INNOVATIVE WINE TOURISM EXPERIENCE
What makes your service different and excellent for your customers in this particular category?
Once a year #DrinkChenin day shines a spotlight on South African Chenin Blanc by engaging millions of wine consumers from around the world across industry events, at cellar doors and on social media.
In the winter of 2022, the Chenin Blanc Association launched the first ever “Chenin Safari” – a six-week long challenge that kicked off on #DrinkChenin day. The challenge offered an opportunity for the fast-growing sport of mountain biking to intersect with a passion for Chenin Blanc. Two subcultures colliding in an engaging, self-paced event where participants were challenged to see how many of the 17 Chenin Safari stops across several Western Cape wine regions they could visit between June 18th and July 30th 2022.
The impact of your service and its contribution to tourism, and especially wine tourism, and to the economy in your region.
Since the growing network of mountain bike trails in the Western Cape often traverse our magnificent winelands, the Chenin Blanc Association wanted to promote an opportunity for cyclists and wine lovers to enjoy both, while promoting Chenin Blanc and the 17 producers who signed up to be Chenin Safari stops. Many riders use the biking trails, without ever stopping at the winery tasting rooms and this incentivised outdoor enthusiast to also explore a different aspect of the winelands. The 17 participating wineries supported the initiative by offering special Chenin tastings or discounts on tasting experiences or wine purchases.
Do you network with other regional institutions/services, especially related to wine
The Chenin Blanc Association partnered with the Wine Lands Cycling Club, Women on Wheels MTB, the Bottelary Hills Renosterveld Conservancy, Bot River wineries and the Franschhoek Wine Valley to create four safari loops to ride plus two Chenin destinations worthy of exploring: Perdeberg Wines in Paarl and Van Loveren Family Wines in Robertson.
List your wine related original and innovative activities that create a distinctive experience for the visitors
Since it was the first Chenin Safari, participation was limited to 100 people who had to register on a first come, first served basis and pay a R200 entry fee which covered the necessary riding permits. The reward for successful participants who visited at least 6 Chenin Safari destinations was a designer #DrinkChenin cycling shirt. While visiting the Chenin Safari stops by mountain bike was not mandatory to qualify, the challenge did entice many mountain biking enthusiasts to explore MTB trails that they may not have visited before, and to pop in and taste some of SA’s amazing Chenin Blanc wines at the winery tasting facilities. According to the rules of the challenge, participants had to post about their experiences on social media using special purpose hashtags – giving further exposure to the producers and the spectacular mountain bike trails. Some of the results can be seen on:
#DrinkChenin website: https://www.drinkchenin.co.za/cheninsafari
We saw individuals, families, friends and work colleagues make plans to participate and the actual visitors to the participating wineries included riders and non-riders that exceeded the number of Chenin Safari entries.
This cultivar-specific promotion was more engaging and interactive than typical events and promos that usually focus on restaurants and retail. It enticed consumers to visit tasting rooms and wine routes that they would not have visited had it not been for the Chenin Safari.
The Chenin Safari was bookended by a fun ride, hosted by the Wine Lands Cycle Club and Ken Forrester Wines and Chenin Festival at the launch, where all 17 producers could showcase and sell their wines and the closing fun ride hosted by the Bottelary Hills Conservancy and Jordan Wine Estate.
How do you promote these activities?
The marketing for the Chenin Safari was 100% online, with social media posts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Participating wineries also included the event on their feeds and newsletters. Entry was via a custom built section of the #DrinkChenin website.