At present, there are approximately 7,760 wineries located in the USA, according to a study by Wines & Vines magazine.
With the wine industry as a whole continuing to bloom, it is no surprise that an increasing number of wine connoisseurs are considering getting into the business.
Although there is more than one way to get involved in the wine industry, opening a winery often seems like the most logical step to take.
While moving to wine country and opening a winery is undoubtedly a dream-come-true for countless avid wine makers, there are a number of important things to consider before making a life-changing decision that will see you pack up your entire life and relocate.
Decide What Type of Winery You Want
The first thing you need to do is determine what type of winery you want. In the simplest form, there are three levels of production worth considering.
These include growing the grapes, producing the wine, and inviting guests to the winery to partake in wine tastings and other dining experiences, wine tours, and shopping experiences.
While many wineries still outsource their grapes and focus solely on the production of fine wines, many others can be found on vineyards as part of a complete A-to-Z wine production entity.
It is entirely up to you what type of winery you opt for. Just ensure you have weighed up all your options before parting with any money.
Find the Perfect Location
When relocating to wine country to start a new life, you need to make sure you find the best possible location for it.
If you are planning to keep your feet firmly on U.S. soil, you may want to consider popular wine regions such as California, Oregon, Washington, and New York.
Surprisingly, perhaps, Texas is also fast become a celebrated wine region, and one that should definitely be considered if you are looking to steer clear of the hype of Napa Valley, for example.
Other less-obvious locations to consider in the USA include Ohio, Michigan, Missouri, and Pennsylvania.
When searching for the perfect location for your winery, also remember that your family will need a place to live, so keep your eye out for a house you can turn into a beautiful home at the same time.
Don’t Discount an Overseas Move
While the USA is home to many exquisite wine regions, your winery dreams may be bigger than your home country.
If you have always dreamt of opening a winery in a far-off destination, you are in luck, as there are near countless superb international options to choose from.
The Colchagua Valley in Chile is, without any doubt, one of the finest wine regions in South America, while France is synonymous with gorgeous vineyards and some of the world’s best wines.
If the thought of living ‘down under’ appeals to you, opening a winery in Australia may be a worthy consideration.
Other wine regions to consider include Marlborough in New Zealand, South Africa’s Western Cape province, Italy, and Spain.
Pick Your Grapes Carefully
Before you can pack up and move to wine country to set up a house on a beautiful estate, you need to decide what grapes you will need for your wine.
This will depend on a few things. While the type of wine you want to produce ultimately determines many things, including the location of your winery, it will also directly impact your grape choices.
If you are planning to purchase your grapes from someone else, you will need to source trustworthy suppliers. Growing your own grapes, however, will require considerably more research and work.
Multiple Analyses Are Required
If you are brave enough to grow your own grapes, you need to consider a number of things very carefully.
While you will soon learn that grapes can be shockingly temperamental, growing your own grapes can also be extremely rewarding.
If this is the route you want to take, you will have to have the climate and soil analyzed, survey the land with regards to slopes, rock formations and established trees, and determine how many vines you want.
Your biggest consideration, however, will be deciding what varietals of grape you want to plant, as this will determine the wines you ultimately produce.
While packing up your life and moving to wine country is a big decision, it could be one of the best you have ever made.
As long as you do your homework and make informed choices, opening a winery will more than likely turn out to be a very worthwhile venture.