Have you been longing to make the move to Tuscany so that you can own your very own vineyard? Together with our expert knowledge in the overseas property market, we can help make your dream a reality.
A vineyard in one of Italy’s prime locations is an idyllic concept, that has the potential to be a lucrative one, for anyone considering in investing in Tuscany real estate for sale. Additionally, owning a vineyard can be beneficial for buyers looking to have not just wine grapes, but also fruit for eating and juicing for personal use.
If the appeal of having your own vineyard is spurring you on to buy a property in Italy’s top wine county, here are a few things you should consider to ensure the venture is successful.
What are your ambitions?
The grape type and the amount of grapes you can grow will be dependent on the conditions and the size of the vineyard you purchase. In Tuscany, the most prominent wine regions are; Brunello di Montalcino, Carmignano, Chianti, Bolgheri, Vernaccia di San Gimignano, and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, where you will discover that all types of grapes are being produced. The climate conditions in Tuscany are ideal for grapes to grow, so it is best to get an expert in to help you decide which grape would be best suited for your vineyard and abilities, as well as advising you on the next steps to take in your business plan. We’d also advise that you visit existing vineyards in the area and have a chat with the owners, who would be more than willing to offer their advice to an aspiring new owner.
Employing a team of staff to tend the vineyard and a vineyard manager, with significant experience in the industry, will allow your business to progress, even during the times that you are not in Tuscany. As with all good things, time and patience are key.
Vines enjoy nothing more than the warm summer sun that falls into their path, and when paired with a slope for good drainage, you are on the right course to reap the benefits. You can see the average monthly temperatures for Tuscany below, and as the list highlights, Tuscany’s weather produces premium conditions to assist in the effective running of a vineyard, with the ideal temperatures being below 60ºF at night and 70ºF during the day.
Average Monthly Temperatures
- January- 52 °F (11 °C)
- February- 55 °F (13 °C)
- March- 61 °F (16 °C)
- April- 66 °F (19 °C)
- May- 73 °F (23 °C)
- June- 81 °F (27 °C)
- July- 86 °F (30 °C)
- August – 86 °F (30 °C)
- September- 81 °F (27 °C)
- October- 72 °F (22 °C)
- November- 61 °F (16 °C)
- December- 54 °F (12 °C)
The orientation of your vineyard largely depends on where you choose to buy. Our agents, with years of specialised knowledge, can help you decide on the location which would be best suited to you, as well as include all your personal preferences for the estate. As with all the Northern Hemisphere locations, the northern slopes are subjected to fewer hours of sunlight and are commonly cooler than the southern slopes. Vineyards planted on the northern slopes ripen at a slower rate and therefore tend to produce wines that are racier and more aromatic. Vineyards on the southern and western slopes receive more intense exposure to sunlight and more maritime winds which produces wines with more power and complexity.
Quality of the Soil
Tuscany comprises of several different soil types, unlike several locations where there is only one kind of soil. However, Tuscany is unique in that the soils range from tufa and volcanic soil to sandstone and limestone clay. This diversity is where the beauty of Tuscany truly lies. The offering of such a vast variety of sub-soils means there’s an impeccable home for each individual grape variety, regardless of what type of soil it prefers.
The rocky, low-vigour soils of Chianti and Montalcino are perfect for Sangiovese, while areas in between possess more sand, clay and alluvial deposits, making them a sweet spot for international varieties that make up the backbone of the great Super Tuscans. The higher altitudes of vineyards in and around San Gimignano make a great home for Vernaccia.
September and October are the optimum months for the Tuscan “vendemmia”, which translates to grape harvest, in English. The exact date of the grape harvest is determined on an annual basis, and variations occur depending on the weather, the level of rain fall each year and the changes from one vineyard to another. The vital element here is that grapes need to have the right level of sweetness.
It’s worth noting that the vendemmia isn’t just for local farmers. Due to the process being such a intriguing and fascinating experience, tourists enjoy coming from around the globe to help as it’s a wonderful way to educate themselves about local wine, food, local culture and tradition! Something well worth bearing in mind as part of your business plan.
Disease and Pests
Grape vines can contract mildew and other fungal diseases, so it is essential to outline this in your business plan and to list all the possible solutions you could use if this becomes an issue. Alternatively, before setting your heart on a grape variety, do your research on which grapes are susceptible to these diseases in your area, so that you can opt for a hardy cultivar that is resistant to the particular problems highlighted in your findings.
It is also important to protect your vines as much as possible from pests, such as birds, who love to swoop in and pick at vines. One solution to look into is appropriate netting. On the other hand, there are many other deterrents that will keep them at bay in an effective manner.
Plenty of valuable sources for information are available, but we’ve picked out two publications that we consider to be the most informative and understandable:
- Grape Grower’s Handbook(Apex Publishers, 2013) by Ted Goldammer.
- The Backyard Vintner: An Enthusiast’s Guide to Growing Grapes and Making Wine at Home(Crestline Books, 2011) by Jim Law.