Wine Maker

A New Breed of Australian Winemakers Working Without Alcohol

It’s a little misleading to say Edenvale’s Senior Winemaker, Aaron Milne, works without alcohol. On the contrary, ethanol has a very significant role in his remit - removing it is what sets him apart from many other Australian winemakers! Aaron began working with us in 2012 and became a full-time team member two years ago. Since then, he has carved an impressive reputation for creating some of our finest award-winning non-alcoholic wine. So join us as we delve into Aaron’s role and discover the man behind the magic and what it takes to turn good non-alcoholic wine into something that makes the wine industry take notice.

Removing alcohol from wine

Aaron and his team begin by crafting wine with all the expected standard alcohol levels. Once they have an authentic wine true to its varietal, they pull it apart by removing the key ingredient. It seems so counter-intuitive, that it’s akin to pulling yeast out of bread but still expecting it to rise beautifully. The priority for non-alcoholic wine making is to “put it back together” as quickly as possible before it can resume fermentation. Whereas blending and finessing a premium alcoholic wine might take years, Aaron and his team have between 5 - 10 days to complete the process. It is no small task, and even Aaron would confess it’s probably the scariest but most exciting part of his work.

Find out more about how we remove alcohol from wine.

An open-minded, adventurous winemaking style

Aaron’s winemaking style is faithful to authentic wine varietals yet remains open to influence and ideas, which is always exciting. He likes to dabble in many methods to see what each brings to the table. Because every wine is different, experimentation is key.

Equally, so is restraint. In a way, making non-alcoholic wines (and all wines, for that matter) is an exercise in knowing when to stop. It’s important to give the wine what it needs to reach its full potential but to ultimately minimise interference and let the fruit speak for itself.

Creating a non-alcoholic wine stand-out

How does Aaron know when he’s made the best non-alcoholic wine? Varietal expression, flavour intensity and vinosity (the wine’s overall character) are all key elements in discovering the ultimate drop. It must look like a full-alcohol wine and deliver the variety that you, the drinker, selected and expected… It just delivers all that without alcohol!

Whilst he has a special spot for Edenvale Chardonnay and Edenvale Tempranillo Cabernet Sauvignon, Aaron believes his star wine must be the Edenvale GSM (non-alcoholic Grenache, Shiraz and Mataro). It took a lot of work to source the fruit and bring this wine together, and the result is a drier, more serious and acid-driven GSM. The level of fruit intensity is sensational, and Aaron is excited to see how it develops in the bottle.

The exciting world of non-alcoholic wines

There’s a lot about working with non-alcoholic wine that keeps Aaron energised and enthusiastic.

Our industry continues to grow as worldwide interest builds away from alcohol. Marketing events and meeting customers and distributors first-hand is a buzz. Making those connections enables Aaron to better understand why people are making lifestyle choices and what products they want to help support and sustain these changes. Knowing Edenvale is making it easier for people to stick to those changes is rewarding and motivating for the whole team.

When Edenvale first launched in 2006, we were one of the first in this space. Our founder, Michael Bright, wanted to produce innovative, premium, non-alcoholic wines that were every bit as complex and authentic as original varietals. Fast forward eighteen years and big multinationals have finally realised this is not a fad - it’s here to stay.

Being a part of an independent winemaking company affords Aaron the freedom and flexibility to continue to push forward. It’s that level of innovation and bravery to experiment for the greater good of the wine that helps us maintain our leadership in this space.

Find out more

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