So, you want to start producing your own wine on a commercial scale? You might have previously experimented doing this at home, realized you have a natural ability to craft a tasty beverage and feel this can be turned into a profitable business venture.
Before you start with such lofty dreams, however, keep this statement in mind: the wine business is one that’s notoriously tough to crack.
The industry is already packed with wine producers from all corners of the world. It can also take considerable time before you start seeing a positive return for your efforts. For instance, it reportedly took the famed Bevan Cellars almost ten years to begin turning over a profit.
Yet if you stick at it, you can take a slice of an industry that is worth over $44 billion in domestic US sales alone.
For a look at how to get going, here’s a beginner’s guide for running a wine production business.
Write a business plan
To begin, you want to put together a business plan. This plan needs to include all the expenses associated with starting a wine production business, the products you plan to offer, short and long-term financial projections, and a whole lot more.
Fortunately, there are various different business plan templates available that make this task a little easier.
When putting together the plan, it’s imperative you also conduct research and gain positive feedback from prospective customers. Show potential investors and financial providers that your wine has a place in today’s market.
Put together your facility
Unlike other sectors in the drinks industry, the quality of your wine is among the most important ingredients. Customers look at reviews and rewards that a wine has received, and they often use this as the basis for making a purchase.
As a result, it’s essential you put together a high-quality production facility. In general, these are the steps taken to produce wine:
- Harvesting grapes
- Crushing/pressing and fermenting the grapes
- A second round of fermentation
- Fining and/or blending
However, this is a very simplified look at the process. There are many different pieces of equipment needed to produce wine on a commercial scale. There are barrels, fermenters, hydrometers, bottling equipment, etc.
There are also smaller pieces of equipment that can be overlooked. A float switch can fall into that category. Vertical float switches, for instance, can help to closely monitor the quality and consistency of the wine as it is being produced. This helps to prevent any batches from being ruined.
Build your brand
Any strong brand begins with a memorable name. When registering your name, ensure no other winery has taken it before you.
As for building your brand, you need to get out there and promote, promote, promote. Utilize social media to spread awareness of your products. Start a blog to show how the wine is produced behind the scenes. Attend wine fairs and get your bottled creations to the true connoisseurs – and maybe even retailers.
Producing your wine is one step, but promoting it and establishing your brand is even more central to a successful business.