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Navy Veteran reveals How She Built A Successful Winery And Brewery Tour Business

From Navy cryptographer to successful tour business owner.  Renee Ventrice of Cork and Keg Tours joins us today to discuss how she built a luxury winery and brewery tours business. 

She walks us through how she created local partnerships with breweries and wineries and outlines how she designed her tour business from the ground up.

Renee also discusses why evaluating and reevaluating friction points in our tour business’s process is key to growth.

She describes how community partnerships and nonprofits could be tour businesses’ best marketing allies.

Renee highlights the importance of executing detailed market research and underscores the value of differentiating and elevating yourself from other tour operators.


“Find out what wineries and breweries need and figure out how you can fill that void. Be an enhancement they’ll be excited to work with.”

Jamie Robinson


This week on Tourpreneur, the Tour Operator Podcast:

  • Renee’s background and the best thing she learned from a career in the military
  • How Renee discovered her knack for business development
  • What inspired Renee to start a winery tour business
  • The importance of executing detailed market research
  • How Renee implemented a feasibility study before founding Cork and Keg Tours
  • Raising funds for Cork and Keg Tours and how building a reputation kept their business costs down
  • Renee’s advice on building relationships and partnerships with wineries and breweries
  • Acquiring their first customers and how being a community advocate helped Renee
  • The value of asking clients for review and feedback
  • How the Cork and Keg Tours experience have pivoted and evolved over the years
  • Removing friction from business and making bookings efficient for clients
  • What Renee looks for from a booking platform
  • How Cork and Keg Tours came out of the first year of the pandemic
  • Cork and Keg Tours’ largest driver of business growth
  • Renee’s advice on starting a tour company
  • And Much More!

Today’s episode of Tourpreneur is kindly sponsored by Tourism Marketing Agency and Arival Las Vegas

More about today’s guest…

Renee Ventrice

Renee Ventrice is the Co-owner of Cork and Keg Tours, a winery and brewery tour company based in Ashburn, Virginia. 

After serving in the US Navy as a cryptologist, Renee worked as the Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at Woofie’s. 

She then went on to start tour business Cork and Keg Tours with her husband. Renee is also a WSET-Certified wine educator who hosts a podcast, Start Wine-ing! with Renee Ventrice, where she offers advice and insight on business development and digital and social marketing for small business owners.