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Vineyards: A Labor of Love

   

 Most people dream of having their own vineyard on their estate, and for many luxury homebuyers, that dream is being turned into a reality. Many known celebrities own vineyards and wineries. Like with any business, it offers great tax benefits and the challenge of starting a new enterprise. Other celebrities such as Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Kate Moss, and David Beckham to name a few own vineyards for their personal use.

     Vineyard properties around the world are becoming the latest must-have accessory in Luxury. For many lifestyle buyers, the scenery that a vineyard offers is a classic view and rustic feel. It also reaps numerous other lifestyle benefits such as a much-needed change to the buyers everyday routine and get to reap what you sew and drink the fruits of your labor, literally. But for many of these buyers, the prime real estate that comes along with a vineyard as equally as important as the vines themselves.

     While all of these benefits sound appealing, there are many factors to consider such as where to buy and the level of involvement needed to care for the vineyards once purchased. Investing in fine wine is one thing, but diving in heads on and investing in vineyards is a whole other story.  To some, it is a ‘one up’ to the traditional wine investment, but it typically requires a larger amount of capital to get up and running.

     For many the price of the land merely the starting point. Other typical expenses can include establishing and maintaining the vines, harvest labor, machinery and fuel, and distribution (bottling and labeling if it's for personal consumption). For example, in Napa Valley, where there is a shortage of fine grapes and acre prices can reach up to $300,000 per acre, the start-up costs to get a boutique vineyard up and running can approach $2 Million.

     Buyers should keep in mind how hands-on they want to get when seeking a vineyard, since the monetary return on investment is not as lucrative as common stocks or bonds (although typically safer), it truly has to be a labor of love. 

    Some of the aforementioned celebrities, such as David Beckham and Brad Pitt, employ a team to deal with production. This leaves them with the benefit of consuming the end result, but it is for good reason. Operating a functioning vineyard is extremely time consuming and requires a lot of hard work. However, for many owners it is a new and refreshing hobby, that can potentially turn into a profitable business. Other owners simply like to have their own brand of wine to share with family and friends, and the reward of seeing others enjoy your wine and something you crafted and produced is highly rewarding.

     All things considered, the rise of purchases in boutique vineyards in areas like Bordeaux, Napa Valley, Champagne, Northeast US, and Southeast England has spiked over the last few years.

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