(Natural Products Expo West, Anaheim, CA, March 9, 2023) Barbara Banke and Peggy Furth, top wine industry executives behind Kendall Jackson and Chalk Hill, have spent more than a decade of research and development into creating a high value co-product from spent wine grapes. WellVine™ Coastal Chardonnay Marc is derived from pressed wine grapes that, once dried and milled, contain beneficial nutrients like fiber, antioxidants, flavanols, and magnesium, as well as a fruit-forward sweetness that makes it appealing as an ingredient.
WellVine™ Coastal Chardonnay Marc is available to innovative food manufacturers seeking to add nutritious benefits to culinary products, and it is a component in two consumer products: Vine to Bar™ Chocolate and a soon-to-be-released dietary supplement, Healthy Vine™ Superfood Powder. WellVine makes its official Expo West debut at booth 125 in the Arena at ACC Hall A.
“Our goal has always been to create something that is seldom found -- an upcycled food that tastes as good as it is good for you,” said Peggy Furth, co-founder of Northern California-based Sonomaceuticals, the research and development company focused on upcycling wine grapes. “Studies now confirm that WellVine™ Coastal Chardonnay Marc offers all the goodness of fresh fruit, without all the sugar, and emerging data on the nutritional benefits exceeds our initial expectations.”
Research reveals that the same viticultural and enological processes required to make great Chardonnay wines naturally concentrate the complex chemistry of these grapes into a material that can be used as a premium food ingredient. Scientists are now documenting how this product contributes to gut health, to cardiovascular health, and to maintaining normal blood sugar:
- Prebiotic and gut health: WellVine™ Coastal Chardonnay Marc is packed with oligosaccharides, a kind of fiber known to have the potential to stimulate the growth of good bacteria in the gut.
- Cardiovascular health via flavanols: Much of the phenolics in WellVine™ Coastal Chardonnay Marc are flavan-3-ols with high levels of epicatechin. Multiple research studies have shown flavan-3-ols to have positive effects on the cardiovascular system.
- Maintaining normal blood sugar: Initial data from a study published in the journal of the American Society of Nutrition suggests that consuming a blend of WellVine™ Coastal Chardonnay Marc and Chardonnay seed extract may help maintain normal blood sugar in overweight individuals.
- Flavor chemistry research is revealing the natural complexity present in Chardonnay harvested from cool coastal vineyards responsible for enhancing the sensory experience of food products to which it is added. This recent research complements insights regarding potential health benefits associated with diets rich in plant-based natural products (PBNPs) identifying Chardonnay marc as an “underutilized source of PBNPs.”
Sonomaceuticals is a research company founded by wine industry experts Barbara Banke, founder of Jackson Family Wines, and Peggy Furth, a co-founder of Chalk Hill Estate Winery, who began exploring the value of pressed wine grapes as an underutilized asset in the winemaking business. After grapes are pressed for wine, about 20 percent (seed, skins and stems) is not used in the fermentation process. The Sonomaceuticals team believed that byproduct -- called grape marc or pomace -- could be upcycled into a nutritious ingredient, and initially experimented with selling flours, oils and baked goods containing the grape marc.
The R&D effort includes scientists at the University of California, Davis, with Professor Harold Schmitz as scientific advisor, in collaboration with experts and researchers across the country from the USDA, University of Tennessee (Knoxville), and Iowa State University. Research includes the unique benefits of pressed Chardonnay grapes and how best to preserve Chardonnay’s unique sensory and nutritional value. WellVine Chardonnay Marc, derived exclusively from the grapes of the Coastal and Mountain vineyards of Jackson Family Wines, is the result of that exploration, which has validated the superior nutritional and sensory benefits of Chardonnay grapes in particular.
WellVine™ Pressed Wine Grapes is the result of more than a decade of effort to valorize the superb culinary and nutritive value of pressed wine grapes, and to capture that superfood potential in a versatile ingredient, while at the same time helping to provide greater sustainability and improve food security through winemaking – one of the world’s oldest and most important food industries. At harvest, winemakers dry and mill the spent skins, pulp and seeds of grapes into a pomace using a proprietary process that preserves the fiber and flavor. There’s scientific evidence that Chardonnay Marc can contribute to a healthier gut and cardiovascular system, based on a multi-year research effort by WellVine, the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS), and the University of California Davis (UC Davis). For more on the science behind WellVine, visit https://wellvine.com/blog.