Artist Robert Crum creates wine label for Morgan Ridge Vineyards

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 26, 2012

By Deirdre Parker Smith
In an example ot two arts meeting, Salisbury artist Robert Crum has painted a watercolor of the Tuscan villa where Amie and Tommy Baudoin live at their winery, Morgan Ridge Vineyards.
The label now graces their 2010 syrah, their newest release, and the artist and winemakers will celebrate with a release part on Sunday, April 29, from 1-5 p.m., when Crum will sign the label on the new wine.
This syrah, like the watercolor, is a little more delicate and has been a favorite of visitors to the vineyard.
Crum’s paintings hang in the tasting room, and he’s been following Morgan Ridge since first meeting the Baudoins, before they had their tasting room. He’s led a plein air painting class at the vineyard.
He usually works in oils, but thought the watercolor would be better, lighter, for the label. He is represented in several regional galleries, as well as Amsterdam Whitney in New York City.
Crum also created the mosaic opposite Salisbury Station and has done commissioned large-scale mosaics.
“I thought the watercolor would be nice for the label,” Crum said. He has taken many photos of the site, but ended up using one that Amie Baudoin took. Some of his photos can be seen on a monitor in the tasting room.
“It’s fun and different for me to see one of my paintings on a bottle of wine,” Crum wrote on his Facebook page. “It also seems unusual but fun that people have asked me to sign their bottle of wine.”
He’ll be signing wine bottles Sunday at the vineyard and hopes to repeat the process at his gallery in the coming months.
The label is also on the 2010 merlot and cabernet sauvignon.
One reason for the new labels is Morgan Ridge dropped its back label and included all the required information on the sides of the front label. It opened up space on the label and made it taller, and that’s when the Baudoins started talking to Crum.
“We will use label on all of 2010 except chardonnay, because that’s already bottled,” Amie Baudoin said. “It’s going to be our premium label for a while, like an estate label.”
She points out that Crum has done some of the grunt work at the vineyard too, including grape harvest.
She said she took the photo Crum used to show all the roses blooming at the end of the rows of grape vines; the label puts it all together.  Amie Baudoin says she has given the rights to any art done on the property exclusively to Crum. “If anybody else wants to paint, they’ll have to go through him from here on.”
Crum has started getting email from friends asking him to sign bottles and ship them across country, another first for him.