Captivating Winery Websites For Your Inspiration

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From the Napa Wineries in California to the vineyards of Australia and France, the beautiful designs of these wine maker’s websites embody the spirit of the vine. Trends for winery websites have been leaning towards a dynamic Flash introduction, animation and beautiful graphics, which would give the best representation of the products for the target market.

While sites have gone in the direction of a more modern and contemporary approach with fresh and sleek designs, others have taken the more traditional route by captivating their users with the bold earthy Tuscan colors and impressive graphics and art.

There is much to consider when designing a site for a wine maker. Use your creativity to promote the wine and winery, so that the quality portrayed encourages users to inquire how to contact, where and how to buy, and even obtain information on upcoming events.

Good design ≠ Good visual design

Unfortunately, winery sites strongly focus on the visual design, while best usability practices are often ignored. For instance, some web-sites do not offer a search functionality and use hardly readable content (and the size of the text can not be increased, because the text is embedded into a Flash-animation). Besides, since many sites are Flash-based, it’s also impossible to bookmark a specific page, although (in general) it can be achieved in Flash).

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When good visual design fails: the font-size of the text on Dancing Bull Wines2 can not be scaled up; for many users it may be way too small for comfortable reading.

A good design is not a good visual design; good design is rather a balanced combination of good visual design and usability, resulting in the positive user experience. In our experience, too many sites appear to be very complex and hard to navigate, because in the trade-off between visual design and usability designers often decide against the latter one.

Winery Websites For Your Inspiration

With that in mind, we share with you 40 captivating wine maker’s websites displaying some examples how it can be a rewarding experience – please notice that these sites often can be improved in terms of usability.

Moët Chandon3

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Robert Mondavi Winery6

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2 Lads Winery10

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Bonny Doon Vineyard12

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Dancing Bull15

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Red Bicyclette Wines18

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Chandon20

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Caduceus22

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Black Estate24

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Da Vinci Wine26

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Folie à Deux28

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Champagne Clerambault30

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3 Blind Moose33

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Pepi Winery36

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Rex Goliath Winery39

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Domaine Laroche41

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Frog’s Leap44

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Dog House Wine47

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Tenuta dell’Ornellaia49

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Big House Wines52

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Gnarly Head55

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Domaine Carneros57

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Yellow Tail59

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De Saint Gall62

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Hatten Wines65

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The Little Penguin68

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Chateau Lazaridi70

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Rocky Creek Winery72

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Renwood Winery74

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Toasted Head76

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Rumbaur Vineyards78

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Turning Leaf80

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Mumm82

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Mumm Napa84

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Bonus: Wine & Beer Bottle Design Tutorials

Wine bottles make exceptional design elements. Following are a few “how to create wine bottle tutorials” – we have added them to this article, since they would add value to this article.

Realistic Decorated Wine Bottle Illustration86

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Create a Realistic Wine Bottle Illustration From Scratch88

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Photoshop Glass Bottle Technique90

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Illustrating a Cool Glass of Beer in Photoshop92

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Beverage Ad Enhancer in Photoshop94

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Design Beer Glass and Bottle in Photoshop96

