New owner Aiden Shahi finally celebrated his grand opening of The Finest Wine Shoppe last Saturday with an official ribbon-cutting ceremony followed by a tour of the shoppe with local business owners and members of Bradford West Gwillimbury (BWG) council.
Located in the downtown core of Bradford at 105 Holland St. E., The Finest Wine Shoppe distills, bottles, and sells their own wine on site and are the only wine store in all of Ontario to receive a special, endorsed license called a ‘Ferment on Premise’ (FOP) which allows them to make the same line of wine and serve it outside on the patio.
“Nobody is allowed to do this (in Ontario) and we are one of the first ones to receive this license,” shares Shahi. “Let’s say you drink a glass of wine outside and you like it, we can make it for you in bulk.”
Shahi explains the process to ferment the wine takes two months and will produce approximately 23 litres at a time, at a fraction of the cost; each batch can work out to anywhere from $4 - $8 a bottle.
“We also take our time and teach people about the wine and the process,” explains Shahi, adding the shoppe has over 60 different types of wine. “We can even teach you how to make sangrias and other cocktails.”
The Wine Shoppe itself has been at the downtown location for 15 years before Shahi took over six years ago. The shoppe has since then undergone a full renovation inside with state-of-the-art wine-distilling and bottling machines for customers to make their own batch.
Customers can also enjoy a glass of wine (or three) outside on the Wine Shoppe’s fenced-off patio where a custom-made wooden wine bar sits.
“The concept of a wine tasting bar is a unique and elegant addition to Bradford… and your many offerings of wine kits is a fantastic idea for weddings, upcoming gifts, or something to savour at home,” said BWG Mayor Rob Keffer. “As we find ourselves near the close of summer and soon into the holiday season, I hope that you enjoy robust sales and a growing list of clientele!”
Shahi gave everyone who attended the grand opening a tour of the shoppe and explained the entire process of making your own wine. He shared his favourite bottle of wine is a red Amarone from Italy which is also one of his most popular selling red wines.
BWG Councillor Peter Ferragine attended the official ribbon-cutting ceremony and shared his ‘grape-crushing’ days with the owner.
“My dad used to make it 50 years ago,” he says. “We used to do everything – get the grapes and do the press.”
MP Scot Davidson also stopped by The Wine Shoppe on Saturday to congratulate the new owner and wish him a prosperous future.
“Bradford is leading innovation with your outdoor patio and actually being able to sell wine that you made here! I’m really excited about that and excited to support this… I’m just not going to be excited about the hangover,” joked MP Davidson. “I look forward to enjoying a glass of wine here!”
Shahi has a business background in the bar industry from the Markham area and says he wants to bring that aspect back to the Bradford Wine Shoppe. He is looking to hire live music entertainment to perform on his outdoor patio during the last few weeks of nice weather.
“Thank you all for making it out on this nice day! I hope to see you all out more often and everyone drinking and being in a better attitude,” joked Shahi.
Not a wine drinker? The Finest Wine Shoppe also offers beer and other liquor/spirits for outdoor consumption on their new patio.
For more information about The Finest Wine Shoppe, visit: www.thefinestwineshoppe.ca