Balholm Fruktvin

Fruit wine was the Scandinavian equivalent to grape wine since the middle ages until the 1950s when grape wine became popular. Every Scandinavian household and farm with a fruit garden used to make fruit wine, a know-how possessed mostly by women. Balholm is a family-owned orchard located in the Sognefjord, considered one of the best producers of fruit wines and hard dry ciders in Norway.

We designed their range of fruit wines inspired by the folkloristic illustration style and typography of fruit-wrapping papers where each label retells the story of a local heroine, paying homage to the local history recognising the women behind this tradition.

Balholm is a family owned orchard located in Balestrand, in the deepest fjord in Norway - Sognefjorden, a famous destination for european artists during the national romantic period in the late 1800s and known for its many pioneering women and forerunners for female rights.

We created a brand platform for a new range of ecologic fruit wines, allowing for a flexible naming and informal visual storytelling dedicated to the local female heroines. To offer new consumers an intuitive and playful way to familiarise with this forgotten local drink category, we created a range inspired by fruit wrappers, creating an intuitive link to fruit.

Norwegian fruit wine and fruit wrappers

Fruit wrappers were originally introduced to protect fruits like oranges and lemons in the late 19th century, and later adopted for apples and other produce. Soon growers discovered that these thin square paper wrappers could be effective marketing tools when printed with their identification. A typical wrapper would include the growers name, the brand name, the country of origin and an illustration. The best fruit was wrapped with stories about animals, women, saints, remote places, historical events or famous characters, becoming a true vehicle for storytelling. They were normally printed in three to five colors (blu and gold being a frequent combination) on large rotary presses with rubber plates; accounting for imprecise registration and loss of detail. Since their introduction they have been popular collectible items.

1. "Husholdningsbog for By og Land", Marie Blom
P.T. Mallings Boghandels Forlag, 1894

2. Norwegian girl in bunad, Emma Normann (1871-1954)

3. Detail from "Fruktvin" label

4. Fruit Wrapping paper, Sicilian Lemons

'Emma' is an ecological sparkling fruit wine made with cloudberries. Emma Normann (1871-1954) painted beautiful and detailed landscapes with blond farm girls in national costumes as a recurrent theme. She was the only female painter who took residence in the artist community in Balestrand. She was a vegetarian and a prolific artist. Her gooseberry and red current bushes are still growing in the garden of her villa which she had built in 1910.

'Ingeborg' is an ecological sparkling fruit wine made with plum. Ingeborg is a mythological figure and sweetheart of Fridtjof den Fræge (the brave) in the Norse saga of Sverre. She was the daughter of King Bele from Sogn. When her brothers inherited the kingdom from their father they did all they could to keep Fritjof away from their sister, sending him away never to return. But in the end, Fritjof returns conquering both Ingeborg and the Kingdom. The famous painting of this saga played an important role in making Balestrand a destination for artist and aristocracy form Europe in the late 19th Century.


'Margaret' is an ecological sparkling non-alcoholic wine made with rhubarb. In 1888 the English mountaineer and reverend daughter Margaret Sophia Green (1850-1894) entered her diary “the 14th of August I reached the summit of Soleitind, previously not concurred by any man”. Margaret reached the peak of 2083 meters above sea level wearing a skirt. In the village of Balestrand she met mountaineer and hotel owner Knut Kvikne who she later married. Before passing away, Knut promised Margaret to construct the wooden Church she wished for. The Church of St. Olaf was inaugurated in 1897 and is still located in the centre of Balestrand.

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