All of Moana Park wines (excluding the Harmony Series) are approved by the Vegetarian Society of New Zealand...
What does that mean?
Simply, it means is that we don't use animal based fining agents in our wines! It is common practice to use these harsh animal products in the fining process while making wine. Leaving these products out of the wine means that our wines have superior mouth feel, texture and flavour. The animal products not only strip out the cloudy hazes but because they are so harsh they also strip the wine of flavour and colour.
This makes us only the second winery in New Zealand with this approval. We have been making wine this way since our first vintage in 2000.
Does this mean you can't eat meat with the wines?
No, the traditional food matches with all our wines still apply. The vegetarian status in our winery comes from a position of us not wanting to add these components to our wine and having a regime of honest winemaking. It of course means we need to pay more attention to detail, but we are sure of the benefits in the finished product. This approach to wine making is very minimalist with less additives used, and a resultant superior product.
Common fining agents used in New Zealand are:
Isinglass - Sourced from the swim bladder of the Sturgeon fish
Gelatin - Sourced from the hooves and tendons of cattle
Albumin - Egg white, and you can guarantee they aren't free range
Casein - A product sourced from animal milk.
Carbon - The burnt and ground bones of cattle.
At Moana Park we DO NOT use any of these products.
What do we use?
We use one fining agent called Bentonite. It is a natural Aluminum Silicate which fines out possible hazes in the wine. We also cross flow filter our wines so we don't have to use bleached cardboard filter pads; by cross flowing we filter out any residual Bentonite as the filter pore size is a tiny 0.2 micron. And the real biggy is...... we use gravity..... yes, if you wait the heavier pigments will fall to the bottom of the tank, and the wine is left fined. Imagine that!
For more information visit www.vegetarian.org.nz/