Business Overview

A vineyard cultivates grapes for wine, juice, and fresh fruit for local markets and consumers. Some vineyards process the grapes for consumption in-house, while others concentrate on the farming aspect, selling directly to wineries in the area.

Who is this business right for?

Owning a vineyard is a lifelong dream for many people. Entrepreneurs with a significant amount of capital and a passion for horticulture are best suited for this business venture. Managing a business of this magnitude requires dedication and a love for working outdoors with plants.

What happens during a typical day at a vineyard business?

Managing an operation of this magnitude requires consistent, hands-on care of your crops. Your vineyard’s success is dependent on placement of crops, lighting, water quality, and health of the soil. Since this type of crop can be very sensitive to these outside elements, testing and supervision should remain consistent year round. Management of your vineyard’s crop, however, is just one component. You must also cultivate and nurture relationships with current and prospective customers. This ensures your crop has a final destination once harvesting is complete.

What is the target market?

As mentioned, target markets for grape vineyards are not limited to wineries. Since wine grapes are the most profitable, this is the niche that many vineyard owners choose to target. Regardless of which option you choose, be sure to thoroughly research market saturation in your area. Aligning market needs with your passions will make your business venture much more enjoyable and, in turn, profitable.

How does a vineyard business make money?

Vineyards can be set up to process the grapes in-house or to distribute harvested grapes to other local businesses. Before making an initial investment, carefully consider your options. Market needs, coupled with your personal knowledge and experience will assist you in identifying which path will yield the highest profit.

What is the growth potential for a vineyard business?

The wine industry, particularly in the Midwest, has grown exponentially over the last decade. While new wineries continue to open, vineyards have not expanded at the same pace. As a result, demand for quality grapes is high. This has led to significant business opportunities for entrepreneurs with dreams of running a grape vineyard. While grapes grown for wine typically yield more growth and profit, there is still great opportunity in the juice and table fruit facets of the industry.