My friend makes really good wine and I am considering doing so myself. What do I need to get started?
Most new winemakers get started because they have tried wine made from our kits (by friends) and loved it. If you’d like to make wine in-store, no equipment or winemaking know-how is needed – just come in, pick out a wine you want to try, add yeast to begin the fermentation process, and we’ll take care of the rest until it’s ready to bottle. Return 6-8 weeks later to bottle the finished wine using our modern bottling and corking equipment. All told, making win in-store takes often less than 45min (15min to purchase the kit and add the yeast + 30min to bottle the finished wine).
If you’d like to try making your own wine at home, our store offers a starter package of equipment that includes of everything you will need to process your first wine kit. All of the equipment is re-usable and high quality, so it will last you through many batches. Once you have your equipment kit, choose the type of wine you wish to make and follow the step-by-step recipe included in the ingredient kit. If you have any questions along the way, give us a call – we’re always available to help.
Do I need to make an appointment to start or bottle my wine?
Starting a batch of wine only takes a few minutes, so appointments aren’t really required – just swing by the store when you’re ready to get started. We do required appointments for bottling your wine, however, since slightly more time is required (approx. 30min), and we need to ensure that your wines are ready to be bottled.
How long will I have to age my wine before I can drink it?
Your wine will be very palatable soon after you bottle, particularly if you decant the wine for an hour or two before serving. As the wine ages in the bottle, though, you will notice that it softens and matures. For most kits, we recommend letting them age for at least 1-4months after bottling, for best results, but some kits will continue to improve for 12-24months! Our staff can provide you with aging guides for each brand of wine kit.
What are the ideal conditions for winemaking?
Fortunately, great wine can be made in most household environments. You don’t need a lot of space. Most winemakers make wine in the basement or in the kitchen as it is handy to have a water source nearby. Best temperature range is 65 – 75 F. (18 – 24C.). Because you are working with a kit, there is virtually no odour involved, so there’s no need to store it anywhere hidden or remote.
What are the best conditions for storing my wine?
If you intend to age the bottled wine for a long time, it is important to have a cool environment with a temperature range of 50 – 64 F. (10 – 18 C.). In this range, the wine will gently mature at an ideal rate. If the storage conditions are warmer, the wine will mature rapidly so avoid prolonged aging.
Can I really make wine that tastes as good as the best commercial wines?
For over 45 years, our customers have resoundingly told us that the wine they make from our kits ranks with commercial wine costing much more. Wines made from our kits have also won numerous prestigious awards at winemaking competitions. We invite you to blind taste the wine you make with comparable commercial wine. We believe you will be very pleased with the comparison (and thrilled by the savings).
How do I know what quality of wine kit to purchase?
Our business is built on providing a wine very similar to the commercial wine that you like at a fraction of the price. Most customers begin with our Traditional Vintage kits, since they’re a great choice for everyday consumption, and many switch to the Ultimate kits and beyond as they progress in their winemaking. Our trained staff will make suggestions based on the quality and price point of the wine you prefer. We strongly suggest that when you get started you make the highest quality wine kit available within your budget. The cost savings are well worth it and you will have wine that tastes like fine commercial wine at a fraction of the cost!
How many bottles does a kit make?
Most kits make 23 litres (6 US gallons) or about 30 x 750 mL bottles. To a newcomer, this may sound like a lot of wine but keep in mind that if you are like most winemakers you will likely give some bottles away because you are so proud of the results!
Still have questions? Feel free to email us!