Chilean wine giant Concha y Toro is entering the "Better for you" category of low-alcohol and low-calorie wines with its new programme called "Belight." According to the company, it is launched under the flagship brand "Casillero del Diablo." The new program initially consists of Sauvignon Blanc and Rosé, each containing only 8.5% abv and 520 calories per liter. In comparison, a conventional Sauvignon Blanc contains 712 calories per liter, resulting in a calorie reduction of 27%, states Concha y Toro.
A dry wine with less alcohol
Apart from sugar, alcohol is a major source of calories in wine, which is why reducing the alcohol content leads to a "lighter" wine. However, Belight is not a reduced-alcohol wine.
"We have mainly selected grapes from regions where the varieties ripen earlier, allowing us to obtain grapes with lower sugar content and lower alcohol content through a 100% natural process," says winemaker Max Weinlaub.
On request of the German trade wine magazine, WEINWIRTSCHAFT Concha y Toro confirmed that the wine was fermented dry and can’t reach higher alcohol levels due to the selected grapes. The key is the sourcing of grapes from areas (or terroirs) from where aromatic and polyphenolic ripeness can be obtained at an early stage. However if necessary dealcoholization could be included in the production process.
Own research and innovation center
For Concha y Toro, its own research and innovation center, founded in 2014, played a key role in the development of Belight. “We utilized cutting-edge analytical technologies, such as liquid and gas chromatography for identifying wine components and measuring specific parameters that enhance wine quality, as well as sensory analysis methods,” says director Álvaro González.
The wines are already available in Chile, Mexico, and Brazil, and they are expected to be soon available in all major markets of the company.