Here’s something that you may not have already known: not all wine is vegan, or even vegetarian. Yes, there’s more to wine than just fermented grapes.
There are various wines in the market now that claim to be vegan, organic, biodynamic or natural wine. Rather than just taking their word for it, let’s look at the differences between these types of wine.
It’s easy to be roped in by buzzwords when shopping, and while you can always check the label, you need to know what exactly it is you’re looking for to make an informed decision.
Here, we explain the differences between vegan, organic, biodynamic and natural wine:
Vegan wine is produced without any animal products. That means winemakers do not use conventional fining agents such as egg whites, milk, fish oil, blood and bone marrow or isinglass (a protein found in fish bladder membranes). These fining agents are known as processing aids. They are not additives to the wine, they’re used to filter the wine, however might also get absorbed into the wine in small quantities, making it unsuitable for vegetarians and vegans.
Made from grapes and by processes free from synthetic pesticides, herbicides, hormones and antibiotics. Crops must be non-GMO and processes must be water-efficient and biodiversity-friendly, according to Australian Organic.
So how do you tell if the bottle you’ve picked up is organic? Well, just because a product uses words like ‘real’ or ‘natural’ or ‘from nature’, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s certified organic.
To distinguish the certified organic wines, look out for the Australian Organic Bud logo.
Every Australian Certified Organic logo displayed on organic products has a certification number unique to the producer or processor, which allows for traceability throughout the production system.
Based on the biodynamic and holistic practices developed by Austrian philosopher Rudolph Steiner in the 1920s. Considered to take organic practices a step further, focusing on regenerating the soil to be fully sustainable and farming by the astrological calendar.
Biodynamic agriculture was initially developed in 1924 and was the first of the organic agriculture movements. It is a form of alternative agriculture very similar to organic farming, but it includes various esoteric concepts drawn from the ideas of Steiner.
Produced with as little intervention from chemicals or technology as possible, both in the growing of the grape and the winemaking process. Because of this, it is often cloudy and unrefined. It can still contain sulphites but they would be a natural by-product of the fermentation process.
The result is a living wine – wholesome and full of naturally occurring microbiology.
Although natural wine is a very small fraction of Australia’s total wine production, conversations surrounding this new (but actually very old) frontier of wine are becoming more common.
If you’re a casual wine drinker, you might not be interested in the minute differences between natural or organic, however if you’re a wine enthusiast, there is further reading on natural wine that may interest you.
Vegan and Organic wines from Wine Design
Wine Design have a range of vegan friendly and organic wines available! Make it unique with our personalised wine label options.
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