Ask the Wine Making Expert – Harm Woldring
Many things have changed in world of wine and the consumer made wine industry since The Wine Factory opened its doors 21 years ago. Wine grapes are now grown in places around the world where it was once unthinkable. Countries, like China, have gone from nearly no consumption to one of the top ten wine consuming nations in the world and are rapidly developing their own vineyards and wineries. Wines like Chardonnay have gone from the top white wine in the world to an also ran while Pinot Grigio has emerged as the world’s new white favorite. In the red wine world older varietals like Malbec and Carménère, traditionally used in France as blending wines, have emerged from Argentina and Chile respectively to become some of the most popular new reds on restaurant wine lists.
Our industry has changed too. Suppliers like Spagnol’s and WinExpert have been acquired by much larger companies in the wine world. As a result we have far more selection and varieties available today than ever before and the quality of the juices and wines continues to improve year after year. RJ Spagnol’s is now a part of Constellation Brands, the world’s largest wine merchants who own familiar brands like Robert Mondavi, Jackson Triggs, Sumac Ridge, See Ya Later Ranch, Mouton Cadet and many, many others. WinExpert is now a member of the Peller Estates family, one of Canada’s leading wine makers and importers with brands like Peller Estates, Red Rooster and Wayne Gretzky Estates.
The Wine Factory was the first on-premise, now more commonly called craft or consumer made, wine store to open in New West in 1994.
We continue to be local wine drinker’s number one choice for high quality consumer made wines, having won The Reader’s Choice and A-List awards in the local papers every year since their inception. In 2011 we moved our business to its current location in the historical Downtown of New Westminster. Our new premises in the Heritage designated DuPont Building, is a unique and ideal space for our operations. With three foot thick granite and masonry walls and 3/4 of the store completely underground many customers have remarked that we have the old world feeling of a European wine cellar. In addition to its unique character, this space is an ideal environment for making wines. We are proud to offer our customers the largest selection of grape juices available in the region and stand behind our products with a no questions asked replacement guarantee.
Over the years we have made well in excess of 2 million bottles of wine with our customers. Our annual production volume exceeds the average production of over 75% of the wineries in the Okanagan Valley. The key difference for most consumers is the savings they enjoy when compared to wines purchased at the liquor store or winery. Other benefits of making your own wines include lower chemical content and, at The Wine Factory, vegan wines since we do not use any of the compounds traditionally used to clear wines in wineries which are animal protein based.
If you are a wine drinker looking for good, high quality wine at an affordable price you should come see us at The Wine factory to learn more about consumer made wines, an alternative that will save you money with a minimal amount of effort on your part when it comes to the actual task of making the wine. We’re looking forward to seeing you.