When Bill Foley decided to buy a winery in Sonoma County, California, he observed a number of things that seemed out of place. According to an article posted in the Bloomberg website, Foley noted that the California mission-style chapel as well as the regulation-sized football field and baseball diamond had nothing to do with wine-making; neither did the massive indoor horse riding ring. While some people like to believe that running a vineyard is all about relaxing and taking a sip of your own wine, Foley knew that it actually does involve a lot of hard work.
From investing in the right property to buying a high-quality filling machine, you need to put out a great deal of money before you get significant return on investment in a winery operation. When it comes to buying land, budding wine moguls can take a cue from Bill Foley, who made a fortune selling mortgage title insurance during the housing boom, and is now targeting troubled wineries, like the one in Sonoma County, while prices are well below their peak valuation.
Today, the Sonoma County winery is the flagship of Foley’s rapidly growing viticultural business which reportedly produces over a million cases of wine annually in vineyards spread out from California to Washington state, and even New Zealand. Aside from the initial real estate investment, entrepreneurs must also look into machinery to help streamline production processes.
Bottled water, sodas, and, yes, wines use a rotary liquid filling machine in the vital packaging process. In a rotary machine, the empty bottles progress in a line to where the machine fills each one with the wine product. The bottles are then sealed by a capping machine.
Before you select a random machine, you need to come up with a production flow chart so you can check if a particular machine meets your specifications. Accuracy is extremely crucial when buying a machine; if the filling machine overfills, then you end up wasting an entire shipment. It’s advisable to get more flexible machines so you can adjust them, based on your production line.
Researching the company is also the key to buying an effective filling machine for your wine business. Make sure that the company has been around so you are guaranteed that it is a reputable one. Companies like Filling Equipment Co., Inc. have been in business since the late 1950’s. It is also worthwhile to note that a quality machine is not necessarily the most expensive one; so check if the prices are reasonable.
While the ROI in the wine industry is potentially great, even someone like Bill Foley doesn’t claim that he’s hit the big time. However, through hard work and making smart decisions when it comes to land and machine investments, it is possible for one to really have a taste of the good life in the wine industry.