Do I need an appointment to make wine?
You don't need an appointment to start a batch. It is a good idea to give us a quick call at (519) 753-0001 before coming in to make sure we have the variety and quality level you'd like in stock. If we don't we can order it in which usually takes about a week.
Can I do a split batch of wine, say 15 bottles of white and 15 bottles of red?
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 raw product cannot be properly divided. Consider making wine with a friend; if you each do a batch and then trade you get a wider selection of wine! You must each be present when starting and bottling your wine.
What do I need to do to make my wine?
You come in an sprinkle yeast on your selected wine. Six weeks later come back and bottle it. It is that easy, and only takes about 30 min to bottle a batch of 30 bottles of wine!
Is making my own wine expensive?
No, that is the advantage on making wine on premises. Depending on the quality of wine kit you choose the cost per bottle can range from $4.98 to $8.55 a bottle!
Is the wine as good as commercial brands?
Yes. All our products are manufactured to the same quality standards as commercially produced wine. To best suit your needs and values, Vintner’s Cellar developed an exceptional line of superior quality juices including wine kits made of 100% ALL grape juice with no added water, invert sugar or artificial flavours. Exclusive only to Vintner's Cellar. Each varietal has been expertly balanced, to ensure proper fermentation while at the same time assuring the outcome of the final product, a great tasting wine every time!
If wines like Merlot are available in all of your quality levels, why would I spend more?
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 the juice the higher the price usually is (We do have Monthly Sales). You wouldn't expect to buy ground beef and end up with a high quality steak for grilling...would you?
When do I have to pay for my wine?
By law, 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.
How many bottles of wine does each batch produce?
We guarantee 30 (750 ml) bottles of wine from each batch. Whether the kit required the addition of water or is a full 23 litre all juice wine kit they all produce 30 bottles of wine.
Some places make wine in four weeks. Why do you take six weeks?
We take extra care to make sure that your wine is fermented naturally and that the CO2 has had a chance to come out of the wine during the stabilization process. We feel this is a quality issue and don't rush the process in order to give you the best quality wine possible.
When is my wine ready to drink?
After bottling, we have suggested aging times based on the type of wine. The aging time suggested does not vary between quality levels.
What is the shelf life of homemade wines?
We guarantee our wine for two years as long as it is stored properly. (See storage tips below.)
How should I store my wine after bottling?
Optimum conditions for storing wine include stable temperatures around 55°, humidity of approximately 80%, and darkness. Cool temperatures slow the aging process, increasing complexity and varietal character of the wine over time. At home, basements are usually ideal for storing wine because of their cool, constant temperature and darkness. If no basement is available, consider storing wine in a little-used closet in an air-conditioned part of your home. Leave your wine upright for 24 hours, then afterwards, store your wine on its side so that the wine is in contact with the cork. This keeps the cork moist, and maintains the air tight seal.
What is the alcohol content of your wines?
The alcohol level can vary from 12% to 14.5%, depending on the varietal you choose.
Why should I use glass bottles?
Glass bottles do not imbue flavor into the wine as long as they have been properly cleaned. You will notice we use Italian glass carboys in our wine making process for this reason. We strongly discourage using plastic bottles for your wine as it can change the flavor of your wine over the storage time. We will not guarantee any wine that is bottled in plastic containers for this reason.
How should I clean my bottles?
We recommend that you rinse your bottles after drinking the wine, remove the label, and then place them in a box upside down. We do not recommend using a dishwasher as the bottle is not cleaned properly. Our state-of-the-art bottle washer will clean and sanitize the inside and outside of your bottles when you return to the store to bottle your next batch.
How can I remove labels from my bottles?
The labels from our store are designed to come off very easily by soaking in water for 10 minutes.
Dry Peel Labels
Dry peel labels will normally tear when you try to peel them off a cool or cold bottle, they should also never be soaked. Instead, fill the bottle with hot water until the glass heats up., or microwave the empty bottle for No Longer Than 20 seconds. This softens the glue and the label peels off in one piece and leaves no residue.
Vinyl labels do not tear when you peel them off and they leave little to no residual glue.
If you have any bottles with a glue film, they can easily be cleaned with equal parts rubbing alcohol and dish soap.
Wet & Stick
The best way to remove wet & stick labels is to put them in a container with water until the labels fall off, this typlically takes an hour or so.
Is it necessary to filter wine?
It is not necessary to filter wine, you can use finings to clarify the wine but this takes a fair amount of time. We filter all of our wines to achieve the best quality possible.
I get headaches from my wine. Why?
You may have a sulphite allergy. 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.
Can you make Sulphite Free Wine?
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 though as we use the sulphite to sterilize our equipment but do not add it as a preservative
What is cold stabilization?
Cold Stabilization is the process through which the yeast is killed off by lowering the temperature of the wine to below 0C for at least a week. Large commercial wineries use cold stabilization as it also removes tartaric crystals before filtering.
How should I chill my wine?
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. Commercial wine chillers are available in sizes from 3 bottles to 100+ bottles and bi-level units allow both red and white to be stored in the same unit.