Starting Your Own Wine Business

W. C. Morris, Professor
Food Science and Technology

You have been making wine in your basement for several years and routinely receive accolades on how good your homemade wine tastes. Now you are trying to decide if you should start your own vineyard and build a commercial winery. What are the factors that you should consider in starting a winery and a vineyard?

There are many aspects to consider in starting a winery. One of the first considerations should be where to get grapes and what kind of wine to make. You also need to familiarize yourself with the various regulations and governing bodies that regulate the industry.

If you are a novice in the art and science of growing grapes, we suggest contacting your county Extension agent, who can direct you to the appropriate specialist at The University of Tennessee. This specialist can advise you on site selection, recommended varieties, trellising systems, spray programs and other information to help you grow high-quality grapes. The publication “So You Want to Grow Grapes in Tennessee…” details the production of a high-quality vineyard.

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