Esprit du Monde & The Wine Hub making the most of Enotourism

13 02 2009

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esprit-du-mondeHere we have our first feature of one of the many wine buyers travelling to Spain to discover Spanish and International Organic wines. It’s an interesting combination of two companies – Esprit du Monde being the buying company and the Wine Hub being more concerned with wine tourism. It’s an interesting mix and one which should prove effective when it comes to selling wines. I believe their view is that they are only interested in talking to wineries who are able to offer winery visits as well as prepared to export their wines to the USA. For those of us that attended the Wine Pleasures Wine Tourism Conference last month will recognise that this is precisely the way forward to gaining new clients and ensuring they keep buying a particular wine. Pity not many Spanish wineries attended to learn this from the hands of the experts!

Here’s how Esprit du Monde & the Wine Hub introduce themselves:

Enotourists.  Simply defined, enotourists are wine lovers, from novices to sophisticates who spend a portion of their holiday time and budget visiting wineries and tasting wines.  But enotourism is much more than that.  It is the chance for wine lovers to see the wine making process; to personally touch the vines, the grapes, the soil, the climate and even the culture that produces the wines.  Enotourism is an opportunity to experience terroir, not just read about it.  It is education and new experiences; going to places without the crowds, walking the hills and breathing in the uniqueness of each winery.

It is the personal immersion in an authentic experience – a return to the farm.  Enotourism is the only direct connection between the wine maker and the wine drinker. winepleasures

It is also a chance to buy and to sell wine – at the source.

Recognizing the value of marketing to enotourists, wineries have gone to great lengths to attract enotourists.  Elaborate visitor centers have been erected.  Many wineries provide informative and entertaining guided winery tours and tastings that usually conclude at a sales counter where visitors are free to purchase the winery’s products.  Visitor centers are a significant investment designed to create an environment conducive to on premise sales.  Why then do most visitors depart having purchased little or none of the winery’s products?  Stringent airport security measures, very restrictive airline baggage policies and the inconvenience of having to carry bottles of wine for the remainder of a holiday all contribute to low tasting room sales volume and a poor return on the visitor center investment.  

Reduced tasting rooms sales and small per capita purchases are only a part of the challenge.  Even if the winery converts the magic tasting room moment into a sale, most visitors leave the overseas tasting rooms without ever providing the winery the means to market to that visitor in the future.  When the visitor departs the tasting room, the winery has forever lost the opportunity to capture consumer data and the potential to create a meaningful customer relationship that can maintained over time.  The Wine Hub and Esprit du Monde have teamed up to provide you with the solution to these problems.

Who We Are:

Esprit du Monde is a licensed national importer and national wholesaler based in California.  EdM has national and international logistics expertise and direct to consumer (DTC) sales capability into 25 US states.  EdM has created a platform for DTC sales permitting wineries to sell to US visitors in a variety of locations including tasting rooms, enotourism, agrotourism, wine shows and local hotels.  EdM has a strategic partnership with a Napa, CA, pick, pack, storage and facilitation service.

The Wine Hub is a multi-purpose wine centric web site focusing on enotourism, wine education, wine and food information, business to business and wine events.  TWH has created a unique four page web site format promoting your winery, providing informative tourism and travel tips and a shopping cart for your wines.  TWH has expertise in web site design, search engine optimization and driving web traffic to your shopping cart.

What We Can Do For Your Winery:

TWH and EdM can help you sell wine by driving tourists to your winery and providing you with a mechanism to sell to visitors at your winery and after they return to the US.  On premise sales are easy and convenient for the visitors and your winery immediately captures valuable customer data enabling subsequent marketing efforts.  We provide access to the fastest growing US sales channel, direct to consumer (DTC), through sales portals such as www.thewinehub.com, www.edmwines.com and other affiliates. 

How We Do It:

Software:  We utilize a dynamic, interactive, proprietary internet software application placed on a laptop in the tasting room enabling consumers to make purchases for themselves or send gifts which will be shipped to their destination in the US from our warehouse in California.  The customer data captured by the software facilitates future marketing and sales.  The software includes an English language e-commerce website, with a shopping cart containing the winery’s products, label shots, instructions, delivery options and pricing. 

