WINE EXPLAINED: Low-Alcohol, De-Alcoholised, Alcohol-Free & Non-Alcoholic Wines

LOW-ALCOHOL, DE-ALCOHOLISED, ALCOHOL-FREE & NON-ALCOHOL WINE EXPLAINED.

Article courtesy of Spier Wines.

Wine is an alcoholic beverage made by the alcoholic fermentation of the juice of fresh grapes, with an alcohol content of 6,5 to 22,0% alcohol by volume.

LOW ALCOHOL WINE

The alcohol content of this category of wines is more than 0.5 % but less than 4.5 %. It starts as a normal wine that undergoes fermentation and then alcohol is removed through the processes of reverse osmosis, Spinning Cone technology and/or vacuum distillation. No addition of exogenous water is allowed to make these wines. If the wine was provisionally certified before de-alcoholisation, variety and vintage may appear on the final product. The Low Alcohol wine may not be certified for the origin and is not eligible for the certification seal.  

DE-ALCOHOLISED WINE

The alcohol content of this category of wine is less than 0.5%. It starts as a normal wine that undergoes fermentation and then alcohol is removed through the processes of reverse osmosis, Spinning Cone technology and/or vacuum distillation. No addition of exogenous water is allowed to make these wines, although glycerol may be added to this product after de-alcoholisation.  

If the wine was provisionally certified before de-alcoholisation, variety and vintage may appear on the final product. The de-alcoholised wine may not be certified for the origin and is not eligible for the certification seal.

The mandatory class designation ("de-alcoholised") or a permissible alternative class designation ("non-alcoholic" or "alcohol removed") shall always be indicated in conjunction with the expression "contains less than 0.5% alcohol by volume".

For a beverage to be classified as non-alcoholic in South Africa it must be under 0,5% ABV. 

ALCOHOL-FREE WINE 

To be academically correct alcohol-free does not exist because wine is defined as “an alcoholic beverage made by the alcoholic fermentation of the juice of fresh grapes, with an alcohol content of 6,5 to 22,0% alcohol by volume”. The absence of alcohol in the wine means by law it can't be called “wine”. Although a beverage can be made of the varietals grapes without fermenting the grapes and the product may be labelled as a wine grape variety, it is not wine, because it is grape juice dressed up in a wine bottle.

The grey area is that these wines usually start as a wine, which is 100% or partially de-alcoholised and therefore the perception is that it is a wine.

The alcohol content of this category of wine is less than 0.05% and no analytical tolerance will be allowed.

It starts as a normal wine that undergoes fermentation and then alcohol is removed through the processes of reverse osmosis, Spinning Cone technology and/or vacuum distillation. No addition of exogenous water is allowed to make these wines, although glycerol may be added to this product after de-alcoholisation.

If the wine was provisionally certified before de-alcoholisation, variety and vintage may appear on the final product. The de-alcoholised wine may not be certified for the origin and is not eligible for the certification seal.

NON-ALCOHOLIC WINE

A non-alcoholic product is not derived from a fermented product from which alcohol has been removed. Non-alcoholic products have never contained any alcohol.

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