Help opening a micro winery

Discussion in 'Beginners Wine Making Forum' started by mad-mick73, Nov 11, 2013.

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  1. Nov 11, 2013 #1

    mad-mick73

    mad-mick73

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    Hiya guys as the heading says I need help opening a micro winery in the uk. I have been making wine kits for a few years now and had a dream of opening my towns first micro winery. I went to se an old friend and he told me he'd finance it if I did.i know this is a huge step from kit to winery this is why I need help with as much as possible.from where and what grapes to use to where I can get equipment from.i can handle all uk legislation so no help needed there lol.but when I look online for grapes etc there's never prices or wether they will ship to the uk. I have sent hundreds of emails to different company's but seem to get nothing back.any help would be appreciated with any of the process of making good quality wine thanks in advance
    My email add is mickholland13@yahoo.com please feel free to send me any links or explanations you have
     
  2. Nov 11, 2013 #2

    Norske

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    Wishing you success with your goal! Have you given any thought to forgoing the use of grapes and instead focus on the fruits that are native? Several benefits with this is you have many native fruits that grow very well there and a plethora of info already on them. Just a thought. Wishing you great success.
     
  3. Nov 11, 2013 #3

    JohnT

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    Congrats, what a wonderful opportunity!

    You are correct, to say that operating a micro winery is a far cry from making kit is the understatement of the year. It could take years to learn everything that is needed for a professional winery. My advice is to hire a consultant that has many years in the wine business to assist you. I have known many that have taken this approach and have been very glad for it.
     
  4. Nov 13, 2013 #4

    salcoco

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    I imagine grapes indigent to England are hard to find and mostly bought by commercial entities now. Have you thought of staying with wine kit or juice for now. as a micro winery starting small would be the advantage.
     
  5. Nov 14, 2013 #5

    mad-mick73

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    Yes I have contacted lots of people about grapes and they say there all bought by bigger fish.i am thinking of using juice or concentrate but getting suppliers to answer emails is near impossible lol so it looks like I'm gonna have to start bashing phones and trying to get the right guy on the line
    But if anyone on this site can recommend anywhere to try it would be much appreciated
    I think I have equipment sorted just got everything else now lol
     
  6. Nov 15, 2013 #6

    JohnT

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    Mad-mick,

    I can appreciate that you have a dream, but please stop to consider that this dream is a business. I really do hate to have to pull you down to planet earth at the risk of my being viewed as a jerk, but.....

    Keep in mind your competition! You live in the UK, just across the channel from the best wine producing area in the world. The availability and selection of wines in the UK is unrivaled. Given a choice, do you honestly think that customers will opt for wine made out of a concentrate or a kit???

    The only conceivable way that would work is if you drastically drop your selling price. Unfortunately, your production cost has just skyrocketed because you are now purchasing juice/kits which can be 2 to 3 times more expensive than grapes. I suspect that this business is doomed before it even begins...

    This is also assuming that it is legal to commercially manufacture wine out of anything other than real fruit. Laws are funny, and in NJ (USA) the winery laws are set up to encourage farming. Unless you have planted grapes, and are using these grapes to produce at minimum 51% of your wine, and your wine is manufacture from whole fruit, you will be denied a commercial winemaking license. I would not be surprised that the laws in the UK would be worse.

    Trust me, if you can not get grapes where you are, then move your operation to a place where you can. There are a lot of great wine producing countries where vine land is rather cheap.

    Sorry to come off sounding like a jerk, but do not make me come over there and slap you for thinking of kits/juice at an industrial winery level!!!!
     
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  7. Nov 15, 2013 #7

    snafflekid

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    There is a saying, "Wine is made in the vineyard." The winemaker would prefer to have as much control over the grapes as possible. The flavor of grapes is most dependent on their growing conditions unlike other fruits. So, contracting with someone to supply grapes and hoping for the best, even when you can choose sugar levels, ripeness, etc., does not work well and the wine ends up mediocre. Nobody wants to drop their dollars (or pounds) on bad wine (unless the label is awesome and in 3D) I have heard the bickering over bad grape shipments, they are difficult to refuse. I imagine especially difficult to refuse if they just traveled over the sea to somewhere in the UK. Frozen must is a possibility but where in Europe will you find it? I would suggest you first. try your skills at making some wine from a few batches of frozen grapes and see how that works.
     
  8. Nov 16, 2013 #8

    mad-mick73

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    Thanks for the input john t and everyone else but after talking to a winemaking consultant who has helped over a hundred very profitable and successful micro winerys set up over the last 30 years in the uk. It seems you don't know as much as you think.i understand that there is a limit you can do with juices that's why I have decided to go with grape only production which I will be choosing from the vines themselves as my financier has a vineyard in France and is buying another as we speak .the rest of the grapes will be sourced from Italy and France so we as a company will be able to blend some of the best grapes the two regions can supply (within reason) I have also spoken to a micro winery owner within the last couple of days who has just upped his output to 21,000 litres a year and currently cannot make enough.he uses fresh pressed juices bought in from Italy.i will not go into this blindly and have learnt a lot in the last 7 days and am expecting to learn a whole lot more in the coming months and years and no doubt I'll get things wrong a fair few times but this will be happening although when and where is yet to be worked out.
     
