MENDOCINO — Local artist Maeve Croghan has won a prestigious — and tasty — award: Her original painting “Russet Vines” will appear on more than 1 million bottles of wine from the Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau winery in France.

In addition to being the contest winner, Croghan will receive $3,500 in prize money.

Originally from Virginia, Croghan is the founder of the Mendocino Eco Artists group, a group that holds regular art showings to bring awareness and generate income through sales for local environmental groups and causes. She is also a long time member of the Mendocino Plein Air Painters group and has worked on the exhibits committee at the Mendocino Art Center.

Croghan’s winning painting, “Russett Vines” on a bottle of Beaujolais Nouveau. The artist said she “wanted to relay a feeling of warmth and happiness, bringing attention to the beauty and splendor of the vines.” (Contributed)

Taking home first place from more than a thousand entries, Croghan’s artwork “evokes a sense of timeless appreciation and connection to nature and the vines that give birth to the annual harvest,” states the winery’s announcement.

This is the Beaujolais Nouveau Artist Label Contest’s fourth year running, and the first wine of the vintage is always released on the third Thursday in November with a featured, American artist’s work on the label, said an announcement from Les Vins Georges Duboeuf.

Beaujolais Nouveau is a red wine that is made every year, only six to eight weeks after the grapes are harvested. Les Vins Georges Duboeuf is a family-owned-and-operated winery in the heart of the Beaujolais region of France, founded in the early 1960s, with a long history of collaborating with artists to create their iconic labels.

For the last four years, the first wine of the vintage has been released every November with a different artist-designed label. “The annual reveal of the label and design was almost as exciting as the wine itself,” said a release from the winery. “The different label designs reflected the wine inside — Beaujolais Nouveau is a new and different wine each year.”

Using vibrant golds, oranges and reds for 2020’s vintage, “I wanted to relay a feeling of warmth and happiness, bringing attention to the beauty and splendor of the vines,” Croghan said.

Even though the painting will grace the bottles of French wine, Croghan said she based her artwork after the vineyards of Mendocino County. And what’s more, she said, Croghan didn’t even hear about the contest until two days before the deadline.

“In a time where there is so much uncertainty, I cannot express how elated and thankful I am for this opportunity,” says Croghan. “It is an amazing feeling to have my work recognized by such a remarkable brand as Georges Duboeuf.”

The wines with the special label were released Nov. 19, and will only be available in stores until mid-January, Croghan said. “And the wine is delicious — it is a delicious, deep, fruity wine — from Beaujolais, France!”

Croghan also currently has a small showing of her art in the bar area of the MacCallum House Inn, in Mendocino. The show is open Thursday-Monday, 3:30 to 9 p.m.

For more information about Croghan’s artwork, visit her website at For more information about the Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau winery, visit their website at