Commencing the journey of creating your own winery on a homestead is bound to bring reward and challenge in equal measure. It is never as simple as planting some grapes and waiting for the wine to appear, of course. There is, realistically, a lot of hard work and determination to make things viable. A process that will be more than worth it when you bottle your first product. So, whether you are doing it to sell for general consumption or to become the next famous winemaker, here is some advice for getting established.
The Size of Your Land Matters
To start a successful winery you will need to think about your goal. If you want to produce mass quantities of bottled wine, at least five acres of land should be dedicated to the process. However, this is general guidance, and it depends on the size and the scale of the operation you want to initiate. Five acres will provide space for 5,000 plus vines. Take into account that one vine has the potential to make around ten bottles of wine. This would mean you get 50,000 give or take with every harvest. This is a good starting number for selling to the consumers, and it could always be increased if your product is well received on the market.
Likewise, if you only want to produce maybe 100 bottles then you don’t need as much space at all and an acre should do just fine. 100 vines technically could produce 1000 bottles of wine, which is more than enough for personal consumption and for handing out to family or friends. For anything bigger, for instance, wholesale selling channels, you will need to up the range to at least 10 acres so you are reaching enough crop yield.
Deciding on the Name
The name of your wine is important. What will you call your creation? Something personal, perhaps, or maybe a play on words? Whatever you decide, it has to be impactful to bring in your customers.
Permits, Taxes, and Licencing
Make sure the legal side of the operation is all sorted before you repurpose your land or purchase property plus land for this specific purpose. You will need things like a liquor license in some cases and to be registered with the FDA.
Sorting a Budget
There will be a lot of costs to factor in when you are just starting out. So, make sure you have a comprehensive list of everything that needs to go out and what you expect to come back in financially wise.
Figure out which equipment you need, and do it quickly so that there are minimal delays in getting your operation up and running.
The fermentation process requires impeccable hygiene, patience, and top-tier equipment to support your wine as it matures. So, a product like a tote (IBC) can be used to store the liquid in a sterile way for the duration of the fermentation period and is the ideal solution. You will also need a tote cleaner to be used in between batches.
Hydrometers are worth the money as they ensure that the yeast is not fermenting too rapidly and that there is not too much sugar in your wine batch.
Starting a winery is an exciting adventure, as long as it’s all planned properly!