We provide business planning resources for those investing in a new vineyard or winery or expanding an existing winery. Resources include a guide for analyzing capital requirements, financial feasibility, and marketing planning.
This issue is important to eastern U.S. grape growers and vintners, prospective investors in vineyards and wineries, and agricultural credit representatives, and as a teaching resource. County and state agencies that are interested in local and regional economic development also have a keen interest in establishing or expanding wineries because of the tourist activity they create.
New York wineries have made considerable progress in the last decade or so. They have won national and international wine competitions and increased sales and the number of visits by local wine consumers and out-of-state and Canadian tourists. The economic multiplier for the state of New York for wines, brandy, and brandy spirits is $1.79, meaning that, for each dollar of output, an additional 79 cents is generated in indirect or induced effects for the state's economy.
More skilled marketing would allow New York wines to assume a premium position in the market, making it possible to place these wines in desirable and carefully targeted national and international markets. One such market is metropolitan New York City, which upstate New York wineries have yet to penetrate in any significant way. Our effort has also addressed increasing the price points at which New York wines are sold.
Working through the research committee of the Finger Lakes Pinot Noir Alliance, we secured funding from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets to develop an investment analysis of a vinifera vineyard and a business planning guide for a premium winery. We worked with the New York Wine and Grape Foundation to develop a research project to analyze the potential for marketing New York State wines in New York City.
We developed four publications: a guide to vineyard establishment and production cost, a business planning guide for small premium wineries, an example of a business plan for a small premium winery, and an analysis of strategies for marketing premium wine in New York City.
We presented our findings and distributed our resources through venues such as the Finger Lakes Vineyard Notes, the Finger Lakes Grape Convention, the New York Wine Industry Workshop, Wineries Unlimited, the Eastern Section of the American Society of Enology and Viticulture, the American Wine Society, and Cornell's Horticultural Business Management and Marketing Web site.
We conducted presentations at seminars, trade shows, and workshops in three states to audiences of more than 700 growers, vintners, and potential entrants into the grape and wine industry.
As a result of these educational sessions, growers and vintners understand the amount of capital needed to get into the grape and wine business, the importance of marketing planning before investing huge amounts of capital, and how to develop a business plan that includes the components of financial feasibility and marketing plan development.
We collaborated successfully with important industry organizations such as the New York Wine and Grape Foundation and the Finger Lakes Pinot Noir Alliance. The development of the wine industry in New York has generated jobs and indirect or induced effects in the state's economy, both in agricultural firms and in the restaurant, bed and breakfast, and hospitality industries.
- State or Municipal (e.g., NYSDAM)
- Industry organization
- Finger Lakes Pinot Noir Alliance
- Small Winery Action Team
- Gerald B. White, Department of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University
- Mark E. Pisoni (formerly a MS student in Applied Economics and Management)
- Lucia Vineyards and Winery, Gonzales, CA
- Trent Preszler (formerly a MS student in Applied Economics and Management), Bedell Cellars