What is vegan wine?
Vegan wine is made without any animal-derived fining agents. They are either un-fined, unfiltered, or plant-based agents are used such as clay or vegetable plaques.
How is it better?
There are no animal products used in vegan winemaking processes, so the demand on animal agriculture industries is less. With un-fined wines there is also less human intervention involved as the wine is allowed the time to naturally clarify itself. Often if a wine-maker has adopted this approach, there’s a good chance that the fruit is organic, too, and there may be less sulphites in the product, which can be a bonus! But not always the case.
With un-fined wines there is also less human intervention involved as the wine is allowed the time to naturally clarify itself.
What about organic and biodynamic wine?
Organic grapes are grown without the use of any synthetic pesticides, herbicides, fungicides or fertilizers. Natural fertilizers and pest control practices are used instead, creating richer biodiversity and a more attentive growing approach. Organic wine goes a step further into the winery and is made without any chemical additives.
Biodynamic wine, on top of organic growing standards, uses an even more holistic system which includes following a celestial calendar for planting, pruning, irrigation and harvesting, and includes biodynamic compost made from manure. Biodynamic agriculture in it’s entirety is not considered vegan due to the use of cow horns and other farming matter.
Tradition vs adaptability?
Mainstream winemaking techniques most commonly use a lot of sulphur to control fermentation and bacteria management, and then proceed to include fining agents derived from milk, eggs, and fish. Some Old World and New World wine regions are starting to produce more organic and vegan wines, and without a doubt, consumer trends and climate change are encouraging producers to broaden their scope to cleaner and greener practice.