Discounts for ITB?

We give 30% off retail to winery owners and their employees but no discount to those in the business in other ways. I guess if I charged for tastings – though I doubt I ever will – I would comp all ITB.

What is your winery’s policy?

I give ITB discounts to Randy and Ian, screw everyone else. That’s my policy. neener

for “ITB” (that is tasting room, production, hospitality, winery owners, growers) we do 33%.

for “trade” (that is bartenders, chefs, restaurant owners,) we do 15%

i will typically comp tastings for any and all of the above, and i will ask for a business card (though not as “proof” of who they might be, but so i can put names to faces and track visits).

there is some gray area when it comes to what defines ITB. i recently had a group of six come by and the “lead” person said something along the lines of, “I’m in the business, can you comp our tastings?” she presented her card, and turns out she’s a systems analyst for Diageo. nothing against that organization specifically, but that doesn’t exactly fit my definition of ITB. nonetheless, i comped the tastings in the spirit of goodwill.

Another point of reference…

My wife and I often go tasting in the SLO/Paso Robles area with my mother-in-law, who works in a tasting room in Sonoma. For the 3-4 of us, our tastings are usually comped, and we’ve seen discounts from 20% to 40%, although most are 25%-33%. A 30% level is definitely enough to inspire more purchases than we would otherwise make.

I’d think it would be simplest to just treat ITB people like they were wine club members (ITB meaning winery/vintner employees). Not sure about “trade” folks.

30% here.

I charge people ITB (brewing or wine making) wholesale.

Curious what folks think about restaurant staff. Definitely comp tasting, but what after that? Do they carry your wine? Do they have any say
in purchasing? Do you get a discount when you visit their restaurant?

Alot of things to think about with different sectors of ITB.

Great topic.

I’ve worked on the supplier/distributor side. In talking to the pouring staff, I’m often asked if I’m in the biz before I offer it up. I’ll usually mention it at some point, but sometimes not. Every tasting room is different. I’ve gotten anywhere from no discount whatsoever, to comped tastings, to a range between 15 and 30% off wine purchases. I appreciate any discount that I receive very much, and will often buy a little extra as a result. I respect that each winery tasting room is a unique business, and my only expectation is to enjoy the experience of visiting.

In short, I go expecting to pay full price and anything above and beyond is a nice gesture and well appreciated.

that’s the crux of the situation for me. i have no problem giving restaurant staff 15% (whether or not they carry our wine), but get a little twisted when i hear, “Isn’t the ‘industry’ discount 30%?”

at that point i’ll ask if i can have 30% off my meal the next time i visit their establishment. the answer is (almost) always “No.”


We’ve actually been to more than one tasting room where they’ve asked what discount they’d get if they visited Field Stone (where my mother-in-law works), and then they matched that.

I think a consistent discount is appropriate. Keeps it easier; that would be for both back of the house, so to speak - winemakers, growers, producers, distributors, and front of the house - restaurants, barkeeps, hospitality, tasting, etc.

So now that I have offered advice as a sales pricing consultant, may I please have an ITB discount? [cheers.gif]
Thank you.

wholesale to all, including bartenders/servers. If they have connections to buy wholesale then that’s what we sell it for. Straight trade for wines bottle for bottle, none of the price matching crap. It does more harm for the long run to short someone on a discount than the few bucks are worth.

+1 for sales. However the tasting room handling our wines doesn’t discount (they have standard policy to waive tasting fees with purchase).


I typically ask if what they offer as a discount and reciprocate that. so if someone in the food industry came to me asking for 30% and they told me I wouldn’t get a discount than I would probably do a 15% or so.

I dont charge for tastings, but they are by appointment only. We also hold 2-3 events a year that we do not charge for either. it gets people into our place a couple times a year because we don’t have an open tasting room.

Sort of an off tangent question…when you go to a restaurant and you see your wine on the winelist, do you let the wait person know who you are? We are very small, so our placements are important. I try to visit my placements when in the area and let them know I spent some $$ in their restaurant or kitchen.


Definitely patronize your patrons. I typically sit at the bar where they have our wines, spend some quality time there getting to know the bartender, then when I’m about to leave, I ask for the Somm and thank him/her for supporting our wines and let him/her know I had a terrific time at their place, bartender was great, etc. Always thank them for their continued support and show true appreciation. Then, the next time you go in there, they immediately know who you are.

I think I would feel a bit awkward announcing myself the moment I walked into the restaurant and asked to see the Somm to let them know I was there. Unless you’re with a group sitting at a table, and bringing some of your wines to share. That would be different.

Thanks all for this great information. I’ve always wondered how things work. Obviously people do things differently, but this helps a ton. As a new producer who’s gotten a discount here and there, I’m now concerned that I do things right with my sales since I finally have wine coming to market. Rick’s wholesale to anyone makes sense. If you can’t make money on wholesale, your business is flawed. I’d rather not get into tiers based on what you exactly do ITB.

That corporate IT person at Diageo does sound a little weak though. And I was once nicely taking an order for another producer at a joint tasting room where I happened to be helping out. A nice but kind of pushy person wanted a few other the other producers bottles. I called the owner to double check pricing, then rang up the order. Then the person said, oh, I’m ITB and said she thought she would get 15% off. At that point it was easier to proceed than fight it. Wasn’t my brand, wasn’t my fight. So I called the owner who said yeah, 15%, but asked for a card. So the card comes out and it isn’t even her own card. She interned for a local producer (whom I know) and had HIS card. Weak, very weak. Just bad karma there. I suppose some people will push things a lot farther that I ever would.

Small compensation for being treated as your errand boy.

ITB discounts are for folks in the trenches earning tiny checks, definitely in the winery and vineyard, and often those in the tasting room… to help them numb the pain.

I’m told the current in vogue term is “Vineyard Consultant”.

Please take this in jest:

Does it count to be a “Berserker”? Should we get discounts? I would consider someone whose passion is all about collecting, drinking, and reviewing wines to be “in” the business, wouldn’t you?


(seriously) yes.

i had a couple of Berserkers come in and taste recently. we had a blast talking about the board, wine, and general get-to-know-you-put-a-name-to-an-avatar conversation. i opened a bottle of SVD Pinot which we usually don’t have open in the tasting room, and knocked a couple of bucks off the bottles they purchased.

win/win for everyone.