Wine tourism is a fast-growing industry that can be particularly important to the development and sustainability of rural areas. However, these regions often struggle to successfully differentiate themselves. Virtual reality experiences can be utilised as differentiating promotional tools to increase immersion and illicit emotions for the purpose of impacting the development of wine tourism and wine sales. This study explores the role of immersion in the VR experience on behavioural outcomes such as desire to visit the region and desire to purchase products produced in the region. Moreover, it explores factors influencing perceptions of immersion as well as behavioural outcomes. Focus groups were conducted in both USA (4 focus groups) and China (4 focus groups). A survey was also distributed to the participants in order to quantify the results. Data was analysed using Leximancer (qualitative data) and SPSS (quantitative data). Sensory engagement, perceived quality of the VR experience, presence of an authority figure (such as a tour guide), perceptions of authenticity of the experience and perceived control within the experience were found to play an important role in influencing perceptions of immersion in the VR experience as well as desire to visit and purchase products produced in the region.