Where are we at on fining and filtration for reds, whites, and beyond?

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Re: Where are we at on fining and filtration for reds, whites, and beyond?

#51 Post by Marcus Goodfellow »

Doug Schulman wrote: April 6th, 2021, 1:16 pm
Marcus Goodfellow wrote: April 6th, 2021, 11:19 am
Doug Schulman wrote: April 6th, 2021, 5:27 am
You’ve made up your own definition. It’s not the real definition. You can rationalize it all you want, but that doesn’t change the accepted definition. A couple if other people have done the same thing in this thread.
I get your post, and used the words “my interpretation” on purpose.

I do understand what Vegan choices are. And I am happy to produce wines that don’t have animal products added in the cellar. But I also have my own need not to feel like a hypocrite. (And because I have a lot of respect for Scott, and would like him to keep buying my wines.)

My wines are there for other people to choose to support or not, and I would go out of business quickly if no one did, but they’re not just a manufactured process.

The vineyard at Whistling Ridge is a living space(for me at least) and when I am there it’s a singular whole that I am a part of and share with a host of other life. Much of which lives and dies as part of a smaller life cycle than my own, and a not insignificant amount dies when we harvest the fruit or shortly thereafter. While this isn’t something I expect anyone to understand, the process is not different for me than when we would butcher chickens or a cow growing up. Some aspect of life sacrifices for my benefit. I’m not wracked by guilt over this, but I do prefer to fully acknowledge it in my own way.

So made by vegan standards or not, I can’t put the label on the bottle while my name is on it. It’s not at all that they don’t meet the standards. It just triggers a feeling that I am disrespecting the place and process in order to inform and appeal to consumers. And whether that’s correct or not isn’t part of the equation, it’s just how it is.
Okay, I understand what you're saying. I suppose nothing farmed with machines of any kind could be labeled vegan by your personal standard, so it still seems a bit odd to me, but I am not one to argue with your feelings on honesty and authenticity, especially now that you've explained them so clearly.
The thing about a personal standard is that it doesn’t apply to anyone else. Not sure why you care about this that much.

The only reason I posted here to begin with was because the OP looped filtration and fining together. Then when Scott posted, and he’s a friend, I posted my thoughts. I probably shouldn’t have.

Next time you lecture me on my interpretation, I’ll just say yes sir and leave the clarification alone.
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Re: Where are we at on fining and filtration for reds, whites, and beyond?

#52 Post by Marcus Goodfellow »

Markus S wrote: April 6th, 2021, 1:21 pm "It's not terroir if you filter"...ooops, wrong thread!
Good contribution...
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Re: Where are we at on fining and filtration for reds, whites, and beyond?

#53 Post by D@vid Bu3ker »

When people ask why winemakers eventually stop posting here, read this thread, and the "it's not terroir" thread.

Marcus is participating in good faith, and people are parsing every single freaking word. It's bizarre.
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Re: Where are we at on fining and filtration for reds, whites, and beyond?

#54 Post by larry schaffer »

D@vid Bu3ker wrote: April 6th, 2021, 1:47 pm When people ask why winemakers eventually stop posting here, read this thread, and the "it's not terroir" thread.

Marcus is participating in good faith, and people are parsing every single freaking word. It's bizarre.
Very true - but winemakers with thin skins won't last long in our industry these days.

As I've said for so darned long, it's okay to disagree with folks - just don't be disagreeable! There are lots of 'ideas' and 'opinions' that winemakers share that may not align with your own thoughts - who cares? Seriously folks - just be open minded and realize folks think differently than you do.

This thread really has taken some strange turns, though - I guess I understand the general premise of the OP and there certainly are more folks asking if my wines are 'vegan' now than ever before - but it's one or two folks every 3 months and not each week, for instance. There is marketing out there that is 'implying' that most wines are not vegan - just like there are now folks who believe that most wines are not 'clean' these days.

Healthy debate is a good thing - but folks, please don't shoot the messenger . . .

Cheers.
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Re: Where are we at on fining and filtration for reds, whites, and beyond?

#55 Post by Todd Hamina »

D@vid Bu3ker wrote: April 6th, 2021, 1:47 pm When people ask why winemakers eventually stop posting here, read this thread, and the "it's not terroir" thread.

Marcus is participating in good faith, and people are parsing every single freaking word. It's bizarre.
There's a bunch of folk who have let me know how they will never buy my wine. Shit happens...
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Re: Where are we at on fining and filtration for reds, whites, and beyond?

#56 Post by Marcus Goodfellow »

larry schaffer wrote: April 6th, 2021, 2:11 pm
D@vid Bu3ker wrote: April 6th, 2021, 1:47 pm When people ask why winemakers eventually stop posting here, read this thread, and the "it's not terroir" thread.

Marcus is participating in good faith, and people are parsing every single freaking word. It's bizarre.
Very true - but winemakers with thin skins won't last long in our industry these days.

As I've said for so darned long, it's okay to disagree with folks - just don't be disagreeable! There are lots of 'ideas' and 'opinions' that winemakers share that may not align with your own thoughts - who cares? Seriously folks - just be open minded and realize folks think differently than you do.

This thread really has taken some strange turns, though - I guess I understand the general premise of the OP and there certainly are more folks asking if my wines are 'vegan' now than ever before - but it's one or two folks every 3 months and not each week, for instance. There is marketing out there that is 'implying' that most wines are not vegan - just like there are now folks who believe that most wines are not 'clean' these days.

Healthy debate is a good thing - but folks, please don't shoot the messenger . . .

Cheers.
Thanks Guys,

I appreciate that very much.

I also just finished a crazy month that finished up with bottling a few days ago and I probably should not have let Alan’s posts get under my skin quite so much, and just walked away. That whole page just is a bit sideways it seems.

While I am happy to work with dry farmed vineyards and enjoy trying to capture Mel’s fanciful notion of terroir(or at least my own interpretation of it), I also think I could have worded a number of posts a bit better. And been more balanced regarding the choices of farmers who do irrigate.

