Business Management Tools for the Small Producers of Grapes and Wine
Craig Tordsen, P&S, Value Added Agriculture Program
The number of wineries in the U.S. has doubled to about 5,000 in the last ten years. But in Iowa and the surrounding states the number of wineries has tripled to 325 in the same time. Along with the new wineries has been the huge increase in the number of grape vineyards. In Iowa alone, ten years ago there were less than 10 vineyards but today there are over 375 on about 800 acres of land.
Nearly all this industry expansion has been added by people with little or no life experience or education in growing grape, making or selling wine or running their own business. Most people getting into this industry have worked in some other industry and now are ready to retire and start something new.
Business planning tools are needed to help educate people wanting to start a grape vineyard or winery business.
Provide financial planning tools to help with a business plan for a new vineyard or winery business.
- The planning tools were created using Microsoft Excel and posted on the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center web site at www.Agmrc.org as a free download.
- Emails were sent to all the known grape and winery associations in the U.S. (35) asking the associations to inform their membership about the tools.
Over the last year, Tordsen has spoke at six meetings about the tools. Mike White, ISU Extension State Viticulture Specialist has included information about the tools in over 20 presentations. The total audience is estimated to be over 700 people in four states.
2. The tools have been downloaded from the AgMRC site 7,263 times in the year ending June 30, 2007.
3. Comments from tool users:
a. A. Mangus, We are very pleased to find a copy of your planning spreadsheet. You have done our industry a tremendous service by making this knowledge public.
b. J. Guinan, I have been using your spreadsheet to put together our business plan for a winery. It is a very good spreadsheet and has been very helpful.
c. S. Smith, I am retiring after 35 years as an attorney here in California. My brother and I plan to start a vineyard and build a winery on our family farm near Ottumwa, IA. Your workbooks have been a great tool to help us plan the business
d. J. White, Your 10 Year Winery Financial Plan was a great find. I do not know how I could have put together my business plan without it. Having all the necessary accounts in place and how changing just one variable then rippled through and showed it's impact was invaluable. When I presented it to Bankers, Consultants, Accountants, Attorneys and my business partners, they were all impressed and then confident of my abilities. And I do know more of what it is that I am proposing because this program made me think and see all the little pieces of the big pie. I will recommend it to anyone starting a winery and have already done so. My hat is off to you Craig Tordsen, Value Added Agriculture and to Iowa State University.
120 Farm & Business Management
Page last updated:
September 28, 2007
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