homemade wine: Riverview Produce Inc., Toronto

by Stevie on September 28, 2010

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
welcome to Riverview Produce

welcome to Riverview Produce

Toronto is a marvelous city. Aside from being attractive and well kempt, it is very ethnically diverse. It turns out that there’s quite a large Brazilian and Portuguese community. While perusing one of the local Portuguese language papers, Sol Português, Hegui came across a few intriguing ads that referred to some markets for purchasing California grapes for home wine making. Amazing! We’d thought that with the dramatic rise of California wine that those days of shipping grapes back East was long over. Well, apparently not.

Naturally, this was not something that could be missed so we sought out one of these shops to do some “field research.” Eventually, we ended up at the Riverview Produce Inc. warehouse at 50 Alma Ave.

The place didn’t look like much: sort of like a run down dump infested with fruit flies, really. But there were some people there and once we got closer, we could see that it was packed floor to ceiling with crates of California wine grapes! We talked with a patron of the shop who happened to be there at the time with her husband. Apparently they grow Portuguese grape varieties in their back yard in Toronto but use the California grapes to give their homemade wine “more body.” The couple purchased several crates of red grapes and had Riverview Produce de-stem and crush them right there. They left with about three five gallon buckets of juice and had about the same amount of juice from their homegrown grapes. It seemed like a lot and we were curious about how many bottles of wine they ended up with when all was said and done. Hegui then had a funny discussion with her that I’ll paraphrase here:

de-stemming and crushing the grapes

de-stemming and crushing the grapes

Hegui: About how much wine do you make?

Woman: I serve it for guests. I only drink a little bit. He (pointing to her husband who was overseeing the grape crush) cannot drink any more.

Hegui: But how much wine do you make?

Woman: We serve it to guests.

She never did quite answer how much her family makes, though that’s a wine I’d really enjoy trying.

The company offers more than twenty varieties of both white and red wine grapes. They also sell corks, bottles, etc. for the home wine maker. Homemade wine might not be for everyone, but if you’re in Toronto and want to give it a try, check out Riverview Produce.

huge wine jugs waiting to be filled with homemade vinho

huge wine jugs waiting to be filled with homemade vinho


Riverview Produce 2010 wine grape list

Riverview Produce 2010 wine grape list


Riverview Produce warehouse packed full of California grapes

Riverview Produce warehouse packed full of California grapes


Lodi Gold

Lodi Gold

Smiling Baby

Smiling Baby

Related Posts with Thumbnails

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Sal Drago April 7, 2011 at 11:50 am

I would be interested in purchasing grapes for next years wine season. Do you have a mailing list or e-mail list where I could receive updates when your shipment arrives?
Thanks,
Sal

Heguiberto April 7, 2011 at 1:12 pm

Sal,
We don’t know places in Toronto where you can buy your own grapes except for the Riverview Produce located in the Portuguese neighborhood. It was fun seeing boxes of grapes for wine making produced here in California in the Lodi region.
The guys were very nice and allowed us to take pics of the facility. When you buy the grapes you can also have them removing stems and crushing them for you.
Thanks for visiting weirdcombinations and good luck with your winemaking.
Cheers!
H

Sal Drago April 7, 2011 at 4:56 pm

When will you be receiving shipments this year? What varieties and countries would they be coming from? I’m interested in making a red, most likely a blend.
Thanks,
Sal

Heguiberto April 7, 2011 at 5:29 pm

Hey Sal,
You should check them out, I don’t know about their biz 😉
Grapes are ready in the northern hemisphere normally in the Fall so around Sept/Oct. As for the types they seemed to have most of the common ones (Cabernet, Merlot, Zinfandel).
Happy wine making,
H

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

Previous post:

Next post: