# The Numbers, in Perspective

Today we have a guest post by Mark Rashap, CWE. Read on as Mark gives us some advice about the numbers…

One of the most challenging and rewarding aspects of being a wine professional is that we must master a multitude of academic fields.  Often, in addition to “wine expert,” educator, and salesperson, we play the role of chemist, biologist, linguist, geologist, and historian. Other roles that we have to assume on a fairly regular basis include mathematician and statistician—and this does not sit well with many people!

In light of this situation, I thought it would be fun and handy to compile some of the more useful conversions that every wine professional should know and understand.  What follows includes some strict mathematical conversions, some industry averages, and some hints for their interpretation.

How big is that vineyard? One of the first steps in understanding a wine producer, estate or region is to understand just how big the vineyards are, and how they compare with others. In order to do this, it is imperative to know the following: 1 Hectare = 2.5 acre (it’s actually 2.47, but we can’t do that in our head).  To convert hectares to acres, the quick math is to double the number, then add half of the original number.  Paulliac, at an average of 1,200 Ha equates to about 3,000 acres.

• Try it yourself: If there are 800 ha in Pomerol, and 2,000 acres in Walla Walla, which is bigger?  (The answer: they are about the same!)

How much wine is in that container? Thankfully, most people are used to measuring wine in liters…particularly 750 ml. However, sometimes we need to deal with larger numbers, especially in terms of barrels, shipments, or tax reports! Wine professionals should keep in mind that that 1 gallon = 3.785 L, and the traditional European wine barrel (barrique) is 60 Gal or about 225 L. This equates to 300 bottles of the standard 750 ml size.

How much do those grapes weigh? In the US, we still use pounds to measure the weight of grapes coming from the vineyard.  Much of the rest of the world uses kilograms, so we should know that 1 Kilogram = 2.2 pounds (and 1 pound = 0.45 kg). If we are talking about a truckload, it will be useful to know that there are 2,000 pounds to the ton. A metric ton is 1,000 kilograms, which equals 2,200 pounds—otherwise known as a metric ton or tonne.

I am sure that is enough calculation for now. However, keep an eye on the blog – we’ll follow up with a look at calculating yield, temperature, and rainfall—in perspective.

Post authored by Mark Rashap, CWE. Mark has, over the past ten years, been in the wine world in a number of capacities including studying wine management in Buenos Aires, being an assistant winemaker at Nota Bene Cellars in Washington State, founding his own wine brokerage, and working for Texas-based retail giant Spec’s as an educator for the staff and public.

In August of 2015, Mark joined the team of the Society of Wine Educators as Marketing Coordinator to foster wine education across the country.

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