The low calorie, lower alcohol “Folie à 9°” is available in its distinctive bottle online or at Cactus supermarkets.
Photo: Magaly Piscarel
A group of Athénée students naming themselves The Wine Makers have launched the new 2017 vintage of their “Folie à 9°”
The idea of making a Luxembourg white wine lower in alcohol and with fewer in calories came during a “Fit for youth Entrepreneurship” programme in 2016. A group of Athénée students and their teacher Marc Pundel, whose brother is a winegrower, realised there was a high demand for wine with a lower alcohol content than the 13° that has become the norm. 3,000 bottles later, the first “Folie à 9°” cuvée was launched. It features 30% less alcohol and 20% fewer calories than most other white wines. The Wine Makers aim was to produce a softer wine, harking back to the sort of wines made years ago. “It is a return to the source, with modern fermentation techniques,” the group states. “We did not denature the wine’s fruity character, its freshness or its elegance.”
Last Friday the Wine Makers presented their second vintage, made from four grape varieties--Auxerrois, pinot gris, Elbling and Chardonnay. The antique burgundy bottle and its cork bear the famous Oscar Wilde quote, “Follies are the only things you'll never regret”.
Following the presentation, the young entrepreneurs were congratulated by minister of the economy Étienne Schneider, who also congratulated the Athénée of Luxembourg for its entrepreneurial programmes. “We never had this link with entrepreneurship when I was a student.” He also took the opportunity to remind his audience that the government’s new law allows young people to launch a business with a minimum capital of €1, instead of the €12,500 formerly required. “We said to ourselves, if young people have an idea and they want to get started, we have to remove all possible barriers.” Minister of agriculture, viticulture and consumer rights, Fernand Etgen and the minister for employment, Nicolas Schmit, also praised the project and the students.
During a wine tasting at the launch Wine Maker Lucie explained that the process of obtaining a low alcohol and low calorie wine is to stop the fermentation process earlier than with other wines. “We hope we can still evolve this project,” she said.
Schneider clearly was delighted with the end product. “The wine is light, is tasty, it has character, it is really nice especially in summer. I guess it will sell a lot,” he told Delano after few sips.
The wine can be ordered from the Wine Makers website and is also available from all Cactus supermarkets.