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Welcome all, to the post event report for the 2023 Pinot Palooza Tour.
For the first time since 2019, we returned to not only our traditional October time of year (on the east coast), but headed west to Perth and let’s just say their response was enthusiastic.

Throughout the tour we gained a huge amount of insights, facts and stats which we’ve compiled here as a summary of the festival that was.
There is a lot here and do take the time to read it all, so grab a glass, sit back and relax, and let's get nerdy.
But one thing we can again say is …

“Pinot Palooza is now an 9000 + person audit on the current state of play of Pinot Noir on the East Coast of Australia.”

Sure, that may sound like a bold statement but the truth is in the sales data and considering the volume of transactions, and various age groups we attract (particularly younger), we’ll stand by it.
What is super clear is that our audience is highly engaged, curious and seeking direct connection to the movers and makers who make the best Pinot Noir going around. And have a heck of a lot of fun doing it.

Despite the media doom and gloom on the economy, over 20,000 bottles were sold and consumed on festival days with overall spend on the day up close to 30%.
Ok, enough of the preamble, let’s get stuck in ….

Before we deep dive into each city, there were a few changes /additions to the overall program this year thanks to the insights from the last Pinot Palooza and from our sister event, MOULD - A Cheese Festival.
First and foremost, we wanted to add further value to the customers experience and encourage wine sales hence giving every attendee their very own Pinot Palooza Tote bag that could hold three bottles.
This is of course on top of the epic Pinot Noir glass we give them as well.

We also had a ‘Feature Region’ for each East Coast city.
We love this and would like to see more regional bodies and wineries working together to leverage the access to the audiences we attract. The results are not only brand / regional awareness but wine sales.
As we say, more of this type of collaboration please!


We kicked off the East Coast tour in Sydney at our traditional home at Carriageworks.
As always, Sydney brings the consistent party with us seeing virtually the same number of attendees as we did last year, and the two events previous.
The main difference is of course, they are spread over three sessions giving producers ample time to tell their story.

The results speak for themselves with overall sales up close to 20% and spiking to $150 for the Saturday day session.
Of course the Saturday afternoon session is always the pinot party with the Hot Potato Band returning to get all into the festival spirit.
A great way to kick off the east coast tour.
Feature Region: Orange, NSW


Attendees joined us!
(up 15% on 2019)


avg spend per person
(up 18% on 2022)


wineries exhibited


We love Brisbane and it’s always a city that rewards the producers who make the effort to attend. Seeing the spend per person, the biggest of the tour by a long way.
Building on last year's numbers, we anticipated a higher number of attendees so decided to add a Sunday session as a trial.

What we weren’t aware of at the time of booking, was just how much there was on over the weekend. It clearly impacted overall attendance, seeing us slightly down on last year's numbers but spread over four sessions.
However, the silver (or ‘noir’) lining was it meant producers had much more time with those who were there and as a result, saw wine spend higher than last year by 10% and the average sales per producer up close to 50%.
On the Sunday session alone, with just over 200 people, the spend per person was $191 per person; the highest we’ve ever seen.
The learnings, we go back to three sessions and keep the Sunday one up our sleeve if the other sessions sell out.
Plus, you’ll be glad to know we’ve avoided event clashes for 2024.
Feature Region: Tasmania


Attendees joined us


avg spend per person
(up 40% on 2022!)


wineries exhibited


Gee it was good to be home at the Royal Exhibition Building. Whilst this was not the original plan, the date and venue change saw no impact on ticket sales in fact, saw us return to 2019 levels.
Returning to the Royal Exhibition Building meant a lot to us personally as during the spicy cough years, we didn’t think we’d make it back but we did, and with the new format, it really was a great show and felt like the days of old, if a little more mature!

The venue itself demands your bring your “A” game and gee did you give it your all with wine sales up over 40% from last year and average sales per vendor up 54% on 2022.
Overall per person spend was up 22% which again flies in the face of what the media were telling us about discretionary spend.
All in all, it was great to be back and we can’t wait for an even bigger version next year.
Feature Region: Gippsland, Vic.


Peoples joined us


avg spend per person
(up 20% from 2022)


wineries exhibited


MOULD x Pinot Palooza

It was good to be back in Perth after such a long hiatus. Yes, 2019 was the last time we were there and this year we brought not only Pinot Palooza, but our sister event MOULD - A Cheese Festival with us for the ultimate double header.
This format of event was trialled in 2022 in Hobart with the goal to service the smaller capital cities whereas the ‘full blown’ version of both event brands were less viable.
The result?

One of the fastest selling events we’ve ever had selling out almost 2 weeks before the event itself. We had to cap the numbers significantly to ensure it wasn’t overcrowded.
As for wine sales, there is a significant jump here as there are no wine bars as such and many people opt to purchase for onsite consumption as well as to take home.
Whilst initially we thought this to be a bi-annual event, the overwhelming response we had means we’ll be back each year with the aim to grow it alongside the producers who join us.
Add this one to your tour next year for sure!


