Viticulture & winemaking
Vegan wines in greater demand
Vegan is not only in high demand for food. Recently, people have also asked whether wine is suitable for vegans. But what is a vegan wine?
When growing the grapes in the vineyards, there is no difference between conventional and vegan wines. Only in the cellar does the vegan winemaker use alternative means or methods.
Winegrowers have been using animal products such as egg whites, or more recently gelatine, to clarify wine for many hundreds of years. The protein combines with the cloudy substances in the wine and then settles on the bottom of the barrel or tank. The clear wine is then drawn off (racked), so virtually nothing remains of the animal product in the final wine. As a positive side effect, there is also a harmonization of the tannin structure in addition to this clarification.
In the production of vegan wines, the animal substances are replaced by a vegetable protein obtained from peas, beans or potato starch. In terms of taste, this makes no difference. The production of vegan wines is no more expensive than that of conventional wines, and they do not necessarily have to be produced according to organic criteria. However, it can be said that the buyers of these wines often make sure that the wines are not only vegan, but also organically produced. Some vegans also give importance to whether the labels on the bottles have been attached with plant-based glue or bone glue.
Video in German: ZDF "Volle Kanne" Vegan wines with Steffen Schindler (DWI)
Displaying vegan credentials
With the increased demand for vegan products, the number of winegrowers who refer to vegan production on the bottle is also increasing although there is still no uniform European seal for vegan wines. This is why winemakers use seals from organizations such as the Vegan Society of England, the European Vegan Union or the Vegetarian Association Germany for their vegan wines.
Exact figures on vegan wineries or the consumption of vegan wine are not available. Only a general increase is noted. For some time now, vegan wines have also been found in restaurants that now offer their guests suitable wines to compliment vegan dishes. They are available in all flavors, colors - white, red or rosé and across all grape varieties. The first vegan sparkling wine has also come onto the market.
Incidentally, many wine bottles contain vegan wine anyway, without the winemakers emphasizing this or writing it on the label. This is because an increasing number of winegrowers are giving the wine more time to clarify in a natural way rather than using additives of any kind.