Paul, Mavis and Frank Kirton stand in front of fermenting wine at The Fine Vine in north Red Deer Thursday. Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff

Red Deer business helping people make own wine, beer

The Fine Vine received its ferment on premise licence Dec. 4

Central Albertans who want to make their own wine or beer, but can’t at home, now have a place to do it.

Paul Kirton, owner/manager of The Fine Vine, said he’s been waiting years for customers to be able to ferment wine, beer or cider on site.

The Red Deer business received its ferment on premise licence from the Alberta government Dec. 4. It was the first permit in central Alberta, and until recently, Albertans couldn’t make alcohol for their own consumption in licensed retail locations.

“It’s absolutely huge for us because it’s an add-on to our current business. We’ve always been a retail store and have been selling kits. We still will do that, but … now we can make it for people who aren’t able to,” said Kirton.

There is an additional fee to make alcohol on site.

Kirton said there are various reasons people can’t make their own product at home; an individual could be away from home too often, they could live in too small a space, or they may be physically unable to do the manual labour involved.

The Fine Vine, which has been open 21 years, has had two customers with disabilities make wine in the store so far.

“One lady was almost in tears of happiness when she bottled her wine the other day,” said Kirton. “She’d done it in B.C. before, but she’s lived in Alberta for the past 10 years. She walks with a cane, she can’t do the necessary lifting and that kind of thing.”

Ferment on premise operations provide customers with the ingredients, equipment and advice they need to make alcoholic beverages like wine, according to the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission.

“We’ve joined various lobby groups over the years,” said Kirton. “Every time there has been a change in government, we took a run at it. We’ve been denied a lot in the past … but now they were very open to making the policy changes this time.”

Businesses in most provinces, including British Columbia and Saskatchewan, are able to get such licences. Kirton said this was causing Alberta businesses to lose potential revenue.

“We’re close enough to surrounding provinces … so people were going out of province to do it while on vacation,” he said.

The Fine Vine, previously located in south Red Deer, moved to a larger building in the north side of the city in 2017 to accommodate a future change in law.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Alberta investing $3.7B to move oil by rail, leasing cars

EDMONTON — The Alberta government says it’s investing $3.7 billion to move… Continue reading

Halifax fire claims seven Syrian refugee children: ‘Our entire municipality is heartbroken’

HALIFAX — Seven children, all members of a Syrian refugee family, died… Continue reading

Pro-pipeline protest convoy reaches Ottawa after rolling across country

OTTAWA — A convoy of angry Albertans and other westerners rolled up… Continue reading

Rock out with the Headstones, Wide Mouth Mason at free Games concert Thursday

Wide Mouth Mason and the Headstones will rock “The Dome” heated tent… Continue reading

Amazon aims to cut its carbon footprint

NEW YORK — Amazon, which ships millions of packages a year to… Continue reading

Historic win for Team Nunavut at Canada Winter Games

Four years in the making boiled down to a collection of firsts… Continue reading

TSB says improved tankers involved in Manitoba derailment that spilled crude

ST. LAZARE, Man. — Federal investigators say CN rail cars that spilled… Continue reading

Vancouver duo faced health scare while making Oscar-nominated ‘Animal Behaviour’

TORONTO — Husband-and-wife filmmakers Alison Snowden and David Fine had almost finished… Continue reading

Canadian Eugenie Bouchard drops second-round match against Simona Halep

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard is out of the… Continue reading

Chanel: Iconic couturier Karl Lagerfeld dies in Paris

PARIS — Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel’s iconic couturier whose designs had an unprecedented… Continue reading

Canadian women beat US 2-0 to win inaugural Rivalry Series

DETROIT — The inaugural Rivalry Series was created to give Canada and… Continue reading

Don Cherry blasts Hurricanes as ‘jerks’; team responds with his words on T-shirt

TORONTO — Don Cherry’s latest rant about the Carolina Hurricanes and their… Continue reading

Country star Miranda Lambert reveals secret marriage

NASHVILLE — Country star Miranda Lambert celebrated Valentine’s Day weekend with the… Continue reading

‘Black Panther’ costume designer blazes trail to inspire

LOS ANGELES — Ruth E. Carter is a black woman blazing a… Continue reading

Most Read