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HOME: Projects and Construction, Home Labeling:

Home Labeling

Here at the ranch we are doing our own labeling for our home made wines as well as our Tex-Zen brand home made Jams and Jellies. We found it very expensive to have commercially printed labels made in the small volume we do. We do only small batches of wine and each one may be different, requiring a different label. We are too often making slight changes either to the recipes or to the "story" on the jam and jelly labels. We use the templates available in Word and WordPerfect so that we can use the pre-gummed label sheets that feed into an inkjet printer. If the labels were only in black print, then we would use the laser printer to avoid the problems associated with moisture and ink. And the porosity of plain paper would not matter either. But, nearly all our labels display our trademark color logo. To get the best quality appearance and at the same time minimizing the moisture effects, we use the glossy photo-quality inkjet label sheets. These already have a special coating for the ink, which effectively reduces the porosity of the paper and minimizes the bleeding. At first, before the photo-quality medium was available, we used to apply a crystal clear acrylic coating to protect, but that didn't really help that much. But soon we found that the easiest and best final protection also resulted in the best appearance. We'll enjoy the continued guessing on this step! Granted, it's a lot of hand work, but if your product can be home made, so can be the label. Color laser printers will eliminate a lot of this work, but for now, we haven't found anyone that will print the pre-gummed label sheets in those expensive printers because of the feeding problems. But if you use a plain paper stock of choice, you'll have to cut to size, and apply glue. Each of our labels display our logo, the name of the contents, ingredients or the content, the net weight or volume, our address, a brief story about the source or content of the product, and our tag statement, "We Process With Naturally Pure Rainwater". We also hand stamp a batch date and number.

Labels produced with the aforementioned templates are printed as mentioned on either the pre-gummed or plain paper sheets. For display here they were converted into .jpg files. Both programs are easy to use and create files that are easily edited. The front and rear labels we make for the wine bottles are both 3 or 3.33 inches wide by 4 inches high. They print six to a page on 8 1/2" x 11" sheets. The jelly jar labels are 4 inches wide by 2 inches high. These print ten to the page.

Wine Labels

Front label - 1999 Late Harvest Mustang  Rear label - 1999 Late Harvest Mustang

When I was a teenager, I helped . . . no, I watched my dad make some decent wines from fresh fruits purchased at the supermarket. But this one is only the second successful batch of wine Loretta and I ever made.

Fermented in August 1998 and bottled in December 1999, this Mustang grape wine is a full-bodied red that was cold stabilized and aged with American White Oak wood chips. The "Late Harvest" denotes the fact that the grapes were harvested from a vine about 3 weeks after most other vines were either picked or dropped their fruit. For a red, it is a young, but very good wine if I say so myself and I expect it to improve with a year or so in the bottle. The rear label reveals some of the vital information in story form, which I think adds the more personal touch that many wineries do rather than just a cold list of the pertinent data, or none at all.

The fancier effort is obviously unnecessary for personal needs, but it has apparently impressed our friends who help us drink it - problem is, we don't know if they are asking us for a bottle to enjoy the wine or the label!

Jam and Jelly Labels

1999 Spiced Fig Preserve Label

Preserves Butters and Salsas too. Here is our Spiced Fig Preserve, Oh SO good. It's really like spreadable candy. But, Oh yeah, getting back to the labels . . . The banner and the story reveal the "vintage", the year of the fruit harvest. The story on each different product usually identifies the specific fruit variety used and the name of the orchard or source of the fruit. We always know the source of the fruit because we either do the picking ourselves or the orchard workers do it for us. We also try to include an interesting factual statement. These scans don't do justice to the clarity of the labels. This story reads: "1999 Tex-Zen Spiced Fig Preserve is made from Magnolia figs grown at the Froberg farm in Alvin, Texas. The sweet-as-sugar fig is healthy due to its high mineral content and is also known as the biblical fruit. We process with naturally pure rainwater . . . Loretta and Jeff Hankins." Opposite the story is the "All Natural Ingredients" list, and we always include our address and abbreviated tag phrase, "Hand Picked, Home Prepared". The combined tag phrase becomes "Hand Picked, Home Prepared with Naturally Pure Rainwater" in other advertising media where space is not so limited.


1999 Mustang Grape Jelly Label

And of course, the charter Tex-Zen Dreams favorite, Mustang Grape Jelly. Connoisseurs of the mustang grape know that the jelly has almost no resemblance to the common Concord grape version. The 1997 vintage was our first - this label denotes our 1999 vintage.

Business Cards

Yes, we did our business cards too, again because of the expense of commercial four-color process printing, and our small quantity need. The full color logo creates an attractive, appealing first impression of the business. These are created on similar templates. The matte finish cards print ten per page, while the photo-quality cards print eight per page.


Loretta's Business Card

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