Confusion reigns around the issue of vegan wine, with many people asking the question "isn't all wine vegan? It's made from grapes"!
No, not all wine is vegan, but the percentage of wine that is vegan is steadily on the increase. For example at The Organic Sommelier, roughly 70% of their wines are vegan and 80% vegetarian. a good example is our 2019 Burn Cottage 'Moonlight Race' Pinot Noir which is Vegan, Vegetarian, Practicing Biodynamic and Certified Organic.
Vegan wine is a type of wine that is made without using any animal products in the production process. Traditional winemaking methods may use animal-derived products such as egg whites, milk proteins, or fish bladder (isinglass) as a clarifying agent to remove impurities and sediment from the wine.
Vegan winemakers use alternative methods to clarify their wine, such as using plant-based or synthetic fining agents. Some wineries also use gravity or centrifugal force to clarify their wine, eliminating the need for animal products.
It's important to note that not all wines are vegan, even if they're made from vegan-friendly grapes. Some winemakers may use animal products in their production process, while others may not label their wine as vegan even if it is.
If you're looking for vegan wine, you can look for wines that are labeled as "vegan," "vegan-friendly," or "made without animal products." Alternatively, you can contact the winery directly to inquire about their production process.
The increase in vegetarian and vegan wines is largely driven by consumer demand for ethical and sustainable products. The Grocery Gazette stated in its article in July 2022 that sales of vegan wine "rocketed" by 51% from 2019 to 2021. Many people who follow a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle want to ensure that the products they consume align with their values and beliefs, including in the realm of wine.
Traditionally, animal products such as egg whites, fish bladders, and gelatin have been used in the winemaking process to clarify and stabilize the wine. However, as more consumers have become aware of this practice, they have started seeking out wines that do not contain animal products.
In response, many winemakers have started using alternative methods of clarifying and stabilizing their wines, such as bentonite clay, activated charcoal, and pea protein. Additionally, some winemakers have started using sustainable and organic farming practices to minimize their impact on the environment.
Overall, the increase in vegetarian and vegan wines is part of a larger trend towards ethical and sustainable consumption, and reflects a growing awareness of the impact that our choices have on the planet and other living beings.