Wine Lovers Rejoice.
When authentic winemaker heritage meets a special diet driven entrepreneur, great things start to happen.
Allergy sufferers and vegans, raise your glasses!
A winemaker family from Rhinehessia, Germany, has found a way to create full-bodied reds, delectable whites and ambrosial sparkling wines that satisfy your animal-loving and allergy-suffering as well as hedonistic wine-connoisseur hearts.
Learn now in our exclusive interview with the founder Monika Maria Eller how on earth wines can be not vegan and what it takes to remove histamine while supporting the development of a rich taste.
MEETING MONIKA MARIA ELLER
Founder of Eller Finest Selections
ABOUT FAMILY BONDS:
The family of my husband are winemakers; they run two estates in Rhinehessen, and the family owns one of those since 1838. When I approached them with the idea of histamine- and allergen-free wine, they knew exactly how to get there. It took some time however; we have started experimenting in 2008 and sold our first bottles in late 2010.
The winemakers loved the idea, loved the challenge and the chance to break new ground. Today they are proud of our wine line that’s not only pretty safe for allergy sufferers but also excellent in taste and holds Gault Milliau awards.
ABOUT THE HOW-TO:
The raw material, the grape variety, is not pivotal. To obtain a wine that’s low in histamine to the extent of being officially called histamine-free you need healthy grapes, you need a quick processing, and highly hygienic environment. The wine is stored in stainless steel tanks and we use selected yeast to obtain a quick, controlled malolactic fermentation. This is the stage where the skills of the wine grower are in demand: the quicker the fermentation – the less bacteria can build, and less bacteria means less histamine. And ultimately, the wine is bentonite-filtered prior to bottling to remove any material that could build up histamines in the bottle
ABOUT THE GRAPE VARIETIES and RARE VINES:
The soil and climate in Rhinehessen allow for the most different vines. For example, one of our rare varieties is called Acolon. It’s a 20th century German creation that ripens early; the wine you obtain from this grape has very mild tannins and reminds of great Italian wines. We’ll start offering this beautiful red right in time before Christmas.
ABOUT VEGAN QUALITY:
Frankly, I simply don’t want fish waste or eggs or casein or gelatine in my glass of wine. But of course it serves to make our wines even safer for allergy sufferers. The smallest amounts suffice to provoke an allergic reaction.
ABOUT SULPHURISATION AS FURTHER ALLERGEN
Right now there is no real alternative to sulphurisation. But we are working on creating a wine that’s to be histamine-free and as low in sulphites as possible.
ABOUT WIESBADEN HIGHLIGHTS:
I love the glorious architecture that creates quite unique a picture.
An indisputable highlight is the farmers’ market on Saturdays.
In winter season, during Advent, the Christmas market is unmissable.
Game, beef, lamb:
Eller Finest Selections Merlot (vegan, organic) is smooth and silky with fragrant aromas of plums and blackberries
Seafood, vegetables, dessert:
Eller Finest Selections Dornfelder 2012 Rosé (vegan) has effervescent aromas of strawberries, raspberries and blackberries
And for entertaining during your upcoming summer parties:
Eller Finest Selections ElHugo (vegan, perfumed with natural elderberry extract without flavour enhancers) is a low-alcohol (8%) pleasure for warm summer nights.
PS. For all wine lovers - it's Wine Week in Rheingau Wiesbaden in Germany from Fri 8 Aug to Sun 17 Aug Wiesbaden
—by Nath Fedorova
Photos: Wiesbaden - public domain; Eller Finest Selections