Whatever you do, plan well before spending a dime

The theme for the Newcomers sessions at the Wineries Unlimited Trade Show and Conference was to plan well before spending a dime. Many vineyards and wineries err when first starting out because planning could have been better. One of those errors includes purchasing smaller or less expensive equipment than is needed to make premium wines. Presenter John Levenberg advised that if one does not have the upfront capital it would be best to change their goals. John presented the cost to create a 1300 case winery producing premium wines. His calculations came out to around $325,000 not including the building, labor or bottling.

Other speakers discussed alternatives to starting a stand-alone winery. These included custom crush facilities and alternative proprieterships. These sessions could have been a bit more streamlined.

During the evening there was a welcome reception. Many attendees brought a bottle of their wine to share with those attending Wineries Unlimited. We met winemakers and vineyard owners from Michigan, Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, West Virginia and Nova Scotia. True to the Colonial Virginia setting, three visitors included former Virginians.


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