The year 2016 is proving to be a successful year for the United States wine industry. Social media influence and the mainstreaming of inexpensive wines are keeping the wine industry well positioned and consumers happy as we head into 2017. The industry is working to find ways to make cheaper wines more affordable while still holding onto its unique, more high-end choices. By doing so, increased revenues are expected to continue.
Typically, well-recognized locations like Napa Valley have been the go-to destination to visit and even purchase wineries and vineyards. United Country Real Estate has agents across the United States who specialize in the sale of vineyards and wineries who are noticing a shift in the location buyers are preferring.
“People are pushing outside of Napa. Niches are popping up in smaller areas like the Sierra Foothills in California that are now being considered destination points,” said Tim Kruse, United Country Real Estate’s winery and vineyard expert and broker/owner of United Country Real Estate | Green Fields Real Estate of California. “A lot of people are trying to be sensible and there are more affordable areas that provide the same type of experience without the high upfront cost of the land.”
One area that is gaining notice is upstate New York. New York is now the third largest wine producing state in the U.S. with more than 367 wineries. Although the climate can sometimes produce a challenge for grape growers, area real estate agents said winery buyers are flocking to the area.
“I’ve seen many articles describing us as the next Napa,” said Jennifer Persoon, real estate agent with United Country Real Estate | Fingerlakes in Ithaca, N.Y. “The area is agriculturally significant because of the lakes around here. The tempering climate allows growers to grow the same type of grapes they do in France and it’s made more people want to own a winery. It’s also just a beautiful region and big tourist attraction.”
Persoon said another popular attraction in New York are investment opportunities like craft beer breweries and distilleries.
“The whole market for wines, craft beers and hard ciders is a hot ticket right now,” said Persoon. “People are attracted to the lifestyle that comes with it. They like wine or craft beer and like the idea of producing it. You get to own a piece of land and live where you work. You get the whole package.”
Both Kruse and Persoon said a majority of buyers they work with are clients who are wanting a lifestyle change. They range from retired business men and women who want a change from living in the city and working with their hands to a young couple wanting to start a small business. No matter who is interested, they both said it’s important to do research first.
“Start small and build your reputation,” said Kruse. “Connect with a realtor that knows that area and can help guide you to the best areas that are developing their own niche. Visit existing areas and fall in love with it. Experience an area for yourself from a consumer standpoint. Don’t get sucked into something that you think might be popular.”
“This isn’t a get-rich-quick business,” added Persoon. “It’s one of those occupations where you really have to have a passion for it because it’s a lot of work. You have to understand that you are going to grow grapes so you become a farmer in a sense. But there are a lot of resources to help get you rolling.”
With niche markets like the Sierra Foothills in California and Ithaca, N.Y., popping up all over the U.S., wine makers are producing and selling more affordable wines. United Country experts predict another successful year for the wine industry in 2017.
United Country Real Estate is the leading land seller in the United States, marketing wineries, farms and ranches nationally. It is the leading, fully integrated network of real estate professionals with nearly 500 offices and 4,000 agents, brokers and auctioneers nationwide specializing in lifestyle real estate.
For more information about United Country Real Estate, call 800-444-5044 or visit UnitedCountry.com.
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