Due to the pandemic and the associated lockdowns, only a few tastings could take place at wineries last year. However, since wine tastings play a significant role in direct sales and account for a large share of the annual turnover of many wineries, an alternative had to be found: online wine tastings. This tool was used worldwide to compensate for the losses caused by Covid 19. The pandemic forced both consumers and producers to adapt their behaviour and find alternative ways to communicate. The study presented here provides insight into how wineries around the world have engaged with online wine tasting and how this innovative online tool can help overcome the crisis.
The survey took place within the framework of an international cooperation between Geisenheim University and Winetourism.com. The study aimed to provide an overview of the current state of online wine tasting around the world and to find out how it can be carried out successfully. In January 2021, a total of 1,423 wineries from 42 countries participated in a large-scale online survey. Most of the responding wineries came from the traditional wine countries Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Portugal and Austria. German and Italian wineries together accounted for about half of all respondents. However, wineries from the "New World," such as the USA, Australia or Chile, also participated in the study. In terms of company size, there was a wide range among respondents from small to large wineries. This made it possible to examine differences between individual countries as well as different farm sizes.