The purpose of this research was to determine the competitive factors and critical aspects that wine farm owners and managers deem necessary to host a successful wine festival, with specific reference to Wacky Wine and Wine on the River, which are held annually in Robertson, Western Cape, South Africa. The reason for this investigation is that the majority of wine farms in the area participate in both festivals, resulting in a large capital outlay. The question, therefore, exists whether it is worthwhile to participate in both festivals and what they believe is necessary to present one successful wine festival. The uniqueness of the two festivals provides the background against which these opinions were formed. Interviews were conducted with the owners and managers of nine wine farms in the Robertson district. The opinions of these respondents regarding critical success factors were determined. Results indicate that the right market, a variety of products, and a personal service approach are some of the most vital factors that lead to a thriving and sustainable wine festival. The results will allow wine festival organisers to make better management decisions regarding marketing, products linked to the festival, the programme, and general management.
Keywords: competitiveness; critical success factors; sustainability; tourist destination; wine festivals