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Alma Rosa Winery and Vineyards

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Alma Rosa Winery and Vineyards
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Clarity Matrix Video Wall is Key Part of Winery's Vision for Differentiating Itself and Creating a Reputation for Authenticity

Alma Rosa Winery & Vineyards is an enterprise dedicated to creating high quality wines and setting a benchmark for organic farming, sustainable agriculture methods and environment-friendly commerce. The original vineyard was established in 2005 and a new winery soon will be built there just nine miles away from its tasting room which is in Buellton, in the central coast region of California.

The Buellton location is a departure from the common tasting room setting in that it is an industrial area. But it reflects the vision of the owners and managers to create a different but truly memorable tasting room environment that firmly establishes Alma Rosa as a one-of-a-kind winery. The tasting room location and environment define a company that is authentic and that marries old-world wine-making practices with modern-day marketing and brand-building. As a result, visitors to the tasting room enter a space whose industrial feel is softened by the use of sustainable materials – including re-claimed old-growth wood – as well as video wall technology from Planar that plays an unexpected role and adds a unique aspect to the visitor's experience.

Electronic 'artwork' virtually transports visitors to the vineyard

"Among our highest priorities for the video wall is to stream real-time video from the vineyard into the tasting room so our guests can see where our wine comes from," says Tom O'Higgins, General Manager of Alma Rosa Winery and Vineyards. "The Planar video wall appears as a piece of artwork – creating a dramatic focal point – that sets a tone for the space and also will make visitors feel they are actually out in the vineyards while they are sampling our wines."

The Clarity™ Matrix Video Wall's other role is to create ambiance and tell the Alma Rosa Winery story. For that, it provides a platform for stunning 4K content in the form of still photography, slide shows, pre-produced video and other imagery depicting the history of the winery. The video wall – a 3 x 2 array of Clarity Matrix LX55HDS displays – was installed by Central Coast Audio Visual (Santa Barbara, California, under Owner Chris Wilson) – whose technicians created a four-quadrant content display strategy.

"This is a simple but very effective strategy that allows for different pieces of content to be assigned to just four different areas of the wall, which keeps the programming simpler and the visual effect less busy and cluttered," says Lennon Wiser, Manager of Sales, Marketing and Programming for Central Coast Audio Visual. "While sipping wine, guests are treated to beautiful photos and videos of all aspects of wine making, and soon they also will be figuratively transported to the wine fields themselves through the live video streaming that Clarity Matrix supports so well." Further, Wiser says, the video wall will also enable the winery to show programming from cable TV and media players, as well as feeds from presentations on Alma Rosa laptops and other sources.

Features combine to comprise the ideal winery solution

The design, installation and operational features of Clarity Matrix combine to make this one-of-a-kind video wall solution possible for Alma Rosa; "and to make it the only solution we would have recommended," says Wiser. "That is because Clarity Matrix is engineered into a video wall that can easily resemble a work of art." Clarity Matrix is the thinnest display of its type on the market, boasting a mounted depth of less than four inches and a tiled display width of just 5.5 mm – "not much more than the thickness of a credit card," Wiser says. It complements this with stunning image quality (500-nit brightness, 1920 x 1080 resolution, and 3500:1 contrast ratio).

"It's not at all what you'd expect when you come into a space like this especially since it's the first thing you see," says Tom O'Higgins. "The video wall wow factor is palpable, and it pretty much ensures that if you come here once, you're going to want to come back to taste our wine, of course, but also because the experience of being here is so unique. In an area like this where there are nearly 200 wineries within 30 miles, the importance of an attraction like this can't be overstated."

In addition to the ultra-thin profile, super-close display tiling, and easy ability to assign content to certain areas of the video wall, the mounting system of Clarity Matrix is particularly important to Alma Rosa as well. Clarity Matrix is installed on Planar's EasyAxis™ Mounting System. This is a pioneering system of simple mounting mechanisms and alignment cams that make achieving a flat, evenly-spaced surface quick and simple. Each Clarity Matrix display mates right to the EasyAxis frame in seconds, and the built-in adjustment cams enable the installer to place all displays in precise orientation to each other and create a perfectly flat surface in the process.

Further, EasyAxis capitalizes on another unique aspect of Clarity Matrix, which is its remote distribution of electronic components. Specifically, each Clarity Matrix display operates off one power and one data cable, both of which can then be routed to a remote rack room where power and control are consolidated and controllers and power supplies are located. "There are numerous benefits to this design," Lennon Wiser says. "All told, the design eliminates the need for power behind each display, it keeps heat-generating components away from the video wall (which preserves its life), and it makes it very easy (and less expensive and time consuming) to troubleshoot a component problem or install new software. All of this contributes to a lower cost of ownership to the winery."

Planar sets standard for customer support

Alma Rosa and Central Coast AV were working against a tight deadline for the December 2014 opening of the tasting room, and the need to have Clarity Matrix video wall installed and running perfectly on time. "Construction circumstances didn't allow time for Planar technicians to be onsite to help get us up and running," says Tom O'Higgins. "So they worked with us remotely on late nights and weekends to ensure the installation and startup went smoothly. That says a lot about their concern for customers and their commitment to delivering a successful project, and it means that we'll be interested in having them support us on other video wall projects as our winery business grows," he concludes.