How much water is in a glass of wine?

It takes 872 gallons of water to produce 1 gallon of wine. Scaled down, it takes about 34 gallons of water for a 5 fluid ounces of wine, according to Huffington Post. But how is this even possible? How come it takes so much water to make wine? What is drought-stricken California doing to conserve water while remaining one of the largest winemaking regions in the world? The water consumption required to cultivate wine includes water used on the vines, water used in the winery and rainwater (crops consume the rainwater). The grapes for the wine require constant irrigation especially in drought-stricken areas such as California and parts of the Mediterranean region. It is important to note that wine grapes require about one-third of the amount of water used to grow almonds, so I guess we should all drink less almond milk and more wine? In the winery, the water use is mostly focused on sanitation. The barrels, tanks, presses and crushers are cleaned and disinfected after every. single. use. Even if the the equipment will be used to make the same type of wine. Wineries are, however, working to use less water. Many wineries, especially in France where crop irrigation is legally regimented, have converted to drip irrigation and today’s advanced technology allows for hoses that can sense when to turn off. Many wineries have adopted onsite water treatment systems so all that water used to clean the equipment can be recycled at the winery. I think it’s safe to say that wine will continue to be consumed all around the world but sustainable technologies and practices must be adopted in order to drink wine guilt free.

Drip Irrigation on a Spanish vineyard. Photo found on:

3 thoughts on “How much water is in a glass of wine?

  1. I would have never guessed that wine takes more than 800 gallons to produce a single gallon in return. As you stated, we must adopt sustainable policies if we are going to continue to consume wine since it is so globally celebrated. I am curious to know how much of a difference advanced irrigation systems make. I also think that overall, people do not realize how much water is used to produce everyday products that we take for granted.

  2. This is really interesting! I had never realized how much water it takes to make wine. I am especially surprised to learn that most of the water is used to clean and sanitize the barrels and other equipment. This article also mentions several other foods that require a lot of water to grow. Before reading this I had never really thought about how much water is required to grow various crops. It is especially scary to learn about the actual amount needed considering the droughts these locations are experiencing.

  3. Marielle, Good post! I personally have never drank wine and do not see the appeal to it. Maybe a way we can save water is to outlaw wine. But, as that probably will not happen a better solution may be finding a way to reduce the amount of water needed to make the grapes that intern make wine.
    Also, I like the rules France has put in place to help with crop irrigation.

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