When you first start wine making the many options available can be confusing and overwhelming. Here’s a brief explanation of the types of wine kits, hopefully making the decision of which fantastic wine to choose a little easier. The main variables between quality of wine kits is in the volume of juice and concentrate used. All table wine kits make 23 litres (approximately 30 bottles) but the initial volume of the kit can tell somewhat of it’s quality. Generally, the higher the volume of the kit, the more juice it contains and the better quality the finished wine. The brands can be different “styles” to suit individual tastes and come contain grape skins for added flavour and body. Great wine takes patience, the higher quality the wine is the longer it will take to make and the longer you might need to age the wine before you’re consuming.
En Primeur 18 litres • 6-8 weeks The highest quality wine kits available, these kits contain varietal juices and concentrates from the best wine regions world wide. The red wines also contain GenuWine Winery dried grape skins – these virgin grape skins are dried using a special patented process that ensures the grape skins retain their nutritional and natural goodness creating wines of intense flavour, bouquet and body. Each 250g package of GenuWine Winery Dried Grape Skins is the equivalent of 4.5kg of whole varietal grapes. GenuWine wines are drinkable more quickly, but have the potential to age for longer than others, though they still require aging, allow the whites 3-4 months and the reds 6-12 months minimally prior to consumption. Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet. P.S. Keep an eye out for Hightail – A unique process ensures that vineyard fresh grapes are picked pressed and packaged within 48 hours. Available in limited quantities during Autumn harvest.
Selection 16 litres Our most popular premium wines are made from the Selection series and those who demand wines with exceptional body, flavour and aroma will be able to choose the perfect accompaniment for every occasion from over 40 available wine kits in this series. Ready to bottle in 4-6 weeks, the ideal time to drink them is 3-6 months after bottling. The juice is country specific. Some of the red wine kits come with crushed grape skins. The inclusion of grape skins during the fermentattion process enhances the body, mouth-feel, tannins, color and aroma of the wine. You'll find these wines have more pronounced varietal character and are closer to wine produced from fresh grapes. Ifd you are looking to tske your craft winemaking up a notch, look for kits that include grape skins.
Cru Select 16 litres • 6 weeks From full-bodied and robust, to the soft and delicate these wines are generally a more “old world” style, more subtle and refined in flavour. Some of the best examples of wines from around the world – all the classic wine regions, as well as some new and upcoming are represented here. Allow your white wines 3-4 months aging and 6-9 months for the reds.
World Vineyard 10 litres Wines from Australia, California, South America and Europe are represented in the World Vineyard Collection. These wines are perfect if you enjoy versatile wines which don’t require extended aging but still offer distinct flavours from some of the great wine regions in the world. Ready to bottle in 4-6 weeks, the ideal time to drink them is 3-6 months after bottling. The juice is country specific.
Vintners Reserve 10 litrres Easy to make and easy to enjoy, Vintners Reserve wines offer excellent quality flavours and aromas, and there almost 30 available styles to choose from. Ready to bottle in ab out a monthe, the ideal time to drink them is 3 months after bottling, although many folks enjoy them immediately after bottling. Flavors and aromas are subtle.
Grand Cru International 12 litres • 5 weeks Highlighting the winemaking techniques and unique flavours of wines from around the world, Grand Cru International wines are easier drinking, expressively bold and fruity their youth with a little aging they become smooth and graceful. Many of the reds contain GenuWine Winery Dried Grape Skins, making them drinkable sooner, allow 2-3 month for the red wines and 1-2 for whites.
Grand Cru 10 litres • 4 weeks These wines cover the spectrum of full-bodied and hearty to fruity, light and refreshing. A style of wine to suit every taste, the benefits of varietal juices and the convenience of a wine ready to bottle in just 4 weeks. These wines don’t require much aging, 1 month for whites, 2 for reds.
Orchard Breezin’ 5.5 litres • 4 weeks A “mist” wine, off-dry and fruity these are perfect paired with a sunny patio. Lighter in alcohol, fruit flavored, these wines are the definition of “easy drinking”. Be sure to try Orchard Breezin’ Superfruits highlighting fruits of exceptional potency. Ready to drink immediately.
Lastly, a couple of tips to ensure that your wine lives up to it’s potential. Cellaring your wine allows all the elements in a wine (fruit, acid, oak and tannins) to integrate and develop a delicate balance, and optimize the wine's ageing potential. Cellaring is significantly more important for wine made from kits. Commercial wines are already aged when purchased, and most are ready to drink. Kit wines need to be cellared to develop some of the aged characteristics of commercial wines. However, not just any location will do, consider the following when storing your wine: • Temperature: 12-15°C is a great temperature to store your wines. Most importantly, reduce frequent temperature fluctuations. • Storage: Bottles are best stored on their sides to keep the cork moist. • Humidity: A relative humidity of 50-70% will keep the corks in a supple condition and keep air out. • Sulphite Level: If your wine is being aged for more than 6 months, add an extra 1/4 tsp to 23 litres of wine. This will ensure the safety of your wine. • Light: Try to keep the cellar dark when not in use. Avoid fluorescent lightsthey emit UV light that can be harmful to your wine. • Movement: Constant agitation tends to disturb sediment, creating a haze. The vibration of a fridge long term is not good for your wine (it's also too dry in there). • Closure: Not all corks/closures are created equal, they have a life expectancy. Be sure the cork you choose will last as long as (or longer than) your wine. By Lisa Jones RJS