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How to Become a Wine Sales Rep (+ Resume Example)

Ready to start applying for wine sales rep positions? Follow this guide and resume template to help you on your career journey.

If you’re passionate about wine and you enjoy meeting new people, a career as a wine sales representative could be perfect for you. Though the work is often challenging, wine sales reps enjoy a very independent career and get to experience almost everything the industry has to offer, including travel, trying new wines, meeting accomplished winemakers, and more. If this sounds like something you’d enjoy, read on to learn more about what it takes to become a wine sales rep and how you can get your career started.

What is a Wine Sales Representative?

A wine sales representative works in the wine industry, either for wineries, vineyards, distributors, or importers, and is responsible for promoting and selling wine to various customers and businesses. Their primary goal is to generate sales and increase the distribution and visibility of the wines they represent. Typical clients of a wine sales rep are restaurants, bars, hotels, retail stores, other distributors, and more.

Working as a wine sales representative can be both lucrative and adventurous. You may get to work with extremely prestigious or unique clients and travel to interesting locations on the job. Wine sales reps generally get to be self-led in their career, choosing their own schedule and clients to pursue. 

Skills and Responsibilities of a Wine Sales Representative

Working as a sales representative for a winery or wine distributor requires specific skills to cover a wide variety of responsibilities. Note that the specific responsibilities and requirements may vary depending on the company, region, and market segment within the wine industry, so don’t feel discouraged if you don’t possess all the skills mentioned.

Time Management

Wine sales reps need to be excellent at managing their time since so much of the job is self-led. Though you’ll enjoy working without constant direct oversight, you’ll also need to stay on top of your tasks. Wine reps need to be able to balance time between client meetings, traveling, networking, processing orders, and more in order to be successful.

Communication and People Skills

Sales representatives in any industry need to be good at connecting with and talking to people. Making and maintaining personal connections is key to being a great wine sales representative. Understanding client needs and providing a personalized experience go a long way in ensuring customer satisfaction.


Wine sales representatives are usually responsible for managing their own clients and sales. Processing sales orders, coordinating deliveries, and ensuring accurate and timely fulfillment of customer requests are just a few of the everyday responsibilities of a wine sales rep. They may also handle pricing negotiations and manage inventory levels.

Wine sales reps must also maintain thorough records of sales activities, prepare sales reports, and pass along feedback to management. This helps evaluate performance, identify areas for improvement, and make strategic business decisions.

Sales Acumen

Being a great communicator and knowing a lot about wine are great skills to have as a wine sales rep, but you ultimately need to close deals in order to succeed. A great wine sales rep should have a keen ability to make sales and often requires an active, go-getting attitude. This involves making sales calls, conducting product presentations, and organizing wine tastings or events for potential buyers.

Industry Knowledge

Wine sales representatives should develop a deep understanding of the wines they represent, including their production methods, flavor profiles, and wine regions. However, a good wine sales rep should have a more broad understanding of the industry as a whole as well as adjacent industries, such as the food and restaurant scene.

How to Become a Wine Sales Rep

Finding a wine sales representative position takes a bit of leg work but the reward is certainly worth it. Here are some of the best ways to find a job as a wine sales rep.

Networking and Word-of-Mouth

As with any career, networking is one of the best ways to find new jobs and strengthen your career. If you’re new to the wine industry, start out by attending events and getting into the food and beverage scene. Some wine sales reps start out by bartending or working in a restaurant and using connections from those jobs to find wine sales rep positions.

Browsing Job Sites and Boards

Sites like Indeed.com and LinkedIn post job openings constantly. Start your job hunt by browsing these sites for any available wine sales representative roles that you may be interested in. Keep in mind that hundreds, if not thousands, of other individuals will be applying for these positions as well, so don’t get discouraged if you aren’t selected right away.

Checking Brand Websites

If there’s a particular company you want to work for, keep an eye on their website for job listings. Many companies post job openings directly on their website rather than post them to public forums. If you’re feeling brave, you can also reach out with your resume to show your interest in working for that company. Showing initiative and eagerness may give you an advantage.

Here are some of our favorite winery websites to get you started →

How to Stand Out in the Industry

So how do you stand out as a wine sales rep? Going above and beyond in your role can not only make you more successful but can also provide more career opportunities down the road. Here’s how you can set yourself apart as an exceptional wine sales rep.

Use a Customer Relationship Management Tool

A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool can be extremely beneficial for wine sales reps. These tools let you build profiles on current and prospective clients, including where they are in the sales process, what products they currently get from you, and any other notes that are relevant to that account.

Use a Product Locator

A product locator can help you visualize how well your wine selection is distributed across the region and show potential gaps and opportunity areas. A good product locator can help you identify potential clients and provide data you can use when meeting with buyers.

‍Request a Grappos Product Locator demo →

Refresh the Company Website

Though this may be a bit tricky to pull off at a larger company, many smaller wine companies could use a major website refresh. A great wine website does a lot of heavy lifting from a marketing and sales perspective and can either make or break a potential client meeting. Make sure the wine brand’s website is up-to-date with relevant information, includes great photos, and shares a bit about the company’s history.

Learn more: 10 Website Pages Every Alcohol Brand Needs

Wine Representative Resume Example

Ready to start applying for wine sales rep positions? Use the following resume template to craft a compelling resume that stands out from the competition.

Breaking into the wine industry and landing a job as a wine sales rep may take time and persistence. Building a strong network, continuously expanding your wine knowledge, and demonstrating your passion for the industry can greatly enhance your chances of success. While the aforementioned skills are essential for a wine sales representative, it's important to note that they can be developed and honed over time. Continuous learning, industry engagement, and on-the-job experience can help you enhance these skills and become more effective in your role. We wish you the best of luck in your career journey!

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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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