In my line of work I look at a lot of outlines for different tasting room programs such as blending classes, sensory tastings, differences in glassware, wine and food pairings, etc.
While there are some great ideas that have been well thought out, I would love to see an outline for an offering that comes from the perspective of those who will be enjoying the session, rather from the perspective of those who are trying to sell wine to visitors. What is it that your visitors want?
Based on recent research, most people coming to wineries want to be entertained. They are there to have a good time and while education is important to some (a small percentage of the people who visit), it’s not the main reason they come. However, if you can give them a story and incorporate some educational facts that make them look intelligent and knowledgeable when they share with their friends, then they are more than likely to talk about your winery once they get home. They are also more likely to buy wine to take home with them so they can share it with these same friends or family.
If you don’t know what your customers and visitors are looking for, perhaps you can make 2015 the year of the survey. Send out short (three – five question) surveys asking people what they are looking for, what types of events or special classes they would like to participate in. Discover what their interests are and plan your events based on the information you receive.
You can send out a three question survey monthly and it’s a great opportunity to drop in a little information about the wines you have available. Just a couple of sentences, don’t overdo the sales pitch, remember it’s about them.