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Demand for vineyard real estate on Central Coast is strong 

–With all the challenges of 2020, one sector in the Central Coast saw an upswing – the demand for vineyard acres and wineries, says Jenny Heinzen, a Paso Robles broker for vineyard and winery properties.

“While 2020 proved to be even more stressful than imagined, I saw encouraging signs in wine consumption and active grape buying during harvest,” says Heinzen.  “As with past difficult vintages and economic environments, the wine industry sees growth through innovation and renewal – and this is especially evident with the current robust vineyard sales activity.”Jenny Heinzen

Marking its best year since being founded in 2004, Jenny Heinzen Real Estate saw record sales of acreage and winery properties in Monterey, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Barbara counties this year, transacting 5,233 acres of sales in 2020.

The Central Coast region, and Paso Robles American Viticulture Area specifically, continues to be a leader and a hotbed of activity with major wine companies and institutional agriculture investors clamoring for a slice of the region for vineyard and winery operations. Heinzen worked with nine successful buyers and sellers, had average sold listings of $6.6 million and a single highest transaction of $17 million during the last year.

In September, Heinzen brokered more than $31 million in Central Coast vineyard sales for three separate groups of institutional agriculture investors, she says. The competition is so fierce, one of the Paso Robles deals, consisting of a winery and vineyard, closed in a record time of only two weeks.

“For years, the success of Central Coast’s visionary growers and winemakers was seen in high scores and steady growth in wine tourism,” says Heinzen. “But even with that success, it was always thought of as an ‘emerging region.’ But this extremely high demand for vineyard and winery acreage shows the Central Coast is no longer an emerging region – it’s well established.”

With the steadily rising demand for vineyard and winery properties amid the COVID-19 crisis, Heinzen forecasts that the Central Coast wine business market will prove even more robust.

“Mother nature threw us yet another curveball last season with record heat spikes and increased wildfires. These disruptions in the market create opportunity for savvy investors to purchase vineyards in need of redevelopment, preparing them for the next upswing and peak grape market,” said Heinzen as she is already lining up select new listings and additional offerings for the year ahead.

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