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Further Resources

Footnotes

  1. 1 http://www.dancingbullwines.com/index.html
  2. 2 http://www.dancingbullwines.com/index.html
  3. 3 http://www.moet.com
  4. 4 http://www.moet.com
  5. 5 http://www.moet.com
  6. 6 http://www.robertmondaviwinery.com/
  7. 7 http://www.robertmondaviwinery.com
  8. 8 http://www.robertmondaviwinery.com
  9. 9 http://www.robertmondaviwinery.com
  10. 10 http://www.2lwinery.com/
  11. 11 http://www.2lwinery.com/
  12. 12 https://www.bonnydoonvineyard.com/
  13. 13 https://www.bonnydoonvineyard.com/
  14. 14 https://www.bonnydoonvineyard.com/
  15. 15 http://www.dancingbullwines.com/
  16. 16 http://www.dancingbullwines.com/
  17. 17 http://www.dancingbullwines.com/
  18. 18 http://redbicyclette.com/
  19. 19 http://redbicyclette.com/
  20. 20 http://www.chandon.com
  21. 21 http://www.chandon.com
  22. 22 http://www.caduceus.org/
  23. 23 http://www.caduceus.org/
  24. 24 http://blackestate.co.nz/
  25. 25 http://blackestate.co.nz
  26. 26 http://davinciwine.com/
  27. 27 http://davinciwine.com/
  28. 28 http://www.folieadeux.com/
  29. 29 http://www.folieadeux.com/
  30. 30 http://www.champagne-clerambault.com/
  31. 31 http://www.champagne-clerambault.com/
  32. 32 http://www.champagne-clerambault.com/
  33. 33 http://www.3blindmoose.com
  34. 34 http://www.3blindmoose.com/
  35. 35 http://www.3blindmoose.com
  36. 36 http://www.pepi.com/
  37. 37 http://www.pepi.com/
  38. 38 http://www.pepi.com/
  39. 39 http://www.rexgoliath.com
  40. 40 http://www.rexgoliath.com
  41. 41 http://www.larochewines.com/
  42. 42 http://www.larochewines.com/
  43. 43 http://www.larochewines.com/
  44. 44 http://www.frogsleap.com/flash/intro.html/
  45. 45 http://www.frogsleap.com/flash/intro.html/
  46. 46 http://www.frogsleap.com/flash/intro.html/
  47. 47 http://www.doghousewine.com/
  48. 48 http://www.doghousewine.com/
  49. 49 http://www.ornellaia.com
  50. 50 http://www.ornellaia.com
  51. 51 http://www.ornellaia.com
  52. 52 http://www.bighousewines.com/
  53. 53 http://www.bighousewines.com/
  54. 54 http://www.bighousewines.com/
  55. 55 http://www.gnarlyhead.com/
  56. 56 http://www.gnarlyhead.com/
  57. 57 http://www.domainecarneros.com/index.cfm
  58. 58 http://www.domainecarneros.com/index.cfm
  59. 59 http://discoveryellowtail.com
  60. 60 http://discoveryellowtail.com
  61. 61 http://discoveryellowtail.com
  62. 62 http://www.de-saint-gall.com/
  63. 63 http://www.de-saint-gall.com/
  64. 64 http://www.de-saint-gall.com/
  65. 65 http://www.hattenwines.com/
  66. 66 http://www.hattenwines.com/
  67. 67 http://www.hattenwines.com/
  68. 68 http://www.thelittlepenguin.com/
  69. 69 http://www.thelittlepenguin.com/
  70. 70 http://www.chateau-lazaridi.com/mainen.html
  71. 71 http://www.chateau-lazaridi.com/mainen.html
  72. 72 http://www.rockycreekwinery.ca/
  73. 73 http://www.rockycreekwinery.ca/
  74. 74 http://www.renwood.com
  75. 75 http://www.renwood.com
  76. 76 http://www.toastedhead.com/
  77. 77 http://www.toastedhead.com/
  78. 78 http://www.rombauer.com
  79. 79 http://www.rombauer.com
  80. 80 http://www.turningleaf.com/
  81. 81 http://www.turningleaf.com/
  82. 82 http://www.mumm.com/
  83. 83 http://www.mumm.com/
  84. 84 http://mummnapa.com
  85. 85 http://mummnapa.com
  86. 86 http://www.photoshoplady.com/realistic-decorated-wine-bottle-illustration/
  87. 87 http://www.photoshoplady.com/realistic-decorated-wine-bottle-illustration/
  88. 88 http://psdfan.com/tutorials/drawing/create-a-realistic-wine-bottle-illustration-from-scratch/
  89. 89 http://psdfan.com/tutorials/drawing/create-a-realistic-wine-bottle-illustration-from-scratch/
  90. 90 http://tutorialqueen.com/photoshop-tutorials/photoshop-glass-bottle-technique
  91. 91 http://tutorialqueen.com/photoshop-tutorials/photoshop-glass-bottle-technique
  92. 92 http://psd.tutsplus.com/tutorials/drawing/illustrating-a-cool-glass-of-beer/
  93. 93 http://psd.tutsplus.com/tutorials/drawing/illustrating-a-cool-glass-of-beer/
  94. 94 http://www.tutorial9.net/photoshop/beverage-ad-enhancer/
  95. 95 http://www.tutorial9.net/photoshop/beverage-ad-enhancer/
  96. 96 http://www.photoshopstar.com/graphics/design-beer-glass-and-bottle/
  97. 97 http://www.photoshopstar.com/graphics/design-beer-glass-and-bottle/
  98. 98 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/08/21/game-sites-design-survey-examples-and-current-practices/
  99. 99 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/11/24/billboard-top-40-design-showcase/
  100. 100 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/03/12/showcase-of-beautiful-fashion-websites/
  101. 101 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/02/09/movie-website-designs-examples-and-current-practices/
  102. 102 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/04/23/30-beautiful-real-estate-websites/
  103. 103 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/04/04/showcase-of-beautiful-sports-websites/
  104. 104 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/01/14/web-design-trends-for-2009/

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  1. 1

    very intersting, thanks :)

    0
  2. 2

    Michael Chacon

    May 3, 2009 6:46 am

    Cool, thanks!

