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Six Halloween wine labels – and their backstory

Decanter would never recommend a wine to drink based on its label alone, but here are six wines with a scary backstory that would suit any Halloween party.

See these Halloween wine labels and the story behind them:



Sharpe Hill Vineyards, Ballet of Angels, Pomfret, Connecticut

At first this appears to be a sweetly named wine, but the reality is very different. Vineyard owner Catherine Vollweiler was in bed one night looking through art books to find an illustration for her new wine. Struggling to find one, she fell asleep.

But, Vollweiler was later woken up with a book falling to the floor and opening on the page with the illustration that is now on the bottle.

Halloween wines

Boekenhoutskloof, The Wolftrap, Franschhoek, South Africa

This wine is named after the wolf trap that the owners of Boekenhoutskloof discovered. The Wolftrap hails back to the wilderness of the landscape that this South African vineyard now occupies.


Halloween wines

Twisted Oak, River of Skulls, Vallecito, California

In 1805, Lieutenant Gabriel Moraga was ordered by the Spanish Governor of California to explore the Great Central Valley and to name everything he found.

One day, he came across a river and saw its banks were littered with skulls. No one knows how the skulls came to be there. The Lieutenant named this river ‘El Rio De Las Calaveras’ – ‘The River of Skulls.’

Halloween wines

Owen Roe, Sinister Hand, Columbia Valley, Oregon

Legend has it that in the 17th Century in Columbia Valley, two rival Irish families created a rowing race to determine who had control over some highly valuable land. The winner and owner of the land would be whoever touched the shore first.

On race day, one family was persistantly behind. But, its members did not give up and one of the crew cut off his own hand and threw it to shore to win the race.

Halloween wines

Saxum Vineyards, Bone Rock, Paso Robles, California

This one is not quite as sinister as it sounds. Saxum’s owners named this steep terraced vineyard of old Syrah vines Bone Rock, after they discovered fossilised whale bones when they were terracing the land.

Halloween winesConcha y Toro, Casillero del Diablo, Chile

In the 19th century, the founder of Concha y Toro, Don Melchor, discovered that his vineyard workers were sampling his greatest wines.

To discourage this action, Don Melchor spread the rumor that his deepest, darkest cellar was the Casillero del Diablo (Cellar of the Devil), so that no one would dare go in there. It worked, and the name stuck – with Casillero del Diablo even launching a ‘Devil’s Collection’ range.


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