Winery Business Plan Template
Written by Dave Lavinsky
Over the past 20+ years, we have helped over 10,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans to start and grow their wineries. On this page, we will first give you some background information with regards to the importance of business planning. We will then go through awinery business plan template step-by-step so you can create your plan today.
Download our Ultimate Business Plan Template here >
What Is a Business Plan?
A business plan provides a snapshot of your winery as it stands today, and lays out your growth plan for the next five years. It explains your business goals and your strategy for reaching them. It also includes market research to support your plans.
Why You Need a Business Plan
If you’re looking to start a winery, or grow your existing winery, you need a business plan. A business plan will help you raise funding, if needed, and plan out the growth of your winery in order to improve your chances of success. Your winery business plan is a living document that should be updated annually as your company grows and changes.
Sources of Funding for Wineries
With regards to funding, the main sources of funding for a winery are personal savings, credit cards, bank loans and angel investors. With regards to bank loans, banks will want to review your business plan and gain confidence that you will be able to repay your loan and interest. To acquire this confidence, the loan officer will not only want to confirm that your financials are reasonable. But they will want to see a professional plan. Such a plan will give them the confidence that you can successfully and professionally operate a business.
The second most common form of funding for a winery is angel investors. Angel investors are wealthy individuals who will write you a check. They will either take equity in return for their funding, or, like a bank, they will give you a loan. Venture capitalists will not fund a winery. They might consider funding a winery with a national presence, but never an individual location. This is because most venture capitalists are looking for millions of dollars in return when they make an investment, and an individual location could never achieve such results.
How To Write a Business Plan for a Winery
If you want to start a winery or expand your current one, you need a business plan. Below are links to each section of your winery business plan template:
Your executive summary provides an introduction to your business plan, but it is normally the last section you write because it provides a summary of each key section of your plan.
The goal of your Executive Summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the type of winery you are operating and the status; for example, are you a startup, do you have a winery that you would like to grow, or are you operating a network of wineries.
Next, provide an overview of each of the subsequent sections of your plan. For example, give a brief overview of the winery industry. Discuss the type of winery you are operating. Detail your direct competitors. Give an overview of your target customers. Provide a snapshot of your marketing plan. Identify the key members of your team. And offer an overview of your financial plan.
In your company analysis, you will detail the type of winery you are operating.
For example, you might operate one of the following types of wineries:
- Vineyard wineries: these are traditional wineries with acres of land used to grow and harvest grapes for wine.
- Destination winery: this type of winery emphasizes location and experience and is typically situated in a scenic area.
- Urban wineries: an increasingly popular winery where grapes are shipped into an urban venue and wine is made in-house.
In addition to explaining the type of winery you will operate, the Company Analysis section of your business plan needs to provide background on the business.
Include answers to question such as:
- When and why did you start the business?
- What milestones have you achieved to date? Milestones could include placement goals you’ve reached, number of new contracts, etc.
- Your legal structure. Are you incorporated as an S-Corp? An LLC? A sole proprietorship? Explain your legal structure here.
In your industry analysis, you need to provide an overview of the winery business.
While this may seem unnecessary, it serves multiple purposes.
First, researching the winery industry educates you. It helps you understand the market in which you are operating.
Secondly, market research can improve your strategy particularly if your research identifies market trends.
The third reason for market research is to prove to readers that you are an expert in your industry. By conducting the research and presenting it in your plan, you achieve just that.
The following questions should be answered in the industry analysis section of yourwinery business plan:
- How big is the winery industry (in dollars)?
- Is the market declining or increasing?
- Who are the key competitors in the market?
- Who are the key suppliers in the market?
- What trends are affecting the industry?
- What is the industry’s growth forecast over the next 5 – 10 years?
- What is the relevant market size? That is, how big is the potential market for your winery? You can extrapolate such a figure by assessing the size of the market in the entire country and then applying that figure to your local population.
The customer analysis section of yourwinery business plan must detail the customers you serve and/or expect to serve.
The following are examples of customer segments: professional women, college students, event planners, couples, and bridal parties.
As you can imagine, the customer segment(s) you choose will have a great impact on the type of winery you operate. Clearly college students would want different service options, and would respond to different marketing promotions than bridal parties, for example.
