We’ve grappled with the ‘Why’ of Twenty Five Doors for years. We always knew the what — personalised self-guided itineraries of wine regions to find the best cellar doors — but the why has taken longer. Why is this a good thing? Why should anyone — let alone the wine industry itself — care about what we were doing? And who am I to them? I’ve never ran a cellar door. I’ve never worked in a winery. I can’t even say I’ve really sold wine.
We’ve spent hours upon hours researching, talking to consumers, conducting surveys, sitting in cellar doors, trying to find a single nugget that we can say is at the heart of what Twenty Five Doors is about. I’ve explored the notion of profitability, qualified traffic, of saving the cellar door, of the ‘evil’ retail landscape that dominates wine sales; and yeah, sure, they are all part of it, but really, they were just positioning Twenty Five Doors as a solution looking for a problem.
Ironically, the why is much simpler, and it’s about the visitor, not about the winery (although the winery also benefits, arguably more than the visitor, if we focus on the visitor). The visitor just wants authenticity, a good time and a personal experience. They don’t want to feel like they are just another person standing at the bar. But unfortunately, that’s exactly how visitors feel at most cellar doors in Australia.
So it’s about personal connection. That’s it. Nothing more. Nothing less. But personal connection in the cellar door and for a winery isn’t that easy to achieve. There are so many dynamics to navigate to make it real. That’s how we’re contributing: one-by-one we’re going to overcome the hurdles and make it easy for wineries to create a personal connection with the people that come through the door. Great things will come of it, for many reasons, not the least that great things always flow from a personal connection.