Ask the Wine Making Expert – Harm Woldring


The variety and number of wines produced in the world is staggering. Virtually every country in the world that has the appropriate climate and soil conditions now grows grapes and produces wines. The current situation has changed dramatically from the wine world of just a few decades ago when France, Italy, Spain and Portugal dominated the world of wine. Things started to change dramatically in the late 1970’s. The movie ‘Bottle Shock’ (You can find this on YouTube) starring Alan Rickman, Bill Pullman and Chris Pine, tells the story of the groundbreaking  event that is commonly believed to have changed everything. In real life these events have come to be known as the “Judgment of Paris” (See Wikipedia). These dramatic changes have also had a dramatic and explosive impact on the craft wine making industry. Today the ‘home’ wine maker can choose from literally hundreds of different juices from countries around the world. Clients at The Wine Factory can choose from over 200 different red juices and nearly 150 different white ones. We also offer a variety of blushes, wines with fruit flavors, dessert and other specialty wines. For examples we offer 22 Merlots, 21 Cabernet Sauvignons and 13 Malbecs. Popular whites include 19 Pinot Gris/Grigios, 13 Gewurztraminers, 20 Chardonnays and 17 Rieslings. These juices come from countries like the USA, France, Germany, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Argentina, South Africa and others.

In addition to these commonly known varieties we also offer access to many great wines of the world that many people have never heard of. These include varietals like Nebbiolo which is the varietal used to make Barolo, a classic and much loved Italian wine that many here are not familiar with. We’ve found over the years that these lesser known varieties and styles of wine are very popular with our customers. One key reason is cost. An entry level Barolo in the BC liquor store will cost about $40 per bottle. Our favorite barrel aged version of this classic retails for about $250 for 30 bottles, or under $9 a bottle. This is an amazing buy especially when you consider that many customers prefer it to commercial products priced as high as $90 a bottle. At this point I’d like to caution that every individual has their own preferences when it comes to wine and that these preferences are very subjective. This is, of course, why there are so many choices available in the world today. Happily, as the wine industry has grown and changed over the past 30 to 40 years, our clients have also been able to enjoy these changes as the variety and types of products we offer has changed in parallel. Today’s craft wine maker has choices that were unimaginable just 10 or 20 years ago. Whether you buy juice a-la-carte from us to make it at home, or use our full service offering and leave the heavy lifting to us, The Wine Factory can help you find and make the ideal wine for you.

FRONT STREET UPDATE: Just a quick word about the changes happening to the streetscape in front of us. The project is progressing rapidly. Demolition of the western portion of the parkade is nearly complete. At the time I am writing this we do not have access to Front St. We are directing all patrons to use McKenzie St, the side street next to us. Please ignore the One Way and Do Not Enter signs and turn down at McKenzie and park on the road next to us. This is a temporary situation and will likely change again soon. Please call us to ask for more current information if you are planning a visit., 604.540.8907.