NZ Lighter Wines

NZ Lighter Wines is the product of a significant New Zealand research and development programme led by New Zealand Winegrowers and co-funded under the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Primary Growth Partnership (PGP).

The largest research initiative ever undertaken by the New Zealand wine industry, NZ Lighter Wines focuses on the natural production of lighter-in-alcohol wines (defined as wines containing less than 10% alcohol by volume).


In essence, the goal is to position New Zealand as number one in the world in this new and exciting category of wine. This focus provides our 18 industry partners with a point of difference to other offerings in the market.

The challenge is not simply to produce high-quality, lighter-in-alcohol wines, but to naturally lower the alcohol content without compromising flavour and varietal expression. This research will also benefit winemakers wanting to manage the alcohol spectrum across all wine styles.


The $17-million, seven-year programme (which started in 2014) aims to capitalise on market-led opportunities both at home and overseas. With contributions from industry levies and direct investment by the 18 New Zealand wine companies, the programme focuses on all aspects of lighter-in-alcohol wines, covering everything from sustainable vineyard and winemaking practices to sensory assessment to market access.

The 18 participating New Zealand wine companies are:
Accolade Wines, Allan Scott Wines, Constellation Brands, Forrest Wines, Giesen Wine Estate, Indevin, Kono, Lawson’s Dry Hills, Marisco Vineyards, Mount Riley Wines, Mt Difficulty Wines, Pernod Ricard, Runner Duck Estate, Spy Valley Estate, Villa Maria, Whitehaven Wine Company, Wither Hills, and Yealands

NZ Lighter Wines
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