Australian Vintage, Treasury Wine Estates, Samiel Smith and Son and eight industry partners have received funding to research and innovate in the low and no-alcohol wine markets.
The research grant to the value of $2,997,599 along with a partner contribution to the value of $3,706,753 (in cash and in-kind) comes from the Advancement of Australian Lifestyle Wines as a recipient of the Cooperative Research Centres Projects (CRC-P) program funding.
The wineries will partner with University of Adelaide, Australian Wine Research Institute, Flavourtech, DrinkWise, Tarac Technologies, Danstar Ferment, Mauri Yeast, and CHR Hansen.
Australian Vintage will be the project lead of this co-operative initiative and will work closely with the partners to achieve the project objectives.
Chief Winemaker Jamie Saint said: “We’re extremely grateful to receive the Federal Government’s support. The grant allows us to conduct research with a key objective of optimising the flavour and mouthfeel of no and low products as well as drilling down into consumer and market insights of the category.
“The opportunity to work with a group of leading industry partners to take the growing NoLo category to the next level is something we are enormously excited by, improving the competitiveness, productivity and sustainability of the Australian wine industry. We want to position the Australian wine sector as the largest global producer of NoLo wines.”
Recent data from the IWSR predicts consumption of the NoLo category is to increase by a third by 2026, with non-alcoholic products driving this growth.
Meanwhile, 54% of consumers are proactively seeking products to improve their health – up 16% over the past three years, according to Globaldata.
To create wine that is free from alcohol, but full in flavour, Australian Vintage recently invested in a second spinning cone column to increase production capacity and research and development. This spinning cone technology gently removes the alcohol at low temperatures to protect and preserve the wine’s delicate and distinctive varietal characteristics, before it is bottled.
Australian Vintage pillar brands include McGuigan, Tempus Two, Nepenthe and Barossa Valley Wine Company. McGuigan Zero is the number one selling still non-alcoholic wine range in Australia and the UK.
Meanwhile, the newly launched mid-strength wine, McGuigan Black Label Mid features the same full- bodied fruity flavour of the full- strength version just with 20% less calories and alcohol.
Similarly, the Tempus Two Zero range is based on the premise that it looks like wine, tastes like wine, is wine, but with less than 0.5% alcohol, while its 6.8% Lighten Up range is full in flavour and lighter in calories.
The company recently launched zero-alcohol brand Not Guilty in the UK, a unique range of zero alcohol wines that are perfect for those who are looking to self-moderate without compromise. The rosé has already received overall Judges Wine of Show in the Mid-Low-No Alcohol Wine Awards and scored 92 points in the IWSC 2023, the pinot grigio receiving 95 points at the same competition.
Not Guilty launches in Australia in August 2023.