Thursday, June 16, 2016

Millwood Wine Works, Making your own Wine in Leaside, Toronto

Millwood Wine Works
905 Millwood Road
Leaside Neighbourhood, East of Bayview Avenue on Millwood Road
Toronto ON

Review by Charles Moffat.

Last year the missus and I went on a wine tour in the Niagara region, of the esteemed Trius Winery. We really enjoyed the tour and for myself it was a reminder that my grandfather had made red wine decades ago and it was fascinating to see the process my grandfather had gone through making his wine - although to be fair, his process was likely much simpler and old fashioned that the modern witchery that goes into Trius wines.

Nevetheless the tour got me thinking. Not from where the missus and I live in Leaside, there are two small "make your own wine" locations.

The first being the aforementioned "Millwood Wine Works" and the second being the "Cellar Door Winery", which is literally across the street from the Millwood Wine Works. (Maybe someday I will review the Cellar Door Winery across the street, but for now this is just a review of the Millwood Wine Works.)

The missus and I discussed making wine last year in the Autumn, but kept putting it off. Thus we got the chance this year I figured enough is enough, lets do this!

So we went in together and picked out a nice gentle Riesling for $140. I wanted red wine, but I rarely win any arguments with the missus and so we got the Riesling instead - with the promise that the next time we make wine, she has to pay for it, and I get to pick the type of wine we are making.

We watched in awe as Kevin Whitaker (owner and "assistant winemaker") prepared everything for us, making everything was clean and shipshape. Then he handed me the yeast and I sprinkled it in "like a pro". Honestly, I was just sprinkling the yeast around like I would do with salt on a plateful of eggs, but whatever, it looked very good with the yeast swirling around in there.

Then everything was sealed up and we waited 4 weeks for our wine to be done.

Yesterday, 4 weeks and 1 day later we got up and went to collect our wine. Purchased 30 bottles for all the wine to be stored in, I disinfected and cleaned the bottles, while Kevin poured the wine into the bottles which were cleaned.

Then came the corking machine. This part I really enjoyed and I even took a selfie of myself for Facebook. The machine was apparently powered by air pressure, but for curiousity's sake I asked if there was an old fashioned was of corking bottles, and I was pointed to a device which was foot-powered. Woot, I love things that are foot-powered.

When it was all done we had 30 bottles of Riesling. Which if we do the math is:

$140 for the wine kit / service, $30 for the bottles = $170 for 30 bottles of wine. Approx. $5.67 per bottle. Each bottle contains approx 750 mL of Riesling, at about 7 to 8 %.

We plan to give away a few bottles for Xmas to family members. The true test came last night when we finally sat down to toast us becoming winemakers. Tasty!

We shall have to do this again sometime. Either at the Millwood Wine Works, which had great friendly service, or maybe we should try the Cellar Door Winery across the street.

Note - It is hard to switch to a different location once you have already found a place where you like the service. Quality service after all is hard to beat when compared to the "unknown factor" of trying a new place you've never tried before.

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