The first time you visit our store one of our knowledgeable, friendly staff will take you and your group on a tour of the premises pointing out where your juice and must (wine in process) will be during the process. Following that, he/she will explain each of the steps in the process. The advantages of using sterile juice will be explained and you will be introduced to the large variety of kits and flavors available. Our customers, being a friendly lot, make available some wines for you to try. While the variety is limited, you do get a sense of the quality. Most of the wines are new (vintage: Tuesday) because our customers are just bottling them. Once you decide which kits you’d like to make, you are almost done. With our help and guidance you will add your juice to a primary fermenter (sterile bucket), add the yeast and other ingredients (plus sterile water if the juice is concentrated). You will stir the mixture, add a cover and vent. At this point you pay for the kit and process. During the payment process a ticket will be printed to be placed on your pail detailing the schedule and identifying you as the owner and the name of the wine; a second copy of will also be printed on your receipt. Wine works in storage until your next visit in three weeks.
During this short visit you will move your must (wine in process) from the fermenter to a carboy and add four chemicals and a juice pack (fruit wines only). Potassium Metabisulfate is added to protect the wine. Potassium Sorbate is added next to stop fermentation. This will even prevent any syrup added from being converted to alcohol. Mix is stirred. Next you add liquid proteins to fine (settle solids) your wine. Stir again to mix and de-gas. You now leave your creation to settle for two weeks.
Time to filter your wine and taste it for the first time. The last of the sediment will now be removed by pumping the wine through a 1 1/2 micron filter. This will clarify the wine and also will add a fair amount of air making it necessary for the wine to sit for a little while longer. Come back next week.
Hurray!! Today is bottling day.. Bring a few friends to help with the five steps (not too many or you will be short bottles when you get home). This is usually a party day and you get to taste your wine and adjust sweetness, if necessary. This is usually only done with blush or white varities. Many of our customers bring snacks to add to the party atmosphere. Today you will rinse bottles, fill them, cork them, put on shrink caps and labels. If you choose to design custom labels, bring in the ‘.zdl’ file on a flash drive or email it to us before you bottle and we will have them waiting for you to apply. Take home your 28-30 bottles of fine wine. Let the wine cellar and enjoy….