Transforming Wine Tourism for Climate Action
Whether you just want to taste wine, meet the winemaker, do a cellar tour or wake up and mingle in the middle of a rural setting surrounded by vineyards, all these experiences are part of wine tourism. They take the magic around wine to a whole new level, bringing the experience to the consumer, or rather, the consumer to the experience. And for it to happen, an ecosystem of actors is engaged.
While the focus might be on stimulating wine sales, a wine tourism operation should be aligned with an organization’s culture, values and strategic objective. Beyond an individual business, it also creates a wider avenue of income that will benefit the community around it. It plays a key role in revealing and safeguarding the cultural heritage of wine, of turning visitors and customers into ambassadors – not only for a specific wine or estate, but also for the industry and the country.
Wine regions are being affected by climate change, and being wine tourism a direct extension of their businesses, how can it make a positive impact in their operation, rather than jeopardize it? Promote rather than reduce the resources available? Operate in a way as to minimize the impacts on the environment and improve the well-being of local communities? Foster rather that inhibit future travelers from enjoying the same experience?
Transforming wine tourism for climate action requires embracing a low carbon pathway with awareness, optimization, and education as key elements. Awareness: through measurement and disclosure of the emissions related to tourism activities and the setting of evidence-based targets. Optimization: through tools and strategies to scale-up mitigation and adaptation in the tourism sector with all stakeholders having a role to play. Education: by conveying this message to all stakeholders involved, namely consumers, and educating them on the need to act as stewards of the environment for that wine tourism experience to prevail in years to come.
In practical terms, this approach can manifest itself in endless ways, from the type of electricity you use in your tasting room, how you pick your guests from the airport, how you manage the waste your operation generates, from bottles to entry tickets, the type of ingredients you choose to serve in your restaurant, the flowers you plant in surrounding gardens and the water you use to irrigate them, to the amenities you choose in your hotel guestrooms.
In this Climate Talk we will debate how wine tourism businesses are dealing with the climate challenges and what is the role it can play on adapting and mitigating it.
We will gather different players from the wine tourism sector to discuss the major changes wine tourism needs to address a green transition. We’ll explore what have been the consumers' demands and expectations regarding this topic, and, in a very practical way, what are the measures they have been implementing to turn their wine tourism operation into a more efficient and environmentally friendly one. We will also approach what are the fundamental changes this path will bring into the modus operandi of the business? What are the barriers and the opportunities that can arise from it and risks involved? How can wine production values be aligned with the wine tourism operation?
Is your business being impacted by climate change challenges? Or is transformation being driven by your strategic vision, or just by consumers' demand?
What are the biggest transformations you believe are needed in the wine tourism sector?
What practices do you implement to preserve resources and the environment as a whole? Are these part of a holistic strategy or loose measures?
What are consumer’s demands regarding sustainable tourism?
CATHERINE LEPARMENTIER . FRANCE
MD at Great Wine Capitals
After having studied foreign languages applied to business and management, Catherine started her career in Bordeaux, working for the French local government in consulting small and medium business in the development of their export markets.
After one year in Zürich (Switzerland) for the same organisation she headed back to Bordeaux and started working for the Bordeaux Chamber of Commerce and Industry, a public body which tasks are to support the business development of private companies.
In 1998, Catherine oversaw the setup of an international network around wine and in June 1999, launched the Great Wine Capitals Global Network.
She is still in charge of the Network as its managing director and supervises the development of the organisation as well as the marketing and communication activities.
For the last twenty years, she has been working with a lot of conviction and energy in the development of wine tourism in the Bordeaux vineyards and through her activities with the Great Wine Capitals where she is has gathered valuable knowledge in global wine tourism.
ADRIAN BRIDGE . PORTUGAL
CEO at The Fladgate Partnership & The Porto Protocol Foundation
Adrian Bridge moved to Portugal in 1994 to grow the Taylor Fladgate and Fonseca Porto brands in the UK and USA. In 1998, he became CEO of the Taylor Fonseca Group, spearheading its expansion by acquiring valuable industry assets, including Croft and Delaforce Port, and forming an enlarged group called The Fladgate Partnership.
Adrian has been at the forefront of innovation and change in the Port industry. In 2008 he created rosé Port, the first new category for a generation, and launched the super-premium Port segment with the high profile release of Taylor’s Scion in 2010. In 2014 he expanded the luxury gifting market with a series of 50-year-old Single Harvest Ports.
Adrian created The Yeatman, Porto’s first world class luxury hotel, later adding two more iconic properties to the group’s portfolio, The Vintage House and Hotel Infante Sagres.
Adrian is the creative force behind the concept and construction of the World of Wine which includes 6 museums / experiences, 10 restaurants / bars, a wine school and retail arcade. This new cultural district has been implemented in 35,000 m2 in the historic Port lodge area of the city and was opened on the 31st July 2020.
Adrian is leader and mentor of the Porto Protocol, a global climate change initiative as well as a member of the Strategic Tourism Council of Porto and North of Portugal.
CARO FEELY . FRANCE
Director at Chateaux Feely
Caro Feely is co-owner of Chateau Feely organic, biodynamic estate; author and certified wine educator. She holds a BCom, an MCom (Economics), WSET L3 and has 15 years’ experience in organic farming, winemaking, tourism and writing and more than 30 years entrepreneurship and project management experience. Caro writes, speaks and teaches about wine (www.frenchwineadventures.com) and creates organic, biodynamic and natural wines at Chateau Feely in France (www.Chateaufeely.com).
Chateau Feely is an leader in organic and biodynamic wine and wine tourism. They are winners of the Best Of Wine Tourism Gold trophy for the greater Bordeaux region in 2017, accommodation, and in 2013 for environmental practices.
In 2020 they launched a new range of virtual experiences offering clients the chance to visit, taste and learn about Feely wines from anywhere.
HEIDI NEWTON-KING . SOUTH AFRICA
Sustainability Manager at Spier
Fired up by Spier’s intention to build a powerful values based culture and sustainable business practices, Heidi signed up to the team in 1998. She has been the lynchpin for many of Spier’s community partnerships and has brokered several successful collaborations. She is convinced that a sea change is possible if we all do small things differently, every day.
Heidi is strategically responsible for the Human Resources and Sustainability portfolio of the Spier group of Companies. She transitioned into the Sustainability portfolio after a five-year stint running the Leisure operations at Spier in 2013. She has over twenty years Human Resources and Business experience largely in the financial services and tourism industries. Prior to Spier, Heidi was with the Hollard Insurance Company for seven years. She completed her Masters in Sustainability with Ashridge Business School in the United Kingdom in 2016.
Currently, Heidi is the Vice-Chairperson of the board of trustees at the WildTrust Conservation in Kwa Zulu Natal and Chairs the Sustainability Institute board based in Lynedoch Stellenbosch.