Marlborough wine company Giesen, leads 0% movement with more global awards. Believe it or not … alcohol free wines are among the fastest growing drinks categories in the world right now – and a New Zealand company is leading the charge.
Giesen, a Marlborough-based wine producer, has just won two more coveted international awards for its 0% wine range.
Giesen 0% Pinot Gris has won the 2023 International Wine and Spirit Competition’s (IWSC) Best Low-Alcohol Trophy (<1.2% alcohol/volume). The company’s Ara Zero Sauvignon Blanc also won the Best Alcohol Free Wine in the 2023 World Alcohol-free Awards (UK) last month.
The judges described the Giesen 0% Pinot Gris as having a subtle nose of buttered stone fruits.
“The palate is full with bold notes of white peach, citrus, green apple and a streak of salinity. The acidity appears on the mid-palate, and it has a pleasing length. Very drinkable.”
The 50-year-old competition is one of the most respected in the world. IWSC introduced their Low & No category in 2019 and has been growing ever since. Low/No alcohol entries in 2022 were up 225% versus the previous year demonstrating the continuing surge in popularity and relevance for these drinks.
Giesen Group has also been shortlisted for the IWSC LONO* Producer of the Year award with the winner to be announced in October.
Nielsen data shows New Zealand’s sales of non-alcoholic wine grew by 19.9% by value and almost 15.5% by volume in the last six months to late June this year (compared with the same period last year).
Chief Winemaker Duncan Shouler says across our Giesen Group portfolio, in New Zealand our no-alcohol wines have grown 71.5% by value and 66% by volume versus the same period last year.
“We’re incredibly proud of our Giesen 0% range – it’s number one in New Zealand by value and we’ve won 24 international awards and our Ara Zero range has won 16. If you told me 20 years ago that alcohol-free wine would be so popular, I’d have laughed but it really is. The wine drinking consumer is changing, and moderation is becoming more important to them.”
Shouler puts the success down to the care and attention that goes into making their no-alcohol wines.
“We put a lot into crafting our 0% wines – we are the first New Zealand winery to own our spinning cone technology and have a specialist winemaking team who are continually improving the quality of our 0% wines with each blend we make. We know our consumers expect quality if it has the Giesen name on it. Every bottle is made with the same attention to detail as our full-strength wine offerings, then using our spinning cone technology we gently remove the alcohol from our full-strength wine, so it has all of the characteristics you’d expect from full-strength wine.
So far, Giesen has created 0% Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Rosé and Merlot. And we will be adding to the range by releasing a 0% Sparkling Brut wine in September.
Shouler says their popularity is in part due to a global change in the way people consume alcohol. This is driven by the importance of health and wellness in people’s lives, which includes moderation with alcohol.
“Most of us still enjoy an alcoholic beverage but there are times when we don’t want to deal with the aftereffects of alcohol. Research shows that while these wines are of interest to the sober curious or non-drinkers, its regular drinkers who consume them most often.”
“Non-alcoholic products are great for those who want to limit their alcohol intake. There are lots of reasons why people gravitate to them – perhaps it’s a morning workout session they don’t want to miss, an exam the next day they want to be sharp for. It could be a work function where they want to impress, or the fact they want to be able to drive home.”
Shouler believes low and no alcohol wines will continue to grow in popularity. International Wines and Spirits Record (IWSR) drinks market analysis shows the no and low-alcohol category volume is expected to grow by 7% CAGR (annual rate of growth) in 2022-26, compared to the 5% growth in 2018-22. No-alcohol will lead this growth and is expected to account for over 90% of the forecast total category volume growth.
“The stigma around non-alcoholic drinks is all but gone, they’re becoming a more common item on wine lists and more and more people are joining the global movement.
“I’m just proud that Giesen is flying the flag proudly and showcasing the best of low and no-alcohol New Zealand wines in places like the USA where we’re the #1 premium no-alcohol wine brand, and throughout the world.”
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