When designing the label of the centennial festive sparkling wine of Finland we were aiming at the typical elements of Finnish nature; brightness, freshness and purity.
To choose the whooper swan as the main attraction on the label was natural since it is the national bird of Finland. When scanning through the international picture libraries we found many beautiful pictures of the swan theme but we chose this one because all of the elements we were seeking for were best presented in this one. The Bernard-Massard quality sparkling wine and the visuality of the bottle pleased the Alko purchasing team and consequently the wine was chosen as one of their three sparkling wines of the Independence Centennial Jubilee of Finland.
A few months after the introduction of the wine we had an unexpected phone call. The nature photographer, Tero Hakala, called to inquire how this particular swan picture had ended up on the jubilee sparkling wine label. During a short conversation we found out that out of the thousands of pictures in the photo libraries we had without our knowledge chosen a swan photograph taken by Hakala. His wife had spotted a picture of the jubilee wine in one of the Finnish women´s magazines and realized that on the label was a picture taken by her husband!
Hakala tells us that the picture was taken in the afternoon sunlight at Pelisalmi in Kangasala on April 21st 2014. This is how the photographer describes the moment:
”When I spotted the swans in the bay I grabbed my telescopic lense and sneaked quietly to the saunaraft of my neighbor. I lay down on the terrace of the raft to get the best photographic angle of the surface of the water. As I stayed in the shelter of the raft the birds did not fly away although they did swim a bit furher.”
”The picture of the swan on the label is a mirror image of the original one. In the original pictures the swan flaps its wings against the sun and as the bright sunshine hits the white bird the background fades into nearly black. The swan was not landing or taking off it was simply cleansing its wings with water and flapping its wings as if to show off to the spouse beside it how gorgeous it was.”
Swans are very loyal to their spouse and surroundings so perhaps this same individual will stop over at the Pelisalmi surroundings every year on its spring and fall migrations. The swan in the picture was not a loner but had a spouse with it.
So through this surprising and lucky coincidence the label of the jubilee sparkling wine became even more Finnish than we had ever expected or hoped for!
The Barnard-Massard centennial Kuulea sparkling wine is dry, prepared by tradional methods and is suitable especially well for celebrations but can also be enjoyed throughout light meals.
Wishing you enjoyable and unforgettable moments during the jubilee year and congratulations to the centennial independence of Finland!.
Astra Wines team