How to Sell a North Carolina Winery
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Looking for help selling your North Carolina Vineyard?
Though many associate American winemaking with California, North Carolina’s proud vineyard history dates back centuries to the early days of the British colonies. In recent decades, North Carolina vineyards have begun to receive the recognition and accolades they well deserve. This makes North Carolina vineyards and wineries an exciting emerging market. With a little know-how, the state’s heavy tourism, popular wine trails, and stunning landscapes make North Carolina wineries an ideal prospect for a realtor.
Key Selling Points of North Carolina Wineries
North Carolina vineyards and wineries have flourished over the last three centuries because of the ideal climate, geography, and soil for viticulture. One thing that sets North Carolina wineries apart is the ability to craft unique wines with native local muscadine grapes, such as the famous scuppernong variety. Additionally, there are several organized and well-publicized wine trails in North Carolina that provide great publicity for new wineries. Finally, vast numbers of tourists visit North Carolina’s famous Outer Banks beaches, bringing many new customers to the state’s wine trails each spring and summer. Individually, each of these factors is fantastic, but together they make North Carolina vineyards and wineries prime real estate!
The Market for North Carolina’s Wine
When selling a North Carolina vineyard or winery, it helps to have an understanding of the market and demand for the state’s wine. North Carolina’s wine and wine tourism market is growing quickly and without any sign of slowing. Over the last decade, the number of new wineries and vineyards in the state has nearly doubled, and yet even these new operations can’t keep up with the ever-expanding demand. North Carolina’s vineyards and wineries bring in almost 2 million wine tourists annually – producing nearly $320 million in tourist expenditures from wine tourists alone! Because of the continuous stream of tourists and increasing demand, North Carolina wineries for sale provide a stable business opportunity, which is a huge selling point for prospective buyers.
Embrace North Carolina Wine Trails
North Carolina’s highly-publicized wine trails draw in tourists and can help to make vineyard and winery business profitable. For realtors, this means that having a nearby wine trail is a huge draw for potential buyers. Even if the winery or vineyard you’re selling isn’t currently considered part of the wine trail, the potential of joining the wine trail and capitalizing on its advertising efforts can be a deciding factor for buyers.
- Yadkin Valley Wine Trail: One of the top wine trails on the East Coast, wineries and vineyards located near this wine trail enjoy an abundance of wine tourism. This wine trail contains the smaller Swan Creek Wine Trail.
- East Bend Wine Trail: Conveniently located just half an hour from Winston-Salem, operations on this wine trail receive business from many domestic and international travelers.
- Southern Gateway Wine Trail: This wine trail is known for its food, which has made its wineries and vineyards very popular on social media sites.
- Asheville Wine Trail: As Asheville is already a significant destination for tourists, wineries and vineyards located in the area receive many visitors looking for something to do during their vacation.
- Rose Hill Wine Trail: Rose Hill is a collection of vineyards and wineries located near the coast, which makes it a tremendous draw for North Carolina’s immensely popular beaches at the Outer Banks.
Fully Leveraging the Winery’s Location
Be familiar with the winery’s surrounding area in order to answer questions brought by prospective buyers. North Carolina’s varied regions and microclimates are each ideal for certain types of wine grapes. Leveraging the full capacity of a North Carolina wine operation requires expertise, so it’s a great benefit to have a working knowledge of the types of wine grapes grown in the state and where they thrive.
- Coastal Region: This region along the Atlantic coast covers the area of nearly half the state. Wineries and vineyards here often thrive when they produce unique wines that showcase rare native muscadine grapes.
- Piedmont Region: Wineries in this region are graced with wine tourists from many different nearby destination cities including Winston-Salem and Greensboro. Wineries in this region can take advantage of travelers’ business by increasing advertisements in transportation hubs.
- Appalachian Region: This region encompasses some of the country’s oldest mountains. Wineries here are noted for their incredible views. Prospective buyers can leverage this by renting a winery or vineyard here as a wedding or event venue.
Pricing a North Carolina Winery to Sell
Whether a property will sell quickly (and perhaps even enter a bidding war!) or will languish on the market for months often comes down to setting the right price. Be careful to set realistic expectations with buyers. Do not be tempted to price a winery higher than it’s worth in order to secure the listing! This will be a waste of your and your seller’s time – as well as money spent on marketing the property. Be prepared with a thorough 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.
A tip to make sure you’re pricing the winery correctly: Ask sellers to make the investment to get a professional market value appraisal. This shows that they are serious about selling, and can help convince them of a reasonable price for their property.
Legal Matters When Selling a North Carolina Winery or Vineyard
It’s good to be aware of potential legal issues that can crop up in order to solve any problems – preferably before the North Carolina winery is put on the market!
- Suggest getting a preliminary title report to head off any issues with names or other changes on the title as well as any outstanding liens or recorded deeds.
- Sellers should hire a surveyor to confirm the boundaries of the property and that all needed easements are accounted for.
- The seller must verify who owns the intellectual property associated with the winery. It is essential that prospective buyers be informed of whether the land rights include the trademarks of the brand.
- Be aware of the licenses and permits that the winery has, and whether any permits can potentially be expanded should a buyer be interested in doing so.
- It’s in the seller’s best interest to be honest and upfront about any defects or problems with their winery, as buyers often demand greater concessions if they discover the problem after the property agreement has been signed.
Final Tips for Selling North Carolina Wineries
In order to support the sale of a North Carolina vineyard or winery, it’s essential to have the right knowledge to advise your seller.
- The sales prices of comparable properties in the area, especially recent sales
- The value that different wine regions and wine trails add to a North Carolina winery
- Whether the property can support additional home sites or permits for increased wine production
North Carolina wineries and vineyards are quickly gaining acclaim in the international market, so there has never been a better time to jump into this growing market!