Income $30,000 – $600,000
The challenge with grape growing is that the grapes take about five years to mature. Once the grape vines are capable of producing a crop, you should expect to receive about $1,000 on an average per ton, with an average of 3 ton per acre. So work your income expectations backwards in order to determine the amount of acreage you’ll need to cultivate.
When you take up grape growing to the next level and produce wine, the return on the tonnage becomes even greater, but will add no less than two to three years to the return on investment cycle.
Growing grapes for consumption or for wine making is a detailed business and the learning curve is lengthy. Growing grapes is an art to say the least, and it is an on-going process. The first three years are the most critical because of the formation of the grapes. Training the vines to yield the highest return will make a monumental difference in your annual return. The necessary materials and costs are included in the last link in the resource section.
If you are so inclined to grow table grapes, you will find your clients at farmers markets or produce stores. If you intend to grow the grapes in order to manufacture wine, your clients will obviously end up being small vintners who purchase other’s crops.
Your marketing plan will be very basic regardless of the direction you choose. You should talk with the produce stores per sonally in order to set up a delivery route, which will include produce stands that don’t have local resources for grapes. As for the wine, your marketing plan should include restaurants, local retail locations and then you can work up to larger retail chain stores as your manufacturing increases.
Your Power Partners will consist of others who have the same target clients such as fruit, nut, bread, pastries and other local growers and food producers. You might even be able to collaborate on the delivery routes.
The conversations with these Power Partners should include your willingness to include them in your referrals as you become aware of clients that need their services. It is important you meet with these Power Partners in person the first time, and keep in touch with them weekly by email or by a phone.
This is one business where you definitely need to have experience in order to be successful. If not, you’ll want to hire someone with experience. As mentioned previously, if you need to earn $150,000 a year, you’ll need to have a minimum of 30 acres. The additional cost for preparing the vineyard will average about $1,600 per acre for materials, $500 per acre for labor and roughly $2,300 for equipment.
The average 30 acres will produce nearly $65,000 income the first year and require approximately $25,000 in maintenance a year for five years.
Here are a number of resources which I have come across:
http://www.grapeseek.com/ http://www.fgga.org/growing.htm http://www.crfg.org/pubs/bkrev/GrapeGrower.html http://www.ohiowines.org/winery_starter_kit.htm
Personality Type: Analytical, Amiable
Total Start Up Costs: $250,000 and funds to live for five years.
(includes business cards, tools, a phone, land and advertising)