Try to break out your target customers in terms of their demographic and psychographic profiles. With regards to demographics, include a discussion of the ages, genders, locations and income levels of the customers you seek to serve. Because most wineries primarily serve customers living in their same city or town, such demographic information is easy to find on government websites.
Psychographic profiles explain the wants and needs of your target customers. The more you can understand and define these needs, the better you will do in attracting and retaining your customers.
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Your competitive analysis should identify the indirect and direct competitors your business faces and then focus on the latter.
Direct competitors are other wineries.
Indirect competitors are other options that customers have to purchase from that aren’t direct competitors. This includes wine bars, liquor stores, and wine subscription services. You need to mention such competition to show you understand that not everyone interested in purchasing or tasting wine will go to a winery.
With regards to direct competition, you want to detail the other wineries with which you compete. Most likely, your direct competitors will be wineries located very close to your location.
For each such competitor, provide an overview of their businesses and document their strengths and weaknesses. Unless you once worked at your competitors’ businesses, it will be impossible to know everything about them. But you should be able to find out key things about them such as:
- What types of customers do they serve?
- What types of wine do they offer?
- What is their pricing (premium, low, etc.)?
- What are they good at?
- What are their weaknesses?
With regards to the last two questions, think about your answers from the customers’ perspective. And don’t be afraid to ask your competitors’ customers what they like most and least about them.
The final part of your competitive analysis section is to document your areas of competitive advantage. For example:
- Will you provide superior products?
- Will you provide products or services that your competitors don’t offer?
- Will you make it easier for customers to access your wine?
- Will you provide better customer service?
- Will you offer better pricing?
Think about ways you will outperform your competition and document them in this section of your plan.
Traditionally, a marketing plan includes the four P’s: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. For awinery business plan, your marketing plan should include the following:
Product: in the product section you should reiterate the type of winery that you documented in your Company Analysis. Then, detail the specific products you will be offering. For example, in addition to a winery, will you provide catering, food menus, or special event services?
Price: Document the prices you will offer and how they compare to your competitors. Essentially in the product and price sub-sections of your marketing plan, you are presenting the products and services you offer and their prices.
Place: Place refers to the location of your winery. Document your location and mention how the location will impact your success. For example, is your winery located in a tourist-heavy area or is it near a busy retail district, etc. Discuss how your location might provide a steady stream of customers.
Promotions: the final part of your winery marketing plan is the promotions section. Here you will document how you will drive customers to your location(s). The following are some promotional methods you might consider:
- Advertising in local papers and magazines
- Reaching out to local websites
- Social media marketing
- Local radio advertising
While the earlier sections of your business plan explained your goals, your operations plan describes how you will meet them. Your operations plan should have two distinct sections as follows.
Everyday short-term processes include all of the tasks involved in running your winery, including all facets of the winemaking process, tank cleaning, tasting preparation, and logbook maintenance.
Long-term goals are the milestones you hope to achieve. These could include the dates when you expect to serve your 1,000 th customer, or when you hope to reach $X in revenue. It could also be when you expect to grow your client database to X amount or launch in a new location.
To demonstrate your winery’s ability to succeed as a business, a strong management team is essential. Highlight your key players’ backgrounds, emphasizing those skills and experiences that prove their ability to grow a company.
Ideally you and/or your team members have direct experience working in vineyards or with wine. If so, highlight this experience and expertise. But also highlight any experience that you think will help your business succeed.
If your team is lacking, consider assembling an advisory board. An advisory board would include 2 to 8 individuals who would act like mentors to your business. They would help answer questions and provide strategic guidance. If needed, look for advisory board members with experience in managing wineries or successfully running small businesses.
Your financial plan should include your 5-year financial statement broken out both monthly or quarterly for the first year and then annually. Your financial statements include your income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statements.
Income Statement : an income statement is more commonly called a Profit and Loss statement or P&L. It shows your revenues and then subtracts your costs to show whether you turned a profit or not.
In developing your income statement, you need to devise assumptions. For example, will you sell 50 bottles per day or 100? And will sales grow by 2% or 10% per year? As you can imagine, your choice of assumptions will greatly impact the financial forecasts for your business. As much as possible, conduct research to try to root your assumptions in reality.
