Here’s a different take on New Zealand wine – soaps made using grape material from the winemaking process! We all know that for quality wine, hygiene is paramount. To have a wine that is special, it must have beautifully aromatic perfumes and intriguing fruit. The analogy to soap, cleanliness and personal allure is similar and deserves more than a mention!
Pacifica Skin Care has relaunched a range of soaps under the ‘Banks & Co Botanicals’ brand. They use real grape seeds, grape skins and juice from winemaking, infusing the ‘Wine Soaps’ with aromatic and textural characters that make them different to the norm. It could be said that they bring a new meaning to the term ‘cleanskins’. The Chardonnay soap uses juice from grapes of that variety, as does the Pinot Noir soap using Pinot juice. The Pinot Gris soak has skins and seeds in it. The soaps are triple-milled and designed to be creamy on the skin, imparting distinctive wine fragrances.
I am trialling the Pinot Noir soap and it is a joy to wash with. The soap is creamy in texture and rinses clean without any residue, whilst leaving a subtle aromatic red and violetty floral perfume. The fragrance seems to intensify for some time but gradually fades, with ethereal nuances remaining for several hours. I committed a cardinal wine trade sin by showering with the Pinot Noir soap just before attending a tasting of burgundy wines. Extraneous smells can spoil the tasting experience, and to use strong soaps and scents is a no-no. I was aware of the soap aromas, but no-one made any comment. It may have been my imagination, but the people and tasters around me seemed more friendly than usual!
My only other comment on the soap is that it is a generous 200 g in weight and size. Those with petit hands will find it a handful. While it will last longer, it could be a third or half the size less.
The soaps are available from premier gift retailers throughout New Zealand and from some tourism shops and of course, some wineries. They are also sold overseas, but this does not count as export wine sales as defined by New Zealand Winegrowers! The RRP is $14.95. For more information, go to www.banksandco.co.nz