5 Tips for a successful Media Outreach Campaign It’s difficult, because it’s about relationships. And reading. Yes, lots of reading. And research, planning, tracking, analysis and follow-up. The fun stuff, right? And things change. Just when you think you have good contacts, well planned schedules and best known methods things change – people retire and writers move on, wine columns are canceled; writers get hired to work for savvy wineries that understand the importance of professional writing and content development. And I’m just talking about my job as a winery publicist! What about the small family-run wineries that face the challenges of growing, producing, wholesaling and DTC marketing their wines, and with limited resources? Here are five best practice areas […]
Wineries Reinvent Tastings as Experiences!
Standing in a simple tasting room debating whether to splurge on a $5 reserve tasting and souvenir wine glass is so 1990s. Wineries now offer farm-to-fork seasonal wine and food pairing, visually unique rooms with pool tables and vintage pinball machines, even zip-lining over the vineyard. The T-word has been replaced by the E-word as wineries supplement conventional wine “tastings” with wine “experiences”. The Grapevine Magazine interviewed three wineries from both coasts about their innovations in tastings, and we start in the heart of Napa Valley. Hands-On Education at Sequoia Grove Sequoia Grove, best known for Rutherford appellation cabernet sauvignon, is a self-described “gem hidden among the giants.” You can see that description come to life as you enter the […]
Starting a New Winery?
Top Ten Questions You Should Ask A sunset over acres of vines, while enjoying a glass of your own rosé. Early morning strolls through rows of grapes. Anyone planning to enter the wine industry has dreams and visions like these. However, parallel to these glorious dreams comes a lot of hard work—and, importantly, legal compliance. Starting any new business can be overwhelming, and taking the leap to start a winery is certainly no exception. The details can be overwhelming and a newcomer can often lose sight of the larger picture. This article aims to review ten of the legal or compliance steps all new winery businesses should consider when starting out. And for those already producing wine, the below may […]
The Vineyard Labor Crisis
Part I – Factors Contributing to the Worker Shortage Having enough help in the vineyard is the hottest topic for owners and managers in 2016, according to the results of the Vineyard Economics Survey conducted by the Wine Industry Symposium Group. Over half of survey respondents said labor was their top concern, followed by pests, water availability, and the political impact of the upcoming presidential election. There is good reason for concern. Overall in the U.S., a shortage of people to tend the fields is reducing fruit and vegetable production by 9.5%, or $3.1 billion, a year, according to a recently published analysis of government data by the Partnership for a New American Economy, a nonpartisan group that supports a […]
Where to Find Grant Funding for Vineyards & Wineries
When most people think about applying for grants, charities and nonprofit organizations come to mind. However, there are grants available in many other industries as well, including ones for wineries and vineyards. It’s no secret that the grape and wine industry contributes billions of dollars to the U.S. economy each year. For this reason, the federal and state governments have created grants and incentives to encourage economic growth across the country. Grants help small and mid-sized wine businesses develop export markets, promote tourism, protect the environment, and ease financial pressure due to rising expenses. Types of Grants Available Depending on where your vineyard and winery operate, there are different types of grants offered in specific regions. Here are some of […]
NEED MONEY? Crowdfunding Might Be An Option For Your Vineyard
As you look at your vineyard budget and realize the heaping cost of everything—equipment, land, staff, grapes, and so many other factors—you may be tempted to turn to crowdfunding websites to raise money. After all, perhaps the winery down the street used Kickstarter or Indiegogo to successfully raise money for project. Why not you? Before you hop on the crowdfunding bandwagon, take a step back to consider if your vineyard or winery is really the best fit for such a venue, caution various users of crowdfunding sites. Although some vineyard-related businesses have been able to successfully raise funds through crowdfunding, it always came with some effort. Here are 9 ways to use crowdfunding sites effectively for your vineyard or winery […]
Financing a Growing Business
Understand Your Options When You Need Capital to Start and Operate a Vineyard Creating a vineyard from the ground up is a capital-intensive enterprise. Compared with most kinds of farming, vineyards have higher start-up expenses and a longer wait for a return on the investment. But for grape growers with patience and access to funding, few things are as satisfying as establishing their own vineyard. As a Farm Credit loan officer in the Texas High Plains, I see people from all over the country who are considering starting a vineyard. They’re attracted by the warm days, cool nights, 3,000-4,000-foot elevations, and the sandy clay loam that makes up about 35 percent of the soils here — excellent conditions for growing […]
Winery Assets: Where The IRS Looks for Money
I think we would all agree that our tax laws can generously be described as complex or worse, that they make absolutely no sense. Tax issues effecting vineyards and wineries are the subject of day long classes for tax professionals and quarter long courses at colleges that offer enology or wine business degrees. Many vineyards and wineries have been audited by the IRS and a number of the audits have ended up in tax court. Here are some examples of issues argued in tax court. See if you can identify a common theme of these cases. Trentadue Vineyards v Commissioner of the IRS – The Trentadue family owned vineyards in Geyserville, California and used trellises, irrigation systems and a well […]
Are We Making Money, Who Wants to Know?
We accountants have heard the joke many times – how do you know if you have a good accountant? Ask him or her how much is 2 plus 2, the first accountant answers, “obviously 4” (obvious but not real creative). The second accountant answers, “what do you want the answer to be”? Now that’s the kind of accountant I like. While there is some truth to the idea that accounting is more art than science, and creativity plays a roll, it’s always better to start with the facts. The first fact you should know is whether or not your business is profitable. It always amazes me when I ask the simple question, is your business profitable? I get such fuzzy […]
Your Financial Marketing Strategy
Happy harvest to all grape growers around the country! This is such an exciting time for the wine and grape industry. The grapes are ready to come off of the vines and start their own wine vintage. Every year is different than the last and it is exciting to see the wheels of the minds of winemakers start to turn. It marks the end of a growing season and the beginning of a new one for grape growers. And in the midst of all that someone (probably you) is asking, “How are we going to make money off of these grapes?” In comes the importance of the marketing strategy. Whether you are a grape grower or a winery (or both), […]