Balance Sheets : Balance sheets show your assets and liabilities. While balance sheets can include much information, try to simplify them to the key items you need to know about. For instance, if you spend $100,000 on building out your winery, this will not give you immediate profits. Rather it is an asset that will hopefully help you generate profits for years to come. Likewise, if a bank writes you a check for $100.000, you don’t need to pay it back immediately. Rather, that is a liability you will pay back over time.
Cash Flow Statement : Your cash flow statement will help determine how much money you need to start or grow your business, and make sure you never run out of money. What most entrepreneurs and business owners don’t realize is that you can turn a profit but run out of money and go bankrupt. For example, let’s say a restaurant approached you with a $100,000 contract to provide wine for their wine list. Let’s further assume the contract would cost you $50,000 to fulfill. Well, in most cases, you would have to pay that $50,000 now for grapes/supplies, employee salaries, etc. But let’s say the company didn’t pay you for 180 days. During that 180-day period, you could run out of money.
In developing your Income Statement and Balance Sheets be sure to include several of the key costs needed in starting or growing a winery business:
- Location build-out including design fees, construction, etc.
- Cost of equipment like cultivation equipment, fermentation tanks, and temperature control systems
- Payroll or salaries paid to staff
- Business insurance
- Taxes and permits
- Legal expenses
Attach your full financial projections in the appendix of your plan along with any supporting documents that make your plan more compelling. For example, you might include your winery blueprint or location lease.
Putting together a business plan for your winery is a worthwhile endeavor. If you follow the template above, by the time you are done, you will truly be an expert. You will really understand the winery industry, your competition and your customers. You will have developed a marketing plan and will really understand what it takes to launch and grow a successful winery.
Don’t you wish there was a faster, easier way to finish your winery business plan?
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Since 1999, Growthink has developed business plans for thousands of companies who have gone on to achieve tremendous success.
Click here to see how Growthink’s professional business plan consultants can create your business plan for you.
Winery Business Plan FAQs
What is the easiest way to complete my winery business plan.
Growthink's Ultimate Business Plan Template allows you to quickly and easily complete your Winery Business Plan.
What Is the Goal of a Business Plan's Executive Summary?
Other helpful business plan articles & templates.
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Winery Business Plan Template
Winery business plan.
You’ve come to the right place to create your Winery business plan.
We have helped over 10,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans and many have used them to start or grow their Wineries.
Below is a template to help you create each section of your Winery business plan.
Great Grape Winery is a new wine producer and tasting room located in the heart of Walla Walla, Washington’s wine country. The company is founded by Nicholas Perez, an experienced winemaker who has been making wine for nearly two decades, and his wife, Angela, an operations director with a Master’s degree in Business Administration. Together, Nicholas and Angela have the expertise and education needed to start their new company, Great Grape Winery. Nicholas is confident that his ability to effectively manage the winemaking process, combined with Angela’s top-notch management skills, will allow them to run a profitable winery. The couple plans on recruiting a team of highly qualified professionals to help manage the day-to-day complexities of running a winery – winemaking, sales, marketing, quality control, and financial reporting.
Great Grape Winery will offer locally produced, high-quality fine wine for the wine connoisseur and the novice alike. Great Grape will be a one-stop shop for wine enthusiasts to purchase everything they need for hosting their own gathering featuring Great Grape’s fine wines, from bread and cheese selected specifically to accompany certain types of wine to the wine glasses and accessories needed to create an elegant presentation. Great Grape Winery will be the ultimate choice in Walla Walla for its picturesque views and high-quality wines. The winery will offer wine tasting, winery tours, and a chic outdoor seating area to meet up with friends or relax with a glass of wine.
The following are the products that Great Grape Winery will provide:
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Cabernet Franc
- Wine glasses
- Wine glass charms
- Wine holders
Great Grape Winery will target all individuals over the age of 21. The winery will target tourists and Walla Walla locals. Great Grape will also target a range of wine drinkers, from wine connoisseurs to novices. No matter the client, Great Grape Winery will deliver the best communication, service, and high-quality wine.
