The Total Wine Package

Craig Tordsen, Extension Program Specialist, Value Added Agriculture Programs  


The growth of the vineyard and winery industry in the Iowa has been explosive over the last eight years.  Iowa wineries have grown to over 60 today from 10 in 1998.  Vineyards numbers are near 400 today from less than 10 in the same time. 


The objective was to provide tools that will provide this growing industry information with which to make informed decisions through the use of web based streaming video programs and Excel spreadsheet financial planning tools for vineyards and wineries.

Activities/Output :

The results of this project (Four videos and Four Financial planning spread sheets) offer grape and wine producers background information about how to market grapes and wine, what it costs to produce and sell and other important considerations.  All are available on the web at and on DVDs from the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center at Iowa State University.

The Total Wine Package Video

The Total Wine Package: Exploring the Opportunity

This nine-minute video offers a basic look at the grape and wine industry, as well as exploring some of the myths and realities of the wine business. Growing grapes and making wine require persistence, patience, passion and money.

The Total Wine Package: Behind the Scenes

Creating a good bottle of wine is both an art and a science. The five-minute video examines the resources and assistance available to viticulturists and vintners.

The Total Wine Package: Growing the Business, Selling the Package

Planning a marketing strategy is the focus of a nine-minute video on developing a Midwestern winery business. Footage shows how to make the winery stand out, and enhance unique selling aspects.

The Total Wine Package: Frequently Asked Questions

A typical Iowa couple is shown pondering how to get started in the wine business and what resources are available. In the 15-minute video, the couple learns about grape varieties, costs of production, where to site the vineyards and winery, and other key business development issues.

The streaming videos are available for viewing at

Financial Planning Tools

Two Excel workbooks were created to help farmers generate a cash flow analysis for vineyards and wineries.  They can be found on the web at      

Vineyard Establishment and Production Cost per Acre

This workbook is designed to report all income and expenses of a one-acre vineyard for up to 13 years. There are three different vineyard workbooks, each for a different trellis style, showing realistic data based on the trellis style chosen. Each trellis does the same thing, but there are different costs associated with each style. Labor costs can include overhead costs such as insurance, taxes and vacation costs for up to six different job skills. Machine costs are based on horsepower, fuel expenses, and rental value. Interest expense is calculated for each years expenses as well as carryover debt, up to the point when income repays all past expenses. Printed reports are available for all years, along with a summary report.

Ten-Year Winery Financial Planning Workbook

Suitable for use by any size of winery, the program offers flexible options for sources of capital, equipment, marketing, staffing, fixed and variable expenses, and sales projections. The program allows up to three term loans. Income source is the average price per bottle of wine sold with three possible options for selling wine; in the winery, retail, or wholesale. Gift shop income also is included. Reports include asset and depreciation schedule, a two-year monthly cash flow, a ten-year cash flow, income statements, and balance sheets with a percentage analysis.


The number of people viewing the videos and downloading the  Excel tools continues to grow.  Three of the four videos were available for the last 12 months.  The last video went on line in December 2005.  The videos have been viewed 3,986 times in the last 12 months.  The Excel tools went on line in October 2005. As of the end of June, 2006, 5,286 copies have been distributed over the web.  In addition, 150 copies of the DVD have been distributed to industry leaders, educators, business owners and people planning to build vineyards and wineries. 

Comments about the videos and Excel workbooks have been favorable.  The following are from industry educators, leaders and business owners.



Donniella Winchell, Ohio Wine Producers Association

This is AMAZING -- kudos, kudos

Linda Jones,                                               Michigan Department of Agriculture

Wow! I am very impressed. I will be adding reference to these materials to our Michigan Resource Guide

Fred Nickel,                                                Brutocao Cellars, Hopland, CA

Just wanted to let you all know what an absolute treasure this Winery Financial planning workbook is... I have been making wine and building/upgrading wineries for 27 years (UCD grad, go Aggies!) and this is one of the most comprehensive, functional tools I
have ever seen. Kudos to you'all.

Ted Kearns, Platteville, WI

Thanks for the workbooks. I was in the process of creating my own and you have saved me a great deal of work. 

Anthony W. Mangus
Chief Operating Officer,                                                Historic Hopewell Vineyards
Secretary Pennysylvania Association of Winegrowers

We are very pleased to find a copy of your planning spreadsheet. You have done our industry a tremendous service by making this knowlege public.

John 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.

Stephen 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

Jeff White
Glen Manor Vineyards, LLC
2276 Browntown Rd
Front Royal, Va 22630 

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 Value Added Agriculture and to Iowa State University.


 August 2006

121 - Adding Value and Enhancing Agricultural Products

Page last updated: September 5, 2006
Page maintained by Linda Schultz,