When you hear about wine tourism, you immediately imagine an elite of wineries that have achieved some extraordinary feat suitable for a select few. But the truth is that wine tourism is a game open to everyone and especially to those who want to invest seriously in direct sales.

Today more than ever, it is essential to embrace new channels, especially in a historical period where wine is navigating uncertain waters and traditional channels are no longer the safe harbor they once were.

But what exactly does “Direct-to-Consumer” mean?

Direct-to-Consumer means doing everything yourself: producing your own wine and selling it directly through your own channels, which can include an e-commerce platform or a brand retail store.

Direct sales not only enable higher margins by eliminating intermediaries but, if accompanied by well-orchestrated wine tourism, it becomes a long-term loyalty strategy.

Wine tourism is therefore not just a whim but becomes a real opportunity to give consumers a tangible reason to visit the winery, get to know it, and purchase wine consciously. All while creating an emotional bond of immeasurable value with the brand.

The example of the United States: the potential of direct sales generated by wine tourism

During our last tour of wineries in the United States, we noticed a clear trend: the economic sustainability of US wineries is mainly based on direct sales generated by wine tourism.

In the wineries we visited, all strictly open to the public, we asked some questions to the owners and managers, trying to understand how much they actually earn through direct sales. The results were surprising: the vast majority fall between 60% and 70% of turnover. For smaller realities, those with productions below 100,000 bottles, this percentage often reaches close to 100%, including online sales.

To make a comparison, Italian percentages rarely exceed 15%.

It’s a figure that makes us reflect and suggests that the United States is fully exploiting the potential of wine tourism, while Italy is still in an embryonic phase. This comparison clearly demonstrates that there are still many opportunities in the sector and that there is a great margin of growth that we can and must exploit.

Let’s conclude with a provocative thought.

It’s time to recognize wine tourism for what it truly is: a strategic business. Perhaps what is currently lacking is simply a long-term perspective that sees it as a strategic asset worthy of the right attention.