Tourism infrastructure: the demand for wine tourism is formed by oenologists, winemakers and architects

Digital marketing team analyzing data on laptops and tablets

An attractive winery building can become an independent point of tourist attraction. Santiago Calatrava, Renzo Piano, Norman Foster, Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid and other foreign architecture stars have proven this, and our architects work with wineries often and with pleasure

Туристическая инфраструктура: спрос на винный туризм формируют энологи, виноделы и архитекторы

In the first part of this material, dedicated to the infrastructure for wine tourism, Ekaterina Nogai, head of the research and analytics department at IBC Real Estate, was quoted as saying: “Modern tourists are increasingly planning their vacation route in advance to the smallest detail, using accumulated saved locations. In times of popularity of social networks, photo shoots remain one of the main activities in travel. Tourists often come to various places just for the sake of photos. Architecturally interesting conceptual buildings are well remembered and arouse the desire to visit them. This is a good marketing move for the winery, which attracts new visitors.”

And here are the words of the owner of the Abrau-Durso Group Boris Titov, who spoke last year at the I Wine Tourism Forum: “All over the world, winemaking provides an additional opportunity to attract tourists, and enotourism, in turn, contributes to the growth of wine farms. Today we see more and more wineries that amaze not only with the high quality of their products, but also with architectural solutions, beauty and surroundings. We can observe how large farms are being transformed, small enterprises and new tourist routes are emerging.”

How often do architects receive orders related to wineries today, and what is the content of these orders — what exactly is proposed to be designed? Is the interesting architecture really capable of generating an additional tourist flow for the winery by itself? About this I talked to the professionals of the architectural market.

According to the observations of Elena Trubina, project manager of the Atlas consulting bureau, requests from wineries can be divided into three large categories: point-based (for small intervention and improvements to existing infrastructure or the technical launch of a new enterprise), systemic (allowing you to evaluate the entire hard and software infrastructure and propose a development concept) and complex (taking into account the analytics of the region and the formation of a point of attraction for the region, the expansion of functions taking into account the hotel and recreational potential, the financial model and the management model of the place).

Elena Trubina Project Manager at Atlas Consulting Bureau “Requests depend on the individual needs of the client. This may be the design of a tourist point, a visit center for an existing winery in order to attract an audience for one or two-day programs. There may be a proposal to create a winery from scratch: this refers to the design of wine—making complexes, including production and technical areas, tasting rooms, wine cellars and storage areas, as well as infrastructure for tourists (restaurants and hotels), landscaping and the development of unique landscape solutions – benchmarks that emphasize the specifics of the wine region and a particular brand. By the way, the request may be not only for architecture and interiors, but also for software solutions and programming of the territory: for example, the development of a marketing strategy and positioning of a winery, branding of a place and production, the design code of an already established winery, taking into account the nature of production and the local identity of the place and offer, a strategy for the development of socio-cultural programming, a business and financial model of the project, taking into account the attraction of investments and combining all the above points – a master plan for the development of the territory in short — and in the long term. Customers, as a rule, focus on the feasibility of solutions so that the proposed concept with a beautiful image has an analytical evidence base that “lands” everything proposed on specific figures and actions. It is required to develop a roadmap for the implementation of the territory’s development strategy: from the target audience with a portrait of requests and proposals, phasing the transformation/construction of the winery’s facilities to the development of a year-round event program to attract an audience, a logo and a strategy for positioning the winery in the media and in public.The main requirement of customers remains the creation of functional and aesthetic objects that will attract not only a new audience for the implementation of the product, but also increase the tourist flow. This request is related to the economics of enterprises, with a request to increase the sustainability of business, taking into account potential risks (crop failures, production errors, etc.) and the development of wine culture in the country as a whole. The owners strive to create not only a place for wine production, but also a whole complex, which becomes an interesting tourist attraction, working on the profit of production all year round, and not in season. So, of course, an attractive winery can become an independent point of attraction, if, of course, the quality of the products presented is maintained and the services offered fall into the target audience. The aesthetically harmonious architecture and the surrounding landscape create a unique authentic atmosphere that attracts tourists and wine culture lovers. And the variety of the event program, competent planning of the territory development and replenishment of the assortment can keep customers in the long term, encouraging them to return again for a certain kind of positive impressions and rest.”

“The winery building itself is located at the junction of several functions: it is primarily a production complex, but also a showroom. The owners of the vineyards realized that the impression that the building makes creates added value to their main product. Therefore, when designing such buildings, great attention is paid to both technological and presentation parts — architecture must work for the brand. And here the most interesting thing begins,” says Maxim Dolgov, founder of the DA architectural workshop.

