Thursday, 4 February 2021

Change in approach proves a huge success for a Tasmanian winery


Family owned Delamere Vineyard in Tasmania is to launch a video showcasing its wine-flight tasting concept.

From tomorrow, Shane Holloway and Fran Austin, the husband and wife team at Delamere, will launch an evocative new video explaining the new tasting experience at their cellar door in Pipers River.

"We all know what a challenging year 2020 was for everyone," says Fran. "Here at Delamere, venue closures, travel restrictions and social distancing meant our normal channels of getting wine to market and connecting with our direct customers all but collapsed. 

"Like small business operators across the country, we got busy doing what small business owners do best: Innovating!

"The initial shut down gave us space to take stock and think about our business differently. As restrictions began to ease, we decided to finally act on an idea we’d been tossing around for years -moving from the traditional bar-style wine tastings, to a more formalised format of wine-tasting flights.

"The experience involves a curated tasting of 4 x 35ml samples of wine, presented in stemless glassware, delivered on a beautiful custom-made wooden board, with four flight options on offer.

Re-opening cellar door was a huge decision — we were incredibly conscious of how we went about safely sharing our wines and our vineyard in these uncertain times. This new tasting concept allowed for comfortable, seated tastings, eliminated the potential for glass-to-glass contamination when pouring from the same bottle and provided full flexibility to distance our cellar door customers as required.

"Importantly, we believed the new format would let us not only maintain, but actually improve our customer service, allowing us to better share the breadth of what we do at the winery, the different wine styles, how the wines are crafted and why they taste the way they do. It really is the most interesting and educational way to learn about wine. 

Sounds great, right? The only catch was, we weren’t sure at the time if people would understand the concept and would be prepared to pay the tasting fee. We planned to add a booking system to our cellar door website, to help manage visitor number restrictions.

So, the idea came to us to develop video footage to accompany the booking system, explaining the tasting concept in a visual way."

The tasting flights have now been up and running successfully for three months. And most people opt for the ‘Prestige’ flight (the most expensive one). 

"Our fears about the acceptance of the concept have proven unfounded, and our belief that it is a much more engaging way to teach people about wine is beyond doubt," says Fran. 

"It may have helped that many of our peers locally implemented a similar tasting concept around the same time (Holm Oak, Moores Hill and Stoney Rise just to name a few). As the saying goes, great minds think alike!

The video, produced as a result of a Covid-19 recovery grant program from George Town Council and Bell Bay Aluminium and in co-operation with local videographer Jasper da Seymour, captures the essence of the Delamere experience. 

Here is a sneak peek. https://vimeo.com/508168177

The video will launch from tomorrow. 


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