Do you want to start a vineyard and need to write a plan? If YES, here is a detailed sample vineyard business plan template & FREE feasibility report.

If you intend to start and run a vineyard as a profitable business, do not look forward to having immediate returns on your investment. This is why people who go into the business are seen as doing it not for their own gain or benefit but as a future investment they can leave behind for their children and grandchildren, although this is not always true in all situations as there are people who start turning in profits some years after starting the business.

One other choice is for you to concentrate on the marketing and distribution aspect of the business. You will not own a winery or be directly involved in making wines but it will be an easier way for you to gradually enter the business and weigh your options and choose what is best for you. Another decision to consider is where your business will be located.

When choosing where to site your vineyard, you need to think of the climatic condition as grapes thrive in dry climates, cool days and hot nights. This is why places like Arizona and California are regarded as top wine growing and producing regions in united states because they have climatic conditions that suit the growth, cultivation and harvesting of grapes.

A Sample Vineyard Business Plan Template

1. Industry Overview

A vineyard is a plantation of grape-bearing vines, grown mainly for winemaking, but also raisins, table grapes and non-alcoholic grape juice. The science, practice and study of vineyard production is known as viticulture. A winery is a licensed property that makes wine.

So, a vineyard can have a winery that produces wine from the grapes it grows, but it can also sell its grapes to outside wineries and purely act as a grape-grower. Vineyards are often on located on hillsides and planted in soils that are of only marginal value to other plants.

Vineyard business is a subset of the Wineries industry and this industry comprises of companies that are involved in at least one component of the winemaking process. The winemaking process includes growing and harvesting grapes, crushing and pressing grapes into unfermented wine and fermenting the wine. The industry also makes wine blends, brandies and wines made from other fruit sources.

The wine institute which represents about 500 wineries in California states that total wine sales in the United States both from foreign and domestic avenues was around 600 million gallons some years ago which recorded a retail value of 19 billion dollars. Also wine exports have been a good source of revenue with 79 million gallons exported providing about 500 million dollars in revenue.

California accounts for most of the wine markets in the United States but steadily over the years, the business has become very popular and there has been an increase in wine markets in various regions around the country. This has seen vineyards available in about 40 states with 49 states having wineries, leading to about 2000 wineries around the country.

The Winery industry is indeed a very large industry in the United States of America, France, South Africa, Portugal, Germany, Australia and the Caribbean et al. Statistics has it that in the United States of America alone, there are about 6,979 licensed and registered wineries (vineyards) directly responsible for employing about 10,440 employees and indirectly responsible for employing roughly 57,247 people.

If you decide to start the business from the scratch, you will have to be extremely patient and be ready to spend huge money. It can take up to four years before you produce grapes that are commercially viable and the process of making the wine can take a further two years which means whatever you budget for the business should be for a long term basis and you should be in it for the long haul.

Over and above, an important decision you will have to make before starting is to know the types of grapes to grow. So also, you can decide to own a vineyard.

After growing the grapes, you can sell or export them to wineries who are involved in producing the wine. You can also decide to start and own a winery where you will produce the wine and distribute them to consumers. Another option is to do both by having an estate winery where you grow the grapes and produce the wine.

2. Executive Summary

Theo Nelson® Vineyard Group, Inc. is a standard and licensed vineyard business that will be located in a grape farming community in San Diego – California. We have been able to secure a long – term lease for a standard facility and 25 acres of farm land in a strategic location with an option of a long – term renewal on terms and conditions that are favorable to us.

The facility has government approval for the kind of business we want to run and it is easily accessible. We are in the vineyard business to cultivate different species of grapes and to produce wine blends that can compete with any other vineyard or winery in the United States of America.

We are also in business to make profits at the same to give our customers value for their money; we want to give people and businesses who patronize our products the opportunity to be part of the success story of Theo Nelson® Vineyard Group, Inc.

We are aware that there are several wineries in the United States and Canada which is why we spent time and resources to conduct our feasibility studies and market survey so as to enable us locate the business in an area that will support the growth of the business. We ensured that our vineyard is easy to locate and we have mapped out plans to develop a wide distribution network.

