A couple of weeks ago, I learned something here on MNN. We ran a piece on vegan wine, aptly titled Vegan wine? Isn’t it all vegan? I don’t know about you, but I would have thought all wine was vegan.
It turns out the process of fining the wine – adding a bit of protein to the wine to help loose particles settle at the bottom of the barrel – often makes the wine not vegan. That’s because the proteins used frequently come from animal products like egg whites, sturgeon bladder or casein (a milk protein).
At the end of our piece on vegan wine, the author Leah Koenig gave us three vegan wine choices to consider. What if you’re looking for a sparkling wine for a special occasion, though? Is there a vegan choice?
There is. One vegan bubbly choice comes from the certified organic estate vineyards of Domaine Carneros, located in the southern portion of both Sonoma and Napa counties. The winery uses a fining agent called Clarifiant S, a preparation of sodium bentonite. It’s a clay-based product that contains no animal additives.
Domaine Carneros makes three vegan sparkling wines — a traditional Brut sparkling wine ($26/bottle) from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, a Brut Rose ($36/bottle) from those same two grapes, and a Blanc de Blancs ($85/bottle) made with 100 percent Chardonnay and aged six years. All three of these vegan sparkling wines are also made from organic grapes. Prices on the sparkling wines come from Domaine Carneros’ online wine shop.
Domaine Carneros also practices other sustainable producing methods such as the use of solar energy, the use of skylights for natural lighting, and partially buried buildings with passive nighttime cooling systems.