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The Truth About Sourcing Grapes For Your Winery
In the early stages of starting a winery, there’s an incredible amount of work to be done, money to be invested, and not many fruit to bear. If you’ve decided to start a vineyard from scratch, it can take 2-4 years to grow viable grapes, and that’s a long time to wait before you can start making any wine at all. Maybe you’d like to get a jump start or maybe you never plan on growing your own grapes, but if either is the case, you can source your grapes from other wineries.
Each state has their own guidelines that you should familiarize yourself with before beginning the process, but you have the option to source from within your own state, or from any state. Sometimes certain grapes for a particular wine don’t grow as well in your region, so you’d like to source them from a winery that specializes in them. Or, it’s possible that you’ve had a bout of bad weather this season, and need to look elsewhere to source grapes in order to produce your target quantity for this year.
In a day and age where consumers care heavily about buying local, the disclosure of sourcing grapes is quite controversial. It’s not a topic that is widely discussed amongst winemakers in any state, as most would like to maintain the image of being completely local wines. However, locally sourced, and locally produced wines are two different things, and should be marketed as such. It’s incredibly important to convey to your consumers exactly what it is that they are purchasing.
While it’s great to let customers at a wine tasting know that a particular wine they are sampling is produced with grapes that are sourced from another location or state, the real importance is truth in your labeling. More important than buying local, consumers want to buy honest products, and trust the companies that they are purchasing from.
By conveying exactly where your wines are sourced from on your wine bottle labels, you can maintain a deep level of trust with your customers, increasing brand loyalty and leading to long term success in the winemaking industry. Make sure that your labels include this important information, and that they do it in a clear and concise way to avoid any consumer confusion.