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Pokémon Go: Wineries catch on to potential

Will the new online Pokémon game become a marketing tool for wineries seeking to attract Millennials? The 'pocket monsters' have shown up in the award-winning Noma restaurant and vineyards in the US, France and Australia...

Pokémon Go

Wineries and restaurants around the world have been among those tweeting sightings of the pocket monsters after the launch of the Pokémon Go app earlier this month on iPhone and Android phones.

The idea is for users to catch as many Pokémon as possible using their smarphones, in what developers describe as an ‘augmented reality’ game.

It’s being pitched at a nostalgic Millennial crowd in their 20s and 30s, who remember the arrival of Pokémon in the 1990s.

Michelin-starred Noma in Denmark has become one of many restaurants caught up in the craze, as the tweet from chef Rene Redzepi below shows.

Pokémon characters and hunters have also shown up at vineyards and wineries.

And there were signs that some businesses believe there is potential to attract new visitors.

In western Australia, MadFish Wines – part of the Burch Family Wines group – tweeted that one of the pocket monsters turned up one of its Margaret River vineyards.

In Burgundy, the regional wine council (BIVB) said that it ‘welcomed Pokémon Go players’ to the area’s vineyards.

However, a spokesperson for Napa Valley Vintners said that the spontaneity inherent in Pokémon Go meant that it wasn’t always easy for wineries to take advantage.

‘Our county regulations are very stringent, so allowing visitors to “drop in” to wineries without prior appointment is often not allowed,’ a spokesperson said. ‘That’s tough with the spontaneity of Pokémon Go.’

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