L'Ecole No. 41 wines get new, more classic look

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The wines of L'Ecole No 41 are getting a new look.

The owners of the Lowden winery, one of the state's leading producers of hand-crafted wine, say the well-known label with the colorful child's drawing is getting an update to a more classic look.

The change represents more than a new picture on the front of the bottle.

It is a more accurate reflection of the product inside as the wines are marketed across the country and internationally.

An oil painting from a 1915 photo taken of the schoolhouse building where the winery operates serves as the foundation for the new label.

The illustration of the historic Walla Walla schoolhouse is meant as a tie to L'Ecole's iconic location.

It will appear on all wines by the end of the summer, according to an announcement from L'Ecole.

The new package will appear in the marketplace in May.

The new look is intended not only to evoke the winery's heritage, but also reflect the quality of the wine in the bottle, said Marty Clubb who owns the winery with his wife Megan.

"Our label's whimsical schoolhouse drawing has served us well for many years and will always be an important part of our history," said Clubb, second-generation owner and managing winemaker, in the announcement. "But as the Washington wine industry has matured, so has L'Ecole."

He said the redesigned label reflects the experience and knowledge gained since the winery was founded nearly three decades ago and the ultra-premium quality of wines for which the operation is known.

The original child's drawing label has a rich history for the winery and family. L'Ecole founders Baker and Jean Ferguson held a contest among children in their extended family for the design when the winery began in the early 1980s. The winner was Ryan Campbell, who was 8 at the time but is now an architect.

Three versions of the new label are expected.

A black label designates wines from grapes in the Columbia Valley, including the winery's Columbia Valley S?©millon, merlot, syrah and cabernet sauvignon.

A white label reflects wines made from L'Ecole's hometown vineyards, including Seven Hills Vineyard estate merlot and Walla Walla Valley cabernet sauvignon.

A more upscale version of the white label showcases L'Ecole's signature high-end red blends, Pepper Bridge Vineyard Apogee and Seven Hills Vineyard Estate Perigee.

The transition to the full portfolio of packages will take place by the end of summer.

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