The New South Wales-based winery is entering the alcohol-free sector with the launch of McGuigan Zero.
The portfolio comprises five de-alcoholised wines including a Shiraz, sparkling, rosé, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
The Zero range will be available through leading independents and the Coles Liquor Group from next month, priced $12 RRP.
The wines have been in development for more than two years and employ technology unique to the brand’s Buronga Hill winery in New South Wales, which means McGuigan is the only Australian winemaker capable of producing alcohol-free wines by the same method.
McGuigan uses the latest spinning cone technology, working at low temperatures to gently remove alcohol after the fermentation process, ensuring the wines maintain their delicate fruit flavours.
The launch is in response to changing global trends, which have seen the alcohol-free sector gain increasing momentum as one in five Australians say they are actively avoiding alcohol.
Temporary abstention is also increasing with the proliferation of movements including Dry July and Ocsober.
According to IRI data, making health improvements is the biggest reason consumers cite for cutting back, with Australians drinking on average 1.6 days a week – down from 1.7 days in 2017.
As moderation trends continue to impact consumer behaviour, new drinking occasions are emerging for low and alcohol-free brands.
McGuigan Zero enters the category to meet consumers’ changing needs and give drinkers a full-flavoured experience in the glass.
McGuigan Wines’ chief winemaker Neil McGuigan said, “We are the only wine company in Australia operating spinning cone technology, which has enabled us to play around with its capabilities in making low and alcohol-free wines”.
“For the last few years, we have been experimenting with our winemaking to deliver an alcohol-free wine, which has the most vinous and varietal character possible,” he said.
“The biggest challenge is to make the flavour profile of the finished product as close to a wine at full-strength as we can.
“The technology we have is market-leading and uses low temperatures to remove the alcohol, which means the wine retains freshness and purity of flavour. To get the finished product down to a lower ABV requires further refinement, but we have identified that this is possible to achieve while maintaining wine-like qualities.”