The Harvest Ridge Journey Begins
What is involved in starting/opening a winery? If you have been there, you know. If you haven’t been there, this is a peek into our lives the past two years. In order to open a winery:
- A name must be thought up and agreed upon.
- Business plan drafts and mission statements formed.
- Grapes must be selected and planted, all the while learning about pest control, trimming and training the vines as well as learning about irrigation and soil testing.
- Research needs to be done on what grapes grow well in our area.
- People must be interviewed and hired: Contractors, architects, winemakers, event planners, website designers, graphic designers.
- Conceptualize a logo.
- Begin work on a label.
- Plans are drawn up. Thought goes into the entire facility from the retail space to the event space to the production facility. What will the look and feel of the winery be? How do we best represent what we stand for?
- Permits need to be obtained.
- Licenses need to be obtained.
- Start to build buzz for the winery. Start to get our name out there. Begin to address social media, start talking to people, start attending events and conferences.
- Learn about producing wine. How can we make great wine?
- What are the laws in our area and state? Research laws affecting wineries, events, and shipping.
- Begin to think ahead- schedule, event, and budget for the next year.
- Start thinking about what we will sell in our retail space. Look at catalogs for merchandise.
- Work with other wineries/distilleries to establish Delaware Winery Association.
- Get online. Start a Facebook page. Start tweeting. Make online connections.
- Get pictures of vines and property. Start work on a website.
- Long term timelines, short term timelines.
- Brainstorm how to maximize sales, profits.
All of these things (and more!) have been on our proverbial plate throughout this process. It is a constant challenge to check things off the list, making sure “I”s are dotted and “T”s are crossed, while working to ensure that everything is happening in a comprehensible order. We have accepted the challenge. We have enjoyed the challenge. And we look forward to enjoying the fruits of our labor with our friends, families, and customers. Join us on our journey as we count down to and continue to finalize plans for our opening!