5 Essential Tactics Every Winery Needs to Consider

Posted on Master and Shaker

5 Essential Tactics Every Winery Needs to Consider

The Coronavirus has essentially thrown a wrench in the works of nearly every business in the world, especially in the landscape of restaurants, hotels, and for the whole of the wine industry. From retail to restaurants, hotels, and venues, most of the channels wineries use to sell their wines have been stifled. The pandemic has wiped out wineries’ ability to sell to restaurants and hotels and even in their own tasting rooms. If there is any hope of keeping wineries and their staffs afloat, every winery — and importers too — need to explore these five key tactics for getting wine directly to the customers’ lips in the near and long term.

Wine Tasting
  1. Virtual Wine Tastings
    Virtual Zoom Tastings with the winemaker are practically commonplace now, especially with corporations looking to keep their employees engaged from home. These “calls” usually last 45 minutes to an hour and include 1 or 2 wine selections, a guided tasting, and a Q&A afterward. I’ve spoken to many wineries that are hosting these tastings at least once a week. This is a great strategy for connecting with the consumer directly and making your wine relevant and accessible.
  2. Partnering Wine Companies
    Companies like Wine.com enable wineries to reach a broader audience by creating special packages and virtual tastings. They’ve reported huge increases in sales with these partnerships. Both the wineries I’ve spoken to that sell to companies like wine.com have reported up to a 300% increase in sales!
  3. Smaller Bottle Sizes
    I’ve spoken to some wineries who are breaking down the wines into 4 or 6-ounce sample size bottles and creating value packs of 4 to 6 wines so their customers can taste many different wines without having to open full bottles. They are starting to use neutral gas such as argon to protect the wines and are shipping them out faster so the wines are fresh.
  4. Expand on New Alcohol to Go Laws
    Curbside Pick-up is very popular amongst many restaurants, wine shops, and wineries where the customer emails or calls in their order and they can pick up the wines at a scheduled time. This is very helpful for local wine lovers that want to support their local shops and wineries. These curbside pickups are often tied to Zoom Virtual tasting as well.
  5. A New Way to Taste
    I’ve spoken to many wineries that plan to “soft” open in the next few weeks as the weather gets nicer, particularly those that have outdoor seating, a restaurant or food option, and Tasting Room Directors/Guides. We don’t know exactly what the next few months will bring, but I believe the Virtual Tasting and online wine buying is here to stay. Time to focus on the digital channel.

I wish all my winery, restaurant, hotel, and wine hospitality colleagues a swift and might recovery when this all ends! In if you find you need some help finding your way, Master & Shaker is here to help with everything you need.

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