Great Grape Winery will be owned and operated by Nicholas and Angela Perez. Nicholas will be in charge of the winemaking process and oversee all production staff. Angela Perez will be the Operations Director and manage the tasting room, sales staff, and customer relations.
Nicholas Perez is a graduate of the University of California with a Bachelor’s degree in Viticulture. He has been working at a winery in California for nearly two decades as a winemaker. Now, he wants to bring his winemaking expertise to the Walla Walla, Washington wine country.
Angela Perez is a seasoned operations director with over eight years of experience overseeing the operations for a small winery. Angela has a Master’s degree in Business Administration and is known for her keen attention to detail, organization, and efficiency.
Great Grape Winery will be able to achieve success by offering the following competitive advantages:
- Highly qualified team of winemakers, wine tasters, and experts on wine selection and pairing work side by side with friendly and knowledgeable sales and tasting room staff to ensure each customer receives personalized and attentive service and gets all of their questions answered.
- Great Grape sells its wine, food products, and wine accessories in-store and online, giving customers more flexibility in the way they can shop. The company will also have a monthly wine club subscription so customers never have to worry about running out of wine or missing out on new products.
- Great Grape Winery offers competitive pricing. The winery works with local suppliers and uses a cost-effective packaging process that allows the company to save money. This savings is then passed on to the customers.
Great Grape Winery is seeking $600,000 in debt financing to launch its winery. The funding will be dedicated towards securing and building out the facility and towards purchasing equipment and supplies. Funding will also be dedicated towards three months of overhead costs to include payroll of the staff, rent, and marketing expenses. The breakout of the funding is below:
- Facility build-out: $300,000
- Equipment, supplies, and materials: $120,000
- Three months of overhead expenses (payroll, rent, utilities): $150,000
- Marketing costs: $20,000
- Working capital: $10,000
Who is great grape winery.
Great Grape Winery is a newly established winery located in the heart of Walla Walla, Washington’s wine country. Great Grape will be the ultimate choice for its picturesque views and high-quality wines. The winery will offer locally produced, high-quality fine wine for the wine connoisseur and the novice alike. Great Grape will be a one-stop shop for wine enthusiasts. Customers can purchase everything they need to host their own gathering featuring Great Grape’s fine wines, from breads and cheeses that pair perfectly with the Great Grapes wine selection to elegant wine glasses and accessories. The winery will offer wine tasting, winery tours, and a chic outdoor seating area where customers can meet up with friends or relax with a glass of wine.
Great Grape Winery will employ a team of professionals who are highly qualified and experienced in winemaking, selection, and pairing. Great Grape Winery ensures that every customer that walks through the door receives exceptional customer service.
Great Grape Winery History
Great Grape is owned and operated by Nicholas and Angela Perez. Nicholas is an experienced winemaker who has a Viticulture degree from the University of California. Now, he wants to bring his winemaking expertise to Walla Walla’s wine country. Angela is a seasoned operations director with over eight years of experience overseeing the operations for a small winery. Together, they have begun to set up the business. Initial steps such as registering the business and securing all necessary permits and licenses have been completed.
Since incorporation, Great Grape Winery has achieved the following milestones:
- Registered Great Grape Winery, LLC to transact business in the state of Washington.
- Secured all required licenses and permits to open a winery in Walla Walla, Washington.
- Has a contract in place at the facility that will become the winery and tasting room.
- Reached out to numerous local vineyards to advise them on the upcoming winery in order to start getting supplier contracts.
- Began recruiting a staff of accountants, marketing and sales associates, winemakers, and tasting room personnel to work at Great Grape Winery.
Great Grape Winery Services
- Wine Tasting Services & Events
The global wine market was estimated to be $417.85B in 2020 and is forecasted to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.4% between 2021 and 2028. The segment of wine that had the largest share of the market in 2020 was table wine, with 84% market share. This type of wine is quite popular due to being relatively inexpensive and easily accessible. While less popular than table wine, sparkling wine is expected to gain market share between 2021 and 2028 as more people around the world, and particularly in the U.S., favor spritz beverages.
