| Vegetarian vineyards? Photo: Tambako the Jaguar.
A couple of weeks ago, I gushed about the Domaine Carneros Brut Rosé Cuvée de la Pompadour, a sparkling rosé made with organic grapes and animal-free products. Other well-known examples of vegan wineries include Frey Vineyards and Girasole Vineyards.
What makes a wine vegan? After all, wine is made from grapes, not beef. Where animal products do come into play is during the fining process. After fermentation, most wine is filtered and fined, which is basically removing all the sediment and leftover dead yeast cells and such from the fermentation process. Most winemakers use animal products like egg white or isinglass, but vegan wines are made with non-animal products such as clay.
Want to find out if your favorite brand is vegan? It's not always easy. Winemakers aren't required to disclose ingredients like the information on Oreo cookie labels, so you have to do some nosing around. One great source is the Barnivore Vegan Wine & Beer Guide, a community project listing of vegan and non-vegan wines. Cheers!