How It's Made

Today's wineries mainly use two methods for creating non-alcoholic and alcohol-free wine. These methods are Vacuum Distillation and Reverse Osmosis. While the techniques are quite different from each other in practice, they both provide the same end result and require the same starting point: An alcoholic wine from which to remove the alcohol from.

Vacuum Distillation:

Vacuum Distillation is the process of applying heat to an alcoholic wine and making the alcohol content evaporate, leaving the rest of the wine de-alcoholized. This is achievable due to the fact that alcohol has a lower boiling point than the other components of the wine, so it will evaporate first before anything else.

The downside to this method is that the heat that is applied to the wine can affect the wine's flavour, therefore the process requires a way to reduce the heat levels necessary while still evaporating the alcohol content. The answer to this is to complete the entire process inside a vacuum, which significantly lowers the level of heat required to evaporate the alcohol content and therefore keeps the flavour of the original wine intact.

Reverse Osmosis:


Reverse Osmosis DiagramReverse Osmosis on paper is a more straightforward process than vacuum distillation as it is simply involves the process of running an alcoholic wine through a filter multiple times till all the alcohol content has been removed. Put simply, the wine is pumped through a very fine filter with holes so small that only water and alcohol can pass through. The alcohol is then separated from the water using basic distillation, and the remaining water is added back into the wine concentrate that was left behind at the filter. This new mixture is then pumped back through the filter multiple times to make sure that all the alcohol is removed, creating a non-alcoholic wine.

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While Reverse Osmosis and Vacuum Distillation are two of the more common methods used to create alcohol-free and non-alcoholic wine. There are other methods out there, as well as new methods coming out all the time. For example the 'Fre' brand uses a method called 'The Spinning Cone' technique, a process that is also used with normal alcoholic wines to reduce the alcohol content by a few percentage points when it is believed to be too high. In the case of alcohol-free and non-alcoholic wines however, the technique is used to remove almost all the alcohol content.

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