On the blogby Alfred
January 23 2020

The cost of wine

by Sébastien Légasse

In the world of wine, we can find almost everything and its opposite: from the 4 liter vinier to the bigger formats of vintaged champagne, including the bottle at $ 9 and the grand cru at $ 6,000. We can also understand that the rarity and prestige of the product will influence its price. Collectors of “labels” will give more importance to the known wines as they will be considered as a safe investment.

To determine the cost to produce wine, the operation is rather complex. Grape production is one factor, but it is not the only one.

Starting with the cap, if it is unscrewable, synthetic, Diam or cork, the prices will vary between $ 0.15 and $ 3. Always according to the volume ordered for the labels, their printing and the cases of the boxes, the expense is around $ 0.40 / btl. And for the bottle itself, you have to pay between $ 0.30 and $ 1.50, depending on the quality and model.

And the grape in all this? Since the yield (number of hectoliters per hectare) varies from one vineyard to another and since the harvest costs will vary according to the type of production and the morphology of the land, it is not easy to find your way around and even more to generalize. Take a producer from the Rhône region in France, whose production cost is $ 8,000 per hectare for a yield of 40 hl / ha. Don’t reach for your calculators, I’ll take care of everything. That gives us a cost of $ 2 / bottle. Talking with Yannick Rousseau, who produces a red wine from the Mount Veeder appellation in California and who buys his grapes, it costs him $ 13 per bottle, only for the fruit. The bottle sells for a little above $ 100.

A barrel is a nice sight, but it costs quite a bit! Depending on the style of wine, it can be used up to three times. For a 225-liter Bordeaux barrel, you have to pay around $ 650 for an American model and between $ 950 and $ 1,450 for a French barrel. That basically gives us a cost of about $ 1 per bottle, if it is calculated of over three years. And for large domains, new barrels are used all the time…

We must also add local taxes and those of the importing country, transport costs, costs of regional wine associations, marketing and sales costs, not to mention the wine that evaporates from the barrels (about 2 %).

All these figures confirm the complexity of calculating the selling price of a bottle, only from an accounting point of view. In the end, if an affordable bottle makes you happy, it’s perfect. But when you are moved by tasting a more expensive nectar, you can better understand the relevance of aiming for the ultimate quality, even if it means that it happens less often!

P.S.: Thanks to Sébastien Savard for the numbers presented in this article.

Here are a few recently arrived products that are worthy of mention: 


Les Vins de Vienne Crozes-Hermitage 2017

Red wine, 750 ml

Code SAQ : 10678229 | Regular price : 27,75 $

Weingnut Loimer Grüner Veltliner Loiserberg Reserve 2017

White wine, 750 ml

Code SAQ : 11901841| Regular price : 35,50 $

Tokaji Oremus Aszú 6 Puttonyos 2005

White wine, 750 ml

Code SAQ : 13347370 | Regular price : 120,25 $

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