Organic Wine is not always suitable for vegans
Organic wine, until February 2012 did not officially exist in the European Union, only “wine made from organically grown grapes”. The rules did not cover wine-making, just the farming techniques. EU regulations on organic farming ban chemical fertilisers, synthetic pesticides and genetically modified organisms.
Many people believe that wine is simply fermented grape juice and therefore must be vegetarian. Even some vegans that we have discussed this with do not realise what might be in wine. Many of us think that organic wine means that it is vegan friendly. While an organic wine might be more vegan friendly than a non-organic wine this does not guarantee that it is a vegan wine.
Organic Wine Production
Organic wine making is based on nourishing the soil to maintain its natural characteristics. This leads to better grapes and so better tasting wines. Organic wine producers say using fertilisers, pesticides, and fungicides has stripped the land of its natural minerals and weakened the soil: poor soil means poorer grapes. Many fertilisers uses animal products, a vegan wine should not be from such grapes: an organic fertiliser should be used. Working the soil to improve it means that organic wine production can be more expensive compared to when chemicals are added.
Organic wines can still suffer from chemicals such as sulphites and other additives being added in the winemaking process. This is allowable under the regulations: it is after the “organically grown grapes” have been picked. Some of these chemicals have health issues and can for example affect asthmatics. Other additives are derived from animal products so will not satisfy vegan diets.
Vegan Wines Online sells many organic wine and bio-dynamic wines. It also sells low sulphur wines. All the wines we sell are suitable for vegans.
Unlike fruit and vegetables, there is no extra mark-up on organic wine to pay for it. With no price advantage, organic and bio-dynamic vineyards are aiming for better quality wines to win sales as people become aware of the need to change.