I definitely believe that most growers, and especially small growers, are focused on the same kind of “lutte raisonee” process that I use, and that can easily include irrigation.

And where I said in my opinion, all of the best versions of wines came from Europe, I should have said “my favorite of the wines I know”, and owned that I don’t drink enough CA wine to actually know much about CA wines anymore.(Looking forward to tasting some Sabelli-Frisch that just arrived).


Being ITB carries some weight, and I should stick to things that are within my experience and leave the theoretical questions of other regions to the winemakers and growers from those regions. I feel like that is the thing I most regret from my posting last night. I enjoy and respect Larry, Fred Scherrer, Ben Mandler, Andrew Morris, Adam S-F, Hardy Wallace, and all of the other CA winemakers and my flippant exit and some previous posts simply don’t convey that.
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Re: Where are we at on fining and filtration for reds, whites, and beyond?

#57 Post by D@vid Bu3ker »

Todd Hamina wrote: April 6th, 2021, 6:53 pm
D@vid Bu3ker wrote: April 6th, 2021, 1:47 pm When people ask why winemakers eventually stop posting here, read this thread, and the "it's not terroir" thread.

Marcus is participating in good faith, and people are parsing every single freaking word. It's bizarre.
There's a bunch of folk who have let me know how they will never buy my wine. Shit happens...
I will try to make up for a little of that sometime soon.
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Re: Where are we at on fining and filtration for reds, whites, and beyond?

#58 Post by Siun o'Connell »

Just wanted to thank the winemakers commenting here ... some interesting new information to me and greatly appreciated.

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Re: Where are we at on fining and filtration for reds, whites, and beyond?

#59 Post by GregP »

Marcus Goodfellow wrote: April 5th, 2021, 7:35 am
GregP wrote: April 4th, 2021, 11:22 pm Most good/great wines are not filtered. Have no idea what the premise of this thread is.
Most good and great wines from the Mosel are filtered. There are lots of truly great wines that are not filtered and lots that are.

It’s a tool, and in cool vintages filtration of red wines can be a benefit by removing minor astringencies allowing the fruit to blossom. In reverse, having a tiny amount of turbidity in hot vintages can add astringency and help balance out overt fruit and sweetness.

That said, I also have no idea of the premise of this thread.
Yeah, I have no idea how wines are made, thnk you so much for your input...

Not sure what your point is, this was my statement to Parker himself in our argument over his POV that filtered wines have no soul. Including pointing out his 100 pointers for d'Yquem, and, well, German Rieslings. What a coincidence, huh? I am all for filtering WHEN it needs to be done, in sweet and off dry wines specifically. But not when someone NOT filtering is somehow required to say so on a label. All of it is already voluntary, and all of it is already leading to wineries openly, hmmmm, let's call it "misstating" when they do. Whatever new law, or labeling, or whatever will not change any of that. I seriously doubt OP is asking about d'Yquem of Goldkapsels production.

I do not make whites, nor sweets, I do not filter, I do not do much of anything. Lazy man's wine making, as we call it. I see absolutely no reason why I need to deny any of what I do NOT do on a label. Plenty of unnatural wines around for that, to claim things they actually fail to do (We do not add any SO2, but we do when needed BS). But, you know, "vegan", "natural", whatever, "We're the honest ones, really, trust us!".

This entire discussion rears its head every few months, and is really about LABELING, seems you have missed the point of OP. Making it clear for you. For someone discussing beer production OP seems to be on the wrong board. As already discussed, and explained in great detail, on this board, with this exact topic, last year at least once, labeling in wine will not work. For a number of reasons. Main one is wineries already openly lie on labels, and no new law, or whatever, will ever eradicate that. Human nature. There are other reasons even more severe, logistical ones, as already covered in that other older thread, and not sure I need to explain them to you, of all people. You're making wine, not beer or hard soda via some predictable and controlled and repeatable formula, and logistics in testing for "denials" on labels will take many months, at best. Main reason I said to buy from people one trusts, same as in any other business.

"Have you stopped beating your wife?" Or, rather, "Have you stopped using arsenic in your wine production?"

You are always more than welcome to put anything you want on your labels, of course, no one is stopping you. No need to force the rest of us to deny what we do not do in the first place.

This entire discussion belongs on the 3BC fans discussion board: filtering, additives, oak dust, sub-par fruit, etc. I am buying all the popcorn I can for the upcoming series of "Our wines have not suffered any smoke damage in v2020, just the vineyard/block across the fence/road". And, betting heavily and unfortunately, on this board as well, it already started just weeks after the disaster hit last year. Funny, or sad, depending on how one looks at it, in how so many consumers haven't caught that at the time. Will be an interesting scene to observe (something I discussed with my closures rep last week for 40 minutes after his tasting with a number of higher end producers). Marketing.

So much for "truth in labeling", or how pointless it is. I think many will be surprised by the producers they trust, and not in a good way.
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Re: Where are we at on fining and filtration for reds, whites, and beyond?

#60 Post by larry schaffer »

Greg,

I really don't understand why you take exception to people taking exception to your statement about filtering - I find it 'incorrect' that most good/great wines are not filtered'. There are many red wines that are filtered - and not must 'mass market' reds. To me, this is one of those 'conventional wisdoms' that seems to have become 'fact' because it's said so often without being able to back it up. Kind of like you can't age red wines in screw cap and have them develop over time as they do under natural cork. Absolute BS.

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Re: Where are we at on fining and filtration for reds, whites, and beyond?

#61 Post by D@vid Bu3ker »

GregP wrote: April 9th, 2021, 4:02 pm
Marcus Goodfellow wrote: April 5th, 2021, 7:35 am
GregP wrote: April 4th, 2021, 11:22 pm Most good/great wines are not filtered. Have no idea what the premise of this thread is.
Most good and great wines from the Mosel are filtered. There are lots of truly great wines that are not filtered and lots that are.

It’s a tool, and in cool vintages filtration of red wines can be a benefit by removing minor astringencies allowing the fruit to blossom. In reverse, having a tiny amount of turbidity in hot vintages can add astringency and help balance out overt fruit and sweetness.

