There’s more to conscious alcohol consumption than just reusable straws and recyclable packaging, If you’ve explored a plant-based or vegan diet you would have found in your research that many forms of alcohol are in fact not considered vegan let alone entirely natural/organic.
So what exactly is natural wine? Like the food industry there’s many a buzz trend word that gets thrown, and that includes the word natural. Unfortunately, there’s no straightforward answer, in the same way that the garment industry can be ‘sustainable’ in many different ways, as can the food and beverage industry (GoodFood.com.au conducted some research on this topic and published a report that helps to shed light on the topic).
Natural wines can be many things, organic, biodynamic or botanical for example. Look for wine that is accredited by an authorised certifying body. Here in Australia, look out for certifications from Australian Certified Organic (ACO) or the Natural Association for Sustainable Agriculture Australia (NASAA) as they are good starting points, as the wineries and distilleries take pride in transparency, in their organic winemaking process and sustainability vision. And like anything it’s important to ask questions as consumers to ask questions and research to consciously spend our money.
Nowadays, more mainstream bottle shops will have a selection of natural and vegan wines however smaller independent cellars are where the larger variety usually is.
Why is most wine produced not vegan?
During the filtration stage of the winemaking process, the liquid is filtered through fining agents to remove the cloudiness, protein and yeast amongst other things. It’s these fining agents that are most often animal-derived, think gelatin, insinglass, egg albumen and casein.
So here are some natural and vegan wines to buy next time you’re looking for a bottle to accompany your next meal or just need a drink after a long stressful day.
No Evil is an organic range of wines from South Australia crafted using small batch boutique winemaking techniques resulting in wine that is not only organic but also vegan-friendly. I highly recommend the organic rose!
Like the name suggests, this is a collection of wines produced with the cruelty-free shopper and vegan in mind. The Vegan Wine Project‘s Shiraz is recommended for wine drinkers who are easing into drinking reds too.
Farm Hand wines contain minimal preservatives, are produced from wines sourced from organic vineyards and are also vegan. Produced in South Australia’s Monash Valley in a climate perfectly suited to Organic Viticulture, Farm Hand have rich fruity flavours.
If you’re up for more of an experience the below are known for their sustainable practices and open to the public
A small batch winery in Mudgee, NSW, Lowe Family Wine Company’s vineyards are unirrigated, untrellised and certified organic/biodynamic and with fruit grown on four sites within the region, all of which are certified organic and leading the field with sustainable management.
Another Mudgee winery, Botobolar is ACO accredited and have been growing organic grapes and making organic wine, incredibly, since 1971 being the first winery to ever produce an organic and preservative free wine in 1984.
Tamburlaine is in NSW’s Hunter Valley wine region, a winery with a strong vision for sustainability producing award-winning wines from over 300 hectares of certified organic vines. Tamburlaine is one of Australia’s largest producers of organic wines that cover vegan-friendly low sulphur, organic and no added sulphur wines.
Situated in the Barossa Valley, Kalleske has been family-owned, farmed and grown since 1853 with the oldest vine dating back to 1875 and still committed to growing grapes that are certified organic and biodynamic. For seven generations the family have been producing wine with environmentally sustainable practices in mind to preserve the natural environment for future generations.
Situated in Manly on Sydney’s northern beaches, Many Spirits Co. is a tasting bar, distillery and cellar door producing Gins, Vodkas and Whiskies from Australian sustainably sourced native and marine botanicals.
Young Henrys beer brewery in Sydney’s inner west suburb of Newtown has their philosophy grounded on keeping things local and minimising their environmental impact, like donating spent grain as a result of the brewing process to local cattle farmers.
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