In the United States, the millennial age group drinks the most wine. Approximately 24% of wine consumers in the country belong to this demographic. Moreover, 28% of younger millennials drink wine on a daily basis. Trends in the wine market that appeal to millennials include small batch wines, natural wines, sparkling wines, lower-alcohol wines, and sustainable or biodynamic wines. Industry operators can maintain a competitive advantage by offering unique flavors, affordable and accessible products, and catering to the millennial demographic.
Demographic profile of target market.
The precise demographics for Walla Walla, Washington are:
Great Grape will primarily target the following customer profiles:
- Millennial age group
- Gen Z who are over the age of 21
- Boomer age group
- Wine connoisseurs
- Walla Walla locals
- Walla Walla tourists
- Wine novices
Direct and indirect competitors.
Great Grape Winery will face competition from other companies with similar business profiles. A description of each competitor company is below.
Valley Winery makes fine wines from locally sourced grapes. Located in Walla Walla, Valley Winery is able to save on shipping costs by using local suppliers. The winery’s list of services includes wine tasting, winery tours, and private event hosting. Valley Winery makes a range of wines including white, reds, and dessert wines.
Valley Winery promises to deliver the highest quality products at reasonable prices. The winery follows a strict quality control process and only uses the best grapes for its wines. Valley Winery’s team of experienced winemaking professionals assures the wine is made with the best of care. Customers are guaranteed to love the company’s fine wines and if they don’t like a particular wine, the company will offer another type of wine at no additional cost or provide a refund.
Hilly Valley Winery
Hilly Valley Winery in Walla Walla, Washington provides outstanding wines for the pickiest wine connoisseurs. Hilly Valley Winery offers classic wines including Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, and Syrah. The owners of Hilly Valley Winery come from a family of winemaking professionals so they understand how fine wine should be produced. The winery also boasts a small cafe where customers can relax with some wine and cheese. On weekends, the winery hosts wine tasting events and tours of the production facility.
Winning Wine is a trusted Walla Walla winery that provides superior wines, breads, and cheeses for wine enthusiasts in the area. Winning Wine uses organic grapes processed through sustainable methods to ensure a green operation. The winery hosts special events, tours, and winemaking classes. Customers can purchase wine accessories in addition to fine wine while in the tasting room. Winning Wine’s fine wines sell for premium prices due to the company’s use of hand-picked grapes and sustainable production methods.
Great Grape Winery will be able to offer the following advantages over their competition:
- Great Grape Winery works with local suppliers and uses a cost-effective packaging process that allows the company to save money.
Brand & value proposition.
Great Grape Winery will offer the unique value proposition to its customers:
- Friendly and knowledgeable employees ensure each customer receives personalized and attentive service and gets all of their questions answered.
The promotions strategy for Great Grape Winery is as follows:
Word of Mouth/Referrals
Nicholas Perez has built a reputation over the years for producing exceptional wine. Many former customers have expressed great enthusiasm for the new winery and have expressed excitement over trying out the wine selection. Great Grape Winery will give customers discounts for referring their friends and families and spreading the word about the new establishment.
Professional Associations and Networking
Great Grape Winery will become a member of professional associations such as the American Society for Enology and Viticulture, the American Wine Society, and the Washington State Wine Commission. Nicholas and Angela will focus their networking efforts on expanding their customer and supplier networks.
Great Grape Winery will invest in professionally designed print ads to display in programs or flyers at industry networking events, in Walla Walla tourism magazines, in wine trade publications, and in direct-mailers.
Great Grape Winery will create and maintain an attractive, well-designed website. The website will be well organized, informative, and list all of the wines and other products currently available at Great Grape. The website will also include a regularly updated blog with interesting and educational articles about wine.
The company’s marketing director will manage Great Grape’s website presence with SEO marketing tactics so that when someone searches for “Walla Walla winery” or “winery near me”, Great Grape Winery will be listed at the top of the search results.
Social Media Marketing
The company will maintain an active presence on various social media platforms including LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube. The marketing director will post new content to these accounts multiple times throughout the week to keep the brand fresh in followers’ minds.
Great Grape Winery will send email newsletters and promotional offers to customers who subscribe. The newsletter will provide informative content and the promotional offers will help drive traffic to the winery and the online shop.
The pricing of Great Grape Winery will be competitive so customers feel they receive value when purchasing wine from the company.
