The RJS Academy

Sippers Winemakers is a proud member of the RJS Academy. The RJS Craft Winemaking Academy is a network of the best and most passionate winemakers and retailers across the country.  RJS Academy stores are committed to providing exceptional products, services, and the best craft winemaking experience to consumers.The RJS Academy collectively aims to build a sustainable and quality craft winemaking industry through standards and consistency. They provide consumers the ultimate retail and on premise winemaking experience. With over 100 committed members, RJS Academy retails across the country are proud to provide excellence in craft winemaking.

More about us

Wendy Warkman has lived in Kamloops since 1984, and likes to keep active by biking hiking skiing and kayaking. She is just great; what a chatty gal. There is no way you can have an off day when you are working with Wendy. She is a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day. She is the mastermind behind the operation .She is still completely baffled that she has managed in small business for so long having had no entreprunial background. “It is a miracle, we must be doing something right!”. I guess we are because otherwise, it just wouldn’t be this much fun. You really have to enjoy what you do because you spend so much time doing it.

Wine kits are absolutely a great way to make wine. We have a huge selection of wines from around the world. We also carry everything else you will need for wine making, including the labels, corks, wine bottles and ton of accessories. All of our equipment is state of the art and maintained in perfect working order to ensure your wine making experience at Sippers is flawless and fun.

Judging from competition results, kit wines are excellent, increasingly often indistinguishable from commercial wines, and are winning more awards.

According to statistics the general interest in wine, globally, is increasing dramatically and we would like to be positioned to provide the Kamloops population a place to learn more about what is available and to have the opportunity to create custom wines to individual tastes whatever is desired and available.

We love wine! Our expertise in recommending the right wine for you is a result of rigorous testing of commercial product coupled with intimate knowledge of all the wines that we offer. The result? You get the wine best suited to your personal tastes. It’s guaranteed.
We consider wine as something that adds value to a social setting, a fine meal or a quiet evening at home. We want our customers to create, savour and share fine wines from juices sourced from the best wine producing regions of the world; from vendors who have established a reputation as leaders within the industry.

In an effort to give back to the community, Sippers is proud to sponsor many local events, organizations and charities around the Kamloops area.

Meet Our Team

Wendy Warkman
Wendy WarkmanPhone: +1.250.554.9463
Wendy Warkman has lived in Kamloops since 1984, and likes to keep active by biking hiking skiing and kayaking. Read more…

How do we do it

Kit winemaking has come a long way since concentrate-in-a-can wines of yesteryears. Today’s kit wines are produced from either high-quality concentrate or a blend of concentrate and juice sourced from premium vineyards around the world. Wine kit production technology progressed significantly over the last decade, which has improved the quality of concentrates and the resulting wine.

Kit manufacturers source grapes from vineyards around the world from both northern and southern hemispheres to have a constant supply throughout the year. Concentrates are (and must be) produced year-round, unlike winemaking in each specific region, which happens only once a year. Kit winemakers can therefore make wine year round.

As growers and wineries, kit manufacturers too harvest grapes based not only on sugar level, acidity, and pH, but also on physiological and sensorial (organoleptic) characteristics, such as color and flavors, which must be balanced with the chemistry of the grapes.

Once harvested, white varietal grapes are crushed and pressed, and the juice is transferred to tanks to allow unwanted solids to settle. The juice is stabilized with sulfite, and then enzymes that break down pectin, and bentonite are added, both of which play a critical role in clarifying the juice as well as, ultimately, the wine. The juice is further stabilized at very cold temperatures where it is then separated from the heavy deposit at the bottom of the tank, and filtered. The juice must be maintained cold to prevent fermentation from starting on its own.

In the case of red varietals, where color must be extracted during the juice processing stage (as opposed to during fermentation in winemaking), grapes are crushed and allowed to macerate with the juice in a tank at cold temperatures to prevent fermentation from starting on its own. Special enzymes are added to extract color and aromas from the grape skins; this is the most critical step in producing red juice of high organoleptic quality. When the desired quality is achieved, the grapes are pressed and the juice is moved to the next stage of processing. Some grapes may be kept for shipping with kits where additional maceration is desired during winemaking.

The white or red juice is run through a concentrator to remove some of the water content and concentrate the juice. Key aromas and flavors, which may be lost during processing, are recovered and returned to the concentrate; this is the critical step that now ensures minimal loss of aromas and flavors compared with kits of yesteryear.
At this point, the manufacturer decides on the quality and style of wine the kit is intended to produce. The concentrate may be blended with other concentrates to replicate, for example, a red (typically a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot), or varietal juice is added for greater varietal character.
As a last step, the concentrate is pasteurized to eradicate any latent spoilage microorganisms, and is then packaged for sale.