1 - Global context of the challenge

Sogrape is a family-run group of companies and brands founded in 1942 by Fernando Van Zeller Guedes with the ambition of making Portuguese wines known throughout the world. The company produces wines in Portugal, Spain, Argentina, Chile, and New Zealand and has distribution companies in Europe, America, Africa, and Asia. Its wines are currently sold in more than 120 countries. The company also develops wine tourism experiences at its wineries, cellars and vineyards. In 2019, in Portugal, our visitors centers have received 350.000 visitors from 85 countries.

2 - Challenge/Opportunity definition

COVID-19 brought hard challenges to Sogrape’s wine tourism services. Visitors centers in Portugal were forced to close during the lockdown and its reopening in June imposed a reinvention of the experiences provided. Although the focus on the short run is the adaptation and the introduction of new experiences at the visitors centers, Sogrape believes that the increased digital life imposed by COVID may have made people more open to digital wine tourism experiences in the future. How to provide a virtual visit to our vineyards, wineries and cellars without losing the attributes most valuable by our visitors, such as the authenticity, the personal contact with a wine expert guide and the intense sensorial experience? How to explore the opportunities provided by digital, such as personalized services and suggestions?

3 - Why is it important?

In a context of high uncertainty regarding the return to normality in regards to travel and group experiences in closed spaces, the recovery of tourism seems distant. We need to reinvent our wine tourism experiences if we want to keep relevant. We have unused capacity, workforce and historical spoil that we might take advantage of it we managed to connect effectively with distant visitors.
At present time (Post Covid 19) we estimate having approximately 50% of unused capacity and availability of Human Resources with the potential to embrace new challenges.

4 - What do we want for the solution?

Through the use of digital tools, we aim for differentiated solutions and experiences that allow us to attract new consumers who value the integration of the digital experience with the face-to-face experience, thereby premiumizing experiences in order to allow an increase of ~50% average prices tickets per visitor in the different components of visits, experiences (digital and in person) and sale of wine and promotional materials.

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