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Villa Maria launches NZ’s first wine-based seltzer

Hoping to tap into the growing thirst for hard seltzers, Villa Maria Estate has launched New Zealand’s first wine-based seltzer range under its Leftfield brand.

Called LF Wine Seltzers, the on-trend range comes in three flavours: Pear & Ginger; Yuzu, Mint & Cucumber; and Strawberry & Hibiscus.

The Pear & Ginger variant has a Pinot Gris base, the Yuzu, Mint & Cucumber has a Sauvignon Blanc base, and the Strawberry & Hibiscus expression has a rosé base.

In addition to the Leftfield wine base, all three are made with sparkling water and natural fruit flavours. Each can contains 68 calories and less than 1 gram of sugar per serve.

The range will make its debut in New Zealand this month with the goal of rolling it out into other international markets early next year.

Villa Maria developed the trio due to growing consumer demand for low-sugar, low-calorie drinks made with natural flavours that have an ABV between 4-6%.

“More and more consumers are seeking lighter drinking choices, but rather than creating another ‘me too’ product, it was hugely important for us to craft something beyond the status quo,” said Villa Maria’s head of marketing, Sarah Szegota.

“By working closely with our Leftfield winemaker Richard Painter, we’ve developed a seltzer that offers an elevated taste experience, so drinkers get both our internationally celebrated wines with sparkling water and delicious, natural flavours sourced from New Zealand.

“Demand for our wines remain strong, but as the market evolves it’s important that we evolve with it. The team are always striving for innovation and are known for making bold, industry-changing moves.

“LF Seltzer is an embodiment of that ethos – a Kiwi first that we’re looking forward to launching into Australia, the US and beyond,” Szegota added.

The range will be on sale in NZ liquor outlets and select on-premise sites from 26 October, with plans to roll it out internationally from early 2021.

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