Over the last couple of weeks I’ve experienced two very different approaches to what is effectively the same thing
A sales pitch from a booze company.
In Porto the Port wine lodges run regular tours, In Jerez the Sherry Bodegas do exactly the same thing.
In Porto the tours are a 30 minute wander through the cellars with a brief explanation on the making of port and the difference between a Ruby, White, Tawny, Vintage and LBV, followed by a couple of samples
In Jerez the tours are about 90 minutes long, include wandering around lots of storage areas, a film presentation and then a couple of samples.
In Porto the tours are free, in Jerez the basic tour is almost €10, and if you add in extra Sherry sampling and Tapas at the end it goes up to almost €20.
The numbers on the tours were pretty similar, which would suggest that either the Bodegas owners of Jerez are running a very profitable monopoly, or the Port wine lodge owners of Porto are seriously missing out on a trick.
Of course, the major difference is the Porto tours are definitely a very quick tour round as the visitors are basically after the booze. In Jerez the tour is very much part of the attraction.
Which proves a point, if you make it that little bit slicker, you can charge through the nose for it.