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How To Have Your Own Wine Brand

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Private Label Wine Program Benefits

How to establish your own wine brand ( liquor) without a vineyard.

Better products, lower prices, higher margin and brand building are all strong reasons for considering a private label program.

Many restaurants are finding that their private label wines are some of their customers favorites. Customers are developing loyalty to these brands.

Premium wines that deliver value are harder to find from large distributors. Through a private label wine program, retailers can offer value-priced premium wines that are equal to higher priced branded products.

Benefits of a private label wine program include:

  • Developing the perfect wine brand that reflects your business and appeals to your customers.
  • Meeting customers desires in terms of quality and price.
  • Offering customers new and different wines.
  • Having an exclusive wine that the competition cant offer.
  • Growing market share while building your brand.
  • Having a flexible wine portfolio that is adaptable over time.
  • Realizing higher margins.
  • Private Label Wine Program Is The Alternative To Limited Choice

    Wine retailers have many responsibilities, one of which is to source wines.

    Due to industry consolidation, wine distribution is controlled by mega-companies. These companies sell large quantities of wine to thousands of accounts.

    Their businesses are about volume, not about choice or working with accounts to help them source wines to fit their business goals and customer base.

    Mega-wholesalers basically force retailers to sell their customers something they dont want. And consumers are tired of the boring wines these companies push.

    Retailers need other options.

    Creating a private label wine program is an option that works.

    It allows a retailer to offer its customers a unique and higher-quality wine product at lower cost. An added benefit is that the retailer can promote their own brand, and potential make a higher margin.

    Is There Money In Wine

    For people looking for a job or possible career shift, theres an open position with unique benefits that could be worth checking out. The main requirement: Must love wine. A job posting by Murphy-Goode Winery advertises a $10,000 monthly salary, free rent and 30 cases of wine in Sonoma County, California.

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    Plan Your Business Structure

    The first thing youll want to do is determine your business legal structure. The choices include a sole proprietorship, a general partnership, an LLC, a C Corp or an S Corp.

    Many people choose to start out as a sole proprietorship or general partnership. The process is simpler and cheaper than the other options. However, when you go this route, you wont have liability protection. If the business gets sued, you could lose your personal assets.

    An LLC provides liability protection. Only the business assets are at risk in case of a lawsuit. There are higher fees involved with an LLC, but its often worth it for the protection.

    C Corps and S Corps offer tax benefits but also come at a higher cost and require more paperwork.

    Youll also need to reserve your business name and apply for an EIN .

    Setting your business up legally at the beginning will help you avoid legal trouble and ensure that youre able to operate your business.

    Get The Necessary Licenses & Permits

    Lakeside Wine Label Design

    Licensing-wise, California is one of the easiest places to start a wine brand in the US.

    In California, you only require two types of licenses to start your private label wine business: a type 17 Wine and Beer wholesaler permit and a type 20 retail permit that allows you to sell online. The cost of both is $1000-$1500.

    If you are importing the wine, it must comply with a list of requirements outlined in the Miscellaneous Trade and Technical Corrections Act of 2004. The rules in the act only apply to wine made from sound or ripe grapes that have undergone proper cellar treatment.

    You must obtain a Natural Wine Certificate from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau as proof of compliance. The certification should include an affidavit from the source countrys government showing that there is control over the enological practices. The certification should also have a lab analysis report of the wine from a certified laboratory.

    Countries with an Enological Practices Agreement with the United States are exempt from the certification. These include wine made from grapes, containing 7-22 percent alcohol from the following countries:

    • United Kingdom

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    Decide If The Business Is Right For You

    Wine is bouncing back from the pandemic-driven downturn. But it wont be easy to penetrate a market that relies on brand names, and youll need to be patient to recover your initial investment. But theres real opportunity in wine right now, and it could be the right business for you.

    Lets start by looking at the pros and cons.

    Let Experts Handle Wine Compliance

    For every bottle of wine produced and sold in the U.S., there is a corresponding mountain of paperwork. As an entrepreneur, its tempting to keep expenses low and simply handle the administrative work. However, its worth the investment to partner with a company that specializes in wine compliance to help navigate the regulations.

    Alcohol laws are complex and fragmented, with different local, state, and federal requirements. After securing the myriad of licenses, there is the ongoing process of keeping records, filing forms, and paying various taxes. Each state has distinct mandates, so this process gets exponentially more complex with direct-to-consumer shipping. Even if it were possible to navigate the quagmire of compliance requirements yourself, it would be time-consuming and risky. Your energy is better spent on other areas of the business, where making a mistake wont necessarily translate into breaking the law.

