New semi do-it-yourself shop - Printable Version

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- hotwine - 04-21-2004 03:05 PM

Walked into a new shop today that's definitely got a unique business plan for this part of the country, but is supposedly popular in Canada because of their tax structure. The shop buys grape juice from various vineyards and blends it to the customer's specs in 6-gal carboys, watches over fermentation and hollers when it's ready for bottling. They sell the bottles in various styles and make labels to order, cork and attach capsules of the customer's choice, and deliver 29-30 bottles of wine for a specific price, depending on the grapes used..... typically $10-$18 per. I picked up some samples of Cab, Zin and Rhone-style blends.

Anyone familiar with this business concept?

- Bucko - 04-21-2004 11:49 PM

Never heard of such a thing.

- chittychattykathy - 04-22-2004 01:05 AM

Very popular in the Vancouver area (Canada) of this I can assure you. Legally in B.C. you must take an "active" part in the making of your wine, but they are fairly lax about it in most cases. And yes, it is a big money saver for them.

- Kcwhippet - 04-22-2004 03:37 AM

We have one right here in my little ole town. The place is called Deja Brew, and they provide a facility to brew beer and ferment wine using small scale professional equipment. As long as the customer takes part in at least a small bit of the process, it's legal for the staff to do the rest.

- hotwine - 04-22-2004 07:19 AM

Corrrection: the prices I cited are for over-the-counter sales of the store's own production. The D-I-Y prices are about half those, in the $7-$9 range, a very attractive price point.

My concern is the consistency of the grapes used in production; will have no interest if a product billed as Syrah uses grapes from 14 vineyards in CA this month, three in MO next month, and 12 in BC the next. But if terroir could be pinned down for individual batches, my interest will go 'way up. As I learn more, will post in the "wine biz" forum.

- Kcwhippet - 04-22-2004 09:01 AM

Hotsy, can you use your own grapes or juice? If so, you can get some really fine fresh (obviously at harvest time) or frozen grapes in 5 gal. or 44 gal. lots from Brehm at [url=][/url]

- hotwine - 04-22-2004 02:24 PM

Thanks, KC, I just read about Brehm on the 'Net. Don't know about using other juice. Lots of questions yet....

- hotwine - 04-23-2004 07:41 PM

Went by the store again today and asked a few more questions. Turns out they do offer "estate" (single-vineyard) grapes; and it's OK to recycle your own bottles. The owners are now thinking about the idea of a customer bringing in his own juice (from another vendor, like Brehm); they hadn't considered that idea, so it's not currently in their business plan. I ordered their estate French Syrah from their catalog (they know nothing about it, I just made a $200 roll of the dice) and gave them a stack of tasting note forms for them to start building a cellarbook. My juice should arrive in a week to 10 days. We'll see wha hoppens...

- chittychattykathy - 04-23-2004 11:36 PM

I love it! Good for you, roll the dice! It sounds to be both fun and educational. + How cool to serve your own wine to friends?! I'm going to make a little wine this fall myself,(part of a long story which I'll share on my own post) at a friends winery. I can't wait to hear more about your experince through your posts over the next few months.

BTW- My Aunt has been doing this in Vancouver, Canada for years. Some of her wines were even served at her wedding!

- hotwine - 04-24-2004 06:56 AM

Nice to have you back, Kat.

It should indeed be educational.

BTW, I asked for a Syrah in order to sub for Cline, which is always in very short supply in this market. I don't look to make a garagiste homerun, just something drinkable. Have only used mustang grapes from the ranch previously, and even those attempts were about 15 years ago.

- Thomas - 04-24-2004 12:03 PM

Watchout Hotsie, it becomes an obsession...especially if the first batch is good.

- winoweenie - 04-24-2004 05:17 PM

Have 8&1/2 EE footsies fer stompin' them hummers. WW

- hotwine - 04-24-2004 07:36 PM

Thanks, WW, but they come pre-stomped. (I don't want to think about whose feet did the work...)

- chittychattykathy - 04-25-2004 01:01 AM

Thanks Hotwine! (And thanks to Kcwhippet and Foodie for noticing my return as well.)
It is great to be back!!!
as far as your coming "obsession..."
how far ARE you from Davis Mountain???

- hotwine - 04-25-2004 06:18 AM

The Davis Mtns are 400-500 miles due west of here. Scenic, but unforgiving if you get lost or run out of water.

- winoweenie - 04-25-2004 07:39 AM

Howdy-Doody there CCK. Missed your erudite obsers. Hope all is going well and you're in good health. Thot it was something Bucko said.WW [img][/img]

- chittychattykathy - 04-25-2004 06:44 PM

That is an upcoming AVA area, right?
Sounds less inviting then Eastern Washington and on a much larger scale I am sure. Guess you're better off making wine from home for now... [img][/img]

(WW- Have already hid a little message to you in one of your posts... go find it kiddo! And, no Bucko's fine. Other then the fact that I have yet to drink any of his wines...

- hotwine - 04-29-2004 07:57 PM

Stopped by again today and was asked by the proprietess to help out, even if part time. Guess I'll be trying a hand at winemaking, maybe working for "trade", a few bottles vs bucks. Could be fun, or at least educational.