How many vegans are there in Australia? More than a quarter million people say they are vegan, more than one percent of the population. Worldwide, some vegan converts might surprise you, like Mike Tyson and the co-founder of Twitter, Biz Stone. They all have in common a desire to live a more healthy life with a plant-based diet, and for many vegans, that includes wine.
Options for vegan wine have just increased in Australia, with the addition of Smidge Wines of McLaren Vale. The owner of Smidge and its chief winemaker, Matt Wenk, says, “Our wines are vegan friendly. This is not for any philosophical position, rather a winemaking one. Over the years I have always said 'less is more' when it comes to working with wine. I rarely use fining agents, but if required, I believe in using non-animal fining agents, which are firstly, easier to work with and secondly, often deliver a better quality wine.”
Fining is a winemaking process. Egg whites or other animal-derived products are sometimes used for fining, but not for Matt Wenk of Smidge Wines. He prefers non-proteinaceous agents.
More info about Smidge Wines and Matt Wenk
Australia's most well known wine publication - James Halliday's 2015 Australian Wine Companion - awarded Smidge Wines a 5 Star Winery Rating, with some highlights including 96 Points for Smidge’s 2010 Barossa Valley 'S', 94 Points for its 2012 Adamo, and 94 Points for its 2013 Pedra Branca Barrel Fermented Sauvignon Blanc.
Matt Wenk has become recognised as one of Australia’s foremost winemaking talents. He came to prominence as the chief winemaker at Two Hands Wines. Over the past dozen years, Wenk has gone on to become internationally celebrated in winemaking, with a globally-unmatched achievement of 10 consecutive spots in Wine Spectator’s top 100, including five positions in the top 11 and a number two position. He has had more than 300 wines rating greater than 90 points in esteemed publications such as the Wine Advocate, International Wine Cellar, Wine Spectator and Halliday’s Wine Companion.
Smidge Wines will soon relaunch its website with new features including easier navigation, a news feed, and an app permitting the user to discover Smidge Wines at venues in Queensland, New South Wales, SA and Victoria.