A solo night in, pasta-making with friends, or a family summer beach holiday — wine o’clock is not just a time, it’s a way of life.
Because wine is best paired with an experience.
For a wine lover, everything from selecting the bottle to watching a good film makes for a great wine drinking experience. But nothing is more pleasing than visiting the vineyard.
So, they make a trip out to see yours.
Once there, they sidle up to the wine bar of the tasting room and swirl around a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon. The fruity flavour is gratifying to the senses — sparking a childhood memory of picking blackberries in their grandmother’s backyard.
Then, they make their way to the next winery to do it all over again.
Tasting rooms rely on travelers
Your tasting room is great for getting visitors to your door; the personal relationships built help to drive direct sales.
As you know, direct sales matter to the overall success of the winery — 80% are from the tasting room and club memberships.
Whether your winery is located in Napa Valley, the Okanagan or Tuscany, people are traveling further than a day’s drive to give your wine a taste. On average, 55% of wine club members don’t live nearby.
It’s about the experience. They want to walk around the vineyard, learn about the winemaking process, meet the winemaker, and drink premium selections — all in a location that’s new and exciting.
Some visits may be spontaneous drop-ins, but others require a bit of a planning. Whether your vineyard is the only reason for a trip, or one of many activities, there will be some research involved — and it will take place online.
When they find your website to learn more, the best thing you can do is make it easy for them to book a visit.
A traveler who books in advance is more serious about their visit. Your winery is now an official part of their trip. It’s something they’ll be anticipating all the way up to arrival.
So how do you encourage more travelers to visit your tasting room?
Target the upcoming wine lovers
From a Silicon Valley Bank survey, Baby Boomers made up 41% of tasting room visitors and club members in 2017. That’s a significant portion — meaning your current business model is hitting it off with this generation.
However, Gen X and Millennials are on the rise. At 31% and 17% respectively, these numbers are bound to increase with a little tailoring to the tour and tasting style.
Both these generations place great value on experiences. Hence the surplus of brunch-lovers, globetrotters, and mountaineers.
For wineries, this is amazing news! As I said previously, wine tasting is an experience. But to tap into this age group, you’ll have to do things a little differently.
Right now, your winery offers an exquisite experience of learning and tasting. Visitors come for the high-quality treatment — such as the special concierge greeting or the surprise tasting of an exclusive bottle.
Your winery already bottles outstanding wine, but is it enough to keep the wine pouring?
For the thrill-seeking, adventure-junkie generations, a unique tasting room and tour is what they are looking for.
Since they care about farm-to-table, or in your case, vine-to-bottle, they are interested in a visit. All they need is an extra push.
So offer an experience that aligns more with their taste — one that is unique enough to flaunt on social media — one they can book online.
Read the following chapters to learn more about how to do this.
Next Chapter: Create a Wine Tour and Tasting Worth Booking