The first step is for you to choose the style of wine you prefer from over 150 wine styles. When you have settled on your order, the McWines staff will start your batch(es) on their way. They will put your concentrate or juice in the primary fermenter, top it up with water if required, add the yeast and stand back.
Within an hour, you may notice the yeast turning the grape's sugars into alcohol and giving off carbon dioxide. This process continues for several days, and forms quite a bit of sediment (called the Lees) as it progresses. When the primary fermentation is finished, the staff will siphon the wine into a secondary fermenter (called a carboy) and let it mature for six to eight weeks.
When your wine is ready, the McWines staff will call or email you to set an appointment for you to come to our store and to bottle, cork and label your wine.
When you arrive to bottle your wine, the first job is to wash and sterilize the bottles. If you have brought your own bottles, unpack them and place them on the provided carts. Then, in turn, invert each bottle onto the rinser, which will spray a good strong stream of water right to the bottom of the bottle. After 3 seconds or so, release the bottle and place it on the sterilizer. A spray of water and sodium sulphate will neutralize any existing mold or bacteria in the bottle. Then return the bottle to the rinser for a second rinse. Place the bottle on your "clean bottles" cart. Repeat until all bottles are done. Total time will be about 12 seconds per bottle.
The next step is to fill your bottles with the wine in the carboys that has been prepared by the McWines people. Your McWines assistant will attach the carboy(s) to the pump and hose system. All you have to do is snap the first 4 bottles under the filling pads and wait till the bottles fill. When full, the flow stops automatically, so you do not have to worry about spillage or overfilling your bottles. Unsnap each bottle and place it on the cart. Continue with additional bottles until your batch(es) are all done. Next, wheel your cart over to the Filling station.
Inserting the corks is not only easy, but is also fun. Just open the corker cabinet, insert a bottle and place a cork from the bucket into the holder at the top of the bottle. Close the cabinet and listen for the swish-thock sound of the cork being inserted. Re-open the cabinet and place the bottle on your cart. Repeat for all bottles. Wheel the cart to the capping station.
The foil caps are applied just by placing a provided cap on top of each bottle, and then holding the bottle inside the heating element for about 3 to 5 seconds. Do not hold the bottle too near the top, or your fingers will get a little toasty. Place each bottle back onto the cart and move the cart on to the labeling station.
The final stage of production is to apply the labels to the bottles. McWines provides labels that match the batch that you have purchased. Just take one from the pile, wet it (or not, if it is self sticking) line it up, and press it onto the bottle.
Pack your bottles into your cartons, which you have conveniently placed on your cart. when full, seal the cartons.
Then wheel the completed carts out to your vehicle. Thank the McWines people for their terrific help, take your wine home and enjoy!