In its bid to rebuild the franchise for German wines in the UK, producers are being offered a cash incentive to come up with innovative wines and marketing plans. The German Wine Institute has set aside £75,000 which will be awarded to up to three of the best projects submitted to a judging panel of UK wine marketing experts. The money will be spent this year. This will be an ongoing competition as the Institute is making £350,000 available over the next five years. It is also setting aside £30,000 to help the top estate wines gain distribution. Each approved proposal will get funding of up to £2,000. This is part of the German wine industry's drive to change the image it has in its key markets in the UK, Japan, US and the Netherlands. Recently the producers swallowed the bitter pill of UK research which showed how bad things were getting. It showed this country's German wine drinkers don't drink much, don't pay much and don't want to know much about wine. Consumers who have rejected German wine are the nation's major purchasers in the sector and the Germans have very few wines over £4 in wide distribution. But they have developed a strategy to dig themselves out of this hole. They believe they can produce the wines consumers want and recognise the major obstacle is the poor image of the sector. Director of the Institute Armin Göring said: "We are convinced there is an opportunity to turn the British market round. If we did not really believe that we would withdraw our money and activity. "Consumer demand has moved away from the existing assortment of Liebfraumilch, Hock and Piesporter, and for the last 15 years our industry did not react. Now it has to." A 10 year plan includes a £250,000 generic advertising campaign this year. {{DRINKS }}