Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the most frequently asked questions about DIY craft winemaking at our store.
At what temperature should I serve my wine?
15-18 C (59-64 F) Full-bodied reds
15-18 C (59-64 F) Medium-bodied reds
13 C (55 F) Light-bodied reds
10-13 C (50-55 F) Full-bodied whites
10-13 C (50-55 F) Medium-bodied oaked whites
7-10 C (45-50 F) Medium-bodied unoaked whites
7-10 C (45-50 F) Light-bodied whites
6-10 C (43-50 F) Sparkling wines
6-8 C (43-46 F) Sweet wines
Can a group of friends do one batch of wine?
Yes, of course! This is one of our most frequently asked questions. One of the friends will be the vintner of record for a batch. A great way to start filling your ‘cellar’ is to each do a batch so you don’t end up with 30 bottles of one kind. If one person makes a red, another makes a white and a third makes a mist, rosé or dessert wine, then you’ll each have 10 bottles of different wines instead of having 30 of just one wine.
Can I put my wine in bags instead of bottles?
Can we taste wines before making them?
This is one of our most frequently asked questions. Unfortunately, our liquor license does not allow us to do this. We guarantee all of our wines and when you come in to bottle your batch, you are allowed to have a small taste of it at that time. It’ll be young and need to age a bit in the bottle to come to its full potential. Red wines generally take a little longer to reach that smooth finish so you’ll want to age them in the bottle.
Does it take long to make a batch of wine?
Once you’ve selected the wine you want to make, it takes about 15 minutes to get it started. We’ll help you put the ingredients into a Primary Fermenter and you’ll add the yeast to start the fermentation process. Depending on the kit, takes anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks until the fermentation process is complete. You’ll get a call to make a bottling appointment at which you’ll spend about 30 minutes making your finished product. We’ll help with bottle filling and you’ll look after corking, shrink capping and labeling the bottles.
Can any type of bottles be used?
How can I join a wine club?
How long can I keep my wine once it's bottled?
We’ve kept our wine for up to 6 years and it’s been fine. Some of our customers have kept theirs even longer. These wines are not engineered to be aged much longer than 5-6 years. Commercial wines that can withstand longer aging have far more sulphites in them to preserve them longer. Our bottling and aging chart will give you a good idea when it’s best to start consuming your wines.
How long should my wine be aged after bottling?
This is another one of our most frequently asked questions. Each person’s tastes are different but as a general rule, you can follow these guidelines:
- Platinum Reds – 3 to 6 months
- Platinum Whites – 1 to 3 months
- Gold Reds – 2 to 4 months
- Gold Whites – 1 to 3 months
- Silver Reds – 2 to 3 months
- Silver Whites – 1 to 2 months
- Bronze Reds – no aging required
- Bronze Whites – no aging required
How many bottles of wine are in a batch?
Each batch of red, white, rosé or mist wine will make 30 standard size bottles (750 ml).
How many batches of wine do I need for a big event?
This one of our most frequently asked questions from those preparing to celebrate their engagement, milestone birthdays, retirements and other large family events. There are lots of factors to consider like:
- number of guests
- whether it’s a wine-drinking crowd
- time of day
- time of year
- how formal it is
- the menu
- and more
Determine how many people will be drinking at the event. Expect each person to have 4 glasses at 5 ounces each (a standard drink). Each 750 ml bottle holds 5 glasses of wine.
- 100 guests
- 100 x 4 glasses = 400 glasses
- 400 / 5 glasses per 750 ml bottle = 80 bottles of wine
- 80/30 750 ml bottles per batch = 2.66
- Round up to 3 batches of wine
Is a license required to serve personally crafted wines at a private special event?
Yes, there is a small fee for this. More information can be found on the Government of British Columbia website. Just search for “special event permit” and you will find the page where you can apply.
How much work do I need to do to make my wine?
This is one of our most frequently asked questions. Once you’ve chosen the wine you want to make, we help you get it started and you pour the yeast into the Primary Fermenter. This takes about 15 minutes. We look after all the production and quality control processes until it’s time for you to come and bottle it. We then help you fill the bottles and leave the corking, shrink capping and labeling to you. This takes about 30 minutes.
We have a pneumatic corker which is easy to use but if you want to do it the old-fashioned way, we have a manual corker too. Then you pick the colour of shrink cap you want on your bottles. Anything goes but most people like to match it to their labels. You’ll then place them on the corked bottle and slide the top of the bottle into a heated coil for 3 seconds. All our labels are the ‘peel and stick’ kind so the last step is easy too. Then you take your wine home and show it off by enjoying it with your friends and family.
Should I store my wine in the fridge?
If you are storing it for a long time, it’s not a good idea because it’s too cool, too dry and is generally vibrating. It can negatively affect the flavour and aroma of the wine if it’s left in the fridge too long. We recommend that you place your wine in the fridge 30-60 minutes before drinking it.
What are your top selling wines?
Plus, our Limited Editions are always in high demand. The bulk of them run from December through April every year but every so often we get some at other times of the year.
What does it cost to make a batch of wine?
This is one of our most frequently asked questions because once they do the math, people can hardly believe they can make such good wines for so little! You can pick up our current price list in the store. Prices include everything except bottles and taxes on the bottles, labels, corks, shrink caps and winery fees. The wine itself is not taxable because you’re producing it.
Platinum (8-week) wines are the most expensive, then Gold (8-week), then Silver (6-week) and finally Bronze (4-week) wines.
If you bring your own bottles it helps reduce the cost. You can bring the cork or screw cap kind and they will both take corks. They need to be very clean to be sure nothing goes wrong with your wine after it’s bottled. If they have commercial labels on them, those either need to be removed or defaced.
What if I don't like my wine?
We guarantee all of our wines so if you are not happy with it, we will replace it with a different wine. The key is to select the wine that’s best suited to your taste. We have very strict rules on cleanliness which is important to ensure no wine faults occur. We have comprehensive quality control processes to measure aspects of your wine at each critical stage.
What is the best way to clean my bottles?
What kind of yeast is used in the wine kits?
What will the alcohol level be in my wine?
The alcohol level in our wines ranges from 7.6% to 15.2% depending on the wine. Fruit wines have a lower alcohol level and rich red wines are higher.
Why are there crystals in my wine?
Crystals are affectionately known as “wine diamonds” in the industry. They are tartrate crystals which are completely harmless and will not affect the flavor of the wine. Tartaric acid is the primary acid found in wine that promotes balance and lends to an elegant mouthfeel.
Will you ship wines?
No, our liquor license does not allow us to do this. The wines you make in our facility belong to you and as soon as you have bottled your wines, you’re required to personally take them with you. The extent to which we can offer free shipping is to help you get your bottled wines from our facility to one our free customer parking spots behind the shop.
Where should I store my wine?
Ideally it should be in a dark, humid, cool (10°-15°C/53°-60°F) place with little temperature fluctuation and no movement. We use synthetic corks so it can be stored standing up or on its side.