New releases

New RTD turns wine waste into spritzes

A wine-like, canned spritzy drink made out of wine waste is aiming to give seltzers and beers a run for their money this summer. 

Every year, wineries produce tonnes of pomace, which is the leftover grape skins after pressing the fruit to make wine. In the 19th century, the pomace would be mixed with water to create Piquette, a low-alcohol drink that was a traditional vineyard worker’s drink.

Now, Piquette is not only having a revival but a revamp, with Endeavour Group introducing two new products – Garden Gris Piquette and Escape Room Piquette – made by award-winning wineries Oakridge Wines and Chapel Hill in its premium wine portfolio Paragon Wine Estates.

“Our reinvented Piquette is like a wine-flavoured sour beer or seltzer. It is a blend of Sangiovese skins, botanicals, wild yeasts, water and a whole lotta love!” said Chapel Hill Senior Winemaker Bryn Richards. 

The name Piquette comes from the French word for “prickle” due to the drink’s slight fizz, and is unfiltered and vegan friendly.

“The fizz is caused by the second fermentation that happens in the can, so I had to apply all of my winemaking knowledge and a little bit of finger crossing to make it happen,” he added. 

The Escape Room Piquette has been fermented on grape skins for seven days using wild yeast, then pressed and canned while still fermenting to maintain its spritz. It is hazy in appearance, has a natural spritz and is best stored and enjoyed chilled.

Endeavour Group Head of Fine Wine Andrew Shedden said Piquette is an on-trend product that is both lo-fi (lower intervention) and lower in alcohol (around 3-5% ABV) – things that customers are increasingly asking for. 

“It’s a delicious, sustainable option that also comes in a can, which enables a wine based product to play in what have traditionally been spaces owned by beer and premix,” he said. 

Although made by a winery using grape skins, Andrew encouraged customers to try Piquette with an open mind.

“It’s really important to approach Piquette as a fun, refreshing beverage rather than viewing it through the prism of wine. It’s made from grape materials, but it’s not a wine and it’s not trying to be a wine. Too often we hear that ‘this doesn’t taste how I’d expect a wine to taste’ – that’s the point,” he said. 

Escape Room Piquette blends Sangiovese skins, botanicals, wild yeasts and water, with the spritz providing notes of blood orange, raspberry, cherry and cranberry with hints of sage. Price: $7.99 per can (330ml) or $29.99 for a 4-pack at Dan Murphy’s.

Garden Gris Piquette is produced from from rehydrated Pinot Gris skins from the Upper Yarra Valley, it is dark pink in colour, showing flavours of pomegranate, red cherry and exotic apples with notes of freshly picked spices. Price: $7.99 per can (330ml) or $29.99 for a 4-pack at Dan Murphy’s.

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Categories: New releases