That said, I also have no idea of the premise of this thread.
Yeah, I have no idea how wines are made, thnk you so much for your input...

Not sure what your point is, this was my statement to Parker himself in our argument over his POV that filtered wines have no soul. Including pointing out his 100 pointers for d'Yquem, and, well, German Rieslings. What a coincidence, huh? I am all for filtering WHEN it needs to be done, in sweet and off dry wines specifically. But not when someone NOT filtering is somehow required to say so on a label. All of it is already voluntary, and all of it is already leading to wineries openly, hmmmm, let's call it "misstating" when they do. Whatever new law, or labeling, or whatever will not change any of that. I seriously doubt OP is asking about d'Yquem of Goldkapsels production.

I do not make whites, nor sweets, I do not filter, I do not do much of anything. Lazy man's wine making, as we call it. I see absolutely no reason why I need to deny any of what I do NOT do on a label. Plenty of unnatural wines around for that, to claim things they actually fail to do (We do not add any SO2, but we do when needed BS). But, you know, "vegan", "natural", whatever, "We're the honest ones, really, trust us!".

This entire discussion rears its head every few months, and is really about LABELING, seems you have missed the point of OP. Making it clear for you. For someone discussing beer production OP seems to be on the wrong board. As already discussed, and explained in great detail, on this board, with this exact topic, last year at least once, labeling in wine will not work. For a number of reasons. Main one is wineries already openly lie on labels, and no new law, or whatever, will ever eradicate that. Human nature. There are other reasons even more severe, logistical ones, as already covered in that other older thread, and not sure I need to explain them to you, of all people. You're making wine, not beer or hard soda via some predictable and controlled and repeatable formula, and logistics in testing for "denials" on labels will take many months, at best. Main reason I said to buy from people one trusts, same as in any other business.

"Have you stopped beating your wife?" Or, rather, "Have you stopped using arsenic in your wine production?"

You are always more than welcome to put anything you want on your labels, of course, no one is stopping you. No need to force the rest of us to deny what we do not do in the first place.

This entire discussion belongs on the 3BC fans discussion board: filtering, additives, oak dust, sub-par fruit, etc. I am buying all the popcorn I can for the upcoming series of "Our wines have not suffered any smoke damage in v2020, just the vineyard/block across the fence/road". And, betting heavily and unfortunately, on this board as well, it already started just weeks after the disaster hit last year. Funny, or sad, depending on how one looks at it, in how so many consumers haven't caught that at the time. Will be an interesting scene to observe (something I discussed with my closures rep last week for 40 minutes after his tasting with a number of higher end producers). Marketing.

So much for "truth in labeling", or how pointless it is. I think many will be surprised by the producers they trust, and not in a good way.
FWIW, Robert Parker himself did not award 100 to a German Riesling. Rovani was the first WA critic to do so.
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Re: Where are we at on fining and filtration for reds, whites, and beyond?

#62 Post by Adam Frisch »

D@vid Bu3ker wrote: April 9th, 2021, 4:44 pm

FWIW, Robert Parker himself did not award 100 to a German Riesling. Rovani was the first WA critic to do so.
My only question is - was it sweet? [wink.gif]
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Re: Where are we at on fining and filtration for reds, whites, and beyond?

#63 Post by D@vid Bu3ker »

Adam Frisch wrote: April 9th, 2021, 10:18 pm
D@vid Bu3ker wrote: April 9th, 2021, 4:44 pm

FWIW, Robert Parker himself did not award 100 to a German Riesling. Rovani was the first WA critic to do so.
My only question is - was it sweet? [wink.gif]
An Eiswein, so completely bone dry. ;)
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Re: Where are we at on fining and filtration for reds, whites, and beyond?

#64 Post by SJeffery »

GregP wrote: April 5th, 2021, 12:55 am
SJeffery wrote: April 4th, 2021, 11:40 pm
GregP wrote: April 4th, 2021, 11:22 pm Most good/great wines are not filtered. Have no idea what the premise of this thread is.
You might be right, but until producers state that they do not fine/filter 100% of the time or that they use animal product free alternatives 100% of the time they are leaving money on the table. If you don't want to believe me now I can assure you this will become more of an issue in the future. Currently the vast majority of producers do not indicate any philosophy that wine should be free of animal products. I believe most Berserkers know that wine is centered around good viticulture, good winemaking, and not much else. Use of egg white, mega purple, isinglass, etc. is unnecessary and doesn't seem to add to the final product. Wine *should* naturally be vegan even with many winemaking techniques. Transparency is important. Listening to your customers is important. Realizing a newer generation is less interested in your product for a reason is also important. Modern Times is one of the quickest growing breweries in the world and they state that all their products are vegan. Is that just coincidence? Even Guinness is making sure their customers know they are not using isinglass for their classic stout after getting a lot of backlash over its previous use of it.
You started the thread with a false positive, and a bad assumption. To begin with...

When I have not done anything to the wine in the bottle outside of "crush, macerate, punch down, press and age" I see absolutely no reason to make a statement about whatever negative and imagenary issue YOU may have. This subject of "labeling" is way too tiring by now, doesn't matter what you think. There is WAY MORE taking place in a bottle of so called and, in my view, a MISNOMER of a "natural wine" than you want to know. And yet... Wine I make is EONS more NATURAL and CLEAN than whatever you end up buying labeled as such. That's all I need to know. I find it hilarious that while everyone claims that great wine starts in the vineyard, and, well, it does!, some then completely ignore the very valid and obvious premise and buy "unnatural wine" from "You pick your own bushel" type vineyards. There is a reason great fruit costs great money and takes great effort to stay great throughout the growing season, ending with a picking crew doing a clean pick and keeping the fruit fresh while trasporting to the winery. I've seen my share of cheap ass U-Haul truck rentals used to pick up fruit, by the time it arrived at the winery no responsible winemaker should have touched it. And yet...

