French-owned winery Orlando Wyndham is trialing a new technology which could save the Australian wine industry 50-70% of the irrigated water used in grape growing.

As well financial cost savings, the technology could be an enormous boost to a continent often - as now - plagued by drought.

The technology uses sub-surface drip irrigation to reduce evaporation and a technique which provokes a growth hormone which makes the vine respond as if it is receiving more water than is being delivered.

The technology has been developed by Orlando Wyndham, part of the Pernod Ricard Group which has the Jacob's Creek brand, and the South Australian Research and Development Institute.

Researchers say the landmark technology promises an annual saving of 250 gigalitres for Australia's viticulture industry, nearly half of current total use.