WineHandpicked by IWSC

15 award-winning vegan wines

While plenty of wines are suitable for vegans, seeking them out can often be a challenge. We've rounded up 15 of the best vegan wines from the IWSC 2023

Words by IWSC Judges

vegan red wine pouring and salad dish
Handpicked by IWSC

If you’re looking for the best vegan wines, there are few things it’s important to know. Firstly, contrary to popular belief, not all wines are vegan, despite being made solely from crushed grapes.

The key aspect of winemaking when it comes to vegan wines is fining – that is, when a fining agent is added to remove haze and solid particles from the wine, to ensure it is in the best-possible condition and that its appearance is optimum.

Traditionally, fining agents have been made from animal products, such as isinglass (ground-up fish bladders), egg whites (which are still commonplace in Bordeaux), gelatin and casein (which is derived from milk). When wines are fined, none of the fining agents remain in the wine when bottled but vegans still consider their use unacceptable.

Not all wines are fined or filtered, however, and there are plenty of natural wine producers who bottle their wines without doing either. Such wines may have the term ‘unfiltered and unfined’ on the label – a guarantee of a vegan-friendly wine. Not only that, but there are also non-animal-based fining products that do the job perfectly well, such as clay-based bentonite or microplastic Poly-vinyl-poly-pyrrolidone.

vegan meal with wine on table

What makes life difficult for wine-loving vegans is that currently, producers are not obliged to disclose which (if any) fining agents they use. Organic and biodynamic wines are no guarantee of vegan-friendliness, either, and there is still no widespread legal definition of what constitutes a vegan product. Some wines do now feature the V-label (a green ‘V’ on a yellow background, the symbol of the European Vegetarian Union), but there is no standard labelling format for vegan wines.

In addition to fining, there are other processes that can prevent a wine from having vegan status. Austrian biodynamic producer Gernot Heinrich in Burgenland, for example, seals some of its wines with beeswax, while others use animal collagen-based glues for attaching labels to the bottle. And some vegans claim that the use of animal-derived manure or fertiliser is a no-no, too – which would eliminate many biodynamic wines, which frequently use horse manure in the vineyard.

Despite these ongoing issues, the popularity of vegan wines is growing, particularly as consumers are ever-more inquisitive as to how the food and drink they consume is made. The IWSC takes vegan wines seriously, too, using an expert panel comprising some of the finest palates in the business to judge them. Here are the best vegan wines to try.

vegan white wine pouring and salad vegetables


We run a tightly structured, rigorous wine tasting process. That means that each wine sample is pre-poured into numbered glasses and assessed blindly by the judges. Most importantly, IWSC wine judges are experts in their field, who work across all sectors of the wine industry. For evidence, see our full list of judges.


Only the best wines sampled receive a Gold or Silver award. For example, to win Gold, wines have to score between 95 and 100 points. Meanwhile, Silver wines range from 90 to 94 points. Click here to read more on our scoring system.


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