WineShare Where Are You?
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WineShare Where Are You?

Context

We’ve all heard about the ‘timeshare’, that travel and vacation concept that’s aggressively sold to most of us when we travel to distant locations. We’re asked to commit a small investment that typically reflects our annual vacation budget and begin to explore the promise of seeing new worlds every year at reduced costs or better convenience … or whatever the sell proposition was at the time.

Some of us have done well by timeshares and others have struggled to see the value.

Context, Part II

Another element to consider:  as the population ages, particularly in Canada, many people are moving into gated communities.  I suppose this has been a trend for some time, but I’ve only experienced it recently as I watch my parents and in-laws ‘downsize’ into more manageable and sociable environments.

Almost exclusively, these communities are set up for golfers, but don’t account for the practical realities like aging adults no longer able to get a full round in or grandparents that would like to have something to do with their grandkids without the prospect of breaking about 50 rules related to use and enjoyment of the ‘grounds’.

For those of us who don’t play a lot of golf, this option really falls flat.

Introducing … WineShare

A ‘wineshare’ program would be run pretty much exactly the same way a timeshare might be run, but with slight nuances related to wine travel.

It would also overlap the gated community to the extent that you’d have shared property like a clubhouse or other features like an auditorium, naturalized environments, playgrounds and other structures that more than just old farts can access.

So, an integrated WineShare community might look like this:

  • Members lease the land and own their structure (eg. a townhouse or part of a mid-rise building)
  • Dues could be applied to maintenance of a vineyard that would be taken care of by professionals, with volunteer support from members
  • A farm might also be part of the overall community, where ‘owners’ get to enjoy the ultimate in local production.  Excess could be sold or sent to the clubhouse
  • Members would have first right of refusal with any wine (or food) production, receive a certain volume of cases each year and have the option of purchasing additional rows as greater stakeholders in the vineyards
  • Structures might include a clubhouse or common area, auditorium, farmer’s market, retail options, pool, playground(s) and so on
  • Living units that might represent a slightly higher density (eg. multi-story condo units)
  • Nursing home facilities or basic emergency services
  • Specific practices or overall objectives of the community might include the production of renewable energy, self-sustaining and even off-grid sentiments to minimize on costs associated with upkeep and infrastructure

It’s a pipe dream, but if anyone is involved with the real estate business and reads this article, let them know that I’m always available to help with the planning of the vineyard!

Bill Wittur
Noteworthy Wines
London Ontario LCBO Licensed Agent

 

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