Summer through the fall harvest is traditionally the peak season for wine tastings, and whether your winery is ready or not, it’s here. In the forty years since the Judgement of Paris proved that California wines could stand with the best of France, wine and wineries have literally exploded across the globe. With so many options for both connoisseurs and amateur wine lovers to choose from, how will you make your winery stand out from the crowd.
A recent article in the Chicago Tribune began with “If you’ve visited one winery … you haven’t visited them all.” While most winery tours have the same basic form–here are the barrels, here’s the press, here’s the lab, here’s the vineyards, now let’s taste–there are a number of facilities that break the traditional mold.
City Winery Nashville, in Nashville’s urban center, obviously doesn’t offer a walking tour of their vineyards for the simple reason that they don’t have any. Their grapes (for reds) or juice (whites) are shipped in from vineyards in California and Oregon. Nonetheless, they offer a satisfying winery experience, and have produced several well-regarded vintages.
As wine has become more popular and more readily available to the general market, other companies have begun incorporating wines into their marketing and branding. Several Whole Foods now offer wine bars in-store, and Barnes and Nobel is set to unveil four “concept stores” that will feature not only their standard book and magazines but restaurants with wine and beer on the menu.
Other wineries have taken the opposite approach, adding non-wine venues and activities to their physical plants. Idaho’s Ste. Chapelle Winery will soon be adding a 5000-seat amphitheater, in addition to adding more vineyards and a new tasting room to improve their customer experience. Perhaps the most extreme example of expanding beyond the “typical” winery is the Abadia Retuerta Le Domaine in Spain’s Duero Wine Region. Built around a 12th Century monastery, the winery recently added a full-service European spa, with Spa Sommeliers and Spa Butlers to guide patrons throughout their stay. With a Michelin Star restaurant as well as regular tastings featuring local delicacies that compliment their wines, this winery certainly sets itself apart from the competition.
Most wineries don’t have the luxury of being built in centuries-old monasteries, but that shouldn’t stop anyone from creating a memorable winery experience. Play to the strengths of your facility and your wine, and it’s hard to go wrong. Keep in mind that while any competent contractor can build a building, renovating, expanding or doing new construction of a winery is best done by a contractor with experience with wineries. A winery project is different in many subtle ways, and having a contractor who has “been there, done that” can save you time, effort and money.
If your winery needs a facelift, a new building or just more of what you already have, Sierra View General Contractors has the winery experience to give you the best possible outcome at a competitive price. To see their portfolio or learn more, visit sierraview.com. You’ll be glad you did.