It only snow balls from there. I never leave the winery until each and every piece of equipment I use or touch is cleaned and ready to go the next morning, even when at times I was dead tired and it was 1AM before I even got into the car to drive home (95 miles one way at times). I seriously doubt this "cleanliness protocol" instilled in me from Day 1 is followed by all the "unnatural wine" guys. "Labeling" means nothing to me when I KNOW some are lying on theirs, and WILL LIE no matter how many laws are passed. Its human nature, preying on the weak minded and uneducated consumers.

Cotturi was probably one of the fathers of this "unnatural wine" movement, and almost every bottle was an adventure, no 2 tasting same. Probably still is, I have not tasted any in a while, and have absolutely no inclination to. Used to be a tough sell in my days in retail. I somehow doubt you even know the name while rambling on the subject.

Do a search of the board next time you start a thread, this subject is a deadhorse

You either trust the wine maker you buy from, or no label will ever help you. No way, no how. Same as in any other business.

Over and out. Have fun in your adventures demanding meaningless "labeling".
Think you made some incorrect assumptions here. I am not advocating for natural wine, I typically don't buy it, but I know that many natural wine producers are more likely to state it at least on a website, have contacted barnivore, or have labeled their wine to let the customer know that it is "vegan friendly". I also did search up "vegan" and only had results for "vegan food wine pairings". When I searched up "fining" and "filtering" I did not see any discussions like this.
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Re: Where are we at on fining and filtration for reds, whites, and beyond?

#65 Post by SJeffery »

Robert Sand wrote: April 5th, 2021, 3:55 am Even when fining with egg-white nothing of it remains in the finished wine ... so what? And there is always bentonit as alternative ...
I'm unsure on percentages, but my assumption would be that most vegans are vegan for ethical concerns as opposed to dietary concerns. I know that people with egg allergies are not likely to react to wines that are fined with egg white. The issue is more about what this particular consumer is hoping to avoid contributing to.
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Re: Where are we at on fining and filtration for reds, whites, and beyond?

#66 Post by SJeffery »

Siun o'Connell wrote: April 5th, 2021, 7:58 am I assumed the OP had some connection to the link posted (barnivore.com) which lists no contacts or other ways to ID whose operation it is — but it appears to have almost no traffic or participation. I was waiting for a pitch to buy into a certification scheme or something similar. Perhaps not.
Nope. It's just a tool. It is very dependent on producers and consumers however. I am not affiliated with them in any way and there's nothing for me to sell anyone on. I'm trying to get insight from people on the winemaking side of things to say what their practices are and raise awareness that if they are already making great wine there are vegan friendly they ought to say so whether on their label, their website, or at the very least give a short email to Barnivore
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Re: Where are we at on fining and filtration for reds, whites, and beyond?

#67 Post by SJeffery »

Jim Anderson wrote: April 5th, 2021, 10:32 am
GregP wrote: April 4th, 2021, 11:22 pm Most good/great wines are not filtered. Have no idea what the premise of this thread is.
This is just completely wrong. A tremendous number of white wines are filtered because...they have to be. Any wine that does not complete ML is (or should be) filtered. Tons of white wines across the globe fall into this category.

People often times think filtration=bad. It simply is not so. It's a tool.

I haven't seen any surveys but I would presume that the number of wineries using animal based fining products, even egg whites, has declined radically over the past coupld of decades. I don't know a single producer that uses egg white fining. Again, not like that's some massive number of people but it is not insignificant.
Jim, I would hope this is the case, but again the reason I am making this thread is because there are so few producers stating it. I believe you're likely correct, but right now it's near impossible as a specialized wine retailer to state with certainty that even 90% of the wines in my store are vegan friendly or that they aren't. Producers can do a better job on this. I'm not asking for the quantity of sulfur used from vintage to vintage or anything ridiculous.
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Re: Where are we at on fining and filtration for reds, whites, and beyond?

#68 Post by SJeffery »

Marcus Goodfellow wrote: April 5th, 2021, 11:45 am
Scott Tallman wrote: April 5th, 2021, 11:33 am
William Kelley wrote: April 5th, 2021, 11:10 am

Protein stability in whites is the big thing. But for that you fine with bentonite.

Egg white finning is still reasonably common in Bordeaux but rare in Burgundy (Coche still does it, saying that it improves long-term aging at the expense of near-term expressiveness; whereas Aubert de Villiane has told me that "red Burgundy doesn't take to being fined any more"). I confess to being quite interested in it as a technique. If nothing else because fining, along with racking, is one of the two big things missed out of most discussions of "modern" versus "old fashioned" winemaking: serious Bordeaux, for example, as recently as the 1960s, would be racked every six months and fined several times before bottling, three years after the vintage. Contemporary élevage orthodoxies are very different.

It's a pity, seeing the title of the thread, I thought this might have been an interesting discussion of the state-of-the-art, but instead it appears to be a question of whether or not to appease militant vegans.
Funny, I read the OP and thought it could have resulted in a somewhat interesting discussion around these techniques, their usage and proper labeling that could be informative for many wine consumers, both vegan and not, but instead it appears to be mostly flippant responses and off-topic points with the occasional uncalled for dunking on a segment of potential customers. By all means, go on...
I don’t think that I can comfortably ever label a wine vegan. We don’t use any animal products in the cellar. But vineyards are full of life. Most growers kill gophers and voles, and most fruit farmed in an organically farmed vineyard arrives at the winery with an abundance of insect life on it. You can’t sort out all the bugs. Nor can you stop a fruit fly(or 10,000 of them) from flying over a fermenter at peak fermentation and dying from the CO2.

I also think that yeast are living creatures, more so than cheese at least.

I also guarantee that when the thresher goes through the barley field, there’s a lot of small animal carnage left behind.

I wish it wasn’t that way. But I feel that I would be dishonest for ME to ever put Vegan on my label and try to promote my wine over a competitor through that label.