Attendees joined us


avg sales per vendor
(20% higher than the main event average)


avg spend pp

Consistently, Pinot Palooza attracts a younger audience every year with up to 55% under the age of 35 with 55-60% of that age group being women. Overall, the percentage of women is close to 60%.
What was also fascinating about this year was the large percentage of newcomers to the festival with close to 60% of ticket purchasers saying this year was their first time joining us.
So what does this mean?

A highly engaged, curious and purchase motivated audience keen to get to know the best makers of Pinot Noir going around.
They’re technically savvy, highly social and are looking for a greater type of wine experience.
They travel, are interested in exploring their own backyard (and beyond) and love to talk about it amongst their friends.

Word of mouth is still the most potent form of communication about our event followed by our own database and social channels.
Like everyone, their lives are busy, stressful and challenging so they’re looking for experiences outside of their world. And will spend for it.
In short, it’s the audience we’ve always wanted.


Under the age of 35


under the age of 45




Women in the under 35 age group

Ok, get ready to get really really wine nerdy for never before have we had such transparency over what is happening on event days thanks to not only the sales on the day, but people's choice and more.
There is a huge amount of data from the campaign and we’ve done our best to provide you with what we believe is the most insightful and meaningful.

Alongside the various charts, do have to make note of some of the caveats mainly around the number of vendors as some regions were only represented by one or two.
But all in all, it shows a fascinating insight into the current state of play of Pinot Noir on the east coast of Australia, which regions wine drinkers are seeking, the styles they’re after, and the people and personalities they engage with.
What is the most exciting is seeing how our audience is seeking a broad range of wine styles and regions; discovery and access has always been a hallmark of Pinot Palooza.

It's also fascinating to see how Tasmania resonates so strongly with our audience.
Wonderful wines they are, yes, but from an activation and presence point of view, they’re leveraging - and frankly backing up - being a feature region last year.
Saying that, it’s also great to see how the feature regions also make the top three sales by region for each city.
Yep, there is much to deep dive in so enjoy!


tickest sold


average spend per person


spent on wine per person


Bottles of wine sold and consumed on event days


Average RRP of Pinot Noir sold on event days.


average sales per vendor per city
(Up 28% on 2022!)


Bottles purchased / consumed per person on event days (up 1/2 bottle from 2022)


different Pinot Noirs were on tasting


wine regions were represented


Increase in overall wine spend on event days from 2022!

NOTE: Perth is the MOULD x Pinot Palooza format where there are less producers and no wine bar so people purchase to consume on the day as well as for take home sales. But yes, put this city (and format) on your radar for 2024!

We've broken this down further than last year to show how our audience are looking for more than just wine though not at the expense of their spend on wine.

52% of ALL wine sales were made up by the Top 3 Regions.

Based on total wineries participating in each cities event, so no unique individual wineries.
Also, for our Kiwi brethren, note the impact of a such small amount of producers on wine sales!

*NOTE: USA, Ballarat, Robe and Mount Gambier were all single producers

Based on total bottle sold on event days.

There is no doubt the good Pinot Noir word was well spread this year thanks to our long standing comms agency, Common State. Despite the ever challenging media environment, as well as the focus of the referendum, the team managed to increase the reach from last year by 15%. Incredible.

The key focus this year was truly digital as lets face it, it’s where our audience lives and breathes. Online publications like Time Out, Broadsheet and Concrete Playground were key drivers of both awareness and ticket sales.
In addition, this was backed by key online articles (and in print) from Nine newspapers ahead of the main events such and an article in the Brisbane Times.

The key to digital reach is to drive traffic to the website then our performance marketing agency, Bolster, kicks in. Whilst facebook remains the dominant player in online advertising engagement, Instagram is catching up and fast, especially in terms of search.
It’s also why we partnered with the online-only, viral Instagram page, Secondz, ahead of Melbourne to drive last minute sales.
In short, there was simply so much on during October this year, so to get this media cut through was incredibly impressive.

29, 842, 140

Cumulative PR reach (up 15% on 2022)


unique pieces of media


TV breaks

For each city this year, we had a ‘feature region’ where we’d shine a spotlight on the movers and makers from the region to help drive awareness and traffic to them on event day. This was proven to great success with the TASMANIAN campaign in 2022 with Tasmanian products making up 41% of all event day sales (huge).
This year, we wanted to spread the love around and have one per city and the results speak for themselves.

We know that the more we talk about producers in the lead up, the more sought after they are on the day and these types of activations enable regions to partner with us to fully leverage our audience to drive awareness and sales to the producers themselves.
The cost of a region to engage with an event of similar size can be a very costly, and risky, exercise, so why not use the Pinot Palooza platform for a much greater ROI and audience engagement. If your region is keen, talk to us.


