John Junor finds Jewel Just Fine Wines ‘a lot of fun’
by Ben Clarke
Area residents with a taste for fine wine should look no further than Jewel Just Fine Wines.
Located on Clifford Road in Warsaw, the U-brew facility has been owned and operated by John Junor and his wife Phyllis since 1995 and was started in 1987 near Burleigh Falls.
“We were beer and wine drinkers and we just seemed to step into the business years ago,” says John.
“It’s a lot of fun; I really enjoy meeting new people. We get people from the area but our business also goes as far as Ottawa.”
The 2,200 square foot facility has an open concept so guests can view how their wine and beer is made while getting some hands-on experience bottling.
Customers can give their bottles the professional look with foils and labels both pre-made or by creating a custom label to personalize bottles.
While the business specialize in premium wines from all over the world, it also offers seven natural beers and 13 different liqueur options.
Depending on the quality of the wine it takes between five to eight weeks to make a batch and the process is more complicated then just crushing up grapes and letting them ferment.
“Each kit, depending on where it’s from, has a certain amount of juice,” explains Phyllis.
“Some of the red wine kits come with extra grapes, which come in a plastic bag and then it goes into a sterilized mesh bag and then we put it in a bucket with the juice and water.”
While the wine making operation may be smaller than most U-Brew companies, the Junors have continued to thrive in large part to manager Pam Bursey who helps run the day-to-day operations for the past 12 years.
“Pam has been a great help since she started,” says John.
“I almost consider her my daughter.”
In 2011, Jewel Just Fine Wines partnered with the Nutty Chocolatier and introduced a line of ice wine chocolate truffles, which will be sold again this Christmas season.
“We sold 800 units last year at Christmas time,” says John.
Going one step further, starting next summer the Junors plan on using their backyard as a rental property for smaller events, as it encompasses a man-made lake and gazebo.
“We have a lot of people who started with us 18 years ago and they’re still with us now,” says Phyllis.
“We find now that a lot of these people are getting older and no longer drink so its important to attract new customers.”
With the Warsaw community continuing its support of the business, the Junors say its important to return the favor, as the couple is involved in several fundraisers over the course of the year.
“You have to give to the community that gives back to you,” says John.
“It’s only fair because they support us.”
Copyright 2010 Lakefield Herald Ltd.
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