VEGAN, ORGANIC OR NATURAL WINE?
Vegan, organic or natural wine, discover the similarities and differences.
The world of wine is changing significantly, or at least that’s what the trends are telling us. Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of what is healthy and natural, in all areas, including wine. That is why there is an increasing range of wines that are vegan, organic, natural, etc. Just as the range of healthier living options is increasing, with a greater respect for nature, wines that possess these features are becoming increasingly important for consumers.
We take it for granted that all wines are vegan, because their only ingredient is grapes; or that all organic wine comes from untreated grapes; or that there are differences between bio, eco and organic, but none of the above is actually true. Below we explain what a vegan, organic and natural wine is.
What is vegan wine?
When we say vegan wine, we mean wine suitable for consumption by people who follow a vegan diet. That is, a diet that contains no trace of animal-based products. Such products are not used to make traditional wine, but they are used to clarify it.
Clarification is a common process in winemaking that serves to remove impurities that may make the wine cloudy. Common clarifiers are egg albumin, animal-based gelatine, fish tail or casein, all of animal origin. For a wine to be vegan, it must be bottled without being clarified, or it must be clarified with vegetable proteins from potatoes or peas, seaweed or with bentonite, which is of mineral origin.
Vegan wine does not take into account whether it comes from sustainable vineyards or whether natural fertilisers have been used.
Organic wines are characterised by the natural origin of the whole wine making process.
In order for a wine to be called organic, the vineyard must be certified for organic farming. All the products used in the vineyard must be of natural and organic origin. No mineral or nitrogen fertilisers may be used.
Legislation also regulates the winemaking process in the winery. Only natural products from a natural source and that have not been subjected to an industrial process can be used in clarification.
The ecological, biological and organic labels mean the same thing, it is simply more common in some countries to use one term and in others another.
Natural wines, the least well-known
Natural wines are closely linked to environmental sustainability. No chemical products are used in production and the process is subject to the minimum possible intervention.
A good definition of natural wine would be a wine that wants to express naturally where it comes from and is produced. Natural wines are organic because they come from organically farmed vineyards, i.e. without the use of pesticides, herbicides or chemical fertilisers.
However, natural wines are in addition usually bottled without any clarification or with a very gentle clarification, using less intrusive methods. There are no added sulphites, only those that occur naturally in the grapes. As for filtration, natural wines are either filtered by natural decantation or bottled without filtering. So, as their name suggests, natural wines are made in the most traditional and manual way possible.
Reserva de la Tierra is committed to these new categories of wine that are more respectful of the environment. We have recently launched the first organic wines, such as KOA and Xila, and now all our white wines are vegan.