The Winery as educator: Do wineries provide what the wine tourist needs?
Business and Public Management
Marketing, Tourism and Leisure
Wine tourists are not a homogeneous group, but seek differing components of the overall wine tourism experience. This research compares their demand for an educational element in the overall process, with the attitudes of winery owners and managers to the provision of educational resources at the cellar door. Personal surveys of wine tourists were carried out in two wine regions in Western Australia. Respondents were questioned on their previous experience of wine education, the possibilities for learning at the cellar door, the benefits of wine education, and how far their expectations for wine education had been met. This was followed by a survey mailed to all wineries in the state, to assess their views about wine tourists, and covering the same range of educational possibilities, benefits and provision. The research yielded some interesting findings, from which a broad comparison of visitor requirements against winery perceptions can be constructed, and an analysis of owner/manager attitudes, as well as general conclusions on the provision of wine education at the cellar door. It is hoped that the research will help to reduce future gaps in management perception of winery education and customer perceptions and expectations.