Pressing News


August 2003                                                   Volume1, Issue 3                                 866.417.1114


Welcome to the third issue of the Fine Vine Wines Newsletter, a monthly newsletter designed exclusively to assist the home vintner in the pursuit of his hobby!  You will notice we have changed the name to “Pressing News”.  One of the newsletter’s subscribers suggested the name change and we thought it was a great idea.  If you have any more ideas or suggestions out there, we would love to hear them.


This Month on the Vine

-         Welcome

-         Featured Article

-         Christmas?

-         New Products

-         Monthly Special

-         Customer Appreciation Program

-         Correction – To Oak or Not To Oak

-         Unsubscribe




Again, I would like to thank each one of you for visiting my site.  I hope it was an enjoyable experience and you were able to find everything for which you were looking.  As I indicated on our web site, we started this business just this year, so unlike big business, we are extremely flexible and nothing we have done so far is “etched in stone.”  As a result, being an early user of our site and subscriber to our newsletter gives you the ability to influence the future of our site and company!


We want to know what you think about us.  I will adding online surveys that will focus on obtaining information about the home wine making market and how you feel about our site and our company.  In exchange for completing the survey, we will reward you with special discounts and promotions.  Until then, we like to hear what you have to say about our site.  Send your comments and/or suggestions to



FEATURED ARTICLE – Fresh Fruit vs. Kits


When I first starting to think about making my own wine, I knew absolutely nothing about it.  I did not know where to start and I knew nothing about “Wine Kits”.  I bought my first wine kit as a “doubting Thomas”.  My rational was very simple.  I wanted to save money and the only way to find out if it was a good as advertised, was to give it a try.  I had absolutely no idea what I was going to get.  So here is a little primer.


Wines made from fresh fruit are exactly that, you start with 100% fresh fruit.  You clean, crush and press your fruit until you get as much juice from the fruit as possible.  Then you have to balance the acid, PH and sugar.  At that point you are ready to ferment.


With a kit, you start with a concentrate and, depending on the kit, you may get some fresh juice.  The concentrate is made using a vacuum process to remove water.  The sole purpose for this is to reduce weight of the product for shipping.  But whatever you get, it is already balance for you.  You do not have to worry with adjusting the acid, PH or sugar levels.  Just pour the concentrate into the fermenting bucket, add the water and yeast and watch it go to work.


After you start fermenting, the steps to make your wine are basically the same whether you use fresh fruit or a kit, ferment, stabilize, age and bottle.  The key to the difference is the word concentrate.


The concentration process removes most of the solids in the juice.  As a result, your kit wine will probably not have as much body as a commercial wine.  In addition, most kits have their PH balanced to the low end of acceptable levels to provide for early drinking.  These factors prevent you from making an age worthy wine.  If you get a kit wine to last 5 years, you have really accomplished a feat.  The last factor regarding kits is cost; the better the grapes, the more they cost.  In order to keep the cost down, the really good grapes from California, Oregon and France are not normally used in kits.  (RJ Spagnols has just released a Chardonnay and a Cabernet Sauvignon with grapes from the Sonoma Valley of California.  See new products, below.)


Kits also come with all of the additives you need to ferment, stabilize and clear your wine and they are pre-measured, so you do not have decide how much to add.  If you want your kit wine to last more than 6 months, you should add some additional sulfites for protection against spoilage.  Other than that, everything (except water) is included with the kit.


The reasons for using kits:

  1. You don’t have to grow or buy your fruit,
  2. You don’t have to clean your fruit,
  3. You don’t have to invest in a crusher, destemmer or press (which can easily cost $500+)
  4. You do need to be able to balance the juice.

The negative side is that you will never make that “killer” bottle that you lay down for 10 years before you drink it.


The reasons for starting with fresh fruit:

1        You can use almost any fruit you like, peaches, raspberries, kiwi and even grapes,

2        You can modify it to your own tastes,

3        You can age it for a much longer period,

4        It is YOUR creation.

The primary negative is that it takes more time and knowledge to start from scratch.


I have always used kits, but to be quite honest, I do have a burning desire to get some grapes.  Whichever way you decide to go is completely up to you.  I just wanted to provide you with some information.  As always, if you have any comments, I would love to hear them and include them in future newsletters.




For those of you that live in the Dallas-Fort Worth Area, Fine Vine Wines is hosting 3 wine tastings in August.  I will be featuring only wine made by me, using only RJ Spagnols’ kits.  I will be presenting multiple varieties, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Shiraz and Coteau Sur Mer.  Most of the wines came from Cellar Classics kits; however, I also used several Vino del Vida and Cru Select kits.  The first one will occur on August 21st at my home.  The address is 2113 Antibes Dr., Carrollton, TX. from 7-10pm.  Come whenever you want and stay as long as you can; however, please bring your own glass.  It will be much better than the plastic alternative.


The other two will be August 29th and August 30th in Plano, TX.  The exact times have not been determined as of this printing; however, the times and addresses will be posted on the web site as soon as they are finalized.  I look forward to meeting as many of my wonderful customers as I can.




As I mentioned last month, I am going to mention Christmas, again.  If you want to give bottles of your wine for Christmas, now is the time to get started!  Bottles of homemade wine make excellent Christmas presents.  Put a nice label on the bottle.  Stick it in a nice bag, and voila, you have a nice present for under $10 dollars.  If you want to keep it under $5, just put a tag with a bow around the neck. Besides the fact it is a very nice gift, the recipient will think you spent a whole lot more than you did!  In business, they call that a win/win.


But, you need to get started now!  Christmas is only five months away.  In addition, the starter kits we sell might be the perfect gift for a friend or family member.  Let’s get everyone making his or her own wine.  Then we can share and share and share.




This month we have added 2 new wine kits.  These are from the Signature Series and the grapes come from California’s Sonoma Valley.  I have a Chardonnay and a Cabernet Sauvignon, but in limited quantity.  Order yours before they run out!


We have also added more equipment for the small vintner.  Check out the 1-gallon glass jugs, 1.5 gallon fermenting buckets and 150ml bottles; just the right size for those small batches.




This month, along with the other specials listed on our website, we are giving away a free waiter’s corkscrew with every order of $100 or more (limit one per customer).  If you don’t want the corkscrew, you can have your choice of 30 free corks or 30 free capsules.




Starting June 1, 2003, we have created the FVW Growers Club.  You can get all of the details on our website, but the bottom line is we want to buy your loyalty!  Once you spend $1,000 with us, you get a 5% discount on everything you buy from us.  Find out more on the website.


Next Month


I have had quite a number of inquiries this month by people wanting to make wine from fresh fruit, including mustang grapes, peaches and apricots; therefore, next months featured article will be about this subject.  Although I have read a lot about this subject, I have never made any myself.  I do; however, have a very good customer that is quite proficient at making his own wine and he has graciously agreed to write next month’s article.  Look for it around the first of September.




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