If you or your client are considering purchasing or investing in a vineyard, you’ll need to consider the following as part of your due diligence:
- Identify the type of grapes planted, where the rootstock originates, and when the vines were established.
- Calculate the last three years’ yields and how many tonnes of grapes were processed in each of those years.
- Obtain records of all chemicals and fertilisers.
- Obtain records of all soil sampling.
- Find out who’s responsible for processing the grapes and where the bottles in store are held.
- Work out what stage of production each batch has reached and how each batch is identified.
- Obtain the wine maker’s report in relation to each vintage and details of the winemakers parameters.
- How many bottles are already on sale, by whom and on what basis?
- Consider the transfer of ownership relating to the bottles held in bonded storage (ie, the secure storage required for products to which duty applies).
- Obtain details of the Seller’s bonded storage certificate – the EPSS (Excise Payment Security System) authorisation to enable the payment of duty on the stored wine to be deferred.
- Obtain a copy of the premises licence for the cellar door, as it may be possible to transfer this (which is probably more straightforward than applying for a new licence).
- Ensure any vouchers for tours will be honoured by the existing owner or refunded by them prior to completion.
If you have are considering on buying a vineyard or have any questions, contact our rural law specialists.