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13 Steps to Starting a Private Label Wine Business

The market is ripe for new wine businesses. Get valuable tips and insights on how to start a private label wine business.

Wine sales are on the rise, especially for direct-to-consumer wine brands with e-commerce platforms. Consumers are enjoying the increase in product offerings and ingenuity of new wine brands. The market is ripe for new wine businesses and the good news is that you don’t need a vineyard in order to launch one of your own. By partnering with a private label wine manufacturer, anyone can launch a wine brand. In this guide, we’ll share valuable tips and insights to start a private label wine business, as well as actionable steps you can take to get started in this burgeoning industry.

What is a Private Label Wine Business?

A private label wine business involves the creation and sale of wine under a brand owned or controlled by a retailer, distributor, or individual entity rather than the original producer or vineyard. In other words, the wine is produced by one company but sold under the brand name of another.

Private label wine businesses are common in the retail industry, where supermarkets, liquor stores, and other retailers may want to offer exclusive or unique wine options to differentiate themselves from competitors. This model allows these businesses to have control over the branding and marketing of the product without having to invest in the winemaking process themselves. 

But private label wine isn’t exclusive to large retailers. Small brands can certainly launch their own private label wine ventures and find great success using this model.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Starting a Private Label Wine Business

Before starting a private label wine business, do your due diligence by conducting thorough market research, develop a solid business plan, and carefully consider the advantages and disadvantages associated with this type of business venture. Success depends on strategic planning, effective marketing, and maintaining high standards of quality.


  • Branding Control: You have control over the branding, packaging, and marketing of the wine, allowing you to tailor the product to your target market.
  • Market Differentiation: Private label wines can help you stand out in a crowded market. You can offer unique products that are exclusive to your business.
  • Profit Margins: Private label products often provide better profit margins compared to reselling existing brands. You can negotiate favorable terms with suppliers.
  • Flexibility: You have the flexibility to choose the type of wine, packaging, and pricing strategy that aligns with your business goals.
  • Building Customer Loyalty: Offering exclusive wines can build customer loyalty as consumers may associate your brand with quality and uniqueness.


  • Quality Control: Ensuring consistent quality can be challenging, especially if you are sourcing wine from different suppliers. Quality control becomes crucial unless you choose the right private label wine producer to partner with. 
  • Initial Investment and Risk: Starting a private label wine business may require a significant initial investment in branding, marketing, and inventory. There's a risk that the venture may not be successful.
  • Dependency on Suppliers: Your business is dependent on the reliability and quality of the wine supplied by others. Issues with suppliers can impact your business.
  • Competition: Private label wines face competition not only from other private labels but also from established brands. Marketing and differentiation are crucial to stand out.
  • Regulatory Compliance: The wine industry is subject to various regulations. Ensuring compliance with labeling, licensing, and other regulations can be complex and time-consuming.
  • Brand Recognition Challenges: Building brand recognition for a private label can be challenging, especially if consumers are unfamiliar with the brand or if the market is saturated.
  • Long-Term Relationships: Building and maintaining long-term relationships with suppliers is critical. Changes in suppliers could affect the consistency of your product.

How to Market and Sell Private Label Wine

Starting a private label wine business involves several key steps. By following these steps and remaining adaptable to market changes, you can build a successful and distinctive brand in the wine industry.

1. Research and Planning

Conduct thorough market research to understand the demand for private label wines in your target market. Identify your competitors, target audience, and potential niches. From that research, develop a comprehensive business plan that outlines your goals, target market, marketing strategy, financial projections, and operational plan.

2. Legal Compliance

Familiarize yourself with the legal and regulatory requirements of the wine industry in your region. Ensure compliance with labeling regulations, licensing, and any other legal aspects associated with wine production and sales. When starting a private label wine business, this often looks like having a conversation with the wine producer or reviewing how they stay compliant.

3. Quality Control and Supplier Selection

Establish rigorous quality control measures to ensure the consistency and quality of your private label wines. Identify and establish relationships with reliable wine suppliers or wineries. Consider factors such as reputation, reliability, and their ability to meet your quality and quantity requirements. 

4. Branding and Packaging

Develop a strong and distinctive brand identity for your private label wines. Consider investing in professional branding and packaging design that aligns with your target market and sets your products apart from competitors. 

5. Product Selection

Choose the types of wine you want to offer under your private label. Consider factors such as consumer preferences, market trends, and your brand positioning.

6. Label Design and Compliance

Work on creating custom labels for your wine bottles. Ensure that your labels comply with all legal and regulatory requirements, including any necessary warnings or information.

Learn more: 12 Best Alcohol Label Designs [+ How to Design Your Own]

7. Build a Brand Website

Whether or not you decide to sell your private label wine online, you should definitely design a brand website to help increase brand awareness. Your private label wine website should showcase your brand and products so customers clearly understand what your business offers. Consider incorporating a product locator so customers can find your wine near them

Learn more: 9 Must-Have E-Commerce Website Features [+ Bonus Tools]

8. Production and Bottling

Coordinate with your chosen suppliers or wineries for the production and bottling of your private label wines. Ensure that production meets your quality standards and that the wine is bottled according to your specifications.

9. Distribution Strategy

Decide on your distribution channels. Will you sell directly to consumers, through retail outlets, or online platforms? Develop a distribution strategy that aligns with your business goals and target audience. Be sure to choose a reputable wine distributor that is established in the markets you intend to sell.

Learn more: 5 Best Wine Distributors in the US & 6 Best Wine Distributors in Canada

10. Marketing and Promotion

Develop a robust marketing strategy to promote your private label wines. Utilize digital marketing, social media, tastings, and other promotional activities to raise awareness and attract customers.

Learn more: 5 Most Effective Wine Marketing Trends in 2023 and Beyond

11. Sales Channels

Determine the sales channels through which you will sell your private label wines. This could include establishing relationships with retailers, creating an online store, or participating in events and markets.

12. Build Brand Recognition

Engage in branding activities to build awareness and recognition for your private label. Consider participating in industry events, collaborating with influencers, and leveraging social media platforms.

13. Monitor and Adapt

Stay attuned to customer feedback and market trends. Monitor sales data, reviews, and other relevant information to adapt your products and strategies based on consumer preferences and changing market dynamics.

Kickstart Your Private Label Wine Business

Starting a successful private label wine business requires careful planning and partnership with reputable vendors. By carefully considering these factors, you can position your private label wine business for success and navigate the challenges associated with the wine industry. 

Give your wine business a competitive edge by partnering with Grappos. The Grappos Product Locator helps customers find your wine and helps you gather valuable sales & search insights. Request a demo today for more →

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Eric Kunisawa

Founder & CEO

Eric Kunisawa is the founder of Grappos. He's been successfully helping businesses connect customers with their products since 2008.

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