How Much Does it Cost to Plant a Vineyard in 2023? | Checkatrade
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Last updated on March 31st, 2022

Cost to plant a vineyard

Ever wanted to start your own vineyard? Wondering how much it would cost? We’ve broken down the cost to plant a vineyard in the UK, all the way from acquiring land to establishing your vineyard. Enjoy.

Ever wanted to start your own vineyard? Wondering how much it would cost? We’ve broken down the cost to plant a vineyard in the UK, all the way from acquiring land to establishing your vineyard. Enjoy.

How much does a vineyard cost to plant?

ItemUnitCost - lowCost - highAverage cost
Purchase land UKPer acre£8,000£20,000£14,000
Establishment costsPer acre£8,000£12,000£10,000

Our costs are ballpark averages – get a local tradesperson to quote now

There are a number of factors that can affect the cost to start a vineyard. Many of these are to do with what kind of land you buy for the purpose. The cost of acquiring land for your vineyard will vary based on factors such as its:

  • Current use. Land that’s already being used for growing grapes or other fruit will come at a higher cost.
  • Location. The best locations for growing vines in the UK tend to be in sunnier, dryer areas like the South East of England.
  • Quality. Ideally, you want land that’s free-draining, slopes gently to the south and isn’t exposed to strong winds.
  • Number of acres. Of course, the more land you acquire, the more it will cost.
  • Establishment needs. Depending on what the land has been used for previously, you may face more establishment costs, such as putting in wires and fencing.

You’ll also have to consider whether you’re going to be making your own wine or whether you’re going to be selling your grapes to a wine producer.

How much does a vineyard cost

If you’re going to be selling your crop to a producer, your labour and equipment costs will be much lower as you can hire contractors to manage your vines, harvest the fruit and transport it to its destination. On the other hand, if you want to produce your own wine, you’ll need to invest in all of the equipment needed for winemaking, bottling and (if you’re going to be selling direct to consumers) marketing.

Planting a vineyard cost per acre UK

As we’ve already established, there are many variables to consider when it comes to estimating the cost of planting a vineyard in the UK. On average though, you’re looking at between £8,000 and £20,000 per acre to purchase suitable land. It’s important not to skimp on this, as investing in the right land will mean you’re much better placed to achieve a successful harvest and make back your investment quicker.

You’re then looking at around £8,000 to £12,000 per acre in establishment costs on top of this to get your vineyard up and running. Altogether, this means you can expect a total cost of around £24,000 per acre to plant a vineyard, assuming you don’t already have the land.

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Is owning a vineyard profitable?

Owning a vineyard can certainly be profitable. However, you won’t get to enjoy your first harvest until three years after you’ve started it. In fact, you won’t even achieve the full yield from your vines until five years after you’ve planted them. This means you’ll need enough investment to keep you going until you can start to make a profit.

If you’re planning to sell your fruit to a wine producer, you can expect to make back your initial investment after around nine years, taking into account your yearly running costs. However, if you succeed in growing between three and four tonnes per acre, you could eventually make around £3,000 per acre.

If, on the other hand, you’re planning on selling your own wine, you could produce around 2,500 bottles per acre. Wine producers that make around 20,000 bottles per year tend to have running costs of around £6 per bottle. So, if you sell each bottle for between £20 and £100, that’s a very decent return. Just bear in mind that this doesn’t take into account tax or the cost of equipment.

Cost of planting a vineyard summary

  • The cost of planting a vineyard will depend on the quality of the land you buy.
  • Establishment costs will vary based on whether or not you’re planning on producing your own wine.
  • You can expect to wait three years before you can enjoy your first harvest.
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