Having been blogging about English wines for about a year, Elisabeth was becoming increasingly frustrated with the lack of an authoritative guide to which vineyards are open to the public.
English wines are higher quality than many people realise, but are often expensive. We have a strong belief that visiting vineyards and learning some of “the story” behind the production of local wines will be important in getting people to pay an additional premium. The harvest in 2013 was many times higher than that of the previous year, meaning that a substantial amount of still wine (sparkling will take 3 years or so more to produce) will come on to the market in 2014.
At a strategy meeting with fellow blogger Ian Hardwick, a plan was established to create a website to enable easy access to those vineyards that welcome visitors, using experience we had both gained working with various tourism bodies, including VisitBritain. Cellar Door sales is the term used when wines are sold directly by the producer, hence www.WineCellarDoor.co.uk was born.
Although use of online shop software for this purpose many not be immediately obvious, we felt it really important that we are using the site to “sell” the vineyard visitor experience. The ability to filter products by certain criteria, in this case by opening hours and facility, is also directly comparable to how an eCommerce site works.
Our call to action is to direct traffic to the vineyard’s own website – Powa’s facility to have “non-selling products” makes this really easy, it also means that we have the ability to sell related products in the future. Other relevant features of Powa, as well as the simple product and category management, are the excellent SEO and social network links.