Winemaking 101

Traditional Winemaking

Wine is made from grapes. At a winery, the grapes are crushed, and pressed, and the juices are gathered into a large vat (called a fermenter). Natural yeast which was on the skin of the grapes, is now free to begin fermenting the sugars in the juice, turning them into alcohol. After the fermentation has finished, the winery drains the wine into a sealed container where it can clear and age. Once the wine has cleared, it is then ready to be bottled and delivered to the consumer.

Winemaking at The Wine Place

With the inception of the ‘Ferment on Premise’ licence added to the ‘Liquor Licence Act’ in Ontario on March 30, 2000, there is now a regulated alternative method, benefiting the consumer with less labour and less costs. Our wine juice manufacturers take the same grape juice and pasteurize it so that the yeast does not activate. Often the juice has been concentrated, meaning the water has been removed. The juice concentrate is then aseptically (free of disease and/or germs) packaged in a bag or pail and shipped here. Brands of grape juice concentrate vary in volume and price. The greater the volume of grape juice concentrate, the higher the price. However all grape juice concentrates yield 23 litres of wine. Therefore, the appropriate amount of water will be replaced back to the grape juice concentrate, at the start of your wine.

Brands containing 23 litres of grape juice are also available at a premium price.

To achieve a great bottle of wine it is not imperative that the most expensive brand be purchased. All our brands have been transformed into great wines. We guarantee it!

Our suppliers produce grape juices of almost equal quality to the traditional grape method.

When you arrive at The Wine Place

You may wish to tour our facility. Our premises include a century old wine cellar, fermenting and bottling areas and a gorgeous private garden. It is hard to imagine this enchanting garden so near one of the busiest streets in Markham.

Please read through our store brochures or access our company’s web site for descriptions of wines available. Our staff can assist you in choosing a wine suited to your taste.

When you have made your choice, a staff member will help you pour the grape juice into the fermenter. The traditional vat has been replaced with a glass carboy or white pail. A white pail is used when a style of wine includes the addition of grape skins, berries, flowers or bars of oak, taking up more space. Following filtration the white pail is replaced with a glass carboy.

Bentonite is then added to the juice. You then add yeast to your juice. Bentonite is a very fine clay. As the juice ferments into wine, it will improve its clarity and stability by removing particulates, haze, yeast and bacteria. It has a negative charge and sticks to any positively charged particles (mostly protein) in the wine. As more things stick to the bentonite, the particles get heavier and sink to the bottom, dragging the haze causing proteins with it.

For now, your role in the process is complete. The glass carboy will be tagged documenting the style of wine and your contact information. Joe Giuffre, vintner and owner of The Wine Place will now be responsible for stabilizing, racking and filtering of your wine. Joe or a member of our staff will contact you in approximately four to eight weeks to arrange a time for you to bottle your wine.

Phone: 905-294-7515
144 Main St, Unit 19
Markham, ON