Under new leadership, Napa Valley’s legendary Clos Du Val winery began its current transformation in the vineyards four years ago, focusing on estate wines and production investments. The winery’s evolution continued this fall with the opening of a new visitor center, called the Hirondelle House, and a new set of guest experiences.
Hirondelle House is drop dead gorgeous. It welcomes guests into a chic setting adjacent to vineyards and winery production. The message is clear: Clos Du Val wants to connect guests emotionally to not only its wines, but also to its estate vineyards. The room is modern but cozy, providing conversational nooks, a variety of tasting options, and a seamless inside/outside design featuring a 60-foot sliding glass door and 3,000 square foot patio. You want to stay, wander around, and explore. Designed by Michael Guthrie & Co Architects, with interiors by Erin Martin Design, it’s the latest must-visit winery in the Napa Valley.
“Guest expectations have changed over the last decade, and wineries also need to evolve,” stated Clos Du Val President and CEO Steve Tamburelli, echoing a larger trend in retail away from a transactional point of view and toward an experience POV. Over the past decade or so, onsite winery marketing in Napa Valley, and elsewhere, increasingly centers on creating an experience that connects guests emotionally with the winery and its wines, and the winery’s unique “sparkle” that makes it compelling. Visitors are spending more time at each winery, which drives down the average wineries visited per day, but deepens the memories of each visit.
This trend is now prevalent with specialty retailers, too. For example, home furnishings retailer Restoration Hardware now has a restaurant in Napa Valley. For an interesting read on this trend, visit https://www.adweek.com/brand-marketing/specialty-retailers-are-getting-into-the-restaurant-business/