Case study: Creating the wine brand of Nelson Hill Winery

I’m excited to show off a large project I’ve been working on this year: Nelson Hill Winery’s logo design, wine label design and website design. Nelson Hill Winery is a boutique winery specializing in single vineyard Pinto Noir and are located in Anderson Valley, California. I first met owner Barbara Hill, through a partnership with Bruce at Digital Wine Marketing. I provided website designs and Digital Wine Marketing programmed the website in the Drupal Content Mangement System (CMS). The e-commerce section is integrated with Nexternal eCommerce Platform.


Once the website design process started, we realized that Nelson Hill Winery did not have a strong logo design. All they really had was the below wine label design:

Before wine label redesign

I talked to Barbara about their winery, their goals and target audience and where their name “Nelson Hill Winery” came from.

A little more about Nelson Hill Winery from Proprietors Barbara and Greg Hill:

Our Deep End Vineyard is planted on a rocky, south-facing slope, nestled in the elbow of an ancient spring-fed creek in the heart of the Anderson Valley, a few miles from the Mendocino coast. We produce small lots of premium pinot noir in the Burgundian style: delicate, subtle, with flavors of black cherry and spice, uniquely crafted to enhance your dining experience. We hope you’ll enjoy the fruit of our passion for old-world pinot noir!

Where did the name “Nelson Hill Winery” come from?

Barbara’s maiden name is Nelson. It was always meant to be a “total family” venture to pass on to generations in the future. Everyone loves to come and help do whatever they can, or just camp in our backyard. We had over 50 people for Thanksgiving one year.

Logo Design

The final logo design is a custom illustration I drew from their old world negociant’s French scale that they have at their winery in Mendocino County, California. Barbara and Greg love that it is “very recognizable, almost unique, symbolizes our love of old French things, and our preference for old world wine making, more Burgundian techniques, etc.”

And while I presented several different type options, they ended up choosing the same fonts they had on their original wine label. I added in spacing between letters to give it some breathing room and have the ability to easily scale down. I also simplified the color scheme to black and a deep red.


Nelson Hills Winery logo design

Wine Label Design

For their wine label design we focused on creating a classic design to target the high end consumers that purchase their wine at their boutique winery or at Pinot Noir events in California. I chose a textured paper to help give it the feel of fine stationary.


I think it’s important for wine labels to work on three levels. One, catch your attention across the aisle or room. Secondly, once you pick up a wine bottle, it needs to catch your interest. In this case, we wanted the focus to be on the French scale. The last level, is once you have the bottle home let the consumer read a little about your brand story. Another words, what is unique about your winery?


Winery website Design

For the website, I provided Nelson Hill Winery with two different website design options and they chose to have a large image gallery with three main boxes:


See the live website at