I am new to wine making and have only made a few batches from kits and think it tastes great. What is the difference between the different kits available for example cellar classic, grand cru, cru select?
The dealer where I had bought my wine kit's just had cellar classics, that I am aware of. I saw some of the other kits surfing the web and was just curious about there quality and how good a product I could expect from them. I am looking for an unbiased opinion about wine kits and they don't have to be from RJS
I haven't made any Pinot Noir kits for myself, but I ran a store selling Vineco and RJ Spagnols kits for 6 years. The Vineco kits are not available easily in the USA. But I will probably make their Ken Ridge Showcase New Zealand Pinot Noir sometime.
Some of my customers really liked the Grand Cru International British Columbia Pinot Noir. I have heard a lot of good things about the Cru Select California Pinot Noir. The En Primeur New Zealand Pinot Noir should be very good.
The Grand Cru will be ready to drink sooner than the others. The En Primeur will probably take the longest.
As a former retailer, I believe that supporting your local store is very important. You can develop a relationship with the owner/employees, perhaps get some good deals, and be aware of upcoming releases that may interest you. However, you would be locked in to the brands that the store carries (in your case Spagnols).
In the USA, there are so few wine making stores that most people have to order over the internet. For example, I just read that there are only 7 stores in the US that carry Vineco product. If you wanted to try a Vineco kit (my favourite brand), you probably would have to do mail order or visit Winnipeg.
In Canada, you usually have a selection of stores to deal with. So I have never ordered wine kits or supplies over the internet.
For example, Rochester MN is just shy of 100,000 population with about $180,000 in the metro area. You may have just the one store to deal with.
OTOH, I am about to move to Welland Ontario, population just over 50,000 and it has at least three stores. One maybe 4 blocks from the new house. And maybe a dozen more within a half hour drive (St Catharines, Welland, etc). Unfortunately many stores in Ontario prefer to deal with their Ferment on Premises customers and apparently are not too friendly to home winemakers.