Winemaking innovators rewarded at Australia’s first zero-alc show

June 16, 2022
By Ioni Doherty

The innovators at Giesen have been rewarded and taken the top trophy at Australia’s first zero alcohol wine show.

Some of Australia and New Zealand’s largest wineries scooped the awards. Giesen’s Ara Zero Sauvignon Blanc NV was named Best Wine, Best White Wine and also named Best Winemaker.

“The Giesen Group winemaking team have had a vision from the outset to make exceptional alcohol-removed wines. From sourcing particular parcels of our finest New Zealand fruit in the vineyards, to a dedicated team just working on our spinning cone technology, there’s no stone left unturned. These wines are made with the same care and commitment as our regular premium wines but talk to the growing consumer appetite for healthier beverage alternatives. 

“We’re thrilled that these Winepilot accolades acknowledge the work that is being done to produce exceptional Zero alcohol wines across both the Ara Wines and Giesen ranges and look forward to continually refining the technology in the years ahead,” said Duncan Shouler, Chief Winemaker Giesen Group.

The winners were announced at a ceremony hosted at The KittyHawk in Sydney on Wednesday evening.

The main winners were:

  • Trophy for Best Wine – Ara Zero Sauvignon Blanc NV
  • Trophy for Best Winemaker – Giesen Group Ltd
  • Trophy for Best Sparkling Wine – Jacob’s Creek Unvined Sparkling NV
  • Trophy for Best White Wine – Ara Zero Sauvignon Blanc NV
  • Trophy for Best Chillable Red Wine – Sobriety Society Shiraz Tempranillo 2021
  • Trophy for Best Red Wine – Wolf Blass Zero Shiraz 2021

Winepilot’s Angus Hughson established the awards given that zero alcohol and low alcohol is the fastest growing wine category in Australia and New Zealand.

He said, “It was also fascinating to see that some wine styles are better suited to zero alcohol than others and that some unusual styles, such as Sparkling Riesling, actually work very well in a zero alcohol context.

“Zero alcohol is a brave new world for the wine industry and offers the opportunity for winemakers to innovate, and potentially develop new wines that become best-sellers in local and export markets.”

Ross Marshall, Managing Director at Fourth Wave Wine said, “Fourth Wave Wine are driven by a desire to elevate the experience of drinking alcohol-free wines and support the rising consumer trend of mindful and moderate drinking – the delicious and innovative alcohol free alternatives from both Sobriety Society and Plus & Minus are a testament to that.

“The inaugural Zero Alcohol Wine Show was such an exciting step forward for the category, a collaborative celebration of the innovation and progress to date and keen anticipation for what’s in store in the future.

“Zero alcohol is gaining momentum and uncovering a new generation of drinkers. We continue to see a greater groundswell of support based on the increase in alcohol free occasions and a shift of these occasions becoming regular, everyday behaviour. The consumer trend of health and wellbeing is also reflective in the growth of this category, as mentioned we have seen drinkers moderating and looking for better non-alcohol alternatives to support their changing lifestyles.”

Mr Marshall said, “Our team were thrilled to receive the trophy for Best Chillable Red Wine for the Sobriety Society Shiraz Tempranillo 2021. The positive response from those at the event and participating judges and critics was wonderful and is encouraging for our continued innovation and growth within the category.”

The 2022 Winepilot Zero Alcohol Wine Show tasting was held in May with five of Australia’s leading wine judges tasting through most of the zero alcohol wines currently available in Australia.

Forty-nine wines were judged in four classes with trophies awarded to the best wines in each class as well as for Best Winemaker and Best Wine overall.

Judges for the Winepilot Zero Alcohol Wine Show included, Chairman and leading winemaker, PJ Charteris, winemaking consultant Mike DeGaris, Angus Hughson, Solotel’s Annette Lacey MW, Matt Dunne and wine writer Tony Love.

A list of all the entries and awards can be found here.

The 2022 Winepilot Zero Alcohol Wine Show was held thanks to the generous support of a wide range of sponsors including Flavourtech, Plus & Minus, Sanector, Sans Drinks, Winesave, Kaddy, Ultra Labels and Denomination

Look out for Fourth Wave’s Zero Moscato and Bubbly Rosé under the Plus and Minus brand, for sale exclusively in Woolworths supermarkets.

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