Theo Nelson® Vineyard Group, Inc. will ensure that all our customers are given first class treatment whenever they visit our winery. We have a CRM software that will enable us manage a one on one relationship with our customers. We will ensure that we get our customers involved when making some business decisions that will directly or indirectly affect them.

Theo Nelson® Vineyard Group, Inc. is family business that will be owned by Theophilus Nelson and his immediate family members. Theophilus Nelson who is the Chief Executive Officer of the Company is Graduate of Agricultural Science (B.Sc.) and he holds a Master’s Degree in Business Management (MBA). He has over 15 years’ experience working in related industry as a senior manager prior to starting Theo Nelson ®Vineyard Group, Inc.

3. Our Products and Services

Theo Nelson® Vineyard Group, Inc. is going to operate a standard and licensed vineyard whose grapes and wine will not only be sold in the United States and Canada but also in other parts of the world. We are in the vineyard (winery) business to make profits and also to give our customers value for their money.

These are some of our services and product offerings;

  • Growing different species of wine grapes
  • Blending grape wines
  • Bottling grape wines
  • Marketing and retailing grapes and wines

4. Our Mission and Vision Statement

  • Our vision is to establish standard vineyard whose grapes and wines will be not only be sold in the United States of America and Canada, but also in other parts of the world.
  • Our mission is to establish a standard vineyard business that will cultivate a wide range of wine grapes for players in the wine production industry.
  • We want to build a vineyard business that will be listed amongst the top 10 vineyards in the United States of America.

Business Structure

Theo Nelson® Vineyard Group, Inc. is established with the aim of competing favorably with other leading brands in the industry. Which is why we will ensure that we put the right structure in place that will support the kind of growth that we have in mind while setting up the business.

We will ensure that we only hire people that are qualified, honest, hardworking, customer centric and are ready to work to help us build a prosperous business that will benefit all the stake holders.

As a matter of fact, profit-sharing arrangement will be made available to all our senior management staff and it will be based on their performance for a period of five years or more depending how fast we meet our set target. In view of that, we have decided to hire qualified and competent hands to occupy the following positions;

  • Chief Executive Officer (Owner)
  • Vineyard Manager
  • Human Resources and Admin Manager
  • Vinedressers
  • Sales and Marketing Manager
  • Accountants / Cashiers
  • Customer Service Executive

5. Job Roles and Responsibilities

Chief Executive Officer – CEO (Owner):

  • Increases management’s effectiveness by recruiting, selecting, orienting, training, coaching, counseling, and disciplining managers; communicating values, strategies, and objectives; assigning accountabilities; planning, monitoring, and appraising job results
  • Creating, communicating, and implementing the organization’s vision, mission, and overall direction – i.e. leading the development and implementation of the overall organization’s strategy.
  • Responsible for fixing prices and signing business deals
  • Responsible for providing direction for the business
  • Responsible for signing checks and documents on behalf of the company
  • Evaluates the success of the organization

Vineyard Manager

  • Responsible for overseeing the smooth running of the vineyard
  • Part of the team that determines the types (species) of wine grapes that are to be cultivated
  • Maps out strategies that will lead to efficiency amongst workers in the vineyard
  • Responsible for training, evaluation and assessment of vineyard workers
  • Providing advice on the management of farming activities across all section
  • Responsible for carrying out risk assessment
  • Responsible for overseeing the accounting, costing and sale of wine grapes after harvest
  • Ensures that farming goals desired result are achieved, the most efficient resources (manpower, equipment, tools and chemicals et al) are utilized and different interests involved are satisfied.
  • Ensures operation of equipment by completing preventive maintenance requirements; calling for repairs.
  • Ensures that the vineyard meets the expected safety and health standard at all times.

Human Resources and Admin Manager

  • Responsible for overseeing the smooth running of HR and administrative tasks for the organization
  • Defining job positions for recruitment and managing interviewing process
  • Carrying out induction for new team members
  • Responsible for training, evaluation and assessment of employees
  • Oversee the smooth running of the daily office and factory activities.

