A wine estate is not a financial product.
The French have two sayings, “In order to be a millionaire, a wine-maker must start out a billionaire!” and “Wine-growers live poor and die rich.”
Potential investors must be aware that being a wine-maker is by no means a way to get rich quick.
Those looking to purchase a vineyard should not focus solely on return on investment. It’s important to remember that this type of property comes with non-income-generating elements including accommodation and other conveniences such as a pool, gardens and outbuildings.
However, the loss of short-term profit is offset by other benefits:
- Strong resale values: the vast majority of estates continue to attract a higher price than at their previous sale, provided they have been properly managed. Other than in a handful of appellations, vineyard values have not fallen anywhere in France in recent years.
- Attractive tax incentives on property sales and business transfers.
- Exemption from France’s direct wealth tax (Impôt de Solidarité sur la Fortune) under certain legal arrangements.
THERE IS NO “TYPICAL” DEBT RATIO
While debt can account for 90% of some investments, other purchases may require a personal contribution of up to 80% of the total cost.
The precise level of borrowing will depend, to a large extent, on the nature of the investment. Professional buyers with existing sales outlets seeking to invest in production facilities will be able to sustain a much higher debt ratio than smaller-scale investors looking for a place to live.
Investors with a wine-growing background, or with an established market or network – such as major retailers, importers and breweries – therefore fall firmly into the first category.
THE FINANCIAL PACKAGE MUST COVER THE FULL TRANSACTION COSTS
The financial package must encompass the following three aspects:
- The cost of the purchase itself, including fees
- The cost of additional structural work, fixtures and fittings and investment to bring the property up to full operating capacity
- Working capital (sufficient for 18-24 months)
Vinea Transaction has close links with regional and national banks in France. We can introduce you to the right financial partners and guide you through the process of preparing and submitting your loan application.