What’s in a wine?

As part of an informal survey, Food Empowerment Project (F.E.P.) contacted winemakers who were promoting the fair treatment of farm workers to inquire if their wines were also vegan. As a vegan food justice organization, F.E.P. is concerned with the treatment of those who work in the vineyards.


It may come as a surprise to many that part of the winemaking process often involves the use of animal products. At the end of the process, wine is sometimes clarified using a variety of filtering mechanisms. Gelatins (made from animal bones), isinglass (obtained from fish bladders), and egg albumin are some of the most common filters in use today. In the words of one of the largest distributors of wine in the United States:

Our winemakers tell us that gelatin and proteins from animal or fish products and milk or eggs have been used in winemaking for centuries and are recognized as traditional methods for wine fining, or clarifying. Generally, none of these products remain in the wine because they are removed by filtration prior to bottling. A few of our premium wines that undergo minimal or no filtration prior to bottling are exceptions and therefore may not be completely free of animal products.


However, there are winemakers who have found plant-derivative substitutes. Others say that increasing the time the wine ages in the barrel eliminates the need for any filtration.

F.E.P. is pleased to find companies that not only offer vegan wines but also hold a high standard for the workers. We are happy to provide a list of vegan wines out of those we have surveyed. This list is a snapshot in time, as the requirements to produce each wine will vary according to the winemaker’s discretion.


South Africa

Bosman Family Vineyard
Region: South Africa
URL: http://www.bosmanwines.com
All of their wines are vegan.

Stellar Winery
Region: South Africa
URL: http://www.stellarorganics.co.za/
All of their wines are vegan.


United States

Justice Grace Vineyards
Region: California, United States
URL: http://www.justicegrace.com
Vegan wines:
Rhone Reds
Skin Fermented Whites

North Star Winery
Region: Washington, United States
URL: http://www.northstarwinery.com
All of their wines are vegan.

Region: Washington, United States
URL: http://www.snoqualmie.com
Vegan wines:

  • ECO Gewürztraminer
  • ECO Riesling
  • ECO Chardonnay
  • ECO Cabernet Sauvignon

St. Francis Wineries
Region: California, United States
URL: http://www.stfranciswinery.com
All of their wines are vegan.

St. Supery
Region: California, United States
URL: http://www.stsupery.com
All of their wines are vegan.


As of July 2017

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