Brokenwood Wines

Brokenwood Wines General Manager Geoff Krieger discusses the benefits of joining the NSW First program.

Brokenwood Wines

Business profile

Brokenwood Wines is located in the Hunter Valley just over two hours’ drive north of Sydney. Established in 1970 and renowned as a five-star winery, Brokenwood is home to the famous Graveyard Vineyard Shiraz, the acclaimed ILR Reserve Semillon and the popular Cricket Pitch Range.

They have recently opened a state-of-the-art cellar door, incorporating circular tasting pods, a wine museum, café, restaurant and private function space for up to 400 people.

Their VIP Soil-to-Cellar Experience is a rare opportunity to gain exclusive access to one of Australia’s most iconic vineyards. It includes a behind-the-scenes tour of the winery, a six-course degustation menu with matched wines, wine barrel tasting and a bottle of current release Graveyard Shiraz.

Quick facts

Product Type: Tour & Winery

Focus: Food & Wine

Location: Pokolbin, Hunter Valley

Destination Network: Destination Sydney Surrounds North

Brokenwood Wines

NSW First spoke to Brokenwood Wines General Manager Geoff Krieger about why the business is involved with the program.

Geoff Krieger - General Manager, Brokenwood Wines
How did the NSW First workshops help your business?

These workshops were an important foundation in understanding the requirements needed to provide and promote an experience to inbound travellers. In addition, we were educated on the agents’ requirements to enable us to expand our opportunities.

How did your business get started?

Established in 1970, Brokenwood Wines has evolved from a weekend venture for self-professed hobby winemakers into one of Australia’s most reputable wine labels. Brokenwood was founded by a trio of Sydney-based solicitors, Tony Albert, John Beeston and James Halliday, who paid a then record price of $970 per acre for a 10-acre block in the foothills of the Brokenback Ranges. The original block was destined to be a cricket ground for the local community but was instead planted with Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz.

What makes an exceptional visitor experience?

The visitor should be able to book or arrive at their experience with ease. Once they arrive, they should be greeted warmly and treated as a welcome guest. The experience should encompass beautiful views, exceptional flavours of wine and food and offer learning resulting in a greater appreciation of the experience. It is without doubt that the experience should be seamless from booking to post-visit communication.

What do you wish you knew when you started?

I wish I knew how much lead time and staff hours were required in order to build a successful tourism product and an understanding of the time delay from development to receiving bookings.

Who is your target market?

Our target market is over 40, fully independent travellers, who have a high disposable income, enjoy the finer things in life and are prepared to pay for the experience. They come from both domestic and international markets.

We formatted an experience that would appeal to our desired target market and focused on the unique offerings of our brand.
How did you develop a bookable product?

Our products were developed in conjunction with Destination NSW, after attending the NSW First workshop and one-on-one discussion with the Industry Development team. We formatted an experience that would appeal to our desired target market and focused on the unique offerings of our brand.

Why did you develop this product?

The new Brokenwood facility, which offers tastings, multiple food options and conference facilities, is large enough to accommodate both wine knowledgeable and discoverer visitors, as well as to cater for growing inbound tourism and events. Our products were developed to add consumer experiences to our unique business strategy.

What are your top tips for new tourism businesses?
  • Understand your cost basis and price accordingly
  • Seek help from Destination NSW and other agencies, like your Destination Network and local tourism association
  • Develop a product that is easily explained and hosted
  • Ensure your product has a unique selling point
  • Relentless persistence! Developing a tourism product will take time, stamina and patience.
What was the most important tip you learnt at a NSW First workshop?

Understanding the lead times and requirements of inbound tour operators and wholesalers and commissionable product in general was important plus accuracy when it comes to your offering and pricing.

What opportunities or challenges are you looking forward to?

Having developed our tourism product and taken it to market, we now look forward to welcoming international and domestic tourists and evolving the product in order to achieve the required return on investment over time.