ask dr. vinny

Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, or "Vinny" for short. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the technical aspects of winemaking to the fine points of etiquette. I hope you find my answers educational and even amusing. Looking for a particular answer? Check my archive and my FAQs.


Dear Dr. Vinny,

Here is a simple question that has always intrigued me: How many bottles of wine are made from 1 acre of vineyard? (I know some vineyards have much greater density and yields than others, but just generally speaking, how many bottles?)

—Jason, Austin, Texas

Dear Jason,

You're correct that there are a lot of variables that affect the yield of a vineyard. You have to squish about 600 to 800 grapes to get each bottle of wine (anywhere from three to 10 clusters of grapes, depending on the grapes), but vine spacing, row spacing, vintage conditions, the variety and age of grapes all play a part in how many grapes you get from each acre. Vineyards usually produce anywhere between 2 and 10 tons per acre (though I've heard of both higher and lower yields).

But what does that mean? Well, 1 ton of grapes results in a little more than two barrels of wine. Each barrel contains about 60 gallons, 25 cases or 300 bottles. So 1 ton of grapes yields about 60 cases or 720 bottles. If you put all that together, a very low-yielding vineyard that produces 2 tons per acre makes about 1,440 bottles, or 120 cases, while an acre that yields 10 tons produces about 7,200 bottles, or 600 cases.

—Dr. Vinny


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