    For any successful wine entrepreneur, its essential to have an experienced company or consultant on your side to provide ongoing wine compliance services. A few reputable ones to consider are DH Compliance, Allen Group, and even software services like Avalara.

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    Pro: Higher Profit Margins

    Starting a wine brand without a winery opens the door for higher profit margins. Producing wine requires a large capital investment and comes with many risks, including poor harvests, difficulty sourcing labor, and unexpected changes in consumer tastes and preferences. Creating your own private label wine brand lets you skirt these potential pitfalls to focus your available business funds on branding and marketing efforts designed to maximize how much you are able to charge per bottle.

    Messing It Up For Everyone

    How to create your own private champagne brand

    Of the celeb-produced wines that I have tried so far says Dee Jones, the operations manager and in-house mixologist for Seelbachs, This is definitely the one I would keep in my rotation at home.

    She thinks Blue Check has a great balance of sweetness, acidity, and tannins, and she would be thrilled to stock the remaining 11 bottles. Tasting it for the first time myself, I have to agree with her.

    Thus, a little more than two months after I decided to create my own celebrity wine brand, it sits in Seelbachs warehouses in Washington, as of this articles publication for sale in their online store at $50 per bottle.

    It cost me less than $300 to launch Blue Check by Goldfarb Family Wines, and I have the receipts for my expense reports.

    Aaron Goldfarb opening his wine near his Brooklyn estate. Photo courtesy of Goldfarb Family Wines.
    The first taste of Blue Check by Goldfarb Family Wines. Photo courtesy of Goldfarb Family Wines.

    Like Jesse Bongiovi or Keenan Towns or the guy from Train, I know the battle has just begun, however.

    First was my afternoon of official celebrity shots for , handled by a neighbor using my iPhone.

    After all this work, though, I have to wonder: why would any legit celeb want to do all this when they could just attend movie premieres and jet-set around the world? How arrogant do you have to be to think the world needs yet another celebrity wine?

    Go on, buy it.


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    Starting Your Own Wine Label: Everything You Need To Know

    Do you dream of starting a wine business but dont want to run a vineyard?

    If so, then youre in luckstarting a private label wine brand offers you the chance to break into the wine world and run a successful business.

    Its a great time to start a wine brandmillennials in particular enjoy wine regularly!

    Starting your own wine label takes plenty of work and planning. But with the right steps in place, you can launch a successful wine business .

    Read on to find out how to start your own wine label and grow your business!

    Make Detailed Cost Calculations

    As mentioned above, starting a winery is not easy nor is it cheap. Just like with any business venture, you must do research on costs to guarantee you dont end up in financial difficulties.

    The key to understand is that starting your own winery will probably cost at least twice the amount you think. As youll seen below the starting investment might depend on the route you take, but be aware that you wont have a lot of income coming in for the first few years. So, you need to have plenty of money to invest at the start and a way to live without the income from the winery.

    Naturally, the investment needed also depends on the scale. If you arent expecting to sell your wine bottles in their hundreds of cases, you wont need as much. But if you want to create a real business with your winery, six or even seven figure investments arent uncommon.

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    Why Private Label Wine Business

    The current estimates are that private label wines now account for about 5% of all wine sales in the U.S., and that percentage could go up. Some experts predict that by the year 2020, private label wines will account for as much as 20% of all wine sales. That would put the private label market on par with other private label markets such as personal label food products or diapers, which today constitute a considerable share of supermarket sales.

    And in many countries around the world, including France and Italy, private label wine accounts for nearly one-third of all wine sales. Besides the economic appeal of selling personal label products, theres also the branding aspect that can help to differentiate companies from other retailers or restaurants.

    A private label wine doesnt say private label on the bottle. It looks like any other wine a casual wine drinker would drink. Private label wines are not always the case in the restaurant and hotel business. Private label wines are becoming more popular as customers become more adventurous. They might not know the wine or the label, but they are tempted to try it. Having an eye-catching label is just as effective as having a first-class wine in attracting attention.

    Licensing And Permits For Wineries

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    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.

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    How To Have Your Own Wine Label Without Owning A Winery

    Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.

    Its a luxury, a frippery, a fantasy or something handed down through an overbearing family.

    Or, perhaps, none of the above.

    Ben Larks and Ari Heavner are Idle Cellars.

    We didnt name it after ourselves, Larks told me. We named it after the mood we want to create.

    This oddly unegotistical gesture is just one component in Idle Cellars slowly growing via unconventional means.

