The University of Adelaide will be home to the world’s first trial-scale research facility for no and low alcohol (NOLO) wine.

The project has been supported with a $1.98 million investment from the Government of South Australia, and is a partnership between the University of Adelaide, the Department of Primary Industries and Regions, and The Australian Wine Research Institute.

The facility, which will be located at the University’s Waite campus, will support South Australian winemakers to be front and centre of the emerging NOLO wine market in Australia and around the world.

Professor Anton Middelberg, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Research), University of Adelaide, said: “The University of Adelaide prides itself on its innovative oenology and viticulture research that extends over the whole of the grape and wine value chain.

“About 70 per cent of Australian wine research happens at the University of Adelaide’s Waite campus.

“Our grape growers and winemakers are innovators and cultural leaders within a sector helping drive the nation’s economy.

“There is huge growth potential in the no and low alcohol wine sector that our researchers will play a major role in.”

Associate Professor Paul Grbin, Head Winemaker at the University of Adelaide, said the centrepiece of the facility is a FlavourTech spinning cone column, a form of low-temperature vacuum steam distillation considered the ‘gold standard’ for NOLO wine production.

“The facility has both canning and bottling facilities, including a counter pressure filler,” Associate Professor Grbin said.

“This means successful trial products can be packaged and used for consumer or trade samples, market research and export samples.

“The scale of the unit is vital as it will allow research and new product development trials to use as little as 150 litres of wine – far less than commercial scale equipment which has a minimum throughput of 10,000 litres.

“This will benefit industry and researchers through lower development costs and increased opportunities to trial processes that will result in a better product in the bottle.”

The global NOLO wine market is growing at more than 25 per cent per year and was worth about $51.6 million in Australia in 2020-21.

Minister for Primary Industries, Clare Scriven MLC, said: “The State Government know the value of our wine industry and we are supporting this vital industry to continue to innovate and diversify. 

(From left) Professor Anton Middelberg, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Research), University of Adelaide; Clare Scriven, Minister for Primary Industries; Mark Krstic, Managing Director, The Australian Wine Research Institute; and Paul Grbin, Head Winemaker, University of Adelaide, launch the no and low alcohol wine research facility at the University’s Waite campus.

“We’ve made a significant investment to support industry growth and development through $1.98 million to establish an Australian first trial-scale NOLO wine research facility at the University of Adelaide.

“The NOLO industry is extremely strong in Australia and growing year by year. By accessing the trial-scale facility, they have much lower risk to diversify and experiment to create world-class NOLO products.

“In time, this could lead to a skilled, specialist workforce and allow the industry to capitalise on significant market opportunities available.”

The facility is open to wine businesses now. To learn more and register interest, visit

Media contact

Lee Gaskin, Media Coordinator, The University of Adelaide. Mobile: +61 (0) 415 747 075.

This article was first published by the University of Adelaide Newsroom on the 5th April 2023. 

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