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About Alcohol Free wines, what is the OIV definition of WINE?

The OIV (International Organisation of Vine and Wine) states in its "I.3.1 Basic Definition" that WINE is "the beverage obtained exclusively from the alcoholic fermentation, either total or partial, of fresh grapes, crushed or not, or from grape must. Its actual alcoholic strength must not be less than 8.5%." There is an exception allowing the minimum alcohol content to be reduced to 7% vol.

In certain regions, considering that some wines, due to factors such as climate, soil, grape variety, special quality factors, or traditions, may naturally have an alcohol content lower than 8.5% vol. For instance, some white wines from cool climates, like Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc, typically have an alcohol content of about 7% vol. or less.

The OIV definition doesn't explicitly state whether alcohol free wine can be considered wine, but it's essential to note that alcohol free wine is not produced through alcoholic fermentation. Instead, various methods such as distillation, evaporation, or enzyme addition are employed to remove alcohol without altering other characteristics.

So, can alcohol free wine be considered wine?

Some argue that it doesn't meet the OIV's definition since it lacks alcohol.

Others contend that it's a legitimate type of wine as it's produced from grapes and shares many characteristics with traditional wine.

There's no clear consensus on this issue, and the debate is likely to continue for some time.

According to the Grand View Research report, the global alcohol free wine market is expected to reach a value of $23.4 billion by 2028, with a CAGR of 13.7% from 2023 to 2028.

Will the growing popularity of alcohol free wine lead the OIV to broaden its definition of wine?

What are your thoughts on this matter?


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