This year’s limited edition wine, Milagro, is a unique blend of three traditional Valencia grapes, Tempranillo, Granacha, Bobal, with newly arrived to Valencia Cabernet and Syrah. The word Milagro in Spanish means “miracle” which is precisely what this specially chosen blend is. Each grape brings its own unique properties to the table, leaving us with a beautifully balanced fruity, spicy and refreshing blend. Tempranillo and Granacha give this blend it’s structure, earthi... more

POSTED November 10th, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS

Valencia, Spain

Valencia is one of Spain’s most popular wine regions, particularly internationally. Located on the middle East coast of Spain, the region enjoys a mediterranean climate, although with significantly higher temperature fluctuations than other, neighbouring regions. To say that Valencia has a long history of winemaking traditions is an understatement. In fact, wine growing in this area can be traced back as far as neolithic times. The region is also unique in many ways, as despite its me... more

POSTED November 10th, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS

Vermentino - Commercial Comparison

Every year we put time and effort into finding a commercial comparison for the upcoming LE wine release. While this will never be exactly the same as what you can expect from your wine, it does serve to give you an idea of what you may expect. If you are interested and want to try this wine in advance, or pick it up to try against your home crafted wine later, here's the pick for the LE16 Vermentino from Tuscany.La Pettegula Vermentino 2015, Toscana IGT Banfi. This wine is readily available and... more

POSTED November 9th, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT

Vermentino - a Tuscan Gem

This Italian grape varietal is most commonly planted throughout Italy and Southern France. While it is most commonly referred to as Vermentino, it can be known locally by one of it’s 20 other names such as Pigato, Rolle or Favorita, to name a few.Vermentino grapes like hot, dry climates, and thrive on hillsides, particularly ones with an ocean view, flourishing under the cool ocean breezes and drainage the hillside provides. Vermentino is a winemaker's favourite to grow, as it ripens easil... more

POSTED October 25th, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT

Tuscany Region - not just about the reds.

Tuscany has been in the wine business since as early as 7 BCE, and has spent the last 2,000 years perfecting their craft. Today, it is one of the richest wine regions of the world, boasting some of the highest quality and highest priced wines on the market. Located in central Italy along the Mediterranean coast, it’s rolling hillsides and mineral rich soil make it home to some of the world’s best varietals, providing the ideal growing conditions for well balanced wines that tend to e... more

POSTED October 24th, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT

Cabernet Franc - LE16 (release January 2017)

This grape varietal has been around since at least the 17th century when records began to be kept for such things, but was certainly well established at that time. For centuries, the French utilized Cabernet Franc in their famous Bordeaux style blends. Cabernet Franc is a very hardy grape, and more tolerant to weather fluctuations than some of the other Bordeaux varietals. Cabernet Franc is similar to Cab Sauvignon, but with some distinct variations. Cabernet Franc tends to be lighter (in body a... more

POSTED October 19th, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT

Yakima Valley Region, Washington

Yakima Valley is the oldest and most established official wine region in the state of Washington. This Valley boasts not just about its abundant grapes, but also stone fruits such as plums, nectarines and peaches. Similar to Naramata bench BC, but in Washington.The Yakima valley is slightly cooler than its surrounding regions, but also holds a steadier average temperature. This helps with vintage consistency, and allows for remarkably well balanced wines. Because of this, varietals that require... more

POSTED October 18th, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT

Specific Gravity and Skins Kits

Many premium wine kits now include skins packages. The addition of grape skins improves and enhances the body, mouth-feel, tannin, color and most importantly – FLAVOUR. There are also heart smart properties associated with contact with the skins. When making one of these kits, initial specific gravity readings may not be as expected. Each of these wine kits come with the appropriate type of grape skins package for style. The sugar content naturally occurring in the skins package will vary... more

POSTED October 17th, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT

Red Velvet Dessert Wine - The Experience!

I had a chance to taste this wine recently, and was SO IMPRESSED that I wanted to get out a review asap.An Airdrie customer gave a review recently from tasting at bottling. She loved the wine, loved the huge chocolate, and was happy it was not too sweet. I found the "not too sweet review" interesting - and wondered - what does that really mean?Lets just say that tasting it was WAY BETTER than hearing about it! Thanks again to Deirdre for sharing. It took a full five minutes before the joy o... more

POSTED October 4th, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT

Blanc de Noir

Our LE16 program will be offering a Blanc de Noir from the San Joaquin Valley of California for release in March 2017. As this distinctive wine is such a unique and exciting varietal opportunity, we wanted to blog about the style.Traditionally done as a sparkling wine, Blanc de Noir, which literally means “white from black” in French, refers to a white wine made from entirely red grapes. The most common Blanc de Noirs are sparkling and are mostly from the Champagne region of Fra... more

POSTED September 27th, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT

How do the LE series of wines stand up to the test of time?

With the LE16 wine program announced for the upcoming year, it’s a great time to taste test a previous edition and see why our experienced home wine makers and guild members return to the program – year after year. Not only do these wines rank high in competition, winning medal upon medal - but the consistency of the quality in the program leads to great wine in the cellar to enjoy for several years. Taste test: LE13 South African Shiraz Cabernet. This wine arrived as the J... more

POSTED September 27th, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT

San Joaquin Valley, Breadbasket of the World

One of the most picturesque parts of California, the San Joaquin Valley is only now beginning to get the recognition it deserves among California’s more prominent wine regions such as Napa or Sonoma. Located in the central valley of California - South of Sacramento and East of San Francisco, it is sometimes referred to as “the food basket of the world” due to the soil’s incredible fertility and the sheer volume of fresh crops produced here.While the wine production from t... more

POSTED September 26th, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT

Beer Tip - Cold Conditioning

Cold conditioning is the process of holding finished ale at low temperatures (close to freezing) for several days.  Fermentation activity ceases and the yeast drops out of suspension, leaving a clear beer with a smooth flavour.  In effect, it gracefully ages the beer, leaving it much more stable over time.Both lagering and conditioning are best accomplished in a fridge dedicated to beer.  External thermostats can easily convert an old fridge or chest freezer to a beer cooler. ... more

POSTED September 26th, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT

Hops - Customizing your Beer Kits

Almost all contemporary beer contains hops of some variety, which were not utilized as an ingredient for beer until the 16th century. Craft beer enthusiasts today do everything from blending a variety of hops, to highlighting a single stunning hop.  Our Barons beer kits are precisely hopped and have balanced flavours. Having said that, most home brewers feel in their hearts that there is no such thing as too many hops!Adding extra hops is an excellent way to customize your Barons beer kit. more

POSTED September 19th, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT

The Greatness of Port

Port (or what is called Vinho Porto in Portugal) is a fortified wine exclusively from the Douro Valley in the northern provinces of Portugal. There are many other countries that produce fortified wine (Canada, the United States, France, Australia) but only wines from Portugal can be called Port.Port is one of the best dessert wines around, it’s unique, robust, often woody body balances out the sweetness perfectly. Port wines are also versatile; in that they can be consumed at the end of th... more

POSTED August 24th, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT

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