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25.03.2018

Why it’s time for you to invest in wine tourism!

Wine tourism is currently on the rise and in high demand in many wine-producing countries. As more and more people search for authentic experiences, travelling to remote wine regions is becoming more common. And wine offers much more than just an alcoholic beverage. It captivates the senses, it ignites the imagination, and entices the traveller to explore far-away lands in search of a unique experience. To have the opportunity to drink wine in its place of origin, perhaps even with those who have made it, is the ultimate experience of authenticity.

But, why invest in wine tourism?

Wine tourism, when done right, has many long-term benefits and can give your brand significant added value. 

Profitability:

Without a doubt, one the most profitable ways to sell yours wines is right at your doorstep. Not only does it allow you to sell direct-to-consumer, eliminating distribution costs, but this revenue can generate a significant portion of your total wine sales. A Portuguese winery with wine tourism facilities in the Douro Valley has noted that 30% of their total wines sales are a result of DTC sales at the cellar door. This is on top of additional revenue from wine tours, wine experiences and events, merchandise and other income. Of course, cellar doors sales by your staff, either at the wine shop or at the tasting room, also gives you, the producer, the opportunity to offer your consumer the most appropriate wine to suit their tastes, ensuring their enjoyment and securing future purchases off-site.

Brand Recognition and Brand Loyalty:

One of the greatest challenges of the wine industry today is getting the consumer’s attention and getting them interested in your brand. The consumer has endless choice and it’s getting harder and harder for a winery to stand out in a sea of world brands and cool labels. However, through a well-designed wine experience the emotional connection that the consumer needs to recognize your brand is created. A well-designed wine experience reinforces your brand, incorporates your wine philosophy, tells your story and engages the visitor emotionally. The next time your customer sees your wines at a restaurant or wine shop, it will be immediately recongizable and stand out from the rest. It will bring back all the positive emotions associated with the visit. The power of an excellent wine experience transforms the consumer from a one-time buyer into a customer-for-life.

Word-of-Mouth Promotion:

Wine tourism is a powerful marketing tool.  With the consumer base shifting, younger buyers are looking to their peers for social proof and acceptance of a product and this has big implications for your wines and wine experiences. A positive, memorable visit with that special human touch will create solid and lasting relationships, and result in brand loyalty. It will turn your customer into your brand ambassador, promoting your wines passionately to their friends, family and also promoting on social media.  Positive word-of-mouth promotion encourages new visits to your winery and also repeat visits. Because wine tourism is primarily based on human connections and the special relationship built between you and your customers, it is important to nurture that relationship. Having your customer visit you is the perfect opportunity to tell them your story personally, to make them feel special and acknowledge their continued patronage.

Conversation:

Wine tourism is also an effective tool to obtain valuable information that would otherwise be difficult to obtain through your sales network. By engaging with your visitors at the cellar door either through a formal survey or through a friendly conversation, you can learn so much about your consumer’s profile, their wine preferences, how your brand is being perceived, what’s working for your brand and what needs to be improved. It’s also the perfect opportunity to test out a new wine, new label or even a new wine experience. By offering your visitors a special tasting on a new product and getting their feedback, you kill two birds with one stone: you create a feeling of belonging in the customer’s hearts and you also have a clear picture of how the product will be accepted on the market. Maintaining open communication with your consumers allows you to adjust and modify your business strategy.  This is truly invaluable.

So, isn’t it time you invested in wine tourism?