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Duval-Leroy Becomes First 100% Vegan Champagne House

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Duval-Leroy wines across their entire range are now made without the use of animal-derived products, making the house the first in Champagne to become 100 percent vegan-friendly.

This announcement by the Duval-Leroy family marks the latest step in a long commitment to making great Champagne in harmony with nature.

“To become 100 percent vegan we needed 20 years’ experience,” Charles Duval-Leroy said. “A colossal project was mounted to arrive at a method of natural clarification.”

Winemakers frequently use any of a variety of animal-derived products for clarifying or “fining” wines. These fining agents include gelatin (from various animal-industry byproducts), albumin (egg whites), milk protein caseins and one that’s quite common in Champagne, isinglass, obtained from fish bladders. These substances bind to solids in the wine and precipitate out of the solution, but traces can remain in the wine.

At Duval-Leroy, the clarification process instead relies primarily on time.

“The wine remains longer in tanks to allow it to clarify without adding any substances,” said Sandrine Logette-Jardin, chef de cave at Duval-Leroy. “The wines are then cold-stabilized and finished using a filter medium of kieselguhr (a type of diatomaceous earth).”

Because production is entirely in-house, Duval-Leroy can guarantee that its Champagnes are 100 percent vegan. Moreover, Charles Duval-Leroy added, “The wines retain all their taste, giving Champagnes that are both rich and concentrated.”

Duval-Leroy’s commitment to natural and environmentally sound practices dates back more than two decades. Carol Duval-Leroy took over the family business when her husband, Jean Charles, passed way in 1991, and just three years later the winery had become the first Champagne house to receive the certification standard ISO 9002.

In subsequent years, the winery built on that standard for quality assurance in production, and it now has a wide range of systems and programs in place that put it at the forefront of sustainability, in the 500 acres it controls and in the winery. More information about Duval-Leroy’s sustainability practices is available here.

(Nov. 18, 2015)

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