Why is Sauv Blanc so much cheaper ?

Why is Napa Sauv Blanc so much cheaper ? is it thinner margins ? some arguments that i dont think are valid

The cost of fruit, only if you buy it, if its your fruit is SB cheaper to farm than cab ?

Cab ages longer, true but thats just a money cost, maybe 8% for the extra 12 months

Because people will only pay so much for Napa SB. When you think about SB, Napa is certainly toward the bottom for me.

More demand for napa cabs, less demand for SB, so they can charge more for napa cabs.

So therefore the difference between SB and cab is pure profit ?

Napa cabernet sauvignon sells for about 3 times the price of sauvignon blanc per average ton. The better regarded CS fruit sells for even far greater ratios. It will show in the bottle price regardless of purchased or farmed fruit.

In Styria/Austria Sauvignon blanc is usually the most expensive variety, slightly more than Morillon (Chardonnay) and definitely more than Pinot blanc, Pinot gris, Welschriesling and Traminer.
It depends (imho) on the final quality which is very much depending on the terroir of a region. SB is perfect for the soil and climate here in Styria and the results are world-class.

BTW: also in Pessac-Leognan SB (together with Semillon) is quite expensive now, think of Haut-Brion blanc and LMHB …

In the past my asking this question was answered with the response that the yield of SB is much greater than with Cab so per ton cost is 1/2 to 1/3. Add the difference between oak and stainless steel (in most cases) + time to market and it starts to make sense… assuming all that is true.

Its the cat’s pee. Rips at least a hungie off every bottle.

I’m not sure about the cost to farm but certainly cheaper to produce. Far shorter holding periods, and in many cases no oak.

Sounds very reasonable to me.

Also, it grows on terroir where you can’t produce decent cabernet. You can grow sauvignon (or similar) or you can leave the land empty. Any profit is better than nothing.

Also, there is a demand for it, so why not meet it? Not everyone like/wants to drink cab (all the time.)

I think you’ve covered the reasons.

Even if it is aged in oak, it won’t be for 18 months, or whatever is standard for cabernet, so the investment in barrels is much less.

With time in barrel and bottle, it’s probably an extra two years for cab before release.

Since winemaking is capital intensive (land, facilities, barrels, inventory of aging wine), I don’t think it’s just a matter of the cost of borrowed money. Lenders generally want some assurance of cash flow before they’ll lend, and whites that don’t require much aging provide that. It’s a common issue in businesses: You need some inventory you can turn over quickly to cover the cost of keeping other, more expensive products in inventory. It’s just as true of furniture stores and car dealers.

FYI, here are 2017 average prices per ton for different varieties in Napa:

Cabernet Sauvignon $7,509
Pinot Noir $2,798
Merlot $3,387
Zinfandel $3,623
Syrah $3,738
Chardonnay $2,809
Sauvignon Blanc $2,279

And that’s before the cost of barrels and aging.

Because it sucks

Complete thread drift so apologies, but I’m curious as to the source of this.

And also, just for me to understand, is this simply the fruit alone, e.g. if I were to enter into contract to purchase an “average ton of Napa CS” it would be $7,500?

I’d be very curious to see the variation in pricing across Napa but my guess is quite a bit of that information isn’t publicized.

Interesting that Zin is higher than Pinot yet Zin’s are generally the cheapest wines. I still dont see what cost per ton matters if you own the vines

Vineyard maintenance & management, insurance, Property tax, labor during harvest, etc.

Fruit is cheaper and it is also released every year for a consistent cash flow.

Napa County
2017 Trend 2016 2015 2017 High 2017 Low
Cabernet Sauvignon $7,509 + $6,829 $6,288 $50,000 $1,000
Pinot Noir $2,798 + $2,779 $2,713 $8,103 $600
Merlot $3,387 + $3,352 $3,135 $22,106 $400
Zinfandel $3,623 + $3,520 $3,390 $7,367 $300
Syrah $3,738 + $3,591 $3,234 $7,500 $1,800
Chardonnay $2,809 + $2,673 $2,592 $9,084 $1,000
Sauvignon Blanc $2,279 + $2,142 $2,012 $5,586 $1,025


Formatting is better on the website but the point is that somebody paid $50,000 for a ton of Napa Cab in 2017.