Thursday, August 19, 2010
How many grapes does it take?
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We are often asked how many pounds of grapes will we get from our vineyard, and how many bottles, gallons or cases of wine will they make? Here are some stats, you'll have to do the math. By the way we have approximately 3.1 acres planted with 2,000 vines.
2,000 pounds of grapes (1 ton) will make 210 gallons of must. The must is the crushed grapes, having had their stems removed during the crushing and de-stemming process. The yeast is then added to the must to ferment into wine.
After the must has converted its sugar into alcohol through the fermentation process, which takes about a week, the whole thing is pressed, to remove the wine from the grapes and stems. Continuing to use the 1 ton of grapes = 210 gallons of must equation, this will result in about 120 gallons of wine which equals 600, 750 ml bottles or 50 cases (12 bottles per case).
Each vine will produce about 10 pounds of grapes, so our 2,000 vines here should produce at full production in another year or two, 20,000 pounds or 10 tons, about 1/2 being Petite Sirah and 1/2 Zinfandel. This will produce about 500 cases.
This is the definition of a Boutique Winery - a very small operation for sure! But each vine, and each cluster of grapes receives very personal attention. We are literally hands-on. We tend and touch and trim every vine at least six or eight time during the year. Each grape cluster is looked at and less than perfect ones are dropped. This is how truly premium wines are produced. As our mentor Lum Eisenman says over and over again, "You can't make good wine unless you start with good grapes."