As with organic certification, vegan certification from winemakers is on the rise, in part to due consumer demand and an increased consciousness of the impact of products on the environment. Officially classifying wines is optional, but those who take care to produce vegan wines will usually observe this. It is worth noting that wines classed as vegan are not necessarily organic, and vice versa. For more information on organic wines, click here.
Likewise, many wines will proudly display that they are vegetarian-friendly (the vast majority are), but only wines with vegan-friendly status have their own category on our website. This is because the most common part of the winemaking process to use animal products is the fining and filtration of the wine prior to bottling. Although they are not part of the wine, making them still vegetarian-friendly, they rule out the wine as vegan.
To avoid this, vegan-friendly producers either leave wine unfined and unfiltered (meaning there will be sediment particles remaining at the bottom of the bottle), or use new and alternative fining products. Traditional fining products include egg whites, bone marrow, gelatin, milk or fish by-products. Vegan-friendly alternatives include clays such as bentonite or cellulose sheets.
Many vegan wine producers will apply the wider ethos of minimising any negative impact to flora, fauna, climate and earth across their farming and production. The attention to detail of vegan-friendly wines makes them a good staring point for eco-conscious consumers.
Certification of vegan wines can be sought from numerous organisations - countrywide, continent-wide and even internationally. BeVeg is an international certification represented across all continents except Antarctica, the UK often uses The Vegan Society, and Europe have the European Vegetarian Union (EVU). Differing logos can be confusing, but of course they will always have the recognisable 'V' at their heart!