The following will be the operations plan for Great Grape Winery.
- Nicholas Perez will be the Co-owner and Lead Winemaker. He will oversee the winemaking process and winemaking personnel.
- Angela Perez – Co-owner and Operations Manager who will manage the day-to-day operations of the winery, tasting room, sales staff, and customer relations.
- Justin Lee – Bookkeeper/Accountant who will provide all budgeting, accounting, tax payments, and monthly financial reporting for the company.
- Brenda Moore – Marketing Director who will implement the marketing plan for Great Grape.
- Larry White – Inspection and Maintenance Director who will provide all maintenance on the equipment and internal quality control inspections for the winery.
Great Grape Winery will have the following milestones completed in the next six months.
10/1/2022 – Finalize contract to lease the facility.
10/15/2022 – Finalize personnel employment contracts for the Great Grape Winery team.
11/1/2022 – Finalize contracts with grape suppliers and begin the winemaking process.
1/15/2023 – Begin networking at industry events and implement the marketing campaign.
2/1/2023 – Great Grape Winery opens for business.
Key revenue & costs.
The revenue drivers for Great Grape Winery are the winery fees charged to customers in exchange for wine products. The company’s price range for its fine wines is $15-$50 per bottle.
The cost drivers will be the overhead costs required in order to staff a winery and the grapes that will be made into wine. The expenses will be the payroll cost, rent, utilities, winemaking supplies, and marketing materials.
Funding Requirements and Use of Funds
The following outlines the key assumptions required in order to achieve the revenue and cost numbers in the financials and in order to pay off the startup business loan.
- Number of cases of wine produced per year: 6,000
- Average fees per month: $60,000
- Facility lease per year: $200,000
Income statement, balance sheet, cash flow statement, winery business plan faqs, what is a winery business plan.
A winery business plan is a plan to start and/or grow your winery business. Among other things, it outlines your business concept, identifies your target customers, presents your marketing plan and details your financial projections.
You can easily complete your winery business plan using our Winery Business Plan Template here .
What are the Main Types of Winery Businesses?
There are a number of different kinds of winery business , some examples include: Estate Winery, Farmstead Winery, and Custom Crush Winery.
How Do You Get Funding for Your Winery Business Plan?
Winery businesses are often funded through small business loans. Personal savings, credit card financing and angel investors are also popular forms of funding.
What are the Steps To Start a Winery Business?
Starting a winery business can be an exciting endeavor. Having a clear roadmap of the steps to start a business will help you stay focused on your goals and get started faster.
1. Develop A Winery Business Plan - The first step in starting a business is to create a detailed winery business plan that outlines all aspects of the venture. This should include potential market size and target customers, the services or products you will offer, pricing strategies and a detailed financial forecast.
2. Choose Your Legal Structure - It's important to select an appropriate legal entity for your winery business. This could be a limited liability company (LLC), corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship. Each type has its own benefits and drawbacks so it’s important to do research and choose wisely so that your winery business is in compliance with local laws.
3. Register Your Winery Business - Once you have chosen a legal structure, the next step is to register your winery business with the government or state where you’re operating from. This includes obtaining licenses and permits as required by federal, state, and local laws.
4. Identify Financing Options - It’s likely that you’ll need some capital to start your winery business, so take some time to identify what financing options are available such as bank loans, investor funding, grants, or crowdfunding platforms.
5. Choose a Location - Whether you plan on operating out of a physical location or not, you should always have an idea of where you’ll be based should it become necessary in the future as well as what kind of space would be suitable for your operations.
6. Hire Employees - There are several ways to find qualified employees including job boards like LinkedIn or Indeed as well as hiring agencies if needed – depending on what type of employees you need it might also be more effective to reach out directly through networking events.
7. Acquire Necessary Winery Equipment & Supplies - In order to start your winery business, you'll need to purchase all of the necessary equipment and supplies to run a successful operation.
8. Market & Promote Your Business - Once you have all the necessary pieces in place, it’s time to start promoting and marketing your winery business. This includes creating a website, utilizing social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, and having an effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. You should also consider traditional marketing techniques such as radio or print advertising.
