During harvest, we are often asked math questions. How many tons of grapes come from an acre of vineyard? How many bottles of wine come from a ton of grapes? If Peter picked a peck of pickled peppers, how many… Ok, just joking about that last one. But, seriously, we hear the first two questions a lot. In simple terms, the answers are:
- It depends.
- A ton of grapes equals approximately 720 bottles of wine.
For the first answer, the tonnage per acre truly depends on a variety of factors: age of vines, soil, density of plantings, number of spurs per vine, drainage, irrigation, and grape varietal. For example, the Moon Vineyard in Carneros, which grows our Merlot grapes, is nearly 20 years old and is watered very little. While this method concentrates the ripe red berry flavors, it also results in small yields of 1 to 1-1/2 tons per acre. On the other end of the spectrum, you’ll find bulk wines from vineyards that yield up to 7 tons per acre. As in many things, there is a direct trade-off between quality and quantity.
After the grapes are crushed and pressed, the wine ferments in wood barrels. Each ton of grapes yields about 140 gallons or 2-1/3 barrels of wine. Each 60-gallon barrel equals about 25 cases. So, one ton of grapes results in about 60 cases or ultimately 720 bottles of wine.
Now, for your final word problem. If two trains are heading towards each other at different speeds, which wine would you want to be sipping when they pass each other? Choose one answer:
- Villa del Monte Pinot
- Villa del Monte Chardonnay
- Villa del Monte Merlot
- Any of the above
Don’t you love a problem that has no wrong answers!