It was wonderful to see the region of Orange band together to activate for the first stop of the tour. In total, 9 wineries participated for a Pinot Noir showcase. With an ‘Instagram moment’ at the beginning of the 100+ square metres activation space, it was a great introduction to the wines of Orange plus seeing it in the top three of overall wine sales for the festival. Bam.


Following last year's success, a swag of Tasmanians again descended on Brisbane to share their wine wares. Yet again, their sales dominated as Queenslanders made the most of their presence. They say consistency in markets is key and they certainly saw that in terms sales as Tasmania made up 40% of all wine sold throughout the festival. Huge.


Gippslandians united to highlight the best of this vast region. With support from Wine Gippsland, 10 wineries took part and took over the Northern nave of the Royal Exhibition Building.
But they didn’t come alone. They brought beer, cider and eats with them thanks to Sailors Grave Brewery, Gurneys Cider and Trulli Kitchen to round out the full regional experience. For every dollar spent at Pinot Palooza, 20% went to Gippsland products.
Considering the size and scale of the Melbourne event, this is a phenomenal achievement.




The lower percentage here would be the result of Tasmania also being the feature region in the previous year. But still shows the activation is engaging new audiences.


They came. They tasted. They voted.
And with over 205 different Pinot Noirs on tasting throughout the tour, there was certainly plenty to get their mouth around.

We again went fully digital with our a web based application which noted all the wines that were on tasting by city. All they had to do was load it on their phone, choose the city and find and ‘like’ and or ‘favourite’ a wine and or winery. Even better, users were able to create their own ‘pinot playlist’ of the wines they loved and email it to themselves for later reference.
Heck, they could even write tasting notes if they so wished.
The results?
It meant loads of votes and Peoples Choice was based on overall wine votes / likes and or ‘favouriting’ of the producer themselves.

So … *drumroll*




Central Otago, New Zealand










With a return to our traditional spring time schedule for the East Coast of Australia, we’re back on schedule yet looking to spread the tour out a little more. In addition, we’re heading back to PERTH in August and we (some would say ‘finally’) return to Adelaide under the MOULD X Pinot Palooza umbrella.

So lock these dates in your diaries and follow the link below to register your interest and receive further updates / prospectus when available (March).

JAPAN and beyond

We know its been too long between festivals in these cities, and we long to return, but for now we are putting on hold any major plans for festivals outside Australia. Saying that, we are looking at smaller, more ‘UnPlugged” style events in Singapore later in 2024. More to come.

MOULD X Pinot Palooza

This hybrid event combines the powers of both the MOULD A Cheese Festival brand with the fun of Pinot Palooza. By doing so it not only allows us to service the smaller capital cities but increase attendee numbers without compromising the overall event experience for both guest and producer alike. It also means greater average sales per producer.
Trialled in Hobart in 2022, we ran it in Perth in 2023 to great success confirming the concept. Originally planned to be run every two years in smaller capital cities, Perth proved the exception to the rule and will be run annually. Adelaide is confirmed for this year as well as (potentially) Hobart later in the year.


Simply register your interest via the link below and we'll be in touch with further details.


Ok, cool. This is all great stuff team, but what does it all mean?

If there is one thing you take away from this report it should be a feeling of positivity and excitement for the future of wine. Yes, it’s bloody tough out there with a multitude of challenges faced but when you take a moment to step back, breathe, and look at how engaged audiences are to not only meet and greet you, but make a concerted effort to buy and buy direct.
This is potent. This is powerful. This is so bloody exciting.
Audiences are seeking new styles of wines, looking for experiences and looking to connect with primary producers and spend their money directly.
We saw this not only at Pinot Palooza but with our sister event MOULD A Cheese Festival who also saw sales up 20% on the year previous.
Also, it speaks volumes of how when regional associations collaborate together, and partner with us, it not only delivers marketing results, but wine sales. Collaboration, not competition has always been at our core and we would love to see more and more of this.
Its also a continued evolution of the Pinot Palooza brand from the early years of ‘pinot party’ to a bonafide pop up cellar door (albeit with a punk like attitude!).
And finally, if anything, it says people just bloody love Pinot Noir.
And at the end of the day, isn’t that just frigging awesome?!?!

To everyone who joined us in 2023, has joined us in previous years, celebrated, championed and or cheered from the side lines, we say a massive THANK YOU!
You've all been part of the decade plus story that is, PINOT PALOOZA.
The past few years have indeed been a massive challenge for all but we know, and continue to prove, people are pumped for not only a good time, but to learn more, interact and celebrate their love of the great grape of Pinot Noir.
And that is the point, no?

If you're keen to join us for the 2024 TOUR, or would like to know more about anything, simply register your interest via the link below and or simply email us at and we'll get right back to you.
Until then, cheers!