The low/no alcohol wine category has struggled to enjoy the same levels of mass market approval, with the process to create a low/no alcohol wine being much harder than in other beverages.
But Bolle has been made using new Zero Gradi technology created by R&D whizz Roberto Vanin, which seeks to overcome these problems to create a ‘new grown-up alternative to timeless sparkling wine’.
A 'revolutionary way' to ferment juices
In the UK, the no/low category has grown 506% since 2015, supporting a growing lifestyle shift towards greater alcohol awareness and more conscious drinking habits; a greater awareness of wellbeing covering both physical and mental health, alongside growing mid-week/end of day drinking rituals.
In 2020 Vanin spotted an opening to re-energise what he describes as an under-performing low/no alcohol wine category: through creating a ‘revolutionary way’ to ferment juices without producing alcohol or unpalatable sweetness. He considers this fundamental to the success of a product and indeed the wider category: saying that no/low products should ‘never mean short-tasting one’s taste buds’.
“From the outset I wanted to create a fermented drink that not only over-indexed both in terms of taste and sparkling wine aspirations, but coupled seamlessly with great food yet minus the alcohol, unwelcome calories and overt sugary sweetness that has historically held this intriguing product category back," he said.
“ To my mind Bolle offers historically inaccessible levels of sophistication, coupled with smooth, well-balanced acidity and a crisp yet refreshing taste. For too long wine - unlike small batch beer - has been weighed down by suffocating snobbery and elitism, which has historically stifled category experimentation (low calorie, low sulphur, organic..). With Bolle, we believe we offer the depth of character and enlightened flavour notes to spark a wider appreciation of sparkling wine.’
Vanin (pictured right) is a scientist, ardent oenologist, wine-loving Italian and former chief R&D officer at Suntory Food and Beverage GB&I (previously Lucozade Ribena Suntory), whose past roles also include R&D posts at Mars and Reckitt Benckiser.
He turned this R&D expertise to the no/low category with the creation of his Zero Gradi technology.
“The biggest challenge for low- and no-alcohol products is to deliver a great taste,” he explained.
“Today’s range of low- and no-alcohol products are obtained primarily by de-alcoholization: a physical process to remove the alcohol from the liquid. I look at the opportunity from a different perspective: how to ferment juices without producing the alcohol at first place, and this is a completely new challenge to solve.
“Zero Gradi Technology is leveraging a very traditional process like fermentation with very modern technologies and has been developed in collaboration with a leading biotech company. Yeasts consumes the sugar in the juices producing all the flavour we are familiar with but are not able to generate the alcohol.”
The drink comes in two varieties: Bolle Rosa (a delicate salmon pink colour, fine bubbles & notes of berries, blackcurrant, toast & herbs) and Bolle Ora (luxurious fine bubbles coupled with notes of apple, pear, toast & minerals).
Brewed in Birmingham, Bolle will be available in both 750ml (£9.99) & 350ml (£3.49).