Starting a Winery
- The Pennsylvania Winery Association (PWA) offers a wide variety of information available to Pennsylvania wineries. Although their focus is assisting pre-existing wineries with marketing and state legislation, they can lead you on the right track.
- Take a winemaking training course at Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC). This is the perfect program for those looking to start/own a winery and be a winemaker or enologist. Plus, all courses are ONLINE and provide practical training! For more information, visit the link above and check out the Enology Program's tech sheet.
- In addition to the federal (TTB) and state (PLCB) licensing requirements all new wineries will also have to obtain a Retail Food Facility License from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA). [On the PDA website, please click on the Programs tab on the left menu bar. For winery registration information, click on "Wholesale Food Processors, Warehouses, and Distribution." For other retail satellite location information, click on "Retail Food Facilities and Restaurants."]
- Review Penn State Food Science's "Starting a Food Business" website. Although this is focused towards other food products, there are some good tips and pointers throughout these pages.
- Several winery business plans are available online (search "winery business plan" on Google) and offer good insight into the financial investment a winery requires.
- Additionally, there are several resources available that you should consider reading and understanding prior to building, running, and opening a winery. These books primarily focus on commercial winemaking practices, the use of analytical quality control in the winery, proper wine microbiology, and winery economics. Although winemaking can be fun and artistic, there is also a basic science involved that is essential to understand in order to produce high quality wines in Pennsylvania. Here are a few books I recommend:
Starting a Winery or Getting in the Wine Business
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Starting and Running a Winery by Thomas Pellechia. (2008) ISBN: 1592578187.
How to Launch Your Wine Career: Dream Jobs in America's Hottest Industry by Liz Thatch and Brian D'Emilio. (2009) ISBN: 1934259063
- Commercial Winemaking, Processing, and Controls by Richard P. Vine. (1981) ISBN: 87055-376-3 (Please note that this is an older text and a bit of the information is outdated. However, it contains a lot of good information on starting a winery laboratory for production purposes.)
- Monitoring the Winemaking Process from Grapes to Wine: Techniques and Concepts by Patrick Iland, Nick Bruer, Andrew Ewart, Andrew Markides, and John Sitters. (2004) ISBN: 095816052.
- Micro Vinification: A Practical Guide to Small-Scale Wine Production by Murli R. Dharmadhikari and Karl L. Walker. (2001) ISBN: 0970797109
- Chemical Analysis of Grapes and Wine: Techniques and Concepts by Patrick Iland, Nick Bruer, Greg Edwards, Sue Weeks, and Eric Wilkes. (2004) ISBN: 0958160511
- Microbiological Analysis of Grapes and Wine: Techniques and Concepts by Patrick Iland, Paul Grbin, Martin Grinbergs, Leigh Schmidtke, and Allison Sodin in conjunction with the Interwinery Analysis Group. (2007) ISBN: 0958160544
- Wine Analysis and Production by Bruce W. Zoecklein, Kenneth C. Fugelsang, Barry H. Gump, and Fred S. Nury. (1999) ISBN:0-8342-1701-5 (Please note that the content of this book is meant for those that have a scientific background.)
- Wine Microbiology: Practical Applications and Procedures by Kenneth C. Fugelsang and Charles G. Edwards. (2007) ISBN:0-387-33341-X
- Introduction to Wine Laboratory Practices and Procedures by Jean L. Jacobson. (2006) ISBN: 0-387-24377-1