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.

Sonoma County Appelations

By Marie H. Clay | on March 7, 2012

View an interactive satellite map of Sonoma County vineyards on  

Flavors of Wineries | Custom Crush Vs. Building

By Marie H. Clay | on March 6, 2012

What do you mean when you say “winery?” We get a lot of people coming to us saying the want a winery, and the first thing we have to do is find out what they are really interested in. The term winery can mean a lot of things. A “label” This is a legal brand

The Ins and Outs of Winemaking

By Marie H. Clay | on March 6, 2012

Economics You can make more money selling wine than selling grapes – but you also take a great deal more risk. Wineries have success rates similar to restaruants and it is not a venture to be taken on lightly. There are excellent margins in a well run winery operation, but you have to be able

The Annual Cycle

By Marie H. Clay | on March 6, 2012

What’s a year in the life of a vineyard actually like? Well, the winters are nice. In winter, the vines are dormant, little work is being done in the vineyard, except for the 100 year storm that seems to come every year, so drainage repair and erosion control are the primary tasks. Sonoma gets 35″

Day to Day Farming

By Marie H. Clay | on March 6, 2012

There are a few key things you need to keep you eye on growing grapes. It lays out pretty simply here, but the vagaries of the weather and the way these things interract makes it a constant struggle. Water The main gas peddle on growing a grape is water and you’ll here a thousand different

The Process of Buying a Vineyard

By Marie H. Clay | on March 6, 2012

A Complex Process Although the basic steps of purchasing a country property are the same as when purchasing a house on a city lot – offer, negotiation, contract, disclosure, inspections, release, funding and close – each step is quite different for country and vineyard property and the time frames overall are usually much longer. Offer

Valuing Country and Vineyard Property

By Marie H. Clay | on March 6, 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


By Marie H. Clay | on March 6, 2012

Other sources of information Santa Rosa JC has a great viticulture program. UC Davis offers weekend and weekly courses and Sonoma State University now offers a wine MBA program. There are variety of textbooks, mostly of dubious quality. Sunlight Into Wine by Richard Smart is the most recommended.

Making Your Own Wine

By Marie H. Clay | on March 6, 2012

Some people have vineyards because they like to grow grapes and are perfectly happy having someone else turn those grapes in to wine. Other people grow grapes because THEY WANT TO MAKE WINE. Making your own wine is actually a lot of fun even if it never sees the light of day. There are lots

She is so patient and helpful – nothing was too much trouble for her. I had very specific requirements for my home and Marie gave me really thoughtful advice and found the perfect properties to visit. I appreciate everything that Marie has done for me and my family.