As part of the Australian Federal Government’s Cooperative Research Centres Projects (CRC-P), Australian Vintage has been awarded US$1.9m in funding to advance its research into NoLo (no and low) alcohol beverages.
Alongside the grant funding, a partnership contribution of US$2.5m (Cash in-kind) has also been given allowing Australian Vintage and its industry partners to innovate in the NoLo wine markets.
Australian Vintage’s industry partners include the University of Adelaide, Australian Wine Research Institute, Treasury Wine Estates, Flavourtech, DrinkWise, Tarac Technologies, S. Smith and Son, Danstar Ferment, Mauri Yeast, and CHR Hanse.
“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,” said Jamie Saint, Chief Winemaker, Australian Vintage.
He added: “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.”
Australia’s NoLo Market
The latest insights from the IWSR predict that the consumption of the NoLo category will increase by a third by 2026, with non-alcoholic products driving the growth. In addition, 54% of consumers are proactively seeking products to improve their health, up 16% in the past three years.
Balancing alcohol-free and full of flavour
Tackling the challenge head-on, Australian Vintage is investing in a second spinning cone column to increase the production capacity and research and development into the production of wine that is both free from alcohol and maintains its full flavour.
The spinning technology gently removes alcohol at low temperatures to protect and preserve the delicate and distinctive characteristics of the wine before it is bottled.
Australian Vintage NoLo brands
Currently, in the UK and Australia, Australian Vintage’s McGuigan Zero is the number one selling non-alcohol wine. The company has also launched a new mid-strength wine McGuigan Black Label Mid with 20% less calories and alcohol but the same full-bodied fruity flavour.
Australian Vintage also produces the Tempus Two Zero, which looks and tastes like wine but has less than 0.5% alcohol. The brand also has a 6.8% Lighten Up range. Finally, Australian Vintage has launched a zero-alcohol brand ‘Not Guilty’ in the UK offering a range of zero-alcohol wines.