A Little Wine Secret

There’s a little wine secret that the wine industry doesn’t want you to know…

You may have bought wines from Ontario at the store from wineries such as Jackson-Triggs, Sawmill Creek, Inniskillin or Naked Grape. You may be surprised to learn that they are all owned by the same company called Vincor Ltd. There are other Ontario wineries like Hillebrand, French Cross, Sandhill and Trius. But those are also owned by one company called Andrew Pellar Estates Ltd. So most of the wines from Ontario are produced by these two companies.

It may also surprise you to learn that Vincor Ltd also make wine kits. They make the Vino del Vida, En Primeur, Grand Cru and Cellar Classic wine kits. Andrew Pellar Estates Ltd also make kits, under the names Winexpert, Wine Kitz, Vineco and Kenridge Estates. So most of the wine kits in the industry are made by these same two companies.

Here’s the little secret: you might guess that a big winery like Jackson-Triggs doesn’t just make wine in the fall when they crush grapes. The rest of the year they’re probably working from large vats of grape juice stored in their warehouse. Vincor Ltd. that owns Jackson-Triggs also doesn’t just make wine kits in the fall and the rest of the year they work from large vats of grape juice stored in their warehouse. This is why consumer made wine produced from kits today, tastes very similar to commercially produced wines. There was a time when the kit companies were independent and the wines produced were not so similar. Also wines produced from crushing your own grapes are not likely to be very similar to commercial wines.

So Vincor and Andrew Pellar don’t care if you by your wines commercially (which are bought for around $4 and sold for around $11) or produce it yourself from kits (which cost around $120 for 30 bottles). The two big differences between commercial and consumer made wines are Sulphite and Time. There’s far less Sulphite in consumer made wine. There’s also a lot less Time. Commercial wines usually have between 6 months and several years of aging, before being brought to market. Consumer made wines need time in the consumer’s basement to reach a similar level of maturity.

Blog provided by: Ray Vezeau, owner of Chateau Vezeau Wines, a ferment on premises winemaking facility in Brooklin.