    0
  3. 3

    Just finnished a site for a winery. About to go live!

    0
  4. 4

    Sergey Kapustin

    May 3, 2009 7:40 am

    One more wine-related website with award winning design

    0
  5. 5

    wow what a pointless article.

    Why bang on about usability in a visual design showcase?

    -1
  6. 6

    Erik M Kubitschek

    May 3, 2009 8:01 am

    I am currently working on a winebar site (domacinwinebar.com). Seeking some creative ideas and feedback. (wordpress/flash).

    0
  7. 7

    The Image and the link of “Create a Realistic Wine Bottle Illustration From Scratch” and “Realistic Decorated Wine Bottle Illustration” are mismatch. They should be swapped.

    (SM) thanks, fixed!

    0
  8. 8

    nice one …

    0
  9. 9

    its a nice article awesome!

    0
  10. 10

    As a commercial artist, I really enjoyed and appreciate the creativity that wnet into these sites. Great post!

    0
  11. 11

    nice one … but sorry to say that the google rss feed is no longer working

    (SM) what do you mean? We just checked it and it seems to work just fine.

    0
  12. 12

    Michael Davis

    May 3, 2009 9:29 am

    Take it from a designer (web & print) and major wine geek. The better the site…the worse the wine.

    The best wines come from small producers in rural France/Italy. It sells itself without SEO, Flash or AJAX involved. Not a Twitterer in the bunch.

    Cheers,
    Michael

    -1
    • 13

      Do you actually believe this? I think some wines become very popular and then can thusly afford to beef up their marketing efforts. It’s not always vice versa.

      0
  13. 14

    These are sadly, almost all the same: dull, drab, and conformist.

    Sad. Really is. There are a lot better examples of progressive interaction design than these (and yes, I am talking about the global wine, spirits, and beverage industry)

    (SM) please share a couple of these examples with us, Craig!

    -1
  14. 15

    Oops! Sorry about the typo. “went” not “wnet”. :-)

    0
  15. 16

    Great sites, but the De Saint Gall and The Little Penguin are wrong with the reflection.

    Cheers.

    0
  16. 17

    That Nokia ad up top is obnoxious. Way to go Smashing. This is why I deleted your RSS and stopped visiting.

    0
  17. 18

    Black estate has a really cool site!

    0
  18. 19

    There’s a lot of value on the wine labels and the cork, they give the identity to the bottle, and the vineyard, but it seems that’s not taken into account in the design of those websites, since most of them are pretty ugly. (except for a few examples).

    0
  19. 20

    Wine sites really cater to a select group (people who REALLY enjoy wine.) For the rest of us, they are pretty simple, 5 page sites with not much else.

    0
  20. 21

    Leif Miltenberger

    May 3, 2009 2:52 pm

    Thanks for featuring one of our designs (the Rocky Creek Winery site)! I’ve really enjoyed looking through the other sites listed here – quite a few that I hadn’t seen before.

    Cheers!

    0
  21. 22

    a lot of them seem to be “all show no trousers”.

    i have a distinct dislike of flash too which precludes me from liking most of those sites!

    0
  22. 23

    Most commenters here are either design snobs and flash police, mumbling about ‘ugliness’ and disliking usage of flash. Grow up people. Keep up the good work Smagzine.

    0
  23. 24

    While the use of flash and other fancy animation is considered by many to be necessary, I abhor it. There is absolutely no need for ANY website to have any flash on the landing page — XYZ.com — especially without a clear way to bypass that page. The landing page for any business website should be plain, simple and informative. As plain as google, but more informative.

    Wineries, for example, should include a product listing, direct or CSS and information about the location of the winery, including the GPS coordinates. I like manyof my fellow wine lovers like to visit wineries, and since consumer GPS devices resolve street address using ‘rubber-band’ technology having the GPS coordinates there in a handy cut-and-paste format is a good thing for those wineries that sell direct to the public.

