Frequently Asked Questions - All FAQs
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You don't need an appointment to start a batch but it's a good idea to give us a quick call before coming in to make sure we have your selection in stock. If we don't, we can order it in, which usually takes about a week.
Start your wine by sprinkling the yeast in the juice. Five-six weeks later come back and bottle it. Very easy and takes about 30 min to bottle a batch of 30 bottles of wine!
The kits come with 23 liters of juice which makes 30 bottles of one type of wine. We do not make split batches as the amount of labour required to make a half batch would be the same as a full batch. Consider making wine with a friend; if you each do a batch and then trade you get a wider selection of wine!
You need to pay at the time the batch is started. This is because it is illegal for us to sell the batch of wine to anyone else once it is started.
You can bring your own bottles. We suggest that you remove the labels in advance and make sure the inside has been thoroughly rinsed after use. Note - There is a risk of bottle breakage with screw cap bottles due to the pressure when a cork is put in the bottle.
We take extra care to make sure that your wine is done fermentation naturally and during the stabilization process to make sure that the CO2 has had a chance to come out of the wine. We feel this is a quality issue and don't rush the process. We want to give you the best quality wine possible.
Our wines typically have 12% - 14% alcohol content.
We guarantee our wine for two years as long as it is stored properly. (Click Here for storage tips)
It is impossible to make sulphite free wine. Sulphites are created during the fermentation process. We do have a lower sulphite content than many commercially made wines.
The VQA (Vintner's Quality Alliance) mandates that a wine must be made from grapes grown in Canada. The percentage varies from year to year but at minimum Canadian grape content is required. The wine must also meet stringent quality standards in testing. As a result of the growing Canadian wine industry it is difficult to obtain quality grapes on a consistent basis in large volumes.
Concentrate and Semi-concentrate kits have had a portion of the water removed to reduce shipping costs. This water is added back in before fermentation to bring the juice back into balance. We use reverse osmosis water at the store to ensure that no flavours are added by putting the water back in. Wine Kits have also been pasteurized so that they have a shelf life of about a year.
All wines have suggested aging times based on the type of wine. The aging time suggested does not vary between quality levels.
You may have a sulphite allergy or sensitivity. If this is the case, beer and wine will give you headaches. If only red wine gives you headaches then you may be allergic to the tannins found in the grape skins. White wines are made from the meat of the grape; red wines are made from the meat of the grape and the skins.
Place a bottle either in the fridge or in a bucket of ice with water in it. It can damage the wine if you chill it for more than 5 hours.
LCBO labels can be very difficult to remove. Try methyl hydrate (read instructions on the bottle) to remove the adhesive residue. The labels from our store are designed to come off very easily (dry peel). If there is any label residue left on the bottle after you remove the label, it can be removed with a wet sponge or scrubbie. You can also just leave the labels on your bottle and put the next label over top but it doesn't look as nice.
The inside of the bottle will not be cleaned properly. We recommend that you rinse your bottles with warm/hot water after they are empty, let the bottle air dry, remove the label and shrink cap and then place your bottles in a box upside down.
Making wine is very much like cooking. The quality of the juice heavily influences the quality of the wine that is produced. The better the quality of juice, the higher the price. You wouldn't expect to buy ground beef and end up with a high quality steak for grilling...would you?