Learn more about how to start a successful winery business:
- How to Start a Winery Business
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How to Start a Wine Business?: 10 Key Winery Plans to Start a Wine Business
When it comes to learning how to start a winery business and begin wine sales and selling wine by the glass , there’s a lot of information available. In fact, there’s even a BinWise article on opening a winery . That article is a high-level overview of the process of starting a wine business. If you’re planning to run a winery, you should know how to create a winery business plan. It'll help you get settled before you look into buying a winery.
A winery business plan is similar to other business plans (including a restaurant business plan ) in many ways. That said, there are also steps specific to wineries. We'll walk you through every stage of the process.
Is Winery a Good Business?
Before you jump into a wine business, you’ll want to know what you’re getting into financially. Opening a winery requires significant investments of time and money. It won’t be cheap by any means.
However, the payoff is worth it. On average, the wine industry has been growing over the last few years (it’s estimated to grow by 4.2% from 2020 to 2027). Next, we’ll take a look at wine industry growth to see what kind of earnings you may anticipate once you (and the vines) are off the ground.
In 2018, the US wine market value totaled $70.5 billion. Nearly 70% of that came from US wines. That value comes from a steady rise in the wine industry since 1994, as more people consume wine, and more wine is produced.
Before 2020, the wine industry was projected to grow by 4-8% in 2020 and beyond. Of course, things changed in 2020, and for wine businesses, those changes were good.
The COVID-19 pandemic has given more people a reason to stay home and drink wine. From learning wine terms to taking sommelier classes , more folks have leaned into wine culture the last three years. If you’re looking for the right time to start a wine business, now’s that time.
Winery Business Plan
A winery business plan includes everything in a regular business plan, including:
- An executive summary
- An in-depth business description
- The details of labor and operations
- A market analysis
- An explanation of your product plan
- A marketing plan (you can draw from restaurant marketing ideas and wine marketing)
- An analysis of financial plans
- An investment proposal (depending on financial plans)
- Milestone plans
Of course, all those sections of your business plan will be curated towards a winery. In that sense, this will be a winery business plan. Given that fact, there will be other factors that you’ll need to include.
10 Winery Business Plan Needs
The traditional business plan involving everything outlined above is for a restaurant or bar. It could be for a store, or a marketing or advertising firm. Those are all examples of relatively straightforward businesses.
A winery business is more nuanced. All the expertise that goes into a successful winery needs to be in the winery business plan. From planning for climate to choosing your vines, your winery business plan has more specific needs than a standard plan.
The following 10 winery business plan needs are a good place to start. Depending on the winery you plan to open, they may be all you need. There may be more required for your vision, though. Let these be a guide and a stepping stone toward your business plan.
10. Finding a Winery Location
Finding a winery location is–of course–key to opening a winery. When it comes to adding this step to your business plan, the main thing to do is scout out potential locations.
To narrow it down, start by choosing a general area you’d like to set up in. Whether you want a US winery or an international spot, you can’t move on without making this decision.
9. Choosing Bottle Design
This one is lower on the list because it’s less of a strict business plan component. However, choosing your wine bottle sizes and label design does feed into your plan for getting started. This will be a nice distraction from other, intense business decisions you’ll make.
8. Reviewing Climate Needs
Reviewing your climate needs feeds into finding a location and choosing your grapes. Different wine grapes do best in different climates, and you’ll need to do a lot of studying up on climate relations to grapes.
7. Grape Selection
Choosing your grapes may come after you find a location, or you may choose a location based on the grapes you want to grow. It’ll be good to have some idea of what you want to grow as you’re looking for a location. Remember to remain flexible with these steps, too.
6. Wine Cellar Needs
Any winery worth its vines has a good wine cellar. Some places have caves, some have built structures in old (or new) buildings. Your wine cellar (with wine storage cabinet options) potential could depend on your location, but you also have the option to build up whatever you like.
5. Alcohol Laws
From laws about selling alcoholic beverages (including online liquor sales ) to who can work at a winery, there are lots of alcohol-related laws (including how to ship wine ) you'll need to get familiar with. If you’re unsure on where to start, a search through your county, city, or state tax and commerce offices should help. Reaching out to local wineries to glean their expertise is also a good idea.
