Berger on wine: Wine business growing more difficult

Feb 27, 2019

(SonomaNews) -  There’s an old, well-known saying: “If you wanna make a small fortune in the wine business, start with a large one.”

The statement, which now is a cliché, has never been truer — except for families that got into wine 50 or 100 years ago, never intending to make more than a hard-won living or feeding a passel of kids. They face fewer headaches.

In the past three decades, wine has become a deep-pockets game. Just how deep is often a shock, even to very wealthy people. If they look into the real costs of making fine wine on even a modest basis, they’ll quickly realize it could be a lot worse.

Imagine investing huge sums on land, buildings, vineyard development, staff personnel, marketing, equipment and sales strategies, then realizing it will be about six years before you have anything to sell.

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