Wine Marketing: Tips for a Barrel of Success

Wine marketing is a challenging yet rewarding endeavor. Learn effective tips to help position your business for success in the wine industry.
wine- befunky
  • Did you know?
There are over 7,475 wine businesse in the U.S. as of 2023 (Source: Zippia, March 9, 2023)

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Wine marketing can be challenging yet rewarding for business owners, managers, and marketers. If you want to grow your winery and expand within the market, you’ve come to the right place.

You can position your business for success in the wine industry with the right strategies and tactics. This article will provide tips and resources to help maximize your marketing efforts for a barrel of success. From understanding your target audience to optimizing digital media, these tips will give you an overview of how to market your wine-related business effectively.

wines and barrel - befunky - Wine Marketing

What is wine marketing?

According to the American Marketing Association (AMA), marketing is the process of communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings (products or services) that have value for customers, partners, and society at large. This definition applies to marketing wine, as well.

Wine marketing is developing and implementing a set of strategies that help promote and sell your wine throughout its various stages – from production to packaging and sales. Your ultimate goal is to increase wine sales by understanding your customers, reaching out to them, and gaining their loyalty.   

Wine marketing components include branding, advertising, digital marketing, public relations, events, and retail promotions. 

The wine industry in numbers

The global wine industry is an important part of the world economy and one of its most fascinating. From its humble beginnings in the mountains of Europe thousands of years ago, the production and marketing of wine have spread to all corners of the globe, including the US.  

Here are some key facts and figures about the wine market:

  • In 2020, the US wine industry was worth an estimated $66 billion in direct economic activity. It accounted for 1.8 million jobs across the country.
  • In 2021, the US had the most significant volume of wine consumption worldwide at 3.3 billion liters, followed by France at 2.53 billion liters.
  • In the same year, table wine was observed to be more popular, with 12 times more sales than sparkling wine and champagne.
  • In a 2018 survey, popular wine varieties in the US included Cabernet, Merlot, and Chardonnay. Shiraz was the least popular variety in the country.
  • Cabernet is the top-selling red wine variety, while Chardonnay is the top-selling white wine variety in the US.
  • In the US alone, 773 million gallons of wine were produced in 2021, with about 83.9% coming from California.
  • There is a strong positive relationship between income level and wine consumption in the US.
  • Research shows that wine consumption worldwide is on track to grow exponentially in the coming years, with estimates showing that it could reach as high as 6 billion liters by 2023.
  • The wine consumption growth is attributed mainly to millennials, who are currently driving demand for premium wines at a much higher rate than previous generations. A strong marketing push from wineries and distributors alike, combined with an increased focus on education, has facilitated this growth.

Importance of marketing wine

Marketing wine is the backbone of your business. It is vital in so many aspects. You need to understand and satisfy your customers’ needs for your company to survive. You need to offer value to your clients for your business to grow.  

Wine marketing will help you bring in customers and generate sales by establishing a solid presence in the marketplace. This requires careful planning and execution of effective wine marketing strategies, including advertising and promotions.

Role of wine marketers

Wine marketers are responsible for developing and executing a marketing plan crucial to the business. As a wine marketer, your role is to create a comprehensive strategy that effectively combines different marketing elements to maximize your reach and impact. 

Consider the following tasks a wine marketer does as a guide:

  • Define your target market.
  • Develop a clear brand message.
  • Understand buying attitudes and preferences.
  • Stay up to date with wine industry data and trends.
  • Perform marketing analysis to find more opportunities.
  • Create marketing reports to monitor performance and adjust strategies.
  • Utilize various marketing platforms, from print to digital media, to reach potential customers.
  • Create and design marketing materials.
  • Be active on social media to connect with customers and ensure brand presence.
  • Be the “public face” of the company at events and appearances. 

As a wine marketer, your ultimate goal is to create connections that will increase your sales and brand loyalty. These connections include one between your products and your customers and one between you and your customers.

Who can be your target audience?

When it comes to wine marketing, targeting the right audience is essential for success. Knowing your potential customers can help you understand their needs and create effective campaigns that cater to them. Knowing and understanding your customer base will help generate more sales and profits.

How to identify your target audience

So who should be on your target list? 

Here are some tips for identifying your target audience:

1. Identify what you can offer 

To help you pinpoint your target audience, identify what you can offer. What types of wine can you provide? What varieties do you offer? Knowing what needs and wants you can cater to makes it easier for you to identify your target audience.

