From grape to table: the economics of Lovingston Winery

From grape to table: the economics of Lovingston Winery


Number of Mexican pickers hired at harvest time: 4

Average each is paid per eight-hour day: $102

Amount of grapes picked on a normal day: 3 tons

Total harvest cost: $3,000

In addition to these costs, in 2005 the Pucketts purchased five tons of grapes for an additional cost of $9,000.

The Winery

Purchase price for the Puckett Family’s farm (in 2002): $380,000

Cost of planting 6,000 vines on five acres: $10,000-15,000 per acre

Tractor: $27,000

Sprayer: $11,000

Gator tractor: $7,500

Weed sprayer: $500

Annual cost of chemicals and pesticides: $2,500-3,000

Cost of building 4,000 square foot
winery: $600,000

Monthly mortgage on winery: $4,000

Four stainless steel fermenting tanks: $400,000

Propane generator to cool the barrel room: $8,600

Thirty-five barrels, some French oak and some American oak, many of which will be replaced in three years: $25,000

Lab equipment: $10,000

Winery insurance: $600 per month

Web design: $2,000

The Bottle

Cost of bottling, including labor: $3,300

Cost of hiring Napa Valley company to design labels, according to Stephanie Puckett: “Several thousands of dollars.”

Production cost per label: $1.25

Cost per glass bottle: $1.10

Cost per cork: 67 cents

Cost per tin capsule: 14 cents

Total annual production: 13,200 bottles