Beringer Blass Wine Estates (BBWE), the Napa-based wine company, is to launch a wine a California wine "designed by women expressly for the US female consumer".

White Lie Early Season Chardonnay is low in calories, sugar and alcohol and will be on store shelves across the US in May 2005.

"More than 60% of wine drinkers are female and women buy 80% of the wine sold in the U.S, yet the wine industry has largely ignored them," said Tracey Mason, BBWE's director of innovation. 

"So our all-female team started with the question: What do women want?" Through research, the team discovered that an astounding 80% of women are dissatisfied with their appearance and that 45% are on a diet on any given day. And because of the increased demands of career and home, women have less time than ever for themselves or their friends.

With this premise in mind, the company said it developed a technique for making the wine that involved harvesting the grapes relatively early in the picking season when they have lower Brix (or sugar content). This technique, dubbed Early Season, results in a wine that is low in alcohol, sugar, and calories.

BBWE plans a marketing campaign to support the launch of White Lie Early Season Chardonnay.