Beyond the Glass: Examining Wine Tasting Room Profitability Using the 4Ps of the Marketing Mix

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Virginia Tech


Recent exponential increases in attendance at wine tasting rooms resulted in growing research in this subject area as producers seek to learn more about wine tasting room customers and identify ways to capitalize on additional revenue-generating opportunities. Direct wine sales are big business with $3.4 billion in sales in the United States in 2010. Research has shown that small and medium-sized wineries have become financially dependent on direct sales linked to wine tasting rooms with an average of 70 percent of winery sales coming from the tasting room. With limited sources outlining best practices within wine marketing, there is a clear need to identify and classify the literature on this topic. This research applies a marketing theoretical approach using the 4Ps (product, place, price, and promotion) of the marketing mix in conjunction with a comprehensive citation-based global literature review, with the goal of assessing those factors, if any, which may impact wine tasting room profitability. Our findings highlight key differences in individual wine tasting room marketing mix strategies which emphasize the need to understand consumer tastes and preferences for the wine tasting experience. Research shows that investing in the product and promotion of the wine tasting room has a positive impact on profitability. Key profit drivers include investing in branding, tasting room staff, and aggressively pursuing word-of-mouth recommendations to enhance wine tasting room profitability.



wine tasting rooms, cellar door, marketing, promotion, wine tourism