Heinzen savors a successful real estate deal about as much as a 98-point cabernet. She studied wine and viticulture in college and then joined a firm that specialized in wine industry consulting and mergers and acquisitions. Before long, Heinzen changed course, earning her broker's license and joining a boutique real estate company in Napa Valley.
A demanding niche: Winery deals are excruciatingly complex, with each transaction often involving agricultural, commercial, and residential property, says Heinzen, who closed $18.7 million in sales on 11 transaction sides in 2005. The business also requires patience and diligence; most wineries take a year or more to sell -- if they're priced right, she says.
Marketing maestro: Heinzen has developed a comprehensive database of wine properties for sale that she says draws heavy traffic to the brokerage's Web site, www.wineryxrealestate.com. For more exposure, she advertises heavily in small, niche wine-industry publications and makes herself available for media interviews. Personal time: When she's not working, Heinzen may be competitively jumping or training her two horses, snowboarding in the Sierra Nevadas, or, of course, visiting one of her favorite wineries.