Where Would You Buy A Vineyard?
Ever thought about buying some dirt in Wine Country somewhere in the world and setting up shop with a vineyard? I have. If I were to get into the production side of the wine business and money were no object, I’d become a grower. But, as a wonderful new article in the latest issue of Wine Enthusiast by Roger Voss and Kathleen Buckley points out, money can be an object that gets in your way.
"The Price of Dirt" in the May 2007 issue of Wine Enthusiasts looks at what it costs to buy vineyards and homes in various wine countries around the world. They also analyze the various wine countries in terms of ROI potential, lifestyle benefits and other criteria.
Now, I’m a big fan of categorizations, lists and groupings. The writers of this article break down the various wine countries into a variety of categories: "Hot" regions, "not hot" regions, "high risk" regions and "Lifestyle" regions. I was particularly interested in regions described as "high risk". They describe these regions thus:
"These are places that have an element in flux. Some have financial or political risks, others lack an international lifestyle, either because it is in an embryo stage, or because it will never happen, with distance or climate posing permanent disadvantage."
Among the regions that Voss and Buckley put in the "High Risk" category are Lake County and Paso Robles. I’m not a financial analyst or a real estate speculator so I can’t make any judgment about the risk investment in these areas pose. But I do know they are both growth areas for vineyards and winemaking. I also know the wines being made from these grapes can be outstanding.
My choice? If I were to set up vineyard shop anywhere in California it would Anderson Valley. This is not a choice based on a financial consideration. It’s personal. The wines from this region are, in my view, world class. The region is beautiful. The people are unaffected by notions of grandeur based on their own personal beauty and place in the world. But I also believe that 20 years down the road Anderson Valley will be spoke of as among the top 4 or 5 winemaking regions in America.
The article is fantastic and I recommend picking up this issue for this article alone.