A comprehensive email tool for Django

django, email, sending, tracking
pip install django-grapevine==0.4.0



PyPI version

Grapevine is a messaging system built in Django. App-specific classes that want to make use of Grapevine's internals should do so by using the pre-baked mixins and generics found in /grapevine/ and /grapevine/

Grapevine's highest level concept is to define generic Transport classes (a default Email transport is included), and then allow various model-based Sendable classes to interface with them simply and cleanly.


Grapevine's email infrastructure offers the following features:

  • Quick Previews: Sendable admin change_form views render in their templates with the appropriate context, allowing you to know exactly how emails will look, to click on and verify any links, etc.
  • Easy Test Sending: Send real or test emails from any Sendable change_form view. Getting your templates into Litmus has never been easier.
  • In-admin Email Tracking: All Sendable models can easily be used as admin inline models on their "host" model (likely your core User model). This allows everyone to easy see who's been emailed what, and when.
  • Email introspection: All details about your emails are saved, including their fully formed HTML and plain text versions, recipients (TO, CC, and BCC), and any variables/categories sent to your third party email sender.
  • Multiple 3rd Party Senders: Use through any 3rd party sender you like. Even use multiple simultaneously, routing priority emails through special IPs and marketing emails through a bulk IP.
  • Performance Tracking: Easily accept 3rd party event webhooks to know exactly which if your emails were opened, clicked, etc. SendGrid is currently supported and Mailgun is in progress.


Per usual, run pip install django-grapevine to install Grapevine into your virtual environment.

Add Grapevine to your INSTALLED_APPS:


django-grapevine supports Django 1.9


Grapevine introduces the idea of a Sendable. The concept is that you mark a certain model as being "Sendable", and it then exists for the sole purpose of logging communications of that specific variety. For example, you might have a WelcomeEmail model that is sent to each user after successful registration. Such a class definition would probably look something like this:


from grapevine.querysets import SendableQuerySet

class WelcomeEmailQuerySet(SendableQuerySet):
    # add any additional functions here


from grapevine import generics
from .querysets import WelcomeEmailQuerySet

    # Not needed in Django 1.7+
    from model_utils.managers import PassThroughManager
except ImportError:

class WelcomeEmail(generics.EmailSendable):
    user = models.ForeignKey('AUTH_USER_MODEL')

        # In Django 1.7, this is finally addressed!
        objects = WelcomeEmailQuerySet.as_manager()
    except AttributeError:
        objects = PassThroughManager.for_queryset_class(WelcomeEmailQuerySet)

    def get_template_name(self):
        return 'path/to/template.html'

    def compile_context(self):
        return {
              "sendable": self,
              "user": self.user,
              "user_full_name": self.user.full_name,

    def get_recipients(self):
        return "%s <%s>" % (self.user.full_name,,)

    def get_raw_subject(self):
        return "Welcome to Acme Website, {{user_full_name}}!"

    def final_send_check(self):
        Optional last-second check to make sure we still want to send
        this message. Useful if we scheduled this message far in the future,
        or threw it on a queue and suspect things may have changed.

        Should return True to still send, False to not send.
        if self.user.is_active:
            return True
            # If the user has already deactivated themselves,
            # forever remove this message from the system.
            self.cancelled_at_send_time = True
            return False


# Django
from django.contrib import admin
from django.contrib.auth import get_user_model
from django.contrib.auth.admin import UserAdmin

# 3rd Party
from grapevine.admin_base import BaseModelAdmin, SendableInline
from grapevine.emails.admin import EmailableAdminMixin

# Local Apps
from my_apps import models
# etc etc

class WelcomeEmailInline(SendableInline):
    model = WelcomeEmail

class UserAdmin(DjangoUserAdmin):
    inlines = [WelcomeEmailInline]

class WelcomeEmailAdmin(EmailableAdminMixin, BaseModelAdmin):
    raw_id_fields = ["user"]
    list_display = ["id", "user", "admin_message"]

    preview_height = 200

    fieldsets = (
        ('Main', {"fields": ("user",)},),
        ('Message', {"fields": ("admin_message", "scheduled_send_time",)},),
    ), UserAdmin), WelcomeEmailAdmin)

The above model/admin definitions will buy you a nice admin interface with:

A) An inline for the email on your User model:

Sendable Inline

B) And an detail view for the email itself with live template rendering. This can be a huge help for non-technical support staff using the admin to schedule future emails:

Sendable Admin

Tracking Email Performance

Grapevine provides infrastructure for opening up webhooks to listen to your 3rd party's event notifications. Add the following line to your root URLs conf to begin:

urlpatterns = [
    url(r'^grapevine/', include('grapevine.urls', namespace='grapevine')),

This opens up one URL per backend that will accept and POSTed payloads from SendGrid, Mailgun, etc. The URLs are of the form:


The view at which these URLs point only writes the raw POSTed payload. No processing is done because if your applications sends serious email volumes, real-time processing of event information payloads can crush your entire production database. Currently, the included SendGrid backend provides the necessary logic to process its payloads in the function process_event() as per SendGrid's current documentation.

Viewing Email Performance:

Once email event payloads are being accepted and processed, the following read-only inline on the Email model will offer insights:

Processed Events

Defining a new Transport

The first step to defining a new transport subclass is to, obviously, inherit from Transport. The following interface, used on a HipChat example, is available:

class HipChat(Transport):

    field_specific_to_hipchat = models.CharField(max_length=255)

    class Meta(Transport.Meta):
        verbose_name = "Hipchat Message"
        verbose_name_plural = "Hipchat Messages"

    def pre_save(self):
        Optional. A no-op by default.

    def post_save(self):
        Optional. A no-op by default.

    def _send(self):
        Required. This is the actual bits-on-the-wire method.
        A `NotImplementedError` will be raised if this method
        is not defined.
        resp ='', {"message": "payload"})
        if resp.status_code == 200:
            return True
            etc etc

     def finish_initial_data(cls, sendable, data, **kwargs):
        Optional, but if implemented, *must* return ``data``.
        data['field_specific_to_hipchat'] = sendable.get_something_i_need()
        return data