Wirra Wirra has been using the downtime created by the Covid-19 restrictions to evolve its customer tasting experience, fast-tracking a project that was originally intended for a summer launch.
All cellar door tastings will be seated, offering curated flights of its McLaren Vale reds and Adelaide Hills whites with the option of food tasting plates created by Harry’s Deli chef, Tom Boden.
“We had always planned to update our tasting room model and move away from the old ‘belly at the bar’ approach before the year’s end,” says CEO Andrew Kay.
“However, the shutdown has given us the opportunity to bring that project forward and reset our cellar door offering.
“It just so happens that a number of the changes we are making fit in perfectly with the post-Covid-19 world.
“These include seated tastings for all customers that will accommodate social distancing requirements and a more personalised approach that will see fewer people in the tasting room during the traditionally busy weekend and holiday periods.
“The team are very enthusiastic about showcasing our wines under this approach.
“In fact much of the work to get the space ready, inside and out, has been undertaken by staff who have not been able to perform their regular duties while our cellar door and Harry’s Deli café have been closed.”
Other changes include the installation of a large produce garden in front of cellar door which will provide ingredients for the creation of the tasting plates in cellar door and other items on the Harry’s Deli menu.
The pandemic and subsequent loss of on-premise, cellar door and café business saw the Wirra Wirra team adapt quickly to a rapidly changing market.
“We have had to amplify certain aspects of our business model and shift our focus in other areas,” says Kay.
“We ramped up our scheduled online activity, connecting with both our own database and tapping into our sponsorship agreement with SACA and the Adelaide Strikers to engage with their members.
“Our chef, Tom Boden created a new menu of delicious heat-at-home meals for local delivery and we brought forward a planned telesales campaign and used that to complement an online launch of the new vintage of Church Block.”
Kay says that even he was surprised by the response.
“Through March, April, May we will actually exceed our cellar door sales budgets, despite the fact that we have been closed to visitors during that period. It’s a positive reflection on the strength of the Wirra Wirra brand and the loyalty of our customers.”