Not all wine is vegan. Many Winemakers use animal products because of a winemaking process called ‘fining’ which makes wine clear and bright in color. During the fining process, things like casein, albumin (egg whites), gelatin, and isinglass (fish bladder) are often employed to remove flakes inside the wine that could make the liquid look hazy.
Before you go spitting our your Chianti, there’s no reason wine has to use these agents to tidy up their color. Plant-based wine is on the rise all over the United States and abroad. Today, we look at ten plant-based wineries in the iconic regions of Napa and Sonoma. Whether you plan on taking a vegan wine tour of the area, or you’re looking to make more plant-based decisions at your local wine vendor, you’ve come to the right place.
1. Humanitas Wines
After two decades the wine business, Humanitas Wines founder Judd Wallenbrockfelt that he needed to give back to the less fortunate. After being inspired by charitable companies such as “Paul Newman’s Own” he decided to found a wine company which worked for those in need and donated generously to the less fortunate. In 2002, Wallenbrock sent out an email to about 200 people. The letter asked: “Wouldn’t it be great if every time you enjoyed a glass of wine you were doing something to better your community?“ The response was overwhelming. Now, this ethical, charitable wine company is doing fundraisers and helping to keep art in local schools with a fresh face towards the future.
25 Enterprise Court
Napa, CA 94558
Founded by a father and son nearly fifty years ago, Girard Winery is dedicated to responsible green harvesting and sustainable wine-making practices. Girard considers themselves to be “ambitiously efficient”, using a state-of-the-art winemaking facility that uses only the best in energy saving technologies while still allowing for the proper employment of traditional wine-making techniques. One of their most profound initiatives is an onsite water-treatment plant and the use of only clean-burning gas.
3. Judd’s Hill
This environmentally-friendly wine company has been family owned since its inception. All Judd’s Hill wines are made in their certified Napa Valley Green Winery designed to minimize our impact on the land. The techniques used to craft this vegan wine employs environmentally efficient drainage, solar lighting, and an aggressive recycling and composting program. A winery designed to make a difference, Judd’s Hill is a green winery for this century. Did we metion they have a radio show?
2332 Silverado Trail,
Napa CA 94558
4. Jessup Cellars
Jessup Cellars is one winemaker that gives back to the community. This vegan wine producer hosts regular events aimed at lending a helping hand. They hold ‘Art House Sessions’ summer music series and ‘Art House Short Film Series’, which serve to connect community organizations and projects in order to raise awareness funding for their important initiatives. Their event calendar includes live music as well as visiting chefs.
6740 Washington Street
Yountville, CA 94599
5. Cosentino Winery
Apart from being vegan, Cosentino Winery has a long history of firsts. After 35 years in the industry, this wine producer is known for creating the first designated and licensed Meritage wine. It also holds the title of the first winery on Highway 29 as you head upwards in the valley. They do not fine only of their wines, meaning everything they produce is %100 free of any and all animal product.
7415 St. Helena Hwy
Yountville, CA 94599
6. Hagafen Cellars
Hagafen Cellars has been around for nearly 40 years and has had the distinct honor of having been on the menu at the White House. It’s also highly environmentally conscious, interfering as little as possible with the soil in order to reduce the impact of chemicals and erosion. Its wines have garnered many awards over the years, and have been served to four sitting US Presidents.
4160 Silverado Trail
Napa, CA 94558 USA
7. Amici Cellars
Amici means “Freinds” in Italian, which is appropriate since Amici Cellars was founded by a group of best friends with a passion for wine. After getting together to make some wine as a personal adventure, the trio thought the wine was so good, they decided to found a vineyard and make wine for a living. The daring decision ‘bore fruit’ and now they focus on delicious wine for everyone to enjoy.
3130 Old Lawley Toll Road
Calistoga, CA 94515
1. Schug Carneros Estate Winery
Schug Carneros Estate Winery is at the forefront of sustainable, green winemaking. The winemakers at Schug are always finding the most environmentally friendly growing the grapes to make their vintages. During the Spring, mustard flowers, poppies, and wild grasses grow between the vines, preventing soil erosion, nitrogen addition, and creating a habitat for wildlife. The natural environment attracts birds and predatory insects which limits the need for pesticides. The wine undergoes no process exposing it to animal products.
602 Bonneau Rd
Sonoma, CA 95476
2. Little Vineyards
Situated in the heart of Sonoma Valley, Little Vineyards is a family-owned winery with a long list of awards and accolades. The winery began as a small plot of land in 1996 (hence the winery’s name.) Little Vineyards kept things small, however, and only produces 2500 cases a year, so supplies are often limited, but they offer a wine club, visits, and private tastings if you choose to make the trip!
15188 Sonoma Highway
Glen Ellen, CA 95442
3. Deerfield Ranch Winery
Deerfield Ranch Winery is one of the greenest there is. 98% of the process wastewater is recycled on site. The estate vineyard is organically farmed and the surrounding wildlife is always under cultivation. Their winemaking techniques reduce acidity and tannins, leading to a wine that is as much a joy to drink as it is to hear about the environment-saving techniques. No only are thier wines free of animal product, but all wines are guaranteed to be totally allergen-free.
10200 Sonoma Hwy
Kenwood, CA 95452
For many of us, simply drinking wine isn’t enough, we want to cook with it! Check out these exciting recipes using your favorite vegan wine!
Champignon Au Vin: Mushrooms in Red Wine
There are some dishes that you might think you can’t make if you’re vegan. Dishes that have become classics over time but use meat as the principal ingredient. The wonderful thing about a recipe is that, in most cases, it can be changed accordingly to suit any diet. Dan Waters’ Champignon Au Vin: Mushrooms in Red Wine is perfect for any gathering!
Strawberry Wine Cupcakes
These Strawberry Wine Cupcakes by Laura Ryan are perfect for using up all of those fresh summertime strawberries. Strawberries and wine is a classic combo that usually involves champagne, but a cheap white wine is a great alternative if you’re on a budget. The frosting is a soft, fluffy buttercream that’s flavored only with the wine. The wine cuts the sweetness a little, giving the frosting a slight tang.
Red Wine Poached Pears
Red Wine Poached Pears as designed by Julie Zimmer are a delicious and healthy fruit dessert. Every now and then, it’s nice to do something a little special, and the holiday season is one of those times. This a fresh and healthy treat, with a kick.
If you enjoy wine and recipes like the ones you saw here, we highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App, it’s available for both Android and iPhone and has free and paid versions. The app is loaded with thousands of allergy-friendly & vegan recipes/cooking tips, has hundreds of search filters and features like bookmarking, meal plans and more! The app shows you how having diet/health/food preferences can be full of delicious abundance rather than restrictions!
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