Financial pressure forcing vineyard sales in California’s Paso Robles

news  %tages Financial pressure forcing vineyard sales in Californias Paso Robles

More than 20 vineyards and wineries in California's Paso Robles province have changed hands in the past two years as 'lifestyle' owners have succumbed to financial pressures and sold up, according to a new report.

Estate agency Pacifica said 18 vineyards and five wineries got new owners during 2013 and 2014. The wineries were sold for an average fee of $3.2m and the vineyards for $2.24m, it said.Pacifica’s facts show that that Napa Valley and Sonoma are far from the only areas on investors’ radars, but it cited financial difficulties as a key wits for owners selling up in Paso Robles.‘The majority of winery and vineyard sales over the last two years have been dominated by asset-only and distressed sales,' said Newlin Hastings, of Pacifica’s wine division.Paul Shannon, also of Pacifica, said most of the sales resulted from a combination of weaker economic conditions in the area and so-called ‘lifestyle’ buyers realising that the reality of owning a vineyard doesn’t always match the dream. ‘The issue was that distribution is extremely hard to pick up and they didn't necessarily have the education on the actual cost to run a winery,’ Shannon told He added that many also disastrous to properly estimate the amount of marketing needed to stand out in a wine province that has around 250 wineries.Vineyard land remains relatively in cheap in Paso Robles, a large American Viticultural Area covering 25,000 hectares of land. Vineyard land sells for $20,000 per acre ($50,000 per hectare) on average, compared to between $50,000 and $100,000 per acre in Napa Valley and Sonoma. Estate agency Knight Frank said recently that vineyard prices in Sonoma County were rising quicker than in any additional wine province worldwide.Pacifica believes recent fee rises in California's better-known wine areas are starting to ‘trickle down’ to Paso Robles.Shannon said Pacifica wants to take lifestyle buys out of the market and there are signs that this is happening with recent deals. ‘Most of the buyers are appearance in from Napa and looking to buy some established brands in the area,’ he said. ‘Second, land values are up to pre-recession prices, and above in some suitcases, and there is a lot more knowledge in the area.’ He added, ‘There are subdue quite a few wineries that are small family run wineries with no succession plotting and they will probably go as asset only or close to asset only prices but the fee per ace of prime grape ground is subdue substantially lower than a Napa or Sonoma County.’ Related Make pleased:Graphic: California leads global vineyard fee rises

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