Take a Close-to-Home Vacation and visit Toronto Winemaking Country
Welcome to Village Wine !
Here’s what you’ll see as you begin your mini-holiday
Tantalized by varietals from different countries? We have a library of books and magazines, covering wine regions, wine tasting, wine and food pairing, etc. Time short? Pick up supplier brochures to read at home.
Have a seat and let’s talk about the wine you like
There are no ‘right or wrong’ decisions about wine, just a number of opinions. While some may appear to have held true over time, in reality the SINGLE most important factor regarding wine is what you like.
Choose from a wide variety of countries and types
Travel the globe! Do you fancy a bit of Australian, or maybe a dip down to South America? We offer a broad selection of red and white table wines, created from grapes sourced worldwide, plus specialty types such as port and ice-style wine.
In considering your tastes, we will ask you about various wine factors: * Do you have a favorite type of wine, or a grape you especially like -- pinot noir, anyone ? * Is there a commercial wine or variety you’d like to match? * How long can you wait for your wine to develop, or do you need it for an event ASAP? * What sorts of foods do you want your wine to go with, e.g. rare steak, spicy Thai, Italian? * How do you feel about strong vs weak tannins, heavy vs light/no oak, sweet vs dry, etc.? * Plus a number of other elements that are likely to arise out of our conversation ….
Various retail items might improve your experience…
Do you need a corkscrew – perhaps the traditional waiter’s type, a wing or butterfly style, or a two prong model? How about a wine stain remover like Wine Away, or a freshness preserver such as Swissair Epivac? Would you like a canvas wine carrier, or maybe some cute wine gift bags or boxes?
… You may require a home wine storage system, which could be custom-built to your own dimensions or created from modular solutions.
… Perhaps you can’t always open a bottle hours in advance, allowing it to breath? If so, the lovely Eisch breathable crystal glasses would increase your wine enjoyment.
Do you make wine at home?
Besides the kit you’ve chosen, we carry additives (yeast, bentonite, oak), cleansers (e.g. Sanibrew), primary fermenters, Better Bottles, anciillary equipment such as Fizz-X degassers or autosiphons, plus filter paper etc.
What about Hungarian oak barrels, large or small?
Here’s a small side trip to Hungary -- for those wishing to either age or serve their wine in authentic barrels, you have your choice of Holm Oak barrels (from the Northern Highlands of Hungary, the same species as French Oak).
While on holiday, why not start a wine to enjoy a little later ?
This is where your wine gets underway. Juice is settled into the Pourer, a handle tips it into the pail, you add the yeast. Fermentation begins and you’re launched!
These are the elements that combine with juice: the right application of yeast, your preference of oak , and a ‘spa’ effect for your wine: bentonite.
You might opt for dark vs. light oak, or maybe the added oomph that skins provide … and when filtering, your wine deserves the best papers available.
The hardest part is choosing which one(s) you want! Once that is done and you’ve made your purchase, the rest is easy. After you’ve stirred and added the ‘magic ingredients’, you can relax. We’ll take it from there.
Enhance your wine: choose bottle sizes, cork types
You may own bottles, or you may need them. If you are making a port or ice-style wine, specialty bottles are lovely, especially for holiday use. You can opt for regular or “condo” corks, while some people prefer screw caps due to TCA.
Do you want to see how your wine is made?
If you are curious about the process , we invite you to take a closer look into the “wine cave” – the next 19 slides will give you many insights.
This link will take you there now. When you have finished, please proceed to Bottling using the link on the last slide.
If you would rather not take the time now, or just prefer to enjoy the magic without more detail, then you are welcome to skip the process.
The link on the main page will take you directly to Bottling, the final step after your wine is ready.
Your wine’s voyage begins with fermentation
Like any infant, for a good start in life, wine requires a happy environment. For fermentation to be successful, that means the right temperature and room to grow. These food-grade pails allow both conditions to flourish.
This is the chariot that takes Cinderella to the cave
Your wine needs time to develop and mature. We slide the pail onto its carriage, for delivery to the wine cellar where we’ll do all the work. You can leave it comfortably, knowing it‘s in good hands awaiting your return.
Your wine arrives and moves into the OC (Ops Centre)
Our production facility is located downstairs, where we can protect and nurture your baby. This is where we ensure fermentation is completed, check specific gravity, degas, clarify, and filter (plus a few other steps).
Allow me to introduce … the Three Blue Giants which live in the cave downstairs As the name suggests , these three items are large --about 30” long-- and each provides increasingly fine filters (removing chlorine etc.) so any water used while making your wine is as pure as it can be.
