BUSINESS FEATURE: Make your wine with the world's best water

Mona Mattei
By Mona Mattei
September 15th, 2012

Water is an important ingredient to any good wine whether you are an estate winery or making your own. So when it comes to choosing where to brew your next batch of wine why not choose the best water in the world at Rosie’s Wine in Greenwood.

Greenwood was awarded gold this year at the Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting competition, and now Rosie’s U-vin just got a little better, even though she’s been using the same water since she started her business in Greenwood.

Rose Feld made a decision in the mid-nineties to start up her own business after her job was downsized in Vancouver. She moved to Kelowna where she perfected her wine-making techniques in her first store in 1995. It was five years later when she made the jump to Greenwood.

“Colleen, a Greenwood resident, was driving to Kelowna and making wine with me there,” said Rosie. “She said this is too far for me to drive, why don’t you look at a building in Greenwood. I came for a Sunday drive and liked the spot. I got the building for a reasonable price so that’s what brought me here.”

The kits she offers come from Cellar Craft International and Rosie has a long-standing relationship with them.

“When Cellar Craft first started through Calona Wineries the chief winemaker used my warehouse in Kelowna as part of his lab,” Rosie joked. “He would come on a regular basis and have me try different things and he’d take readings.”

Rosie was Cellar Craft’s first customer. “I deal with Cellar Craft exclusively because of the quality,” she added.

With Rosie’s careful supervision and expertise, making your own wine from a kit is not intimidating at all. Once the juice, grape skins (if included in the kit) and the yeast are mixed the sterilized buckets are sealed and stored for the first fermentation. After the first step, the blend is moved into carboys for the secondary fermentation which is monitored closely by Rosie.

The length of time needed for your wine to be ready depends on your choice of grape and quality, usually ranging from four to eight weeks.

You can make wines with Rosie any time of year, but it really depends on the type of wine and the results you want as to when you should start. Her classic wines (four weeks) are ready the soonest, while the showcase (eight week) wines take a little longer but are totally worth the wait.

Let’s not forget the dessert wines from the very popular Porto Corinto (black currant infused port) to ice wines and sherry. Rosie’s offers a wide range of taste sensation for the home vintner. Finished costs for your home wines ranges from $3 per bottle to $6.50 depending on the grape variety chosen.

“In the fall I always get a rush of wine makers but I really recommend letting some of these wines age,” Rosie advised. “With the aging, if you leave some to age for a couple of years, it tastes like $20 a bottle. Some of them develop longer as time goes on; others reach their peak at an earlier stage. It just depends on what you like and your palette.  Aging is good for everything, including us, we all get better with time!”

She suggests that people choose the less expensive classic wine to drink sooner, but that they do a showcase wine to take the time to let the wine age. The grape varieties she offers include classic white and red flavours like chardonnay or cabernet sauvignon to mixed grapes from around the world and new popular varieties like malbec.

 “There are a lot of Californian and Washington grapes, but we also have international wines like Shiraz from Australia and South Africe to choose from as well as both red and a white grapes from Austria that are really nice.”

Kit wines are really no different than wines created in the traditional winery, Rosie explained. “There have been so many blind taste tests done of kits versus winery wines and these ones have won,” she said. “The wine snobs were quite taken aback.”

A new addition to her shop is a whole line of gift items from napkins to t-shirts, towels and night wear making Rosie’s Wine a great place to shop for that unique gift. You can find more information on her website: www.rosieswine.ca or link up to the new Facebook page to keep up to date on specials.

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