Maxim Dolgov, founder of the architectural workshop DA “Winemaking is an ancient but high—tech process, therefore, in buildings, if possible, they try to emphasize continuity, including old production buildings in complexes, and high technologies, emphasizing modern production. The winery is not only a production, but also an attraction, a place of entertainment, a point of attraction for local tourism. It is not customary to stay overnight on the territory of the complex, in most cases it is a detached building in the middle of vineyards, a secluded place and usually very picturesque: hills, an open prospect and slender rows of vineyards. The winery building is often already an attraction in itself, most of the star architects have noted projects abroad: Santiago Calatrava, Renzo Piano, Richard Rogers, Mario Botta, Norman Foster, Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, and the list goes on. In Russia, it also became clear that the winery building is not just a box, high—quality projects have appeared. Our architectural workshop also worked on the development of concepts for wineries, the work turned out to be interesting and picturesque, we will be happy to take on more similar projects.”

Perhaps it is also appropriate to recall the building of the Rocky Coast winery — a project that was shortlisted in 2021 for the international WAF (World Architecture Festival) award, which is commonly called the “architectural Oscar”, and the glass and concrete building of the Guy Kodzor Vineyards — a new one, this time once the architectural landmark of the valley, and the Chateau de Talu winery, already mentioned last time, photos of the main building of which adorn almost every art Nouveau publication.

“Analyzing successful tourism projects, it can be noted that most of them have elaborate landscaping, a comfortable public environment, where various zones have been formed for spending time not only inside wineries, but also outdoors, for recreation and walks. In turn, many of the unpopular tourist places lack attention to landscaping,” continues Arseny Kiselyov, commercial director of the Novalur Small Architectural Forms plant.

Arseny Kiselyov, commercial Director of the Novalur Small Architectural Forms plant, “It is important for visitors to be given the opportunity to spend time outdoors, this will increase the visit time and attract more tourists. For example, in landscaping the territory around the winery, it is advisable to place areas for photos, for tastings — both in the open air, and under canopies and gazebos; along the way of sightseeing routes, you can also add comfortable benches and tables. In this case, tourists will be able to enjoy wine both inside and outdoors, depending on personal preferences. Speaking of materials, MAFs made of architectural concrete are usually ordered for the improvement of wineries, and in relation to gazebos and canopies, wood is preferred.”

By the way, according to the expert, wineries that have their own hotel are more attentive to landscaping, invest more in creating green areas around so that customers can stay for a few days. And this brings us back to the topic of the first part of the material: so, according to the architects, how ubiquitous and inseparable is the “winery — hotel” pair in the modern tourist market?

According to Elena Trubina, hotels are becoming more and more frequent elements of wine—making complexes – again, to attract and retain the attention of a potential customer for longer than 20 minutes in a store near the shelf, which has a positive effect on income and brand. “If we talk about the scale of such hotels, then more often they are small boutique hotels or glamping that emphasize the uniqueness and atmosphere of the winery. However, there are also large—scale enterprises with hotels for 100 or more places,” the interlocutor says .

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“As with the requests of hoteliers, it is important that the hotels at the wineries harmoniously fit into the surrounding landscape and take into account the individuality of the place, brand, potential capacity and tourist flow, taking into account the analytics of consultants, and not be a copy of well-working economic models of a decade ago abroad. Therefore, the expectations for the request of such an infrastructure and the reality of such a request can vary greatly depending on the client’s preparedness and vision,” emphasizes Elena Trubina. Yulia Tryaskina, the head and partner of UNK interiors, is ready to argue with her.

Yulia Tryaskina, Head and partner of UNK interiors, “Yes, we note an increase in orders for the development of projects for wineries and tasting rooms. However, the format of a winery with a hotel is rather an exception, because these are two completely different, rather separate, business segments. This is confirmed by international practice. Even in developed wine-growing Europe, no more than 1% of wineries have a hotel with them. For example, there are about a thousand wineries in Bordeaux — and less than ten hotels in the area. People enjoy visiting museums and art salons during their holidays, but this does not mean that every gallery should build a hotel nearby. All this is a significant cost, and also taking into account the fact that the hotel pays off on average within 15-20 years. Another story that is currently developing in our country is the tasting rooms at hotels in areas adjacent to the southern regions. The interest and relevance of the topic is growing due to the development of domestic tourism. And here, winemakers actively cooperate with hoteliers: in this case, collaboration with branded hotels works well. As part of the cultural program, hotel guests can attend tastings held by different wineries, these can be both chef dinners and tasting presentations. Therefore, we see a trend towards the development of tasting spaces, both tourist and professional, which are important to plan when designing hotels and renovating territories, especially in areas adjacent to the southern regions.”

Thus, it is better to invest in a cool tasting room, do collaborations with hotel brands or create a guest house similar to projects in Ples as an additional function than a winery with a full-fledged hotel, Yulia Tryaskina is sure.


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