Wine experts say there are four main groups of people who visit wineries. According to your friends and ours, these don’t adequately cover it. Allow us to break it down for you.
According to the Academy of Wine Business Research at the 8th International Conference at Griffith University, wine tourists fall into a few distinct categories:
- The Wine Lover – knows wines and can discuss the finer points of wine with the winemaker. Food and wine matching is important. Visits the winery for buying, tasting and learning about wine. The wine lover is an experienced winery visitor, mature with high income and education, and will purchase wine at a winery.
- The Wine Interested – likes wines and has attended tastings and wineries before. Enjoys food and exploring the countryside. Generally, travels with friends to wine regions. Eager to learn about wine. The wine interested is likely to have visited other wine regions but wine is not the sole purpose of the visit to the destination, moderate to high income and university educated and will purchase wine from the winery.
- The Wine Curious – has a low to moderate interest in wine, is motivated to visit the region by non-wine reasons and wineries are seen as ‘just another attraction’. Is satisfied with basic knowledge of wine. The wine curious has moderate interest in wine, and wineries are as seen ‘just another attraction’, moderate income and education and may purchase wine.
- The disinterested wine – visits wineries as part of a group, and sees it as an alternative to a bar. Generally just concerned with drinking wine, and has no interest in learning about wine.
With all due respect to Wine Business Research, looking around, we believe there are more profiles to be explored. Sub-profiles if you will:
A. The Expert
Commonly known to everyone else on the tour as the crushing bore. No matter what is presented to the Expert, he will draw comparison to the Montrachet he had in France a few years back and will regale all in earshot about the perfectly aged shiraz grenache in his wine cellar.
B. The Funnel
Wine, any wine will do. Done, done and onto the next one. It might be your Uncle Barry, it could be your cousin’s husband but this guy’s in the big leagues. Doesn’t normally drink wine but he’s here now so line ‘em up. (Who needs a glass?)
C. The Real Housewife
Girls’ weekend! Drunk off the smell of an oily rag. Drowns out cellar doors tour with cackles, swearing and a tumble (followed by a vomit) into the nearest hedge.
D. The Trendsetter
Nobody drinks sauvignon blanc anymore! It’s all about the chardonnay now, darling. Hating on chardonnay is so five years ago! The only thing more important than what’s on the wine label to the Trendsetter is the label on their jacket. Major aspiration: to be The Expert.
E. The One-trick Pony
Otherwise known as your parents. Tastes usually fall into one of two likes: red or sweet. Never to be expanded, never the twain shall meet.
F. The New Explorer
Unashamedly admits to not knowing a lot but willing to try and willing to learn. (Signature move in the cellar door: head tilt followed by a head nod). Open to whatever’s on offer rather than a specific variety.
G. The Frugal
$20 for a bottle of wine!? Must be a special occasion. Willing to study the shelves and catalogues looking for the best value for money. (2 for $20 – winner winner chicken dinner!)
H. The Non-Drinking Drinker
Usually worried about metabolism after their 20km run earlier that day. Nurses one glass for an hour and claims they’ve had too much, it’s gone to their head and they better get home because they have a 6am yoga class the next day.
Which type are you? (I’ve got a sneaking suspicion who I am … but not telling!)
Whichever wine tourist you are, we salute you and celebrate diversity on the global wine trail. Cheers!