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Thursday 31 July 2014

Low alcohol category needs to improve

16th August, 2013 by Rupert Millar

The low alcohol wine category has to improve in quality if it is to become viable thinks Thomas Jung, group chief winemaker at Australian Vintage.

Summer LightSpeaking to the drinks business as the company rolls out its new “Summer Light” 5.5% abv wines, Jung said that the category needed to be more appealing for the consumer if it was to flourish.

He explained: “We see this category as quite exciting in the UK. There’s consumer demand, retailer demand but the quality at the moment is not good.

“It’s not just us as a company but the industry that can make this category. We need to make it appealing to the consumer otherwise, why would you buy it?”

He said that he and the other winemakers at Australian Vintage had tasted what was currently on the market and, “we weren’t all that excited with what we saw.

“I said to Neil (McGuigan, CEO) that if we went in we needed to be the market leader. Genuine demand is there but we wanted to stay true to wine.”

He admitted that as a category it was not one that would greatly appeal to those who already enjoy drinking wine but also that it wasn’t meant to.

“It’s for those coming into the category and maybe those that need to cut down.”

With the recent news that the UK government is trying to get the EU to recognise 4.5% abv as the new legal limit for wine, Jung added that there was another chance to push this new category.

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