Is GREY goose gluten-free vodka?

Grey Goose is one of the most popular vodka brands worldwide. As a premium vodka, Grey Goose prides itself on quality and purity. Many vodka drinkers wonder if Grey Goose is a gluten-free spirit. For people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, it’s important to determine if their favorite vodka contains gluten that could cause negative health effects. This article will examine if Grey Goose vodka is distilled from gluten-containing grains and whether the final spirit contains detectable levels of gluten. We’ll also look at how vodka is made and regulated in the United States.

Is Vodka Made from Gluten Ingredients?

Vodka is defined as a neutral spirit distilled from organic materials including grains, vegetables, or fruits. Most vodka today is made from cereal grains that contain gluten proteins. The main gluten-containing grains used are:

  • Wheat
  • Rye
  • Barley

Other gluten-free grain options like corn, rice, and sorghum may be used but are less common. Potatoes and other starchy vegetables are also suitable for making vodka.

The type of raw ingredients used impacts the final flavor profile of vodka. Grey Goose vodka is distilled from French winter wheat. This is a wheat variety that is higher in starch compared to other wheats. As a grain, wheat contains gluten. So the first key question is: does distillation remove the gluten from wheat-based vodka?

Does Distillation Remove Gluten?

Distillation is the process of purifying and concentrating alcohol from fermented grains, vegetables or fruits. First, the raw ingredients are mashed to release their starches and sugars. Next, yeast is added to convert the sugars to alcohol through fermentation.

The resulting liquid is then distilled in columns or pots at high heat. This allows the alcohol to evaporate at a lower temperature than water, separating it from the original mash. The evaporated alcohol is collected and condensed back into liquid form as vodka.

Distillation can effectively remove gluten proteins from the final distilled spirit. Studies show traditional pot still and column distillation reduce detectable gluten well below 20 parts per million (ppm), the international threshold for gluten-free certification.

However, the distillation equipment and processes must be adequate to accomplish complete gluten removal. Contamination could occur in facilities that produce both gluten-containing and gluten-free spirits. Proper cleaning and separation is required to avoid cross-contact.

Is Grey Goose Vodka Gluten-Free?

Grey Goose clearly states its vodka is gluten-free on its website and packaging. The company’s frequently asked questions say Grey Goose Vodka contains no detectable traces of gluten.

Independent gluten testing labs have also verified Grey Goose Vodka is fully gluten-free, with gluten levels below 5 ppm. This extensive testing ensures the spirit is safe for those with celiac disease or sensitivity.

Grey Goose also takes several steps in its production process to eliminate gluten:

  • Uses dedicated equipment only for gluten-free grains
  • Carefully controls fermentation to break down glutens
  • Employs extensive multi-stage distillation and filtration
  • Tests products with leading gluten assay tests

The brand stands behind its vodka being gluten-free with a seal on every bottle. Grey Goose states that all their vodkas are distilled and bottled in France at their facility in Picardy. This dedicated production with robust gluten removal processes enables Grey Goose to guarantee a gluten-free product.

Regulations on Gluten-Free Spirits

For a product to be explicitly labeled gluten-free in the United States, it must contain less than 20 ppm of gluten. This threshold comes from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) gluten-free food labeling regulations.

Products with detectable gluten levels between 20-100 ppm may make a “very low gluten” claim. Anything above 100 ppm cannot be marketed as gluten-free or very low gluten. These are voluntary claims that companies can choose to test for and use on packaging if their products qualify.

Alcohol falls under different labeling rules than regular food and beverages. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) regulates production and labeling of alcoholic beverages. Spirits are considered gluten-free if they contain less than 20 ppm gluten from the TTB’s standpoint. However, the TTB does not actually require testing or verification to make a gluten-free claim on spirits.

Instead, it is up to vodka brands themselves to determine if their products contain less than 20 ppm gluten through analysis at certified laboratories. Reputable vodka companies like Grey Goose submit their products for third-party gluten testing to ensure safety and transparency. This adds validity to the gluten-free designations on their labels.

Certifications for Gluten-Free Spirits

Several independent certification programs also exist to test spirits for gluten content and gluten safety:

Gluten Intolerance Group Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO)

This is one of the most recognized gluten-free certifications in the U.S. Their logo signifies products with gluten levels below 10 ppm. Grey Goose voluntarily obtained GFCO certification confirming its vodka is gluten-free.

Australian Coeliac Gluten-Free Certification

This certification requires levels below 3 ppm of gluten. Grey Goose vodka carries this seal as further validation of its gluten-free status.

