One of the questions we get asked most often by new customers is “How long does it take to make my own wine?”
Believe it or not, you could make 30 bottles of your own wine in about the same amount of active time – and with the same amount of wine making know-how – as it takes to drive to the liquor store, pick out a bottle, and bring it home. It just takes some planning ahead. Here’s how:
In-Store Wine Making
Making your wine in-store cuts down considerably on the active time (and expertise) required to make wine. It takes approximately 15min to start a batch of wine in-store (choosing and purchasing a kit, adding the yeast to begin fermentation), then we handle the winery work for 2-8 weeks while the wine ferments until it’s ready for bottling. Once your wine is ready, we’ll call you to come in for the bottling process, which takes 15-30min.
15min to start your wine. 2-8 weeks of waiting. 15-30min to bottle it. That’s it.
Most of our customers choose this method, since it’s the easiest and less involved way to save money on the wines they love. To make sure that their cellar stays stocked, most people start a new batch on the same day they come in to bottle the last one – that way they’ve got a constant rotation of wine at-the-ready.
At-Home Wine Making
Fermentation using the yeast packet included in your wine kit will take anywhere from 5 to 8 weeks, depending on the kit. Fruit wines and lighter-bodied wine kits are on the quicker end of that timeline at 4-6 weeks, while full-bodied kits take 6-8 weeks.
Why the difference? Higher-end and fuller-bodied kits begin with more grape concentrate, which means that there’s more natural sugar to convert into alcohol, so fermentation takes longer. The directions for these kits also build-in some “aging” time that allows the wine to settle and mellow out before bottling. Since fuller-bodied wines will improve considerably as they age, this extra time helps get a more accurate taste at bottling time than if they were bottled immediately once ready.
Thanks to a special yeast blend, our Xcelerator Packs can speed up fermentation to produced finished wine from most wine kits in 10-days, start to finish. That means that you can start a batch of wine today and have it ready to bottle in just over a week.
Hurry Up and Wait
Regardless of the method you choose, we recommend aging your wine for best enjoyment. All of our kits produce wines that are drinkable at bottling, but (like many things in life) they’ll continue to improve with age. If you can plan ahead and stash some bottles for the future (1-12 months after bottling), you’ll be glad you did.