How to Sell a Maryland Winery
Looking for help selling your Maryland Vineyard?
Though Maryland has only gained international acclaim in the wine world in recent decades, the state has a long history of winemaking. In recent years, Maryland’s wine sales have exploded as the state’s vineyards have won much deserved attention at domestic and international competitions. Maryland wineries are a significant boon to the state’s economy, boosting both employment and tourism. With more wineries and vineyards established every year, the market for selling Maryland wineries is heating up! Maryland is a hotspot for real estate agents looking to break into the wineries and vineyards in a buzzing emerging market. With the right know-how, agents can market the state’s existing vineyards and wineries to their fullest potential.
Key Selling Points of Maryland Wineries
There are countless selling points that work to your advantage when putting a Maryland vineyard or winery on the market. Here are some of the key benefits Maryland offers to potential winery buyers:
- Maryland is an ideal – though little known – location for viticulture. This long, proud history of winemaking began in the mid-1600s when the first European grape varieties were planted and harvested successfully in the state due to its mild climate and fertile soil.
- This burgeoning wine market is perfect for buyers interested in breaking into the market without the investment required for a property in California.
- Over the past few decades, Maryland wineries have caught international attention at wine competitions. As a result, Maryland has become one of the region’s most popular destinations for tourists – including for residents of and tourists to Washington, D.C.
- Tourists are also drawn to Maryland’s vineyards and wineries by events like the Maryland Wine Festival, one of the largest wine festivals on the East Coast that draws over 20,000 attendees each year!
- Maryland’s wineries are perfect for new winery owners because of the state’s organizations devoted to supporting the state’s small viticulturists. These organizations are a great selling point, as they have a great track record for helping to develop and sell Maryland wine.
- Each year, the state’s number of vineyards and wineries grows, along with the popularity of Maryland’s wine! In the last ten years, the number of wineries in Maryland has increased over 250%.
Maryland’s Wine Trails Draw in Customers
Maryland’s dense and highly-regarded network of wine trails is a critical ingredient to the success of its vineyards and wineries. The state boasts eight wine trails, with at least one trail in each of its wine regions. This is a dream for those trying to sell a Maryland winery or vineyard. The wine trails bring flocks of eager wine connoisseurs to visit its vineyards and wineries, boosting business for winery vineyard owners throughout the year. If you’re selling a Maryland winery, make sure to research the nearest wine trails and include this information on marketing materials.
Research – and Sell – the Location
Buyers trust agents with knowledge of Maryland’s wine regions and their respective climates. Since Maryland’s four distinct wine regions each have a specific climate and soil type, there is a wide diversity of grape varieties that thrive throughout the state:
- Piedmont Plateau: This region stretches from the head of the Chesapeake Bay to the mountains near Frederick and contains most of the state’s vineyards. This includes some of the oldest wineries in the state and two wine trails: the Frederick Wine Trail and the Mason-Dixon Wine Trail.
- Eastern Shore: The region by the Chesapeake Bay can support a variety of types of grapes, making it ideal for buyers who want to produce wines in multiple styles. The climate of this region is mild, with warm days and cool nights and a long growing season. The sandy soil also provides good drainage necessary to avoid root rot.
- Southern Plain: This region’s climate is very hot in the summer, making it ideal for growing grape varieties common to Southern Italian and Mediterranean vineyards. Grapes from more northern regions may wither here.
- Western Mountain: This region has long winters which means a shorter growing season. Because of this, most of the vineyards in this region focus on cold-hardy grape varieties from other northern areas including Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, and Chardonnay.
Pricing a Maryland Winery to Sell
Possibly the most important factor in ensuring that a property sells quickly is pricing it accurately for its benefits and defects. An unrealistic asking price will leave a Maryland winery languishing on the market without any real prospects – while a reasonable price could even result in a bidding war that ultimately yields a higher sale.
As an agent, it’s critical to have a deep understanding of the winery’s value – and research to back it up – to present to your sellers in order to agree on the right price. You should gather as much of this information as possible before meeting with the seller. While a seller may demand listing the property for a higher price than it’s worth, it’s never worth it to agree to this price in order to secure the listing.
Our tip: Ask sellers if they are willing to get a professional market value appraisal. While this requires money upfront, it will show that they are serious about selling and setting a realistic price.
Legal Issues in a Maryland Winery Sale
Ideally, a seller will handle any potential legal issues before listing their winery. Nonetheless, sellers should be aware of potential legal hold ups and questions that buyers may ask.
- Suggest that your seller obtain a preliminary title report. Be sure that the seller follows up on any issues with names or other changes on the title as well as any outstanding liens or recorded deeds.
- A surveyor will likely be required to confirm the boundaries of the property. This will assure buyers that the vineyard does not encroach on neighboring properties.
- Confirm that the trademarks of the brand and the intellectual property are included in the sale.
- The seller should have copies of all of their federal, state, and local licenses and permits.
- Be aware of and upfront with buyers about any defects with the property. Buyers could demand greater concessions if they discover the issues after signing the purchase agreement.
Final Tips for Selling Maryland Wineries
This information is critical for successfully marketing a Maryland winery, and sellers will look for advisors with this expertise:
- Recent sales prices of comparable properties
- The value of different wine regions and wine trails
- Whether additional home sites can be created on the property
- Permit requirements and whether permit capacity can be increased
There has never been a better time to jump into this expanding market, as the appetite Maryand wine – and Maryland wineries – continues to explode!