Fruit + Yeast = Wine

Simple, but so complex. Making wine is really fun and can be a great journey. Most home winemakers start out with simple wine making kits and progress to more complicated kits and then to using fresh grapes. Having your own fruit to make wine gives the home wine maker the most flexibility with their end product.

Vine to Wines

It is so gratifying drinking your own wine from the grapes that you have grown.  If you are considering a home(estate) vineyard, its a good idea to plan on the number of vines you will need to plant for the desired quantities of finished product(wine).

Every vine will yield a different amount of fruit.  The variety of grape, the soil, the water resources and the weather will all impact the amount of fruit a single vine will produce.  We use five pounds of fruit for a conservative estimate.

Again, working in averages, twenty pounds of fruit make one gallon of wine.  So the question now becomes, how much wine do you want to make?  In wine making, there are some standard sizes of storage vessels.  Glass carboys are usually five gallons.  This is truly at the beginning level and most home wine making kits are designed for this size..  A standard wooden barrel is about 60 gallons.  Wooden barrels do come in a variety of sizes as well as stainless steel barrels that are sometimes used for wine making.  So a quick run down:

Glass Carboy – Five Gallons or 100 pounds of fruit or fruit from 20 vines

25 Gallon Barrel – 500 pounds of fruit or 100 vines

60 Gallon Barrel – 1200 pounds of fruit or 240 vines

When you are growing to fill larger barrels, 5 to 10 extra gallons should be made to top off the barrels.  

Barrels to Bottle

A five gallon carboy will make about 25 bottles of wine, or two cases of wine.

A 25 gallon barrel will make about 130 bottles of wine, or ten and a half cases of wine.

A 60 gallon barrel will make about 300 bottles of wine, or 25 cases of wine

Taking into consideration the amount of grapes(wine) your vines will produce every year and the space that you have to grow them, will help in deciding how many vines you will need to purchase for your estate.