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Opening a winery is a dream shared by more and more people, but this is not something you should take lightly or unprepared for. Before you put a large sum of cash into a property and a pile of equipment, you need to ask many questions and answer the answers you need to know. This article will not tell you everything you need to know to start a winery and launch a brand (we need a few books to do this), but it should at least provide you with a solid starting point on how to start your research.
If you are serious about your dreams, then you will need some basic equipment. When we say basic, we are serious. This is almost a minimum, so depending on what you want to distill, the quantity you want to make, and what your process requires, you may need to adjust this list.
You can't make wine without water. Distillation is essentially a process of adding and subtracting it throughout the production process, so your distiller needs a good source of water.
An induction cooker
Basically, a cooker is something where you put grains together with some H2O to heat everything to a certain temperature within a specified time. It helps to install some pipes in the cooker and then send the cooked mixture to the fermentation tank, but the pump is enough.
The fermenter will be a large container in which you can ferment grains, yeast and water slurry. Basically, yeast eats sugar and produces alcohol in the process. After a few days (depending on your process), you will run the remaining part of the still.
Stainless steel fermentation tank
This should be self-evident, but for the complete benefit, you will need a distiller to actually make drinkable alcohol.
It may not hurt to set up drains on the floor to dispose of waste.
Copper column distiller
Before you start, the two main questions you need to answer are:
1) What do you want to produce;
2) How much do you want to produce?
If you don’t know the answers to these two questions, you won’t even be able to start looking at the building. Everything in your winery will be based on these two factors. And "everything" and "as much as possible" are not acceptable answers. Do some research so you can define your market and understand what that market will support. A business plan is a must.
Of course, we have been asked countless times what it takes to open a winery, and there are usually follow-up questions, so we will continue to answer some of the most common questions:
What does it take to become a master brewer?
In short, earned. Becoming a master brewer does not require any testing or certification, anyone can use this title as needed. However, if you don’t know what you’re doing or have released a bad product, then be prepared to be laughed at endlessly. There is nothing wrong with a title like Head Distiller. Spend some time making various products and master the making of one or two products, and then move towards a bigger title.
Is it too late to open a winery? Is the market saturated?
not at all. There is great prosperity now, but that is not to say that there is no more room. Take a look at craft beer. New stores open every week and the number is still growing. The same is true for craft spirits.
Is this harder than opening a brewery?
Yes. Not only does it cost more to open a brewery than to open a brewery, but you have to comply with more regulations, which means more inspections. Compared with beer, due to the higher quality of spirits, everything in and around the building will comply with higher safety standards, which means more time and capital are required. Not to mention that you have to pay more taxes on spirits than beer.