18 Jan 2018

Low-alcohol project gathers momentum

7:47 pm on 18 January 2018

New Zealand winemakers say they are more than halfway through a seven-year research project to naturally produce key export wines as low-alcohol drinks.

Wine bottles in a store.

Photo: 123RF

The $17 million 'Lifestyle Wines' project is targeting growing markets overseas for wines with only 8 percent to 10 percent alcohol by volume.

The New Zealand Winegrowers marketing director, Chris Yorke, told guests at its annual tasting in London the project started with sauvignon blanc, but is also working on pinot gris and pinot noir.

The work uses natural production techniques, such as yeasts less effective at converting sugar to alcohol, and restricting exposure to sunlight to slash alcohol content.