One for the romantics?

February 15th, 2010 | Uncategorized

It has always puzzled me as to why people think that running a small hotel, or a restaurant, is a romantic idea. I can honestly tell you, from my previous life in hotel management (many, many years ago), that it is not. It is tough, physically demanding work – long hours on your feet, working evenings and weekends, quite logically, when all around you are relaxing….

So often I hear stories of people coming into money, either through inheritance, or perhaps a redundancy package, who immediately have the idea of speculating in the hospitality industry. Of course there are those who make a success of it, but for others, perhaps with no prior experience, well, they often fall by the wayside and lose their investment. Who is it once said – “The best way to make a small fortune in the restaurant business, is to start off with a very large fortune”!

I guess the same could be said of the wine industry, in that owning your own vineyard and making a bottle with your own name on it, is a very attractive idea – but please be warned, to do it on a commercial scale is much more than just a hobby, and to do it well takes both a lot of care and experience.

Over the weekend I saw a rather unusual story in the Daily Telegraph that caught my eye. A vineyard for sale near the city of Bath, in the south west of England. They did not state the exact size of the vineyard itself, but mentioned that for an investment of a mere £20,000 the new owner could, in a good year, produce up to 1,000 bottles of Riesling.

The estate agents handling the deal went on to say “we have been surprised by the amount of interest generated by wine enthusiasts who want to grow their own grapes and make their own wine”. Knowing the vagaries of the English climate, allow me to be the first to wish them good luck in their new venture, whoever they may be.
Post Script: Since I first made this post a new article has appeared in a similar vein.

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