Wine & Food Tourism and Festivals.
Wine & Food Tourism and Festivals
EVALUATION REPORT OF A CELLAR DOOR ‘EXPERIENCE’
The purpose of this assignment is for the student to evaluate a personal, real-life wine tourism experience measured against certain theoretical concepts. Specific
parameters make it possible for the student to gain insight into how theoretical concepts and reality intersect in the realm of the experiential.
A wine and food tourism destination should arguably strive towards supplying a visitor with a satisfactory experience or experiences. Much of this process relies on
communication taking place in various forms, whether it involves a picture you see on TV, the people at the tasting counter, a display on a cellar door wall or a neat
parking space (non-people factors). Emphasis on certain forms of communication can have an impact on the experience of the visitor. Such communication can therefore be
specifically managed to ‘guide’ the visitor experience and make the most of the resources the cellar door and/or winery property has to offer.
Write an evaluation report on your own experience of a visit to a cellar door you have never visited before. Use the given parameters and report only on the following
aspects of the topic:
Part A: Communication
How did the communication process related to the destination (involving both people and non-people factors) impact on your experience?
This part of the evaluation report should cover:
• the information search you as a potential visitor executed prior to the visit and the results evaluated in terms of what destination communications are possible in
theory and what your could have access to.
• verbal communication that shaped your experience at cellar door during the time of the visit (including with staff and/or visitors other than your own group),
• non-people factors that could also ‘communicate’ about the destination in this context, for example the facility and amenities available, displays, merchandise,
information like brochures or tasting notes and price lists available on site, the surrounding landscape/scenery, parking area, etc.
• options of future communication with the destination. Comment on the availability or not of such options.
Part B: Fulfilment of expectations
Report on whether your expectations as a visitor were fulfilled and what role the communication process played in this.
DETAILED GUIDE ON HOW TO DO THIS
1 Parameters and how to execute the assignment:
• This assignment requires the student to visit a cellar door in person one time only and during that visit to evaluate certain aspects of the experience. You will
thus be a first time visitor.
• The evaluation report cannot be written on an experience that happens at the cellar door where the student is an employee. She or he has to visit another cellar door
for this assignment in order to have an objective view of the ‘experience’. Students will be penalised for not adhering to this instruction.
• Choose any cellar door you have never visited before, because this will allow you to have a fresh (first ever) take on the kind of experience you are having. Do not
go to a cellar door where a friend works and may serve you at the tasting counter. This will rob you of a unique opportunity to have that magical experience of doing
something for the first time!
• This is an individual project for each student. No group work is allowed. However, wine and food tourism is social in nature and rarely undertaken by a single
person. Take a friend with on this mission, but not a student writing a report as well!
• Taste wine responsibly! Consider taking a friend with as a non-tasting driver.
• Visit the cellar door incognito and think of yourself as a first-time day visitor to the cellar door/facility with certain expectations, rather than alerting the
tasting room staff to your actual mission.
• Visit the cellar door with a note book at hand, but do not make notes where the cellar door staff can see you are doing this or ‘interview’ anybody in any way. You
are playing the role of visitor at all times and ask questions and interact accordingly. This is not about writing a critique on cellar door staff skills. This is a
confidential and quite unique report on your own experience.
• It is important to be completely open to what you are engaging in, because you are in this instance a visitor with certain needs and expectations and these may
change as the experience progresses.
2 How to research the theory and compile the report:
2.1 Prior to the visit write the ‘Expectations list’:
Remember you are both being and playing the role of a wine tourist here and will in this case plan the visit by finding information beforehand. Make a list of your
expectations before you start the visit based on what the information indicates is possible to experience, BUT what you would like to do and experience. Obviously as
an individual you have preferences and might not necessary take to riding the bike track or pay $15 for a structured wine tasting.
A visitor would in the course of events have expectations in their head rather than on paper as a list! However, expectations can also develop as the experience
progresses. So your personal list of expectations can be added to as you progress with the visit, for example you might see the cellar door unexpectedly has a special
port tasting on and you could benefit from being right there.
2.2 Prior to the visit research the relevant theory
Part A Communication process
• Find theoretical, peer reviewed information on the why, how and what of communication about a destination in a tourism context, with specific reference to a wine
• Then find what information you as a potential visitor can access, by whatever methods, for example via internet, a visit to SATC office, email to request a
pamphlet, asking a friend who has been there (word-of-mouth), etc. You do not have to do all possible things, but take note of what information is actually available
in relation to what could be available in theory. Remember you are planning the visit as a wine tourist would do. Your expectations will be affected by what
information you find before and during the visit.
• During the actual visit take note of what communication takes place in person keeping in mind how this imparts information about the destination and how it impacts
on your experience at and of the destination.
• Review the non-people communication in terms of what it ‘says’ about the destination and how it impacted on your experience. This is not a right or wrong issue,
rather it is an evaluation of your experience measured against the relevant theory on destination communication.
Part B Fulfilment of needs and expectations
• Simply state the expectations you had and then measure and evaluate these against what you experienced and comment on the impact the communication process had on
the fulfilment of these.
• Find information on theory concepts relating to expectations (not motivations).
• Conclude the report by stating your views on the destination communication process in terms of you personal experience.