The Vineyard Newsletter - New at The Vineyard
The Vineyard

Show Me Some Skin

Selection International with Grapeskins is one of the most exciting and timely kits Winexpert has produced, allowing the winemaker to choose a country of origin kit with excellent varietal character, bold flavours and aromas and full-bodied tannins, all in a wine that drinks well young and rewards patience.

The addition of processed grapeskins to kits can be an excellent way to improve and enhance body, mouth-feel, tannin and colour. With lower levels of processing, grape skins carry more solids into the finished wine than concentrate/juice alone kits have traditionally had. The result is enhanced body, mouth-feel, tannin and colour and in our case the trade-off for a marked increase in character is not accompanied by the need for increased ageing. The process followed for producing our grapeskins removes most of the short-chain (harsh) tannins, leaving behind the smooth, mouth-filling tannins and the desirable flavours. The wines will drink very well almost as soon as they are bottled, and will improve on the same scale as regular Selection International: 6-12 months to achieve a high peak of flavour, and improvement for up to three years under good cellaring.


• 18 Litres in total - 16.4 litres of juice and concentrate and 1.6 litres

of grapeskins

• Bolder flavours, richer colour, and enhanced aromas and tannins

• A complex profile with layered flavours

• Six week winemaking schedule

• Drinkable at 3 months of age, with potential for cellaring

• 30 Bottle labels included           

Four Exciting Wines will be available in September 2011:

Australian Petit Verdot

Sicilian Nero D’Avola

Spanish Tempranillo

Chilean Malbec/Shiraz

 BUT NOW, at The Vineyard:

We were able to get a very limited number ahead of the September release date.  We now have a limited number of the Spanish Tempranillo and the Chilean Malbec/Shiraz.

As an introductory special we are offering these kits at $135.

The regular price when the General Release happens will be $145.

Call now as we only have a very limited number of these special kits with grape skins.

Last chance:

There is still time and a limited number of Twisted Mist ‘fermented adult beverage’ kits available at The Vineyard. This kits make either: Mojito, Strawberry Margarita or Lime Margarita. If you start on now it will be ready in about 3-4 weeks; still soon enough to enjoy during the last of summer and our coming indian summer. Do contact either of our two Calgary locations today.

Tom’s Tip:

Using bulk bag in box format for storing your wine. Sometimes the task of bottling your can seem daunting and you put it off and put it off. There is another answer: put your wine in bag’n box units. They are very is easy to use and technically OK for your wine. They do not allow air to contact your wine – when filling just ‘burp’ the air our and close. This is a storage solution for 4 litres per bag and then you can bottle at a later date if you wish. However they do also fit an optional spigot, which will dispense your wine while not allowing air in which is the cause for oxidization. One side note though; I found the wine disappears faster as it is so easy and convenient. A recent article in the Calgary Herald quoted Summerhill winery in BC: “ A winery in BC’s Okanagan Valley is switching some of its bottle wine to bag-in-box packing, but will lose a prestigious BC Vintners Quality Alliance designation of those product…….. As well as the transportation efficiencies, bagged wine also seals air out as the lquid exits the container, so the opened wine doesn’t oxidize. This means merchant can sell wine by the glass and keep the boxes fresh on the shelf for longer than bottles…..”

The Vineyard has been selling these wine bags for many years. We also sell the boxes and spigot. You can also recycle the bag from your wine kit; just clean and sanitize prior to filling.

Beer Brewing News

by Neil, our resident Beer Geek

Summer is generally a quiet time when it comes to a brewshop. It might be even more so in a place like Calgary where it is hard to string together 5 or 6 days of summery weather. While all of you have been off enjoying vacations and time with the family, the resident beer geek has been busy chasing down sources for great additions to the shop.

 New Liquid Malt Supplier (LME)

We have several new items added to our brewing lineup. First off is news that we have a new supplier of Liquid Malt Extracts. There are many advantages to our new supplier. First and foremost is that our LME is manufactured and distributed by a Canadian company located in Ontario. Previously our LME was imported from New Zealand and Australia. It has always struck me as odd that the best grain in the world from Canada needs to be imported to other countries to be processed then shipped back to us in a tin. The second advantage is that we now have a source for a liquid wheat malt extract. Not only that we know the amount of wheat and barley in the extract. Our wheat malt extract is 60% wheat malt, 40% barley malt. In order to ensure that we have the freshest liquid malt extract around we are only bringing in one color of liquid barley malt extract and that is pale. If you need amber or dark you can do a steep to provide color just as an all grain brewer would do or if you wish to avoid dealing with grains and want an all extract brew we have amber and dark dry malt extracts.  The other bonus with our new supplier is that the new product cost less and therefore we will pass the savings on to the brewers.

