With the pandemic rolling through late 2019 the world was turned on its head overnight. You don’t need us to tell you that either, you’ve read it online, seen it on the tv and heard it on the radio. Most businesses had to make a serious digital pivot in a short amount of time to stay afloat.
The wine industry was among those hit harder than others, with the business model across the industry being heavily based around cellar door visitation to generate sales, build customer base, develop their brand and engage consumers. It was time to bring their Direct to Consumer (DtC) engagement model into the digital age in order to keep moving wine through their cellar door.
However, in true wine industry form we have seen a lot of innovation, adaptability and resilience during these trying times. In fact, we’ve actually been pretty spoiled for choice when it comes to fun wine related activities online to do in the comfort of social isolation. Everything from winemakers doing daily live streams, to whole “meet the winemaker” ticketed tasting events and mini tasting kits!
We can’t wait to see these adopted as permanent DtC channels for wineries, and see them used in conjunction with the Cellr platform too. You can find out more about how Cellr’s connected packaging solution is able to send your digital marketing content straight to a customers phone when they tap it on one of Cellr’s wine bottle lids here! Also check out what is currently on offer for wineries looking to give their wine a marketing campaign made for rock stars.
Here are a few of Cellr’s favourite online activities going on in the wine industry….
Virtual tasting events
Whether they are free or ticketed events, these have been going wild. These events are set up so that you can get a proper walk through of a wine, or multiple wines, with the experts. We really hope these stick around, as they are not only great fun but they provide context and education for wine consumers, enhancing their overall experience with the industry.
The events we think are killer:
Young Gun of Wine Bringing the Top 50 to your Lounge Room: For the first time ever, Young Gun of Wine will host a series of virtual events in place of its annual Top 50 tasting events. Across the month of May, they will host seven experiential wine tastings with the Top 50 winemakers of 2020, along with other experts – Vanya Cullen, Prue Henschke and 2018 Young Gun Rob Mack, amongst others – with ‘attendees’ able to ask questions live during the broadcast. Register for a virtual even here!
National Wine Centre at Home: Virtual wine masterclasses at home for those wanting to relieve the boredom in a social setting, while still responsibly distancing yourself from others. All you need to do is have Zoom set up and 6 wine glasses to taste the samples they will send to your door, and voila! You are at a tasting masterclass via your computer and fast NBN- if you’re one of the lucky ones.
Pyjama Wine by the Fruitful Pursuit: The world’s first rolling pyjama party… with winemakers! Together with a 3-pack of their latest and most delicious wines (delivered safely to your door for $79) these guys are releasing a series of exclusive 45 min ‘iso sessions’ with some of Australia’s favourite independent winemakers… in their PJs. Their next instalment is with Paul Hoffman of Swan Valley Wines June 10th, so why not pyjama up and book your place on the sofa here?
Meet the Winemaker by Down to a Wine Art: While we’re all at home, they are bringing the cellar door to you! Meet the Winemaker is an online, live, wine tasting experience with Australia’s finest winemakers, hosted by Lorna Moffatt from Down to a Wine Art.
There’s four events, each with a different winemaker, all with a different story and three bottles of their wine sent to you. They’ll talk through their wines in the tasting, share their experiences and you even have the opportunity to put your questions to the experts. Their next events will be with James Lindner of Langmeil Winery May 30th and friend of the blog Simon Tolley (see his blog post here) of Simon Tolley Wines June 6th. Tickets can be purchased here.
These are an easy way to stay in touch as people can pop in at any point to view and chat to wineries streaming in real time! Not only is it fun and engaging, it creates an experience with the brand that for many consumers would not be accessible due to any cellar doors being geographically accessible to a majority of the world.
One we have been watching:
Unico Zelo’s everyday live streams! That’s right folks, these guys are creating live content… Every. Single Day. You can catch them on their Facebook and Instagram every day at 5pm (ACST). Whether the team are chatting with staff, friends of the industry or other winemakers this one is always fun to tune into while you enjoy a glass of their wine or Applewood Distillery Gin.
At Home Taster Kits
These sample bottle packs have been a great way for people at home to get a chance to “try before they buy”, much like if they were at a Cellar Door. Often accompanied by digital content to walk people through the tasting, these are a great even once restrictions are lifted as it engages people who aren’t able to visit the winery to do the tasting. Moreover, it could provide wineries that have chosen to go Cellar-Door-Free a new avenue for engaging consumers.
Tasting kits we have been getting around: the Dowie Doole Tasting Pod Packs, named aptly after their Cellar Door aka the Tasting Pod, and Jericho Family Wines, who have selected some of their favourites!
Although in Australia we are starting to see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel and cellar doors are opening for sales, though not tastings- yet, we would love to see some of these digital engagement activities stay… online.
Got something to say, or a story to be told? Get in touch with us at [email protected] or on our social channels below.
Don’t forget to check out what Cellr have in store for wineries looking to take their virtual relationships to the next level here.