The Vinitaly Design International Packaging Competition, organized by Veronafiere-Vinitaly, aims to highlight the best packaging for wines, spirits, liqueurs, beers, and extra virgin olive oils, and to recognize the efforts of companies that stand out and are continuously improving their brand image.

Citra, the leading wine coop in Abruzzo, will be celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and was present at Vinitaly in Verona to showcase some groundbreaking packaging innovations.

Making its debut this year, the “Best Technology and Innovation Award” was given to Citra for “Ortense, Bag in Box d’Autore,” Terre di Chieti IGT Pecorino 2021.

“Ortense, Bag in Box d’Autore” was launched at the beginning of 2022 to meet the new post-pandemic market demands: a smaller and more manageable 2.25-liter package that utilizes new technologies to target younger consumers, by redirecting them online through a QR code that brings the illustration to life and makes the wine come to life.

“Our goal was to enshrine our wines from native grape varieties, Pecorino and Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, in a precious treasure chest,” says Pina D’Eusanio, Creative Designer at Citra. “During such a unique period like the pandemic, I found inspiration in illustration to create packaging that could creatively depict our territory. We included all the symbols of the city of Ortona, reinterpreted using metaphors and immersive experiences. It’s a visionary project: grape clusters hang from the clouds, fish ‘fly’ in the clear blue sky, and the words from the proverb ‘Drop by drop, the sea is made,’ can be seen on the horizon, inviting perseverance so that small steps can lead to great results and new achievements in winemaking. Furthermore, the environmental aspect couldn’t be overlooked, and choosing a bag-in-box format proves to be one of the most valid alternatives among lightweight packaging, being significantly less impactful and more sustainable than glass.”

In addition to the special awards, among the 11 selected categories, the jury awarded the Trebbiano d’Abruzzo DOC 2021 “LAUS VITAE,” a special edition for Citra’s 50th anniversary, with a Bronze Medal in the DOP still white wines.

On the winemaking front, meticulous work based on vineyard zoning and precision viticulture was carried out under the guidance of Dr. Riccardo Cotarella. As for the packaging design, Mario Di Paolo, creator of some of the most captivating wine labels design guru, was enlisted.

The name LAUS VITAE encompasses three levels of meaning: the first literal meaning is “Praise of Life”; the second meaning is “Praise of the vine and vineyards” (and therefore of the grapes); the third meaning refers to the bond between man and nature and pays homage to “Il Vate” (“the Poet of Abruzzo”), Gabriele D’Annunzio, whose poem titled “Laus Vitae” is a hymn to life and the natural world, which is intimately connected to the human sphere.

On the front label, a tangible element, “D’Annunzio’s pen nib,” has been incorporated, and some of his most significant, representative, and explanatory verses from the LAUS VITAE poem are faithfully inscribed in italics: “Tutto fu ambito e tutto fu tentato. Quel che non fu fatto io lo sognai, e tanto era l’ardore che il sogno eguagliò l’atto”.

Giuseppe Colantonio, Marketing Manager at Citra, emphasizes, “We believe that winemaking fully encompasses the evocative aspects of these verses: aspiring, attempting, dreaming. Undoubtedly, the verbs chosen by D’Annunzio reflect the sentiments that animate our 3000  partners, who work in this fascinating yet challenging and unpredictable sector, motivated by passion.

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