How Much Does a Wine Broker Make?

by Bridgette Austin; Updated September 26, 2017
Wine brokers are responsible for selling wine to distributors and wholesalers.

Restaurants and retailers around the world pride themselves on the types of wine they offer. Wine brokers are sales representatives who help wine producers get their wine to these stores, retailers and restaurants. In addition to being outgoing, flexible and self-motivated, wine brokers must be able to manage and build relationships with wine distributors. They must also collaborate well with in-house marketing and sales teams to generate revenue for their company. Average salaries for wine brokers vary and depend on factors such as experience level and geographic location.

Function

The life of a wine broker can be a hectic one, as building and maintaining a steady stream of clients and prospects are keys to career success. Similar to sales representatives in other professions, wine brokers act as the liaison between wineries that produce the wine and the retailers that sell it to consumers. In addition to conducting presentations, participating in trade shows and attending sales meetings to build their client base, wine brokers host events such as wine dinners and tastings to network with potential prospects. Other duties wine brokers handle include generating market reports, organizing supplier visits, monitoring inventory and reviewing distributor orders. Sales representatives working in the beer, wine and distilled alcoholic beverage business earned an average annual wage of $54,890 as of May 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Geography

Geography plays a significant role in the average salary of wine brokers working in the U.S. For example, a June 2011 SalaryExpert reported that wine sales representatives in Atlanta earned an average salary of $82,401. However, sales reps employed in Dallas earned $75,761. Professionals working in Chicago and Los Angeles averaged $85,444 and $76,901, respectively. Wine sales representatives working for New York City wholesalers reported the highest average salary at $101,655. Professionals in Orlando reported the lowest, earning $67,932 annually.

Advancement

Similar to other industries, wine brokers can ascend to managerial roles after building an industry portfolio and acquiring significant sales planning expertise. A bachelor's degree and strong technology and marketing experience also boost a candidate's chances for career advancement. Regional and district sales manager positions are possible career avenues for wine brokers looking to advance in their industry. Salary.com reported that the average salary for regional sales managers in the U.S. was $100,051. Typical qualifications include at least seven years of experience in the field and supervisory responsibilities.

Potential

Sales representative jobs in the wholesale and manufacturing industries will increase 7 percent through the year 2018, according to the labor statistics bureau. Growth is attributed to factors such as economic expansion, and an increase in the number of products and services sold in the U.S. Moreover, established wine regions such as Northern California anticipate wine production to increase, according to an April 2011 North Bay Business Journal article. Job prospects and earnings potential for wine brokers should be best for professionals with college education and industry expertise. Strong personal selling skills are also important for earning high salaries and commission rates.

2016 Salary Information for Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales Representatives

Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives earned a median annual salary of $61,270 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives earned a 25th percentile salary of $42,360, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $89,010, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 1,813,500 people were employed in the U.S. as wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives.

About the Author

Bridgette is an aspiring yogini, newbie coder and seasoned marketing writer in the higher ed space. She's written hundreds of articles on a wide range of topics including, entrepreneurship, K-12 pedagogy and information technology. Bridgette's work has appeared on Connect: IT at NYU, Noodle Pros, QuickBooks Small Business Center, Trails.com and USA Today.

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