An article by Susan Bail, Student of International Wine Business (B.Sc.)
As part of a new collaboration between the esteemed Burgundy School of Business BSB and Hochschule Geisenheim University, six students from International Wine Business and Internationale Weinwirtschaft joined 17 students from the MBA Wine & Spirits program at BSB for a stimulating week of Wine Tourism seminars and excursions. The group was diverse and the years of industry experience and entrepreneurial drive of the BSB students made discussions lively. The Seminars were led by Laurence Cogan-Marie who heads the Bachelor in Wine Tourism; and we were joined at various dinners and visits by Steve Charters MW, eminent researcher and professor at BSB; Denton Marks, a visiting Economics author and professor from Wisconsin University; Jacques Thébault, the Programme director of the MBA; and Jérôme Gallo, director of Wine & Spirits BSB.
The Seminars addressed how Wine Tourism has developed and contrasted the New World, where wineries embrace the cellar door experience with multiple offerings, to the more reluctant French and Burgundian approach. Laurence gave us many insights about the region and research she had undertaken on this topic. She stressed the importance of collaborations, tourism infrastructure and multi-lingual web portals, as well as a thorough understanding of the Wine Tourist and what they are seeking in this new Experience economy, namely, an immersion of the senses, ‘edutainment’, escapism, aesthetics, memory creation, Instagrammable moments, brand bonding …
Our field trips covered a diverse range of wineries from the small bio-dynamic family run estates to the prestigious chateaux of Burgundy. Of the former, Domaine Chignard’s passion impressed and redefined our perception of Beaujolais wine, whilst Domaine Pierre Amiot et Fils in Morey Saint Denis offered an exceptional terroir tasting of pinots from their individual parcels ranging from Villages to Grand Cru. Maison Jacoulot in Romanèche-Thorins, producers of Marc et Fine de Bourgogne, is one of the few distilleries in the area. All were high quality producers in rustic, unassuming premises known to insiders rather than marketing campaigns.
On the other end of the spectrum, were the multi-million extravaganzas such as Maison Champy, the oldest négociants of Beaune, where Louis Pasteur invented pasteurisation in 1865. They had just refurbished and were offering a museum, tasting room and event space. Our project is to design an escape game for them. Nearby at the lavish Maison Vougeot of Jean-Claude Boisset, we were treated to a new concept in privileged Wine Tourism – the house was exclusively ours to explore, whilst a gracious hostess topped our glasses and shared stories of the flamboyant owner. Another outstanding Wine Tourism experience is the Sensory Parcours at Château de Pizay. The discovery/tasting tour involved wine education with a quiz, designed for newcomers as much as aficionados. The shop had all wines on enomatic machines with descriptions. Visitors keep the branded glass, neck holder and receive a personalised Diplôme du Tastevin.
The hospitality, generosity and friendship offered from BSB was exceptional. We were treated to a beautiful lunch at Hotel le Maritonne and a closing dinner at Restaurant La Closerie in Dijon. We look forward to welcoming them to Geisenheim in May for the Seminars on Digitisation in Wine Business conducted by Prof. Dr. Simone Loose and Hochschule Geisenheim University. We hope this is the beginning of a fruitful collaboration.