I don’t judge or criticize others for their choices in this area. If not using animal products in the cellar or brewery is enough, then feel free. But for myself, and Goodfellow wines, I can’t do it.
There's definitely an issue with the label to begin with and I would be the first to admit that. Impossible meat and some other "plant based"/"vegan" brands like Just have tested on animals for the sake of getting their products into new markets. Getting into more markets may mean less animals in said area are being killed for food if you want to take the harm reduction side of things. Are these products no longer vegan? That's something for the vegan crowd to argue over. Egg white fining (and potentially isinglass) is more likely to cause a stir than any of those vineyard practices you mentioned. The intent is the important part. Vegans are comfortable buying produce that likely has been grown using the same procedures you have mentioned here. Nothing is perfect. Veganism is far from it. We received a Mezcal that has donkeys turning the tahona to crush the agave and yet they were able to get the vegan labeling. Many would argue that doesn't qualify, but some would. As long as you aren't using animal products many vegans will say you're in the clear
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Re: Where are we at on fining and filtration for reds, whites, and beyond?

#69 Post by Josh Grossman »

Todd Hamina wrote: April 5th, 2021, 10:18 am
Marcus Goodfellow wrote: April 4th, 2021, 9:58 pm Filtration requires no animal products at all. There are a couple of vegan fining options as well, although I don’t think their use is widespread. There are many white wines that only go through filtration(and plenty that don’t even do that).
If you are biodynamic you should not be filtering...
Does take tons of horn manure though...

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Re: Where are we at on fining and filtration for reds, whites, and beyond?

#70 Post by SJeffery »

JBrochu wrote: April 5th, 2021, 5:21 pm
Howard Cooper wrote: April 5th, 2021, 4:26 pm
GregP wrote: April 4th, 2021, 11:22 pm Most good/great wines are not filtered. Have no idea what the premise of this thread is.
The purpose of this thread seems to be that the OP wants all wines to be vegan.
I thought OP just wanted wineries to let vegans know if their products were vegan friendly or not?

My sister-in-law actually uses the site OP linked and refuses to drink any beers or wines not listed as vegan friendly on that site. Which is unfortunate, because I've cracked many a fine bottle that she refused to drink because it wasn't vegan friendly, even though I believe that the majority of wines are vegan friendly, at least based on how vegans seem to define it. (i.e. - no animal products used for fining.) It's just hard to find that info for most wines. While breweries seem to offer this info much more freely.
This is the point. I appreciate the people replying without very clear bias. Russian River Brewing (Pliny the Elder brewery if anyone here has been living under a rock) for the longest time was not vegan friendly for draft, but was vegan friendly for bottled beer. They let Barnivore know this when there was a difference in procedure for draft vs. bottle and they also let Barnivore know when they changed to make it the same process for draft and package. Transparency is a big plus in my eyes. I have no stake in "vegan wine" I am simply here to make people aware that the wine industry has done a lousy job at mentioning some very minor details that could bring more people into wine or allow some people to discover some of the few wineries that do state for a 100% fact that all their wines are vegan friendly. Bedrock has stated such and I think they will be getting a little bit more of my money for doing so.
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Re: Where are we at on fining and filtration for reds, whites, and beyond?

#71 Post by Aleks V »

SJeffery wrote: April 16th, 2021, 9:09 pm
Jim Anderson wrote: April 5th, 2021, 10:32 am
GregP wrote: April 4th, 2021, 11:22 pm Most good/great wines are not filtered. Have no idea what the premise of this thread is.
This is just completely wrong. A tremendous number of white wines are filtered because...they have to be. Any wine that does not complete ML is (or should be) filtered. Tons of white wines across the globe fall into this category.

People often times think filtration=bad. It simply is not so. It's a tool.

I haven't seen any surveys but I would presume that the number of wineries using animal based fining products, even egg whites, has declined radically over the past coupld of decades. I don't know a single producer that uses egg white fining. Again, not like that's some massive number of people but it is not insignificant.
Jim, I would hope this is the case, but again the reason I am making this thread is because there are so few producers stating it. I believe you're likely correct, but right now it's near impossible as a specialized wine retailer to state with certainty that even 90% of the wines in my store are vegan friendly or that they aren't. Producers can do a better job on this. I'm not asking for the quantity of sulfur used from vintage to vintage or anything ridiculous.
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Re: Where are we at on fining and filtration for reds, whites, and beyond?

#72 Post by Arv R »

Robert Sand wrote: April 5th, 2021, 3:55 am Even when fining with egg-white nothing of it remains in the finished wine ... so what? And there is always bentonit as alternative ...
I thought one was used for fining out negatively charged particles and the other for positive?
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Re: Where are we at on fining and filtration for reds, whites, and beyond?

#73 Post by Arv R »

William Kelley wrote: April 5th, 2021, 11:10 am
It's a pity, seeing the title of the thread, I thought this might have been an interesting discussion of the state-of-the-art, but instead it appears to be a question of whether or not to appease militant vegans.
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Re: Where are we at on fining and filtration for reds, whites, and beyond?

#74 Post by Jayson Cohen »

Scott Tallman wrote: April 5th, 2021, 11:33 am
William Kelley wrote: April 5th, 2021, 11:10 am
Doug Schulman wrote: April 5th, 2021, 5:25 am Fining is often used to clarify and/or soften mouthfeel.
Protein stability in whites is the big thing. But for that you fine with bentonite.

Egg white finning is still reasonably common in Bordeaux but rare in Burgundy (Coche still does it, saying that it improves long-term aging at the expense of near-term expressiveness; whereas Aubert de Villiane has told me that "red Burgundy doesn't take to being fined any more"). I confess to being quite interested in it as a technique. If nothing else because fining, along with racking, is one of the two big things missed out of most discussions of "modern" versus "old fashioned" winemaking: serious Bordeaux, for example, as recently as the 1960s, would be racked every six months and fined several times before bottling, three years after the vintage. Contemporary élevage orthodoxies are very different.

It's a pity, seeing the title of the thread, I thought this might have been an interesting discussion of the state-of-the-art, but instead it appears to be a question of whether or not to appease militant vegans.
Funny, I read the OP and thought it could have resulted in a somewhat interesting discussion around these techniques, their usage and proper labeling that could be informative for many wine consumers, both vegan and not, but instead it appears to be mostly flippant responses and off-topic points with the occasional uncalled for dunking on a segment of potential customers. By all means, go on...
I’m just seeing this thread. Same thoughts as you and William. Now going back to trolling our latest troll.

