You know when is the best time to go wine tasting, whenever the wineries open.
Twain once said I never dine without wine, sir. It is because of such sentiments that the American wine industry has seen a boom over that 40 years. Mavericks like Twain have come and gone, but Viticulture has been around for 8,000 years.
Lets see what a winery is worth….
There are over 7,000 wineries in America that employ 58,000 people and make $26B annually.
There are Four Trends reshaping this industry as we speak –
- Keeping up with the Jones’s – competition from cannabis, demand for lighter and bubbly wines, wine cocktails with low ABV, organic viticulture. These trends are on the rise, and it’s always best to swim with the tide.
- New Regions – California and some usual suspect wine regions and countries are high cost. Taxes, politics, transportation, and unforgiving weather is adding to the carnage. Newer regions emerging for growing vines (e.g. Oregon, Croatia, Georgia), along with new customers in China, India, and other countries which are a God sent.
- E-commerce – integrating e-commerce platforms will help you reach your customers. Manage your wine club. Track your deliveries and inventory. Source your grapes. Help you tell your story to a wider audience.
- Enotourism – The time for pretentiousness is gone. Wineries with an active tourist or hospitality business do well. Wine club members add to the hospitality revenue, and guests impressed with the hospitality buy more wine.
THERE ARE THREE TYPES OF WINERIES – fully integrated; merchant; and hybrid.
In this episode, we will focus on merchant wineries. These wineries are not tangible asset-heavy and focus their efforts on distribution, sales, and branding. They may have small production operations which may only be a fraction of their total sales.
Wineries generally sell for a multiple of EBITDA (Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization). The median multiple for a merchant winery can be 7-10x. However, this multiple is highly dependent on the buyer’s perception of the brand, and their plans after the acquisition. If the winerie’s brand is popular and dictates a premium, and if real estate is included, then the multiple can be between 12-20x.
There are three things winery owners can do to maximize the value of their business
Many Baby Boomers purchased or started wineries in the wine boom of the 70s and 80s. These owners need to retire, and their children do not want to take over, creating a void. Many wineries will on the chopping block over the next 5-10 years. Creating a ripe environment for the right buyers.
They say you make money in the wine business when you sell the winery.
I disagree. The next 5-10 years will be a time when you can make a fortune in the wine business if you know what to buy.