America’s first all-vegan wine club debuted this month with the mission of bringing transparency to the wine industry. California-based Vegan Wines is the first to source 100-percent plant-based wines from around the world to subscribers across the nation. “Vegan wines is not just about wine,” founder Frances Gonzalez said. “It’s about knowing exactly what you’re drinking.” Gonzalez learned about the filtration process of most wines—where egg whites are used as a fining agent and animal byproducts are used to fertilize the soil—while touring Bordeaux, France. “When I came back from Europe, I went to check all my favorite restaurants [for vegan wine],” Gonzalez told VegNews. “Many people gave me the confused look, even some of the sommeliers in restaurants. I was pretty frustrated that nobody was able to explain anything.” Now, to ensure the wines she handpicks are completely free of animal ingredients, Gonzalez visits small, family-owned vineyards to learn about their winemaking process, including their ecosystem, soil, and climate. “Our approach at Vegan Wines is a personal and intimate one in that we share our vineyard visits with our members,” Gonzalez said. “I want club members to have the whole experience of the wines we’ve discovered, from the vine to the glass.” Members receive three different bottles of wine every two months at a cost of $90 to $135 per shipment, accompanied by a story of Gonzalez’s trip to the vineyards, and vegan recipes she developed with chef Sunny Gandara that pair with each wine. Members will also receive tips on wine and plant-based food pairings, as well as exclusive event invitations. “We are happy that people are starting to become just as discerning about what they are drinking as they have been in the recent years about what they are eating,” Gonzalez said.
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