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Lower alcohol Marlborough wines launch in M&S

Published:  09 May, 2018

New Zealand Lighter Wines has launched two new 9.5% abv wines in Marks & Spencer to tap into the growing demand for naturally lower alcohol wine.

The own label Sauvignon Blanc and Rosé offerings (RRP: £10.99) are part of the latest lighter wine vintages to emerge from New Zealand.

These come four years into the seven-year research and development programme, New Zealand Lighter Wines, which aims to create naturally lighter wines without using alcohol extraction techniques used by other low alcohol wine producers.

There are 18 New Zealand premium wine companies taking part in the NZ$17million (£8.7 million) initiative, which is led by New Zealand Winegrowers and co-funded by the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries’ Primary Growth Partnership.

According to New Zealand Lighter Wines these two products have been produced naturally, using “ground-breaking” sustainable viticulture techniques that help to slow the natural ripening process in the vineyard. This means grapes can be picked at full ripeness but with less sugar, delivering “varietally expressive full-flavoured” wines with less alcohol, it said.

“Securing these new listings with M&S is the latest milestone in our goal to become the global ‘go to’ country for premium lighter wines that are produced totally naturally and without the need for alcohol extraction,” said Philip Gregan,CEO, New Zealand Winegrowers.

In addition, the listing was further proof that the initiative was “providing the holy grail” that many retailers and their customers are looking for – to offer top quality wines at lower abvs without compromising on traditional winemaking techniques, he added.

Dr John Forrest, founder of Forrest Wines in Marlborough, which produces the two wines said that the technique was “well ahead of other lower alcohol production methods”.