Low alcohol Spanish wine destined for UK

  • Wednesday 20 February 2008

A new low alcohol wine could arrive at UK shops if a Spanish trial proves successful.

The wine, developed by Bodega Casa de la Ermita in cooperation with the University of Murcia and the University of Cartagena has 6.5% alcohol.

The company has invested €2.5m (£1.9m, US$3.7m) in the project and has big plans for the new product, named Altos de la Ermita.

‘We plan to export the wine to the UK, Ireland and other European countries,’ the company’s managing director Pedro Martinez told UK newspaper The Daily Mirror.

‘All the wine we have produced so far is red, but we are planning to release a similar low alcohol white wine as well.’

Previous attempts to launch low alcohol wines in the UK have, however, fallen prey to UK and EU regulations.

The Food Standards Agency blocked sales of Sovio, an 8% alcohol wine, last year because it was made using a de-alcoholisation method banned under the EU’s complex wine legislation.

The Spanish firm claims to have developed a new method to limit the alcohol strength.

The vines are deprived of water during growing season to stop sugar levels from reaching standard levels. In addition, fermentation is stopped early by reducing temperature.

The initial production capacity is 770,00 bottles and the wine will be sold at €10 (£7.5, US$14.7) per bottle in Spain from April.

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