Our Wine Kitz stores offer a quality winemaking experience to our customers, offering them the ability to craft fine wines with exceptional product originating from around the globe. A fundamental part of this experience is our IN-Store Winery concept, which allows customers to make wines on our premises, eliminating a lot of the workload for them and making the process even easier and more fun. This facility, combined with our expertise and helpful guidance, makes for a winemaking experience we know to be top-notch.
What is an In-Store Winery?
In-store winery services are known by various names: U-Vint, U-Brew, Brew-on-Premise, Brew-on-Site, etc..
Wine Kitz is a pioneer in bringing the in-store winery concept to the Atlantic region, and an increasing number of the Atlantic Wine Kitz locations offer state-of-the-art wineries in their stores. Some store locations allow customers to process both beer and wine, however most stores focus solely on wine processing.
On day one the winemaker selects and pays for a kit of their choice, along with the winery service fee. This fee usually includes corks, and in some instances also includes wine bottle labels and shrink tops. The cost of wine bottles (if new bottles are required – many customers bring their own to re-use) is always outside the normal service fee.
When making payment the winemaker will be asked to sign a bailment contract. For legal purposes, this contract moves ownership of the soon-to-be wine from the store owner to the winemaker who is making wine for personal use only.
The winemaker will then be directed to a preparation area within the winery, generally near a sink, where the winemaking process will commence. Store staff or owner will pour the liquid content of the kit into a sanitized primary pail. Legally, the winemaker must mix the liquid product by adding yeast, bentonite and oak chips (if included with kit). Once the product has been mixed, store staff will attach a log card with pertinent information such as date started, wine type, contact information etc., and move it into the ‘in-progress’ section of the store with many other full pails and carboys.
The winemaker may now go home and wait for a telephone call to book a bottling appointment. This telephone call will occur in approximately in 4-8 weeks, depending on type of kit selected. During these few weeks, store staff will perform many necessary tasks, which include hydrometer readings, several rackings (transfers), stabilizing, clearing and the final step of filtering the wine.
In-Store Wineries and the Law
There are several Provincial laws by which we must abide when operating in-store wineries. For instance, store owner or staff are not permitted to bottle wine on a customer’s behalf. Wine will be set aside until the customer can come in and bottle it personally.
Several basic Provincial laws we must all abide by:
- Winemakers must be of legal drinking age to use in-store winery services.
- Wine sampling prior to purchase is not permitted.
- Wine sampling prior to bottling (the day of) is limited to 170ml (five ounces) per batch by the winemaker whose name appears on the contract.
- Winemaker’s assistants must be of legal drinking age.
- Exchanging wines on–site with other winemakers is not permitted.