Pricey Grapeseed Oil On The Rise
Wineries, who have been dumping valuable grapeseeds into compost piles, are high on buying presses that turn the seeds into liquid gold.
Food and Vine, Inc., of Napa Valley, a grapeseed oil (and other products) company, says it is now offering two new presses for wineries to profit from their grape seeds: a hand press that small wineries can have for a mere $5,000 and a larger mechanical press that medium-sized wineries can have for only $17,000.
One ton of grapes yields about 150 gallons of wine and enough grape seeds to produce 3 liters of oil. Food and Vine, Inc. imports European grapeseed oil under the label Salute Sante that sells at retail for about $30 for 200ml. That's not bad for seeds that might have been scheduled to be dumped on the compost heap.
According to nutritionists, grapeseed oil is high in essential fatty acids and vitamin E. The oil can be used for salads and for cooking (it's smoke point is 485 degrees F).
More important, grapeseed oil can fortify other food products that lack essential fatty acids and antioxidants.
Cold-pressed grapeseed oil is beautifully golden/green with the aroma of a grape crush and a buttery taste. It's a natural product for wineries to sell. So, why do wineries discard grape seeds along with skins and stems? Because wineries have been lacking the press necessary to extract oil from grape seeds-but not any more.
Food and Vine, Inc. not only wants to sell the presses to wineries, it offers to consult with and help them to market their grapeseed oils. Although the company plans to release its brand of cold-pressed grape seed oil at the January 16 San Francisco Winter Fancy Food Show to retail at $9.95 for a 200ml bottle it believes that wineries can sell their cold-pressed oil at a much higher premium at the winery tasting room.