Make your own wine

Most new winemakers actually get started because they have tried wine made from our kits. Wine Kitz Nelson offer a starter package of equipment consisting of everything you will need to process your first wine kit. All of the equipment is re-usable and high quality. Once you have your equipment kit, it is a simple matter of choosing the type of wine you wish to make. Just follow the step-by-step recipe included in the ingredient kit and you are guaranteed to make fine wine. Wine Kitz Nelson also offer in-store winemaking. You choose the type of wine you wish to make, mix the ingredients in the store (takes about five minutes) and return 4-8 weeks later to bottle the finished wine using modern bottling and corking equipment! Watch this video and see how easy it is to make wine at Wine Kitz Nelson


Start making your own wine

Can I sample the wine before buying?

Regularly, interested and novice wine lovers ask us whether they can have a sample of the wines we make. Unfortunately this is legally not allowed and we cannot do so. For the novice winemakers though, we do have an unbeatably attractive alternative to offer. Because we are convinced of our quality, we have our “Satisfaction Guaranteed” proposition; if you are not satisfied with the wine you have made, we will replace the wine with a wine kit of equal or lesser value or refund your money for the kit. 

How many bottles does a kit make?

Most kits make 23 litres or about 30, 750 mL bottles. To a newcomer, this may sound like a lot of wine but keep in mind that, if you are like most winemakers, you will likely give some bottles away because you are so proud of the results! 

Can I really make wine that tastes as good as the best commercial wines?

Our kits ranks with commercial wine costing much more. We invite you to blind taste the wine you make with comparable commercial wine. We believe you will be very pleased with the comparison. 

What are the best conditions to make wine?

Fortunately, great wine can be made in most household environments. You don’t need a lot of space. Most winemakers make wine in the basement or in the kitchen as it is handy to have a water source nearby. Best temperature range is 65 – 75 F. (18 – 24C.). Because you are working with a kit, there is virtually no odour involved. 

How do I know what quality of wine kit to purchase?

Our business is built on providing a wine very similar to the commercial wine that you like at a fraction of the price. We will make suggestions based on the quality and price point of the wine you purchase. We strongly suggest that, when you get started, you make the highest quality wine kit available. The cost savings are well worth it and you will have wine that tastes like fine commercial wine at a fraction of the cost!

Why filter the wine before bottling?

We recommend that you filter all of your wines before bottling. Besides polishing the wine to brilliance, filtering helps to eliminate potential sediment. Filtered wine will age and taste bette in the long run. See our store for the best filter to suit your needs.

How long will I have to age my wine before I can drink it?

Your wine will be very palatable soon after you bottle, particularly if you decant the wine for an hour or two before serving. As the wine ages in the bottle, you will be excited to find how the wine softens and matures.

The wines you make from a kit, or that we make in our store from a kit, are really, really young when they see a bottle. During their first weeks to months these -just bottled- wines will taste a little harsh with an unbalanced acidity. A little sharp all over and with under developed fruitiness and aromas.

The cause is the presence of tannin (very strong black tea). Tannin is a substance that comes from the seeds, stems and skins of grapes and release in the wine during the process of fermentation. Some additional tannin may be introduced by the oak chips, which are used to compensate for the absence of barrel production as in a traditional winery. Tannin is an acidic preservative and essential to the long term maturing of wine. Over time, the harsh and bitter flavor of tannin will precipitate out of the wine and become sediment in the bottle together with some of the red color pigments. The complexity of the wine’s flavor from fruit, acid and all the palette of other substances that make up the wine’s character, will come into greater balance.

Generally, red wines are the ones that can be produced with a fair amount of tannin with an eye towards long term storing and maturation. White wines have had no contact with the stems and skins during fermenturing and will have little tannin, (though some can be added, again, through barrel aging or by adding oak chips). Therefore most white wines don’t age well. But also for white wines, some ageing changes the perception of acidity (because the acids combine with alcohol) which in turn gives a softer mouth feel.

At the end of the day, all wine, white as well as red, will “go over the hill” and will be good as a base for cooking or vinegar only.

