Distell to bring low-alc wine to the Cape

South Africa’s Distell is launching a 5.5% abv wine-based drink in the UK market, which will also become the first low-alcohol label in the Cape.

Harbour 5 redThe new product is called Harbour 5 and comes under Distell’s Two Oceans brand, and comprises a red, white and rosé, all at 5.5% abv.

Explaining the decision to launch the wine in the UK and South Africa, Two Oceans brand manager Jackie Olivier said she believed the demand for low-alcohol wine-based drinks – currently growing at 11% in UK retail – would spread to South Africa too.

“We looked at global trends, and the UK is the biggest market for 5.5%, but we believe it will hit South Africa as well.”

However, Olivier highlighted a major challenge to developing a low-alcohol category in the Cape.

Because the 5.5% label is not legally defined as a wine, but a “wine-based drink”, it cannot be sold in supermarkets, which are not allowed to sell alcoholic drinks other than wine.

“You cannot call it a wine, and grocers can only sell wine in South Africa,” she stated, adding that Harbour 5 will, as a result, be distributed in liquor stores only.

As for the UK, the 5.5% low-alcohol wine category – legally defined as “made wine” – is now worth £38 million from almost 1 million cases sold last year.

With a very low average price of £3.23, the 5.5% sector is being driven by price, with new labels able to meet entry-level on-shelf prices due to a lower duty rate for wine-based drinks at this abv or below in the UK.

Wine-based products at 5.5% or below pay 80p in duty to the UK Treasury, compared to £1.90 for wines at 5.5% and above.

Low-alcohol category leader in the UK is another South Africa wine-based label, Café Collection from First Cape.

Olivier said Harbour 5 would be launched officially in May and had a “secure listing” in the UK.

For the future, she said she wanted to sell the wine in the US, but was struggling to get approval for the label.

Harbour 5 is made by de-alcoholising standard wine to 9% and then adding grape juice concentrate to dilute the abv to 5.5%, as well as add flavour and sweetness, leaving the product with around 36g/l of residual sugar.

The white is made from Chenin Blanc and the red and rosé from Shiraz.

One Response to “Distell to bring low-alc wine to the Cape”

  1. leazle says:

    Where do i buy these wine…reds light?
    its name fist eas quay 5…i cant get hold of it its the only wine i drink…so delecious..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletters

Account Manager - Manchester

Black Fire Tequila
Manchester, UK

Marylebone Sales Manager

Philglas & Swiggot
Marylebone, London

Sales Administrator

Les Caves de Pyrène
Guildford, UK

General Manager

3Cs Cider
UK

Liquid Production Assistant

Atom Group
Tonbridge, UK

Brand Manager

Hallgarten Druitt
Luton, UK

Brand Manager

Kilchoman Distillery Co Ltd
Edinburgh, UK

Wine Bar Supervisor

Henny's
London, UK

Partner Manager - On-trade - North West

Maverick Drinks
Manchester, UK

Partner Manager - On-trade - Scotland and NE

Maverick Drinks
Edinburgh, UK

Pays d'Oc Tasting

London,United Kingdom
28th Jun 2018

CHILE: From The Very Top To The Downright Hot

Manchester,United Kingdom
2nd Jul 2018

CHILE: From The Very Top To The Downright Hot

Edinburgh,United Kingdom
3rd Jul 2018
Click to view more

Champagne Masters 2018

Deadline : 22nd June 2018

The Global Malbec Masters 2018

Deadline : 1st July 2018

Click to view more

The Global Malbec Masters 2017

the drinks business is proud to announce the inaugural Global Malbec Masters 2017

The Global Sparkling Masters 2017

the drinks business is thrilled to announce the launch of The Global Sparkling Masters.

Click to view more