Wine Tasting Rooms Are Evolving - Insights from 2022
Hello fellow tasting room owners Let’s chat about the evolving world of wine tasting rooms. The
2022 Wine Business Monthly Tasting Room Survey has thrown up some intriguing data, and it’s
something we all need to pay attention to. It’s also why attending the Tasting & Tap Room Expo
is the best thing you can do to optimize your customers experience and grow your bottom-line
Wine Club Woes First off, if you’ve noticed a few wine club members vanishing or shipments
put on hold, you’re not alone. Nearly half of the surveyed wineries reported an increase in wine
club attrition, especially in the fourth quarter of last year. And 41% said club members were
hitting the pause button on those delightful shipments.
Regional Insights The challenges vary by region, but the overall 60% of Central Coast wineries
and 61% of those in Napa County saw an increase in attrition and membership hold requests.
Think about adding perks to your current program like a “wine tasting pick–up party” where
members can meet other members or having special offers to members who recruit new
Visitor Drop = DTC Sales Drop As tasting room visitation started to decline in 2021, it had a
direct impact on Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) sales. The fall season is usually a peak period for DTC
shipments, but last year, it fell by 12%, which translates to 338,668 fewer cases than in 2021.
Size Matters When it comes to winery size, the bigger ones (producing over 500,000 cases a
year) suffered the most significant decline in the median number of visitors at 14%. On the flip
side, limited production wineries (making fewer than 1,000 cases a year) recorded a surprising
Tasting Rooms: A Critical Revenue Stream Let’s talk about the elephant in the room—the
tasting room. On average, it contributes nearly half of all DTC sales, while wine clubs add an
additional 39%. For smaller wineries and those in lesser-known regions, the tasting room is a
lifeline, accounting for more than half of their DTC sales.
Tasting Experience Evolution As consumer preferences shift, many wineries began offering both
walk-in tastings and appointments. The 2022 survey found that 28% offered both, and that
number increased to 34% the following year.
Virtual Tastings: Here to Stay Virtual tastings are still a hit, with more than 35% of wineries
offering them, especially in Napa County where it’s at a whopping 56%. For the foreseeable
future, 18% of wineries plan to continue offering virtual tastings with a purchase option. It’s a
trend worth embracing.
Adapt and Thrive In a rapidly changing landscape, flexibility is key. Consider adjusting your
offerings to suit your audience. Whether it’s a seated experience or stand-up bar, keep your
options open. And if you’re not already doing it, think about incorporating virtual tastings into your repertoire.
Final Thoughts While the tasting rooms face challenges, it’s also brimming with opportunities.
To grow your tasting and tap room sales, make plans to attend the first-ever Tasting & Tap Room
Expo taking place in at the Reno Sparks Convention Center May 7-8, 2024. It’s the ONLY show in
the US dedicated to owners, operators, and managers of wine, beer, spirits, cider, sake or mead
tasting and tap rooms.🍷🍇
Learn more on these insights at winebusiness.com