By Lauren Phelps
When you have a limited amount of time to visit a new place for example, how do you decide where to visit? If you’re anything like me, you type the name of the location into Google and see what pops up. Well, today if you Google "Tablas Creek Vineyard", a new feature is available that gives you an insider's look (literally) into the tasting room, tank room and surrounding grounds which should help visitors fine-tune their itinerary.
The new tool is a part of Google Maps, which has expanded beyond the basics of maps and directions in recent years. First they added reviews of the businesses, through Google+. Then, they added the option to "see photos", which are taken from our Google+ business page. Now, they've added a new option, to "see inside":
Once you've clicked on this option (try it here full screen, or use the smaller windows below), you can cruise virtually around the main tasting room, venture into the private and semi-private tasting rooms, and even wander our patio. You can rotate your view 360° in any of the rooms or locations. It's a fun and novel way to get a sense of what you'll see when you visit. An interior view:
From the outside:
Another benefit of creating the virtual tour is the still photography that the team that Google sent out (Evolving Photography) took and uploaded to our Google+ account. A few of my favorites are below:
In many ways, what Google did overlaps the Virtual Tour that we produced in-house a couple of years ago, though the virtual tour takes people out into the cellar and vineyard, and adds narration by our Winemaker, Neil Collins. But the benefit of having this tour be a part of the Google page where people searching for us land is enormous. Even though we love it, we've struggled to get more than a few dozen views per week on our virtual tour. We're hopeful that lots more eyes will see Google's "see inside".
Our new view is part of a concerted effort by Google; Wine Spectator posted an article today noting that we're one of 78 wineries (and 10 breweries) in California for whom Google has completed this expansion of their "street view" footprint.
We hope that the Google Tour will join our Virtual Tour as interesting and useful tools that will give potential visitors another reason to visit Tablas Creek Vineyard. Please, let us know what you think.