When browsing a great website, visitors might not realize what is drawing their eye, or think about the intricate planning that went into making them feel at ease on the site. But as content creators, we put quite a bit of thought into those things. From user experience (UX) design to scannable content, we know each component that makes up a great website. Here, we tip our hats to six wineries who are hitting the right notes with their websites and break down the qualities that got people clicking.
Two words: limited scrolling! Setting the stage for an intuitive experience, this site’s homepage serves as a simple, efficient navigation tool – and a beautiful one at that. You can’t scroll on the homepage, but you can easily see the site page options and quickly get where you want to go. Also, great copy, told entirely in the voice of the winemakers, is a serious game-changer on this site. Given the monotony and unoriginality that sometimes plagues web copy, Garden Creek offers a fresh take that appeals to wine lovers. Although it is up to the discretion of the vineyard whether to make e-commerce an element of their site, we do highly recommend adding an e-commerce element – one area where the Garden Creek site falls a bit short.
Compelling winery website design can work for many reasons, such as top-notch imagery, seamless layout, and a great color scheme. Andanté’s website has all these qualities, plus a special design feature that often gets overlooked: expressive fonts. While fonts might seem like a throwaway element, this site proves that perfectly applied fonts can accent the layout and draw the viewer’s eye to specific areas of the site. As an example, within the banner image of the homepage, your eye is drawn directly to the “join us for a tasting” call-to-action (CTA), which stands out because it is the only cursive text in sight. Full disclosure: We had the pleasure of working with Andanté to craft their website from scratch this past year. So, while we’re a bit biased, we feel the site deserves a mention here.
E-commerce is becoming an increasingly important consideration for wineries as they look to their websites to help generate more direct-to-consumer sales. From wine clubs to individual bottle sales, it is a big undertaking. Gallica not only maintains a beautifully designed and written website but is also a powerhouse in the e-commerce department. Purchasing individual bottles and wine gift boxes is as simple as buying a T-shirt online. Checkout is just a few simple steps and their shipping policies are easy to find, keeping the whole process very user-friendly. Gallica’s site also prominently features their mailing list signup which, while not specifically for e-commerce, is an effective tool to let subscribers know when new wines are released and available for sale on the site.
While quite aesthetically pleasing, the Mumm Napa site boasts much more than a pretty facade. Their calls-to-action are strong and plentiful – their homepage alone has 11 CTA buttons prompting further site exploration, online purchasing, and winery visit sign-ups. Regardless of whether your winery prioritizes e-commerce sales or on-site visits, encouraging visitors to interact with your site is critical. While high quantity is not always something to aspire to, this site tactfully integrates the calls-to-action so that visitors do not feel bombarded.
With a flair for the cinematic, the header section of the Flâneur Wines homepage hits visitors with an engaging video overlaid with their logo that highlights the vineyard, grape harvesting, and venue. It is a truly impactful introduction to the site that holds the visitor’s attention for several seconds until its completion (and not watching it through seems near impossible once the idyllic scenes of Oregon wine country start rolling). Beyond the home page, the whole site is teeming with appealing imagery, from detailed sketched graphics, to gorgeous photos, to dynamic live-action video.
We couldn’t let you go without showing you Ayres Vineyard & Winery’s website – one more site we designed. It’s a good example of another core principle of website design (if we do say so ourselves!): scan-ability. Making your winery website easy to scan helps the user experience go smoothly. Any site that makes it difficult to browse or find what you are looking for is going to have a serious bounce rate problem on its hands. By breaking up text blocks with quotes and utilizing bulleted lists, for example, the Ayres site does a wonderful job of keeping copy short, sweet, and scannable.