How to Start a Small Vineyard


Starting a vineyard is a big decision, and requires a lot of work, preparation and investment. The process is also a decision that is very rewarding on many levels, providing you with the opportunity to sell grapes in several forms---as wine, fresh fruit, dried fruit or preserves. A small vineyard is most beneficial for the first-time grower and demands less time, land and fewer employees. Make sure you're prepared for this commitment and remember key points when starting a vineyard.

Step 1

Choose your grapes. The most common grapes are Vitis viniteria---for wines such as merlot, reisling, chenin blanc and pinot noir. These variations are used in 99 percent of vineyards across the world.

Step 2

Find a piece of land for your vineyard. Make sure it's frost free with well-drained soil. Dry humidity, not a lot of rain and cool evening temperatures are ideal. Grapevines do not need a lot of fertilizer, and actually do well in poor soil.

Step 3

Plant your vineyard and make sure you have an irrigation system. Having access to a water source allows you to maximize the production of your fruit harvest. Depending on how large your vineyard is, you may need to hire help.

Step 4

Check your specific state's requirements for liquor and/or business licensing, filling out the necessary paperwork for your type of vineyard. Develop a business plan for what your needs are. For example, will you sell grapes or wine? Consider what type of advertising works for you.

Step 5

Do your research to grow, care for and run your vineyard properly.

Things You'll Need

  • Grape variety
  • Plot of land
  • Information
  • Hired help
  • Licenses


  • Beginning a Vineyard
  • Starting Your Own Wine Business
  • Planting a Vineyard
Keywords: starting a vineyard, making wine, beginning a vineyard

About this Author

Lauren Wise is a journalism major from Arizona State University with over forty published magazine and media articles and over 400 Web site articles. Wise owns Midnight Publishing with over eight years experience as a writer, editor, copywriter and columnist. She specializes in food and wine, music and pop culture. Her writing has appeared in magazines including Runway, A2Z, Scottsdale Luxury Living and True West.