The wine industry is getting Government financial backing for its biggest research project - the development of lower calorie and lower alcohol wines.
A research programme worth $17 million over seven years to produce lifestyle wines was uncorked at the Villa Maria Winery at Manukau, in Auckland on Wednesday morning.
The Government will contribute more than $8 million, under its primary growth partnership scheme.
The rest will come from participating wineries and the New Zealand Winegrowers, which says there's a growing demand for lifestyle type wines.
''Our focus will be on producing these low calorie, lower alcohol products in the vineyard naturally,'' said Winegrowers chief executive Philip Gregan.
''We think we can (obtain) a significant amount of grower market space.''