A blog about all things rural and agritourism related

5 unique ideas to attract visitors to your winery

Categories: Agritourism

If you run your own winery, you may be wondering what you can do to attract new visitors beyond just your tasting room. With these 5 unique ideas, you can put your winery on people’s tour itinerary. While you may have established your wine production, attracting new visitors can sometimes seem tricky, especially if you’re running a smaller, independent winery that’s competing with larger, more established ones. Fortunately, there are ways of setting you apart to build a reliable customer base.

Here are 5 unique ideas to create a more memorable experience for visitors to your winery.

1.      Dining in a wheat field

picnic in field with tree

Take advantage of any outdoor space and offer your guests unique dining experiences by allowing them to dine and wine in rows of vines or nearby fields. Sure, patios and tasting rooms are great, but sitting amidst a field of wheat, a sunflower patch, or rows of grapes, is a memorable dining experience that will encourage folks to bring a group and give them plenty of photo ops for social media. You can provide guests with pre-made baskets of goodies and a bottle (or two) of your wine and allow them to experience a different place to eat. If you don’t have a crop field or garden at your winery, you can partner with neighbors or bring plants from a local greenhouse to create space while promoting another business.

2.      Concert with the Cows

The New Hot 5, American-based jazz band plays for a herd of cows in Autrans, France.

If you have animals adjacent to your winery, allow them to be an attraction on their own or allow guests to interact with them in unique ways. You’ve probably heard of goat yoga because of its popularity for bringing a fun twist to a regular yoga session. Some wineries are even implementing goats and sheep as staff since they keep the weeds at bay between the vine rows and fertilize the soil as they work. Some venues promote concerts adjacent to a field of cows, who also appreciate good music. A barn full of cows or horses can double as a music hall for all to enjoy!

3.      Viewing Tower

Cumulus Studio’s lookout tower at a vineyard in Tasmania. Photo credit:

Think about offering a viewing tower on your winery. Treat your guests to not only good wine but a 360 view of your winery and neighboring rural landscape. This is a great way for guests to experience the grape growing process while keeping them out of the way during harvest or maintenance of the vine. A simple, well-designed structure provides your guests a chance to see the winery in its entirety and capture the best views of the area. It can also be a special package for date night, or star gazing (something farmers take for granted in rural areas!)

4. Skating

If your winery is looking to stay open during the winter months, what better way to attract visitors than by providing a frozen surface for skating?! Consider renting the skating rink to groups for pick-up hockey or games of jug curling, and treat them with spiced wine, ice wine, or a chilled glass to keep their energy going. A skating surface doesn’t need to be perfectly round! Take advantage of trails as well to create a skating path around the winery property.

Planning for these opportunities takes master planning and a look at the big picture before diving into a specific project or building or solution to a problem.

Master planning for an eco farm. Identifying opportunities and layouts

5. Look Behind the Curtain

Dark Horse Estate Winery entrance foyer, Grand Bend. Wjk architect in association with VELD

The production of wine fascinates many wine drinkers, and even those that aren’t as interested can be mesmerized by the equipment and processes that go into making a great bottle of wine. At the Dark Horse Estate Winery in Grand Bend, Krista Hulshof and the team designed a glass wall between the public areas and the production side. Doing so provides visitors with a clear view of the production process without entering the work areas.

We hope this list inspires you to imagine new possibilities at your winery. Through thoughtful design and planning ahead, we believe you can attract and captivate an audience to stay longer, who will then recommend their family and friends to visit. VELD architects start designing with all the possibilities in mind through our AgVisioning Master Plan process. Many of these features require planning ahead to avoid conflicts, undoing work, compromises, and eliminating opportunities. Click here to start a conversation and let’s explore what is possible at your winery!

For more ideas and resources on your on-farm destination check this out!

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