Educating winery visitors and consumers: An international perspective
Faculty of Business and Law
School of Business
In times of economic uncertainty, fluctuating currency exchange, increasing wine production and competition from new or established wine-producing regions, wineries must overcome many obstacles to produce, market and ultimately benefit from wine production. Educating winery visitors and other potential consumers is one among different key strategies wineries' management could undertake to build relationships, brand loyalty, and maximise any opportunities to obtaining benefits, including from wine tourism. In gathering data from wineries located predominantly in Italy and Spain, the study provides an international perspective on wineries' educational initiatives. Guided tours, product tastings and showcasing production processes are the most common approaches to educating their visitors and wine consumers. In spite of these initiatives, winery entrepreneurs categorise their educational efforts as modest, suggesting that these are not being fully exploited or maximised. In addition, few of the comments emphasise the importance of educational experiences with regard to the region or local tourism. Given the important role wineries have as product and service providers in many rural areas and tourist destinations, the study's findings have several important implications for winery entrepreneurship and for wine tourism.