– The Blog –

At a recent weekend at Blackberry Farm...



The weekend ended with so many new friendships, it captured the essence of what Cultivate is all about-- sharing good times, building relationships, and celebrating what's good in life. We hope it'll inspire you to do your own "6 Degrees Party" with your friends! Maybe New Year's??

‘Nuff Said
Oct 23 2011


Photo by our dear friend Fred Lyon (profile on Fred coming soon!).

Just wanted to give you a sneak peak of a new boxed wine that will be coming out soon! An Italian wine called Ventina Baci, meaning twenty-something kisses, with label designed by the fabulous Cynthia Warren (who also designed these gorgeous menus for Chez Panisse and Alice Waters). Cynthia does all of her lettering by hand (gasp), and above are her initial studies for the label! 

A couple of weekends ago, Cultivate was honored to be poured at an Outstanding in the Field event at Blackberry Farm, and Coco from the blog Roost took these gorgeous photos of the event, including the one above showing Dream Walking being poured!

If you're not familiar with OitF, what they do is travel around the country spreading their passion for farm-to-table by putting on dinners at incredibly long tables in the middle of fields (and gardens, and forrests, and beaches...) featuring local ingredients and local chefs. 

And for those not familiar with Blackberry Farm, it is heaven on earth for farm-to-table enthusiasts. It is a Relais & Chateau hotel and enormous working farm in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, where they grow an incredible assortment of vegetables, raise chickens, goats, lambs, and more, cure their own meats, make their own cheeses, catch their fish in the river, and on and on and on. The owners of Blackberry, Sam and Mary Celeste Beall, are friends of Ali and Charles, and hence Cultivate, and have been so amazing about sharing Cultivate with their fans.

For a closer look at Blackberry Farm, check out the video below with food writer Ruch Reichl (who we love) for Gourmet Magazine.


Blackberry is known for going totally above and beyond with their cuisine-- at this event they roasted a lamb raised right there on the farm over an open fire. If you're interested in knocking guests' socks off Blackberry-style at your next dinner party, try their 10-hour Braised Lamb recipe

We can't wait to start seeing photos of parties where you share Cultivate with your friends!

Continuing our series on the artists and designers behind the Cultivate labels, today we are talking to Leigh Nelson. Leigh designed The Feast label, and is the other half of LMNOP Creative.

When did you know you wanted to be a designer/artist?

Its always been an interest since I was young. Growing up, I used to spend a lot of time buried in the basement drawing and painting.And when it came time for college and choosing a major, studio are was the only thing I even really considered.

How did you get your start in design?

I moved to NYC right after college and got a job in a busy boutique agency in which I wore all sorts of hats. So it ended up being the perfect foundation for my career.

What is your design style or specialty?

I wouldn't say that I have a specialty. But clean and classic have always resonated with me. I generally am attracted to a less is more mentality.

What is one of your favorite projects you've worked on?

I recently worked on branding for my sister, who is a very talented interior decorator and photo stylist. We printed this gorgeous letterpressed stationary with gilded edges (photo above) and designed a beautiful clean website to showcase her work.

What was your inspiration working on this Cultivate project?

I spend a lot of time thinking about food if I'm not already eating it. So I instantly was excited about designing the label for The Feast. This was the first image that came to mind. Something about a messy table after a meal conveys that sense of satisfaction you have after an amazing meal. And for the label I thought having to shown from a birds eye view worked well.

Do you have an early rounds of sketches, ideas, images that you worked with before you settled on the final concept?

Here are two of the alternate concepts. One was a play off of a picnic table cloth that could change colors with the different vintages. And the other was a play off of the old illustration of animals where they would label the different parts of meat and where they were located, but instead the labels would be descriptors of the wines.

 (Above are two other initial concepts for The Feast label.)

Did you have a type of buyer or setting (or anything else) you imagined for this wine as you worked on it?

I didn't have a specific demographic necessarily in mind. Just someone who appreciates how a good glass of wine can really enhance a meal.

Where do you go/what do you do when you need to be inspired?

I get inspiration from all over and usually at the most random moments. I do a lot of my thinking about projects on the subway because its one of the rare moments I have to just sit and think.

Do you have any favorite sites/blogs you visit for inspiration?


If you could live in any era, what would it be and why?

I spent some time studying art in Florence when I was in college and have always dreamed about what it would have been like to live there during the Renaissance.

If you were to have any other profession, what would it be?

Architect or chef.  Actually, I think travel writer might win out.

What are your current obsessions?

Rose. Rose. Rose.  Its been the drink of choice all summer. Does that make me a better wine label designer??

Where can we follow you online?
We will be putting a bunch of new work online in the fall, so check back!