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Wine Making


For you Wine Enthusiast thinking of dabbling in your own Wine making at home, Wine-Fi has brought together some resources and Wine kits for your endeavor.


Typical Wine Yields 

1 Acre  = 5 tons of grapes and as low as 2 tons                 

                 = 800 gallons                
                 = 4000 bottles 

1 Barrel = 60 gallons                 
                 = 25 cases 

1 Case = 30 lbs of grapes 

1 Bottle = 2.4 lbs of grapes

Hello all, below is an e-mail blast I received from Thomas Kruse a Winemaker in Gilroy, Ca. with insight into cost of Bottling I found interesting. With his approval I'm posting it here for you also. Now Tom never has held back and is rather opinionated but that can be appreciated. Read his Bio here if you’d like.  

Dear Friends,
These are interesting times and no one is sure what is going to happen. We are all trying to look into the crystal ball and figure out how the economy is going to straighten itself out. Kinda scary.

In the meantime we are all also doing our best to lead our lives in a "regular" fashion. The holidays and wine go together so most people will continue to purchase wine to enjoy with their meals. But, how much should you pay for a bottle of wine? We all know that after the meal is over and we are sitting around the table, we might be looking at an empty bottle.  I always say that wine is the last seasoning that your food gets. You take a bite of food and have a sip of wine. The wine, depending on its constituency, and the food should be complimentary. White meats and fish, usually lean and somewhat bland are enhanced by the addition of acids found in white wines. Many people also squeeze lemon on fish to add acidity. The tannins found in red wines react immediately with the fattier tissues in red meats, neutralizing them and cleaning your mouth so you are ready for the next bite.  Most wine glasses hold four or five ounces of wine and there may be six or seven sips in the glass, depending on how you take a sip. We all like good wine and there is nothing wrong with looking for value. If you have money to burn and you spend a hundred dollars on a bottle of wine each sip may cost what you presently pay for a gallon of gasoline. To me, that's not money well spent. Unless you're really rich it takes wine out of the realm of an every day dining pleasure.

I did a back label a long time ago asking, "Why does wine cost so much?" the price of everything has gone up since I have written that back label but let me pose the question again using today’s prices of grapes and supplies.  

You can get approximately 60 cases out of a ton of grapes. That would be 140 gallons per ton. Bear with me here. In 2007 the average price of all wine grapes in Reporting District #6 which includes Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Mateo and San Francisco Counties was $894 a ton - call it $900 a ton for simplicity. 60 cases is 720 bottles. $900 divided by 720 is $1.25 worth of grapes in each bottle. I will add up the costs of the grapes and other things in a case of wine. Remember a case is twelve bottles.

               Grapes                                 $15.00
               Case of bottles                     $8.00
               twelve corks                         $1.50 
               twelve tin capsules           $1.50
               front and back labels        $1.80 
               Fed and state excise taxes$.89  tax credit)
               Total - Direct Costs             $28.69

Then you have to add all the other costs of production; rent or cost of building amortized, labor, equipment amortized, supplies other than packaging, utilities, insurance, etc. These costs vary widely depending on economy of scale and how fancy or plain your facility is. They are referred to as indirect costs. They can be as low as $5.00 a case for an efficient, high production winery and as high as $30.00 a case for very small producers. Assuming the most costly you are almost at $60.00 a case, or five dollars a bottle. There are some wineries that charge $60 a bottle! And they get it!

Of course this is somewhat simplistic and does not take into account, at all, distribution costs and the profits that a distributor and retailer make. But to put it simply the cost of goods sold is usually fifty percent of the retail price. A winery sells a bottle of wine to the public for $12.00 at the winery. That bottle is sold to a distributor for $6.00. The distributor sells it to the retailer for $8.00 and they sell it for the same price as the winery - $12.00.

We are a small winery and we always try to make the best wine we possibly can. I have never been able to look someone in the eye and say, "This is a great buy at $60 a bottle..or $40...or $30 or even $20. If you want to monkey around and buy one bottle then we have to make a couple of bucks but you know we always give you a heck of a deal on a case. Get value for your hard earned dollar!

I hope this has been helpful and of interest to you.

Tom Kruse, Vintner to America

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