Marketing,Wine,Wine Business,Winery

Wine Company Flow Chart of Responsibility

Recently I was struck by how many people are now blogging about wine, just because they enjoy the beverage, and are at ground zero for understanding how a wine company actually operates.

When I wanted to segue from PR in radio to PR in the wine industry, I had a pretty decent resume and interviewed with some of the big dogs. In interviews, though, I couldn’t hold up. Not because I hadn’t already achieved PR credentials for working with media, but my radio media didn’t interface with wine media… and never the twain shall meet. Neither side has thought hard enough about it. My former radio station, when queried about having a wine segment, didn’t even see the benefits of having a wine reviewer; and, the wine industry doesn’t event think hard about radio as an option for publicity. (I don’t have the time to become a single-minded crusader, because billable hours currently rule my days.)

I was laughed out of some pretty great wine companies. I was essentially told, “You weren’t born into it, you haven’t married into it. Heck, you don’t even have any friends in the wine business, and what’s worse is that you know very little about wine!”

All good points, but that didn’t deter me, and off I went. I finally was offered one day in a tasting room, then two, then 30 hours a week (that kept me from having a full-time position with benefits for a while), then full time. All of that took about a year and a half. In that time, I was in the tasting room, learning the basics about a wine company. Even then, I wasn’t ever given the flow chart. I thought the entire universe revolved around the tasting room and those sales.

Then, the flood gates opened, when I was transferred to the marketing department. This is where I really began to understand how the entire operation works for a small to mid size company. I’ve held positions in direct sales, marketing, district sales (Northern CA, Northern NV, OR, WA, ID, MN, IA, ME, MA, Puerto Rico), public relations management, and graphic arts development.

This flow chart will help anyone wanting to understand how a small company works. Larger ones break down even further.

You’ll notice HR and CFO are missing here (generally under the CEO), because for anyone writing about wine, a winemaker, or a vineyard manager, these people are nonessential (but are still very necessary within the company).

I beleive this chart will help you guys understand how this all works and who reports to whom. If you’re wanting to write about and understand a wine company, this info allows you to undestand the big picture.

Besides proprietors, just look at all the interesting people within a company that help to make up the story!

One Response to “Wine Company Flow Chart of Responsibility”

  1. amy atwood says:

    The chart is a great beginning for a basic understanding the wine business.
    But the real fun comes in understanding the relationship dynamics between the wineries, their wholesale distributors, the retail and restaurant accounts and then finally the end consumer.

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