Researchers are working with Victorian winegrowers to help them attract more visitors to their cellar doors.
The Victorian wine industry spans 22 diverse regions and 700 wineries, with Rutherglen, Heathcote, the Mornington Peninsula and the Yarra Valley producing the State’s premium wines.
“Around 40% of wine sales at small to medium-sized wineries in Victoria are generated from cellar doors,” explains researcher, Dr Paul Strickland. “So, getting the marketing strategy right for these growers is key.”
Strickland’s research examined how growers attract visitors to their wineries to maximise interest in their products and, ultimately, sales.
“Their tourism marketing strategies included the use family heritage to attract a customer base, and the use of social media to promote wine festivals or products more generally,” he explains.
“And while some growers pitched to an older demographic, others targeted Millennials to increase wine sales at the cellar door.”
Strickland’s findings included a range of tourism marketing strategies to help wineries maximise their reach, and returns.
“We identified a range of solutions,” he says. “The most successful cellar doors, for example, are more casual but remain educational. They offer a diverse wine selection and provide sweeter wines for younger people.”
Other solutions included working with complimentary business – such as cafes, restaurants and accommodation services – to offer entertainment and food options; establishing an easy delivery service; and finding that unique spot in the market that makes the cellar door experience a different one from competitors.
“Our research has led to the adoption of different tourism strategies to attract visitors,” says Strickland. “Some wineries have created a point of different by establishing art galleries, farm markets or gift shops. Other have developed a social media strategy and moved their business from mostly in person to online.”
“It’s all about investing in long term strategies that offer different experiences and encourage repeat business,” he adds. “We hope the industry will benefit as a result.”