Bridging cultures together with the Donum Estate 'Wine+Art' tour

Donum Estate
Country: United States
City: Sonoma
Institution Type: Art, Modern Attractions
Year Founded: 2001
Content Type: Audio
Tour Type: Adult
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Client Testimonial

Many thanks for your wonderful help, your speed and efficiency matched with creative flair and an understanding for what the audience needs in an audio tour, as well as your technological know how and ability to get the job done.

Client Profile

The Donum Estate is a private winery with a world-class art collection of large-scale sculpture by some of the biggest names in contemporary art. The collection includes works by significant artists such as Ai Wei Wei, Keith Haring, Louise Bourgeois, Anselm Kiefer & Dahn Vo and many more. Visitors can stroll through the property visiting the sculptures scattered among the vineyards, lavender fields, ponds, nature trails, and working buildings…all while enjoying a signature glass of wine.
The sculptures, placed throughout the winery, are displayed against the breathtaking natural backdrop of Sonoma County.

Challenge

After opening up the sculpture park to its visitors, the Donum Estate staff found themselves flooded with thoughtful questions regarding their on-site art collection. The team provided guests with a self-guided map of the property that featured the titles of pieces and artist names. When visitors began wanting to know just as much about the iconic pieces housed on site as they did about their wine, the Donum Estate majority owner and art collector, Allan Warburg, sought out to provide more.
Warburg wanted visitors to appreciate not only the art but also the artist’s individual vision and process. The Donum Estate wanted to develop an on-site tour focused on the artworks and the diversity of cultures represented in the collection, and a website experience for guests at home that would allow for deeper engagement with the artists after seeing their work.

Solution

The Donum Estate partnered with Antenna International to develop a self-guided audio tour for their guests and a documentary-style web portal for engaging with the artists. This partnership came to fruition thanks to Antenna’s level of experience in the industry as well as their global reach and connection to contemporary artists around the world.
Antenna determined that a ‘bring your own device’ solution was the best option to maximize the way visitors were already engaging with the property, through their website. This eliminated the burdensome need to download an app or use a third-party audio player. Antenna also collaborated with Donum’s existing website developers to make ‘immediacy’ the top priority for visitors to the site: the audio is surfaced through an easy and intuitive menu design which minimizes load times to create the most seamless experience possible.

Antenna also identified that the best way for The Donum Estate to achieve their goal would be to have the artists speak for themselves. Antenna’s global network allowed them to capture exclusive interviews with some of the biggest names working in contemporary sculpture around the world, including Tracey Emin (UK), Ai Wei Wei (China), Jaume Plensa (Spain), Elmgreen & Dragset (Denmark & Norway), Sopheap Pich (Cambodia), Jeppe Heim (Germany) and Mark Manders (Netherlands). In the case of a non-living artist whose works are on display at The Donum Estate, like Louise Bourgeois, Antenna secured interviews with her longtime assistant of 30 years, and for artist Keith Haring, they interviewed his sister.
To create opportunities for deeper engagement with the artists on the Donum website, Antenna took a cross-platform approach to the storytelling. They took into account the difference between the unique experience of listening in the open air in front of a giant sculpture, which the audio tour caters to, versus the equally unique experience of exploring the artist’s vision on the website through a long-form interview. Antenna made crucial creative decisions regarding which story was best to tell in which environment.

Outcome

The introduction of such an accessible and practical solution was an immediate success. Not only do visitors now feel more empowered and walk away with a richer, more engaging experience, but the reputation of The Donum Estate as a must-visit for both art lovers and wine aficionados alike is seeing a noticeable spike. With the audio guide and website, staff now feel much more empowered in sharing their wine and art collection with guests, who continue to come from all around the world.
As much more than a premier winery, the introduction of such a seamless technological innovation has offered The Donum Estate a chance to maximize the value of having such an impressive collection of contemporary art, turning it into an art destination that celebrates and connects global culture in one of the most stunning settings imaginable.

About Us

We are innovative storymakers and creative technologists devoted to visitor-first experiences.

We make audio tours, mobile apps, multimedia guides, podcasts, interactives, and superior story-driven content for the museum and cultural sector.

UK Office

The Office Group
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Paddington
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United Kingdom

US Office

15 River Road, Suite 15B
Wilton, CT 06897
USA
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