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How To Get Into The Wine Business

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How Anyone Can Become A Winemaker

How To Get Into The Wine Importing Business – Starting On The Internet Review

People approach winemaking from all directions. Some grew up either in a wine region or winemaking family, and they felt destined for the cellar from a young age.

Others migrate from careers that held some connection to the wine industry, like restaurant work, journalism, marketing or education. And plenty more pivot from such unrelated industries as law, government, medicine and beyond.

Megan Glaab, co-founder/winemaker at Sonoma-based Ryme Cellars and Uphold Wines, falls somewhere in the first two camps.

I grew up working in my parents restaurant learning about wine, she says. At 15, I became interested in how wine was made, so I spent a day working with a winery in Carmel Valleyand that was it.

From there, she embarked on a series of wine internships and earned her Bachelor of Science degree in oenology from the University of Adelaide in Australia. It involved a lot of hard work and determination.

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The romance of wine might draw people in, but, as many winemakers will attest, the job isnt all that glamorous. It demands long days, scientific acumen, tenacity to handle Mother Nature, attention to detail and devotion to cleanliness.

Here are key steps to pursue a winemaking career.

What’s The Typical Work Environment For Winemakers

Winemakers normally work:

  • Inside wineries, where they monitor grape crushing, lead fermentation and craft blends
  • In vineyards, where they choose which grapes to grow, ensure they’re healthy and manage the harvesting process
  • In a wine cellar, where they check temperature and humidity for proper aging and storage
  • In tasting rooms, where they promote new wines and develop industry contacts to support the business

What About Unpaid Opportunities

Not everyone is in a position to secure a place on a paid graduate programme, and some might consider taking on an internship as it can provide vital experience, contacts and knowledge. If you decide to take on unpaid work, weigh up your options, make sure it will benefit you and that you know your rights, while also ensuring you are in a position to support yourself throughout.

Cammie Jones, Product Development Scientist at Brown-Forman, says the unpaid internship at the non-profit Kentucky Distillers Association gave her a variety of learning experiences that have helped her in her career. She was able to interact with people in various different departments and learn from master distillers and brand ambassadors, which is an invaluable opportunity for anyone starting out.

Max Stefana, Associate Brand Manager at Heaven Hill, adds: Being a KDA intern gave me inside exposure to key players in our industry that ultimately helped me obtain a great job. I think back fondly on my time working at KDA and their Kentucky Bourbon Trail tour, as I now have the opportunity to work each day to promote Kentucky Bourbon.

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What Are The Benefits Of Becoming A Winemaker

Winemakers work on a seasonal cycle, meaning that no two days are alike over the course of a year. Winemakers often visit the vineyard to test grapes, engage in creative problem-solving in the blending lab and maintain a professional social life through wine tasting groups. For people who appreciate variety in the workplace, becoming a winemaker can be a rewarding career.

Is An Import/export Business Profitable

Winery Jobs: How to Get Into the Wine Industry?

Many import/export businesses are very profitable. To improve your company’s chances of profitability, it’s important to conduct the required research on your industry and have a well-documented business plan. Understanding all of the costs associated with an imports/exports business and determining your profit margins when pricing your products is also essential.

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Starting An Import/export Business

If youre interested in starting an import/export business, there are a ton of considerations you need to make just as you would for any business. For an import/export business, specifically, its helpful to have a background in business, international relations, or global finance. This should give you an understanding of the myriad hoops one must jump through to sell or buy a product from an overseas supplier.

The compliances make it so complex that even if you did know how to do it, youre still going to have to keep in mind a lot of random considerations, says Selena Cuffe, co-founder of Heritage Link Brands, a company that imports, exports, and produces wine, and other high-end products like tea and honey.

Cuffe worked for years in brand management for Procter & Gamble, among other trade-related positions, before starting her company in 2005. She was inspired after going to South Africa, where she attended the first Soweto Wine Festival.

Heritage Link Brands now operates within the wine industry in different ways: It imports wine from South Africa into the U.S. wine market, and it exports grapes from its own South African vineyard to the U.S. as well as the Philippines and Hong Kong. It also exports wine to airlines for use on international flights.

Keep reading for the steps you need to take to start an import/export business, as well as tips from Cuffe.

What Is A Winemaker

Also known as enologists or vintners, winemakers oversee production at wineries and vineyards. Some winemakers own their own vineyards, and others work within a team of winemakers to manage the staff and oversee production at a large winery. No matter the scale of operation, winemakers ensure quality wine by monitoring grape growth, developing standards for production and supporting distribution.

For example, winemakers often strive to improve grape harvests by collaborating with a winery’s grape growers and explaining what they’d like to enhance about the previous year’s vintage. Winemakers may also taste competitors’ products to determine current industry trends that they can incorporate into new wine recipes.

