The Wine Butler, now celebrating 40 years of craft brewing with locations in Toronto, Mississauga, Kitchener & London share their proprietary strategy:
The Winemaking Process
Once you’ve chosen your wine, you’ll need to book an appointment to start your wine. This is a process called “dropping yeast”, and it only takes a couple of minutes. When you come in for your appointment, we’ll have the grape juice ready to go. You just have to take a small packet of yeast and mix it with the juice and other ingredients. By doing this yourself, you minimize the taxes you must pay on wine purchased at retail.
Then you go home, put your feet up, and relax. Over the next 6-8 weeks, we take care of the intermediate processing steps listed below. When that’s done, we’ll let you know that your wine is ready to be bottled.
Fermentation: The yeast will take 48 hours to multiply until it reaches a critical volume, and then it starts to work. It converts the natural sugars in the juice to alcohol. This process takes about 15 days, and outputs wine which is approximately 12% alcohol by volume.
Racking: We’ll monitor the fermentation and once the wine is ready to go, we’ll transfer the wine from the plastic pail into glass containers called ‘carboys’. This process is called racking, and has the effect of removing most of the sediment from the juice.
Fining/Cleaning: We stop the fermentation completely by killing any remaining yeast in the wine. Then, we vacuum pump all of the air from the wine which has the effect of helping the wine clear faster, taste better, and require less aging while increasing the total life of the wine. We add a clearing solution which bonds to the remaining sediment and pulls it to the bottom of the carboy.
Filtering: The final step in the process. Once the wine has settled from the clearing and the sediment is all on the bottom of the carboy, we run the wine through our professional filtration system, which leaves the wine clear, crisp, and ready for bottling.
When you come in for your bottling appointment, we’ll sterilize your bottles for you (or you can buy new ones from us for $1.10/bottle), then set you up on one of our three bottling stations. As your bottles get filled, you’ll use the air-powered corker to cork them, shrink-wrap the tops in the colour of your choice, and apply your labels. You’re also welcome to sample your wine in our tasting lounge.