How to choose a vino that's better for the planet

vegan red wines

By Cassandra Tresidder

We all know by now that climate change is changing the ripening times across Australia’s wine regions, but did you also know that not all wines are actually vegan?!

While the picking, pressing and fermentation of grapes can be considered vegan, there are certain techniques used by most wine makers that result in vegan wine turning into a wine, vegans would want to avoid.

Simon Wilson, Learning Partner at BWS explains: “Put simply, vegan wine has not used any animal products in the production of the wine. This is achieved either by using vegetable / mineral substitutes to refine / clarify the wine or where the winemaker takes a “minimal-intervention” approach and does not use and “fining” agents at all in the production.

Traditionally, regular wines may use fining agents such as milk protein, egg whites, gelatin often from fish swim bladders called isinglass). While they are not additives to the wine, there is potential for tiny traces of the fining agent to be absorbed into the wine.”

red wine

There are also negative environmental impacts resulting from the production of wine. A study by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance, a nonprofit industry group, concluded that impacts at a winery level can me attributed to purchased energy, including electricity, diesel and other fossil fuels. The impacts from packaging are also significant due to the energy requirements of producing materials such as bottles and corrugated boxes. 

So what can you do to ensure you are choosing the most environmentally friendly wine? Choose the wines that have lighter bottles or from our list of best vegan wines below as recommended by Good Food below.

Yalumba The Y Series Pinot Grigio 2017, $13-$15

This bargain PG offers inviting apple, citrus and flowering herb aromas, with a clean, fruity mouthful that finishes savoury and dry. Shop now.

D'Arenberg D'Arry's Original 2014, $16-$18

Thid wine has a warm, friendly drop smelling of red berries, spices and earth. The palate is smooth, easy and nicely lingering, with fine tannins behind it. Shop now.

Cullen Diana Madeline 2016, $125-$130

This pristine regional cabernet blend has piercing aromas of blackcurrant, cedar, chocolate and briar. In the mouth it's succulent and intense, yet delicate, with lovely freshness and balance. Shop now.


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