Jacob’s Creek is launching a new wine range to tap into demand for lighter styles.

Jacob’s Creek Cool Harvest is a three-strong range of ‘crisp, light and delicate’ wines that have been produced by harvesting the grapes in the coolest part of the night and incorporating fruit sourced from cooler regions.

The range comprises a Sauvignon Blanc (10.5% abv), Shiraz Rosé (11% abv) and Vermentino (9.5% abv) – which will roll out to off and on-trade retailers from February next year, retailing at £8.49.

Wine development director Adrian Atkinson said the new wines would fill the gap for female consumers looking for a lighter, fresher style that still delivered on quality. While they were, on average, about 1% lower in abv than other Jacob’s Creek wines of the same varietal, this was a natural by-product of their sourcing and production rather than a main focus point, he added.

“Some retailers are targeting 5.5% abv, others are looking at 10.5% – these would fit into that latter segment but it’s not a focus of the proposition, it’s an added benefit.”

To support the launch, the company has teamed up with Australian actress Naomi Watts, and Cool Harvest will be the official wine partner for Wimbledon 2012.

Meanwhile, Brand Phoenix has pledged to reduce all its full-strength FirstCape red wines by about 0.8% abv from January. The move would take 50 million units of alcohol out of the wine category, it claimed.

The company will also increase sales and marketing of its FirstCape 5.5% abv Café Collection range next year. Off-trade sales of the range have risen 171% by volume and 170% by value to £18m over the past year [Nielsen, 52w/e 3 September 2011] and the company has tipped sales of lighter wine to top £300m in the off-trade within four years.

This summer, Accolade launched a low-alcohol range under its Banrock Station brand including a Light Rosé and Chardonnay- Sauvignon Blanc