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Licensing And Permits For Wineries

While all businesses need licensing and permits, the wine industry is particularly strict on its regulations in this field.

Some paperwork you will absolutely come across when opening a winery include:

  • Permit to operate/Business License
  • Label Approval from Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau
  • Local regulations this will vary on country, state, and even county.

Other paperwork you may need to consider include:

  • Laws on selling across state or country lines
  • Trademarking your label
  • Certificate of Occupancy
  • Extra licenses if you plan to serve food

If youre worried you may miss a license or permit specific to your winery and location, consider hiring a wine-compliance agency. These agencies help wineries to understand and abide by all local and national regulations, preventing you from any avoidable mistakes with the government.

Design Your Winerys Building

Winery Jobs: How to Get Into the Wine Industry?

By now, its likely youll know how big your vineyard is, so you can start designing the interior and floor plan layout design of your winery, where your wine will be created, stored, sampled, and sold.

Consider what you need in your winery, such as equipment and storage space, then consider what you want in your winery.

Do you want a fancy tasting room for guests? If so, where? In the retail space? Outside on a patio? In the cellar? All will showcase your hard work, but it depends on the experience you want your tasters to have.

Additionally, are you planning to have a retail shop where visitors can buy bottles of wine, glasses, or brand merchandise? If people are visiting your winery and tasting your wine, youll probably want somewhere they can buy the wine they sampled and, likely, enjoyed.

Will you serve food with your wine or will it simply be a winery? Crackers and cheese are always a good pairing with wine, but what about full meals? If youre planning to offer food to complement your wine, youll probably need an area specifically for this and likely a kitchen as well!

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How Else Might I Get Into The Wine And Spirits Industry

Typically, you have to start at the bottom and should not be afraid to take on any task, however menial, if it gets you a foothold in this magnificent industry. From lugging around crates in a storeroom to wrestling with giant hoses in a winery, nothing gives you an appreciation for the industry like getting your hands dirty. Apply to work a harvest at dozens of wineries, or email every wine store or supplier you can think of asking for part-time work. Be persistent and you will eventually break in.

Look for the opportunities and get involved, says Partridge at Pernod Ricard. Perhaps look for local wine clubs, opportunities to speak about your passion, create moments for networking with those that share your passion and learn as much as you can. Be passionate and enthusiastic, your opportunity will come along.

Working in bars, restaurants or hospitality, even casually, is a great way to get into the industry, as Jo Black illustrated earlier. Build your product knowledge, read widely on the subject and consider undertaking a WSET course or similar as all of this will show potential employers how serious, diligent and proactive you are. Befriend people in the industry we are a friendly bunch! Everyone in the industry knows how hard it was to get started and most will be happy to offer advice and help you.

This article was prepared for WSET by Martin Green, editor of Drinks Retailing News.

A Wine Enthusiasts Step

As a lover of all wines good and as a budding hobbyist and neophyte collector of Italian , French , Spanish , and Washington State varietals, I cant seem to get enough of the culture, industry personalities, and business mechanics of my new found passion. When Shapiro asked that I become more involved in the commercial pursuit of those who import this wonderful stuff, I gladly dove right in.

Shapiro has been handling wine entries for many decades, but over the past 10 months, it seems that through referral, reputation, and an overall appreciation of the Shapiro compliance persona, we have been working with an increasing number of clients who are importing wine for the first time. Here, Im sharing with you key initial compliance steps as well as an overview of other relevant details/resources involved in becoming a wine importer.

Need help importing wine? Contact us to ask for help.

Step 1: Get your compliance paperwork in order

After developing a solid business and marketing plan, gaining the adequate financing, and identifying and targeting the appropriate suppliers and customers , its time to obtain the proper credentials to ultimately import this wonderfully delicious commodity.

Below are some of the critical and necessary licenses, permits, and documents that must be executed and in place prior to placing your first purchase order and/or importing your first shipment:

Step 2: Determine/Understand your terms of sale

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What Makes A Good Wine Salesperson

Many people would respond likeable personality and a good knowledge of the subject.

When a young Dan Jago, who went on to run Tescos global wine department and Berry Bros & Rudd, first asked that question, he recalls being told: As long as youve got an ego and a pair of shoes, youll be fine.

Jago, whose father both loved fine wine and created commercial wine brands, undoubtedly started out with some wine knowledge. He probably, however, didnt have as much as Ronan Sayburn MS, who briefly switched from working in restaurants to knocking on their doors with samples.

Yet as Sayburn admitted in an interview for Meiningers Wine Business International, he wasnt a very successful salesman he was too much of a sommelier. I’d sit down and taste all the wines and say theyre all a bit closed and mean at the moment How much do you want to buy?

Tips For Getting Into The Wine Business

British wine industry on the rise after transformation of ...