I will add, per William, that traditional and semi-traditional Rioja, wines that are meant to age and evolve for a long time in bottle, involve a regular racking regime during the long elevage and typically involve fining with egg whites and optionally a filtration.

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Re: Where are we at on fining and filtration for reds, whites, and beyond?

#75 Post by larry schaffer »

Racking definitely can be used to 'clarify' a wine - think of it as 'decanting'. I choose not to rack my wines as I don't want to change the 'trajectory' of its aging prior to bottling.

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Re: Where are we at on fining and filtration for reds, whites, and beyond?

#76 Post by Arv R »

larry schaffer wrote: April 17th, 2021, 12:05 pm Racking definitely can be used to 'clarify' a wine - think of it as 'decanting'. I choose not to rack my wines as I don't want to change the 'trajectory' of its aging prior to bottling.

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Are there ways to rack the wine without getting oxidation?
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Re: Where are we at on fining and filtration for reds, whites, and beyond?

#77 Post by William Kelley »

Arv R wrote: April 17th, 2021, 12:11 pm
larry schaffer wrote: April 17th, 2021, 12:05 pm Racking definitely can be used to 'clarify' a wine - think of it as 'decanting'. I choose not to rack my wines as I don't want to change the 'trajectory' of its aging prior to bottling.

Cheers
Are there ways to rack the wine without getting oxidation?
If the wine has sufficient redox potential and is racked carefully, it's not an issue. Indeed, if the wine's tendency is to become reduced (or if the lees are unclean), racking is beneficial. Domaine Leroy wines, for example are systematically racked a week or so after the completion of malolactic.
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Re: Where are we at on fining and filtration for reds, whites, and beyond?

#78 Post by B Stewart »

SJeffery wrote: April 16th, 2021, 9:19 pm
Marcus Goodfellow wrote: April 5th, 2021, 11:45 am
Scott Tallman wrote: April 5th, 2021, 11:33 am

Funny, I read the OP and thought it could have resulted in a somewhat interesting discussion around these techniques, their usage and proper labeling that could be informative for many wine consumers, both vegan and not, but instead it appears to be mostly flippant responses and off-topic points with the occasional uncalled for dunking on a segment of potential customers. By all means, go on...
I don’t think that I can comfortably ever label a wine vegan. We don’t use any animal products in the cellar. But vineyards are full of life. Most growers kill gophers and voles, and most fruit farmed in an organically farmed vineyard arrives at the winery with an abundance of insect life on it. You can’t sort out all the bugs. Nor can you stop a fruit fly(or 10,000 of them) from flying over a fermenter at peak fermentation and dying from the CO2.

I also think that yeast are living creatures, more so than cheese at least.

I also guarantee that when the thresher goes through the barley field, there’s a lot of small animal carnage left behind.

I wish it wasn’t that way. But I feel that I would be dishonest for ME to ever put Vegan on my label and try to promote my wine over a competitor through that label.

I don’t judge or criticize others for their choices in this area. If not using animal products in the cellar or brewery is enough, then feel free. But for myself, and Goodfellow wines, I can’t do it.
There's definitely an issue with the label to begin with and I would be the first to admit that. Impossible meat and some other "plant based"/"vegan" brands like Just have tested on animals for the sake of getting their products into new markets. Getting into more markets may mean less animals in said area are being killed for food if you want to take the harm reduction side of things. Are these products no longer vegan? That's something for the vegan crowd to argue over. Egg white fining (and potentially isinglass) is more likely to cause a stir than any of those vineyard practices you mentioned. The intent is the important part. Vegans are comfortable buying produce that likely has been grown using the same procedures you have mentioned here. Nothing is perfect. Veganism is far from it.We received a Mezcal that has donkeys turning the tahona to crush the agave and yet they were able to get the vegan labeling. Many would argue that doesn't qualify, but some would. As long as you aren't using animal products many vegans will say you're in the clear
I showed this thread to a few good friends who are vegans (of many years standing). Their POV was not what I expected and (I hope) worth posting.

They believe the OP is sincere, but they got the distinct impression he is trying to find a way to justify wine, viewed by many as a non-vegan product, as vegan, in order to be "able to get the vegan labeling," as the OP described.

Apparently, this is an issue in the vegan world. A lot of people think the word vegan equates with quality and health, so the pressure is on to label as many things "vegan" as possible. One likened it to the "gluten free" labeling craze, which began as a health issue and became a marketing hook. Whether or not to label a product as vegan should be taken seriously, not just, "something for the vegan crowd to argue over."

They said the reason vegans are comfortable buying produce is that they can easily inspect and clean it, but they obviously can't do that with wine grapes. They were troubled that the OP highlights the use of egg whites, etc in fining, but dismisses the fates of the mammals, reptiles, and insects killed during the winemaking process. This comment in particular raised their ire, "Egg white fining (and potentially isinglass) is more likely to cause a stir than any of those vineyard practices you mentioned. The intent is the important part." They said the OP is wrong: intent is NOT the most important part, the practice is. The OP was presenting a distorted view.

They said some vegans do think wine can be vegan. For everyone else, drinking wine is like eating honey, it's a choice you can make, but it isn't vegan. Sticking a "vegan" label on a bottle of wine - based on someone's personal definition - does not make it vegan. And it could, for example, mislead someone who doesn't eat honey into consuming the animal products in the wine.

Also, they were fine with the donkeys turning the Mescal wheel and they do like (vegan) tequila.

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Re: Where are we at on fining and filtration for reds, whites, and beyond?

#79 Post by Adam Frisch »

Arv R wrote: April 17th, 2021, 12:11 pm
Are there ways to rack the wine without getting oxidation?
Yes, you can push the liquid with inert gas, either Argon or Nitrogen. So as in theory no contact with oxygen. But most, at least on reds, just rack with oxygen contact. Depends on wine - if it's already reductive it can probably use the oxygen and a rack will help it. If it's a white or an already slightly oxidized wine, it might not be the best choice at hand.

