Adventurous food lovers who’ve had their fill of banana bread and sourdough starters are trying their hands at another homemade refreshment—craft winemaking.
Steveston Winemakers, located in Steveston Village, provides a fun and affordable opportunity to become a vintner.
“A lot of people are getting into DIY and COVID-19 has had a big influence on that,” says Bill, who co-owns Steveston Winemakers with his wife, Heather.
“It’s something new and interesting to do. You don’t just go to the store and buy your wine because you’re actually participating in the production process.”
Affordability and quality are two reasons people are drawn to craft winemaking. At Steveston Winemakers, prices range from $108 to $250 for a batch of 30 bottles, with tax only being charged on the bottling supplies.
The wine is definitely not your uncle’s homemade plonk either. Juice and grapes in the wine kits are sourced by top commercial producers from famous vineyards around the world.
“The quality of u-brew has definitely improved over the years.”
Wines made here have won awards in international competitions.
“The hardest part for first-timers is deciding what kind of wine to make.”
Steveston Winemakers’ knowledgeable staff is on hand to guide customers through their options.
“We ask them a lot of questions about what types of wine they like. Or if they don’t have a lot of wine experience, we ask them what they like to eat and look at wines that match up with that.”
Each batch takes approximately 30 minutes to bottle, and can be customized with personalized labels.
“For example, if people are making wine for a wedding, they can put the bride and groom’s name on a classier label with the date.”
Steveston Winemakers has been a local staple since 2000. Bill and Heather were long-time customers before taking over the business nearly three years ago.
Winemaking here has morphed into a VIP affair because of social distancing requirements. Customers make appointments and have exclusive access to the shop while they bottle their wine. The store is then thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before welcoming the next group.
The business is also working on a free online Craft Winemaking 101 course that will be available on their website soon.