  9. Nov 17, 2013 #9

    Pumpkinman

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    WOW....no one was ridiculing you, they were simply giving you the best advice that they have.
    One of the points that everyone was politely trying to tell you is that there is a major difference between making kits, which is essentially a paint by numbers wine designed to be made with a very small percent of failure, no disrespect to anyone that makes kits, I've made several myself, and making wine from fresh grapes.
    If I were in your shoes, I would get a job at a winery for a few yrs and get some real experience under your belt, I understand that you have "have learnt a lot in the last 7 days", but there are wine makers that have lived a lifetime in wineries and still continue to learn everyday.
    Remember, when you post something like this
    these good folks were just trying to make sure that you don't fail at your dream....

    Good Luck to you
     
  10. Nov 18, 2013 #10

    JohnT

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    I agree with Pumpkinman.

    That comment did seem rather insulting.

    We were only voicing concern that you are risking real money on something you have no experience in. "Learn as you go" is never a good strategy in business.

    Just curious, why would your financier, a man already in the wine business, want to back someone with only kit wine experience? Doesn't he have a whole host of experienced winery professionals to choose from?

    I have been making wine from fresh grapes for 25 years. I come from a long line of winemakers and my family has been in the wine business for 10 generations (in Hungary). I have a wall covered in awards I have won over the years, one of which, a winemaker of the year award, came with a free trip to Napa Valley........

    ...... and I still do not know everything and am still learning!

    You can take our advise, or not, but if you think 7 days of learning is enough to be successful in the wine business, your in for a very rude surprise!
     
  11. Nov 19, 2013 #11

    mad-mick73

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    Oh dear I'm sorry if I offended anyone that was not the intention.i know this has nothing to do with you guys but I've had a difficult time of late finding out I have aspergers.i did not mean I know everything at all I meant I know I have more than I could ever imagine to learn but I will learn allbeit slowly lol.i agree with what most of you guys said but I have been told that it still is possible just in small quantities.which is where I want to be.i will be using grape only also as you guys said it won't be good enough with juices etc .but I do have a good guy who is willing to show me how to go on.again for a price lol.im willing to pay as long as I get to have a go. If I lose cash then that's my own fault lol.thankyou for any info good or bad you give it will all help in the long run.again sorry for any offence caused.i will keep you updated on how I get on but don't panic just yet.i have a feeling this may take a while lol.in the mean time ill open a bottle of my old wine I made last year and enjoy thanks guys
     
  12. Nov 22, 2013 #12

    Pumpkinman

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    I am sorry to hear of your diagnosis. Opening a winery is a dream that most of us have but few of us will ever do. I wish you all the luck in the world, please keep us updated.
     
  13. Nov 22, 2013 #13

    JohnT

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    +1 on what pumpkinman said.

    Keep us up to date. We are here to help and wish you all of the success possible.
     
  14. Nov 23, 2013 #14

    aronmatt3

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    Do you guys have some knowledge about starting a micro brewery or winery somewhere in India? I have a friend there wanted to start something like that on a smaller scale. If someone can estimate the exact initial setup cost?
     
  15. Nov 23, 2013 #15

    HillPeople

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    Mad-Mick, 7 weeks of focus on a particular subject by someone with what used to be termed Asperger's translates into 7 months of effort for a "normal" person. Keep at it- you'll succeed.
    As John said, "learning as you go" may be a bad business model, but if you don't learn as you go,making excellent wine will be impossible. Learning by doing trumps any amount of paper prep you do in advance.
     
  16. Jan 14, 2020 #16

    Emann Agius

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    Hi, I work in a Professional winery, and I need to reopen old wines to clear the sediment and make it fit for selling. What tests and precautions should I take?

    Thanks :)
     
  17. Jan 14, 2020 #17

    salcoco

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    savor bouquet and taste it and see it is fit for consumption. no other test required
     
  18. Jan 14, 2020 #18

    Rocky

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    Emann, I am not a professional but my intuition is, don't do it. I understand the desire to remove the sediment for aesthetic appeal. However, I think more damage to the wine could occur. Rather, I would leave the wine as it is in the bottle, sell the age and the sediment as a feature and instruct the purchaser. I would recommend that they store the wine in an upright position for a few days or weeks, carefully remove the cork without changing the position of the bottle and carefully decant the wine before serving.
     
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  19. Jan 14, 2020 #19

    Ike64

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    I agree with Rocky. Furthermore, if the wine is really old, then it might be past it's prime. I recommend that you open a bottle or two and have others in the winery taste them to make sure the wines are still good.
     
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  20. Jan 15, 2020 #20

    WINEBAYOU

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    I agree with Rocky as well but I'm curious. How many bottles are you talking about? Is it all the same wine? Are you wanting to re-bottle it as your new brand perhaps? I've had that question myself having the opportunity to acquire 150 cases of 2014 Napa wines at a bargain price.
     

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