In the world of wine, Italy is one of the countries with the most labels.
The biodiversity it offers is unique, from the sea to the hills via the endless countryside and mountains, which produce nationally and internationally renowned excellence.
As stated in a ‘winetourism.com’ article, our peninsula is home to no less than 330 native grape varieties, which produce wines that differ according to climate, temperature, soil, and method of cultivation and production. Across the country, we also have more than 400 appellations between DOC (controlled designation of origin) and DOCG (controlled and guaranteed designation of origin), and each bottle is unique and differs in taste and origin.
The main areas we all hear about are certainly the Veneto region with Prosecco cultivated and produced in the UNESCO World Heritage hills of Conegliano-Valdobbiadene, Amarone from Valpolicella in Verona, Barbera in Piedmont; going down towards the centre of Italy, Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino in the region of Tuscany, and then on to the island of Sicily with Moscato di Pantelleria.
In order to enhance this wine heritage, more and more companies are deciding to invest in the creation of unique and valuable experiences for the foreign tourists who explore our lands every year and for all Italians eager to get to know the territory, its tradition and its products.
Tasting and Wine Tours are certainly the activities that many Italian wineries offer their guests. In addition to visiting the winery and tasting the wines produced, there are proposals such as the grape harvest in September/October, where picking grapes becomes an activity that involves both young and old. Other proposals can be picnics in the vineyard, lunches or dinners between the rows, parties or aperitifs in the so called “bellussera” and many other unique experiences that vary from one winery to the next.
The tasting followed by a guided tour of the winery is certainly the most classic and ordinary experience package that every winery offers its guests, and, today more than ever, to compete in the sector it is essential to invest in the skills of each operator to make this a sensory and high-level experience. Furthermore, more and more people want to go beyond the classic tasting experience, they want to discover the world surrounding the wine industry, learn how the vineyard is cared for and interact with those who, with their own hands, make the products they taste. This type of experience can be considered an entertainment and leisure activity, but in recent times it is becoming above all an opportunity for personal growth and enrichment thanks to the guests’ curiosity.
The wine tourist wants to live an emotional experience, a memory that is linked to the tradition of the place and the food, the territory and the surrounding landscape.
To create an excellent guest and customer experience we must first know our target audience and understand what emotions and deep motivations characterise those who live the experience we have created.
In fact, we are addressing the tourist who is passionate about the world of wine, who chooses to embark on a journey of discovery in a cultural context integrated with tradition and well-being. He is curious, always looking for something new, and wants to get to know the winery and the producer personally.
The wine tourist, with increasingly sophisticated tastes and knowledge, desires and expects a true wine experience, which can encompass ancient traditions, extraordinary food, breathtaking landscapes and historic and/or innovative wineries. Above all, the tourist expects to be welcomed, wants to feel human warmth, to be listened to and desires to be surprised.
In order to create a valuable experience for our guest, a very important figure has emerged in recent years, that of the Wine Hospitality Manager, who, in addition to accompanying and welcoming guests, has the responsibility and goal of making their experience a magical and unforgettable memory. This person must inevitably be driven by passion for his or her work in this sector and, in addition to possessing technical knowledge, must also master certain skills, such as attention and care for detail, friendliness and communication skills, flexibility and empathy with guests and customers.
His/Her job is to provide excellent service, meeting quality standards, analysing every detail to avoid any problems. All this with the main goal of making guests happy, making sure they are satisfied and feel at ease from the moment they arrive and are welcomed until the moment their experience ends.
As is now clear from these reflections, the focus must be on the guest, who is increasingly demanding and looking for memories to imprint on his or her memory.
It is no longer enough to make a wine of excellent quality, it is necessary to know how to tell and communicate it in the best possible way, since the welcome must be consistent with the identity and philosophy of the winery because, in the eyes of visitors, everything they see, experience and taste represents an image of it.
Training and competence are necessary to fulfil the role of Wine Hospitality Manager. Creating experiences that are unique and personal is the goal that those in this role must keep in mind.
Sipping a good glass means conveying tradition and culture, where the hands of man and nature have come together to exalt a wine. Hospitality has always been an added value that makes the experience an important moment that leads the guest to return, to evoke their memories. Knowing how to capture the intimate essence of all that is concealed in a smile means enhancing a thousand-year-old tradition that has always belonged to our culture.
Hospite – The Italian Hospitality Academy