The Initial Investment

Source of Expense

A landowner starting from scratch had to borrow heavily, to pay for a good-sized and fertile tract of land. The upfront outlay could well be more than 52,000 sestertii. A vine-dresser (vinitor) with proven ability might cost him some 8000 sestertii. Then, for another six years or so, while the new vines were being tended towards their first major cropping, he might be expect to put out about 2,600 sestertii per year, as he paid off his debt, fed and housed his workforce, and maintained buildings and equipment. By the time the vineyard was fully operational, the total investment could have reached about 68,000 sestertii.