A kind reader wrote in some time ago and asked,
“I’m really interested in the nuts, bolts and economics– how do you choose suitable land? How expensive is it to buy, plant and maintain? Do you use an agronomist and winemaker? etc., etc. Any information you’re willing to share would be greatly appreciated.”
As I sit here in my car office (!) while harvest takes place many miles away, Scott out there managing it all, hauling the grapes after he does the hand-picked on-site sorting, I think back over the years, and the decisions and the planning that has gone into this (ad)venture. The equation for its existence is simple enough:
but the process has been at times overwhelming, probably not enough laughter, and feeling like an endurance event with constant sprints to really test one’s mettle and soul.
In the next couple weeks I’ll be assembling all this information (FINALLY – thanks for your patience, Joe), but for now I’ll leave you with this paragraph I had written for a Good Grape comment, on what to do if one was going to get into the wine business:
On 06/07, Stephanie L wrote:
this only applies if one might consider getting into the biz as a vineyard owner and wine-maker combo: we’re heading into the biz with our first vintage this year, so we’re really not in it yet, although our yearly tax returns since planting our vineyard some years ago would say otherwise. to me the most important thing to remember is to stay true to yourself. don’t follow the yahoos by trying to emulate, or become some score-hound. and ABSOLUTELY don’t buy your grapes. grow them—they are essentially the only proprietary thing you can have—everything else can be copied. and then rely on your decades (or hopefully years) of building up wine lust and knowledge, and the funds you scrimped and saved for years, and then go for it. find the best ground, don’t settle for mediocre, don’t settle for people saying “but this is how it’s done” if you have your own ideas, and don’t waste your energy on those afraid of you rocking the status quo. keep your head down and keep going. it goes without saying that one must focus on their core strength, but i’d fire that biz consultant if s/he tried to tell me that. for with the proliferation of labels and the quality of wine like it has never been, it’s equally important to focus on WHO you are, not simply what you can do. that’s called the brand, elwood, the brand! an ugly and misunderstood word to many, but that’s what you need to do.
I’ll leave you with that and get to work on the nuts and bolts.