For 30+ years in USA, techies and vineyard ownership became a standard operating procedure...You made your fortune and fame in Tech Start-ups; then armed with your $millions you invest or even go live on a working farm or vineyard in California's Napa & Sonoma valleys as you eCommute or fly in to work once in a while.
Why? = "Back to Nature"..Its the beautiful vistas, clean air and water and most of all ....
S I L E N C E ! .......as a bonus you get to see stars lighting up the jet black night sky like white diamonds.
Since 2000 as the "India Shining" story extended to the Tech-Startup space, it has also created a new type of traveller, jaded by the IBIZA wannabe experience. For Vineyard pioneers it means that their experiential product under development since 1981 now actually has an addressable market of IT/ITES workers and Japanese firms. 70% of Indians are on the farm as a survival strategy..some are returning like their Silicon Valley techpreneurs across the world as they travel on exotic holidays to Vineyards In Chile, Spain, France, South Africa, Australia apart from CA, USA.
Lifestyle/Luxury expert Ronesh Mehra visited Darby Raju's beautiful vineyard and hillfort location onlooking a lake about 25KM from Bangalore.
http://www.bangaloresomavineyards.com/ Founder "Darby" Raju is a Sound Technologist, lifelong serial entrepreneur and learner. His foray into agriculture started with Roses to Holland and then shifted to wine making in 1982. Forging ahead Ayn Rand's icon "John Galt" style along-with a partner Paul Topping in Sri lanka, this pioneer has already created a destination, which is making waves with enlightenend travellers specially on weekends.
In Europe, entrepreneurs have been creating "Estate brands".eg. Rock Star Sting's place in Italy is famous for its Luxury produce including wine, olive oil, honey..etc all done with eco sensitivity and style: http://www.palagioproducts.com/the-estate/. Notice the artisan and hand crafted theme and positioning, which screams exclusivity in a soft voice at you.
In the USA, other evolved entrepreneurs took it to another level, so wine became " wines with purpose", as the example : http://www.entrepreneurwines.com/ shows.
Darby's 110 acre location is a sight for sore eyes. The sloping terrain ends in a lake, with fishermen catching fresh fish for Soma Vineyard's occasional guests. The outstanding views and terrain attracted the attention of legendary wine consultant Michel Roland, such that the wine is sharply distinctive and can create a luxury brand for the estate in the years ahead.
Extending the experience in future, would mean adding Elevated Tree-villa-deck style accomodation+ wellness SPA, providing a 270 degree view at all times; maybe more adventure activities in the adjoining hill with abandoned fort (a sword armoury of Tipu Sultan's). Perhaps being brave enough to start a restaurant, which could extend the handmade wine theme to the cuisine; this is easier said than done as fans of Gordon Ramsay's various series will know..specially his youtube video "Ramsay's Costa Del Nightmares Episode 03" with a 8 week old startup restaurant is very instructive for those tempted by this very tough business, given the high failure rate of restaurants in Karnataka despite Bangalore's wafer thin cosmopolitan veneer.
Luxury & Lifestyle Entrepreneur's are NO less brave than the "I want to SCALE 100 X" techie brigade, as 37 Signal's CEO Jason Fried points out in his classic "Re-work". This business is being handled such that when there is enough "pull" for a service/product, only then are they getting into providing it at the quality and service level which the founder feels proud about.
DESTINATION LIFESTYLE ENTREPRENEURSHIP - BRIEF CHECKLIST FOR SUCCESS
IF you have decided to take the plunge, remember making an eco-sensitive impact takes 15 years.
Rule#1. Its ALL about the wilderness and facilities with natural, rustic charm! so remember "simplicity is the highest form of sophistication."
Rule#2. If in doubt go with Rule#1 with everything you do..villa, restaurant, tours, adventure..etc etc. The fewer interdependent processes there are, the less chances of failure
Rule#3. You are the BRAND and your personality must infuse everything from the "kerb appeal" 5 Km before the customer reaches your place till the furthest reaches of your haven. Articulate and communicate your values all the time, using ALL the channels your target audience uses.
Rule#4. Get your fan base to evangelise and drive viral traction with their compelling stories and happy experiences. Communication is everything and these days with WhatSapp for business life is easier to organise.
Rule#5. Use the LEAN STARTUP and DISNEY SERVICE approaches to set up anything in an "MVP" or Minimal-Viable-Product or service manner at first to conserve funds