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Wine, architecture and the tourism experience

23 July 2014

Wine, architecture and the tourism experience

Architecture is a key factor in the creation of food and wine tourism experiences say researchers at Victoria University of Wellington.

Dr Julia Albrecht from the School of Management and Tobias Danielmeier from the School of Architecture are working together to understand the interrelationship between architecture, and the way people experience hospitality spaces, such as wineries.

Dr Albrecht, a senior lecturer in tourism management, says wineries have only become destinations for visitors in the last 30 years, changing the way they function and look.

“For example, a winery in Marlborough has built a Tuscany-like tower structure which is only for the benefit of visitors—it doesn’t have any function to how the wine is made, stored, or anything else to do with the product,” she says.

The researchers are interested in what architecture can add in terms of value to the visitor experience. Mr Danielmeier, a senior lecturer in architecture, says although people know it’s set up to look and feel a certain way, they visit and have a good time.

“Some architects have even gone beyond what you’d expect them to do, for example, designing things like cutlery and plates as well,” he says. “The question is, do you need to build something authentic in order for people to have fun?”

The researchers will present their findings at a free talk during Visa Wellington On a Plate in August, discussing the possible futures of winery visitations. The talk will be based on their chapter in a forthcoming book titled The Future of Food Tourism, co-edited by Dr Albrecht and Dr Ian Yeoman, an associate professor in Victoria’s School of Management.

They will also provide a historical perspective of culinary experiences and architecture more generally, looking at how the tastes of various times has been reflected not only in the food, but also in the buildings.

“The enjoyment of food has a long relationship with the spatial component attached to it. We’re interested in the performance of design and how it’s used to add value,” says Mr Danielmeier.

“The relevance of architecture, and spatial experience more generally, is vastly underestimated. Where a product is experienced is rarely thought about, and wineries are just one example of that. This is where potential linkages to architecture research can enrich tourism product development,” says Dr Albrecht.

For more information about Wellington On a Plate visit


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