In recent years, wine tourism has seen a significant change in the demographics of its participants. This was highlighted by the National Association of Women in Wine during the latest edition of Vinitaly.

Where once predominantly men would visit wineries for tastings and tours, today women have become a dominant and influential presence in this sector. This shift is evident not only in the numbers but also in popular culture, as demonstrated by the films “Wine Country” (2019) and “Sideways” (2004), which respectively reflect the new and old landscapes of wine tourism.

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The recent movie “Wine Country” illustrates a group of six friends visiting wineries in Napa, California, highlighting how wine tourism experiences have become popular among women. In contrast, “Sideways” followed two men on a journey through wine regions, representing the classic image of wine tourism from fifteen years ago. These films not only tell stories of travel and wine but also reflect a clear evolution in the profile of winery visitors.

In its Wine Tourism and Direct-to-Consumer Sales Report, Divinea – Wine Suite states that the majority of bookings are indeed made by the female gender, with an incidence of 56% of the total. A trend that continues to be confirmed over the years.

Hospitality manager: a role increasingly dominated by women

Italian wine tourism is turning pink not only among visitors but also among those who welcome tourists in the wineries: 28% of wine enterprises open to the public employ only female staff, while 27% have a female majority. In contrast, only 6.1% of companies have an all-male staff in their hospitality department.

These statistics are not just numbers: they reflect a broader predisposition of women towards relationships and social interaction, aspects that play a crucial role in hospitality and customer service in wine tourism. Moreover, the higher education of women could be another factor contributing to their prevalence in the fields of trade, marketing, communication, and, of course, wine tourism.

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Women’s skill in storytelling is also reflected in the increase of their presence among wine bloggers and wine influencers. For example, at the 2020 Sommelier Choice Awards, 14 of the 21 winners were women, a figure that, although not representing a monopoly as in the field of food bloggers, nonetheless highlights a marked female predominance.

This demographic change in wine tourism not only enriches the industry with new perspectives and approaches but could also lead to innovations in how wine is marketed and presented to a broader and more diverse audience. Women are rewriting the rules of the game in wine tourism, transforming an ancient tradition into a contemporary and inclusive experience.