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Communication Arts Webpick of the Day 03/18/09

Communication Arts regularly features a favorite “Webpick” and the Stags’ Leap website project was their pick for March 18, 2009,
Communication Arts regularly features a favorite “Webpick” and the Stags’ Leap website project was their pick for March 18, 2009,

More About the Project

The Literate Website: Stags’ Leap Winery
A copywriting project by Theresa Whitehill of Colored Horse Studios

Client: Stags’ Leap Winery

Creative & Production Talent
Project Director for Stags’ Leap Winery: Bill Piersol
Project Coordinator for Stags’ Leap Winery: Katie Smithson
Writing & Art Direction: Theresa Whitehill, Colored Horse Studios
Design & Web Production: Fine Design
Photography: Olaf Beckmann, and others
Illustration: watercolors by Dick Cole
Shopping Cart: Inertia Beverage Group

The Challenge/The Goal:
When Stags’ Leap Winery was due for a website redesign in 2007, Bill Piersol envisioned something that would fit the winery’s classic contemporary aesthetic. The original website, designed by Daryl Burch of Freerun Technologies, had been built around the black and white photography of Olaf Beckmann. Piersol went to Beckmann again, but this time challenged him to pursue portraits of the people of Stags’ Leap. From Whitehill at Colored Horse Studios, he described a writing style that would be brief, to the point, and reference the enormous wealth of historical and natural resources for which Whitehill had become a living library over the course of her nearly ten years of writing and developing the Stags’ Leap Estate Book.

The Bonus:
Beckmann’s images and Whitehill’s edited statements from the people of Stags’ Leap ended up becoming a section unto itself that reveals much about the winery’s belief in people as an important aspect of its terroir. Piersol was a pleasure to work with, as always, insisting that we expand beyond our customary styles in satisfying ways. The bonus in this case was the same as the challenge. As archivist, Whitehill also ended up collating the considerable image library of the winery and art directing the design agency, Fine Design, through the web production process.

The Results:
Within six months of the website’s launch, Stags’ Leap Winery’s website wine orders had increased beyond anything that had come from the original site. Wine Club sign-ups had outpaced their projections, and there were nods from wine community scholars indicating that the team had crafted a winery website that stands with the best.

Features & Specifications:
Winery website with secure shopping cart, Flash-animated slideshows introducing each major section, along with a portrait gallery paired with personal statements from the people of Stags’ Leap Winery.


Website Copyright ©2007 Stags’ Leap Winery, All Rights Reserved

The Website

More copywriting projects by Theresa Whitehill

Photographer Olaf Beckmann

Watercolorist Dick Cole

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