Winemakers looking to lighter wines
Lighter wines with lower alcohol content have been rising in popularity in recent years. For a long time the traditional bold, high alcohol content wines dominated the wine market but that trend has been slowly shifting as a new generation of wine drinkers is looking for more diversity in their wine selections. One major factor considered by millennials now is flavor, and lighter wines tend to allow more of the wines flavor to come through compared to the traditional wine selections.
Alcohol wine content can vary from as low as 5 percent all the way up to 16 percent. This is primarily dependent on the ripeness of the grapes when they are harvested. The industry trend over the past 25 years was to produce wines trending towards higher alcohol content. Today the trend is swinging back which means that winemakers will need to begin harvesting their grapes earlier in Fall. Since the grapes are pulled earlier the amount of sugar is lower and the acidity slightly higher. Once fermented these wines with lower alcohol content tend to have more natural sweetness due to the unfermented sugars turning into residual sugar in the final product. The most popular of the lighter wines has been the Riesling, which has always been popular but has recently seen a spike in volume sales.
Source: Durango Herald, July 2017