Non-alcoholic wines — like other NA beverages — are evolving as they’ve gained popularity with non-drinkers and people who make up the growing “sober curious” movement.
In 2020, “Only You” from Schenk Wines made its debut with consumers. The sparkling NA white wine is dealcoholized to preserve its structure, said Marketing Director Ruben Basantes, who answered questions Vintner Magazine had regarding Schenk’s process.
The wine dealcoholization process takes place using CCR, a technique that consists of a column of rotating cones based on vacuum distillation. Basantes said the advantage of this method is that it allows the desired alcohol to be removed without adding anything in the process
“The key to this system is in its ability to work at very low temperatures in a vacuum system and in the ability to extract and capture all the essence of the wine,” Basantes said. “The interior of the column is made up of 40 inverted cones, of which 20 are fixed and the other 20 rotate.
“The rotating cones spin the wine gently until creating thin layers of liquid while a cold vapor created from the wine itself travels up the column, capturing the most volatile molecules in the liquid, in this case, alcohol.”
The process produces a product completely devoid of alcohol. There are several methods to dealcoholize a wine, but Basantes said Schenk uses their method because it helps make NA wine while respecting the aroma, flavor and body of the original wine as much as possible.
There have been no production issues since the product’s launch two years ago.
“Once we have the base of the wine, in our facilities we proceed to profile the wine to turn it into the sparkling product that reaches the customer,” Basantes said. “For this, we work with isobaric tanks that maintain the pressure and with a bottling line that also works in an isobaric way and is able to respect the qualities of this type of wine.”