MW Topic of the Week - vineyard management and wine price points

Hi guys!

After a brief holiday hiatus, Sarah Bray, , and I are back with our weekly study topics.

Today, I am continuing to chip away at Paper 1. 

I'd love for everyone to consider the following question, taken from the 2018 exam:

"Many wine regions can produce wines at a wide range of price points. Referencing at least two of such regions, compare and contrast methods of managing vineyards for high-priced wines and low-priced wines."

Looking forward to your thoughts!



  • Hi Kelli, thanks for the post. I think the easiest way to address the question, at least for one of the examples, is to look at regions that produce vastly different styles of wines. Piesporter Michelsberg vs Goldtropchen Beerenauslese or Sauternes vs Entre-deux-Mers. I emailed a large producer in Chile that produces many quality tiers of wines to ask about their vineyard practices. I'll share their response, if they agree to it. 

  • Thank you, that is excellent.

Reply Children
  • The question within the question, it seems, is "what is the cost of each vineyard practice?" Quality is not mentioned in the question, only high-cost and low-cost. I have heard some winemakers say that the ton cost should at least equal the dollars/bottle cost at a ratio of 100:1. That is, an $8000/ton Pinot Noir should be able to command $80/bottle.

  • I have heard the same but really only in the context of American wine. The supposition there is that fruit cost is the biggest variable, and that production/labor/packaging costs are otherwise, more or less, static across price points. Obviously, that's a massive simplification. I wonder if that 100:1 ratio applies in Europe or elsewhere?