In recent times one of the biggest health trends has been ‘Going Vegan’. The trend is only gaining momentum. You only have to scroll through Instagram to see all the colourful and beautifully presented vegetable and grain bowls, clothes and other lifestyle products.
The Vegan Trade Journal reports Australia is the third fastest growing vegan market in the world behind United Arab Emirates and China. It is estimated that one in six Australians are buying plant-based alternatives, regardless of any health issues.
“Isn’t all wine vegan?” you may ask. Not so. Vegan-friendly wines are made without animal products during the winemaking process. Animal products are often used during the ‘fining’ process, which takes place post-fermentation. Fining agents approved for conventional winemaking are outlined in the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code – Standard 4.5.1 – Wine Production Requirements (Australia Only) and include the following:
- Chemical – polyvinylpolyrrolidone (PVPP), silicon dioxide, potassium ferrocyanide, copper sulphate
- Animal – egg white, casein, skim milk, isinglass (fish), gelatine
- Plant – plant proteins
- Organic solids – activated carbon, bentonite
The fining process not only removes solids, but also odours associated with oxidation and sulphur dioxide, bitterness from excess tannins and also changes and controls colour of the wine.
Fining agents do not remain in the finished wine, but make white wine brilliantly clear, which is why you’ll find that unfined and unfiltered wine may have some cloudiness.
For a vegan-friendly wine, the winemaker will either use plant protein fining agents, use a technique called cold settling prior to filtration to separate the solids or, they may simply leave the wine unfined.
See Saw Wines producer Justin Jarrett uses pea plant proteins to fine their wines.
Vegan wines whilst niche, can be made conventionally organically or with low intervention techniques, is growing alongside demand for vegan food. It’s not mandatory to indicate on a wine label whether that wine is vegan or not but increasingly producers are adding a V symbol or wording Vegan-friendly or unfined and unfiltered.
Check out our dedicated Vegan-friendly pack here.
Vegan Australia has 281 national and state events (markets, festivals and conferences) listed, check out upcoming events here. Throughout October and November, the following main events are taking place: