Just Launched

Summerland Winery website homepage

We’re proud of our latest winery website, SummerlandWine.com. We’ve created a one-of-a-kind experience for visitors that conveys the fun side of Summerland Winery.

The winery’s website is built on WordPress and Vin65. WordPress manages the Retail/Restaurant finder, the recipes section, most of the pages, all of the events, and all of the posts. The Vin65 portion of the site manages the online wine shop, email subscriptions, club signups and account management.

There’s even a custom post type for the Dogs of Summerland Winery where website visitors can post their dog (including photo) to the dog wall.

Take a closer look at the new Summerland Winery website, brochure, label, and tasting room design in Our Work.

My History in the Vines

Vineyard and Oak from the Central Coast AVAs

It’s no secret to those that know me that wine is and has always been a big part of my life. From the time I was little, I can remember counting the bottles (and losing count) of the bottles in my parents wine cellar. They would make a few treks to Europe every year and restock the cellar at our home in Santa Maria. One of the first vacations I can remember was a trip to Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Italy. I can still remember riding on the barge on the the Rhine river and visiting the intersection of the Rhine and the Moselle. Even at the early age of eight, I can remember how steep the hillsides along the rivers were. I tried to imagine how hard it must have been to tend to the vines.

In my later high school years, I took classes at Hancock College in Santa Maria to study viticulture and enology. A close friend of mine, Matt – who now works up in Napa managing vineyards – had a greenhouse in his backyard and we would endlessly argue the merits of the various canopy systems in vineyards and the best practices for maximizing fruit production. Around the age of 17 or 18, we started visiting the wineries, tasting rooms, and caves on the Central Coast of California. I can recall visiting the tasting room at Sanford Winery when it was owned by Richard and consisted of only a tiny shack in the Sta Rita Hills AVA. Tastings were free, you were allowed to keep the glass as a gift, and the sign outside the tasting room reminded visitors “Please don’t feed the fat dog.” I continued to learn about winemaking and vineyard management throughout my time at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo during my studies in Graphic Communications; not as a career path, just for fun.

Fast forward 20 years and here I find myself in beautiful Santa Barbara and in the middle of one of the hottest wine producing areas on the planet today. The Central Coast of California is absolutely bursting with grapes, vineyards, and wineries. I love driving from Santa Barbara to Paso Robles and seeing vineyard after vineyard where there was only dry grass decades ago.

It’s so thrilling for me because it presents me with an opportunity to marry my love of marketing, technology, and design with my love of wine and viticulture! I’ve enjoyed working with the Urban Wine Trail in Santa Barbara since 2012 producing the Tasting Room Map/Brochure, the Passport and promotional materials for Passport Weekend, and the Urban Wine Trail website.

We recently designed and launched CarrWinery.com  (built on Vin65 and WordPress) for Carr Vineyards and Winery here in Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez. They’ve always been one of our favorite Santa Barbara Wineries. Take a browse and stop in to say “hi!” I know they’ll be glad to share their story with you.

Creating an Environment for Exploration

Britt Jewett at Studio 7 is one of Santa Barbara’s premier architects and allied design artists. He has a long history of work both on the central coast and across the nation that should be appreciated in person whenever possible.

Britt’s vision was to create an evironment of exploration for his website visitors. He wanted people to have fun on the site while they browsed his extensive portfolio. One of our guiding principles in designing this website was, “Less is more.”

Continue reading “Creating an Environment for Exploration”

Building a better way

One pretty cool project we recently completed was for MindClick SGM (Sustainable Growth Management).

MindClick had an interesting challenge, they needed to help connect charitable organizations like Good360.com and Habitat for Humanity with a large hotel chain to facilitate the removal of recyclable and reusable products from the hotels during remodels.

They were managing this daunting project through a series of Excel spreadsheets. The process was quickly becoming overwhelming to those working on the project.

What we designed and built was a marketplace for the reclamation of furniture, fixtures, and equipment from hotels that are remodeling. It’s crazy to think that all of this used to end up in landfills! The hotels can sign in to their accounts, post pictures of items, attach descriptions, associate contact information to their hotels for the General Contractors and the Owner’s Representatives. The hotels can even schedule construction dates and pickup dates for each half-floor.

The Reclaimers (e.g. Habitat for Humanity) can browse the site and search by hotel name or zip code. They add different items to a cart, sometimes from multiple hotels. Then they check out and an order is sent to the project administrators. MindClick then picks up the phone and schedules the rest of the details by phone.

It’s exciting to think that our work has helped reduce the amount of waste that is shipped to landfills and that we’re alleviating stress on the environment by reducing the need for new products to be made. Hats off to MindClick SGM and their HSP Index for all they do to help save our planet.