brand strategy : CREATIVE DIRECTION : website co-design : marketing strategy : style guide
Seavey hadn't updated their brand presence since the early 2000s. A second generation family-owned vineyard and winery with a deep history, beautiful property and consistently remarkable ratings, Seavey needed a web presence to bring to life the richness of its experience and product. Marketing had never been a priority for the Seavey family - the founders once proudly claimed they'd never be 'that kind of winery', the kind with a website, that is. But with an extensive and expanding library of highly sought after wines and a key goal to drive sales in the millennial market, it was time to take the plunge.
We started with the brand idea 'rustic elegance' to capture Seavey's expertise and sophistication, as well as the back-breaking labor of farm life, which - from composting to hand-sorting grapes to worm farming - it fully embraces. Having worked two harvests with them now, I can fully attest to the back break. We wanted the website to reflect daily life on the farm and the intricacy of the winemaking process.
We scheduled a photo shoot to gather imagery of the property, process and team and got to work alongside Vin Agency, a designer and developer in the wine world, to build a fully custom Wordpress site. All the copy needed to be refreshed to reflect the new brand idea and family ownership, new content developed around marketing initiatives, and architecture established around their various sub-brands.
With the site complete, we then created a style guide document to define the many facets of their offer, and establish rules around logo usage, color palette, typography, image style and tone of voice so that the whole team can consistently execute the new brand now and into the future.
In the 1870s —when Conn Valley Road was little more than a wagon trail —the land which we now farm was planted with grapes to make a “Claret of high repute.” This wine was judged by the St. Helena Star to be “as fine as one might find anywhere.” Commonly known as the Franco-Swiss cellar, this was the pioneering vineyard and winemaking operation of Conn Valley.
After roughly thirty years of producing great wines, the company dissolved due to the impact of a phylloxera infestation and Prohibition. For more than a half century, cattle roamed the land and grain was farmed but no more grapes were cultivated until Bill and Mary Seavey acquired the land in 1979.
Bill and Mary set out to revive the original vineyard, planting the south-facing hillsides of Conn Valley near Lake Hennessey. By 1990, we had remodeled an 1881 stone dairy barn into a small winery and began producing small quantities of Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. Small blocks of Merlot and Petit Verdot were also added along with a second winery building which includes an underground wine cave.
As a result, our winemaking approach is gentle and patient. Stewarded by Jim Duane, our winemaker, and Philippe Melka, our consulting winemaker, our goal is to create masterful, soulful wines that exude a sense of place and age gracefully.
Production from the estate’s 40 planted acres is approximately 3,000 cases annually. We’ve never bought a grape and we farm our land with our in-house crew. Our steep, rocky hillsides produce small, thick-skinned berries with outstanding tannins which must be handled very gently.
All Seavey wines are wonderfully flavorful and concentrated. Our flagship Cabernet Sauvignon is crafted for classic Bordeaux-style richness, finesse and balance for cellar aging. Our Caravina Cabernet is meant for earlier drinking and offers supple tannins and youthful intense flavors. We also produce small lots of Merlot and Chardonnay.
We look forward to introducing you to our rare and extensive wine library dating back to 1990 and to our wine clubs that provide access to these wines. Bill’s commitment to creating this library for future enjoyment was unshakeable, and reflected his conviction that our wines would only improve with time.