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Buying a Vineyard: Due Diligence Checklist

Purchasing land for your vineyard is a significant investment. Whether you’re buying your first acres or expanding your business with new property, it’s important to perform a comprehensive appraisal of the land to ensure you’re making a smart and effective purchase. That’s where due diligence comes in. As you assess your new land for purchase, keep in mind this due diligence checklist for buying a vineyard.

Legal Status

There are plenty of legal details to pay attention to when considering a vineyard property. Most importantly, you need to know the specific total acreage and boundaries of the property. It’s also important to learn the status of the title. Are there liens or leases that influence the purchase? What about title easements? Make sure you’re aware of these factors and how they will affect your purchase or operations.

Region and Product

It’s important to understand winegrape regions when you purchase your vineyard. Does the property exist in a known winegrape region? If so, is there currently strong demand for the variety of grapes you can grow? What is the pricing for that variety? Questions like these help inform your business plan so that you can successfully tailor your operations to your products.

Speaking of products, this is also the time to evaluate what you will be able to grow on your property. Factors to consider for product, planting operations, and overall vineyard design include:

  • Vine variety
  • Clone
  • Rootstock
  • Plant material source
  • Planted acres
  • Planting date
  • Soil preparations

It’s also a good idea to look at production history and yields from past seasons. This will give you an idea of the kind of production and revenue you can expect from the vineyard in the future.

Grape Buyers and Contracts

Many vineyards have pre-existing contracts with wineries. These winery contracts help control your crop values and reduce the market risk of selling your grapes on your own. It’s important to review any existing contracts tied to the property so you know what the plan is for your crops. On the other hand, if there are no existing contracts, you need to make sure you have a buyer or a plan to use the grapes in your own winery. Making sure you understand buying plans and marketability helps you hit the ground running once harvest season comes around.

Vineyard Appraisals Through Farm Plus Financial

A vineyard due diligence checklist helps make sure you have a fair and valid appraisal of your property before you move forward with your purchase. When you choose Farm Plus Financial for your vineyard loans, you undergo our appraisal process with an expert, state-licensed appraiser. Make sure you have everything you need to secure financing and turn your vineyard into a success when you work with Farm Plus Financial today.