Winemaker Chats: Part Two

When it comes to wine, we could talk for hours. Which is why it took two parts give you all the good stuff from our chats with The Vegan Wine Project winemaker, Andy La Nauze.

Explore part one for the birth of the brand. Here we look to the present and the predicted future of not just our wines, but winemaking as a whole.

He couldn’t pick an all-time favourite wine when asked. Which was probably an unfair question anyway. He favours instead wines that are matched to an occasion, as they rightfully should be. As for what he’s got open at his place right now?

“They don’t tend to last too long once they are open at my place! I always open a bottle thinking about the drinking occasion. A sunny afternoon on the veranda? Probably equates to a Rosé. Dinner at home? It will depend on what I am cooking, however, I love sharing a really special bottle with my family, even on a weeknight, where it gets the appropriate space. If you are sharing a couple (or many) bottles with a larger group of friends, a great bottle can get lost in the noise. When I’m sharing a bottle around the fire pit at home on an autumn evening, I like a nice full-bodied red such as The Vegan Wine Project Shiraz, or even a Yalumba Antique Tawny. What did I have last night? 2017 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Villages.”

Looking to the future, Andy says the main challenges the industry faces, particularly in harsh climates like those in Australia, will definitely be related to climate change and sustainability.

“As winemakers, it is beholden on us to go the extra mile to make our enterprises sustainable in the face of limited resources such as water and energy. In the whole, most wineries are doing this by adopting highly efficient irrigation practices, reducing the use of pesticides in the vineyards where possible, making sure our water use is strictly controlled, recycling water used in the winery where possible, ensuring the waste streams are used sustainably. This is a major focus for us.”

Despite these challenges, he believes the future of wine in South Australia is truly bright. And we have to agree. There is always something new; a new wine, new winery, new variety, new vintage, new equipment, even a new wine drinker to win over. And in a tight-knit and supportive community like that of winemakers in South Australia, there’s always something interesting going on.

There are new techniques too and his passion for wine compels him to explore these further. Particularly regarding bentonite (a clay product which removes cloudiness but also some flavour.) Andy is so keen to see an effective alternative that he’d be the first person to gift the developer a nice bottle of wine. If you’re out there, highly-specialised-vegan-bentonite-alternative-developer, we’ll give you Andy’s number.

If he wasn’t making mighty fine wine, he reckons he’d be travelling the world playing guitar in a band. Having said this, his personal solution is to travel through wine.

“Wine lovers can always take a wine holiday to any wine growing area around the globe, which provides a unique opportunity for winemakers to create new virtual tourism opportunities.”

Wine has been with us for thousands of years and will continue to do so beyond even the foreseeable future. But at The Vegan Wine Project, we’re excited to be looking at it a little differently.