For the first time ever, more wineries in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa charge for tasting than do not.

That is one of the key findings of  our‘ Direct to Customer Benchmarking that has just now been completed.

I really think that the University of Central Florida’s Robin Back (Cousin of Charles Back of Fairview fame) can take a lot of the credit here. He was the first to carry out research that confirmed that people actually buy more wine when they pay for tastings.

We’ve therefore pushed this hard to the 200 plus wine business owners and senior managers who have attended our workshops over the last 12 months across the three countries.

It’s very pleasing to see that wineries have now completed the revolution.

Logically, if you are given something for free, you value it less. It was great to see this proven in research. Better to see wineries do something about it.

A lot of the resistance has been down to a fear of upsetting people who for too long have been using the wine industry as free entertainment.

That is all changing.

Those wineries that are charging are getting that, in order command a fee, the entertainment product must be better.

Tasting fees also mean more money to pay for better staff and the training thereof.

All of this is good for our industry.

The ‘Taking the Direct Route 2017’ Direct to Customer Benchmarking report can be purchased by following this link or email peter@winebusinesssolutions.com.au for more details.