Debunking Vegan Wine

“Rockburn Wines are 100% vegan.”
“Really? How could they be anything other than vegan?”

It might be obvious to us wine nerds but the fact that most widely available wines are not vegan seems to be little known which is surprising as plant based diets and lifestyles are more popular than ever.

We’ve put together a quick Q&A based on the most commonly asked questions from wine drinkers to help debunk vegan wine for you.


Why are some wines not vegan?

Non-vegan wines are treated with “fining agents” that are made from animal products.


Which animal products are fining agents made from?

Blood and bone marrow, casein (milk protein), chitin (fiber from crustacean shells), egg albumen (derived from egg whites), fish oil, gelatin (protein from boiling animal parts), and isinglass (gelatin from fish bladder membranes).


Why are these fining agents used?

These fining agents help eliminate proteins, yeasts and other molecules that give wine a cloudy appearance. They can also eliminate harsh tannins, helping the wine taste smoother at a younger age.


What’s the alternative to using these fining agents?

Time. Without fining agents, wine will typically become less cloudy on its own, it simply takes a little more time. Fining simply speed up the process that may otherwise take a few months.


How can I find out if a wine is vegan or not?

Read the label. Thanks to the NZ Foods Standards Code the presence of fining agents as potential allergen products must be declared on the back label of a wine.


Why did you decide to make Rockburn wines 100% vegan?

It’s a reflection of Malcolm Rees-Francis’ winemaking philosophy: to treat the fruit (and wine) as gently as possible, with minimum interference and maximum ease of use.


Are vegan wines as good as non-vegan wines?

Yes! Our 100% vegan wines are received numerous prestigious awards over the last decade and excellent reviews from national and international wine judges.