Zero-alcohol wines are set to be championed with the launch of Australia’s first wine show dedicated to the growing zero-alcohol wine category.
The inaugural Winepilot Zero-Alcohol Wine Show is the first of its kind in Australia and New Zealand to focus solely on zero-alcohol wines and aims to champion talented producers and bring awareness to the growing market, both locally and globally.
The new awards show will call on wine producers, big and small, to submit their alcohol-free wines under the show’s four categories: Sparkling Wines, White Wines, Chillable Red Wines and Red Wines. Trophies will also be awarded for Best Wine of Show and Best Wine Producer.
Winepilot founder Angus Hughson says the introduction of the new show will further promote the growing category by identifying the best local producers and support the category in highlighting the leading styles.
“The zero-alcohol wine market is experiencing incredible growth both here and abroad,” Angus says.
“In the last few years alone there has been a massive shift in the way Australians are drinking towards lower and zero alcohol wines with new wine producers and brands coming on to the market every day.
“The low-to-no alcohol category will be a vital component for the future of the Australian wine industry, and we want to support it by rewarding the talented producers and winemakers who are kicking some serious goals in this new category and champion the cream of the crop.
“It’s going to be exciting to see how Australian and New Zealand winemakers are performing and evolving in this space but equally for our judges to recalibrate our palates across this rapidly growing category.”
The show includes a panel of experienced judges including chairman and leading winemaker, PJ Charteris, winemaking consultant Mike DeGaris, Solotel Group beverage manager Annette Lacey MW, group wine ambassador Matt Dunne, wine writer Tony Love and Winepilot founder Angus Hughson.
A key focus for judges will be drinkability and flavour while also identifying the best wines with wide appeal for engaged zero-alcohol consumers and the wine drinking public at large – the zero-alcohol wine category itself aims for inclusivity and ongoing innovation.
PJ Charteris (pictured) says the new awards show will further highlight the ever-evolving wine industry.
“I’m very interested to see how this part of the wine industry is evolving,” he says.
“After a 5,000 plus year relationship between humans and wine, things are suddenly in a state of extreme flux.
“With modern wine processing techniques and an ever-changing consumer interface, it will be interesting to see how winemakers are using tradition and technology to not only create a different category but where they are on the quality and stylistic curve. The question I hope to understand is ‘Is this Fad or Future?'”
Judging will be held at Kittyhawk in Sydney on Wednesday 18 May with results announced the following month on Wednesday 15 June at an invitation-only event at Kittyhawk in Sydney hosted by Plus & Minus Wines.