Tout savoir sur le vin végan

Everything you need to know about vegan wine

Having a particular diet or ethical beliefs should not prevent you from having fun. So, if more and more winegrowers are choosing to produce organic wine, did you know that there are also vegan wines? Discover all the characteristics of vegan wine , from its composition to its manufacturing.

Veganism: definition

Veganism is a way of life that completely rejects animal exploitation. As a result, a vegan person refuses any product of animal origin , and any product that is potentially a source of suffering for animals.

The vegetarian refuses to consume products resulting from the slaughter of animals, such as meat, fish or seafood, for example, and the vegan complements his convictions by eliminating from the diet all products resulting from the production and animal exploitation (honey, eggs, milk, animal fats, etc.).

Vegan goes further by categorically refusing all products of animal origin. This therefore corresponds to a diet, but also to a lifestyle in its own right , since all everyday objects from an animal are excluded (leather or fur coat, cosmetics tested on animals, etc.).

A vegan person is committed with conviction to the protection of the animal species and the environment.

Why is wine not always vegan?

Without pushing the thinking too far, one might believe that all wines are necessarily vegan, since they are produced from a product of plant origin: grapes. But, if we take a deeper look at wine making, we realize that winegrowers very often use inputs of animal origin to obtain better results. This is the case, for example, with fish glue or gelatin (animal bones).

Thus, conventional wines are rarely vegan , and it is difficult to know precisely what inputs are used by winegrowers.

What is vegan wine?

A vegan wine is a wine produced exclusively from inputs of plant origin . In fact, the production of red wines, white wines and rosé wines goes through different stages. And while most are made without animal substances, some are more difficult to control without a product of animal origin. This is the case of wine fining , this step which allows the wine to be filtered and clarified.

To eliminate the last solid residues, the winemaker uses different substances which are not at all vegan:

  • Fish glue (protein from the swim bladder of fish);
  • Casein (cow's milk protein);
  • Egg albumin (egg white protein);
  • Gelatin (protein from the skin and bones of animals, mainly pork)...

To be able to produce vegan wine, winegrowers must therefore use alternatives to animal glues.

Alternatives to animal-based glues

Fining the wine is not a mandatory step in the vinification of red, white and rosé wines, but many winemakers prefer to clarify the wine to obtain better taste results. In the case of vegan wines, you must then use a vegetable glue . There are several types:

  • Bentonite (natural clay);
  • Vegetable proteins (potato, pea and wheat);
  • Corn starch ;
  • Marine algae ...

Are vegan wines necessarily organic wines?

A confusion is often made between organic wine and vegan wine. However, an organic wine is not necessarily vegan, and conversely, a vegan wine is not always organic.

The characteristics of organic wines

Each wine estate is free to choose the type of wine it wants to produce. For several years now, the production of organic wine has been on the rise. The wines that we qualify as organic come from organic viticulture, and meet strict specifications.

Concretely, an organic wine must be made from grapes grown organically . In other words, phytosanitary products, chemical fertilizers and pesticides are completely prohibited in wine estates. In the cellars, the rules are the same and certain techniques are prohibited , or very limited (sulfiting, cryoconcentration, etc.).

On the other hand, nothing prohibits an organic winegrower from using an animal product to improve his wine. Organic wines are therefore not necessarily vegan wines.

Organic wine and vegan wine: two types of wine with different commitments

If an organic wine is not necessarily vegan , vegan wine is not necessarily organic either. Indeed, a wine grower can absolutely choose to cultivate his vineyard with chemical fertilizers, and decide to eliminate all products of animal origin, such as casein-based glue, from his wine production process.

Of course, vegan wine producers have a certain animal protection ethic that resonates with the environmental protection commitment of organic wine producers. Thus, we very often find wines on the market that are both organic and vegan .

How to recognize a vegan wine: the labels

Unless you buy your vegan wine directly from the producer, it is not easy to identify vegan wines. Fortunately, some labels on wine bottle labels can guide you.

The most recognized international label is undoubtedly the Vegan Society Trademark (or Vegan Trademark). Other labels assure you that you are consuming a product of 100% plant origin, such as the V label or the EVE VEGAN® label .

Have you adopted a vegan lifestyle? This does not prevent you from enjoying the best local products and more and more winegrowers are producing vegan wine .

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