What is on premise winemaking?
Let's start off at the beginning.
Wine is made from grapes. At a winery, the grapes are crushed, and pressed, and the juice is gathered into a large vat (called a fermenter). Natural yeast, which was on the skin of the grapes, is now free to begin fermenting the sugars in the juice, turning them into alcohol. After the fermentation has finished, the winery drains the wine into a sealed container where it can clear and age. Once the wine has cleared, it gets filtered, put into bottles, corked, labelled and boxed. Sounds easy, right?
Well, it is. We left out some of the details, but in essence, that is how wine is made. And, anyone can do it. With the inception of On Premises Winemaking facilities, it has become even easier.
Wine 'kit' manufacturers take the same grape juice, and pasteurize it so that the yeast doesn't activate. Often the juice is concentrated to remove the water, and is then aseptically packaged in bags or pails, preserving all the flavours and aromas of the original grapes.
When you start a "batch" of wine at a ferment-on-premises store, the concentrated juice is poured into a pail, and water added back, so essentially you have the same pure juice that the winery started out with. Add some yeast, and the next thing you know you have wine!
First of all, don't be intimidated... winemaking is a simple, and fun hobby. Millions have done it in Canada already, and the first step is simply to drop in. We'll walk you through the process.
- Visit Homecraft... we're always ready to make wine, so no appointment is necessary.
- Choose a variety of wine.
- We'll add the juice to a pail.
- You'll add a package called bentonite (a preliminary clarifier)
- You'll stir the must (unfermented wine is called 'must')
- Then add the yeast.
That's it! You've started a batch of wine!
- Wait for 4-6 weeks (depending on the wine chosen)
- We'll do the fermenting, clarifying, and filtering, and call you when your wine is ready to bottle.
- You make an appointment to bottle the wine.
- Bring in your empty wine bottles (a batch makes 23 litres... which is 30x750ml). We sell brand new bottles if you require.
- We'll show you how to use our heavy-duty bottle washer, and vacuum filling machine
- Corking is easy with our pneumatic power corkers.
- Shrink caps & labels are also included to add that final personal touch.
- And, new in 2005 we can personalize your wine labels -- in only 30 seconds. Ask for a demonstration, and have your winery name put on your very own vintage.