What Should You Do When Starting a Winery?
Have you dreamed of starting a winery? It’s a common enough dream, and a viable one, too. There are now more than 11,000 wineries in the US alone. So, if you’ve got the grapes, making wine is easier than ever before.
Of course, many people dream of starting a winery, but far fewer people actually begin one. And for good reason.
Wine is to the US what beer is to Germany and the UK–a visceral part of the culture. So, it’s important to start your business with a solid foundation. The following questions and answers should help get you started on that path.
Create a Solid Business Plan
Before you start your winery business, it is essential to create a comprehensive business plan that outlines the following:
- capital requirements
- production goals
- sales projections
- marketing activities
- overall objectives
This plan should have reasonable estimates for demand, production costs, sales volume, and prices when making wine. Additionally, it should provide steps for mitigating any risks that you may face in the future.
As you create your plan, make sure that you research the local market and trends so you can accurately forecast sales potential. If you have a good business plan, it will be easier to get funding and find and get the tools you need. As well as build good relationships with local wine distributors.
Location and Vineyard Selection
When starting a winery, location, and vineyard selection are two important considerations. It is essential to select an area with soil, elevation, climate, and climate-influenced topography that meet your needs. Consider water supply, zoning restrictions, and migrant farm workers.
Once the site is set, the choice of vineyard is the second most important thing to think about. One should select a variety of grapes that best suit the soil and location. Research should be done to find out the quantity and quality of the grapes that grow in a certain area, as well as the best way to make wine there.
Licensing and Regulations
When starting a winery, licensing, and regulations must be followed. The first thing to do is determine what state agency is responsible for winery licensing in the state where the winery will reside.
You also need to make sure the winery is built to the state and local regulations. Depending on the state, some common permits may include a liquor license and a business tax permit. The winery must also meet all health and safety regulations.
Invest in Equipment and Facilities
When starting a winery, investing in equipment and facilities is essential. First, you need to evaluate your desired production volume to determine the size and type of equipment needed. This also helps to determine how much corks for bottling wine you need.
Key equipment may range from grape crushers and presses, pumps, stainless steel tanks, filtration systems, juice clarifiers, etc. You will also need the necessary facilities and storage spaces for all the necessary tanks and equipment, plus the barrel and aging areas, storage spaces for bottles and labels, and other resources.
Simplified Guide to Starting a Winery
Starting a winery is an exciting venture! Take inventory of your resources, outline a clear business plan, secure the proper license, hire talented and trustworthy help, and take the time to learn as much as you can.
Above all, be passionate and stay the course even when obstacles arise. Get started on your winery journey now!
If you’re interested in learning more, we invite you to explore the other informative topics available on our website.