With the cooler fall temperatures arriving here in Castlegar, the Christmas holidays are not too far off. And with the holidays come holiday parties and get-togethers, which is a great time to break out the wine.
To show you how to cut costs and have a little fun at the same time, Wine Kitz in Castlegar offers kits specially designed to help you make wine either at home or at the store.
“We sell wine kits that you can either take home or that you can make in the store and all the supplies you need,” said owner Faye Willick. “We also sell some beer supplies as well.”
The store, which is located in the Boston Pizza Plaza beside Joey’s Only, has been around since 1999. Willick has owned and operated the store for the last five and a half years.
“People make their own wine because it is more economical to make it and it is very good wine. We are using the same grapes that they are using at the wineries,” she said, adding that its hard to define which particular wine is more popular although red is definitely more popular than white.
The wines are separated into light-bodied, medium-bodied, and full-bodied categories as well as fruit wines. The wines take from four weeks (light-bodied), five weeks (medium-bodied), or eight weeks (full-bodied).
Making your own wine is not difficult, said Willick.
“At home you would need time, space, and a clean environment or you can make it in store here where we make it for the customer,” she said. “The process at the store is the customer selects the kit, pitches the yeast, and comes back and bottles it and we do everything else.”
Wine Kitz also sells custom made labels for wine bottles for events such as weddings. “We print the labels right here. We have quite a selection here. We will print whatever the customer wants on the label,” said Willick.
The busiest times for wine making are September until Christmas and then again just before summer in April, May and June.
Willick has been making wine herself since 1992 and considers it a real passion. She grew up in Northern Saskatchewan and worked in Alberta and Northwest Territories as a teacher for a number of years before coming to Castlegar and buying Wine Kitz.
“I would buy the kits from the stores and make them at home,” she said. “When I came here the business was for sale and it was something I was interested so I bought it and I’ve really enjoyed it. The customers in the wine industry are great – we have a good time.”