There’s certainly no denying the recent shift in wine marketing innovation taking place all over Australia. In this day and age, it is simply not enough to provide a nice oaky red. Cellar door guests are looking for more than a standard day of wine tasting and wineries have begun to advance their marketing tools in order to appeal to this new market. Both new and old wine brands have jumped on board in order to keep up.

In response, some of South Australia’s established wineries have started to incorporate technology into their winery experiences to gain attention. SA famous labels 19 Crimes and Seppeltfield have launched new and exciting ways to engage with a younger and savvy audience that is harder to capture in order to keep up with new and innovative wineries like d’Arenberg’s Cube, the McLaren Vale’s new modern wine wonderland.

19 Crimes Augmented Reality

If I were to tell you that a deadly Australian criminal wanted to tell you their life story would you be nervous or fascinated, or both? Don’t worry, with 19 Crime’s new augmented reality app, the criminals are safely locked away behind the screen of your smart device. Readily available for free download through the Apple App and Google Play stores, the AR app gives voices to the stories of numerous convicts sent from Britain to Australia in the late 18th and early 19th centuries when a device is held on top of the label on the bottle.

The campaign aims to entice consumers to engage with the 19 Crimes’ wine bottles – even if only for a second in the bottle shop! Also, it sure is a brilliant dinner party talking point. This capability gives the label a unique distinction and drives 19 Crimes’ sales up and away from similar or emerging wine labels. It’s no surprise that the campaign was a huge success, generating over 153 million impressions on social media and over 1.2M downloads of the app.

Even though 19 Crimes is the first winery to use an AR type marketing scheme, I can bet that it will a widely used tactic in the coming years because of its overwhelming popularity and success. Learn more about the campaign and its tremendous results here.

Virtual Reality Wine Tours

Another first in the wine marketing industry is Seppeltfield’s virtual wine tour. Released way back in 2016, the virtual tour allows individuals to tour the beautiful Barossa Valley premises from the comfort of their own couch. The tour is compatible with any smart device, with or without a VR headset, giving all those interested a chance to see what the Seppeltfield Estate has to offer. The VR tour is available on the Seppelfield website or by scanning a quick response (QR) code, which appears on all Seppeltfield wine labels.

Riverland Wine, the governing body of the Riverland wine region in South Australia, was one of a few organisations that will use government tourism founding to create a VR wine experience to be released in 2019. The reasoning and motivation behind VR promotion is said to rest in international wine tourism due to Australia’s wine popularity in China. By giving overseas consumers access to a VR wine experience, the labels are offering a glimpse of what Australian wineries have to offer and hopefully excite a new market enough to purchase their products or even take a trip Down Under to get a taste of the real thing!

d’Arenberg Cube Interactive Cellar Door

As mentioned earlier, nothing says innovation quite like the new d’Arenberg Wines cellar door. Located in South Australia’s McLaren Vale wine region, “The Cube” offers an interactive visitor centre to go along with their top-notch wine tasting and stylish restaurant. Chester Osborn, the man behind “The Cube”, left nothing out when designing the innovative installation. Only $10 to visit, the all glass emporium includes a wine sensory room, a vineyard virtual reality room (say that five times fast), and a virtual fermenter… And that’s just on the first floor!

It should go without saying that “The Cube” is highly perceived by its customers and hugely visited. The vineyard’s TripAdvisor page has warranted a 4.5-star average with over 550 reviews. Additionally, the flashy building’s innovative experience was awarded the International Best of Wine Tourism Award back in November. “The Cube” perfectly demonstrates the new world of wine tourism and how the taste of the wine and the friendliness of the cellar door staff – while still important – just ain’t cuttin’ it no more.

Technology in the wine industry, which drives wine experiences, is advancing at a rapid pace. The game at play now is for winery managers to keep ahead in the race and deliver innovative marketing techniques that will wow consumers, turning their heads away from the competition. But, in the meantime before the next marketing marvel is created, modernisms such as digital menus, QR codes, or social media location tagging are simple tools a winery can introduce to improve its experience quickly and inexpensively.

It’s definitely a typical case of ‘watch this space’!

About the author

After moving to Australia from the United States, Julia Ball found a love for writing and marketing communications. She is currently enrolled in her third year at the University of Adelaide, double majoring in Creative Writing and Marketing. She is now interning with Purple Giraffe and hopes to pursue a career as a copywriter in the future.