Galileans turn wine into water

Wine-based beverages have been proliferating in the past few years, and now there's a new drink on the shelves: wine-infused water from Israel. Sophie Kevany reports.

O.Vine infused waters
O.Vine infused waters

For those who might not have heard, infused water is a thing. And now it’s a wine thing. Israeli company Wine Water Ltd. is using pomace (the skins and seeds left after winemaking) from organic vineyards in the Galilee Hills to flavour water.

The drinks, called O.Vine, come in two flavours: Chardonnay and Cabernet, sparkling and still. Described as an infused varietal wine-essence, rich with phenolic antioxidants, the drinks are mainly aimed Millennials. But anyone looking for a socially responsible, sustainably produced, zero-alcohol drink that also claims health benefits is welcome to try.

Anat Levi, CEO and founder of Wine Water, spent 20 years in the wine business, first at the Golan Heights Winery and then the Galil Mountain Winery. She developed her infused water technique with the Galil Mountain winemaking team and the drinks are produced at the winery.

Levi told Meininger’s that the drinks smell just like wine and are not sweet. The Cabernet, she said, has ‘‘a dark, red fruity character with a note of chocolate and a gentle tart twist,’’ while the Chardonnay offers ‘‘tones of lime and apple, with notes of caramel.”

Their prices are also wine-like. Sold in 350 ml glass bottles, the drinks retail for $5.00 each in the US, and £4.00 in the UK. They are already available in America but there will be official launches in New York at the end of June and in London mid-July. France is next on the cards. Levi’s aim is to sell half a million bottles this year and more in 2020 and beyond.

Most infused waters are homemade, but at least one other similar product is available in US shops: Napa Hills Vineyard Enriched Water. 

The Napa Hills water is infused with red grape skins and extracts of red wine and resveratrol. Launched in 2017, it sells online for about $3.00 per 500ml bottle. Its claim to fame is that one bottle contains all the antioxidants a glass of wine does, without the alcohol or calories. In true wine fashion, the website offers a food pairing advice and links to a range of recipes.

Sophie Kevany


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