Vinedresser

  • Responsible for cultivation, thinning, pruning, tying, suckering, canopy management, planting and replanting, irrigating and harvesting
  • Handle pest, fungicide and herbicide management
  • In charge of erosion control, trellis Installation, irrigation installation, frost protection, vineyard installation, fence installation and R&M
  • Provide and acquire proper tools for all jobs; make sure that workers use the necessary equipment; keep areas clean and orderly; comply with county, state and federal regulations
  • Responsible for increasing and improving fruit and wine quality
  • Effectively communicate and work cooperatively with support staff
  • Search out and evaluate vineyard problems and make recommendations that provide effective, timely and economic solutions and deliver quality fruit

Sales and Marketing Manager

  • Manage external research and coordinate all the internal sources of information to retain the organizations’ best customers and attract new ones
  • Identify, prioritize, and reach out to new partners, and business opportunities et al
  • Responsible for supervising implementation, advocate for the customer’s needs, and communicate with clients
  • Document all customer contact and information
  • Represent the company in strategic meetings
  • Help increase sales and growth for the company

Accountant/Cashier

  • Responsible for preparing financial reports, budgets, and financial statements for the organization
  • Provides managements with financial analyses, development budgets, and accounting reports
  • Responsible for financial forecasting and risks analysis.
  • Performs cash management, general ledger accounting, and financial reporting
  • Responsible for developing and managing financial systems and policies
  • Responsible for administering payrolls
  • Ensuring compliance with taxation legislation
  • Handles all financial transactions for the organization
  • Serves as internal auditor for the organization

Client Service Executive

  • Ensures that all contacts with customer (e-mail, walk-In center, SMS or phone) provides the client with a personalized customer service experience of the highest level
  • Through interaction with customers on the phone, uses every opportunity to build client’s interest in the company’s products and services
  • Manages administrative duties assigned by the store manager in an effective and timely manner
  • Consistently stays abreast of any new information on Theo Nelson ®Vineyard Group, Inc. products, promotional campaigns etc. to ensure accurate and helpful information is supplied to students when they make enquiries

6. SWOT Analysis

We are quite aware that there are several vineyards in the United States of America and Canada which is why we are following the due process of establishing a business so as to compete favorable with them. We know that if a proper SWOT analysis is conducted for our business, we will be able to position our business to maximize our strength, leverage on the opportunities that will be available to us, mitigate our risks and be equipped to confront our threats.

Theo Nelson® Vineyard Group, Inc. employed the services of an expert HR and Business Analyst with bias in startup business to help us conduct a thorough SWOT analysis and to help us create a Business model that will help us achieve our business goals and objectives. This is the summary of the SWOT analysis that was conducted for Theo Nelson® Vineyard Group, Inc.;

  • Strength:

Part of what is going to count as positives for Theo Nelson® Vineyard Group, Inc. is the vast experience of our management team, we have people on board who are highly experienced and understands how to grow business from the scratch to becoming a national phenomenon.

So also, we grow different species of wine grapes and we have the capacity to blend and bottle quality wines within our vineyards, our large national distribution network and of course our excellent customer service culture will definitely count as a strong strength for the business.

  • Weakness:

A major weakness that may count against us is the fact that we are a new vineyard and we don’t have the financial capacity to engage in the kind of publicity that we intend giving the business especially when big names like The Wine Group, Gallo and Constellation Brand Inc. are already determining the direction of the market.

  • Opportunities:

The opportunities available to vineyards in the United States are unlimited. This is so because in 2014, a major landmark was achieved when the United States of America for the first time became the largest wine consumer by volume with an annual consumption of 29.1 million hectoliters over taking France in the process.

This has gone on to explain why wine brands from the United States are dominant in the world market and are continually on the rise. Statistics also show that wine consumption in the United States is set to rise by 11 percent over the next few years and this growth will make the total market share of the country double what is expected from the market of China.

  • Threat:

Some of the threats and challenges that we are likely going to face are global economic downturn and unfavorable government policies. For example, in the United States, local legislation often dictates which varieties are selected, how they are grown, whether vineyards can be irrigated and exactly when grapes can be harvested, all of which in serves to reinforce tradition. Changes in the law can also change which grapes are planted.