Tim Hanni is the first American along with Joel Butler to earn the title of Master of Wine. He is an accomplished speaker and author, and instructor at Napa Valley Wine Academy. Below are 10 tips from Tim on getting into the wine business, and if those peak your interest, you might just want to consider his new online course: The Business of Wine.

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Consideration #: Not All Ecommerce Platforms Are Equally Equipped For Selling Wine And Spirits

eCommerce sites for the wine space differ slightly from typical eCommerce platforms like Magento, Shopify, and WooCommerce. Those platforms do not integrate readily with software solutions like Shipcompliant and others used by fulfillment centers. So, before you engage with a 3PL, make sure that youve taken the appropriate steps to ensure your eCommerce platform is suited to the wine space and either is or can be made compatible with standard software solutions.

For example, both Magento and WooCommerce have plug-ins that help with integration . Shopify does not currently have a plug-in, but there is one in development.

eCommerce platforms and sites specialized for the wine industry include eCellar, VineSpring, Vin65, Cultivate, Captina, 750, eWinery, Simply CMS, and many more. These are all compatible with ShipCompliant out-of-the-box. You might want to look into some of these solutions if you plan on conducting online sales in the wine space.

Considering A Wine Mba

Professionals interested in pursuing the accredited Sonoma Wine MBA or theSonoma Executive Wine MBA can waive the two-year industry experience admission requirement with successful completion of the Foundation and Intermediate course levels.

Join the Next Cohort

*Fees listed are for the current academic year and are subject to change without notice.

*Students may be eligible for Intermediate and Advanced placement with prior wine industry experience. Please email program coordinator to inquire about eligibility.

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Learn About Marketing Your Product

has changed a lot with the technological revolution and you need to do some research in how your wine is best marketed. It is a good idea to look what other producers around you are doing not to copy, but to get ideas!

Learn about the traditional methods, like direct marketing and newspaper marketing, but also focus on the new marketing methods of social media. As you have a target market in mind, you can aim your marketing efforts to appeal to this audience.

How To Start Your Own Winery Business

How to Start a Wine Business | Starting a Wine Company Shop & Bar From Home
  • Magazine
  • How To Start Your Own Winery Business

Owning your own vineyard is perhaps the most romantic dream and many of us have toyed with this idea. But anyone who works in the industry will tell you starting your own winery wont be an easy thing to do and the romantic images are hardly a reality.

But if something is difficult, it doesnt mean it is impossible. Nothing should stop you from starting your own winery, you just need to make sure you focus on all the right things and plan your business venture well.

This guide will help you consider whether owning a vineyard is the right thing for you and help you focus your research on the right tracks. Youll also read about the main aspects of setting up a winery and the different routes you can take in order to get into the wine business. Youll also learn about the importance of marketing and the channels for finding support.

In this articles, you will learn about 1) doing a winery for the right reasons, 2) do your research, 3) three different routes to starting out, 4) understand and define your audience, and 5) look for support.

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Wine Jobs: A Comprehensive Guide To Careers In Wine

January 28, 2016 By Cindy Molchany

Whats money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do. Bob Dylan

Our mission here at Craft Beverage Jobs is to connect passionate people with unique wine jobs, beer jobs, and other career opportunities in the craft beverage market.

If we had a magic wand we could wave upon the world, we would enforce a rule that people only do work that they want to do that they only pursue their passions.

Because when youre doing what you want to do, it rarely feels like work!

Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else. James M. Barrie

This is no doubt an idealistic point of view, but heres the good news: the wine industry is booming and there are more opportunities now than ever for those passionate about wine to find a meaningful career in the industry.

For those considering a career in wine, our guide to wine jobs is intended to help you navigate your options.

  • What does it take to become a winemaker?
  • What types of wine jobs can you get with your marketing background?
  • Whats involved in getting a degree in enology and what are your options in terms of higher eduction?
  • What are the various certification programs available if you want to become a sommelier?
  • and more!

These are all questions asked by people who are looking to enter wine as a career field, and this guide aims to answer as many of these questions as possible.

Buy An Established Winery

You could also skip many of the above steps and opt to buy an established vineyard or winery. This still involves plenty of work and you will have some ability to change the branding of the wine, for example, but in general, it is a bit easier. You most likely wont need to worry about distribution routes, setting up the equipment and raw materials and you might even have an established brand you can use.

On the downside, starting with an established winery will require a lot more money in many instances. Professionals in the field say you need to pay at least 30% more often when you are buying a winery, so think whether you can afford it.

On the other hand, youll be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor much quicker. You wont need to spend time sorting out the regulatory issues and the grapes are already growing. The start-up time is typically up to five years shorter. So, if you are looking to get started with a winery quickly, this is much better option to the above route.

Since so many things are already sorted out, the learning curve is shorter and easier. You just need to get to grips with what is already in place no need to learn how to get it all started.

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