How to Start a Winery Business


Imagine sipping on a glass of your favorite wine while enjoying the sunset over your own vineyard. That sounds like a heavenly scenario, doesn’t it? It’s one side of the coin of owning a vineyard. The other side would be the fact that growing a successful winery is a time-consuming and labor-intensive task. 

However, challenging doesn’t equal impossible. Besides, starting any kind of business has never been a cakewalk. To that end, setting up a winery requires elaborate planning and deep knowledge of the industry. In this opening guide for a winery business, we’ll do our best to provide the fundamentals of starting a winery. Stay tuned.

Step 1: Learn More About Wine Making Business

Delve deep into the ‘winey’ topic and do some research on the process of making your own wine. Educate yourself on this issue nonstop. This will aid you in determining where you stand — and shaping up your idea about the type of winery it would be viable for you to have. If you gain a solid understanding of the issue, you’ll have straightforward answers to these important questions:

  • How much does it cost to start a wine business?
  • Will you engage in growing your grapes or opt for outsourcing?
  • Will you focus on winemaking and hosting events while offering the guests your fantastic wine?
  • Will you skip the production and concentrate on learning how to open a wine shop?
  • What’s the quantity of wine you’re about to produce?
  • How to start a winery without a vineyard?

Step 2: Create a Business Plan

When shaping your wine business ideas up into a comprehensive plan, consider such aspects as the niche you want to dominate, your target market evaluation, your financial prospects, and an in-depth analysis of your competitors. The latter element is exceptionally important at this stage, for it will help you keep tabs on the most successful strategies and further use them to your utmost advantage. Never neglect this step and make sure it is crowned with a solid step-by-step strategy document in the long run.

Step 3: Work on Investment & Marketing

Prior to getting the business going, plan your budget thoroughly. Buying a vineyard and operating a winery takes a lot of money. Even if you already have your grapes-friendly land, the cost of the enterprise comes down to about $40,000 per acre. Here are the main aspects you should take into consideration when learning how to make your own winery in the financial sense:

  • land and equipment;
  • winemaking-related specificities;
  • office and tasting space;
  • employee salaries;
  • insurance;
  • investment in promotion.

Although you will have to pour money into your operation nonstop, the most sufficient money flows will be needed during the first few years of your enterprise. Therefore, adjust your financial plan accordingly.

Step 4: Sort out Legal Issues

That’s where everything gets particularly complicated. The niche you’ve picked is overwhelmingly regulated in the US. Therefore, the number of documents you’ll have to deal with on your way to your dream business is going to be almost too shocking (yet bearable). You’ll need to start by applying for and getting a permit to operate a winery business. 

After that, registering your company with the FDA will be required. This will ensure that your operation is fully legal in terms of the local legislation. To crown it all, your brand will need to receive approval from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. With that said, to preserve peace of mind and save your time along the way, we recommend that you turn to a professional attorney for assistance.

Step 5: Make Winery Equipment List Well in Advance 

Transforming grapes into wine requires specialized equipment (read as expensive equipment). Here’s what you’ll need to purchase to run a winery like a pro:

  • top-notch winery POS system, e.g., ORTY;
  • dedicated farming equipment;
  • pumps for wine production;
  • bottling machines;
  • corking, packaging systems, and temperature monitoring systems.

To decide on the required list of equipment in your case, plan well in advance the volumes of wine you want to produce. Don’t forget to evaluate the capacity of your storage spaces. Once you plan that out, start looking for the needed systems and devices.

How to Run a Winery Successfully?

Cutting to the chase, running a winery like a pro long-term is a multi-dimensional process that requires you to be involved in a slew of operations. Finding and using a high-quality POS system like the one offered by ORTY is paramount in this respect. 

What does POS stand for in the retail and winery business? The answer is relatively easy. It’s a point-of-sale system that forms an all-in-one center for dealing with all aspects of your business, including production, marketing, distribution, and transaction processing. If you want to be a successful vineyard owner, you’re going to need reliable winery management software. 

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.