The age ability of your wine is influenced by several factors like the varietal of grapes, the soil or microclimate (“terroir”) and the age of the vines. The processing in the winery, for example the degree of filtering adds another factor (taking out the tannin), further the size of the bottle matters -half bottle ages faster than larger bottles- as well as the storing conditions (temperature: the higher the faster) in your wine cellar.

If you consider aging your wine, at all times avoid, exposure to (sun)light, vibrations and temperature fluctuation. These do your precious wine no good.

So, freshly bottled wine, especially ones containing tannin, can taste harsh in their early days. Over time however, if all conditions are take well care of, the young wine will lose its tannin and the mouth feel mellows. Its flavors come in balance and a surprising palette of tones in its bouquet reveals.

The chart below outlines in general the peak aging period from time of bottling plus the maximum shelf life of a given wine, after which it is considered “past vintage” and should be consumed with little or no delay.

The chart assumes that you have a consistent, cool and dark environment to store your wine (12 – 18°C – 54 – 65°F) with humidity of 50 – 70%. If the wine cannot be stored in these ideal conditions, avoid long aging.

Type of kit Min aging Peak aging period Shelf life after bottling
Cellar Craft Showcase White 3 months?  ?
Cellar Craft Showcase Red 4 months? ?
Cellar Craft Sterling White 1 month  ?
Cellar Craft Sterling Red  2-3 months ?
Ultimate Estate Red 4-5months 9-24 months 3-4 years
Ultimate Estate White/Blush 3-4 months? 6-18 months 2-3 years
Traditional Vintage Red 3-4 months? 6-18 months 2-3 years
Traditional Vintage White/Blush 2-3 months? 6-12 months 11/2 -2 years
 Cheeky Monky White 1 month
 Cheeky Monky Red 2 months
European Select White 1 month
European Select Red 2 months
Niagara Mist Immediately 1-6 months? 1 year?

If you plan to age your wine for longer than 5 months in the bottle or if your storage temperatures are less than ideal (12 – 18°C – 54 – 65°F), we recommend the addition of ¼ teaspoon of potassium or sodium metabisulphite (dissolved in ½ cup of cool water) to the wine before bottling. This sulphite addition will help to extend the aging ability of the wine without affecting quality and you may still drink the wine at an early age. We can provide you with aging guides for each brand of wine kit.

What are the best conditions to store wine?

If you intend to age the bottled wine for a long time, it is important to have a cool environment with a temperature range of 50 – 64 F. (10 – 18 C.). In this range, the wine will gently mature at an ideal rate. If the storage conditions are warmer, the wine will mature rapidly so avoid prolonged aging. 

What is the level of sulfite in wine kits

All wines, even organic, contain sulfites. Sulphur dioxide is a natural by-product of the fermentation cycle. Small amounts of sulfite are needed in wine to protect it against oxidation (browning) and unwanted bacteria to ensure that wine will age gracefully, and to improve the overall flavour and quality of the wine. When you make wine from kits, your finished wine will contain the minimum amount of sulfite preservative needed to make good wine every time. By following the recipe, your wine will generally contain lower levels of sulfite than commercial wines.

What is a full bodied wine?

Many customers ask us about the body of a wine and how to find out. The body of a wine refers to the fullness, weight and concentration and total mouth feel of a wine. A light-bodied wine would be have less concentrated flavors, while a full-bodied wine would be notably more concentrated. If I may make an analogy, light-bodied wines would feel similar to water in your mouth and full-bodied wines would be more like milk as far as its heaviness. 

How do I clean my bottles?

There is a simple way to keep your bottles free from mould clutter and spots. These will ultimately spoil your valuable wine. I suggest the next three steps:

  1. Rinse the bottle with water directly after use.
  2. Put away the bottle with the opening down so that excess water can get out
  3. Leave bottles up-side-down until days before bottling and rinse them all with a solution of ‘the pink stuff’. An empty milk jar or spray bottle is very handy to apply this cleaning solution.

Just prior to bottling, as you know, we sanitize the bottles in our professional bottle washer. If you have already noticed spots inside your bottles that you want to remove, a bottle brush can be really effective. Both brushes and chloroclean (the pink stuf) we sell in store. Washing bottles in the dishwasher is great for the outside of the bottle but really does not do much for the inside.


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