New Brewers Adjuncts

Next on the list are some new adjuncts for all grain, partial mash and extract brewing. From Belgium we have the real Belgian Candi syrup from Dark Candi Inc. We have the amber (40srm) product. These sugar syrups are used extensively by commercial brewers in Belgium. The amber provides caramel/molasses flavored notes. The suggested rate is no more than one cup per 19 litre batch.

I have been very happy with the Gilbertson & Page Flaked Barley which lends a rich grainy taste and increases head retention to your beers and have expanded their offering in our shop to include the Flaked Wheat and the Flaked Oats.  Flaked wheat greatly increases head retention and body in wheat based beers. Flaked oats add a distinct full bodied flavor and an amazingly creamy texture to you batch. Soon to be added to that list will be Flaked Maize, it adds a sweet smooth flavor ideal for light and fizzy lagers. 

Water Chemistry

Next on the new list is a selection of water chemistry products for the advanced brewer. I highly recommend the use of BeerSmith brewing software when it comes to adjusting your water profile. Remember, I have made some excellent award winning beers with just plain Eau de Bow (Calgary tap water) and a carbon filter.

Calcium Chloride - can be used to adjust mash pH down, also used in place of Gypsum when sulphates are not desired.

Calcuim Sulphate (Gypsum) - used to add permanent hardness to your brewing water.

Magnesium Sulphate (Epsom) - used to add sulphate and magnesium to the brewing water.

Calcium Carbonate (Chalk) - used in dark beers to add temporary hardness, adjust the pH up also used by winemakers to adjust acid levels down. 

Kegging Parts and Toys

We now have our paintball based draft systems available for sale. Perfect for when you go camping, fishing, tailgate party or at a place where you do not want to haul the 20 pounder around with you. They are also a low cost alternative if you are just getting your feet wet in kegging. You can use your existing regulator with this by simply attaching the paint ball C02 adaptor. If you are worried about your gauges getting damaged on your excursion there is also an optional gauge protector cage that you can purchase. As a bonus we can also fill your paintball based draft system at the Vineyard South location.

Now that you’re portable the next logical problem is keeping the beverage cold. No problems there as we now have neoprene keg coozy that will keep your keg cold for up to 6 hours. These have a pocket sewn into them that you can add an optional ice blanket which of course we stock. This is supposed to keep your beverage cold for up to 24 hours. I did some personal testing last month and can claim that with the optional ice blanket everything stays ice cold for at least 9 hours. Sadly the keg was empty by that time and we did not have a spare keg to continue the test.

If you’re looking for some bling for your keg we have SS taps and a special adaptor that allows you to use a standard ¼ inch ball or pin lock connector and your shiny new tap. We also have shanks if you are looking for a more permanent solution to mount your tap. 

Final Thoughts

I have run out of space for this article so I will finish up with a few quick notes. I have been busy conducting trial batches with our new LME products. A couple will be ready for taste test over the next week or two and if they are successful I will post the recipes. I have also been busy converting some of my award winning recipes and am getting ready to start posting them. Keep an eye out on our website for this as well as information on our upcoming brewing competition. It will have prizes for kit brewers, extract brewers, and all grain brewers. The best of show will be a blind taste off between the top 3 kit beers,, the top 3 extract and the top 3 all grain beers to see who will reign supreme and answer that age old question of what type of brewing produces the best least for a year.

 Coming soon: Grape Juice

We have negotiated with our supplier and have been able to secure this year’s supply of grape juice and the same price as the last two years. The varieties of grape juice available will the similar to last year as well. We expect them to start arriving mid-October. In September we will be offering them on a pre-paid and pre-order basis. Watch for more details coming soon – Contact either location for more details as it comes available.


Tom and staff


Contact Us

6025 Centre Street South
Calgary, AB T2H 0C2
tel: 403.258.1580

Hours of Operation

Monday - Friday: 10:00am - 6:00pm
Saturday: 10:00am - 5:00pm
Sunday: 11:00am - 3:00pm

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