If you're a wine enthusiast, you may have dreamed about crushing grapes beneath your feet in your very own vineyard. Dive in feet first with these tips.
- Step 1: Ask about varietals of grapes, the number of vines in each varietal, the age of the vines, and the root stock that each variety is planted on. Figure out who will purchase the grapes and for how much, and find out and if there is a contract for the grapes. Investigate known diseases and frost control for your region.
- TIP: Request copies of any original documents regarding the root stock of the grapes, if they exist.
- Step 2: Plan plenty of time and set aside expenses for lots of travel to look at many prospective vineyards. Take your time and enjoy good wine.
- FACT: The number of wineries in the United States grew to 6,223 in 2009, 122 more than in 2008.
- Step 3: Make a checklist of questions to ask the owner or agent about the land. Ask if there is survey of the property, get a water and soils analysis, and find out what the water sources are, if there is a well driller's report, how the vineyard is irrigated, what equipment is included in the sale, and if there is a vineyard layout plan.
- Step 4: Look for a real estate agent that specializes in vineyards. Specify your needs regarding price, size, and location.
- TIP: Chardonnay grapes prefer warm days and cool nights, while Cabernet Sauvignon likes a warm environment.
- Step 5: Avoid popular wine-growing areas. Look for vineyards in neighboring regions or up-and-coming areas to find the best bargains and distinguish your wine from the rest.
- Step 6: Have a stash of extra cash on hand after purchasing the land. Until your wine is ready to sell, there's no income: all growing and producing expenses come out of your own pocket.
- Step 7: Know the type of wine you want to make and the corresponding type of grape you need to grow. This determines the location of your vineyard search and the cost of the land.