This paper first discusses the benefits of wine and food festivals and events to wineries, and describes the essential aspects of the McLaren Vale Sea and Vines Festival in Australia. It then presents the results of a questionnaire survey of attendees (n=141) at this event in 2001. Evidence was provided that the wine tourist who attends wine and food festivals is a regular consumer of wine. Demographically, this wine tourist is female, highly educated, in the high-income category, in a profession or executive/managerial occupation and originates from within the home state or wine regional catchment area. Although wine tourists are generally mature people (30-50 years old), it was determined that a significant percentage of wine and food festival visitors belong to the Generation X (18-34 years old) age group. This finding indicates that a wine and food festival provides an opportunity for wineries and wine regions to increase awareness and brand loyalty among consumers.
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