In late 2015, we embarked on a packaging redesign journey with the primary goal of creating elegant gift boxes made entirely of cardboard to 1) get your wine shipped to you in one piece and 2) do our small part to reduce non-recyclable packaging waste. Six months of design, sampling, and testing new gift boxes is stress enough when trying to meet your fall ship deadline, but we budgeted for every pitfall we could imagine. Except for that tiny issue of a global shipping company’s bankruptcy and the subsequent marooning of our container’s worth of new packaging at the Port of Oakland!

Thanks to the wiles of our stellar industrial design team at Uneka Concepts, we worked out a deal to get the container up to Napa in the nick of time to pack our 2013 vintage. We learned our lesson and moved the packing date up on our schedule for next year – globalization at it’s best!

2016packaging_3pkdesignThe design process typically starts with a collection of inspiration sources, sketches, and a series of design options. After several months of design, the above final die-line was created for our 3-bottle gift box – a revamped iteration of the cardboard 3-pack from the inaugural 2012 vintage release.

2016packaging_1pkdesignThis year, we are adding a cardboard magnum gift box that was designed from scratch, requiring a slightly longer design process.


Once artwork is submitted to the factory, samples are made for final design approval, and – most importantly – for drop testing with dummy bottles filled with water. The above image depicts the state of a cardboard insert after being rigorously tested. Should breakage or unusual damage occur, it’s back to the design drawing board.

2016packaging_3pkoptionsAs is the case with the NINE SUNS team, there is a profusion of conflicting opinions when it comes to design options. An exemplary debate involved the interior artwork of the new 3-pack design. We ended up choosing one of the designs shown above, but it was a hotly contested decision.

All of the final designs, shown in progress stages throughout this blog post, will arrive with your 2013 NINE SUNS wine shipment this November!