The Piece ‘Graffiti Wine’

Lets Toast the Beginning of the End

Posted By ACCLAIM Staff |

So apparently we’ve finally reached the point where the term ‘street art’ has become a synonym for ‘advertising agency that have run out of ideas and are desperately trying to stay relevant’. The signs have been there for a while, first we saw the Zoo Magazine graffiti cover, and now we’ve got ‘The Piece’ wine courtesy of Longview (who’ve conveniently rebranded themselves as LV for us Gen Y’ers who can’t comprehend anything longer than three characters).

The wine incorporates graffiti culture right down to the ‘Hello My Name Is’ sticker on the label and the dripping chrome paint around the neck (presumably to invoke images of ‘urban’ junkies chroming out of soft drink bottles). Now I’m sure Longview (sorry, LV) make a fantastic drop, but my problem is that there is absolutely nothing here to connect to graffiti culture. Simply slapping a label on something doesn’t mean that you suddenly get cultural credibility, and even if you did who exactly are they appealing to here? Sommeliers who bomb trains on their days off? Their parents?

There’s no point in rehashing a graffiti-culture-is-for-graffiti-writers argument here. This is not seventies New York, elements of this culture are undeniably mainstream now and where there’s money to be made no one can blame an artist for trying to pay their bills. But when you’ve got nice young families picnicking in a vineyard and taking in the refreshing scent of Belton chrome in the idyllic countryside, something has gone wrong.

The Piece wine retails for $70 a bottle and it’s recommended that it be cellared for ten years or more to best bring out its ‘aromas of white pepper, liquorice and chocolate coupled with restrained French oak’. So how about we check back in 2022 and see which has persevered, global graffiti culture or the marketing company behind this desperate grab for cash.

10 comments on “The Piece ‘Graffiti Wine’

  1. Space Tiger on said:

    Genius!!! We keep hearing how french labeling is tired, traditional and boring… i see this bottle and i'm instantly reminded of CowParade which gained international ACCLAIM. The cow is clearly no longer sacred, so why should a bottle of wine… i don't think this bottle goes far enough. i'd have the bottle spray the wine out of a nozzle if i could!

  2. Pogo on said:

    If it's got Vans the Omega and Beastman on it, it can't be too bad. Looks pretty good to me.

  3. SommelierTrainBomber on said:

    Wow, what a tiring rant. Get over it.

  4. Theo Huxtable on said:

    God forbid they'll be puttin' street art in galleries next…

  5. This is such a wack idea, anyone with half a clue will cringe at the idea. Everything from the name to the labeling is lame. If they made a graffiti themed longneck or goon sack it would be a better fit than a $70 bottle of wine haha

  6. "But when you’ve got nice young families picnicking in a vineyard and taking in the refreshing scent of Belton chrome in the idyllic countryside" that sounds magnificent

  7. As co-owner, operator, and marketing director of Longview I feel I should respond to the above, ill-informed article and elucidate the lack of research into not only this wine but our entire brand in general.

    If you have seen our core range of wines before, you’ll notice that all our closures have LV emblazoned on the top. If you visit our estate you’ll see the LV used on our signage also. This is not a rebranding or a dumbing down to attract a “Gen Y’ers” like yourselves but simply an effective use of space. But for the most part we spell out “Longview” too as it is our trading name after all. You’ll also find it written right there on the bottle of “The Piece”.
    Are you suggesting a brand can’t diversify its mark?

    Your second haughty claim that we do nothing to connect to graffiti culture is also invalid. We host Australian street artists here every year where they can produce their work in a controlled environment. This provides an opportunity for them promote themselves and their work, as well as give them a a chance to grace a product that is exported to select markets around the world. Moreover we have hosted international graffiti artists here at the vineyard where we discuss all things related to their art and how we can best showcase what we’ve acquired without compromising anyone’s integrity. We also sponsor and attend street art festivals all over the country and welcome artists, musicians, dancers and DJ’s to the vineyard throughout the year to offer them a platform to do what they do best in a non-traditional environment. One can’t run a vineyard in a city so this is how we connect – by combining our passions at our place of work which happens to be a vineyard. If we worked and owned an urban pub and were to host similar events, no-one would bat an eyelid.
    But clearly your idea about what a winery should be and/or do is stereotypical at best and just plain ignorant at worst.

    After living for over a decade in Brooklyn, New York (before it became painfully hip to do so) I was firmly ensconced in the urban art and music scene that no doubt since its humble beginnings in the Bronx in the 1970’s has become mainstream. But since the renaissance the populism in art debate has raged. What makes anyone think that one particular art form is immune to this over any other? One thing I learned there was that the lines that define art, fashion, music, food, wine, theatre, film, design and even architecture are constantly overlapping. If I look at the diverse topics you cover on your website I find it hard to swallow your argument that this art form and wine cannot join forces.

    The misconception that we are “slapping a label on something” to “earn cultural credibility” doesn’t take into account how committed we are to these artists and their work. 2022 you say? We’ll see you there.

    Anyone who knows anything about the wine game knows there is no such thing as a “grab for cash”. The entire process takes way too long, especially when you are a small family owned company like Longview.
    Tending to soil, water, pruning, shoot-thinning, leaf-plucking, wire-lifting, picking, crushing, pressing, fermenting, storing etc. It goes on and on. And we haven’t even got the point where we bottle and label the product yet. All these processes incur costs that would make your head explode before you even release it to market. And once that’s done there’s no guarantee it will sell. Oh, and with “The Piece” we make less than 400 six packs so we’re not retiring to the Bahamas anytime soon.

    I whole-heartedly reject the notion that this is a money making project and your reference to the “marketing company” that’s “behind” this. My brother, me and our good friends who own a small design firm here in Adelaide are the only ones “behind it”. No, not just behind it but going forward with it for years to come, just like our wines, just like the art form and unlike other interlopers that you are confusing us with.

  8. wackideaiswack on said:

    mark sounds butthurt

  9. Monaz on said:

    Collaborating with modern artists on wine labels (graffiti or otherwise) is all well and good. It's when you package this up in a giant spray can and call it 'the piece' that the cringe factor comes into play. Corny.

  10. george clooney on said:

    I don't think any less of the artists who are involved in campaigns such as this, because whilst 'street art' is in vogue artists need to make a living.

    What irks me is; where were these companies 15 years ago when being a writer was held in the same regard as being a car thief or drug dealer?

    It's all good to claim you've paid your dues to the 'scene', but when bastardising this subculture suddenly becomes uncool again watch these same companies jump ship faster than a somalii pirate.

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