When their friends Cameron Diaz and Catherine Power heard about the additives used in some vineyards and the lack of clear labelling rules in the sector, they were shocked. How can this lack of transparency be acceptable when so many people are increasingly aware of the presence of ingredients in other consumer products?
Wine lovers have decided to change this dialogue by creating their own brand. The Avaline label, which was introduced in July, advocates more informed purchasing through simple labelling. It offers a trio of vegetarian wines made from organic grapes. Nutritional information is on the bottle and a list of all ingredients is available on the brand’s website.
Here we discuss with the duo why they joined the winery, how they determined their composition and what pure wine means to them.
Our goal as a brand is to provide transparent information about the ingredients and nutrients in the wine without changing the taste. -Katherine strength
How did you decide which wine to produce?
Katherine Power: Avalin was born out of our personal need to understand how wine is made and to learn and raise the standards we strive for when it comes to wine. Our goal as a brand is to guarantee transparency of the ingredients and information about the nutrients in the wine without changing the taste. The blends are designed to be everyday, tasty and easy to drink wines suitable for a wide range of tastes and festive occasions.
Cameron Diaz: Katherine and I have different tastes. For red wines I usually choose a heavier wine like Cabernet Sauvignon and they choose a lighter Pinot Noir. With the whites I prefer to go to Sancerre, or Sauvignon Blanc, while it goes rather to Pinot Grigio. Rose, we agree. When we made the Avalin wines, our goal was to meet in the middle. We managed to find wines that fit both tastes.
How did you find the team you wanted to work with?
CP: The search for the right partners started with finding people who already know how to make wine that meets our criteria: organic grapes, vegan and with as few additives as possible. From there it all boils down to the taste profile of the wine and the winemaker’s ability to evolve with our company.
COMPLEX DISC: All this was done to find out more about their history and their farming methods. It was incredible to hear the stories of these winemakers who have been farmers for generations and the care they devote to their land. In most cases, our farmers harvest and plant by hand to preserve biodiversity. Some of our farmers use natural pesticides and insufficient irrigation, but only when necessary.
Photo courtesy of Avalin
To what extent have you been actively involved in wine production?
CP: We both built Avaline from scratch for over a year before we took our first full-time job. We knocked on the door, met countless experts, visited winemakers in Europe and tasted hundreds of blends to finally create a series of wines that we proudly call ours. Avaline is not a well-known brand, but a product that we wanted to create for our community and the world.
COMPLEX DISC: I’ve said it before, but I’m sticking with it: Hitting the label of a celebrity is as easy as hitting the label of a bottle, so I can see why people think it’s Avalin. But I never put my name on anything. I’ve always done this job, even though it never seemed like a job to me, because I only do what I like.
The brand Avalina indicates that the wines are clean. What does this mean to you?
CP: We are very accustomed to seeing the term clean when it comes to categories such as food and beauty. Today, consumers demand the same standards for wine. Pure wine is made from organic grapes, with a minimum of disturbance and without any additional additives. Our wines are vegetarian and contain no added sugar, colourings or concentrates. The Avalin label is a reference point for more transparency. On our website, consumers can go into more detail about the wines.
Why do you think the term pure wine interests you?
COMPLEX DISC: The term ‘own’ has been used for many years in other sectors such as beauty care, but the use of this term in wine is relatively recent. For us, pure wine is a way to help our consumers find a wine that meets their criteria: organic grapes, no added ingredients and, of course, a vegan product. When we started looking for wines that met these standards, we couldn’t just walk down the hallway of the dining room and identify them. This is because the wine industry has not chosen to focus on these attributes in the past. The consumer demands that everything changes… Accessibility and education are very important to us as a brand.
CP: We are not the first to use the term pure wine, but it is our job to make this level of transparency in terms of ingredients and nutrients the norm. Not a crazy expectation, but what is not required by the regulatory body of the wine industry. It should be as easy for consumers to understand as it is for food and leather goods. We’re not here to question the traditional wine industry. We’re here to encourage them to be more transparent.
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