What I learnt by tasting wine in South Australia.
I recently travelled on a work trip to Adelaide to photograph a mine site, and while I was there I was lucky enough to do some wine tasting. We visited a few wineries and our experience at each was quite different. Some of the customer service we experienced was fantastic, but unfortunately some of our experiences were not so great. It got me thinking about having choice, or being forced into buying a package.
If you have been wine tasting, there is usually a list of wines on offer, and you choose what you would like to try. Sometimes there is a charge, sometimes there is just a small fee to taste the premium wines. Some winery staff give you a lot of information about their wines, some wineries have printed information, and some can be so busy that it the experience is more the floor of the stock exchange.
On our Trip to the Adelaide region, a couple of the wineries had a very structured tasting system which, being for WA we found rather unusual. One winery charged a $10 fee for their tasting and included a branded tasting glass to take home. That was ok we didn't mind the fee, but we didn't want the glass and packing them for our flight home became quite an issue.
One other winery charged $12 and you sat down in a large room at a table with 6 tasting glasses, an A3 piece of paper with a little info about each wine. We were instructed to take our time and go through them at our own pace. We had high expectations for this winery, its wines had great reviews by major wine critics, so we went in quite excited. Unfortunately we found this prescribed way of tasting quite off putting. We almost walked straight out before committing to the tasting. The 6 wines on offer were not what we would have chosen to taste, we had no human interaction to help us understand more about the winery, their specialities, their process etc. For us the experience was extremely clinical, no emotion, no connection, no story. We did like a couple of the wines, and bought 2 bottles, but I think we would have bought more if the experience had have been more personal.
In reflecting on these two experiences, It got me thinking about Archer Imagery and how we do things.
Some of our customers have asked us why we ask so many questions on the phone, and why we go into such detail about each person we are photographing. We do this because we want every experience to be personally tailored to you. Asking questions helps us to really get to know our customers, it gives us a window into their world, and allows us to customise your shoot to your taste.
'We believe that creating an artwork for you home is an honour.'
How can we personally create an artwork that fits your style, your decor and your home without knowing where you are planning on displaying the photos? The artwork collection should be exactly designed for you and your home, not a cookie cutter design that is supposed to fit everyone. We don't want you to have to buy the tasting glass you don't want like I had too, and we don't want to do your shoot and create your art works in a one size fits all style.
The final thing I learnt from tasting wine on South Australia is how great it feels to be genuinely listened too, and when someone uses that information to personalise your experience. In chatting with various cellar door staff and discussing wine, a few picked up that food and wine is our hobby. By chatting with us and picking up on our wine experience and knowledge, we were often offered special 'under the counter' tastings of premium wines that the host knew we would appreciate, which we certainly did. Offering those special tastings of the premium wines often resulted in us purchasing the special bottles. Had the sales person simply poured the wine in a clinical matter, I can guarantee that what we purchased would have been less, and the way we spoke about that winery in the future would not have been as positive.
Written by Nathan Archer - Senior Photographer at Archer Imagery