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What factors increase the survival of wineries in first five years?

Western Farm Press reports on a study just undertaken by Cornell University, Michigan State University, and University of Missouri to determine how to support newly-emerging wine regions. The four-year project is funded by a $498,000 grant from the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative of the USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture.

“Small- and medium-sized wineries are important for rural development because of their multiplier effect — they draw tourists who patronize other businesses, such as hotels, restaurants, gas stations and farm markets,” said Gómez [lead researcher from Cornell]. “Our goal is to figure out what factors increase the survival and growth of wineries in their first five years and then translate them into business practices and plans for regional development.”

Though the study is focused on “cold-climate” viticulture, much will be relevant to VA winemakers: tourism and development issues, unfamiliar varietals, and distribution. For more, see