21 Feb 2020

Marlborough winemaker creates alcohol-free Sauvignon Blanc

4:20 pm on 21 February 2020

A New Zealand winemaker says he was prompted to create a zero alcohol Sauvignon Blanc after undertaking a lifestyle challenge.

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Photo: 123rf

Giesen wines in Marlborough has launched what it says is the world's first alcohol-removed Sauvignon Blanc.

The wine is created as normal then a new high-tech spinning machine separates out the alcohol.

Giesen winemaker Nikolai St George said he thought of the idea after a workplace challenge.

"Last year we had a Fit 24 challenge at work and it involved culture and work and changing your lifestyle; no alcohol for a month, decreased sugar and increased exercise, less device time.

"The less alcohol part was quite hard for me, being a winemaker and being around wine for a long time."

He thought why not experiment with an alcohol-free drop.

The wine is produced using a spinning cone technology which St George says is a gentle form of distillation in a vacuum.

"The wine is passed multiple times through the spinning cones to remove the alcohol."

But alcohol also adds texture, weight and what winemakers call "mouth full" to a wine, so those characteristics have to be added back into the Sauvignon Blanc, using natural yeast products to fill "the holes".

Giesen describes the wine as "much lighter than its full-strength counterpart and boasts citrus flavours with blackcurrant and passionfruit notes."

It believes the no-alcohol segment of lighter wines will become a significant part of the Lighter wine category.

Last year a report by the British food and drinks consultancy Zenith predicted global sale of zero alcohol drinks to grow by 10 percent each year over the next five years.