Aussie wine trends: 8. Italian varieties and moscato

Jacobs-Creek-Sparkling-MoscatoMeanwhile, inspired by the surge in demand for Italy’s Moscato, Australia has quickly ramped up production of low-alcohol, lightly sparkling sweet wine from the Muscat grape. Both Wirra Wirra and Innocent Bystander in the Yarra Valley produce a pink version at 5%, which they say is their best-selling wine at the cellar door.

Elsewhere, managing director at Orlando Wines Brett McKinnon, says that Jacob’s Creek Moscato is the fastest growing style for the brand.

Launched just over two years ago, it now accounts for 5% of the brand’s global sales of seven million cases. Supplying this growth are Muscat vineyards in Australia’s Riverland, Riverina and Mildura regions, and plantings have increased dramatically in the last five years.

Indeed, as previously reported by the drinks business, Orlando Wines is even considering re-introducing a sweet, semi-sparkling brand from the late 50s called Barossa Pearl.

The label was launched in 1956 by former Orlando Wines director Colin Gramp, who was inspired by Germany’s semi-sparkling perlwein.

Already on supermarket shelves in the UK specifically however, is Vinni from Australian Vintage.

Launched in October last year, the low alcohol, wine-based drink is made from Moscato grapes, which come from New South Wales and it is available in a 568ml glass crown seal bottle.


Vinni from Australian Vintage

As Julian Dyer told db in 2012, “We believe that this lighter, less alcoholic wine-based product will open up a whole new avenue for wine, appealing to younger audiences who perhaps have not tried it before.”

Back in the Yarra Valley, last year De Bortoli produced its first Moscato under the Bella Riva brand.

Using Moscato Giallo – as opposed to the more widely-planted Muscat Gordo Blanco (or Muscat of Alexandria) – managing director Steve Webber describes it as a “premium Moscato”.

And, summing up his belief in the potential for this wine style, he said, “I think there is an enormous market for 5.5% wine and Moscato is a nice solution.”

Click here to read the first instalment of db‘s top 10 Australian wine trends, which focuses on the development and export of extremely pricey wines from the country.

And click here to view the second part, which considers the fast-growing interest and investment in Tasmania.

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