Vegan wine refers to wines that are produced without the use of animal-derived ingredients or fining agents. Traditionally, some winemaking practices involve the use of animal products during the clarification or fining process to remove impurities from the wine. However, vegan wines are made using alternative fining agents that are plant-based or synthetic.
Common animal-derived fining agents used in winemaking include egg whites (albumin), gelatin (from animal collagen), fish bladder (isinglass), and casein (milk protein). These fining agents are added to the wine to bind to impurities and facilitate their removal.
Vegan winemakers use alternative fining agents that are plant-based or synthetic. Some examples include bentonite clay, activated charcoal, silica gel, pea protein, or specific vegetable-based proteins. These agents serve the same purpose of clarifying the wine without the use of animal products.