Vegan and Organic Wine: Is There a Difference?

When you make wine, you need to be able to appeal to your target group of consumers with the appropriate wine. At times, this means catering to their general dietary preferences such as vegan and organic. Avoid making the mistake many do today by thinking that organic wines are automatically vegan ones, as there can be differences between the two that can keep each from fitting into both categories. We will examine each classification below to help you process your wines in the correct manner to obtain the desired category to suit your customers.

What Determines an Organic Wine?

The important fact to remember about organic wine is that it starts with grapes that are certified organic. Growers cultivate these grapes without the use of chemical fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides. Also, the winemaking process should also be void of artificial ingredients. On top of this, though, you should understand that with organic wines the level of sulfites is a determining factor for the wines to qualify as organic. Sulfites are sulphur dioxide, which is in wine naturally, but some winemakers add more to prevent the growth of bacteria and to preserve the wine. The sulfites are not dangerous except to those who have a sensitivity to them. In Australia, no sulfites can be added to the organic wine for it to be 100-percent organic. When you use fining agents to clarify your wine, these also need to fit the organic definition.

Qualifications for a Wine to Be Vegan

Wine ingredients such as grapes and yeast qualify for vegan status. The fining agents that certain winemakers use to clarify their wines, though, may turn a wine into a non-vegan one if they use the wrong ones. This is because there are fining agents that come from animal sources, including:

  • Casein, which is a milk protein
  • Gelatin is an animal protein
  • Albumin from egg whites
  • Fish oil
  • Chitin from crustacean shells

If a fining agent is necessary for a vegan wine, you should turn to one of the following since these qualify for vegan status:

  • Carbon
  • Silica gel
  • Vegetable plaques
  • Limestone
  • Bentonite and kaolin clays
  • Plant casein

Remember, you can make a vegan wine that is not organic or an organic wine that is not vegan. You must adhere to the rules for vegan and organic wine to ensure that each one qualifies for its specific classification. In addition, turn to Grapework Consumables for all your winemaking equipment, machinery and processing supplies. We provide quality products and services to ensure that your wine comes out in the ideal manner.