Mix it, bottle it, and enjoy it! It’s the simple wine making process Elk Valley Wine and U Brew has been offering for close to 20 years.
With a wide range of kits available to brew wine on the premises, the business is giving locals and visitors to the Elk Valley a reasonably priced and fun way to stock up on wine.
Owner Sharon Twamley believes the most difficult part of bottling your own wine, is choosing what varietal to make.
“We try to find a wine that is something that the customer is going to enjoy, so I’ll chat with them about what kinds of wine they like to buy,” commented Twamley. “That’s the biggest thing, choosing a wine that you like, because there are so many different kinds.”
From Merlots, Cabernets, and Malbecs, to Chardonnays, Pinot Grigios, and Rieslings, there’s something for everybody.
“It’s quite an easy process to make the wine because it’s in a bag,” explained Twamley. “You just mix it up, activate it by adding in the yeast, and we take it from there.”
After getting the batch started, Twamley and her staff take care of looking after the wine. During the process of a few weeks, they stabilize, clear, rack, and filter the batch, until it’s time for the customer to come back and bottle it.
Each batch produces at least 29 bottles of wine for the customer to take home. All of the wines are drinkable immediately after bottling, but Twamley reminds customers that they do get better with age. She said, “I do suggest hiding a couple of bottles on yourself, or a case, and enjoy some young wine and some aged wine.”
“I think people really love it,” remarked Twamley. “The ones who start doing it tend to keep doing it, which is really good.”
She went on to say, “There are quite a few regular customers, regular as in about twice a year they’ll come in and get a few batches. I’m always looking for more locals though, I’m surprised there’s not more.”
Twamley began working for the previous owner in 2008 and realized quickly that she wanted to purchase and take over the business.
“I’ve been in restaurants all my life so this was less stress than a restaurant,” she said. “I love all the products, they’re good wines, and the people coming in to bottle are generally in good spirits.”
Now celebrating her second year as the owner of Elk Valley Wine and U Brew, Twamley plans to continue growing the business.
“I’ve got plans to beautify the place a bit, and I hope to keep doing it for a long time, I love it.”