Wine Culture Magazine

B.C.’s first premium non-alcoholic wine is designed to make everyone feel included

The Ones Pinot Noir has all the red fruit and spice notes you’d expect—but not the alcohol. Photo courtesy of Ones

Fans mourned when winemaker Tyler Harlton closed his Summerland-based TH label shortly before the pandemic. Now Harlton is back, but making a very different product.

“Tyler and I have been so surprised about the response,” says Chris Pagliocchini, a wine-industry veteran and Harlton’s longtime pal. “We knew that there would be something here. But we never would have guessed that it would have been this quick, with so much demand out there.”

The product in question is the first non-alcoholic wine made from B.C. grapes, called Ones. “We wanted inclusivity to be part of it, so whether people choose to drink some alcohol or not, it’s called Ones wines: for everyone,” Pagliocchini explains.

Though the non-alcoholic beverage industry is projected for double-digital growth annually in the coming years, and research shows that every younger generation is drinking less, no B.C. company had yet embraced the challenge of non-alcoholic wine.

“I think there’s kind of the romance of winemaking, and in its most pure form that’s making alcoholic wine in the traditional fashion, as it’s been done for thousands of years,” Pagliocchini says. “With non-alcoholic wines, people tend to view it as a trend, not as a craft of its own.”

Having Harlton on board powered Ones with wine-industry cred from the start, he adds. “We didn’t come into this as a couple of business folks taking advantage of an opportunity. Our seeds are in winemaking and making quality products you’d pair with good food.”

After shuttering his own label, Harlton spent time in the U.S. studying techniques for de-alcoholization, and then back home in Summerland on R&D and trials. The first, small, 1,000-litre batch of Ones was released last summer. “The response from customers was great. So last November we dove in, quadrupled the volume, and ever since then it’s just been exponential growth,” says Pagliocchini.

Winemaker Tyler Harlton, left, and Chris Pagliocchini bring years of experience in the wine industry to their non-alcoholic wine. Photo courtesy of Ones

Non-alcoholic wines are similarly priced to traditional wines, because the process is nearly the same—with an extra step. Grapes are crushed, fermented and matured as normal, then Ones uses reverse osmosis for de-alcoholization, leaving a trace amount of ethanol (around 0.5 per cent), complying as a non-alcoholic product by law. “If for medical reasons people have an allergy, we always advise to talk to your doctor, because this does have a very small amount of ethanol,” says Pagliocchini.

Since drinking wine is not just a physical act, but is also about the cultural ritual of opening, sharing and pairing it with food, the Ones team envisions that “you can participate in a gathering or celebration.” Premium bottles, elegant labels and a high-quality cork and cage mean “you can bring the bottle to the dinner table, and it looks, smells, tastes like wine. You can still have that experience.”

Because anyone reducing alcohol consumption likely doesn’t want to replace it with another vice, like a sweet tooth, Ones is also mindfully sugar-free—unlike many other non-alcoholic wines, which replace some of ethanol’s mouthfeel with plenty of sugar. “Some are as sweet as a soda. That was a huge surprise to us, once you start reading labels,” says Pagliocchini. Ones uses light effervescence to create texture, complementing the wine’s complex aromas and helping to give it structure.

Ones has limited-edition, beautifully bottled and labelled releases of varietal wines, from Cabernet Franc to Pinot Noir. This summer, Ones in cans have taken off. “The sparkling rosé and red have been the most popular, so we’re definitely going to continue with those,” says Pagliocchini, who notes that Ones is in trials with de-alcoholized white wine as well.

Ones started out pouring samples at Okanagan festivals and farmers markets, and now has a robust online presence selling direct to consumers plus bricks-and-mortar retail partners, including Nature’s Fare Markets and some private liquor stores across B.C., as well as many national locations.

“A non-alcoholic is definitely easier to ship and sell” cross-country than traditional wine, Pagliocchini says. “If people have a chance to go to a local shop and buy a single bottle to try we still think that’s the best.”

At home in Summerland, he’s noticed that non-traditional retail locations, like the local flower shop, have been great sellers for Ones. It’s easy to picture a customer, on the way to a baby shower or dinner party, stopping for flowers and picking up a bottle, perfectly keeping with the brand’s accessible, for-everyone ethos. “If you are reducing or eliminating alcohol,” says Pagliocchini, “this is another option for you.”

Tasting Notes

Ones Sparkling Red
(Okanagan, $7.50/250 mL can or $25/750 mL bottle)
Blackberry, pomegranate, herbs, bright acid.


Ones Sparkling Rosé
Okanagan, $7.50/250 mL can or $25/750 mL bottle)
Strawberry, watermelon, grapefruit, minerality.

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