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Location: McMurtrie Rd, McLaren Vale

Client: Wirra Wirra Vineyards

Builder: G Force
Interior Designer: Enoki

Completion: August 2016

Press: The Advertiser, August 2016
The Adelaidian, October 2016
Glam Adelaide, October 2016

Photos: Phillip Handforth Photography

Wirra Wirra Vineyards is a medium scale, South Australian owned winery in McLaren Vale wine region. It is a well known winery with an excellent reputation. The fact that they make great wine and have a great cellar door was already attracting customers, but they wanted to move into wine tourism and grow their market share of tourists and money spent both by locals, and tourists from interstate and overseas.

Several areas were identified as key factors to the project:

  • Approach to Winery – increasing visibility and way finding to cellar door needed improvement.
  • Connection of the Cellar Door (and other parts of the site) better to the wine process.
  • Definition of the unique Wirra Wirra Cellar Door Experience
  • Strategy for how and where Wirra Wirra provides food, accommodation, conference facilities
  • Increasing the retail appeal of the cellar door
  • Creation of spaces that can hold different events
  • Increase family appeal
  • Education opportunities that are unique to Wirra Wirra
 

After a long history of proposed projects that never stood up to the board of directors’ scrutiny, the company engaged Studio S2 Architects for our Delve Package, including a half day Needs and Opportunities workshop with key staff members. The resulting report included information as to what ‘wine tourism’ for Wirra Wirra and in McLaren Vale needs to look like, and a list of ideas rationalised into prioritised projects.

 

Three major projects were subsequently approved by the board of directors. Studio S2 Architects proceeded with our Destinext Process, including design and documentation of the three areas, and construction commenced early in 2016:

  1. Repurposing and remodelling of the old cellar door and foyer,
  2. Rethinking the current cellar door to customise the experience under the Wirra Wirra brand and improve sales,
  3. Completely new design of a food outlet within the shell of the old board room.

 

Completion of construction of the three projects was in July 2016. Project outcomes include:

  • Attracting a more varied tourist market through coffee and food offerings
  • Local tour bus drivers bringing tour groups for lunch almost daily
  • Extending the time people spend lingering on site
  • Creating a clear entrance point for visitors
  • Making both the cellar door and café immediately accessible, visible and appealing to visitors as they enter.
  • Creating a unique ‘historic’ experience offering that can include wine education and exposure to the inner workings of the winery.
  • Building diversity into the business including café with indoor and outdoor dining
  • Tourism writeups, reviews and publicity opportunities

 

Studio S2 Architects invest time into really understanding your brand, your location and your regional tourism opportunities. We use that knowledge to craft buildings that are not only authentic to your brand, but that immerse your customers in the story you want to tell and the experience you want them to have. The result is that your buildings and grounds should help you market your business, and add value to your offerings. At Wirra Wirra, the results are already exceeding expectations:

  • 30% more visitors to the café than business predictions
  • Café is operating at full capacity on Saturday and Sunday
  • There are people lingering in the café every day
  • There are people in the café on days when the cellar door is traditionally empty
  • Positive articles and reviews have been published by The Advertiser, Glam Adelaide and The Adelaidean as well as other bloggers.
  • Staff feedback is extremely positive
  • The new boardroom is being booked weekly.
  • The Old Cellar Door experience is selling well and feedback from visitors is extremely positive