5 Reasons why Stellenbosch Wineries Should & Do Welcome Students onto their Farms
1. The freeloading partyheads of today are the buyers of tomorrow. It seems obvious but every high-net-worth lawyer, doctor, accountant whose wallet share you’re chasing today, started out life as the grungy, acne-ridden student you’ve just chased off the premises yesterday. Students are like Father Christmas and they’re going to remember who was naughty and who was nice to them when it comes to filling up the cellar of their mansion in Clifton.
2. Why wait till tomorrow? – students can be the buyers of today as well. Not every student is poor - many of them manage to hold down jobs as well as studying, which I think is pretty impressive. And besides, there’s always the chance that Mommy and Daddy might help out from time to time and then whose wines are they going to choose (see point 1)?
3. Looking good! Not that I’m being ageist or anything, but it isn’t going to do your winery any harm if they first thing they see as they drive into the farm is a group of young, happy, healthy, smiling, good-looking kids enjoying the best years of their lives whilst drinking your wine.
4. Social media. If you’re struggling to get your head around Tweeting, Instagramming, Facebooking and the like, then let your customers do it for you. Stats show that young people are more likely to believe what they read on social media than in any form of advertising or promotional activity so make it easy for your student guests, give them free wifi, greet them with a smile and you might be surprised at how your sales increase.
5. You can’t tell a genuine winelover simply by looking at them. And that’s a fact. When I taught the Oenology students last year there was a mix of ‘really interesteds’, ‘politely listenings’ and ‘has she finished yet and opened the wines?’ – pretty much as you would expect. But there was nothing to tell who belonged to which group until they opened their mouths (or, alternatively, closed their eyes and began to snore) and spoke up – neither clothes, creed nor colour distinguished one group from the other.
Somewhere, out there, is the next Michael Fridjhon, the next Jancis Robinson, the next Professor Eben Archer. And, as sure as students are always thirsty, what goes around will come around again at some point so make sure you give everyone a chance and you’ll get what you deserve.
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