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Gallo launches 5.5% low alcohol white

Californian wine giant Gallo has responded to the recent trend in the UK for lower alcohol wines with a 5.5% abv “Summer White” and a 9% abv Barefoot Pink Moscato.

GFV Summer White

A blend of Chenin Blanc, Colombard, Moscato and Riesling, Summer White is a sister wine to Gallo Summer Red, which launched in the UK in 2011.

Described by its makers as having a “lighter” and “fresher” style due to its lower alcohol content, the wine is said to boast notes of “ripe apple, pear and citrus”, along with “subtle floral notes.”

“The lower alcohol trend we’re witnessing is like the rosé phenomenon a decade ago.

“It offers a new entry point into wine through its accessible style,” Gallo’s general manager Bill Roberts told the drinks business, adding, “We’re reacting to the market with this launch.”

Due to the dealcaholisation process, the wine takes a week longer to make than standard abv wines.

Interestingly, Gallo has chosen to include the calorie content on the label in a bid to lure calorie conscious consumers, its lower abv making it 75 calories per 125ml serve, which, according to Roberts is 25% less than the average amount.

Earlier this month it emerged that the UK government was considering making it law to add the calorie contents to wine labels to discourage binge drinking.

As with the UK launch of Gallo Moscato last year, which saw Australian actress-turned-singer Holly Valance front the campaign, Gallo Summer White will also be enlisting the help of a female celebrity to front the launch.

At 5.5% abv, the wine is eligible for a lower duty rate in the UK, the savings from which will be passed onto the consumer according to Roberts, who is confident that the wine will be a success in Britain.

“If we don’t’ sell 700,000 bottles in the UK this year we won’t have done well,” he told db.

The company has invested over £1m in launching Gallo Summer White in the UK and Europe, where it makes its world debut ahead of the US.

The wine recently went on sale in Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Asda with an RRP of £6.99.

Also launching at the same time is Barefoot Pink Moscato, made from Californian-grown Moscato mixed with a small amount of White Grenache.

Gallo's chief winemaker Gina Gallo
Gallo’s chief winemaker Gina Gallo

The rosé offers “a hint of jasmine” and “notes of nectarine, raspberry and pomegranate,” with the back label suggesting it would pair well with spicy Asian food due to its 7.3g per 100ml of residual sugar.

The Barefoot brand had a stellar year in the UK last year, with sales up 63.4%, while Moscato is now the third most popular white grape variety in the US.

Like Gallo Summer White, Barefoot Pink Moscato also has a UK RRP of £6.99 and will launch at Morrisons next month.

Finally, to cater to the thirst for Californian red blends, Gallo is launching its Apothic Red brand in the UK at £9.99 a bottle, after successful launches in the US and Canada, where it is the biggest selling “premium” wine in the country.

Targeted at young professionals, the wine is named after Apotheca – a “mysterious place where wine was blended and stored in 13th century Europe.

A blend of Zinfandel, Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, according to its makers, the 13% abv blend boasts notes of “blackberry, dark cherry and hints of mocha, chocolate and brown spice.”

No mention is made of its Gallo roots on the label so as not to “confuse” consumers according to Roberts, who said most people don’t realise it’s a Gallo wine.

Gallo’s chief winemaker Gina Gallo was named the drinks business’ most powerful woman in the wine world in our top 50 power list last year.

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