October 01, 2008 09:00 ET

Grapemasters: Reinventing the Wine Industry One Client at a Time

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 1, 2008) - Standing in front of yet another aisle of wine at your local wine store trying to decide if you should really spend $20.00 on a bottle you might like can be daunting. If you want to put the odds in your favor, then you want Grapemasters on your side.

"The mission of Grapemasters is to break down the barriers that exist between the wine consumer, and the wine maker. What conventional wineries should do is ask clients what they truly like, and then map out a plan that makes great wines- that is exactly what Grapemasters is about." said Charles Fajgenbaum, owner and consulting winemaker at Grapemasters. Grapemasters is located at 201 Danforth Avenue in Toronto, and on the web at

"Grapemasters is a 'Virtual Private Winery'- we want our clients to feel that I am their winemaker, taking into account their tastes and preferences prior to the wine being made. Our clients can choose from a wide variety of choices, from light aromatic whites, to big muscular reds."

And how does one become a client? "All it takes is a visit to discuss the various wines they have the opportunity to make, using our services." said Charles. Initially, clients came via referrals from existing clients, but over time, a growing reputation has begun attracting considerable attention, including a recent revue in the October edition of Tidings, a Canadian wine and food magazine with national distribution.

"Our clients cover a wide range of ages, and incomes. The unifying factor is a love not just of the bottle of wine, but wine as a part of a lifestyle. Many of our clients can afford to regularly spend $20.00 plus on a bottle of wine, but prefer to use our services because they have some input not only into the wine, but in how it is made. Of course, clients with more limited budgets can enjoy their passion for wine at a fraction of the cost as well. Our new, larger location provides opportunities to buy a greater diversity of grapes, and help more people get more out of the wines they make."

"It strikes me that a far better way to guarantee quality is to let quality growers around the world do what they do best, then shop where the climate has been kind." said Charles.

Grapemasters shops the world, looking for exceptional growers and great growing conditions. This year, the varietals Grapemasters is importing are Merlot, Shiraz and Sangiovese from Italy, Orange Muscat, Gewurtraminer, and Old Vine Barbera from California. "I am also a big fan of Niagara, and I believe that this will be an exceptional year for its aromatic whites as well" said Charles.

Clients can commission a "cuve privee" of wine for as little as $215.00, yielding 26 bottles for their efforts. And just what can someone get for their efforts? Wines made with Grapemasters have bested $20.00 bottles of wine from the LCBO in blind tastings. At an Ontario Wine Society meeting, where amateur wines were blind tasted, along with one commercial ringer in the mix, a wine made by Charles was the favorite of the night. According to Bert Richards, "it's often hard for a professionally made wine to show better than the amateurs, as the amateurs have much more flexibility and time." (

Interested clients should contact Grapemasters to reserve their grapes. "We have only one opportunity to purchase grapes, as they are not made in a factory. When varieties are sold out, they simply can not be reordered."

Grapemasters is the premium brand of Fermentations, A U-Vint that has been operating since 1993. Is there a secret to longevity in a fickle industry? "It is no different than any other small business- we value our clients, many of which have become friends. We deliver on what we promise, and most importantly love what we do. I think my tombstone will say "Garagiste to the stars".

To view a photo of Marilyn Brooks, Canadian fashion icon and Charles Fajgenbaum toasting to the arrival of their grapes from harvest 2008, please visit the following link:

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