4. Selecting Winery Equipment
Selecting winery equipment is something you won’t fully be able to do until you know the size of the winery you’re opening. This is because the amount of equipment you’ll need depends on your winery size. That said, your business plan can include a rough estimate of what you’ll need, and what it will cost.
3. Estimating Costs
Of course, estimating costs will go beyond equipment. This is in the financial part of your business plan. It’s noted here because a lot of your costs will be winery specific. From equipment to vines to bottle supplies, there’s a long list of goods to secure.
2. Distribution Plans
Your distribution plan (perhaps with wholesale alcohol distributors ) will depend on where you want to sell your wine. If you’re looking to mass-produce and get your bottles in large stores, this part of your plan is crucial. If you’re looking to sell locally in small batches (learn more about what is a batch in selling terms), this might be a simpler process. Either way, figuring out the logistics of distributing your wine (and potentially other products) will be essential.
1. Winery-Specific Marketing
Anyone opening a business knows how important a marketing plan (including wholesale marketing ) is. It’s part of every business plan, and the need to keep marketing never ends. Your winery-specific marketing plan will encompass everything from advertising to promoting different bottles to hosting events (like happy hour ). It’s also closely tied to curating your space for tastings and other guest-centric bar event ideas .
Frequently Asked Questions About Winery Business Plans
Once you have your business plan (maybe even an eCommerce business plan if you’re selling online) written up, you still have a long road ahead of you. There’s a lot that goes into starting a winery business, and even once it’s opened, the work never really ends.
For some inspiration to keep moving forward, we focused on frequently asked questions that center on the profits of a winery. If you’re ever staring at your business plan, thinking “How will I do this?” These questions and answers can help serve as motivation.
How Much Does It Cost to Start a Winery?
On average, the cost to start a winery generally ranges from $600,000 up to the low millions. You may be thinking that’s an insane amount, and it’s quite substantial, but it doesn’t all need to come from your pockets. This is where investors come in handy.
How Much Money Can You Make Owning a Winery?
The money you can make owning a winery depends on a lot of factors. From bottle price, to the amount of land you have, to the vine growth year. There are things you can control, and things you can’t. On average, a winery brings in around $88,000 a year (that’s for an average size winery). That’s a good number to start with, but keep in mind, it’s all dependent on your winery.
Is a Wine Business a Good Investment?
Overall, yes, a wine business is a good investment. Wine is a beverage people have always liked and always want more of. Even if there are years when the vine growth isn’t great, vineyards are known to bounce back. Opening a winery takes a lot of work, but the long term investment is worth it.
How to Start a Wine Business: Get Growing!
The title of this section is a bit of a misnomer. Once you have your business plan written up, you won’t be ready to start growing your vines and bottling your wines. You will be one step closer though!
While the practice of writing a business plan is a lot of work, it’s only the beginning. Now you know what you need to do. You certainly know more than you did before. That said, the business plan is, just that, a plan. Now it’s time for work. As you work, you can always come back to the BinWise blog to learn more.
A business plan provides a snapshot of your winery as it stands today, and lays out your growth plan for the next five years. It explains your business goals and your strategy for reaching them. It also includes market research to support your plans. Why You Need a Business Plan
Aldi Is Selling a Coconut Wine That Tastes Exactly Like a Tropical Vacation Melany Love Updated: Jul. 14, 2021 Courtesy @aldi.mademedoit/instagram The bottle is $8, but the beach you'll be imagining is totally free! It seems like every time I turn around, Aldi has something amazing for us to try.
Easily complete your Winery business plan! Download the winery business plan template (including a customizable financial model) to your computer here <– Financial Highlights Great Grape Winery is seeking $600,000 in debt financing to launch its winery.
Marketing Plan. Traditionally, a marketing plan includes the four P’s: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. For a wine bar business plan, your marketing strategy should include the following: Product: In the product section, you should reiterate the type of wine bar company that you documented in your company overview.
Lambanog which is the Philippines’ Coconut Wine is a wine prepared from coconut. Lambanog is known for its strong point that customarily brings concerning 80 to 90 proof substitutes. Batangas Province, Philippines was the primary source of Lambanog. Coconut plantation farmers are the people behind lambanog.