Thursday, February 28, 2013

Why Is Wine So Expensive? A Series of Short Answers 2

Pretty frequently I am asked what makes wine so expensive. I will attempt to answer this question in a series of short, individual points about this. Your time is valuable. So here we go:

Reason #2:  What if the vines you have already planted aren't the ones the market demands?

   The majority of vineyards bought and sold are just that: vineyards. They already have grape vines growing. But what if you have, for example, sixteen acres of Syrah growing in your Sonoma vineyard, and each year, there's a challenge deciding what to do with the grapes? Profitability is hurt, and you may be thinking about shifting your course so you can find buyers more easily, or produce a wine that will sell more easily and at a better price.
   Plant Pinot Noir, perhaps? Plant Cabernet Sauvignon? Whatever your decision, you might have to uproot the existing Syrah vines and wait for the new vines to mature until they can produce good wine. That doesn't happen overnight. That time period represents lost income (even though it was done intentionally). It's a trade off designed to improve future sales, but clearly can affect the price of other wines produced by the property, since the property is temporarily less productive. 
   Basic economics, but always a factor.

More reasons to come...
--  Marc Soucy,  FWS


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