In a market where there are more wineries seeking distribution than there are distributors seeking wineries to represent, those wineries that are properly prepared and well informed will have a distinct advantage. Far too many wineries approach distributors ill prepared, wasting their own time and that of the distributors.
A winery must have its business ready for commercial sales, understand how a distributor operates and be clear why it’s wines add value to a distributor’s portfolio. At the same time, choosing the correct distributor is an important and long term business decision that should not be taken lightly.
This guide is written by people who have worked for both wineries and distributors, giving a great insight into what distributors look for in a winery and why, what needs to be organised before distributors are contacted and the tools to bring along to meetings.
Wineries that are properly prepared and understand the needs of the distributor will have a far more realistic chance of gaining representation and growing sales than those who wonder in without a plan.
As one distributor put it, ‘I wish all wineries would read your distribution guide before contacting me for a meeting. 9 times out of 10 I spend a hour explaining how it all works and send them on their way with a confused look on their face.’
Note: This guide is designed for the Australian domestic wine market