Charge of the light wine brigade
Australia's biggest winemaker, Accolade Wines, has jumped on board the low-calorie bandwagon to launch its own skinny wines in the US and will link in with Weight Watchers to sell its product.
The move comes after rival Treasury Wine Estates, owner of Penfolds, Wolf Blass and Rosemount Estate, released its own low-calorie wines in the US in January, reportedly selling 100,000 cases already.
Facing flat sales and recessionary conditions in its key markets, winemakers have recently locked onto consumers looking for a slimming wine product that's low in alcohol
Accolade Wines, formerly Constellation Brands and owner of some of the biggest-selling brands in the world including Hardy's, Banrock Station, OMNI, Leasingham and Houghton, will launch its low-calorie wines in North America this month.
Under the brand "The Light Grape" and priced at $US12, the wines will contain about 80 calories per standard glass. Initially there will be chardonnay, rosé, a white blend and a red blend.
Treasury Wine Estates' Skinny Vine label retails for $US7 to $US10 a bottle for a chardonnay, white zinfandel and moscato. It has 86 to 95 calories per glass.
Interestingly, both Accolade Wines and Treasury Wine Estates have targeted weight-loss group Weight Watchers in a marketing blitz to win over drinkers.
Last year Accolade Wines bought Californian brands Geyser Peak, Atlas Peak and XYZin from failed US group Ascentia for $40 million. It sold the Geyser Peak winery and vineyards to Francis Ford Coppola Winery, but kept the brand.