Low Alcohol Wines is the fastest growing category of wine according to Neilson but methods to reduce alcohol have always affected quality and taste. Until Now. Dr John Forrest’s approach of reducing alcohol by changing the way grapes are grown and harvested in the vineyard is a far cry from brands reducing alcohol post harvest. With vintages only getting hotter year on year, sugar levels in grapes are increasing causing alcohol percentage to increase with each vintage. A trend
“By changing what we do in the vineyard we are able to reduce the alcohol without changing the taste or flavor profile of the wines” says Dr Forrest. A statement more than supported by trophies such as Best Riesling and Best Open White Wine at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards and another Best Riesling trophy at the Marlborough Wine Show. The success of this revolutionary technique and incredible results on the show circuit has created a movement in low alcohol wines backed by the New Zealand Winegrowers association.
“Research indicates that an increasing proportion of consumers are making purchasing decisions around their lifestyle, such as choosing healthier foods and lower alcohol wines,” explains New Zealand Winegrowers CEO Philip Gregan who explains why the industry is embracing the trend with such gusto – with a $16.97 million joint venture with the Ministry for Primary Industries. With Neilson data nominating this areas as the fastest growing category in wine and the current market in Australia worth over $42 million, it’s no surprise there is such support.
Crush Director Matt Schmidt explains his eagerness to have The Doctors join the Wine portfolio for Crush to supply:
“Given Australia’s responsible position with alcohol intake – especially in the young, low alcohol wines are such a positive step. You can’t walk into a bar or pub without a light beer option. It makes sense for wine to go down this path now that the quality and taste isn’t compromised at all and the show results for The Doctors’ Wines support that!”
With police breath testing now an everyday occurrence in some parts you can see why the rest of the world has embraced these wines and why they are now dominating supermarket shelves around the world with sales now over 12 million bottles per year.
Almost 800,000 cases of lower-alcohol wine, with an alcohol content of less than 8.5 per, were sold in Britain in 2012; an increase of 200,000 cases over the year before. Sainsbury’s in the UK aims to be number one for lighter alcohol wines by doubling sales in this category by 2020. Andy Phelps, category manager for beers, wines and spirits at Sainsbury’s, said that sales of wines with around 5.5% alcohol have risen by 60% over 2012.
Lower alcohol, fewer calories and a triple trophy winning wine? Done.