2. Ask yourself, where do you want to do business

Do you want to do business in your locality or sell wines in neighboring areas as well? Are you also planning on exporting your wine? Asking yourself these questions will help you narrow down the people you want to cater to.   

3. Do your research

Once you have decided where to sell, conduct market research. Find out the demographics of those who consume wine in the area. This includes age groups, gender, income levels, social media presence, and more. Next, learn which wine varieties are most popular to focus on selling wines with a high level of general interest. And, understand the buying trends in the area. Are the people in the area fond of affordable wine varieties, or do they value exclusiveness? It could also be both.  

4. Understand how  lifestyle affects people’s purchasing behavior 

Some lifestyles can affect how people choose their wine. For instance, some people may prefer locally-grown ingredients. Others also prefer eco-friendly and organic practices. You can capture a segment of the wine market when you position your brand along with these advocacies and lifestyles.       

5. Use current customer information

Identifying your target audience does not just happen when starting a business. It is a continuous and evolving process, just like wine consumer trends. Keeping this in mind, keep track of your current customers to know who to target. 

Ask the following questions:

  • Who buys our wine?
  • What age group do they belong to?
  • What wine varieties do they buy?
  • Do they prefer to purchase in our physical store or online?
  • When do customers buy our wine? Do they buy more during certain days of the week, occasions, or promotions?   

Knowing your current customer base and their buying attitude will help you identify the audience you’ll want to focus on.

How to succeed in wine marketing

Wine marketing has become more competitive in recent years as the industry continues to grow and expand. Successfully promoting wine products requires understanding and always being on the lookout for market trends, consumer preferences, and effective marketing strategies.

Tried-and-true wine marketing ideas

red wine - befunky

The following are tried-and-true wine marketing ideas you should consider:

1. Conduct wine-tasting events

Holding a wine-tasting event has been an effective marketing strategy for raising brand awareness, creating and strengthening partnerships, and increasing sales. People can get a free taste of your wine and buy them on the spot. It is also an opportune time to create or strengthen partnerships with luxurious venues, upscale restaurants, and fine-dining food suppliers, with which wine is usually paired. 

2. Give out wine samples

People love free items. So whether you are giving out product samples in your tasting room or a grocery store, people will get to try your wine and will have a high propensity to purchase in the future.

Here are some statistics you can consider:

  • 35% of people trying a sample will eventually buy the item on the same shopping trip.
  • 47% of those who try your sample without hearing of your product beforehand will likely purchase it sometime in the future.

3. Launch off-peak promotions

Off-peak times may mean a season, months, days of the week, or times of the day. When there is less demand for your wine, think of a promotion that can help boost your sales. Happy Hours, wine raffles, and wine deals are some effective strategies you can try. 

4. Offer other promos and special packages

Promotions attract more customers and encourage repeat purchases. In addition to your off-peak promos, you can have the following weekly and seasonal events in your tasting room:

  • Ladies night
  • Date night
  • Banker’s night, Manager’s night, and other profession-related specials
  • Birthday promos 
  • Bachelor/Bachelorette event packages 

5. Host and participate in events

Hosting and participating in events will improve brand loyalty, reach, and awareness. Aside from gaining recognition with event attendees, it could lead to your brand being featured in local newspapers, magazines, and social media. 

Events will give you time to connect with your customers and, at the same time, introduce your brand to those who have yet to hear about you. These activities will also allow you to gather people’s information and grow your contact list for your follow-up email and social media campaigns. 

Wonderful event ideas include wedding expos, jewelry events, art exhibits, corporate events, family fun days, business expos, and wine masterclasses.      

6. Make an effective website

Whether you’re a small business just getting started or an established winery looking to expand your sales, having an attractive and engaging website is vital. Your website can be a gallery for your array of products, or you can create an e-commerce website.

To create an effective website:

  • Make sure it looks professional and stylish.
  • The design should be modern and easy to navigate.
  • Choose colors that evoke warmth and sophistication, as these can be very attractive to potential customers browsing for wines online.
  • Make sure there’s plenty of information available about each bottle, such as region of origin, tasting notes, food pairings, etc., so customers can make informed decisions when they purchase from your store.
  • Make sure there are “buy now” and other call-to-action buttons to make the process of buying easier for your customers.
  • Ensure that all payment methods are secure so that customers can have peace of mind when making purchases on your site.
  • Include reviews from customers and recommendations from influencers.

7. Be an expert in your field

Being a source of knowledge can make you an industry expert. Include a blog on your website where you can share current and reliable information about the wine industry. Topics can range from broad, such as different types of wines, varieties of red and white wine, and wine pairings to more specific and exciting topics like the difference between cabernet sauvignon and pinot noir and the history of wine.   

