Looking for unique team building ideas related to wine tasting events and activities? Well, you’re not alone. Most event planners are always trying to create new, interesting ways to create corporate team building activities related to wine tasting events when they host incentives, conferences and other social events in wine country.
While Napa Valley is perhaps one of the most famous wine country destinations in the U.S., La Rioja is one of the most famous regions in northern Spain. Located about 90 minutes outside of Bilbao, this area has been producing wines for centuries, although it is most famous for its red wines. And there are some great team building ideas for wine tastings that are happening in Rioja.
Marqués de Riscal, a Luxury Collection Hotel (Starwood Hotel & Resorts), is a wine country destination within Rioja where groups incorporate a full range of wine tasting events into their team building activities. Designed by renowned architect Frank O. Gehry, Marques de Riscal reflects a similar spectacular structure of titanium, glass and limestone of Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain.
For those who plan events in wine country, it’s important to choose a hotel that offers a relaxed atmosphere that will be memorable while offering a full range of activities. Built on the property of a 150 year old winery (oldest in Rioja), Marques de Riscal exceeds this expectation, offering fitness, spa, business services, modern meeting space, restaurants, rooftop lounges, unique venues on property and more.
Marie-Therése Pachmann, public relations and quality manager at Marques de Riscal Hotel, suggests that planners who want to organize team building activities in wine country should also incorporate elements of the gastronomy, local heritage and tranquility of being in a wine region. It’s also important to make sure to cover the required meeting activities. Then, let the wine tastings begin.
Event organizers at Marques de Riscal take the idea of team building very seriously, offering a variety of wine tasting and team building wine events into their program. Pachmann has developed an entire menu of team building activities for wine tastings.
Blind Wine Tasting
Keeping the focus on wine itself, the goal of this group event is to promote a task where the senses are more relevant than logic. A wine expert should provide a presentation of the wines to be tasted, and then explain the “rules of the game.”
The group will be divided into four or five teams and each member of the winning team will receive a prize. The activity is a perfect team building exercise because it requires direct communication within the team, which will have to add up their sensorial memories in order to spot out a particular type of wine.
The Secret of Wine
This is an action packed type of activity where participants (divided into teams) follow several clues that will lead them to find the true “secret of wine.” These clues will be physically looked for, or participants may receive these clues by accomplishing certain tasks (e.g., vine pruning, quizzes, tastings, etc.). This activity should be led by two or three actors who will give a theatrical focus to the event.
Coupage (Wine Blending)
This is similar tot the secret of wine; however, this time the goal is try to make your own wine starting from single variety wines. The characteristics of each variety is explained and the typical “mixtures” of the wine region itself. Then, each team will have a chance to make its own mixtures using suitable proportions until achieving a finished product. The wine expert will judge which one is the best final product.
Enjoying good wine is enjoying its aroma. Participants learn to identify different aromas and tastes in order to find the secret of its very essence. To achieve this, participants learn about the various raw products that give these aromas: cinnamon, berries, wood, etc.