Hardware:  The software application is operated on a dedicated personal computer or laptop computer provided by the winery.

Legal Compliance:  US law requires that all labels be registered with the Federal government and the governments of ALL states into which wines are sold.  We assure full legal compliance of all labels offered in ecommerce.

Logistics:  We arrange for and properly ship and store your wines in our temperature controlled warehouse in Napa, California.   We anticipate utilizing a local partner in Italy to assist in winery communications, logistics and consolidation.

Fulfillment:  Our warehousing and delivery system is one of the most sophisticated in the world with the ability to fulfill order sizes from a single bottle to an entire pallet, subject only to quantity restrictions in certain US states.  Each order is individually packed with an accuracy rate in excess of 99%.  Collateral products and consumer direct marketing materials provided by the winery are easily inserted into shipments.  Delivery is by ground or air depending upon customer preference.  

What the winery does:

  • The winery provides label files, labels, winery logo or photo, translations, brief history and ex cellar and tasting room pricing and quantity information in standardized formats to enable us to assess labels for legal compliance, determine pricing for shopping cart and obtain logistics quotes. We may provide winery with an Excel Workbook to assist winery in prompt and accurate transmission of information necessary to create the ecommerce website.
  • After labels, ex cellar and retail pricing and payment upon depletion terms are agreed to, a customized four page is prepared.
  • After label compliance assessment, the winery may have to adjust labels to be compliant, prints labels and/or overstickers and apply them.
  • The winery determines the optimal location for placement of the hardware and promotional banner.
  • After we secure COLA approval, obtain approval certificates and arrange for logistics, the winery cooperates in shipment to our warehouse.
  • After installation of the e-commerce website, the winery may commence sales at the tasting room. Fulfillment begins immediately following arrival, customs clearance and delivery of the wine to our warehouse.
  • Where the winery has an exclusivity agreement with an existing US importer(s), we will assist the winery in making a suitable arrangement for accessing the DTC channel. Options include: payment of a clearance fee, assignment of a certificate of authority, price protection.

What We Do:

 Compliance, Logistics and Fulfillment:

Provide initial and ongoing assistance with label design per US Federal Government COLA requirements

Obtain US Treasury Tax Bureau label approval

Provide initial and ongoing State label registration and price posting

Provide initial and ongoing entry of product data into e-commerce website

Arrange interface to fulfillment system

Provide initial and ongoing entry of product data into fulfillment system

Manage shipping and receiving logistics

Manage fulfillment process

Manage Customer Billing and Payment

  • Website Development: Set up winery website and e-commerce shopping cart

Arrange Merchant Services credit card processing and process charges

Obtain Secure Certificate for website and shopping cart

Website hosting, E mail hosting & distribution

Update software

  • Driving Web Traffic:

TheWineHub is returned as the #1 Google search engine result for searches such as “plan a trip to a wine region” and “important wine region”.  This position is maintained and leveraged by:

Search engine optimization of content

Promotions – newsletters, viral marketing and social media campaigns

Strategic partnerships, affiliations and weblinks with wine, tourism and travel industry leaders

Monitoring of google metrics and analytics

  • Generating Tourist Traffic:

TheWineHub’s primary goal is to expand the knowledge, enjoyment and participation in wines and wine travel.  TWH will be filled with content directed to achieving that goal including:

Local knowledge, insight and discoveries

Inside tips and recommendations

Up to date information about the growing season and harvest

Reviews and recommendations for accommodations, restaurants, chefs and undiscovered wines, wineries and wine tours

Regional culinary specialties

Location and directions to client wineries, hotels and agroturismos

Content will continually added and refreshed

Espirt du Monde and The Wine Hub are attending all 3 Wine Pleasures Workshops in 2009. If you are a winery and not already enrolled then there is still time! Just complete the form.

Buyer meets Spanish Cellar (15 – 17 March)

International Organic Workshop (17 – 19 March)

Buyer meets Italian Cellar (18 – 20 May)

What will you be doing?

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