Labeling Accuracy Certification Program (LACP)

Run by the Association of European Coeliac Societies, this program audits production facilities for compliance with EU regulations on gluten claims. Grey Goose is LACP certified, meaning its supply chain follows strict gluten safety protocols.

Earning these respected third-party certifications shows Grey Goose’s commitment to verifying its vodka is unequivocally gluten-free for consumers. The additional testing and audits hold Grey Goose accountable for maintaining gluten-free processes from grain procurement to bottling.

Is All Vodka Gluten-Free?

While many vodkas advertise themselves as gluten-free, not all brands have been independently tested and confirmed. Assuming vodka is gluten-free just because it is distilled is not sufficient for celiac patients. Without verification, other vodkas could potentially exceed the 20 ppm limit.

Checking third-party certifications, lab analysis documents, and directly contacting vodka companies is the only way to be 100% certain of a brand’s gluten status. As testing technology improves, some brands previously thought gluten-free have been found to contain small amounts of residual gluten.

Ideally, those who need to follow gluten-free diets should look for vodkas with:

  • Lab results showing less than 20 ppm gluten
  • Validation through gluten-free certifications
  • Dedicated equipment and precautions to prevent contamination

Sticking to certified gluten-free vodkas provides assurance the spirit is safe for those managing medical gluten issues.

Are Flavored Vodkas Gluten-Free?

Unflavored vodka generally contains minimal residual gluten from the distilled grains, vegetables, or fruit used to make it. However, flavored vodkas introduce an additional variable regarding gluten content.

Popular flavored vodkas add ingredients like fruit juices, spices, herbs, sugar, and artificial flavors after initial distillation. These additives could potentially contain gluten or be cross-contaminated during processing and handling.

Testing shows most flavorings themselves are gluten-free, even if derived from gluten grains. But the equipment used to make flavored vodkas may not be segregated from gluten production. Small amounts of gluten could be present from shared lines or during bottling.

So while many flavored vodkas advertise as gluten-free, these claims should be verified through testing data or certifications. Those following gluten-free diets may want to exercise additional caution with flavored varieties compared to standard unflavored vodkas.

Grey Goose offers flavored extensions like La Poire (pear), Le Citron (lemon), L’Orange, and La Vanille. According to Grey Goose, these flavored vodkas undergo the same rigorous production and testing as the original to ensure they remain gluten-free. The essences and flavoring ingredients used test below 5 ppm gluten.

Cross-Contamination Risks

For those with celiac disease, sticking to certified gluten-free spirits is advised to avoid contamination. However, there are still potential risks depending on how the vodka is handled:

Bar/Restaurant Service

Ask about dedicated pour spouts for gluten-free vodkas. Otherwise, residual gluten could remain in spouts used for wheat-based vodkas. Rinsing spouts with water may not remove all traces.

Mixed Drinks

Flavored syrups, garnishes, and glassware washed with beer tap lines could introduce gluten. Stick to simple vodka cocktails with GF mixers, garnish, and clean glassware.

Shared Home Bars

Store gluten-free vodkas sealed away from regular spirits if shelved together. Use separate pouring equipment and rinse glasses thoroughly before use.

Being vigilant about cross-contact from equipment and storage is still necessary when enjoying gluten-free vodkas. Proper protocols in bars and home help reduce inadvertent exposure.

Rounding up the key points:

  • Grey Goose vodka is produced from wheat and contains gluten initially.
  • The multi-distillation process removes detectable gluten to less than 5 ppm.
  • Grey Goose voluntarily submits products for rigorous third-party testing and certification to validate gluten-free claims.
  • All unflavored and flavored Grey Goose vodkas are confirmed as gluten-free.
  • Those with celiac disease should still exercise caution regarding cross-contamination when ordering in bars or storing at home.

Following a gluten-free diet requires diligence when selecting spirits like vodka. For the health and safety of those with gluten issues, brands must be transparent about their production practices and gluten testing results. Grey Goose has taken appropriate steps to qualify their vodka as definitively gluten-free with ample verification. Their spirit can be enjoyed by those avoiding gluten with proper precautions to prevent inadvertent exposure from equipment or glassware.


In summary, exhaustive testing and certification proves Grey Goose vodka is gluten-free and suitable for those with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. The distillation and flavoring processes utilized by Grey Goose reduce any potential gluten well below the recognized safety limits. Third-party labs confirm gluten levels in all Grey Goose products test below 5 ppm, granting them gluten-free status. While care must still be taken to avoid cross-contact with equipment, Grey Goose vodka delivers safe, gluten-free enjoyment for all vodka drinkers.

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