7. MARKET ANALYSIS

  • Market Trends

Over the last five years, it has become obvious that consumer drinking preferences have moved away from standard light beers, and loads of consumers have discovered wine for its perceived health benefits and increasingly diverse flavor profiles.

Going forward, the wineries industry will continue to benefit from a growing number of consumers, mostly among the millennial generation, who have expanded their palettes toward domestic wine. Also, the US wine region is increasingly becoming popular on a global stage.

In a situation where you do not have enough money to invest beyond growing wine grapes, you can choose to partner with more established wineries. These wineries give people the opportunity to make a barrel for their own private consumption or make hundreds of barrels for commercial purposes.

All you have to do is bring some money and choose the variety of grape you will like as well as the site of the vineyard and choose a winemaker to work with you to choose your flavor then go ahead to market your product. You do not need to worry about buying property, machinery and other tedious aspects of the business. The investment is still huge but not as much as starting from the scratch.

Other recent practices in the industry include spraying water on vines to protect them from sub-zero temperatures (aspersion), new grafting techniques, soil slotting, and mechanical harvesting. Such techniques have made possible the development of wine industries in New World countries such as Canada.

Today there is increasing interest in developing organic, ecologically sensitive and sustainable vineyards. Biodynamics has become increasingly popular in viticulture. The use of drip irrigation in recent years has expanded vineyards into areas which were previously unplantable.

In order to combat these negative trends, wineries are capitalizing on imports from global wine producers like France and Argentina. By outsourcing wine production, larger companies are able to maintain growth. Still, wine producers are consolidating as a result of the poor economic conditions.

Wineries are also investing in new strategies, such as direct-to-consumer sales in order to boost sales in a volatile economy. Since consumers have shifted their preferences to dining more often at home than out in restaurants, this trend has boosted overall demand for wine.

8. Our Target Market

When it comes to selling wines, there is indeed a wide range of available customers. In essence, our target market can’t be restricted to just a group of people, but all those who drink alcoholic drinks and non – alcoholic drinks. In view of that, we have conducted our market research and we have ideas of what our target market would be expecting from us.

We are in business to engage in the production and wholesale distribution of assorted wines to the following groups of people;

  • Wine production companies
  • Retailers of wine grapes
  • Wholesalers of wine grapes
  • Every adult in the neighborhood where our wines will be sold.

competitive advantage

Although we are set to establish a standard vineyard (winery) in San Diego – California whose products will be sold throughout the United States of America, but that does not stop us from setting up our own unique retail outlets across major cities so as to bring our brands closer to locals. This is part of the competitive advantage that we are bringing into the market.

Another competitive advantage that we have is the vast experience of our management team, we have people on board who are highly experienced and understands how to grow business from the scratch to becoming a national phenomenon. So also, the wide varieties of wine grapes that we cultivate, our large national distribution network and of course our excellent customer service culture will definitely count as a strong strength for the business.

Lastly, all our employees will be well taken care of, and their welfare package will be among the best within our category in the industry. It will enable them to be more than willing to build the business with us and help deliver our set goals and objectives.

9. SALES AND MARKETING STRATEGY

  • Sources of Income

Theo Nelson® Vineyard Group, Inc. is established with the aim of maximizing profits in the industry and we are going to ensure that we do all it takes to sell our wines to a wide range of customers. Theo Nelson® Vineyard Group, Inc. will generate income by offering the following services and products;

  • Growing different species of wine grapes
  • Blending grape wines
  • Bottling grape wines
  • Marketing and retailing grapes and wines

10. Sales Forecast

From the studies and the survey conducted, we were able to discover that the sales generated by a vineyard business depends on the size of the vineyard, the types of the species of grapes they cultivate and of course the size of their marketing network.

We have perfected our sales and marketing strategies and we are quite optimistic that we will meet or even surpass our set sales target. We have been able to examine the wineries industry and we have analyzed our chances in the industry and we have been able to come up with the following sales forecast.

