Setting the Benchmark for Winery Tasting Room Research: An Emerging Region Gets a Global Perspective

    VINELAND, ON, April 22 /CNW/ - Do winery tasting rooms really help
generate sales for wineries? According to researchers at the Vineland Research
and Innovation Centre almost half of winery tasting room visitors purchase the
winery's brand within three months of their visit.
    "This research proves that the tasting room experience does actually
convert visitors to the brand resulting in future sales," said Dr. Isabelle
Lesschaeve, research director, consumer insights and product innovation for
Vineland Research and Innovation Centre. "So, it's important for wineries to
have their brand available to the purchaser either through a liquor store or
in the case of a small or boutique winery strategies such as wine clubs or the
availability of online purchasing are important to keep momentum going. Also,
knowing the dynamics of their visitors, wineries can organize and promote
events in a more deliberate way."
    Dr. Johan Bruwer, from the University of Adelaide in Australia who is
also a senior research fellow at the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre
developed the winery visitation survey and Lesschaeve conducted the work.
    "Some wineries tend to neglect the tasting room experience thinking it's
a one-time deal. We show that it actually can convert purchasers to the brand.
We plan to continue our research toward brand loyalty: its development and
sustainability," Lesschaeve adds. "Also very exciting to note this benchmark
study is a North-American first and sets a standard for future research in
wine regions across the continent."
    Five wineries located in the Niagara Region took part in the study during
2007 with well over 900 visitors completing the survey at the end of their
tasting room experience. The survey covered questions which included:
demographic profiles, tourist behaviour, region perceptions, purchase
behaviour, and consumption habits. A follow-up study measuring the effect of
their experience was conducted via e-mail three months after their visit that
showed nearly half purchased the winery's brand since their visit at either a
liquor store or restaurant. The report briefing can be accessed at under quick links.
    "This in-depth study demonstrates Vineland's commitment to deliver
industry-driven research," said Dr. Jim Brandle, C.E.O., Vineland Research and
Innovation Centre. "We are very pleased to be able to offer these findings as
they unlock key insights into profitability and sustainability that directly
affect the industry."

    Other report findings:

    -   31% of visitors to the Niagara Region relied on word-of-mouth as
        their source for information about the Region and its wineries. The
        follow-up study also highlighted this, with 86% recommending the
        winery to family, friends, and colleagues.
    -   Almost 85% of visitors drink wine at least once per week (22% daily),
        and consume approximately five bottles of wine per month.
    -   The entire sample said they drink more red wine than any other type,
        and spend an average of $106 per month on wine.

    About Vineland Research and Innovation Centre

    Vineland Research and Innovation Centre is an independent, not-for-profit
organization established as a world-class centre for horticultural science and
innovation. In its capacity to enable and foster relationships with industry,
academia and government, Vineland works to deliver premium horticultural
products and production innovations. Vineland brings a global perspective to
the horticulture industry and offers a broad range of lasting benefits both
locally and internationally. Vineland's research priorities align with
industry needs and its outcomes focus on the growth of the entire horticulture

For further information:

For further information: Darlene Webb, director, public relations and
communications, Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, (905) 562-0320 x766,,

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Vineland Research and Innovation Centre

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