A Whoopi champagne celebration

Korbel attempts to bring champagne into summer celebrations with a Brut Rose bottle decorated with artwork by comedienne Whoopi Goldberg.

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A splash of flowers drawn by comedienne Whoopi Goldberg decorates the fifth in a series of limited-edition Korbel champagne bottles. Launched in 1995, Korbel bottles have featured the artwork of fashion designer Nicole Miller, as well as works from such notable performers as Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra and Jane Seymour.

The Whoopi Goldberg Korbel Brut Rose bottle was introduced nationwide in May. It features a floral design in kelly green and violet, reflective of Goldberg's playful and free-spirited image, says Guerneville, CA-based Korbel Champagne Cellars. The 750-mL bottles are decorated by Ceramic Decorating (City of Commerce, CA) in three colors by applied ceramic labeling (ACL), a process where the three colors are screened onto the glass and fired onto the bottles at around 1걢°F.

Korbel normally decorates its champagne bottles with a paper label. The ACL process was chosen because of its uniqueness. "We wanted to do something that would make this more of a keepsake package," says Margie Healy, director of public relations at Korbel. "Because it doesn't have a paper label, you can put the bottle into a bucket of ice, without the possibility of a label soaking off." Healy said the cost difference between the paper label and the ACL decoration is 35¢/bottle. She believes the upcharge is a sound investment because the ACL decoration gives the bottles a much more upscale look.

Decorated bottles are shipped to Korbel for filling and fermentation. During this process, the bottles are temporarily capped, placed into trays and the neck is submerged in a 24°F glycol bath. This freezes the neck of the bottle, causing the yeast to rise to the top. After the champagne is fermented, the frozen yeast is removed. Bottles are automatically corked, and the foil capsule is placed on top. The fermentation process takes about a year and a half.

The bottle is topped off by a violet foil capsule featuring Whoopi Goldberg's signature in gold. The capsule is a three-layer construction that includes polyethylene sandwiched between two outer layers of aluminum. The top layer of aluminum is flexo-printed in one color with Goldberg's signature hot-stamped in gold onto the foil by Pechiney Cork and Seal (American Canyon, CA). After printing the foil, Pechiney cuts a tear tab into the foil, the capsule is formed and the seam is glued together. After finished capsules are shipped to Korbel, they are applied to the corked bottles and crimped.

The Goldberg bottle began appearing in retail outlets nationwide in time for summer celebrations. Approximately 10ꯠ cases of Goldberg bottles will be available while quantities last, for a suggested retail price of $12.99 per bottle.

"Whoopi Goldberg was a natural choice for our artist series because both Whoopi and Korbel are synonymous with fun and celebration," says Gary Heck, president and chairman at Korbel.

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