Made by one estate team in Turew, Poland, the new vodka is a single-rye product of two distillation steps. The first bottles were presented as gifts to attendees at the 2004 Academy Awards, in a special wooden crate, also designed by the architect who is best known for the Bilbao, Spain Guggenheim Museum, and the Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. Gehry was enlisted to do the bottle design by his son, Alejandro, an illustrator.
"I am always attracted to things that are a challenge," Gehry told Newsweek magazine, when asked about the bottle. "It’s a quick fix. Architecture takes so long." He went on to explain that the twist design came from an office building he had designed in Germany, "and this was the design that [the company] liked. When you look through the bottle, it plays with the light and creates an illusory image," Gehry said. "I am looking for a sense of movement, which I got in the vodka bottle with the glass.
"My mother was born in Poland, and sometimes she spoke Polish in the house. So I found there was an emotional hook as well, which I didn’t expect," Gehry added.
Launched into the United States this spring, Wyborova Single Estate is available only in selected markets. It retails for about $30.
"Frank Gehry, one of America’s greatest living architects, was the only person we considered to design the bottle," says Jeffrey Agdern, brand director at Pernod Ricard USA. "Based on his impressive work, we knew that he could craft a bottle that truly reflected the extraordinary vodka inside." Agdern tells Packaging World that the initial response to the new product and package has been "very strong." Further details on the bottlemaker and decorating were not available at press time.