Should You Buy a Vineyard?

For wine lovers around the world, buying a vineyard is a dream that will likely stay exactly that: a dream. But if you are in a financial position to consider purchasing homes for sale with vineyards, you can make this dream a reality.

However, just because you can afford to buy a vineyard doesn’t necessarily mean you should. Here is what you need to consider before you begin working with a Napa realtor to look at vineyards for sale.

Are You Connected?

Those who are successful in the winery business have deep connections in the industry. Before you consider buying homes for sale with vineyards, you need to get involved in associations like the Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers or Napa Valley Vintners Association, connect with other winery owners, attend tastings and auctions, and basically get close with the who’s who of the Napa and Sonoma wine scene. It could take years to develop the types of connections that will lead to success, and it’s better to make them before you invest heavily in a vineyard. If you haven’t yet developed these connections and don’t live in the area, you may want to consider buying a Napa Valley home without a vineyard first so you can get more involved in the local scene.

Decide Where You Would Like to Buy

There are vineyards for sale all over the world, including South America, Spain, Italy, and Argentina. Of course, there are plenty of options right here in the U.S., like Virginia, Maryland, New York, and Oregon. However, if you want to stay domestic, have the most buying options, and own a vineyard in one of the most popular places for wine enthusiasts in the world, you will want to look at homes for sale with vineyards in Napa Valley and Sonoma. This area of the country has ideal climate conditions for making many different types of wine, not to mention some of the most breathtaking scenery on the planet. The laid-back, eco-conscious, and closely connected community in Napa and Sonoma are other reasons why those interested in vineyards flock to this region.

What is Your Goal for Buying a Vineyard?

Before you move forward with looking at homes for sale with vineyards, consider what you want out of the experience. Those familiar with the wine industry know that not everyone has the same goals for owning a vineyard. Some of the common ones are:

◾ To participate in the wine community lifestyle. 

If you simply want to live among those who make, sell, and enjoy wine, you likely don’t have to make the investment of buying a vineyard. Instead, you can simply work with a Napa realtor to purchase a luxury home in the area. You can still get involved in the community by becoming a patron of the local wineries and experience all the benefits of the Napa lifestyle.

◾ To make money

Do you expect to buy a vineyard and immediately start raking in the big bucks? Though vineyards can certainly make a profit, the process is work-intensive and can take many years. If you want to make a quick profit, you should probably look at other business ventures.

◾ To grow grapes and possibly create the next great merlot, pinot, or chardonnay. 

Is making wine a passion project of yours? Have you settled on whether you want to be totally hands-on when it comes to running your vineyard or whether you want to simply oversee or invest in the process? Do you have plans to develop a hotel, B&B, or other businesses around the vineyard? If this describes you, looking at homes for sale with vineyards may very likely be a perfect fit.

Understand the Costs Involved

Even those who think they have a pretty good idea of what it will cost to buy a vineyard are often surprised at the expense. Before you get serious about looking for homes for sale with vineyards, you need to forecast both the initial capital investment as well as the ongoing operational costs. Your Sonoma or Napa realtor will tell you that vineyards, depending on the appellation, start at around $80,000 to $500,000  (without a home included).

If the vineyard already exists and just needs to be maintained, you will need to budget for maintenance as well as marketing, insurance, and taxes. If you plan to plant your own vineyard, you will need to add on the costs of prepping the soil, planting, and installing an irrigation system. In both cases, you’ll also need to pay for labor costs.

Talk with your Sonoma or Napa realtor extensively about all the costs involved in each property you are interested in so you aren’t blindsided after your purchase.

Work with the Right Professionals

The process of buying a vineyard is not one you should undertake alone — especially if you have no experience in the industry. It’s important to work with professionals who can guide you through the decision and be on your side after the purchase is made. These include:

◾ An experienced Sonoma and Napa realtor. 

Realtors like Mark Stornetta have connections to the community and the land and can help guide you through the entire process of finding and purchasing homes for sale with vineyards. Realtor, Mark Stornetta, can help you understand the economics and find a country parcel with a vineyard suitable for your needs.

◾ Vineyard advisory services. 

These services specialize in managing vineyard clients’ assets and helping them meet their financial goals.

◾ Tax advisor.

Vineyards have unique tax challenges, so it’s important to work with a tax professional who has experience serving clients in this industry.

Buying a vineyard is a big (and expensive) decision and not one that should be made lightly. If you’ve considered all of the above and still think you want to look at homes for sale with vineyards, reach out to Mark Stornetta, who can help you find the right property for your current needs and future goals.



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