Low alcohol wines are certainly not new. They account for a small, but growing market. Overlay this with the substantial increase in consumption of organic wines and general well-being, and we find The Natural Wine Co.’s innovative Lightly Sparkling wines ($20) gaining much attention.
With a long history of growing organic grapes, Canowindra’s Jason O’Dea has been working on The Natural Wine Co. Lightly Sparkling for nearly three years. “A few years ago we were successful in receiving support from Wine Australia, with the subsequent research highlighting the growing demand for these types of wines,” explained O’Dea.
The organic aspect of the winemaking was the easy part, given Jason’s 20-year history of growing organic grapes. The winemaking took more research, combining new techniques with ancient winemaking.
“Our winemaking research was conducted over a number of vintages, with small parcels of wine made under various techniques in order to achieve a lower alcohol without losing flavour and mouthfeel,” explained winemaker Anthony D’Onise.
“Whilst we like to keep the exact winemaking a bit of a secret, we have used some aspects of the Ripasso technique. This allows us to build flavour in the wines whilst we manage the alcohol development.
“The initial inspiration was from my father who told of Italian wine bars where the owners would produce low alcohol wines called ‘La Graspia’, using these methods, made for the local ‘Contadino’. These wines were somewhat unsophisticated, so we have combined these with more modern techniques to create these wines.
“From the organic grape growing, to the preservative free winemaking, we are particularly happy with how these wines came together; the feedback has been fantastic.”
The new The Natural Wine Co. Lightly Sparkling White and Rosé are organic, low in alcohol, low in calories, vegan and preservative free.
“They’re somewhat of a niche wine, with few in the market,” said O’Dea. “They allow people to ‘stay longer’. The wines are perfect for those looking to lower the amount of alcohol they are consuming, or simple for those wanting a refreshing, enjoyable wine with a touch of fizz.”