Founded in the Chiles Valley District of Napa Valley in 1890, Nichelini Family Winery has the distinction of being the oldest Napa winery to be continuously owned and operated by a single family.
Nichelini needed to upgrade their website in order to improve their e-commerce offerings, while also better demonstrating the winery’s inimitable story.
Nichelini Family Winery approached us about creating a new website because they were moving to a new e-commerce solution, which necessitated developing a new website that could support it. They were aware of our reputation in the Sacramento web design industry because we had previously worked with Sunseri Associates, a contracting and construction management firm owned and operated by relatives of the Nichelini family. Sunseri Associates had been pleased with our work, and so Nichelini Family Winery contacted us directly to see if we could facilitate their website needs.
Building a website that supports e-commerce requires a lot of work behind the scenes.
Nichelini Family Winery’s foremost goal was to ensure that their new website would work with their newly adopted e-commerce system. They wanted a site that would stay true to their current branding, but more importantly, it needed to help visitors get where they were going. Too many of Nichelini’s fellow Napa Valley winemakers have websites that place the emphasis on branding and storytelling, to the point where it’s difficult for would-be customers to locate e-commerce pages and other critical revenue-generating site elements.
We worked with Kreck Design, Nichelini’s e-commerce service provider, to sync their e-commerce solution with the new website and ensure that customers could transition between the site and online store seamlessly. In addition, we assisted Nichelini Family Winery by suggesting, installing, and setting up a variety of software and plugins for the new website to replace older counterparts that were no longer suitable. For instance, they had an event management system that we convinced them to do away with, as the aging plugin was poorly designed and created a confusing experience for end users.
Also, Nichelini had spent some time trying to decide which of two booking companies—CellarPass or VinoVisit—to sign up with to manage their wine-tasting reservations. We spent some time researching the services offered by the two companies, and helped the winery make a decision.
We did everything we could to help support the winery while guiding them through the web development process. Towards the end of the project our CMO, Josh Rubin, actually traveled out to their office in order to finalize the last few elements of the site in a timely manner.
Building a website that not only makes sales, but also satisfies the palette with trust-building imagery.
We always take an ROI-first approach to website development, so ensuring that the new Nichelini Family Winery website would generate sales wasn’t a problem for us. However, as we’ve discussed elsewhere on our website, we are also big believers in using photography to grow customer trust by creating impactful, personal imagery that tells a story and reveals the faces behind a business’s logo and brand name.
With our guidance, Nichelini had a photographer take photos of the winery, the surrounding area, and of course the Nichelini family. This provided us with great imagery to use on the homepage, header, and elsewhere on the site. Given that the winery’s biggest claim to fame is its long history of being family-owned and operated, this imagery was crucial for lending the site a personal touch that reflects the intimate, tightly knit nature of the business. No stock photos are used on the site—literally every photo was taken on location.
Interestingly enough, the family’s earnest approach to wine-making and promoting their business created an unexpected challenge. They are a humble, honest family, and not prone to touting the very high quality of their wine. But when it comes to marketing and promoting a business, you have to be clear and direct in order to successfully engage with customers. We worked closely with the Nichelinis to help them find a happy medium in which they could deliver a message, while still being true to their values.
It was a real pleasure to work with the Nichelini family and not just build a website for their business, but also to help them craft a testimonial to their nearly 130 year history of crafting amazing wine in the Napa Valley. We hope that their new website helps them to fulfill their future objectives, and that we will one day have the opportunity to work with them again.