There are hundreds of different varieties of grapes that are used to produce wine, which means that there is a lot of variation in the exact number. The simple answer is that there are approximately 600 to 800 individual grapes that go into a bottle of wine. Many factors will change the actual number, which in some cases may be as low as 400 or as high as 1200 per bottle.
Factors that Alter the Number of Grapes Used to Make Wine
The first thing to understand is that many winemakers will only use the highest quality grapes, so many grapes are discarded because they don’t look perfect. The next most important issue would be the techniques used to grow the grapevines and the growing conditions of the vineyard.
The weather can play a significant role in the size of grapes as well; dry weather can result in smaller grapes with less water content, and rainier weather can lead to plumper grapes. There are also hundreds of different varieties of grapes that are slightly different in size and contain varying amounts of sugar.
The last major factor would be the winemaker itself as some higher quality wines require more grapes to make the wine have a fuller flavor. There are also important things for the winemaker to consider, such as the stem to pulp ratio, the pulp to seed ratio, and the skin to juice ratio. There will also be some unavoidable losses due to evaporation during aging.
Calculating The Number of Grapes in a Wine Bottle
To estimate the exact number, we need to make many approximations. Remember that the first two assumptions below would change based upon the factors mentioned above.
- There are approximately 75 to 100 wine grapes in a bunch.
- It takes about 8 to 10 bunches of wine grapes to make a bottle of wine.
- One grape vine will yield approximately 25 bunches of grapes.
- One acre of organically grown grapes will have approximately 100 grapevines.
- One acre of grapevines will produce approximately two tons of unprocessed grapes.
- After processing the grapes and crushing them, approximately half of the weight will be lost.
- One ton of processed grapes will produce about 2.5 barrels of wine or about 150 gallons.
- Since wine is typically sold in 750ml bottles, converting 150 gallons results in 757 wine bottles, but there will likely be some loss in the process.
That’s how we’ve come to the conclusion that it takes approximately 600 to 800 grapes to make a bottle of wine.
Table Grape Size Compared To Wine Grapes
Typically when people think of a grape, they picture an everyday table grape since they are accustomed to seeing those at their grocery store. Table grapes are much larger than grapes used for making wine, so it’s crucial to realize that wine grapes are relatively small.
If you wanted to make wine from table grapes, you could, but they contain less sugar compared to wine grapes, which will result in a wine with less alcohol. If you were to try to produce wine from table grapes, it would only take approximately three bunches to make a 750ml bottle. The wine would also likely be pretty undesirable to drink, so you’re better off eating your table grapes.