I engaged a very good vineyard consultant (Alex) for THE parcel of land my wife and I have under contract. Preliminary soil samples were good but more detailed mapping and sampling were required before closing. We had to be sure we could grow at least 5 acres of good quality vinifera fruit, build a tasting room/winery, and put in the necessary infrastructure (road, parking, septic/drain field system, deer fence, and equipment shed).
After further testing and mapping (by Alex), we determined planting would be limited to a little over 3 acres (about 600 cases) and conventional septic/drain field systems wouldn’t work. The latter means we’d spend 3 or more times the money for waste water treatment thus diminishing the available capital for grape growing. The latter guaranteed most wine we’d make would use third party fruit. In addition, if our venture were successful, this reliance on non-estate fruit would grow, absent additional (and costly) land acquisition. Not the plan for a vineyard wannabe whose initial goals include growing high quality grapes and making like quality wine by controlling fruit production. As the cliche goes, wine is made in the vineyard.
So, sadly, exercising rights we negotiated in the contract for sale, we cancelled the purchase of THE land because our plan for development wasn’t feasible. We are hunting for land again. Happily, we’ve spotted listings for several 10-17 acre parcels that look interesting.
We shall overcome.