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07.29.2004

Poor Bastards Have to Work Hard to Make That $100 Bottle of Wine

Ever thought to yourself, "How can someone justify a price of $100 for a bottle of wine?" Well it turns out that you have to work pretty hard at it. Thanks to H. Johnson for pointing me to one of the most brilliant satire pieces I've ever seen on California Winemaking.

The article is written by Brendan Eliason, a Northern California assistant winemaker for David Coffaro Winery who did a little research one day into specifically what his costs were per bottle. It came to around ten bucks (his wine retails for $22), and he set to wondering, "Exactly how does someone make a $100 bottle of wine??" So he sets off on a thought experiment that involves everything from buying the most expensive grapes on the market, to buying brand new winery equipment, to laser etching custom wine bottles, and at the end of it, he barely manages to do it.

Absolutely hilarious and very sobering. Read it before you decide to shell out that $100 for the next vintage of Opus One.

Comments (1)

Greg Piatigorski wrote:
08.02.04 at 12:01 PM

Hi Alder,

Well, that log is pretty much old news these days and not as hillarious nor accurate as it seems to proclaim. True, the numbers listed do work for David, although that said, they ONLY work for HIM and no one else. He is not paying $3500-5000 per ton of incredible Pinot fruit to begin with, just one example, even more for top notch Cab. What barrrels is he using? French or not? New or used? Price difference is significant to say the least. How about insurance? Equipment?

Search for my and others' comments on eBob, there is a pretty long and recent thread discussing wine making prices. I just hope no one takes Coffaro's log as gospel as it is pretty far from reality when one considers his offerings against, say of Pride, Karl Lawrence, Corte Riva, Tandem, Siduri, August West and way too many others to list. When was the last time YOU bought Coffaro for consumption?

For the record, I used to sell his offerings at retail and yes, they are very nice daily drinkers, although these days I can find a number of offerings that are cheaper and just as good if not better. What does that prove?

Regards,

Greg

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