Winemakers Tap Unexpected Ingredients to Make Vegan Wine

Emilie Zanger

For vegan wine lovers, the need for vigilance extends all the way to the glass. It’s not well-known outside the wine community that animal byproducts are common in winemaking, particularly during a process called “fining.” During this step, proteins, tannins and phenols are removed through precipitation in order to enhance clarity, smooth out flavor and prevent oxidation. Traditionally, winemakers have used “fining agents”—substances such as casein (milk protein), albumen (egg whites), gelatin (animal protein), and isinglass (fish...