8. Promote through email

Email marketing is an essential tool that allows you to reach a broad audience and build customer relationships. A bi-monthly or weekly email should be enough to keep your relationship going and, at the same time, not annoy your contacts. 

Here are some content ideas you can include in your marketing emails:   

  • new blog content
  • new product launch
  • exclusive event invitations
  • new and ongoing promotions
  • personalized thank you messages after a purchase
  • feedback collection
  • company news

9. Announce deals and invitations through SMS

Sometimes, emails stay unread in a person’s inbox or spam folder. To ensure your contacts notice you, send an SMS blast every time you have a promo or event invitation. Be sure to include a link to your website so they can find more information.

celebrating with wine - befunky

The above tried-and-true wine marketing strategies will be effective for many years to come. However, your company can grow and get more recognition with new online marketing trends.

1. Social media presence

Social media is becoming an integral part of wine marketing. With the increased use of social media platforms, you will be able to reach a larger audience and stay ahead of your competition. By utilizing social media, you can create engaging campaigns to generate interest from potential customers.  

Being on social media also gives your potential customers another way to reach you via posts, comments, and private messages. So be sure to always stay active on different platforms. Also, always use hashtags on your posts to make your brand more visible on social media

2. Influencer marketing

In the modern age of digital marketing, wine producers have turned to social media influencers to help promote products. Wine marketing has become significantly more effective through this medium, with the ability to reach a broad audience in a short period of time. 

Whether promoting your product with someone with over a million followers or only a thousand followers, you can reach more people with influencer marketing.

Be sure to find an influencer to which your product and their audience can relate. Make sure you also clearly define your objectives and collaborate with your influencer on how to promote your product on social media.    

3. No- and Low-Alcohol (NOLO) Wines

There is an increasing trend in the wine market towards no- and low-alcohol (NOLO) wines as a growing number of wine consumers concentrate on their health and wellness. This trend is observed among the legal drinking age Gen-Z and younger millennials, who are moderating their alcohol intake, as well as among a broader range of people. 

4. Approach to sustainability 

Millennials and other consumers are increasingly becoming more mindful of what they purchase and consume. Sustainable choices have become more popular, and wines are no exception. These consumers appreciate and prefer locally produced, sustainable, organic, or vegan wines.   

If your company’s branding aligns with sustainability or any of these green trends, emphasize these values with your marketing strategies to capture your audience. You may do so through storytelling on your website, social media, and packaging.

Wine marketing for OND

As the holiday season approaches, you need to plan your OND (October-November-December) marketing strategy. The holidays are an excellent time to increase your market share with strategically designed advertisements and promotions. An effective marketing campaign can draw in customers and showcase your products in a more competitive environment. As the demand for wine increases during the holiday season, it is crucial to establish a strong presence to capitalize on this opportunity.

Here are some OND wine marketing tips:

1. Create a marketing calendar

It is important to create an annual calendar for your OND wine marketing plans. Decide when you will offer deals and conduct holiday events. Create a communication schedule on when to advertise on different platforms and send emails and SMS’ to your contacts.

Look at your previous OND strategies and review their pros and cons. Also, consider new industry trends to incorporate into your campaigns.       

2. Segment your contact list and audience

Segmenting your contact list will allow you to personalize your email and SMS promotional messages. Segregating your audience will also let you develop the most appropriate marketing strategies, such as what type of content to use, which media channels to promote your campaigns, which influencer to collaborate with, and more.     

3. Narrow down your offer

Just for the holidays, make shopping easier for your customers by creating “Holiday Specials” of specially selected wines. Here are some ideas you can choose from:

  • Offer your best-selling wines in bundles. You can pair two best-selling wines or bundle a best-selling wine with a less popular wine you want to promote.
  • Choose one or two of the most preferred wines for each of your customer segments. 
  • Feature a wine that you only offer during the Holidays.
  • Offer a Holiday wine that is a wine club exclusive.

It’s easier to promote your OND campaigns when you advertise using trending platforms and content types. For this year, consider the following trends:

  • Short-form video content; TikTok, YouTube, Instagram Reels, and other short-form video platforms
  • Facebook promotion for Millennials
  • LinkedIn for B2B campaigns
  • Humorous content 
  • Sustainability and health
  • User-generated content

Marketing wines to millennials

Millennials are a lucrative consumer group for many industries, and the wine industry is no exception. As the most diverse generation in history, millennials are known for their willingness to experiment with new products and experiences, making them an ideal target for your wine business.  

