Why aren't all wines vegan-friendly?

by Jack Brockbank

In this article I'll be exploring why only some wines are vegan-friendly.

All wine starts out vegan. Wine is essentially fermented grape juice, so it doesn’t naturally contain any animal products. The reason that animal products are sometimes used is to help remove the cloudiness that appears during the winemaking process. This practice is called ‘fining’ and involves adding something to the wine which attaches itself to the cloudy particles floating in it, making them sink to the bottom of the tank or barrel where they can be removed easily. There are also fining agents that don’t come from animal products, which make wines suitable for vegans.

Here are some examples of animal derived products that are used for fining:

Egg white is the most traditionally used fining agent. Once added, the egg whites bind with the undesirable particles and sink to the bottom, allowing the clear wine to be run off.

Gelatin is a protein derived from animal skin and bone and is used in the fining process for certain red and white wines.

Isinglass is a fining agent derived from the swim bladders of fish. This is rarely used these days, but occasionally found in more traditional winemaking.

The fining process can also be achieved using non-animal products such as Bentonite (which comes from clay), ensuring that the wine and winemaking process are completely vegan-friendly.

It is unfortunately not always clear which wines are vegan from their labels alone, so at Vinkind we make sure to find out from the winemakers which wines are suitable for vegans, and all our vegan wines have this symbol underneath: 

You can also view all our vegan wines in one place by following the vegan wines link in our menu.

Jack Brockbank
Co-Founder of Vinkind