grape growing has always been our focus."

The Dictionary defines "rabble" as a disorderly mob, stirring the comforts of public opinion.  Similarly, Rabble Wine Company is known for its unconventional approach to both winemaking and packaging.  Rabble's labels are renditions of historical artworks – ranging from cataclysmic woodblock prints to psychedelic sketchings by William Blake

The Force of Nature label was launched in 2011, selling fewer than 50 cases in California the first year.  Today, the brand is available in 35 states and production has grown to over 30 thousand nine liter cases.  Rabble Wine Company was founded by Rob Murray, a long-time Central Coast vineyard owner and grape grower.

Murray commented that "consumers know when they pick up one of our wines they'll be challenged to think differently, both by the label and the wine style.  We want our customers to feel something; to see things differently.  Unconventional but still authentic." 

Nelson added that "the spirit of what we represent at Rabble Wine Company is more of a feeling than a written mark.  You know us when you see us.  Our branding is done through artwork, not though copywriting.  Changing the name Force of Nature is in text, not in brand identity.  We're still a (expletive) Rabble." 

Whether it's Rabble or Force of Nature, the brand needs to be experienced to be understood.  The biggest SKU, Rabble Cabernet Sauvignon, has a label that depicts a woodcut rendition of Mount Vesuvius erupting over Pompeii.  The label is raw, detailed, and the heavy deboss adds a rich texture.  And it's now trademarked.

Rusty Eddy

SOURCE Rabble Wine Company