Check out Wine Flour, the Hot New Superfood, and
An Interview with Hilary
Today’s post is a very special interview with Hilary Niver-Johnson, the founder of Sustainable Viticulture Systems which produces Wine Flour.
This post is not sponsored by Wine Flour, I just have a true and genuine interest in this amazing product and business Hilary has created. I first met Hilary over on Instagram and discovered that she lives and works in an area called The Finger Lakes, an area I am proud to call home, too.
The Finger Lakes is a group of 11 long, narrow, roughly north–south lakes in a region called the Finger Lakes in Central New York. I live on Conesus Lake, the westernmost of New York’s eleven Finger Lakes while Wine Flour is produced near Seneca Lake in Hector, NY. The Finger Lakes area is New York’s largest wine producing region with over 100 wineries and vineyards.
I have a true love for the beautiful land that I live on and I am excited to introduce you to Hilary and Wine Flour through our interview below. If you are a wine lover or just interested in supporting small business in our area, you’re going to love learning about this amazing superfood.
What is Wine Flour?
From Hilary: Our wine flours come from wine-grapes grown in the Finger Lakes of New York. Wine flour is made from wine-grape skins after the wineries press the grapes for their juice. All of our red wine pomace comes to our facility already fermented because the skin is what gives red wine its color! Although there is no alcohol on the skins after we dry them, the flavors, and aromas that come with fermentation, remain in our products. They literally taste like wine in powered form!
Wine flour is meant to be used as a supplement, not a substitute and turns traditional recipes into flavorful, colorful and nutritional recipes. Yes they will make your pancakes purple!
When pairing wine flour with your recipes please remember the rules of pairing wine with your food- you would make steak rub with a red wine flour, or a turkey gravy with a white wine flour to best bring out the flavors of your recipes!
In addition to being packed with antioxidants, wine flour is naturally gluten and grain free! In each pound of wine flour there are 150 grams of fiber and 100 grams of protein. The most common minerals found are potassium, magnesium, calcium and iron. One tablespoon of wine flour provides 6% of the recommended daily value of iron!
Whats a Superfood?
As defined by Merriam Webster, a superfood is “a food (such as salmon, broccoli, or blueberries) that is rich in compounds (such as antioxidants, fiber, or fatty acids) considered beneficial to a person’s health.”
History of Finger Lakes Wine Flour
From Hilary: I started developing wine grape research with a renewable energy focus as part of my senior thesis in college. The topic? How many kilo-watt hours does it take for wineries in Schuyler County (my home county on Seneca Lake), to produce a bottle of wine. I interviewed ten wineries and submitted my thesis.
This research gained the attention of University of Nebraska Lincoln and a small renewable energy company. Yes, there are wineries in the Midwest. I continued this research and continued developing my thesis independently. In the Midwest I created 12 case studies which included wineries from Nebraska, South Dakota and Iowa. While I was there I started looking at wineries from the results end and realized that if these smaller industries are producing such large quantities of pomace, what are we producing in the Finger Lakes?
Side Note: New York State is the 3rd largest producer of wine in the country (behind California and Oregon).
Still I had no plans to return to the Finger Lakes just yet and kept developing grape pomace processing systems which were initially meant to produce bio-diesel out of grapeseed oil in Nebraska. Quickly it was discovered that bio-diesel from grape-seed oil is an inefficient process and would cost consumers around $300 per gallon. I also learned that grape-seeds are only 30-40% of the overall pomace. Which meant I was still wasting the majority of the valueable pomace co-stream.
Finally, in early 2013 I returned home and launched Sustainable Viticulture Systems. In 2014, we broke ground and finished our building our small facility just in time to harvest the remaining pomace from these three wineries: Red Newt Cellars, Hector Wine Company and Atwater Estate Vineyards. Luckily 2014 was a warm year so, although we didn’t have state approval until October 21st to start processing, I was still able to obtain all of the varieties that are on the market today!
Harvest 2017 marks our fourth harvest season, and the weirdest one yet- for the first year ever we were bringing in pomace in the second week of December. 2017 was also the year where we expanded to a second facility AND launched a sales team. We now work with six wineries and recycle most of their pomace and will be adding a seventh this coming fall!
Today our products are in over 90 retailers from California to Massachusetts and are used as an ingredient in soaps, nut butters, pastas, cookies, crackers, breads and so much more!
Ultimately, we are now in our 8th years of value add wine-grape research and product development.
What is your favorite way to consume or prepare wine flour?
From Hilary: My favorite way to consume wine flour in a sweet recipe would be pancakes- I eat wine flour pancakes at least 2-4 times per week! My favorite savory dish to use wine flour in is a
Make This Recipe: Berry Coconut Wine Flour Smoothie Bowl
Where in Rochester can Wine Flour be purchased?
- Lori’s Natural Foods
- Red Bird Market
- Pittsford Farms Dairy
- Abundance Food Coop
- Flour City Pasta (Macedon or City Market)
From Hilary: Please see our website for our retailer list- we have 90 retailers in many states between California and Massachusetts. If you would like to order directly from us- you can purchase our products on our online store by visiting: FLXgrapeflour.com. Or find us at our many wine and food events by subscribing to our newsletter.
I hope you enjoyed this interview with Hilary and I hope you enjoyed learning more about the Hot New Superfood Wine Flour. Be sure to purchase your own using the links above!
Welcome! I’m Emily Kyle, a nationally recognized media registered dietitian nutritionist & holistic cannabis practitioner providing holistic health care for those living with autoimmune and inflammatory conditions. To help you, I offer food sensitivity testing, cannabis education, and this blog which provides free resources including anti-inflammatory recipes, holistic health, wellness and nutrition related articles, and evidence-based cannabis education.