Newsletter

Sonoma and Napa Winter 2021

Light on the Horizon

Dust Settles During the Sonoma and Napa Winter 2021

If there is one thing we have learned over the last several years, it is that wine country is resilient.  Wildfires, economic uncertainty, politics and a worldwide pandemic have all conspired to shake our core, especially in 2020.  But here we are, still standing, more determined than ever.  If challenges build character, then wine country has one hell of a story to tell and all of us are very interesting characters!

Sonoma and Napa Winter

Sonoma and Napa Winter

Real Estate Market Remains Strong

As we move into 2021 the overall real estate market remains strong.  The strength is supported by low interest rates, roll out of various covid vaccines, and optimism that the 2nd half of the year will be a return to “normal”.  I know we are all looking forward to more socializing, parties, visiting  restaurants and hanging out with friends and family.  It can’t happen soon enough.

After an initial slump in real estate sales back in March, the trend of covid refugees / remote work opportunities moving from urban areas to more rural areas created a hot market for turn-key country properties with new / remodeled homes in Sonoma and Napa Counties.  Larger land, vineyards and winery properties did not necessarily have the same action, at least not just yet.

Russian River Pinot Noir Vineyard Estate

Russian River Pinot Noir Vineyard Estate

Oversupply Turned On Its Head

A year ago, vineyard and winery owners were floating in a sea of wine and grapes.  Grape and bulk wine prices were deflated with no real end in sight for years.   Today however, we are not quite looking a desert but the change in the market has been dramatic.  This is not the first time there has been an unforeseen flip in the market, but it probably is the first time it has been due to excess smoke.   The combination of a lighter crop in general, large amounts of unharvested fruit during the 2020 harvest and strong wine sales during the pandemic meant that wineries had to pull their previously excess wines off the bulk market and or purchase 2018 & 2019 bulk vintages that had been lingering for years in order to cover the 2020 harvest gap.  Prices for bulk wine jumped significantly during the summer of 2020.

Growers Back at the Table?

As a result of the diminished bulk wine supply wineries are going to have to start considering new grower contracts.  This is something both growers and wineries had not been anticipating in 2021.  While growers are not quite out of the woods yet, there is reason for optimism.  This likely improves the grape market for growers in 2021.  By how much, that is still the question?  You just never know what surprise the market will throw your way.  Yet another reminder why maintaining good relationships between winery and grower over time is important.

Petaluma Gap Ranch

Petaluma Gap Ranch

Market to Improve For Vineyards & Wineries

The market for vineyards and wineries should also improve in 2021.  I am already fielding calls from prospects looking for small to medium size wineries and vineyards, something that has been missing for most of 2020.  As the path forward becomes more clear in the next few months, we should expect to see more interest in properties that sell wine through retail and have events capabilities.  Vineyards with pedigree and contracts should also become more desirable as buyers feel more confident in the ongoing grape market.

Long story short, the coming months are looking much brighter on all fronts.  If you have any questions about your property or are in the market, please give me a call.  

Happy 2021!


Good To Know!

New Property Transfer Rules In 2021

“Effective Feb. 16, 2021, the only direct transfers of California real estate between parents and children that won’t trigger reassessment are transfers of a primary residence or farm if the child also uses it as his or her primary residence or farm. Moreover, if the difference between the assessed value and current market value exceeds $1 million (indexed for inflation), then the primary residence or farm would be partially reassessed.”

North Bay Business Journal


Delaware Statutory Trust 1031

Tax Deferred Exchange

Sellers- Most of you are familiar with a 1031 Tax Deferred Exchange, sometimes a complicated process due to timing constraints and finding the right property to buy.   There is another option.

Delaware Statutory Trust.  The DST property ownership structure allows one to invest into fractional interest in large, institutional quality and professionally managed commercial property along with other investors, not as limited partners, but as individual owners within a Trust. Each owner receives their percentage share of the cash flow income, tax benefits, and appreciation, if any, of the entire property. DSTs provide the investor the potential for annual appreciation and depreciation (tax shelter), also allowing some investors the benefit of diversification into several properties.  Ask your accountant for more info! 


Green Is Good

From the wunderkinds over a Motivo Engineering, wine country and the environment can celebrate the Monarch Electric Tractor.  Aside from being fully electric, rugged and powerful it is also driver optional.  Now that is a smart tractor!  For a cool $50k you can add a Monarch to your barn. 

PDF Version Here

Sonoma and Napa Winter 2021

Light on the Horizon Dust Settles During the Sonoma and Napa Winter 2021 If there is one thing we have learned over the last several years, it is that wine country is resilient.  Wildfires, economic uncertainty, politics and a worldwide pandemic have all conspired to shake our core, especially in 2020.  But here we are, […]... Read more

Moving Forward – Sonoma and Napa Real Estate 2020

Clearly, we are enduring an unprecedented challenge with Covid-19 health issues and associated economic impact.    As a community I am sure we will ultimately arrive at a   destination that resembles the wine country that we all know and love.... Read more

Opportunities and Challenges in Napa and Sonoma

No doubt, the last few years have been good in wine country with increasing wine grape and real estate prices. While things are still good in wine country, there have been some changes in the market over the last six months.... Read more

Buyers Compete In Sellers Market, Spring 2017

So what are the current real estate values in wine country? The latest information shows continued price increases across the board. Even the median home price in Sonoma County has doubled in the last five years.... Read more

Things That Make Wine Country Awesome

Let’s focus on the positive. After more than a year of the most bizarre political theater in memory, it is time to put the circus back in the tent… at least for a moment. Your sanity will thank you. ... Read more

January 2015 – Trends, Insights & Analysis

In this edition we will touch on vineyard sales, an overseas buyer update, the 2014 crop, the drought and ways to conserve water, the winery market and permit challenges, a spot check (RRV), 1031 Exchange quick reference, and a few other interesting tid bits. Let’s get started!... Read more

Wine Country Real Estate Financing Options – Sonoma & Napa Counties

Wine Country Financing Options – Sonoma & Napa Counties One of the key components of purchasing a wine country property, whether it is a vineyard, estate, winery or bare land is the capital used to make the acquisition.  Many buyers are going to require some sort of financing for a purchase or perhaps a line […]... Read more

Sonoma And Napa Real Estate Values 2019

We are currently observing vineyard estates, luxury homes and vineyards come on the market for various reasons. Locally, multiple high-profile Silicon Valley IPOs are going public and sellers are hoping to capitalize on newly minted millionaires.... Read more

Survey Says – 2018 Harvest Was Abundant – Grape Prices

The numbers are in and they tell a story of abundance.  The 2018 wine grape harvest in Sonoma and Napa Counties was bountiful by any standard and the quality is equally outstanding.  Each year we provide a breakdown of the current weighted average wine grape prices for popular varietals in Sonoma and Napa.     […]... Read more

So where exactly is wine country?

So where exactly is wine country? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard friends say that they are heading up to “Napa” for the weekend when they very well know that they are going to Healdsburg in northern Sonoma County. ... Read more

Fall in Wine Country

Fall in wine country is one of the most enjoyable times of year for a number of reasons. Gorgeous weather with warm days, cool nights and spectacular sunsets. The harvest is finishing up and leaves are changing colors. ... Read more