Research and development wine project discovers exciting future market for wines

New Zealand researchers are working hard to ensure they can keep up and competitive with the continuing demand for wine as they cross the half way mark of their NZ$17 million research and development wine industry project.

This is New Zealand’s largest R&D wine project to date and was funded by the NZ government, winegrowers and around 15 individual wineries. The project was first initiated in 2013 with the goal to develop new ways of working in the vineyards, wineries and responding to changing market demands in order to position NZ as a premium producer of low alcohol wines.

The project will continue on for a total of seven years and ultimately aims to create a new category of premium naturally produced low alcohol wines for Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir.

Natural production techniques will be explored through the use of different yeasts that are less effective at converting sugar to alcohol. The technique of restricting exposure to sunlight and varying picking times has also been explored in attempts to reduce the alcohol content.

The demand and trend for low alcohol and non-alcoholic wines and spirits has grown in recent years, with many UK supermarkets expanding and introducing new ranges of low alcohol wines.

Australia and New Zealand experience significant  issues each year surrounding drink driving, therefore a low alcohol wine can really make a difference. Low alcohol wines can also make a significant difference to social occasions such as mums meeting for brunch and sharing a bottle of low alcohol wine or a business meeting where you want to be social however remain in control.

While the project still has a significant way to go before the wines are perfected and sold on shelves, the NZ wine industry remains very excited about its innovative future and looks forward to transforming the wine industry in future years to come.

Did you know if your company is incorporating innovation and research into its business practice it could potentially be eligible for an R&D Tax incentive? R&D tax incentives that encourage innovation are an important part of government policy. They encourage more companies to engage in R&D activities that have the potential to improve efficiency, create jobs and make ground-breaking discoveries. Please contact Swanson Reed R&D Tax Advisors to find out which grant funding initiatives are available to you.

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