Page 7 - Grapevine JanFeb 2022
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In The Winery

               PREPARING FOR THE EXIT:

               Why Winery Owners Need to Develop a Harvest Strategy

               By: Edward Webb, Partner, BPM & Kemp Moyer, Partner, BPM
               S     uccessfully running a business means over-     their own grapes, ferment them into wine, bottle

                                                                    them, and sell and market the finished product.
                     coming numerous challenges. Owners
                     need to scale the business, find competent
               employees, deal with regulatory issues like taxes    Some winemakers do not own vineyards and,
                                                                    instead, purchase grapes from various growers
               and licenses, and create processes and systems —     before bottling and going to market. Finally, there
               all while developing a robust customer base and      are virtual wineries that buy completed wine and
               go-to market strategy. For agribusinesses, owners    sell it under a brand name. Each models bring its
               have all these challenges plus whatever Mother       own unique challenges and opportunities.
               Nature decides to throw at them. For California’s
               wine industry, this includes increasingly unpredict-    While a few large producers dominate the state’s
               able variables such as drought, flooding, landslide,   wine sector, most businesses are family-owned and
               excessive heat, cold snaps, pests, and the growing   operated. This can lead to a new and significant
               risk of wildfires and damage from smoke taint.       challenge: What happens when the owner wants
                                                                    to retire and either hand over or sell the business?
                 Despite these challenges, several successful busi-  When you include a force like a once-in-a-century
               ness models predominate in California’s wine sec-    pandemic, you can understand why many baby
               tor. There are fully integrated vintners that grow   boomers — about 10,000 of whom turn 65 every

               877-892-5332                    The Grapevine • January - February 2022                             Page 5

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