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Zickefoose Wines!

Friday, July 21, 2006

I have been quietly having fun on the side for several months now. I've been asked to draw a wine label. Wine labels are right up there with postage stamps in the pantheon of things I have always wanted to illustrate. Let's face it: they're sexy. They have to be nice to sell the wine. (Speaking for the vast majority of we noncogniscienti who select our wines by the label).

Imagine, though, being asked to draw something for the label of Zickefoose Wine. Oh, he had me at the first e-mail. Yes, out in California there are some Zickefooses who make wine. And somehow the Zick blood running through James Taylor's veins led him to my web site, and led him to ask me to draw a goat for the label of his small-batch, superpremium Cabernet Sauvignon. His daughter is the winemaker, and she's really good. Jim describes his winemaking as a hobby gone wild. Having quite a few of those myself, I could sympathize. Poor Jim. He asked me if I would work for wine. Oh, yeah, I'll work for wine. And we were off.

Why a goat, you might wonder? Well, Zickefoose is derived from the German Ziegenfuss, which means goat's foot. Not literally, you understand; it was probably intended way back when to describe an agile or sure-footed way of walking. I take a certain amount of pride in being sure-footed. I've had maybe three bad falls in my life. One was on ice, one was on roller skates, and the other was when I was eight months pregnant and quite front-loaded. (Watch me get up from the computer chair and trip over Chet now).

First, I went to my sketchbooks and found some goats drawn from life. Strange heads, strange eyes, but very fun to draw.

First I did a sort of goofy goat, with my own label design. It wasn't quite what Jim had in mind.

I went through a series of drafts, but somehow I wasn't hitting it. OK, I'll draw more. Jim sent us all fabulous Zickefoose Wine hats. I redoubled my efforts. I was still having fun. I like drawing goats, and I sympathized with Jim and his family's desire to have JUST THE RIGHT GOAT on their label. I drew goats in my spare time, when I was tired of drawing birds or nursing baby phoebes. Goats, goats, goats.
Finally, I drew a goat that everyone in California liked. There were tweaks and fine-tuning, but this was clearly The Goat. She was friendly, nonthreatening, but regal, too. We fiddled with her eyes a little. Goat eyes are a little too weird, being naturally placed high and outside, to be really appealing, I think. So I brought them down a little. This is the final scratchboard drawing.

And here she is on the label.If you double-click on this image, you'll get a bigger image so you can read Jim's text. I told Jim that if he's as picky about his winemaking as he is about his label art, this is going to be a really nice wine.
Jim has promised a case of the precious Cabernet. I am VERY excited. I can't wait to uncork my first bottle of Zickefoose Wine. I promise to document the event here.


Ok, so I am a year and a half late. Some things should be savored over time and not rushed -- like this great post and goat drawing and perhaps the grapes grown for the bottles of Zickefoose wine.

How did it turn out? The drawing is da bomb! Congrats!!


I was just talking to Jim about his label and he told me the story of you creating the label for him. Jim and I go back many years and I have just launched a online wine store and so his wine is now available there at Unfortunately with all the laws around there is still a limited number of states to which we can sell (19 currently) but that is getting better.

Cheers for now.


If Zickefoose derived from ziegenfuss what line are are u from

Unknown, here's the post about my people.
It's on this blog, and it's called The Ancestral Home.

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