Enjoying the vineyard - Wine tourism – Australia’s model investment

The feelgood experience at the cellar door can have a measurable effect on wine sales, long after the tourists have gone home

Even those of us who work in the wine trade can see why people get excited by visiting wineries and buying at the cellar door. But does that feelgood experience translate into something tangible, that we can measure? Actually, it does.

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Wine Intelligence has developed a model which suggests that there are indeed quantifiable benefits to a giving consumers a positive experience at the cellar door.

The 20% of Australian adults who visit wineries – around 3.6 million people – tend to be the biggest spenders on wine, accounting for just under half of all spend on wine in off-premise.

Over 70% of respondents to a Wine Intelligence survey said they changed their buying patterns as a result of the visit, and almost the same proportion said they told their friends about the experience. Two-thirds, meanwhile, said they were more likely to buy the wine in the future.

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Do investments in cellar doors pay off?

Based on our research, we believe that around 10%-20% of all our respondents’ purchase decisions are influenced by winery cellar door experiences. That’s between six and 12 bottles out of the 120 bottles or so that one of these more committed wine drinkers might get through over the course of a year.

This means that there is a prize of around $250m-$500m AUD in “switching” sales up for grabs, for wineries with a decent cellar door operation.

In the meantime, you can learn more about the Wine Intelligence understanding of consumer behaviour and wine tourism in the presentation here.