Grower/Winery split of bottled wine

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Stewart Johnson
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Grower/Winery split of bottled wine

#1 Post by Stewart Johnson » February 21st, 2018, 10:33 am

I'm thinking of partnering with a sparkling wine producer who wants some pinot from my vineyard. It's not really worthwhile for me to sell fruit at sparkling wine prices, but it would be fun to have some bubbles to offer if, and when, I get a tasting room open -- hence, the idea of splitting the finished product. The question is, what's a fair division? If it were still wine, I'd think somewhere in the vicinity of 50/50. With sparkling being more a "wine of process," I think the grower (me) would take a somewhat diminished share. What I'm wrangling with is, how much diminished? 40%? Any thoughts or experience on this topic?
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Casey Hartlip
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Grower/Winery split of bottled wine

#2 Post by Casey Hartlip » February 26th, 2018, 1:02 pm

Stewart,

I've had a bit of experience with the 50-50 thing making bulk wine. Obviously a whole different thing when you're talking about the entire sparkling wine process. I'd think if you could get 40% share that would be a good deal for both parties.
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Drew Goin
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Grower/Winery split of bottled wine

#3 Post by Drew Goin » February 26th, 2018, 3:16 pm

Hi Stewart, is the price for grapes intended for sparkling wine less expensive than that of still wine?

Is this due to the brix measurement indicating less time on the vine?

Thanks!

Stewart Johnson
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Grower/Winery split of bottled wine

#4 Post by Stewart Johnson » February 26th, 2018, 9:51 pm

Drew Goin wrote:Hi Stewart, is the price for grapes intended for sparkling wine less expensive than that of still wine?

Is this due to the brix measurement indicating less time on the vine?

Thanks!
Sparkling wine grapes generally sell for less. The biggest factor is that sparkling growers can hang a heavier crop load than you'd want for still pinot, and that's related to the lower brix target. It is nice, from a grower's perspective, to pick earlier because you might be able to get away without bird netting, you pick nearer maximum cluster weight, and the vines have more post-harvest time with functional canopy to produce and store carbs for the following season. But you sacrifice some of this advantage by hanging a larger crop, not just because you don't have to get so ripe, but also in order to stretch out the ripening period before you hit your 20 brix target.
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