Remember last week I mentioned that there were three pesky things about wine tourism in Australia that would be great to change?

I identified three challenges:

  1. The need to make wineries – some located are out of network range – more accessible to people glued to their smartphones.
  2. The need to connect wine tourists with wineries and services perfectly suited to their tastes and desires.
  3. The need to make it easier for wineries to allocate finite marketing budgets wisely.

Closing the gap between wine industry businesses in our amazing wine regions and people who want to visit them is one of those ‘no-brainers’ that, quite frankly, I can’t believe no one done before.

I’d love to take you step by step through the solution to these three challenges, but instead, I’m going to let some friends of ours show you the way. You may recognise them …

 Scenario 1: Nina and some other offspring plan a weekend away

Nina, a young woman in Melbourne is organising a weekend away with some friends – Kim and Zara – and her partner, Harry. They want to drive to a wine region, pamper themselves with some spa treatments, take part in some wine-tasting on Saturday and Sunday and eat in a well-reviewed restaurant on Saturday night, before returning home on Sunday.

Nina starts to plan the trip by searching “Yarra Valley wineries” for ideas. She sees a search ad for a handy tool, (let’s just call it… oh I don’t know … CELLARDOORS.CO) that explains she can research, plan and book the weekend away in one place.

Clicking through to CELLARDOORS.CO Nina sees that the site covers wineries, accommodation, restaurants, events and tours in the Yarra Valley wine region.

She adds a wine tour for Saturday afternoon to the CELLARDOORS.CO itinerary builder so that everyone can drink and not worry about driving (sometimes her friends and her relationship drives her to drink).

Through search criteria, she makes sure that her selection of hotel offers spa treatments and has a restaurant for Saturday night. In the events section of CELLARDOORS.CO she spots a concert nearby on the same night and adds that to her trip plan as well.

Nina shares the itinerary with Harry, Kim and Zara who are happy and a little surprised that the normally scatty and, at times unorganised Nina, has come through with the goods.

They all reply to confirm that they approve and she can continue with the bookings. Nina books the hotel through Expedia, then the restaurant, tour and concert tickets.

She confirms with the others that once they all finish their shifts on Friday (coincidentally, they all work at the same hospital) they can set off for their weekend away. She saves the itinerary with a view to access the map features so that she can get directions between each location.

When the weekend arrives,Nina, Harry, Kim and Zara all have access to the CELLARDOORS.CO app on their smartphones. They can get directions from place to place, and as the weekend progresses they rate and comment on the experiences they have had.

The weekend goes off without a hitch and Nina shares her itinerary and overall rating with a Facebook post – including some epic selfies from the weekend as well as a link to the itinerary on CELLARDOORS.CO.

Nina’s sister, Billie is a little put out she wasn’t invited but has decided to take her husband away in a month when he returns from the UK, so Nina’s Facebook post inspires her.

Billie clicks the link to CELLARDOORS.CO and saves the itinerary to help her plan her trip and installs the CELLARDOORS.CO app.

As the date gets closer, Billie receives a notification from the app reminding her of the proposed travel dates (which, by then, she’d completely forgotten about). She is prompted to complete her plans and book her trip.

Her husband Mick returns from the UK, they embark on the perfect weekend and live happily ever after.

Scenario 2: Frank and Claire leave their house in Washington to play their cards right in Australia

Washington-based power couple, Frank and Claire are visiting Australia on a rare holiday alone and demand a trip away from the city. They have chosen Sydney as a destination because it has a fantastic reputation for wine and food and only the very best will do.

Frank and Claire consult with their Sydney hotel’s concierge. They tell her that they are interested in a one week self-drive tour to a regional centre with inspiring scenery, exceptional food and wine, 5-star accommodation and something adventurous that will make the experience truly memorable.

The concierge doesn’t have all that information, but she knows that she can research everything they need using www.CELLARDOORS.CO

Accessing the tool via her computer, she is able to quickly prepare an itinerary for a visit to the Hunter Valley with all the features that Frank and Claire have requested and shares her suggestions via a print out of the CELLARDOORS.CO itinerary.

Thankfully, Frank and Claire are happy and ask the concierge to book the trip.

The concierge notices that Frank is using a smartphone and asks if he would like to receive the itinerary electronically for convenience and because the app provides maps and directions functionality.

Frank initially declines because he doesn’t want to use data when he is away from wi-fi and has heard that the network coverage in Australia can sometimes be less than reliable.

He changes his mind though, after the concierge explains that if Frank downloads the CELLARDOORS.CO app and itinerary using the hotel wi-fi, they can use this information offline on their journey.

While visiting one of the wineries, Claire notices the CELLARDOORS.CO travel guide book to Australia. She and Frank have had a fantastic time and decide to buy two copies; one for themselves and another for their friends, Bill and Hillary who are keen wine lovers and have talked about visiting Australia.

Frank and Claire eventually return home to Washington and a few weeks later, Frank sees a notification from the CELLARDOORS.CO app that it has just added new wine regions in South Africa.

Frank starts planning a surprise 40th Wedding Anniversary trip for Claire to give her another well-earned break from the demands of her job.

Bonus scenario: the wineries

A group of wineries, hotels and restaurants in the Yarra Valley and Hunter Valley have recently enjoyed an influx in visitors. This is especially good for a couple that are usually overlooked by wine tourists because they don’t have strategic partnerships with big tour providers.

Through their listing on the CELLARDOORS.CO app they have been able to view the check-ins of many of their visitors that have come to them through the app.

They are able to use this data to determine how much money the CELLARDOORS.CO visitors spent, allowing them to assess the dollar value of their listing.

So, you see: three challenges solved. It is win-win-wine.

Natalie Green