People skills required to move from agronomy to agritourism

July 2016 | The Grower
by Karen Davidson

 

This creative photo of the vineyard at 13th Street Winery near St. Catharines, Ontario is symbolic of the agritourism industry. While many enter with rose-coloured glasses, many find there is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. It's a tough business. Doug and Karen Whitty, owners of a 50-acre vineyard, winery and bakery share their insights for success.

Photo by Denis Cahill, courtesy Grape Growers of Ontario

A conversation with Doug Whitty is three parts marketing and one part infrastructure planning. That ratio reflects the realities of moving from the agronomy of a 50-acre vineyard to running a tourist destination that caters to 20,000 visitors a year.  Read full article