Not all wine is suitable for vegans but many English vineyards are now adopting animal-friendly practices
Wine is made from grapes so surely, it’s suitable for vegans? Well actually, no. Many of the fining agents traditionally used in winemaking to prevent wine from looking cloudy, contain animal products, such as egg whites or milk protein.
UK wine producers are pretty forward thinking when it comes to their wine-making processes however, meaning that there are plenty of vegan-friendly English wines on the market. Here are a few of our favourites, whatever your favourite style of wine.
Named WineGB’s Winery of the Year last year (2020), Wiston Estate in Pulborough, West Sussex, is renowned for its sparkling wines made by Dermot Sugrue – once declared by wine critic Stephen Spurrier as the best winemaker in England. This food-friendly English sparkling wine combines layers of lemon, hazelnut, brioche and yellow apple and works particularly well with vegan-friendly mushroom-based dishes.
Another English sparkling wine made under the guidance of Dermot Sugrue, this sophisticated rosé from Oastbrook Vineyard in Robertsbridge, East Sussex, is made from Pinot Noir and Auxerrois grapes and has refreshing flavours of strawberry and shortbread biscuit.
Made from grapes grown on the Hogs Back near Guildford in Surrey (Hawkins Bros partners with Greyfriars Vineyard to produce its collection of award-winning wines), this Provence-style still rosé has zero residual sugar and is beautifully dry. Perfect for drinking in the summer months.
Created from 100% Pinot Meunier grapes grown and hand-picked on the Simpson’s Estate near Canterbury in Kent, this intriguing ‘blanc de noirs’ is a truly exquisite English still white wine with a sophisticated creamy finish.
Litmus Orange Bacchus is one of the best examples of orange wine we’ve ever tasted so it’s a bit of a bonus that it’s also vegan. Made in collaboration with Denbies Wine Estate in Dorking, Surrey, from grapes grown in Kent, the 2019 vintage was fermented with 16 weeks of skin contact and displays hazelnut and fennel characters on the nose with a slightly peppery palate.
Released last year, this Pinot Noir was Albourne’s first foray into red wine production. With aromas of peppery spice and sweet red cherry, it’s best served with food and at room temperature an hour after opening.