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The impacts of COVID-19 have been devastating for the 18 wine regions of South Australia. Overnight, over 400 of the cellar doors that make Adelaide a great wine capital of the world were forced to close their doors in an effort to slow the spread of the virus. Tasting rooms once bustling with tourists fell silent, restaurant seats were neatly stacked, and winery accommodations were empty as people heeded the Government’s advice - stay home to flatten the curve.
Wine businesses turned to their consumer channels in an effort to stay afloat. Mailing lists received a letter, telephone lists got a call and email lists were bombarded with special offers to deliver products to peoples doors. While customers responded by giving any support they could, people yearned for a connection. A connection to their favourite brand and regions; something to bring back memories of happier times and reminded consumers why they loved those wines.
These are three key initiatives that are happening in Adelaide, South Australia:
Wine Communicators of Australia have produced a series of webinars designed to help wine brands navigate these challenging times. One of these, ‘Real Wine in the Virtual World - How to use Live Streaming to turn your Website into a Cellar Door’ is presented by Professor Roberta Crouch (Flinders University), and helps guide wineries to convert their digital presence into sales.
Happy Hour Chat Show
Cult Adelaide Hills wine producers, Unico Zelo, (co-owner Brendan Carter pictured above) are hosting a live stream chat show ‘Happy Hour’, which brings the wine community together – industry and consumers, to navigate the impacts of COVID-19 as a collective. Tune in daily at 5pm at Australia Central Standard time on their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/UnicoZelo
Meet the winemaker
Online ‘Meet the Winemaker’ sessions can be fun, but are even more entertaining and educational if you can follow while sampling wines from the producer. Adelaide Hills based winemakers Simon Tolley of Tolley Wines, David Bowley of Vinteloper Wines, and James Lindner of Langmeil Wines in the Barossa, are taking part in these ticketed sessions.
Participants will get access to online sessions, three bottles of wine for the cellar, and three 50mL samples to taste along with the winemaker while watching.This is a great initiative where innovation meeting convenience. Tickets can be purchased here. Sessions are open to Australian residents only.