Vino vs. Vegan
On a basic level, wine is essentially grape juice that has been fermented and bottled. By this understanding, all wine should be vegan right? Not so much. With more and more people opting for vegan diets, it's hardly surprising that the demand for more vegan, cruelty-free, and minimal-interference wines is growing.
It's still fairly uncommon for a wine to be advertised or even labelled as vegan, even if it is in fact free from any animal products. So how can you navigate the bottle shop/cellar door as a vegan? Read on.
Why aren't all wines vegan?
If you were to pour a glass of wine straight from the barrel - be that oak, stainless steel, or anything in-between, it would look quite unlike the same substance which you would find in the bottle. Before bottling, wines must go through a process called 'filtration'. Without which, they appear cloudy and dull, and often with floating bits of sediment. Though completely harmless to drink, unfiltered wines are not particularly appealing to the eye.
To create the crystal-clear whites we're so used to drinking, winemakers must introduce fining agents to the process. Generally sourced from animal products, fining agents act like magnets - clumping the unwanted extras together to allow for an easier extraction.
Despite their utility, fining agents are certainly not vegan-friendly. The most commonly used being gelatin, egg white, and milk protein. Fish bladder proteins and the fibre from crustacean shells can also be used. In terms of the finished product that sits on the shelf however, only trace amounts of these agents can be found.
Which wines are vegan friendly?
At Witches Falls, all of our wines are produced under environmentally sustainable, cruelty-free processes. Whilst our white wines incorporate trace amounts of fining agents (we use only milk protein and egg white), all of our red wines and ciders are both gluten-free and completely vegan-friendly!
Having just gone plant based in the last month, and being a long time fan of your wines, this information has come at the perfect time! Cheers!
A well written article that demystifies wine making practices as well informing wine lovers on how their wine is made and why it’s good for you!