Wine has to be vegan, it’s just grapes and yeast right? If you have been following a plant-based diet for a long time you probably know that unfortunately, that’s not the case.
Traditionally, most winemakers used animal-derived substances such as egg white, fish bladder, gelatin, fish bones or casein (a milk protein) to filter their wine and remove small particles of sediment. This method was established to give the wine a clearer, shinier color.
So even if the wine itself doesn’t contain any animal products the process of making the wine is not vegan.
But there is no necessity to use animal products to make good wine.
There are also different vegan methods to filter the wine like using pea protein. Some producers have been using those for many years. However, since veganism wasn’t popular in the past, a lot of winemakers didn’t label their wines as vegan because there was no demand for it.
Only a few years back it was impossible to find a bottle of wine with the vegan label and buying vegan-friendly wine always required some research. Luckily, this is changing now.
Vegan wine is becoming popular
The demand for vegan products is growing constantly and vegan wine lovers will have noticed that more and more vegan labels are appearing on wine bottles. Whilst this is a positive development it still doesn’t tell the consumer anything about the producer’s intentions.
Some winemakers will only make a small selection of vegan-friendly wines to simply cater to the demand and make more profit, others have dedicated themselves to more sustainable practices, organic farming and the non-exploitation of animals.
Whether you are vegan or simply want to make a more conscious choice about the wine you are drinking, here are 10 winemakers from 10 different countries that exclusively make vegan wine:
Winemakers that only produce vegan wine:
1. Gänz Bio Weingut (Germany)
This family-run wine farm is located in the German region Rheinhessen and has started its sustainable journey by turning fully organic in 1997.
The winemakers are committed to sustainable farming and preserving the biodiversity of the region. They use solar power and repurpose old fields and vineyards by letting wild plants grow as a habitat for wild animals.
The owners actively speak out against hunting and firmly believe in the higher quality of vegan wine. As the winemakers state on their website: in the future, humanity will have to distance itself from consuming animal products, therefore they have committed to only producing vegan wine.
In addition to that, the plant-based diet plays a big role in the family’s life and a large number of the family are vegan themselves.
2. Querciabella (Italy)
„You can enjoy every sip of our exquisite wines, secure in the knowledge that your glass contains only goodness. In every sense of the word.”Querciabella
Located in Tuscany, this wine farm was one of the first Italian wineries to go organic in 1988.
In the year 2000, the founder’s son Sebastiano Cossia Castiglioni decided to introduce a full plant-based approach in his winemaking process that completely excludes the use of any animal products and therefore making the wines 100% vegan.
Since then, Querciabella’s motto is to create extraordinary wines without causing harm or disruption in the delicate balance of nature. The winemakers openly stand against the harming of animals and the exploitation and cruelty that are inevitable in factory farming.
3. Natura Wine (Chile)
The winemakers at Natura Wine only produce vegan-friendly wine from 100% organic grapes.
Their vision is to make the winemaking process as natural as possible with respect for the environment. Their mission is to produce “High quality, clean and healthier wines” without causing damage to the environment and without using chemical products such as pesticides, fertilizers and herbicides.
The winemakers also aim to preserve the biodiversity on their vineyards.
4. Stellar Winery (South Africa)
“Creating wine that is environmentally responsible, sustainable and healthier is our passion.”Stellar Organics
The Stellar Winery is the largest producer of fairtrade, organic and vegan wines in South Africa.
They also produce no-added sulfur wines, a common additive in wine which causes allergic reactions in some people. The winemakers don’t use any animal-derived additives but instead filter their wines by applying a cross/flow sterile method.
5. Priam Vineyards (USA)
“Priam Vineyards doesn’t use animal byproducts or those other additives in our wine production. It doesn’t align with our sustainable agricultural practices and would actually remove flavor and aromas from the wine. A good wine reflects the grapes from the area. The more you add to it, the less quality you’ll get. Being vegan-friendly improves the quality of the wine.”Priam Vineyards
Located in Connecticut, Priam Vineyards is so far the only Vegan-Certified winery in the entire state.
The winery also uses environmentally friendly methods like protecting the grapes from insects by bluebirds instead of pesticides, having a solar-powered winery and using recycled glass for their bottles.
Furthermore, their vineyards have been declared a nature conservation area by the National Wildlife Federation.
6. Agriloro Winery (Switzerland)
Agriloro is one of the oldest vineyards in Mendrisiotto, dating back to the 18th century.
The Agriloro Team is passionate about experimenting and innovating within the winemaking field by using natural and respectful methods. Their goal is to make quality wines by ensuring sustainability and show compassion for the planet.
All of their 28 different wines are vegan, of which many have won multiple prices over the years.
7. Quinta do Popa (Portugal)
“When it comes to Friendly concepts, we have been ‘Pet Friendly’ for a handful of years. Now is the time for our wines to become official as ‘Vegan Friendly’. Since May 2020 all of our nectars have worn the BeVeg Vegan Trademark Symbol (…)”Quinta do Popa
The vineyards of Quinta do Popa are located in the heart of the Douro valley, one of the oldest wine regions in the world.
The winery combines traditional winemaking methods with innovative techniques. 70% of their wines are still made by using the traditional foot treading method.
8. Alta Alella Mirgin Winery (Spain)
“We constantly want to improve and delve deeper into organic agriculture, to obtain the purest grapes and wines.”Alta Alella
The winery is located very close to Barcelona and only two kilometers from the Mediterranean sea.
The family-run company only produces organically farmed and vegan-friendly wines. To ensure only high-quality grapes are used, the harvest is carried out entirely by hand. They offer a large variety of wines and cavas (sparkling wines).
9. FÜRNKRANZ (Austria)
The Austrian winemakers Fürnkranz have been making wine since 1625.
They decided to go fully vegan in 2013 when Gerald Fürnkranz took over the company from his parents. Along with that decision, the winery also adapted a more sustainable philosophy and stopped using pesticides or herbicides for their vineyards.
To make sure bees and other insects still find habitat amongst their grapes and to protect the soil from erosion and drying out, the winemakers also allow wild plants to grow on the vineyards.
10. Domaine Robert Klingenfus (France)
This old family-owned winery dates back to 1863 when Guillaume Klingenfus acquired the first vineyards.
The winemakers have invested in an ecological cellar with low oxygen and carbon productions and are HVE certified by the European Union for sustainable agriculture.
How to find more vegan wine
If you can’t find any of those winemakers in your country, you can check out the following websites for more vegan wine brands or individual vegan wines:
Certified Vegan Wine Brands: https://www.beveg.com/vegan-wine-brands/
Individual Wines: https://www.barnivore.com/wine
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Sabine Kessel is a Content Manager and has a Masters degree in Media Culture. Originally from Greece she has been living in Germany for the past years. Her plant based journey started back in 2016 after educating herself about the environmental and health implications of consuming animal products. She went fully vegan in 2018 and since then has been trying to educate others about veganism on her blog and on instagram.