Sonoma Vineyard and Ranch Real Estate Blog

Real Estate Sonoma

Sonoma County Residential and Vineyard Real Estate Blog by Marie H. Clay

Thank you for visiting my blog. I've dedicated it to educating buyers of vineyard and country property. You will find articles on viticulture news, wine country real estate, advice on developing vineyards, looking for horse property, how to evaluate a rural property and more.
—Marie

Getting Started

By Marie H. Clay | on June 5, 2012

If you are thinking about purchasing either an existing vineyard or raw land on which you hope to install a vineyard, there’s a lot you need to know. Having gone through the same process myself when purchasing my vineyard property, I discovered that there are very, very few sources of good information on buying and/or

Pricing Vineyard Land

By Marie H. Clay | on March 6, 2012

The only way to talk about pricing vineyard land and not go crazy is to make some broad assumptions about the price per acre for established vineyard and plantable raw land. However, it is a very rare parcel that has only vineyard. Most parcels have houses or house sites or other improvements that complicate the

Valuing Country Property

By Marie H. Clay | on April 28, 2012

There are two main ways that all real estate is valued. The first is by comparable – similar properties that have sold recently. Comparables are used to establish the value of 99% of real estate sold and are by far the most reliable way to value any piece of real estate. The other main way

What to look for: A Complex Process

By Marie H. Clay | on March 6, 2012

Evaluating a country or a vineyard property – planted or unplanted – is a little complicated – because the properties involved are usually complicated. The goal is to understand exactly what you are buying so that we can value the property correctly and so that there are no surprises after the close of escrow. We

Getting Good Advice

By Marie H. Clay | on March 6, 2012

Or, how I learned to stop worrying and love Round Up Help is available to wine grape growers from a wide variety of professions. It is important, especially early in vineyard ownership, that you have advice you can trust and which is consistent with the way you want to farm. Because in the end, all

Who Gets Paid and How Much

By Marie H. Clay | on March 6, 2012

The skinny on wine grape prices in Sonoma County I went to an interesting seminar the other day where they laid out the “mechanics” of wine and grape pricing. Here goes. The retailer marks up a bottle of wine about 1.5 times. The distributor marks up the bottle of wine about 1.33 times. And the

How Does a Vineyard Actually Work?

By Marie H. Clay | on March 6, 2012

The infrastructure of a working vineyard If you enjoy the mechanics of a vineyard, then here are the gory details about some of the major elements of a vineyard Grape Vines Since the only family of grapes (vitus) capable of making fine wine (vinifera) – is susceptible to a variety of diseases native to North

What’s It Going to Cost Me?

By Marie H. Clay | on March 6, 2012

Financial considerations of vineyard ownership What are the basic financial implications of vineyard ownership? I’ve tried to outline the basics here, but the information here is no substitute for the advice of a good lawyer and accountant. Before actually purchasing any vineyard property, we urge you to consult a professional. If you need the name

Financing a Vineyard

By Marie H. Clay | on March 6, 2012

The rest of this section was written before the subprime market collapse and although still technically true, the ‘mixed use’ lenders mentioned below were all technically subprime lenders – loans not resellable to FannyMae or FreddyMac – and they have all run for cover. As far as we can tell, first deeds of trust on

We give Marie the Perseverance Award for handling our sale...an effort that involved separating one large parcel into two dissimilar parcels and associated new easements to combating the bats taking residence in the entryway. The dedication, attention to detail and willingness to go the extra mile got us to a very satisfactory conclusion.