Natural, organic, biodynamic, and now vegan: a growing number of drinkers want their wine aligned with their values, and Frances Gonzales is bringing it to them.

The founder of Vegan Wines ( seeks out wines from small-scale family-owned wineries that are free of any animal ingredients or inputs, from the soil to the vine to the glass. She says these are the vineyards that produce the best wines, period, not just the best vegan wines.

Drinking vegans generally already know to avoid wines made with ingredients like isinglass from fish, gelatin from hooves and sinews, chitosan from crustaceans, albumin from eggs, and casein from milk. Frances goes the extra mile (or kilometer) to ensure wines are vegan from the soil to the glass. Not only are there are no animal by-products used in production, she verifies the winery uses no animal-based soil amendments. For her it’s not about being a level 6 vegan (though…she is), it’s about finding winemakers with the time and patience to care for their grapes properly, and craft their wine artisanally.

Vegan Wines has already worked with the James Beard foundation on a gourmet vegan dinner paired with wines selected by Frances. Its vegan wine club is the first in the U.S., though vegan wine club options are available in Europe. Wines offered to club members generally range from $30-$50.


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