There are plenty of ways to hide kosher status on the label. The problem is both doing that and targeting the kosher consumer. IT seems that the second one makes a marketing move towards kosher, the fact is picked up upon by retailers and wholesalers, who find it easier to market to a niche than the market in general. To the retailer, he is looking for turnover from the facing. He sees a wine which is competing against 10 other wines in the marketplace rather than 1000, and if there is any sort of active kosher interest among his clientele, he foresees profit to be made. It depends upon the types of clientele and the needs of the retailer or wholesaler.
Purchase of an established business can be expensive, if the business is successful, because the price is based not only on tangible assets but on goodwill (the value of the business name), a multiple of cashflow, and a multiple of perceived profitability. One should already be business-savvy when making such a purchase, because one can otherwise find it impossible to maintain sales and profits. On the other hand, purchase business assets out of a foreclosure or bankruptcy, and you have the baggage of whatever made that business uncompetitive in the first place.
To make it in business these days, one needs a good business plan that can be precisely adhered to. If one starts a business from scratch, it is much easier to understand costs and other issues, and adhere to the plan. Purchasing expensive business assets is not a pathway towards profitability, unless they already are generating enviable profits. Joel mentions purchase of expensive estate land, so that the cost of kashrus is comparatively nominal. However, the name of the game is not making kashrus costs nominal but making a profit. When Domain Dujac established itself in Burgundy in 1968, Burgundy was already a great region, but even Grands Crus land was comparatively inexpensive. One could still develop a business plan that with hard work and perseverance, could theoretically generate profitability. It did in that case, not only because of the success of Domain Dujac in creating good wine, but also because Burgundy became popular and assets appreciated in value. Most of the purchases and land swaps in Burgundy (and Bordeaux, for that matter) are being done by already successful winemakers adding what they need in an effort to become more competitive, not by novices wishing to enter the fray. Most new entrepreneurs would attempt to purchase low-priced assets somewhere else, after having developed a business plan in which at least on paper, one could with a reasonable time make enough profit to make it worthwhile to establish the business in the first place. Obviously, the easiest way to justify such a kosher business is to establish it where kashrus is valued, where competition is minimal, and where assets are inexpensive. As long as the kashrus costs can be realistically justified in the business plan, does it matter what those costs are?
The problem comes in when realistic kashrus costs are not initially factored into what is initially perceived as a successful business plan. If a winery must change business plans midstream, costs had better pencil out somehow. I find it difficult to see how a winery can successfully add high costs of kashrus in a place like Israel, not to mention other places, to a business plan not initially incorporating such costs. If marketing and distribution to a nonkosher consumer base is found to be difficult to impossible, the business plan is unsuccessful, and perhaps the best strategy is to develop an entirely new but realistic business plan going in a different direction, if possible, or to call it a day and get out of the business. The path to success rarely is by piling unanticipated costs on top of costs. The world over, the best strategy to making money with wine is never to have gone into that business, and the best way to make profits in any business is to keep costs low and profits high and turning over units through well-thought-out distribution networks. If one feels compelled to enter the wine business, costs had better be thoroughly understood, and one had better have one's distribution channels in line at the outset, and one must understand where one's profits lie.