The fruits of your labour are best enjoyed when you put the work in – and that can be especially true when it comes to wine, says one of Peachland’s newest business owners.
Ela Randelovic took over the Peachland Wine Shoppe in December, and she’s still in the midst of personalizing her spot at the Peachland mall.
“I’m hoping to get rid of most of the shelves out front here, and put in a sitting area that I want to make cozy and inviting,” she says, pointing to another project in the works – a giant wine map, of sorts, that will help even the most dedicated vino lover narrow down their choices. It fills an entire wall, and she’s positioning bottles depending on its characteristics – do you like your wine more fruit-forward, or full-bodied?
Randelovic reopened on May 13th, with a continuation of her enhanced sanitation measures. Physical distancing is easy, she says, as she starts to explain the process. It’s not as complicated, nor as slow as you may think.
“The customer has to put in the yeast and do the bottling, which is the start and the end of the whole process, and that makes it their wine,” Randelovic says.
There’s a lot more science behind the process, she says – and that’s her favourite part.
“My background is actually in microbiology,” says Randelovic. She earned her bachelor’s degree at UBC, but in Serbia, her husband’s family owned a winery, and she helped out there before they sold the vineyard.
“I’m hoping this summer to start experimenting with adding some fresh fruit to the wine, so for example if I have a merlot with hints of blackberry, I’d like to actually put blackberries in it.”
From choosing the kit to fermenting (which is also the time to add any oak infusions), to having it sit in a carboy as fermentation is stopped and it begins to clear, then filtering it back into another carboy, bottling and labelling (there’s fun-to-use machines for that), it takes anywhere from four to eight weeks, depending on the kit. You can even bring your own labels.
Randelovic has 107 batches of wine going right now. It looks like Peachlanders like their reds, judging by the current carboys. She has
a few die-hard customers who swear by their creations, even putting their wine above some of the best served in our area restaurants.
Cost is another factor – you can save big bucks doing it yourself.
“Generally speaking, our most expensive kit ends up being about $8.20 per bottle,” Randelovic says.
“That’s probably the number-one thing. You walk away with 30 bottles of wine, and you don’t have to stop at the liquor store on your way to a dinner, and you always have something to put out on the table.”
Randelovic says Peachlanders have welcomed her with open arms since the longtime former owner retired last winter.
“The community support, the acceptance has been amazing. I mean, people that don’t drink wine just come in to say hello. I just love it.”
The Peachland Wine Shoppe (beside the VantageOne in the Peachland mall) is open Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9:30 a.m. until 5 p.m., Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. until 6:30 p.m., and Saturday from 9:30 a.m. until 2 p.m.