(Eneo is a magazine for profesionals of the Spanish wine market) — Versión original en español.
“Wine lovers should have this application, because we aim to make it the central app for all wine tourism around the world.”
Interview with Tomas Voltz, founder of Wine.Pop
Nina Jareño 09/01/2017
There are ideas which get born out of necessity and other which simply appear. There also are mixed ideas, ideas which are a combination. This probably is the case with Wine.Pop, an application which concentrates information about hundreds of wineries, so that any wine tourist can find what he or she is looking for. “Real wine culture”, how it’s founder, Tomas Voltz, defines it.
What is Wine.Pop and in which countries and languages is it available?
Wine.Pop is an application and website platform for wine tourism, which allows tourists to find wineries in their vicinity and discover many they have never heard of. We want wineries of all sizes to be able to present themselves to the world. The app runs in 10 languages, so tourists from everywhere can use it: Spanish, Catalan, Euskara, English, French, German, Italian, Chinese, Japanese and Russian.
Tomas Voltz, founder of Wine.Pop
What services do you offer to wineries?
Wineries have an amazing platform to present themselves (even for those, who currently do not offer enotourism). The app includes: Reviews of the visiting experience, general and special information about the winery, visiting hours, contact phone numbers, email, website, google maps to find them easily, their social media like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc., all their products including detailed descriptions plus photo, sign-up for winery newsletters, direct links to their online shops, and where you can find their products around the world. The wineries have access to all their information 24/7 and can change them at any time.
Are there different levels of membership?
No. The annual Price is 149€, no matter how much and in how many languages you enter your information or how big or how small your winery is.
The main menu is simple and intuitive
Some wineries have museums. Does Wine.Pop offer something for them?
For museums we offer our audio guide system, which is built into the app. Museums do not need to buy or maintain any special equipment, because the visitors can listen to the guide right on their own smartphones. This feature can also be used for wine tours in foreign languages.
Where did the idea come from?
Having written half a dozen books in Switzerland, the last one also as an app and internet presence, one day, driving through Penedés and seeing so many amazing wineries I had never heard of, I researched and found out, that international tourists have almost no way to find information about most of these wineries and how to visit them. The same is true for most other areas of wine production in Spain. But often a tourist is interested in not only visiting the big brands but for a change also smaller ones. After further research and an extensive survey among 250 wineries in Catalunya, I started to develop Wine.Pop.
What is the main motivation to build this application?
From the beginning the prime goal has been, to increase the visibility of wineries for tourists around the world. We would like tourists to have one central app, where they can find all important information about wineries anywhere, so it becomes easy for them to visit and enjoy a great experience. It’s not just about wine, it’s about enjoying the culture of the country.
Which other goals do you have with the creation of this application?
We would like tourists from around the world to discover the wide variety of wines from small, medium and big wineries, and we want wineries to have one central platform, where they can reach tourists around the world. No tourist coming to Barcelona, for example, is willing to download 15 different apps and look at 50 websites to find a winery near them. Easy access to all information and in your own language is the key to marketing success.
Wineries can translate their audio guide into any language they wish.
Why should a tourist register with Wine.Pop?
Tourists who are wine lovers should have it, because it aims to become the central app for all wine tourism around the world. We are currently talking to wineries in more than 10 countries. Users can download Wine.Pop for free without any registration. For legal reasons we however a need a registration (or login with Facebook, Google+ or Twitter), when the user would like to write a review.
What do you think is the potential, wine tourism has for wineries?
Enoturism is a gold mine for wineries, when they can reach not only their local clients, but expand to reach international tourists. In a survey I did in Catalunya in 2015 with small and medium sized wineries I noticed, that currently about 70% of all wine tourism is local. The millions of foreigners are an incredible market opportunity for all of Spain. Enotourism offers the potential to create an emotional relationship with the consumer. When you visit a winery and feel the dedication of the winemaker and then taste his creations, you will relive this experience when you become a regular customer of that winery.
Wine.Pop shows a map with all bodegas nearby the current position of the wine tourist.
Do you think the size of a winery has an influence on this potential?
I think the size has different effects: For big wineries enotourism is an important factor to strengthen their brand. For smaller wineries it is often the only way, to make themselves a name and gain friends for a lifetime. When a tourist visits a smaller winery, he often feels welcome like becoming the member of a family.
Where will wine tourism go in Spain? National or international?
The future market is definitely the international traveller who is looking for extraordinary experiences. This is why language skills are becoming more and more important. It’s like in a restaurant: When you have the choice between the menu in your own language or a foreign language, you normally prefer the one in your own language. The whole wine sector of Spain can play a major role in showing visitors aspects of this proud nation, which can have a long term benefit for all.
Are Spanish wineries not prepared for wine tourism?
There are three aspects: First is the visibility in this electronic world. For many wineries it is impossible to constantly write in Facebook, upload photos, and all of this in different languages, etc. So we can help here with our app and the presence on the internet. Second, our team has visited more than 300 Spanish wineries, and based on our experience, we are ready to consult any winery about improving their enotourism offer. Third and most important: Enotourism isn’t something magic, where you have to go to dozens of seminars. You don’t have to meet any so-called “international standard”. The most important is to be authentic. Be who you are. Let visitors feel how you feel about your wine, show them your emotional relationship to what you are producing. Wine is life. So live and enjoy being a host to visitors from around the world.
Translation: Tomas Voltz
Copyright © 2017 grupo NOVA ÀGORA, Barcelona, http://www.novaagora.com/