I am outspoken about the importance of wine tourism, but with the opening of a ‘Disney World for Wine‘ in China, I thought about the reasons for creating entertainment around wine.
- Information and Tourism: La Cité du Vin in Bordeaux celebrates wine. It makes sense for this “museum of wine” to be in Bordeaux, the “capital of wine”, but more than promoting French or even Bordeaux wines, La Cité du Vin shares the history of wine-making, information on various wine growing areas, terroir, styles, wine-making methods and of course wines from all across the world are available for tasting. In this case, stimulating a love for wine that will influence purchasing decisions might be secondary to the educational, informative and tourism reasons. Entertainment and education do of course not exclude each other. With creative thinking and the clever use technology, education can be very entertaining.
- Commercial prospects: China’s City of Wine, however, might have a different main objective. While using an epic scale to share history and information about wine and wine-making, in my opinion, a big motivation would be to stimulate wine sales. Although guaranteed to provide entertainment, in a country like China hardly known for its wine culture, information, education and creating excitement about wine while promoting wine sales, should be the aim of the City of Wine.
- Additional income: A major reason for developing added entertainment on a wine estate, is the generation of income – the income from tourism supports the pressurised wine margins. While proper business would expect the wine monuments in Bordeaux and Xi’an to be profitable and self-sufficient, the income generated by the offering itself (although still aimed at long term commercial means) might not be the only objective.
- Brand recognition: Measuring the success of marketing efforts and advertising has always been the challenge of marketing departments. Although also difficult to measure, the idea of creating emotion and experience around the wine is that the brand will be top of mind when purchasing decision are made at a later stage. Creating brand awareness and loyalty is of course a desired result of wine entertainment.
- Economy: Creating offerings or adding entertainment options to an existing offering, are very important for job creations and skills development and contribute to local economies.
For me, wine creates entertainment from selecting the bottle we want to enjoy, to the aromas and taste and how it pairs with my dinner. Actually, my enjoyment of wine starts earlier – when we walk through the vineyards and talk about the vintage and see the grapes come into the cellar. That is the privilege of the winemaker and those who work in the industry. Regardless of the reason, you can’t blame them for wanting to share the joy in one way or another!
Featured image: France’s La Cité du Vin