You can have faith in your winemaker: Paul “learned at his father’s knee”. He has been making wine since he was old enough to drink ( okay, maybe even before that ), having won awards for table and specialty wines.
Your wine joins a happy family of pails and carboys
As part of incubation, the white pails go on an upper shelf, where warm temperatures assist the yeast in their flurry of activity. Once progress occurs, your wine graduates from a pail to a Better Bottle carboy.
You may wonder how your wine moves from shelf to shelf, and especially up to the higher levels. This is the Royco Lifter (seen from the operator’s perspective). When your wine first arrives, the platform is cranked down so your wine can glide off the elevator and straight across onto the lift. The Lifter has wheels, so we taxi your wine directly to an assigned place, its very own ‘row home’. Then the crank is turned again, so the platform is level with the shelf. Your wine slides easily off the lift and into its cosy spot.
Happily situated, first your wine learns its ABC’s
A bsolutely B eneficial C onsumption … of yeast, that is, producing CO2. While difficult to see, that is expelled from the ‘bubbler’ or airlock at the top which simultaneously serves to keep oxygen out.
This is a close up of an airlock, showing the chambers that allow CO2 to escape, while preventing oxygen from entering. It is filled with water to the midpoint, creating a vapor lock. This particular design creates a delightfully musical sound, making it seem like the wine is singing!
Your wine proudly bears your name
Through each step, your wine is identified as yours ( after all, you paid for it! ) by a tag around its neck. The winemaker also uses that tag to track its growth, monitoring and making notations as each stage unfolds.
As yet more CO2 needs to be removed, we degas
Even after leaving the pail, CO2 continues to be generated in your wine. It is vital this be removed, since you don’t want a bottle opening itself before you are ready. We use an automatic machine that handles four carboys at once.
Up close and personal
Here is how the degasser set up works. The hose extends from the vacuum pump (on the cart), with a fitting for each of the four carboys. Usually it needs to run for about four hours to gently extract the excess CO2.
An encore performance
Look closely, and you can see a tiny edge of bubbles around the top of the carboys. At this stage, your wine has been transferred into carboys made of glass, since the suction power works best on a firmer surface.
Maybe you’d like your wine to be Barrel Aged?
After degassing, you wine won’t be going to a nice resort - but you could offer it a few nights in a toasty Hungarian oak barrel!
Filtering Filtering is the very last step before your wine is completed. Wine is extracted from the Better Bottle carboy using a tube which takes it to the filter.
Wine moves into and through the filter
The tube at the bottom is carrying the wine in. The square box holds the filter pads, and the wine passes through this, leaving any particles behind. It exits the filter from the top hose, running into another Better Bottle.
This process continues as wine slowly drains out of the original carboy (currently only about half full).
As the level of the original carboy drops, wine moves through the filter and fills the next container (almost full in this photograph).
Now your wine is ready to return to you
As it sits on the shelf, waiting to see you again, the white Dry Trap at the top of the Better Bottle continues to keep oxygen out.
Once your wine is done, we call you to set up an appointment for its debut. If you need bottles, it’s a good idea to reserve your supply at that time. Here the Better Bottle has moved onto the Royco Lifter. This is its last ride; next stop: the elevator.
When the Big Day arrives, with your appointment scheduled, it’s time to transfer your wine back upstairs. The elevator is summoned. Next stop: Bottling
Cinderella: ready for the ball gown, returning to you
The carboys now ascend to the top of the stairs. The winemaker watches them rise, keeping a steady pressure on the Power button.
Anticipating your arrival,
your wine is eager to greet you
Your bottles get the Rolls Royce treatment, speedily
If driving, you can park by our back door, just a few steps to the left of the bottle washer. Assuming your bottles are well rinsed, this really beats using the Avinator, and saves water. All the work is done in 7 minutes!
Time to pick a label (unless you made your own?)
Choose from our selection of labels and shrink caps [to cover the cork], completing your wine’s ensemble. However some people prefer to design their own, using personal artwork – perhaps from Chez Nous?
Our bottle filler and corker move the process along
The white box in the corner connects to the carboy, and rapidly siphons wine from it into your bottles, two at a time. The next step is closure: inserting corks, with the shiny red corker you see here, or affixing caps.
Lastly, add labels & shrink caps as finishing touches
You can label here, then use the heating machine which shrinks the cork-covering colored capsules. On the other hand, you could opt to label at home or simply put an identifying label on the box – totally your choice.
Voila -- You have your own personally made wine to take home & celebrate all the moments of your life!
We thank you for your business. Referring your friends and family is the greatest compliment you can give us. Thank you for your trust .