A winemaker is set to release the first certified vegan Chianti, which is scheduled to be available for sale this spring (2015)
This article was originally written in 2015 - I've revisited and updated the content.
In 2015 we spotted that Fattoria Casabianca near Siena had been certified as Vegan. They had improved and refined their control over the grapes' travels from the vine to the bottle, and eliminated all animal products and derivatives - even in the glue and packing tape for the outside of the bottles!
In the traditional wine-making process, the grape juice is filtered through a number of substances called “fining agents” in order to remove things such as off flavours, cloudiness, proteins and some other organic particles. By improving and refining the process, as well as tracking the grapes from wine to bottle, producers can be certified as "Vegan".
Since then we've found other vineyards following suit, and taking the process further with a strong moral guideline guiding their processes. The wonderful Querciabella and their Organic Biodynamic Vegan Wine, run by Sebastiano Cossia Castiglioni, were recently written about by Sunny Gandara on Livekindly.co: QuerciaBella
In her interview, Sebastiano says: "Our goal is to exalt the purity of the fruit that becomes our wine
through plant-based biodynamics. However, we don’t want to simply
‘respect nature.’ Instead, we aim to give something back. This is why we
follow very complex techniques in the vineyards and cellars, aimed at
bringing back as much natural balance and vitality to the soil and the
environment as possible.
As an example, we strictly object to using cultured yeasts or any
other additives in vinification (even those permitted in organic
winemaking), but we meticulously follow fermentations and regulate
temperatures to allow our indigenous yeasts (the ones that naturally
live on the plants and grapes, and inside the cellars) to work at their