Bringing wine to the urban millennial market

Tuning the Vine is creating new ways of thinking, drinking and connecting within the wine industry of South Africa. The inner city wine route has given over 130 producers from every wine region in the Western Cape access to existing wine lovers and introduced them to the next generation of wine enthusiasts.

Recognizing a thirst for wine adventure and a need to disrupt winetasting traditions, Tuning the Vine co-creators Shereen Amos and Richard Mills, bring wine to the bustling inner city in a big way, creating a new wine experience through a monthly walking wine route. The duo craft a relaxed and accessible environment for interaction, exploration, education and indulgence in Cape Town’s newest and most exciting hotspots.

“This is the only wine event that draws a large millennial market; the format is completely different giving producers the opportunity to showcase wines in a fun, informal, urban context. It takes a product and carefully curates it into an integrated experience that gives winemakers a platform to engage with new audiences, particularly the eager millennial market, whose curiosity and individuality we initially targeted. Producers also get to form new relationships with venues,” says Amos.

“Tuners are expanding their worlds, finding out about new producers, tasting new varietals and falling in love with fresh favourites as they move beyond the familiar wine experience.”

Tuning the Vine has attracted nearly 14 000 people, with more than 450 different tastings since October 2015. A recent market research survey of visitors to the event has revealed encouraging information for wine producers that supports the Tuning the Vine vision:

  • 45% of visitors would like to place orders for wine deliveries on the night
  • 53% of visitors have bought wines first tasted at the event
  • 40% of visitors have visited the farms of producers discovered at the event
  • 94% of visitors would recommend the event to a friend
  • Social media support has shown a 269.1% growth on Facebook and 79.3% growth and Twitter, with people aged 21 to 35 being the most prominent audience.

Held on the 2nd Wednesday of each month, Tuning the Vine is not only revolutionising wine tasting, it is bringing people into the CBD and giving them reason to walk around, take in the urban landscape and discover some of the top eateries, bars and galleries in Cape Town.

“Be it the tasty on the go food options, delicious supper choices, additional drinks and cocktails on sale or an exhibit of the space itself, each of the 30 #InnerCityWineRoute venues that have participated have been able to put their best forward and show visitors why their spot is worth returning to,” said Mills. “Each tuner on the night is a possible patron.”

Given the success of Tuning the Vine in Cape Town the organisers are now set to take Johannesburg by storm with the launch of the first Tuning the Vine Jozi in March 2017.

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