It’s a well-known fact in the world of perfume that the recipe behind Chanel No. 5 includes 1,000 jasmine flowers and 5 roses per ounce of perfume from the town of Grasse in the south of France.
Well, it takes even more grapes to make a bottle of wine. Just kidding. But it’s still pretty labor intensive, and the figures behind what goes into your favorite bottle of vino might just surprise you.
Today we’re going to geek out on the numbers for a special Math Monday edition of Cluster Crush. Keep in mind, some of these numbers will vary depending on crop yields, how the wine is pressed (if at all) and other farming and winemaking factors like vine density. But these facts and figures should give you a rough idea of what it takes to make your favorite bottle of vino.
First, let’s look at it from vineyard to bottle…
Vines per acre: This varies, but let’s take about 1,500 as a standard.
Grape tons per acre: Again, this varies, but it’s usually between 2-10 tons, and in general, the higher the quality, the lower the number. Let’s go with a nice average of about 4 tons per acre.
Gallons and barrels of wine per ton of grapes: About 150 gallons. One standard wine barrel holds 60 gallons, so we’re talking about 2.5 barrels per ton of grapes. That’s about 10 barrels per acre.
Bottles per barrel: There are about 300 bottles per standard barrel (okay, you caught me, I’m rounding up a little, but we switched from standard to metric in this step, so sue me!).
Bottles per ton: About 750, or approximately 62.5 cases of wine.
Bottles per acre: So based on all those numbers, one acre of grape vines produces about 3,000 bottles of wine.
Now let’s look at the vine to the glass.
Vines per acre: Again, this varies a lot, but a good standard is about 1,500 vines per acre.
Clusters per vine: This really depends on the viticulture, but it’s usually around 30-40.
Grapes per cluster: Anywhere from 50-100, but let’s go with the upper end of 100.
Vines per bottle: Since we know that each acre produces about 3,000 bottles of wine, and there are about 1,500 vines per acre, it looks like each vine can produce about 2 bottles of wine.
Number of grapes per bottle: Common knowledge puts this figure at about 600-800 grapes. That sounds like a lot, but that’s just about 5-10 of those beautiful clusters you see hanging around harvest time.
Grapes per glass: A bottle of wine has about five glasses in it (depending on how you pour – for me, it’s about 3!), so each glass of that wine you’re enjoying has about 100-150 grapes in it.
Maybe knowing everything that went into that glass of wine you’re enjoying tonight will make you appreciate it just a little bit more!