Building a Successful Wine Business

Posted on Monday, October 23rd, 2017 at 10:00 am


Sitting by the fireplace and sipping a glass of wine is sometimes all we need to unwind after a long day. Channeling your inner Olivia Pope while indulging in extravagant vintages can be empowering. But have you ever considered capitalizing on your love of wine? With the growth of the wine industry, it may be time to start thinking about investing in your own wine business.

Be aware: Wine is a risky business. It’s not all about crushing grapes with your bare feet and romantic excursions to choose the right ingredients. There are a lot of factors that come into play, and the fixed prices involved with the wine-making trade make it attractive for wealthy entrepreneurs. And like many businesses, you will always need more money than you think you do. Starting a wine business can easily cost up to $600,000. With the need for a winemaker, a cellar master, a distribution system, etc., costs certainly add up. But that doesn’t mean your wine-making business should end before it starts. There are other things to consider when looking to get into wine-making.

Know Your Wine

There is a significant difference between a $20 bottle of red wine and a $340 bottle of white wine. The undertones present in each bottle and the age of each drink are all factors to consider when looking to start your wine business.  You may drink wine on a regular basis, but do you know the terminology to describe it? Think about the kind of brand you want to be. Whether the taste is flamboyant, toasty, bright, or oaked, wine is never just wine – it’s an art.

Be Humble

Kendrick Lamar is right. Start your wine business off small. The average income in the wine industry is up to $100,000. And after all the hard labour that goes into a few bottles, you’ll at least want to make sure you have people to sell it to if you want to come close to that average. Begin with a few cases to ensure that your wine is being enjoyed to its fullest potential. Track your customer feedback from this sample group to give you an idea of any changes that you need to make in the future.

Prepare for a Crash Landing

About 50% of all businesses fail in the first year. However, having a game plan is the first step to ensuring that your business doesn’t become another statistic. Be prepared to stumble at first, and try not to launch or expand your business too fast. Remember the goal you set for yourself when you decided to start your winery. If your goal was to earn back 100% of the profits in a span of a year, it may be time to re-evaluate the situation and make more realistic plans.

Build Your Brand

With everything online these days, consider online sales as an option. Have a website ready before your launch, so your marketing campaign can start before your bottles are ready to sell. Create a relationship with your customers; if they like you, they will buy from you. Find a way to stand out from the crowd.

Know Your Limits

Try not to be too daring in an already risky business. Yes, Italy may manufacture the most wine, but don’t feel you should move to another country to be successful. Research wineries in your area and determine the factors that have made them successful. Toronto wineries, for example, are known for their commitment to quality, in addition to providing a suitable atmosphere to enjoy your glass.

No business is easy, especially the business of making wine. Once you’ve done your research, all you need is passion and a dash of financial support. There’s no sugar-coating it, establishing yourself in the wine business is a long and grueling process. But the first sip of your very own mixes and blends, followed by the presentation of your bottle at the end of the process can be all the motivation you need to get started. Are you sold yet? Let us know in the comments!



Tasnia Nasar | The Edge Blog

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