Stoller Family Estate focused on building something that’s never been done in the wine space before. So far, Communications Director Michelle Kaufmann feels the Dayton, Oregon winery has only begun to scratch the surface of what’s capable “with all the amazing tech in the space as we push the envelope on enhancing wine education and hospitality.”
The winery opened its newest tasting room, called an Experience Center, to consumers in July.
Located among the vines, the Experience Center has an open floor plan and expansive outdoor patio and it mimics the clean look and feel of the original tasting room while tying in the farm’s history with the adjacent historic grain silo and panoramic vineyard views.
“The traditional rules for wine are off the table. Consumers are demanding it,” Kaufmann told Vintner. “We’ve seen firsthand Silicon Valley Bank’s assessment that people are visiting fewer tasting rooms in a day, opting instead for a more in-depth experience to complement their wine tasting, and we responded with the addition of the Experience Center.”
Once inside the new state-of-the-art building, guests can learn about winemaking and the vineyard in a more accessible way with emerging technologies like augmented reality, interactive tasting tables, a 136-square foot immersive LED Wall display, and virtual reality Oculus experience.
”Those who wish to enjoy the new Experience Center but not engage with the technology can still enjoy a standard tasting located in a truly immersive vineyard setting,” Kaufmann said.
Stoller prides itself on the hospitality and experience it can provide for guests, and the immersive technology in the Experience Center is resonating with them.
”Take our LED wall for example,” Kaufmann said. ”We’ve been displaying harvest footage on it, guests feel like they are a part of the harvest process, which creates their own harvest experience.”
It’s also a natural conversation starter to more dialogue between tasting room associates and guests.
”We want visitors to feel like they’re immersed not only in our beautiful property but also in a digital experience that can make our vineyard and winemaking process accessible to them,” she said. ”We’re still exploring the endless ways to effectively engage the LED wall and the tech throughout the Experience Center.”
Kaufmann noted that there is an entirely new wave of technology rapidly coming our way, ranging from wearable devices to autonomous delivery services and AI-based hospitality.
“We will be evaluating all of them,” she said. “But, despite this cool new tech, it really comes down to how well you can tell your story, and how well you treat your customers.
“These principles will always be our primary focus. The rest is just finding ways to do it more efficiently.”
(Callie Miller contributed to this report)