I'm kind of with Larry - they get so much exposure from everywhere anyway, I like to keep the oxygen to a minimum. I've been a bit lax with that in past, but from this year I will really clamp down on it. Especially they whites.
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Re: Where are we at on fining and filtration for reds, whites, and beyond?

#80 Post by David Patte »

Well I didn’t know about Barnivore and thanks for this info.

After reading all the pros and cons on this thread, I think I’ll go ahead and register my wines and ciders on the website. Vegans have legitimate questions, and I don’t see the harm in registering the products— that seems easy. As an aside, I have received frantic emails from pubs (in Portland, OR) about whether my ciders on tap are vegan so I had been thinking about making the transition on labels as well given the strong advice in this direction from retailers (and my distributor). (Along with gluten free by the way, that’s another question I get for the ciders, not so much the wine.) Would love to include “made from organic grapes (apples)” but the vineyard and orchard, while farmed organically, are not certified.

From a winemaker perspective I feel the need to really research the legal ramifications of a formal claim on a label. As stated above by others, the grapes arrive at the winery with a fair number of insects (some years worse than others) along with fruit flies buzzing about the winery, and therefore it is really impossible to make any claims of a 100% bug-free fermentation. The information on this thread is reassuring, but I’ll need to research the topic more (and probably check in with our “winemakers attorney”— she is great for such questions ).
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Re: Where are we at on fining and filtration for reds, whites, and beyond?

#81 Post by Otto Forsberg »

B Stewart wrote: April 17th, 2021, 5:39 pm They said the reason vegans are comfortable buying produce is that they can easily inspect and clean it, but they obviously can't do that with wine grapes. They were troubled that the OP highlights the use of egg whites, etc in fining, but dismisses the fates of the mammals, reptiles, and insects killed during the winemaking process. This comment in particular raised their ire, "Egg white fining (and potentially isinglass) is more likely to cause a stir than any of those vineyard practices you mentioned. The intent is the important part." They said the OP is wrong: intent is NOT the most important part, the practice is. The OP was presenting a distorted view.
This doesn't really make sense, because lots of animals are killed also when harvesting ie. cereal crops. Thus, virtually no bread or or any other grain product could be vegan - unless hand-harvested with sickles. From what I've understood, the intent is the important part. It's virtually impossible to avoid getting animals killed in the process. And to my understanding, the core point of veganism is to avoid the exploitation of animals and animal-derived products.
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Re: Where are we at on fining and filtration for reds, whites, and beyond?

#82 Post by David Patte »

William Kelley wrote: April 17th, 2021, 12:27 pm
Arv R wrote: April 17th, 2021, 12:11 pm
larry schaffer wrote: April 17th, 2021, 12:05 pm Racking definitely can be used to 'clarify' a wine - think of it as 'decanting'. I choose not to rack my wines as I don't want to change the 'trajectory' of its aging prior to bottling.

Cheers
Are there ways to rack the wine without getting oxidation?
If the wine has sufficient redox potential and is racked carefully, it's not an issue. Indeed, if the wine's tendency is to become reduced (or if the lees are unclean), racking is beneficial. Domaine Leroy wines, for example are systematically racked a week or so after the completion of malolactic.
There are a few variables to consider on racking reds after malolactic conversion. I like to stay on the fine lees all the way through even after Malo, but.... I also let the wine settle for 2 days after the transfer of wine from the fermentation bins to remove “gross lees” (mostly grape colloidal material, this is not the yeast-based fine lees that we are after). This post-fermentation settling seems to be a more widely used practice in Oregon Pinot Noir? (3 of the 5 wineries I worked for did so, but this is a small sampling, and it’s not a question I ask everyone I meet : ) and I’m not sure at all about other regions such as in Burgundy). Also, I tend not to separate free run and press wine, but it depends on the vintage. The point here is that press wine barrels, regardless of prior gross lees settling, will have a fair amount of gross lees sediment and I would rack these post-Malo regardless of other redox or microbial issues (one of several reasons I don’t like to separate free run from press wine).
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Re: Where are we at on fining and filtration for reds, whites, and beyond?

#83 Post by David Patte »

Adam Frisch wrote: April 17th, 2021, 7:25 pm
Arv R wrote: April 17th, 2021, 12:11 pm
Are there ways to rack the wine without getting oxidation?
Yes, you can push the liquid with inert gas, either Argon or Nitrogen. So as in theory no contact with oxygen. But most, at least on reds, just rack with oxygen contact. Depends on wine - if it's already reductive it can probably use the oxygen and a rack will help it. If it's a white or an already slightly oxidized wine, it might not be the best choice at hand.

I'm kind of with Larry - they get so much exposure from everywhere anyway, I like to keep the oxygen to a minimum. I've been a bit lax with that in past, but from this year I will really clamp down on it. Especially they whites.
Food for thought: On racking with inert gas, it occurs to me that I should also fill the receiving barrel with gas. never seen or been taught this, but we definitely to do so when moving barrel wine to blending tanks so I think I’ll move in this direction.
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Re: Where are we at on fining and filtration for reds, whites, and beyond?

#84 Post by larry schaffer »

The only reason I would rack would be if I smell reductive characteristics in the wine - and in that case, you want oxidation to counter those chemical compounds and I there I would not use a 'bulldog' set up . . .
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Re: Where are we at on fining and filtration for reds, whites, and beyond?

#85 Post by JBrochu »

David Patte wrote: April 18th, 2021, 11:51 am
Adam Frisch wrote: April 17th, 2021, 7:25 pm
Arv R wrote: April 17th, 2021, 12:11 pm
Are there ways to rack the wine without getting oxidation?
Yes, you can push the liquid with inert gas, either Argon or Nitrogen. So as in theory no contact with oxygen. But most, at least on reds, just rack with oxygen contact. Depends on wine - if it's already reductive it can probably use the oxygen and a rack will help it. If it's a white or an already slightly oxidized wine, it might not be the best choice at hand.

