RJ Spagnols Description of RJS products

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Senior Member
Oct 17, 2005
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Here is a copy n' paste from the RJS forum from Lisa Jones, as she explains the kits you can get from RJS. Personally, I think her ageing recommendation are a little on the young side. Remember these are minimum ages you should put on the wine when in bottle or bulk ageing, but after the fermentation cycle of 4, 6, or 8 weeks.

Also to note that EP Hightail kits are available in Canada only.


When you first start wine making the many options available can be confusing and overwhelming. Here’s a brief explanation of the types of wine kits, hopefully making the decision of which fantastic wine to choose a little easier.

The main variables between quality of wine kits is in the volume of juice and concentrate used. All table wine kits make 23 litres (approximately 30 bottles) but the initial volume of the kit can tell somewhat of it’s quality. Generally, the higher the volume of the kit, the more juice it contains and the better quality the finished wine. The brands can be different “styles” to suit individual tastes and come contain grape skins for added flavour and body. Great wine takes patience, the higher quality the wine is the longer it will take to make and the longer you might need to age the wine before you’re consuming.

En Primeur
18 litres • 6-8 weeks
The highest quality wine kits available, these kits contain varietal juices and concentrates from the best wine regions world wide. The red wines also contain GenuWine Winery dried grape skins – these virgin grape skins are dried using a special patented process that ensures the grape skins retain their nutritional and natural goodness creating wines of intense flavour, bouquet and body. Each 250g package of GenuWine Winery Dried Grape Skins is the equivalent of 4.5kg of whole varietal grapes. GenuWine wines are drinkable more quickly, but have the potential to age for longer than others, though they still require aging, allow the whites 3-4 months and the reds 6-12 months minimally prior to consumption.
Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.
P.S. Keep an eye out for Hightail – A unique process ensures that vineyard fresh grapes are picked pressed and packaged within 48 hours. Available in limited quantities during Autumn harvest.

Cellar Classic Winery Series
18 litres • 6 weeks
These red wines are produced with fermentation with 2 litres of crushed varietal specific grape skins, seeds and stems. This allows for greater extraction of colour, hearty, chewy tannins and complex, full bodied wines. These rich, flavourful wines will mellow with time, allow 9-12 months bottle aging to ensure your wine is at its best.

Cru Select
16 litres • 6 weeks
From full-bodied and robust, to the soft and delicate these wines are generally a more “old world” style, more subtle and refined in flavour. Some of the best examples of wines from around the world – all the classic wine regions, as well as some new and upcoming are represented here. Allow your white wines 3-4 months aging and 6-9 months for the reds.

Premier Cru
23 litres • 6 weeks
Made from country specific varietal grape juices and concentrates, but does not require any addition of water for a simplified winemaking process. With both New World and European Collections there is a wine to suit almost any taste. These wines will age to perfection with 3-4 months cellaring for the white wines and 6-9 months for the reds.

Cellar Classic
15 litres • 6 weeks
Wines of quality, depth and character, Cellar Classic are more “new world” style – fruit forward, easier drinking, though still flavourful and complex. These wines are quicker drinking than the other Super Premium wines, 2-3 months for white wines and 4-6 months for reds.

Grand Cru International
12 litres • 5 weeks
Highlighting the winemaking techniques and unique flavours of wines from around the world, Grand Cru International wines are easier drinking, expressively bold and fruity their youth with a little aging they become smooth and graceful. Many of the reds contain GenuWine Winery Dried Grape Skins, making them drinkable sooner, allow 2-3 month for the red wines and 1-2 for whites.

Grand Cru
10 litres • 4 weeks
These wines cover the spectrum of full-bodied and hearty to fruity, light and refreshing. A style of wine to suit every taste, the benefits of varietal juices and the convenience of a wine ready to bottle in just 4 weeks. These wines don’t require much aging, 1 month for whites, 2 for reds.

Vino Del Vida
9 litres • 4 weeks
An entry level kit that allows to explore the world of wine, made from premium grape juice and concentrates these are quick to make and age. Cellar white wines for 1 month, reds for 2.

Heritage Estates
6.3 litres • 4 weeks
The most affordable wine kit offering, made from premium wine grape concentrates giving you a chance to expand your cellar and try some new varietals. Ready to drink in just 1 month.

Orchard Breezin’
5.5 litres • 4 weeks
A “mist” wine, off-dry and fruity these are perfect paired with a sunny patio. Lighter in alcohol, fruit flavored, these wines are the definition of “easy drinking”. Be sure to try Orchard Breezin’ Superfruits highlighting fruits of exceptional potency. Ready to drink immediately.

Cru Specialty
11.5L • 6 weeks
Cru Specialty brings you truly unique and distinctive wines to stock your cellar, including the 2008 Best In Show Dessert Wine Orange Chocolate Port to our 2009 Best In Show Dessert Wine winner White Chocolate White Port. Sip slowly, these wines make only 11½ litres (15 bottles) of wine, they are perfect for holiday entertaining and gift giving. While these wines are ready to drink very quickly (almost immediately) they will improve in your cellar over time.

Lastly, a couple of tips to ensure that your wine lives up to it’s potential. Cellaring your wine allows all the elements in a wine (fruit, acid, oak and tannins) to integrate and develop a delicate balance, and optimize the wine's ageing potential. Cellaring is significantly more important for wine made from kits. Commercial wines are already aged when purchased, and most are ready to drink. Kit wines need to be cellared to develop some of the aged characteristics of commercial wines. However, not just any location will do, consider the following when storing your wine:

• Temperature: 12-15°C is a great temperature to store your wines. Most importantly, reduce frequent temperature fluctuations.
• Storage: Bottles are best stored on their sides to keep the cork moist.
• Humidity: A relative humidity of 50-70% will keep the corks in a supple condition and keep air out.
• Sulphite Level: If your wine is being aged for more than 6 months, add an extra 1/4 tsp to 23 litres of wine. This will ensure the safety of your wine.
• Light: Try to keep the cellar dark when not in use. Avoid fluorescent lights—they emit UV light that can be harmful to your wine.
• Movement: Constant agitation tends to disturb sediment, creating a haze. The vibration of a fridge long term is not good for your wine (it's also too dry in there).
• Closure: Not all corks/closures are created equal, they have a life expectancy. Be sure the cork you choose will last as long as (or longer than) your wine.

As always, if you have questions please send me a note, [email protected]

Lisa Jones


Senior Member
Aug 5, 2005
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Thanks for sharing this Dean. I think I wouold totally agree with your observation that her ageing recommendatiions are a little on the young side. I would even say, way too young.


Senior Member
Apr 22, 2007
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Thanks from me also. Perhaps they want us to drink them early so we can make more


Senior Member
Feb 19, 2007
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Wine kit manufacturers are in the business of selling wine kits - it's always important to remember perspective in terms of statistics.

- Jim


Senior Member
Oct 17, 2005
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I really like her explanations of things, and it's nice to see a manufacturers rep actually say what level of bottle ageing they should have. Most new wine makers look at a 6 or 8 week kit and say that on day 42/62, they are going to have wine to drink. Especially on the winery series...in 1 year, you will have wine to drink.