    Larks and Heavner dont own a winery. They didnt inherit a vineyard. Instead, they were lowly employees at the then understaffed Deerfield Ranch Winery in Sonoma.

    They met in 2006 while hanging around outside someones office. Soon, conversations about wine turned into conversations about life. Slightly later, conversations about life turned into conversations about making wine.

    At the time, Heavner was living in a trailer in the winery parking lot. Larks was training to become a teacher. I thought Id end up teaching pottery or something, he said.

    But they both loved wine. Heavner first tried it when he translated for his dad on a visit to a French vineyard. Of course he liked it. He was a 10-year-old at the time.

    Neither of them has a wine-making qualification. They do both have a life-making qualification, however.

    Both have stories. Both have a lot of stories.

    A Wine Label Built From Nothing.

    We do everything ourselves, Larks told me. We do the work.

    Take Your Story National

    You cant rely on distributors and wholesalers to tell your story for you-you also need to take a very active role in ensuring the success of your products. Obviously, this is easier to do on a local scale than on a national scale. For example, its easy to keep tabs on how a local wine bar or restaurant is doing with your portfolio of wines, but its a lot harder to figure out how a craft brewery located halfway across the country is doing with your beers.

    There are a variety of tactics and strategies that you can deploy, however, in order to maximize your chances for success. One of these is simply drilling down on the local media scene in target markets, to make sure that journalists and wine writers have everything they need to tell your story. Another strategy is to ramp up your social media presence on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Regularly posting updates and photos can go a long way in introducing customers in new markets to your products. Finally, think about what you can offer at the point of sale. This can range from special promotional displays for shelves or aisles to in-store tastings and wine education classes. Anything you can do to tell your story nationally will help. Otherwise, your bottles will languish on the shelves.

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    Top Considerations For How To Start A Wine Brand

    Theres a lot to think about when it comes to creating your own wine brand. Evolving consumer tastes, hitting the right price point for your target audience, and designing your branding and wine labels to appeal to the market segment youve chosen are just a few of the details youll need to consider.

    Getting Started With Your Private Label Wine Business

    Wine Styles Course – Picking Wines at Total Wine

    Founding your own private label wine company is an exciting decision. Curating your own collection of premium wines can turn into a fulfilling and lucrative business opportunity.

    From designing custom wine labels to marketing your wines to restaurants, hotels, and wholesale distributors, mastering the fundamentals of operating a private label wine brand is an important first step. We love working with small, private label wine companies. Thats why we have no minimum order quantity. We can help you select the perfect wine labels made from materials that bring your custom designed labels to life, all at a price that fits your budget. Not sure what material or laminate would work best, or have questions about custom wine bottle labels? Give us a call at 877-277-4682 were happy to help!

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    Wine Without The Vineyard

    With options like custom crush facilities, wine lovers don’t have to buy a vineyard or build facilities to bottle their own creations.


    One of Judd Finkelstein’s favorite things about being a winemaker at his family’s Napa Valley winery is getting his hands dirty, whether that means picking the grapes, punching down the cap or working with the barrels. But being a winemaker these days doesn’t always mean attentively tending to a vineyard–or even being in the same state where your wine is produced.

    In addition to Judd’s Hill Winery, which produces less than 3,000 cases of wine per year, the Finkelstein family also owns Judd’s Hill MicroCrush, a custom crush facility that helps approximately 100 clients make their own wine. They’ll do everything from sourcing the grapes from Napa Valley vineyards to designing the label and bottling. In fact, Finkelstein says some long-time clients have never visited the winery. But he also has a client from North Carolina who’ll fly to California with 48 hours notice during harvest season, arriving in the “predawn darkness with picking shears in hand.”

    Alternatives like these are turning winemaking into a more accessible process for Americans, who are embracing wine. “People are realizing it’s pretty easy to do,” says Paul Beveridge, a lawyer who also has been making wine for the past 19 years and teaches a course on winemaking for busy professionals. “It’s like any other art form you can make it as complicated as you want.”

    Ask For Help The Wine Community Is Close

    Before launching my company, the prospect of joining a new industry felt daunting. In reality, fellow wine professionals are collaborative, inclusive, and genuinely excited to see new brands launch with fresh perspectives. Its been a welcoming community of people from diverse backgrounds that share a common passion for wine.

    Its not uncommon to see wineries borrow equipment from each other or share trade knowledge, even though they may be working on competitive labels. The many times Ive cold-emailed industry professionals for advice or showed up at their tasting rooms to talk shop, there is always an eagerness to help or point you in the direction of someone who can. The wine industry has a unique culture that makes work feel less like work and more like being a part of a big community that is creating something special together.

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