We finally found some cooking oil from Eastern Washington. Apres Vin (french for "after the wine"), is a brand new business venture out of Prosser, Washington, taking the waste product from Washington wine making and producing varietal grape seed oils and flours.
Eric Leber and Lori Ramonas, co-founders and both with PH.D.s in chemistry, were in Spokane this week and I had a chance to connect with them. They described the amazing growth in the Washington wine grape industry and the subsequent growth in the waste product from the processing of those grapes. In the past, the wineries often had to pay to have it taken away. They take this and separate out the seeds, dry them, and press them to get a versatile oil with a 485 degree smoke point. But they aren't done with it yet. They then take the press cake and mill it to create nutrient rich and flavorful grape seed flour. Add a tablespoon or two per cup of dry ingredients when making bread and your loaf gets a 3,000 to 5,000 fold boost in anti-oxidants and some interesting flavors and colors.
One of the interesting things about Apres Vin, is that they are one of the only grape seed oil and flour producers in the world to produce oils and flours that are specific to the variety of grape seed. They explained that the white wine grape seeds, Chardonnay and Riesling, produce a more subtle and light oil, whereas the reds, like Cabernet and Merlot, have a richer more wine like flavor. Same goes for the flours. I get the feeling it's such a new concept that some local chefs need to do some experimenting to make the most of it.
As of right now you can get it at Lone Canary Winery and Cassano's. I hope other stores start to carry it soon. We've got our bottle of Roasted Garlic Chardonnay oil, which we are really going to enjoy, especially when our lettuce matures.
UPDATE: Here's the fact sheet on the oil. Download fact_sheet229.pdf