I'm kind of with Larry - they get so much exposure from everywhere anyway, I like to keep the oxygen to a minimum. I've been a bit lax with that in past, but from this year I will really clamp down on it. Especially they whites.
Food for thought: On racking with inert gas, it occurs to me that I should also fill the receiving barrel with gas. never seen or been taught this, but we definitely to do so when moving barrel wine to blending tanks so I think I’ll move in this direction.
I started doing this several years back with C02 (fill keg and also push the beer with it in a closed system) when racking my beer from carboy to keg, and it made a noticeable difference in my final product versus my old practice of just using gravity transfer.
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Re: Where are we at on fining and filtration for reds, whites, and beyond?

#86 Post by David Patte »

larry schaffer wrote: April 18th, 2021, 12:04 pm The only reason I would rack would be if I smell reductive characteristics in the wine - and in that case, you want oxidation to counter those chemical compounds and I there I would not use a 'bulldog' set up . . .
Right. I am being advised to rack off the lees this year to avoid any potential grape based material that could be carrying smoke phenolic compounds (should be a small % of the lees, except perhaps for the press wine barrels)... hate to go down this road but I’m thinking it’s prudent. Any thoughts/science on this are appreciated.
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Re: Where are we at on fining and filtration for reds, whites, and beyond?

#87 Post by larry schaffer »

David Patte wrote: April 18th, 2021, 4:26 pm
larry schaffer wrote: April 18th, 2021, 12:04 pm The only reason I would rack would be if I smell reductive characteristics in the wine - and in that case, you want oxidation to counter those chemical compounds and I there I would not use a 'bulldog' set up . . .
Right. I am being advised to rack off the lees this year to avoid any potential grape based material that could be carrying smoke phenolic compounds (should be a small % of the lees, except perhaps for the press wine barrels)... hate to go down this road but I’m thinking it’s prudent. Any thoughts/science on this are appreciated.
Wow - that's an interesting and possibly unfortunate situation. It would certainly be a bummer to have any kind of smoke taint whatsoever, but I would agree that taking wine off lees that might be affected would be a good thing. My concern would be that the 'damage is already done' . . . but perhaps not.

Keep us posted.

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Re: Where are we at on fining and filtration for reds, whites, and beyond?

#88 Post by DennizE »

Otto Forsberg wrote: April 18th, 2021, 9:14 am
B Stewart wrote: April 17th, 2021, 5:39 pm They said the reason vegans are comfortable buying produce is that they can easily inspect and clean it, but they obviously can't do that with wine grapes. They were troubled that the OP highlights the use of egg whites, etc in fining, but dismisses the fates of the mammals, reptiles, and insects killed during the winemaking process. This comment in particular raised their ire, "Egg white fining (and potentially isinglass) is more likely to cause a stir than any of those vineyard practices you mentioned. The intent is the important part." They said the OP is wrong: intent is NOT the most important part, the practice is. The OP was presenting a distorted view.
This doesn't really make sense, because lots of animals are killed also when harvesting ie. cereal crops. Thus, virtually no bread or or any other grain product could be vegan - unless hand-harvested with sickles. From what I've understood, the intent is the important part. It's virtually impossible to avoid getting animals killed in the process. And to my understanding, the core point of veganism is to avoid the exploitation of animals and animal-derived products.
I agree with this part. It would be impossible to eat anything at all, even drive a car or walk in the woods, if accidentally killing bugs would be considered non-vegan.

I also find it weird that the vegan friends are OK with the donkey pushing the wheel but not OK with drinking wine where bugs are accidentally killed in the process. The donkey surely don’t want to live it’s life pushing the wheel, and one could argue that the bugs dying in the wine making process is part of nature’s life cycle. They lived free fulfilling their obligation to nature and not to humans, I.e intent.

Winemakers killing mammals in the vineyard doesn’t make the wine less vegan, it’s makes the winemaker less vegan. I think it’s important to separate those parts (I believe it’s possible to separate the art from the artist).

And of course it’s different from producer to producer, but the only wines I recommend my vegan friends to generally stay away from or be cautious about are wines from Rioja due to the egg-white fining. Someone above said that they are doing the same fining procedure in bdx is actually new to me. Have to look into that.
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B Stewart
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Re: Where are we at on fining and filtration for reds, whites, and beyond?

#89 Post by B Stewart »

Otto Forsberg wrote: April 18th, 2021, 9:14 am
B Stewart wrote: April 17th, 2021, 5:39 pm They said the reason vegans are comfortable buying produce is that they can easily inspect and clean it, but they obviously can't do that with wine grapes. They were troubled that the OP highlights the use of egg whites, etc in fining, but dismisses the fates of the mammals, reptiles, and insects killed during the winemaking process. This comment in particular raised their ire, "Egg white fining (and potentially isinglass) is more likely to cause a stir than any of those vineyard practices you mentioned. The intent is the important part." They said the OP is wrong: intent is NOT the most important part, the practice is. The OP was presenting a distorted view.
This doesn't really make sense, because lots of animals are killed also when harvesting ie. cereal crops. Thus, virtually no bread or or any other grain product could be vegan - unless hand-harvested with sickles. From what I've understood, the intent is the important part. It's virtually impossible to avoid getting animals killed in the process. And to my understanding, the core point of veganism is to avoid the exploitation of animals and animal-derived products.
I don't fully understand it either. I'm not vegan, but I respect their ethics and their commitment. When we have people over who are vegan, we put away the ribeyes, break out the homemade hummus and baba ganoush, and have a good time. I assume there's a vegan spectrum of observance or strictness or what have you and different people fall in different places. My takeaway was they're pretty sensitive to the vegan labeling thing, which I understand. They felt OP might be using intent, which is subjective,to diminish practice, which is objective, e.g. vegans care more about good intentions than good practice, when both are important. We didn't get much farther than that. Next time I will be sure to ask about hand harvesting wheat using sickles!
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