Below are the sales projections for Theo Nelson ®Vineyard Group, Inc., it is based on the location of our fish farm and of course the wide range of wine grapes that we will be cultivating;

  • First Fiscal Year (FY1): $350,000
  • Second Fiscal Year (FY2): $650,000
  • Third Fiscal Year (FY3): $950,000

N.B: This projection was done based on what is obtainable in the industry and with the assumption that there won’t be any major economic meltdown that can impact negatively on household spending, bad weather cum natural disasters and unfavorable government policies. Please note that the above projection might be lower and at the same time it might be higher.

  • Marketing Strategy and Sales Strategy

Before choosing a location for Theo Nelson® Vineyard Group, Inc. and also the species of grapes to cultivate, we conduct a thorough market survey and feasibility studies in order for us to be able to penetrate the available market. We have detailed information and data that we were able to utilize to structure our business to attract the number of customers we want to attract per time and also for our products to favorable compete with other leading brands.

We hired experts who have good understanding of the wineries industry to help us develop marketing strategies that will help us achieve our business goal of winning a larger percentage of the available market in the United States of America.

In summary, Theo Nelson® Vineyard Group, Inc. will adopt the following sales and marketing approach to sell our wines;

  • Introduce our wine brand by sending introductory letters to residents, wine grape merchants, wineries, and other stakeholders both in the United States of America and Canada
  • Advertise our products in community based newspapers, local TV and radio stations
  • List our business and products on yellow pages ads (local directories)
  • Leverage on the internet to promote our wine grape – brands
  • Engage in direct marketing and sales
  • Encourage the use of Word of mouth marketing (referrals)

11. Publicity and Advertising Strategy

Despite the fact that our vineyard is a standard one with a wide range grapes that can favorably compete with other leading brands, we will still go ahead to intensify publicity for all our brand.

Theo Nelson® Vineyard Group, Inc. has a long – term plan of opening wine retailing outlets in various locations all around the United States of America and Canada which is why we will deliberately build our brand to be well accepted in San Diego – California before venturing out.

Here are the platforms we intend leveraging on to promote and advertise Theo Nelson® Vineyard Group, Inc.;

  • Place adverts on both print (community – based newspapers and magazines) and electronic media platforms
  • Sponsor relevant community programs
  • Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook, twitter, et al to promote our brand
  • Install our Billboards in strategic locations all around major cities in the United States of America and Canada
  • Distribute our fliers and handbills in target areas
  • Position our Flexi Banners at strategic positions in the location where we intend getting customers to start patronizing our products.
  • Ensure that all our staff members wear our customized clothes, and all our official cars and distribution vans are customized and well branded.

12. Our Pricing Strategy

We are aware of the pricing trend in the winery industry which is why we have decided to produce both organic and non-organic grapes.

In view of that, our prices will conform to what is obtainable in the industry but will ensure that within the first 6 to 12 months our products are sold a little bit below the average price. We have put in place business strategies that will help us run on low profits for a period of 6 months; it is a way of encouraging people to buy into our brand.

  • Payment Options

The payment policy adopted by Theo Nelson® Vineyard Group, Inc. is all inclusive because we are quite aware that different customers prefer different payment options as it suits them but at the same time, we will ensure that we abide by the financial rules and regulation of the United States of America.

Here are the payment options that Theo Nelson® Vineyard Group, Inc.  will make available to her clients;

  • Payment via bank transfer
  • Payment with cash
  • Payment via online bank transfer
  • Payment via credit cards
  • Payment via check
  • Payment via mobile money

In view of the above, we have chosen banking platforms that will enable our client make payment for our wine grapes purchase without any stress on their part.

13. Startup Expenditure (Budget)

The vineyard business is a capital – intensive venture to start and we are prepared financially. We are aware that where you decide to locate the business, the equipment as well as structures you will build will take up a major chunk of the money you have put aside to set up the business.

