Do wineries make money? The simple answer is no; they make wine.
The general perception is that the winery business is not lucrative. Some people even believe that you cannot venture into this business as a sole and self-sustaining investment. You must have heard of the old joke, “How do you make a million dollars in the wine business? Start with $10 million.”
Here’s the thing—to make more money and turn profits in the winery business, think beyond producing and distributing wine to vendors.
One effective way of increasing and diversifying your revenue streams is organizing events.
5 unique winery event ideas to boost revenue
1. Wine clubs and membership exclusive events
Wine is more than just a drink; it’s a significant part of life that has been etched in various cultures since time immemorial. Wine clubs leverage the cultural aspect of wine to establish a loyal consumer base.
Introduce a membership fee
Customers pay an initial membership fee to join the club.
You then provide them with a series of wine bottles monthly or quarterly. This arrangement helps you generate more sales and helps the club members discover different wines with little of a hassle. Also, it saves your client’s time since they don’t have to visit the winery whenever they need a bottle.
Offer exclusive incentives
To make the wine clubs more lucrative, offer exclusive incentives to registered club members. This could be as discounts or redeemable loyalty tokens whenever they make purchases.
For instance, you can identify a specific wine within your collection whose sales are lagging and allow club members to redeem five of its corks for a free bottle.
Organize exclusive events
You can also organize exclusive events like wine tasting and other interactive sessions for the wine club members. Use such avenues to market your new products, get their opinions about your wines and offerings, and encourage them to share their experiences amongst themselves and others beyond the event.
2. Organize corporate or team-building events
As earlier pointed out, wine has significant cultural relevance in most modern societies. Amongst the many things wine is known for is bringing people together. So, there isn’t a better place for corporate and team-building activities than a winery.
Depending on if the company wants to involve alcohol in the event or not, there are lots of team-building activities you can organize in a winery:
Blind wine tasting
Here, you organize participants into groups, choose random wine bottles, conceal their brand names, and then blindfold one member of each group and ask them to taste and guess the names or types of wines.
It’s just like a typical wine tasting event, only that in this case, tasters are from a specific organization, and they work in groups.
Wine smelling workshops
It’s similar to blind wine tasting, only that here participants will rely on scents to identify wine brands. They smell the wines and identify them based on scent.
It’s a fun activity where you allow corporate guests to customize their wine cocktails by tasting and blending fresh bottles. You can even create custom wine labels for the group with the best blend.
Also known as grape-treading, this fun activity involves barefoot participants trampling grapes in vats to release their juices for fermentation. Besides providing participants with an opportunity to bond and work as a team, grape stomping also makes them feel part of the wine-making process.
How does a winery make money by organizing corporate team-building events?
Organizations will pay for using your winery as a venue. You may also charge facilitation fees. For activities like wine tasting and smelling, the facilitating organization buys the wine bottles from you.
3. Mixology classes
As a winemaker, you must have a firm grasp of the history of wine-making, how different wines taste, and how to mix them to produce the best cocktails.
How about you share this knowledge with others at a fee?
Mixology classes are one of the practical revenue-generating activities that most wineries often overlook. You can organize sessions for individuals on-demand or work with local bars and restaurants. Over time, you shall have developed personal cocktail recipes that are unique to your winery.
The good thing about mixology is that it never gets old—you can come up with new cocktail recipes almost every day. And with every new recipe comes an opportunity to organize a mixology class.
4. Live events and concerts at the winery
Wineries provide perfect venues for a chilled weekend or late afternoon live events and music concerts. Invite a few famous local musicians or live bands to entertain your guests as they sample your wine collections.
You can also include competitive activities like wine facts trivia, treasure hunts, lawn games, and mystery nights to make the event more enjoyable. The trick is to pack the schedule with exciting and engaging activities back-to-back.
Most wineries shy away from organizing live events because of the fear of not attracting enough people. And reasonably so, winery events rarely attract as many people as other events. However, with consistency, you’ll make a name for yourself and gradually begin attracting substantial traffic.
5. Private events
Wineries can also make some good money by renting out their spaces for private events.
This could be a wedding, photoshoot, outdoor meeting, or reunion. Besides the location fee, you can also use the opportunity to market your wines if the event involves eating and making merry.
So, do wineries make money?
Yes, you can make fortunes in the winery business provided that you diversify your revenue streams.