Marketing wine to millennials differs from other generations, so you need to handle them differently. Values like health consciousness, sustainability, and authenticity drive this demographic. They are more likely than other generations to research where their wines come from before buying. Additionally, they are drawn to brands that have a story behind them or provide meaningful social benefits—such as organic or fair-trade wines. 

To successfully market wine to millennials, here are some considerations:

  • Focus on creating stories around your products that emphasize the unique characteristics of each vintage. 
  • Be transparent with your labels.
  • Highlight essential values such as eco-friendliness and community involvement in your wines, packaging, delivery, and campaigns. 
  • Offer natural wine.
  • Be visible and active on social media.
  • Collaborate with social media influencers.
  • Use hashtags for better reach and visibility.
  • Market through emails and SMS.
  • Sell on your website.

Growing your wine club

Many wine consumers love the exclusiveness of clubs. Organizing a wine club can create a sustainable cash flow for your business and promote brand loyalty. Your customers commit to buying a certain number of bottles at a discount per year and enjoy other benefits. You can start by having a wine club that offers a few bottles per year and see how it goes. 

As members of your private wine club, your customers will enjoy exclusive perks like member-only event invitations, discounted rates on the purchase of additional bottles, and unlimited tastings at your winery, among other benefits. Remember to keep your events exclusive and your perks attractive to add more value to your wine club.

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Where to promote your wine: wine marketing platforms

With the ever-changing landscape of marketing platforms, it’s often hard to know where to start marketing your wine business. However, with the right approach and understanding of which platforms best suit your business, you can reach potential customers and increase sales. 

When it comes to successful wine marketing platforms, there are numerous options available. 

Digital wine marketing

Digital marketing channels like email, SMS, SEO, and online video advertising are excellent ways to engage with current customers and build relationships that last long into the future. With digital marketing, you can quickly generate data-driven insights into your target demographic and craft content and campaigns tailored specifically to them. Finally, digital marketing platforms let you measure the effectiveness of your campaigns with real-time analytics so you can adjust approaches as necessary.

A paid search campaign is a digital marketing strategy where you pay search engines to place your ads at the top of the search results to get more website traffic and increase sales. 

You can use paid search campaigns to market your wines and reap the following benefits:

  • Target audience. Unlike other ads, like print and billboard, you can directly reach your target market.   
  • Cost-effectiveness. You can work around your budget for paid search campaigns.
  • Control. You can choose a keyword that is relevant to your business and control the duration of your ad.
  • Measurable results. You can monitor how many people see your ads, clicks to your website, and how many sales you get from your ads.  

When managed correctly, along with maintaining an effective website, paid search campaigns can boost your sales and expand your wine business.

Marketing wine on social media

Social media is a powerful marketing platform. Thanks to its global reach, social media can create brand awareness, boost sales, and connect with customers from your locality and worldwide.

You can use Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and other platforms to showcase your products, create content related to wine culture, promote new releases and deals, and create meaningful connections with customers. By using entertaining visuals and content, such as photos or videos,  you can capture the attention of potential customers on this platform. You can also use it to interact directly with customers by responding to comments or questions in real-time. 

Finally, don’t forget to tap influencers within the industry to help introduce your brand to a broader audience and gain valuable insights into how users perceive your products.

Marketing emails

As we have mentioned, email is an effective marketing platform. You can use it to drive brand awareness, increase sales, and reach new customers. 

Email campaigns allow you to create personalized, compelling, and persuasive content that can emotionally connect with potential customers and reinforce relationships with existing buyers.  Email campaigns also enable you to track reader engagement by using analytics tools to measure open rates, click-through rates, and other important metrics. This allows for the timely optimization of messaging to ensure maximum success.  


Effective wine marketing requires proper knowledge, careful planning, and execution. Understanding the wine industry and your target audience is necessary to develop the right marketing plan. It is also best to apply tried-and-true marketing strategies and adapt to industry trends to create meaningful and effective marketing campaigns. Finally, be sure to utilize the proper marketing channels and partner with the right influencers and businesses to ensure you are reaching your target audience.  

By following these tips, you will be on your way to gaining more attention and increasing your sales.  Twibi is a digital marketing expert in the wine industry.

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  • Did you know?
Italy is home to some of the most prestigious wine regions on earth. Just over 1200 million gallons of total wine are produced in Italy every single year. (Source: DrinkStack, March 6, 2023)
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