Own your own winery

Time to take a second look at your savings account, folks. Wine industry insiders estimate that around 50 percent of the wineries in the United States could be up for sale in the next five years.

That’s a lot of land up for grabs. Most importantly, that’s a lot of land up for grabs that could fulfill your early mid life crisis dream of retiring early, buying up a winery, and never working a normal day job again.

The insight comes from the Silicon Valley Bank’s annual State of the Wine Industry newsletter written by Rob McMillan. McMillan founded the bank’s wine division, and there are currently 350 winery clients in Napa, so the place knows what it’s talking about. According to a survey done for the newsletter, 30 percent of U.S. winery owners have a sale in mind in the next five years, and 20 percent say that a sale is “possible.”

So why the big sell off? Wine is only increasing in popularity, making vineyards all the more valuable. The problem is that the Baby Boomers lived the wine dream before vineyard-envious Millennials and Gen Xers were even born. Now those Baby Boomers are done with all the hard work it takes to run a vineyard and they’re ready to sell. That, and it’s a hard, over crowded market out there for boutique wineries.

Maybe you don’t have the money to invest in a winery right now. That’s understandable, considering you’re probably not going to make money off any winery you buy for a long time (if at all). When you break the cost of wine per bottle down, it’s a very expensive business: $1.50 for the cork, $1.50 for the bottle, $0.50 for the label, and then $5 to make the actual wine in the bottle.

Still, if there’s a trust fund sitting around with your name on it, it’d be nice to own some land, wouldn’t it? Wineries are some of the best places to escape to, and with so many wineries that could be going on the market, you could potentially call one of those escapes your own sooner than you think.