Work together to attract international wine tourists to the Riverland was the key takeaway message from the international wine tourism experts who visited our region on June 22 as part of a state wide tour organised by the Adelaide Great Wine Capitals Steering Committee.
The three international speakers – Clay Gregory, President and CEO of Visit Napa Valley in the US; Jacques-Oliver Pesme, from the KEDGE Business School in Bordeaux, France; and Miguel Ribeiro from the Monverde Wine Experience Hotel in Porto, Portugal – shared their experiences gained through establishing their own regions as international wine tourism destinations.
Each of the speakers spoke about the range of features wine tourists are looking for, which go well beyond the cellar door. They want quality accommodation and dining options, cultural displays and events and an opportunity to explore the natural environment. The key to this is for wine, food and tourism businesses to work together to present and promote the region and all it has to offer.
Our guests also encouraged us to be authentic and focus on the Riverland’s uniqueness and strengths. We are leaders in clean, sustainable, wine and food production. We offer a multitude of healthy, outdoor experiences such as houseboat holidays, water sports and hiking. And most of all, we have the Murray River with its serene beauty and abundant wildlife.
The event was well attended by representatives of businesses and agencies from across the Riverland wine tourism sector.
Following their presentations our guests were joined by the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, the Hon Tim Whetstone, to sample a fabulous lunch featuring local food and wine, presented by Banrock Station. They then travelled to Waikerie where they boarded the Grape Escape and toured the river down to Caudo Vineyard.
This international visit helped to open up the conversation about how Riverland wine, food and tourism businesses can work together to make the region a ‘go to’ destination for wine tourists. As we roll out Riverland on the Verge, our international wine tourism project recently funded through Wine Australia, Riverland Wine and our project partners, PIRSA, the University of Adelaide and 57 Films will be working together with Destination Riverland to present further opportunities for local wine, food and tourism operators to join together to make it happen.