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St Allie

Tech Administrator
Mar 6, 2009
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Can people list their favourite heron bays kits here please.

Also note whether you follow instructions to the letter or whether you 'tweak' the kits..

I'm quite interested to see what people are doing !

wish we could get the labodega port mosti mondiale you guys were raving about the other day Wade..

Heron bay does a port too.. perhaps someone here has made that one?
Sorry Allie, I have not made any Heron Bay kits. They are available in my area, but the store's building was under construction and I wasn't impressed. I'll have to go back for a visit.

There's are a lot of positive comments made about them at winepress.us.

Those are good prices, are these grapeskin kits as im hooked on these as I like huge reds and really havent met a non grape kit that has satisfied me!

Can you poke the names of your favourite grapeskin kits under the appropriate kits headers forums too?.. that'd be a great heads up for people new to kitmaking.. I'm a newbie to kits so all information offered gratefully accepted.

Should have mentioned that the homebrew shop I went to the other day had a whole wall of heron kits including the microbrewery ones.. spoilt for choice really..am interested in buying one if I enjoy making the chai maison one, so doing a bit of homework with this posting..

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If you are talking about the Cellar Craft then i have ried 2 and both of those were on the money also, I did noy make them but were traded them with another wine making friend. They were the Amarone and the Lodi Old Vine Zin. I have heard only great about these kits but cant come close to the prices I get my RJS kits for and money is an onstacle for me right now with my wife in nursing college. $32,000 for that and we havent had any O.T. due to the economy lately which lessens my paycheck by about $250 a week from what I have been used to for many years.
Have you got a back garden Wade?.. Just wondering if it would be worthwhile for you to put the garden into grapes? They are really easy to take cuttings from.

:( you have just touched on a sore spot!!!!!!!! My yard is almost completely hidded by shade which is great for the kids playing but I cant grow anything due to no sun. the only part of my yard that gets any sun is the top of my house which i really wish was also cvered by shade because my 3rd floor cooks in the summer at temps in the upper 90's and the AC has to run in each bedroom from late spring to late fall! The other spot is the very front yard right next to the road where the sun burns so good that I either have to water it everyday or it turns to sand and the ants take over! The trees in my woods are way to tall but it is not my property and actually owned by a neighbor who is about 78 years old and can shame almost anyone of us with his ability to keep busy. this guy mows the woods and has beautiful trails that run a few miles back that are all covered with woodchips that i bring home for him from my work every week for him and help him spread them, The trails are also lined with beautiful flowers that he somehow grows well even without much sun.
Some time ago Heron Bay had some grape skin kits, but encountered problems with their grape skin packages. I didn't realize till reading this thread that they didn't have any grape skin kits in their line-up.

World Vintners (which owns HB) was bought last year (or was it 2007?). The new owners closed the existing production facility and merged it with another one. Perhaps now that they are settled in there (I think), they will work on grape skin kits. There are definitely skin kits being made in the merged facility.

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Hmm.. Wade,

So what can we grow in shade if you want fruit for wine? Rhubarb... and the bit at the front with great drainage..passionfruit and lemons. You can still have a vegetable patch with planning. By the way.. stop giving away the woodchips..it'll stop the ants taking over the front garden, reduce the watering and increase the plantings that can survive there..Your soil needs compost.

(It's not so much a sore spot for you .. as a challenge for me..(if you are keen to give me a challenge)..If so..I'll need a map of your gardening area.. with compass exposure... spring to autumn.. and soil type. Send me a message privately..) I'm a landscaper..

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Shade tolerant plant for fruit to make wine from? How about currants.
I dont think anything will produce in solid shade, I mean there really is no sun back there at all. The area in the front is roadside and I wouldnt want to grow anything right at the road. I do not have a green thumb but if you tell me there is a fruit that will grow in solid shade with no sun and produce fruit then I will try. If you say currants will then Im all over it because Black Currant is my favorite and always in my cellar.
Back to favorite HB kits -

Gewurztraminer and Pinot Noir......I'm currently fermenting my 4th kit of each, both 16l UltraPreminum kits.

I haven't made any Heron Bay kits, so it's tough to have a favourite. There's a new HBS near me that carries the HB kits, so that might change. Although initially I am probably mostly interested in the Limited Editions that come out in the fall and winter months (North American fall and winter, that is).

The two main tweaks that I employ are

1) changes to oaking - usually reduction or elimination as we are not fans of BIG OAK
2) increased time frames once in carboy

If a kit comes with a Suss Reserve for sweetening, I usually add it to the primary instead of after the sorbate. That's because we prefer dry wines.

I haven't experimented with adding elderberries or raisins or bananas to kits that didn't come with them. As a rule I would be more likely to do that kind of tweak to the smaller 4-week kits than the bigger 6+ week kits.


sounds like the lower end kits are better tweaked up a notch. Have been looking for dried elderberries here, might ask the brewshop whether they can import them. Thing is.. I'm pretty drawn to to the cellarcraft kits, one of the port ones perhaps.


sounds like the lower end kits are better tweaked up a notch. Have been looking for dried elderberries here, might ask the brewshop whether they can import them. Thing is.. I'm pretty drawn to to the cellarcraft kits, one of the port ones perhaps.


I've heard good things about the Cellarcraft ports but haven't made one. Remember that they make a half size batch (11.5 litres) so you will need an 11 litre (3 USG) carboy.