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Wine Tourism and the American Wine Consumer

An article in Wine Business.com highlighted a Snapshot of the American Wine Consumer in 2014 by Liz Thach, Janeen Olsen & Tom Atkin. Two items caught my attention. The first was: How often do you buy wine at the following locations? Wine/liquor stores was the most popular place to purchase wine while online was the least preferred. Winery tasting rooms was in the middle of the seven option list. One of the hopes that wineries have for wine tourism is to sell wine from their tasting rooms.

The other item that caught my attention was a word cloud that indicated places where 67% of 1028 respondents had visited tasting rooms. The most visited wine area was Napa closely followed by California and Sonoma. Considering this was a survey of an American audience, I found the next two wine regions, France and Italy, interesting. Those top wine regions certainly are some of the best wine tourist areas. Also on the list of wine regions visited were the Finger Lakes and Oregon, very easy wine regions to visit once you get there.

I have wine friends in both Virginia and Texas. They are very loyal to the wine industries in their state. On this word cloud, more people selected Virginia as a wine area they visited than Texas. One of the areas that was not visited by as many of the respondents, but still made the list was Georgia. The word cloud did not indicate if the word Georgia referred to the state or the country. My personal opinion is the the country Georgia offers the most unique wine regions in the world and is a must visit for all traveling wine enthusiasts. The cloud had listed the top 27 responses.

Research is important. One can take from this data that wine tourism is an important activity of the American wine consumer. Wineries can be heartened by the interest of consumers in visiting wine regions and purchasing wine at wineries. There is room to grow though, especially if you are a wine region without the name Napa.


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