Given the fact that we’re pretty much in the thick of the harvest season, it is a good time to talk about the travails, the arduous, and occasionally fruitless outcomes born out of the farming process.
It Isn’t Quite a Walk in the Park
The work doesn’t quite end after one is done producing them, but only begins when you have to take your pick of the finest grapes. They can influence the very texture and flavor of the wine. In which the qualitative merits and reputation of the wine shall be predicated.
On paper, it seems to be a pretty mundane concern. One only understands the pains of discarding certain grapes for not being “good enough” when one realizes how many grapes it really takes to produce the bottle of wine. This, coupled with the fact that it takes acres and acres of land to actually produce a sufficient number of grapes for a bottle of wine, means that it could be the cause of significant heartburn when most of your product isn’t up to scratch. Also not to mention that it can have a rather steep effect on the prices of wine.
Check out “Best Grapes for Making Wine” to see the variety of grapes used in a bottle.
Quantity: Time for Grape-l With Some Numbers
If one sits down to crunch some numbers, it would be quite an understatement to state that wine requires a significant number of grapes to be produced. To bring things into perspective, a single bottle of wine is produced with 600-800 grapes, each having to meet a particular quality metric in order to bring the flavor and texture that the winemaker desires.
That is the equivalent of 10 clusters! If you intend to make wine at home, you’d probably have to buy 3 bags of supermarket grapes in order to produce one bottle of wine, since most of these bags have 3-4 clusters inside in relation to the conventional grapes one buys in the supermarket. Want more info about the quantity that goes into a bottle of wine? Check out “How Many Ounces in a Bottle of Wine?” for more.
Pricing: Pay Some Heed to Your Grieving Pockets
Even if one keeps aside the quantity of the grapes in question in grocery shopping terms, one cannot overlook the steep monetary dent this would leave behind if what one seeks to get is grapes of a certain standard. Since we brought up the concepts of understatements earlier, it merits a mention in no certain terms that things will get extremely pricey if you want to make yourself an amazing bottle of wine.
Now that we’ve familiarized ourselves with supply-demand dynamics that influence the price of wine, we must dig deeper and try to understand why some bottles of wine cost a lot, while others are able to sell it for cheaper.
Thinking of going to the store to pick up a bottle of wine for tonight? Check out “What Wine Should I Drink With Cheese” for tips on pairing that bottle with your aperitifs.
The Pursuit of Grape-ness
Firstly, it is worth noting that how many grapes a vineyard can produce varies per acre, depending on factors like farming amenities and proficiency, the climate and what kind of grapes they’re trying to produce. Usually, the farming methods employed by the vineyard influence the yield. Vineyards attempting to produce grapes through more natural means like dry farming, or by running an organic vineyard, or by simply adopting the biodynamic protocol, would only be able to produce approximately 2 tons of grapes per acre, which isn’t really a lot when stacked up against the demand for wine. However, as it is with pretty much every edible food source on the planet, there are scientific farming techniques that can significantly bolster the yield of the grapes produced per acre, although the quality at hand could be debatable as more doesn’t always mean better. Read up on “How Long Does it Take to Make Wine?” to see the whole process.
In current times, with growing awareness pertaining to how food is produced coinciding with greater fitness consciousness, people would rather pay top dollar to drink wine from organic vineyards than drink something originating from a vineyard that churns out grapes en masse using inorganic means without much regard for quality.
The Quality, Quantity and Other Things:
Needless to say, the yield is what determines the price and quality. Albeit inorganic, scientific means can definitely help vineyards produce more grapes as opposed to using organic farming methods. They cannot quite replicate the fullness of flavor and the more natural texture that is desired when one talks about a quality wine that naturally produced grapes contain. So even if a vineyard is producing lesser grapes per acre, they’re most likely producing grapes are more flavorful, in stark contrast to vineyards that might be producing a large number of grapes, a majority of which are probably too watery and hence if any wine is to be made out of them, it’d require more grapes to do so.
Reverting back to the bottle, one has to wonder how it all stacks up in the grand scheme of things. To put things into perspective, each ton of grapes results in 720 bottles of wines, which translates to about 7,200 grape clusters or 432,000 – 576,000 individual grapes. From all this number-crunching, one can interpret the resultant impact on pricing.
Depending on your capacity and which aforementioned farming techniques you’d be bringing to the fore in order to produce grapes, you could be producing one or two tons of grapes per acre, meaning that you’d end up with around 720-1,440 bottles, or you could be producing ten tons per acre and end up with 7,200 bottles of wine. Going by the simple definition of supply & demand, one can infer that if you’re operating a vineyard pitted against a vineyard that produces more bottles than you for every acre of land, your bottle will be comparatively more expensive.
Next time you let the wine flow and become engrossed with procrastinating about the birth and subsequent journey of the wine you relish, you may keep these numbers in mind and dedicate a toast to the hundreds and thousands of grapes that went into it.
Thank you for reading! Be sure to also check out wine-related content on Wine On My Time, and read up on “How to Tell if Wine is Bad?” or “Best Wine for Beginners” for beginner tips on all things wine.
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Bottoms up! We’ll uncork ya later!! 🍷