Vegan Friendly Wine – No Fining No Filtering

Vegan Friendly Wine

At Wines of Merritt we seek to make low-intervention wines of texture and character. This allows our wines to express their sense of place and aligns with our values of minimal inputs in the winemaking process. This means it happens to be vegan friendly wine.

 

Nick’s story began when his family established an orchard and vineyard in 1894 on the banks of the Murray River in South Australia. His great-Grandparents Forester & Prim Merritt were amongst a group of settlers that arrived by paddle steamer to establish a temperance village. He would spend his childhood raiding the old loquat and mulberry trees of ripe fruit and running through fennel fronds to arrive home, purple stained and smelling of anise.

 

His journey in wine tracked the vineyards of his family and wineries of neighbours, to Adelaide’s finer restaurants and then to London to work with WINE Magazine running the International WINE Challenge, then the world’s biggest wine show. The return to Oz led to roles in marketing & making with some of Australia’s best known wineries and the lure to move to Margaret River. The recruitment west opened the opportunity to start our own business in 2017.

 

Our family business is named in respect of his grandmother Kathleen Vivienne Merritt, an only child. When she married, no more Merritts; the opportunity to bring back the maternal family name and honour history was taken.

 

At Wines of Merritt, we are proud of what we produce, that fits into our sustainable ethos. Using grapes farmed with care, sensitive winemaking, light glass, sustainable packaging, even plant-based tape for the packing boxes. The wine is part of the whole, it’s important to make it without manipulation & mucking about.

 

In our winemaking we use wild yeast and avoid fining and filtering. These processes can smooth the wine, polish it, remove bitterness and clarify the wine to make it crystal clear and sterile. We work hard at the start, to work sensitively with quality fruit, get extraction right so there are no rough edges to smooth out later.

 

Some of the fining agents used, such as egg whites or skim milk powder are derived from animals. As we do not use these methods, are wines are vegan friendly. This was not an aim of our winemaking, this was to be true to texture, to choose the path of least intervention. To make vegan friendly wine is an accident, a happy concurrence and one we embrace. When it comes to our own project we like to be as transparent as possible and allow each vintage to be a different adventure. Nick feels his way through the winemaking process and allows the grapes, the weather and the conditions to guide us.

 

Our wines are leaning to Europe in style, showing more shape and texture than traditional bright fruited Aussie pours. A desire to leave things in a better state than when we arrived, drives us in the vineyard and winery. Our wines’ vegan status stems from working with people with a similar ethos for sustainability. It takes more time, energy and focus – to us, it’s worth it.

 

From the soil to the grapes, to the winemaking and the final package – we demonstrate care, focus and our faith in the fruit. Is it important that what you’re consuming does not contain an animal product or is it a more holistic thinking and actions of sustainability for all?

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