The Lowe family’s ‘Tinja’ property has been in the family for five generations and is the home of the Lowe winery. It is here that the Tinja wines are made from grapes grown in premium wine regions of NSW.
The Lower Alcohol Project is a three-year collaboration between Lowe Wines and Charles Stuart University PhD candidate Rocco Longo. With demand for lower alcohol wines being driven by a number of factors, the project’s aim is to improve overall sensory attributes and reputability of lower alcohol wines by a natural approach called ‘sequential harvest regime’.
This is the first year of the project. We are aiming to produce a wine that naturally contains less alcohol and more flavours by blending ‘unripe’ and more ‘mature grapes’. In this instance, the 2015 Verdelho from our Rylstone vineyard was harvested twice; once at 14.60 brix and then at 180 brix. The vineyard is under organic conversion.
The two harvests were separately inoculated with AWRA 796 and fermented for an equivalent period. The two wines, one with an alcohol of 7.5% and the other with 11% were blended to make a wine of approximately 10% alcohol.
Lower alcohol is a reoccurring theme of my wines. However, this project has seen innovation and challenges as I usually harvest on flavour profile. This project saw us pick the grapes on percentage of alcohol, to come up with a wine that is full-flavoured; a wine that is in keeping with the quality acceptability of Australian palates.
We are taking a proactive approach, as there is continued pressure on the industry to counter concerns about alcohol abuse. We have had excellent feedback on this particular wine at the cellar door, so we’re confident in what we’re doing.
Wine Companion, Campbell Mattinson, Dec 2015
"Cidery apple and lime flavours, fresh, dry and appealing."
Newcastle Herald, John Lewis, Jan 2016
"Something new from ever-innovative veteran Mudgee winemaker David Lowe - a white with only 10 per cent alcohol, but retaining admirable fruit flavour.T he wine is pale straw, has tropical fruit salad aromas and zips onto the front palate with citrus flavour. The middle palate has passionfruit, apple peel and mineral characters and river stones acid at the finish... In a three-year project with Charles Sturt University PhD student Rocco Longo, David Lowe achieved low alcohol by blending batches of Rylstone verdelho grapes harvested twice – firstly when unripe to produce 7 per cent alcohol portion and later when they fruit wasmature to produce an 11 per cent alcohol wine."
Daily Examiner, Regan Drew, Nov 2015
"...Fresh wheat grain, lime and lemongrass citrus dominate and even though it’s low in alcohol, the flavours aren’t under-ripe or diluted. Rating: 8/10"
Launceston Examiner, Mike Burnett, Nov 2015
"This Tinja Verdelho has ample ripe (tropical) fruit and balanced acid. It has the life expected of a wine from the variety and has a crisp, refreshing finish."
The Grape Hunter, Gilbert Labour, Oct 2015
"...The nose is one of talcum with a hint of verbena / lemon grass. The palate shows grippy tartness in the green pear / quince range. It is flavoursome and refreshing and belies its 10% Alc.
Paul Ippolitto, 5 minute Rush, Nov 2015
"...Lowe Wines, a quality Mudgee outfit have put together this really good Verdelho which delivers all that is good of this varietal. Decent peach melon and citrus notes, the acidity is fresh and lively and crisp and complements the good solid fruit flavours. Lingering and extended on the finish, it drinks well as I said alone it would be a cracker accompanying a bucket of prawns, on a balmy Sunday afternoon. Alcohol 10%. About $22, which is not bad for boutique wine drinking."