Only last year while you walked down Ossington on the west side just north of Queen in October you’d have to endure dodging past stacks of grape cartons and duck past the inevitable wasps and bees coming to look for food. It was grape season, and Macedo was distributing the harvest to many of the local Portuguese and Italian residents of the neighbourhood. But this year the place looks quite different. The grapes are now kept up at their Caledonia and St. Clair location and they have adapted to a new Ossington, making the inside a fun and interesting place with wine making equipment and new product lines with organic Olives, fresh and dried pasta and pasta sauces from the Napa Valley. They are even preparing to sell fresh cheese in their fridges.
It’s just what the people of Ossington were complaining they needed more of – retail food products.
But their main product is their wine. It’s brew-it-yourself wine and they do the fermenting and brewing on premises. This is how it works: First you show up and choose your wine, and they have a good selection of reds and whites including house reds and whites – blends that go for as low as $55 for 20 litres. This is great if you need some good cooking wine, or just some good late-night plonk. They also have a range of other grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Grigio and even Amarone. Then you wait for them to make it, which takes between 4 and 6 weeks depending on the grape variety. You can then take home the large batch wine, or use their own bottling machine and bottle the wine yourself on premises, with your own bottles or buy theirs. They have all the corks and the machines right there.
We had never entered until last weekend when we walked in and ordered a kit of 23 litres of Zinfandel, the full batch and bottles, which comes out to about $5.75 per bottle – right around the cheapest price a bottle can be legally sold at the LCBO. Without even laying down a deposit – just giving our names – we were told we’d be called in about 6 weeks when the wine is ready. Then we’ll be able to come in and bottle it.
We watched some other people who were picking up their order and bottling pinot grigio, and it seemed like it would be quite fun. They were using some bottles from Macedo and some of their own, and using some fancy machines to bottle and cork the beverage. There are even labels there, if you need some to put on the bottles.
Even though this company has been on Ossington for a long time, the new version of this company is something we like. We’ll be even more excited when they get more food products too.