Sunday, July 1, 2012

Tasting tour can be dull marketing or a magical delight

WHEN I gate-crashed another party’s tour in the tasting room, during a visit of the Mondavi winery in Napa Valley, California, their guide, Pamela, primly told me to rejoin my group whose tour was just starting. She had sized me up as a drinker, ejecting me for a sobering 90-minute tour with the tasting room as the longed-for, penultimate step. Gatecrashing a tour in the tasting room undermines a winery's strategy to turn uneducated visitors into educated ones. Knowledge acquired on a tour becomes relevant to visitors, becomes part of their identity (no matter how temporarily); and identification leads to consumption, for those prepared to wait.

Full article first published in The Connexion (July, 2012)