Cellar door and direct-to-consumer survey report

About the report

Direct-to-consumer (DTC) wine sales have grown exponentially in Australia over the last decade, emulating the growth seen in countries such as the United States where DTC sales represent a significant portion of the overall market. That growth has been documented in annual reports undertaken by various industry organisations which, in turn, has provided American wineries with essential data to assist in growing this important distribution channel.

The inaugural Cellar door and direct-to-consumer (DTC) survey was conducted in August 2018 as part of the Australian Government’s $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support Package. Information was collected on:

  • Annual wine production (9-litre cases)
  • Total revenue by sales channel
  • Direct-to-consumer sales
  • Cellar door operations: days of opening, facilities offered, tasting styles
  • Visitor numbers and conversion to sales
  • Wine and loyalty club membership
  • Customer relationship management

In this report, ‘direct-to-consumer’ includes any means of selling directly to a consumer – e.g. cellar door, wine and loyalty clubs, events, winery website, phone and mail order sales.

The survey will be conducted annually in August-September.

Report summary

Key insights from the 2018 report include:

  • Direct-to-consumer sales in Australia account for an average of 7 per cent of a winery’s income – with total revenue from DTC sales across all winery size categories being just under $600,000 on average in 2017-18
  • Nearly 90 per cent of wineries in Australia have a cellar door, with this channel accounting for up to half of all DTC sales across the different winery size categories.
  • Only 29 per cent of wineries charge for standard wine tastings, with the majority offering reimbursement of tasting fees based on a purchase of wine.
  • 60 per cent of wineries have a wine club and/or loyalty club, with net growth in wine club membership being 14 per cent in 2017-18.

About the survey

The report is based on the results of a survey of Australia's 2000+ winemakers conducted in August 2018 as part of the Australian Government’s $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support Package.

This project has developed a series of key benchmarks and statistics to assist wineries develop their wine tourism and DTC activities by providing accurate data.

Aims of the research project included:

  • gathering and analysing data to assist wineries implement best-practice DTC strategies
  • allowing the Australian wine sector’s adoption of DTC activities to be compared with those of the United States (as reported in the annual WBM/SVB Tasting Room Survey), and
  • providing foundation data that can be used as the basis for future monitoring of the adoption of DTC strategies within the Australian wine sector.

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