    2
  24. 25

    hi Leif @no 27
    apart from saying it ‘better’, They’re actually…. some boring looking sites.

    1
  25. 26

    i am unsure how hatten wines got a spot here

    1
  26. 27

    Quite inspiring and beautiful, yet so senseless IMHO. Wine is the last product I would research on Internet…

    -1
  27. 28
  28. 29

    Thanks for the list!

    Here’s an inspiring digital magazine for swedish liquour/wine brand Vin & Sprit (now owned by Pernod Ricard)…in swedish:

    0
  29. 30

    Interesting designs. It seems winery’s are either going Elegant & Sophisticated or Playful in their overall marketing campaigns. I for one enjoy all wines (mainly reds) from the 5$ bottles at the grocery store to the 1000$ Rothchild’s; it’s nice to see vineyards are marketing to all audiences in the modern world. Good stuff Smashing!

    1
  30. 31

    Thanks for the search, it’s great for me, i’m a young webdesigner french and i’ll go to create my first wine website for my school, it’s beautiful description!
    Thanks a lot from france!

    0
  31. 32

    Nice gallery. Given I have worked on several major label wine sites of late this was a good bit of inspiration.

    And I fail to see why some people are so negative against these kind of articles – I have been in this industry for over 19 years and still find some joy in appreciating others work.

    1
  32. 33

    I like that Ozzie website that lists all wine tour operators down under wine tours down under.com.au I think

    0
  33. 34

    90% of these sites are tacky, over-the-top, themey drivel. Sorry to be such a snob, but maybe SM should focus more on quality over quantity.

    Frog’s Leap? Really?

    -2
  34. 35

    Believe it or not, Virginia has been moving up in the wine world – when I moved here in 1989, there were about 60 wineries. The number is up around 175 now.
    Here are a few lovely and simple sites – no flash at all:

    http://www.chathamvineyards.net/
    http://www.cardinalpointwinery.com/
    http://www.mountfair.com/

    It do think “the better the site, the worse the wine” is a generalization, but is something to think about. Smaller wineries are usually focused on making the wine – and making it the best it can be given their particular location/resources. Marketing is way down on the list unless there is a lot of money to be tossed about.

    0
  35. 36

    Another excellent label design is Redemption. Each label is produced by a California graphic designer. The Pinot wine is fabulous also

    0
  36. 37

    And another wine related website can be found here

    0
  37. 38

    gr8 article..

    0
  38. 39

    Sharon,
    Thanks for this article very useful to find inspiration.
    If you have time I’d be happy you review our websites : see Vinternet Portfolio (vinternet is a web agency specialized in the wine business in France since 1995).
    We put a lot of efforts in trying to find the right approach, content & services and
    design for the website according to client’s profil, objectifs and budget also (;-)).
    Trying not to be over the top nore bellow.
    Always learn a lot on each new project
    I’m looking forward to reading you and see which one’s your fav.

    0
  39. 40

    What are we inspiring ‘Mystery Meat Navigation’? These look like sites ‘designed for designers’ not users.

    0
  40. 41

    “wow what a pointless article.
    Why bang on about usability in a visual design showcase?”

    - This is the most stupid comment i’ve heard in years. Every design must have usability to sell. Why have a website if no one reaches it or if it has a 90% bounce rate. Only poor webdesigners think its impossible to have a beautiful yet clean and usable site.

    2
  41. 42

    wow, so nice designs that I’m totally desperate will I ever be able to create such a nice site :(

    1
  42. 43

    Beautiful Designs of Websites, but I’m still against alcohol and alcoholics, I do NOT support them and never will, and I recommend to all of you whoever drinks alcohol to STOP as soon as Possible before you hurt someone around you and your life.
    But yeah, the graphics are Smashingly amazing :)

    -3
  43. 44

    Seriously… Yellow Tail? Pepi? 3 Blind Moose? Moët Chandon? Big House? The Little Penguin? Do you REALLY think these can be called “captivating” or even inspirational?? If anything, some of these quoted sites tell us what NOT to do!

    0
  44. 45
  45. 46

    Ornellaia’s website has changed a lot recently. Please update the link too. http://www.ornellaia.com

    0
  46. 48

    Bernard Stramwasser

    August 1, 2013 10:31 pm

    One website you missed is Perlage!

    http://www.perlagewines.com

    One of the best wine websites I have seen.

    0

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