"Lifestyle vineyards are acquired by a mix of buyers," said Knight Frank. "Some are purchased as an early retirement project by wealthy individuals in their late forties or early fifties, keen to embrace a 'hands-on' approach and with the capital to fund it.
"Others are purchased as holiday homes which are visited three or more times each year, with a manager employed to oversee the day-to-day running of the estate, including both production and sales."
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According to Knight Frank, buyers in Sonoma County typically look for a ranch-style property with a swimming pool. Those interested in Italy also usually want a swimming pool, while investors looking to buy in Napa Valley like a modernized farmhouse with additional land for either horses or additional vines.
Across the world, the price of buying a lifestyle vineyard rose by an average of 4.5 percent year-to-June, down from 6.8 percent in the preceding period. Knight Frank attributed the slowdown to slowing growth in top-performing regions, which topped 25 percent in the previous year.
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The wealthiest one percent across the world continue to invest in land and property as a means of sheltering capital from the volatility of the financial markets. Luxury homes in global cities like New York and London remain at the top of the list, but vineyards, ski homes and private islands are increasingly on the radar, according to Knight Frank, as investors see the advantage of a lifestyle acquisition that also provides an investment return.