We have conducted our research, analysis, feasibility studies and market survey very well before drawing up a budget. This is the key areas where we will spend our startup capital;

  • The total fee for registering the Business in the United States – $750.
  • Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits as well as the accounting services (software, P.O.S machines and other software) – $1,300.
  • Marketing promotion expenses for the grand opening of Theo Nelson® Vineyard Group, Inc. in the amount of $3,500 and as well as flyer printing (2,000 flyers at $0.04 per copy) for the total amount of – $3,580.
  • The cost for hiring Business Consultant – $2,500.
  • Insurance (general liability, workers’ compensation and property casualty) coverage at a total premium – $2,400.
  • The budget for permits, Insurance and license – $5,000
  • The money needed to acquire land that will be suitable for the variety of grapes we will like to plant can cost you between – $100,000
  • Construction of the vineyard facility and tasting rooms and other administrative blocks could cost about – $200, 000
  • The amount required for the purchase of the first set of grape seeds and manures – $30,000
  • Operational cost for the first 3 months (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – $100,000
  • The equipment for the offices such as filing cabinets, safety gadgets, computers, printers, telephones, fax machines, furniture and electronics could cost about – $15,000
  • Creating and launching an official website could cost about – $700
  • Other expenses such as signage, business cards, advertisements, publicity and promotions) could cost around – $2,500

We would need an estimate of five hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($550,00) to successfully set up our Vineyard (winery) business in San Diego – California.

Generating Funding/Startup Capital for Theo Nelson® Vineyard Group, Inc.

Theo Nelson® Vineyard Group, Inc. is a family business that will be owned and financed by Theophilus Nelson and his immediate family members. They do not intend to welcome any external business partners which is why he has decided to restrict the sourcing of the startup capital to 3 major sources.

  • Generate part of the startup capital from personal savings and sell of stocks
  • Source for soft loans from family members and friends
  • Apply for loan from the Bank

N.B: We have been able to generate about $200,000 (Personal savings $100,000 and soft loan from family members $50,000) and we are at the final stages of obtaining a loan facility of $300,000 from our bank. All the papers and documents have been signed and submitted, the loan has been approved and any moment from now our account will be credited with the amount.

14. Sustainability and Expansion Strategy

Part of the plans we have in place to sustain Theo Nelson® Vineyard Group, Inc. is to ensure that we continue to cultivate a wide range of grapes, deliver quality after sales services, improvise on how to do things faster and cheaper.

We are quite aware that our customers are key component to the growth and survival of our business hence we are going to continuously engage them to give us ideas on how to serve them better and the products they want to see in our store.

We will not waste time in adopting new technology, best practices and diversifying our services. Theo Nelson® Vineyard Group, Inc. will make sure that the right foundation, structures and processes are put in place to ensure that our staff welfare are well taken of.

Our company’s corporate culture is designed to drive our business to greater heights and training and re-training of our workforce is at the top burner. We know that if that is put in place, we will be able to successfully hire and retain the best hands we can get in the industry; they will be more committed to help us build the business of our dreams.

Check List/Milestone

  • Business Name Availability Check: Completed
  • Business Registration: Completed
  • Opening of Corporate Bank Accounts: Completed
  • Securing Point of Sales (POS) Machines: Completed
  • Opening Mobile Money Accounts: Completed
  • Opening Online Payment Platforms: Completed
  • Application and Obtaining Tax Payer’s ID: In Progress
  • Application for business license and permit: Completed
  • Purchase of Insurance for the Business: Completed
  • Leasing of facility (farmland inclusive) and construction of (vineyard) winery: In Progress
  • Conducting Feasibility Studies: Completed
  • Generating capital from family members: Completed
  • Applications for Loan from the bank: In Progress
  • writing of business plan: Completed
  • Drafting of Employee’s Handbook: Completed
  • Drafting of Contract Documents and other relevant Legal Documents: In Progress
  • Design of the Company’s Logo: Completed
  • Printing of Packaging and Promotional Materials: In Progress
  • Recruitment of employees: In Progress
  • Purchase of the needed furniture, racks, shelves, computers, electronic appliances, office appliances and CCTV: In progress
  • Creating Official Website for the Company: In Progress
  • Creating Awareness for the business both online and around the community: In Progress
  • Health and Safety and Fire Safety Arrangement (License): Secured
  • Establishing business relationship with vendors – wholesale suppliers / merchants of wine grapes: In Progress
Joy Nwokoro