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.


    1. The planning tools were created using Microsoft Excel and posted on the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center web site at as a free download.
    2. 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.


120 Farm & Business Management


Page last updated: September 28, 2007
Page maintained by Linda Schultz,