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Women, followers and themed hotels. These are the gifts that wine tourism can give to Italian wineries and which can greatly increase the business




Donatella Cinelli Colombini

For the second time I have been invited  to the Divinea Wine Tech Symposium this year in Milan in mid-November. My contribution focused on what wine tourism can give to Italian wine and here I explain the 3 “gifts” of wine hospitality to the wine business.



The  wine incoming has contributed to the growth of interest in wine among the fairer sex. In reality it is not a new thing, 80% of the world’s wine is bought by women and these  above all are bottles for daily consumption. 55% of habitual Italian wine consumers are women. But the recent novelty is the leading role that ladies are also assuming in the premium and super premium segment, a circumstance that also derives from the growth in the female percentage among the visitors to the cellars.

In Italy, the majority of those who look online for a winery to visit are women (66%) and the conversion index in booking is decidedly better for women (+14%) with respect to male wine lovers.

But the question does not end here because the feminization of consumption and the wine market -especially in Asia- corresponds to a feminization of the winery sectors as well where bottles are transformed into Euros, Dollars, Swiss Francs … that is, sales (51% women), communication and marketing (89%) and obviously wine hospitality (76%).

This means that if Italian wine wants to reduce the gap with French producers, it must focus on a greater presence of women in jobs that require a marked predisposition to relationships. Dowry particularly present in the fairer sex. In fact, the gap is still strong: €2.8 Italian wine, €5 French wine. In exports €3.76 Italian wine, €6.60 French wine.

Is it worth it or not to focus on women and their greater education and ability to create markets?



Let’s move on to the second gift that wine tourism gives to wine: the contacts that are used to develop e-commerce through newsletters and wine clubs. Having a wine club is the dream of every winery and above all of the tourist ones, i.e. of the Bacchus underground who have direct experience of the marginality deriving from sales to the public. Unfortunately the cellar shops alone have limited business. We are talking about 7%, a percentage that doubles in small companies and drops by one point in large ones. Little but enough to make the mouth water for those who compare the earnings of direct selling with those obtained in normal commercial channels.

For this reason, a growing number of wineries have activated e-commerce and the number of Italians who have bought online from the winery of origin has gone from 29% pre covid to 36% in 2021. This too is little but enough to allow a glimpse of good business opportunities. In fact, among the companies assisted by Divinea, 17% have a wine club and 75% would like to have one.

The problem is that to sell online you need to have recipients to address your proposal to and Italian wineries don’t have these contacts. Again in the sample of Divinea wineries, which is certainly made up of highly evolved companies, we see that 35% have less than 100 followers, 14% have between 100 and 500 contacts and overall 75% do not reach a thousand. If we compare our situation with that of US wineries that sell more than half of their bottles to private individuals, we are faced with a completely different situation: half have between 5,000 and 50,000 contacts.

But how do you fill the Italian gap?

With wine tourism!

The 15 million visitors to Italian wineries are the solution. They must be registered and profiled with a CRM and then develop frequent contacts for years and years.

Two circumstances facilitate this project: the greater propensity to book and the never-ending.