Many have done it, often quite happily and very successfully. In many instances, buying a vineyard represents a dream of a more idyllic life, an exciting career shift, or an excellent investment given the skyrocketing consumption of wines worldwide. And finding a vineyard for sale in Napa means owning an even more valuable piece of land.
Whether you purchase an existing vineyard or one that you hope to plant and develop, it is crucial to invest significant time learning and researching all the elements of running a vineyard. You must have a clear vision of market demand and prospective customers, varieties that you might plan to grow, agricultural aspects, yields and profitability, and how and where certain grape varieties grow best. Consulting with knowledgeable local advisors is essential to understanding the many technical aspects of your venture.
Also, before making any offers, you should fully understand the potential long-term cash flow and develop aa accurate time perspective for achieving profitability.
What to Grow
It seems that new vineyards are popping up everywhere. However, not all grapes are suitable for crushing into marketable wines. Some vineyards are adequate for producing table grapes, while others produce grapes to be used for juice. Keep this in mind when looking at vineyards for sale in Napa.
Influenced by climates and soil types, certain locations have conditions that are best suited for certain varieties of grapes. Even in a relatively small growing region like world-famous Napa Valley, you can find multiple microclimates and a vast range of soil types that tend to support specific grape varieties better than others. Factors like annual temperature ranges and frost potential, wind conditions, elevation, orientation of the slope and subsequent drainage, and precipitation with the availability of irrigation will all impact your vineyard’s productivity.
When starting from scratch with an undeveloped or “virgin” property, you should work with well-recognized experts with proven credentials and extensive experience in soil and climate suitability. You may also contact a nearby Land Grant University that has a department with comprehensive data and specializes in viticulture to assess the soil and other aspects of your prospective property.
Check with the neighboring farms also. Note that these may regularly be using sprays and chemicals that can negatively affect your future vines and grapes. A vineyard for sale in Napa will surely be effected by surrounding property.
Understanding the Total Investment
When developing a new vineyard, you will need to calculate your projected total investment. Buying the land is only the beginning. Besides the necessary equipment, you will have the expense of installing trellises, planting, pruning, and training the vines. Know also that your vines will not produce marketable grapes until around the fourth season, so an immediate return is not possible.
Buying an existing vineyard will usually require a more significant upfront investment, but does remove some of the uncertainty. Understanding past performance and should reduce any risk. However, it is always a good idea to understand precisely why a seller is selling. Poor past performance can mean that the vineyard has irreparable issues or that you may need to replant with a vine variety that works better in that situation
Interested in Becoming a Vineyard Owner?
Purchasing, developing, and operating a working vineyard can be a truly enjoyable and satisfying experience. You can start the process by contacting an experienced and knowledgeable real estate associate who specializes in vineyard properties to help you find the right option.
In Napa Valley, contact Adam Ghisletta at 1-707-363-5868.