Have you ever wondered if your glass of wine is vegan-friendly? It may sound like an odd question, but many wines are not suitable for vegans. Traditional winemaking processes often use animal-derived products, such as egg whites or fish bladders, to clarify the wine. This may come as a surprise to many people who assume wine is simply fermented grape juice.
Fortunately, the number of vegan wines available is increasing.. These wines are made without any animal-derived products, making them suitable for those following a vegan lifestyle. But what exactly makes a wine vegan?
The key is in the winemaking process.
Vegan wines use alternative clarifying agents such as bentonite clay, activated charcoal, or vegetable protein. These agents help to remove any impurities from the wine and clarify it without using animal products.
Another option is to choose wines that are unfiltered or unfined. These wines are not subjected to any clarifying process, so they retain all the natural sediments and flavors. While they may appear cloudy, they can be just as delicious as their clarified counterparts.
But why should you choose vegan wine?
For many vegans, it is a matter of ethics. They choose to avoid any products that involve animal exploitation or cruelty, even if it is not directly related to their diet. By choosing vegan wine, they can enjoy a glass of wine without compromising their values.
Moreover, vegan wine can also be a healthier choice. Traditional winemaking processes may result in residual animal products in the wine, which can cause allergic reactions in some people. Vegan wine eliminates this risk, making it a safer choice for those with dietary restrictions.
Barnivore has a a comprehensive list, but these are some of our favorites:
America’s first organic and Biodynamic winery, producing award-winning vegan, gluten free wines with no added sulfites since 1980. They are a third-generation family-owned and operated winery at the pristine headwaters of the Russian River in Redwood Valley, Mendocino County, California. Through minimal manipulation in the cellar, they allow the wines to express the authentic character of our soils and climate. For over three decades they have been vanguards in crafting wine without added sulfites, a synthetic preservative added to most other wines (even wines made with organically grown grapes!) that can cause adverse allergic reactions in some people.
Their organic and Biodynamic farming methods encourage care for the soil, groundwater, and wildlife, promoting rich biodiversity in the vineyard. Ninety percent of our land is an unspoiled natural habitat with a diverse mix of native plants and animals. As stewards of the land, they emphasize producing organic and Biodynamic wine of the highest quality while caring for planet and palate alike.
The Pizzolato Family has been working in agriculture sector for more than six generations now, living in harmony with nature and the environment. They started producing organic grapes in 1985 and the current estate covers an area of 58 hectares. The estate vineyards are on the plains and hillsides of Veneto, near the Piave River. Additionally, they also collaborate with five other producers which contribute another 48 hectares of organically grown grapes.
The Estate is located in the rich and flourishing countryside in the north of Treviso, and the vineyards are on the plains and hillsides, in a DOC (Denominazione di origine controllata) area.
All wines of La Cantina Pizzolato come from organically grown grapes to meet the expectations of today’s health-oriented consumer. Organic farming started in 1985 according to European and now USDA NOP certification and control standards. The owner, Settimo Pizzolato, carefully oversees the entire process carried out by his family and staff to obtain the best possible results.
Meinklang is an original, family-run mixed farm, set in the middle of the World Heritage Site of the National Park Neusiedlersee, on the Eastern side of the Neusiedlersee Lake, bordering the Hungarian lowland.
This farm functions much like an organism, relying not only on the people but also on the local herd of cows which contributes in an essential way with their natural and invaluable fertilizer.
The farm’s diversity includes ancient grains such as spelt, farro, and einkorn wheat, as well as the fruit orchards and vegetable gardens, meadows of wild herbs and flowers, and the elegant charm of the grapevines.
As pioneers of regenerative organic viticulture in California, they are devoted to sharing quality wines grounded in impactful practices. They are a B Corp and consistently challenge the status quo to find ways to become ever more resourceful and innovative, while continuing to work toward the transformational goals of regenerative business. In all that they do, they are committed to using business as a force for good.
In 2021 they achieved Regenerative Organic Certification (ROC) for our Mendocino County, CA winery and vineyard holdings, demonstrating the highest levels of adherence to responsible business and farming practice. They are the world’s largest winery to obtain ROC certification.
White and rose wines are vegan. However, reds are fined with organic egg whites.
Quivira brings a systematic approach to ensuring the health and vitality of their vineyards and aligning their farming practices with production of fine wines. Their commitment to sustainability revolves around the following principles:
- Biological Diversity
- Quivira has a tradition of cultivating biodiversity on our farm. They are proud to have restored Wine Creek which is now a healthy spawning locale for Steelhead and Coho. Additionally, They have a beautiful and diverse garden that is open for guests to enjoy which includes beehives and chickens.
- Native Flora & Fauna
- Their bio-diversity perpetuates a life cycle that attracts wild animals, birds, insects and plants that are all an integral part of their healthy and sustainable farm. These native creatures add layers of complexity that builds a hospitable and healthy environment for their grapes to flourish.
- The biological diversity on the property is one important element toward their goal of being self-sustainable. They also utilize a 55kw solar installation. They also manage their own half-acre compost pile and are innovating with their water conservation. Their vineyards become healthier with each passing year. Instead of depleting resources from the vineyards, they are naturally replenishing nutrients back into the soil which nourishes the grapes.
- Holistic Farming
- Adhering to the principles established by Rudolph Steiner, Quivira’s garden grows all of the preparation herbs and flowers while their animals produce nutrient rich manure. They also make all of their own preparations, another step toward self-sustainability. By following the lunar calendar on their farm, they are able to bring the right timing and balance to their vineyard applications creating healthier fruit.
In conclusion, vegan wine is a growing trend that offers a delicious and ethical alternative to traditional wine. Whether you’re a vegan or simply looking for a healthier option, vegan wine is definitely worth a try. So next time you’re shopping for wine, be sure to check the label and choose a wine that’s vegan-friendly!