Daily Wine News
A snapshot of wine business, research and marketing content gleaned from local and international wine media sources. Emailed Monday to Friday excluding public holidays. Click here to subscribe, for advertising inquiries, click to download our media kit.

21/11/2016: Are your wine additives the real thing?
Are you taking advantage of the inexpensive wine additives such as DAP or tartaric acid available this vintage? Not sure whether what you’re getting is the real deal? AWRI Commercial Services can give you confidence by testing wine additives for compliance with either the Food Chemicals Codex (FCC) or the product’s Certificate of Analysis. Testing to basic FCC requirements ensures your raw material is not contaminated and meets the purity specifications required for food ingredients, safeguarding public health and ensuring you don’t contaminate your wine. The current suite of additive analyses covers DAP, ascorbic acid, citric acid, erythorbic acid, malic acid, tartaric acid, PMS, PVPP, thiamine hydrochloride, potassium sorbate, potassium carbonate and potassium bicarbonate. For further information please contact commercialservices@awri.com.au

Announcements and Suppliers

5/12/2016: McLaren Vale grapes available
McLaren Vale grapes available: Shiraz, Mataro, Viognier, Marsanne & Cabernet Sauvignon All enquiries welcome email: angelo@umbros.com.au or phone: 04110 78332

5/12/2016: When succession planning for wineries and vineyards, seek expert help
When considering succession planning for wineries and vineyards, it makes sense to consult a lawyer who fully understands the industry, so owners’ will and estate arrangements reflect the practical realities of transferring the business.

30/11/2016: Matthew Clark and Majestic surge ahead in UK On-Premise
New research just released by Wine Business Solutions shows that Matthew Clark grew its share of wine listings last year to over 17%. The research shows that Matthew Clark is the clear leader is all regions of the UK except Northern Ireland. WBS Principal, Peter McAtamney, says that: “It is Matthew Clark’s ability to cover all major On-Premise opportunities that makes them compelling as a partner. Spain, Italy and Argentina have been the best performing countries in the UK On-Premise is the last 12 months. The other business cutting a swathe through the UK On-Premise is Majestic’s Wholesale arm. From virtually a standing start 12 months ago, Majestic now controls 5% of all listings in the UK. Customers clearly prefer their model to most of the established distributors’.

29/11/2016: Chalkers Crossing top award haul with Len Evans Memorial trophy
Chalkers Crossing is pleased to announce their 2014 Chalkers Crossing CC2 Hilltops Shiraz has won 4 trophies at the National wine show of Australia. The award winning wine took home the most prestigious trophy of the show, the Len Evans Memorial trophy for Champion wine of the show. This wine has received 13 trophies so far in 12 months, including 5 trophies at the prestigious 2016 KPMG Sydney Royal Wine show. It also collected the Shiraz Trophy, the Single vineyard Dry red trophy and the Dry red table wine at the National Wine Show.

21/11/2016: The vintrace App – available on the App Store
The team at Vintrace are passionate about both wine and technology. Forming in 2006, and drawing on their extensive experience in IT and winemaking, they’ve pursued their goal of delivering the most impressive digital tool kit to the global wine industry. Vintrace has successfully moved thousands of winemakers from away from a paper-based systems so they can focus more time on making great wine. Vintrace has continued this evolution with the introduction of the Vintrace iOS mobile app – now available on the App store. With all the power of Vintrace in-hand, winemakers have everything they need to make timely decisions while roaming the cellar, walking the rows or conducting a tasting with VIPs. Using the App, winemakers can quickly scan bar-coded tanks and barrels to look up current labs, composition and status. Recording lab data, such as Brix/Temp during fermentation, can be done in the cellar, no more clipboards, no more spreadsheets. To experience Vintrace and the new App first hand contact us here at sales@vintrace.com for a demonstration.

17/11/2016: Do you know the nature of the soil-terroir your vines interact with everyday?
Terroir imparts the wine characteristics that distinguish where it is from. Most high-value wines strongly reflect a particular terroir (i.e. climate, topography and soil). Climate and topography effects are usually obvious, while soil effects are not. Yet vines interact everyday with soil to extract moisture and nutrients – an interaction that imparts particular fruit characters. Most vineyards, however, contain several key soil types – meaning even single vineyard wines are a blend of specific terroirs. Soil profile excavations allow morphological, physical and chemical assessment of key soils, improving understanding of root growth issues, nutrition, irrigation practice, environmental management, and the terroir of each ‘place’. Mapping key soils also assists vineyard planning, management and wine making. Knowing more about vineyard soils – and their landscape formation story – also supports marketing of fine wines. For more information about vineyard soil characterisation or key soil mapping, contact James Hall of Juliet Creek Consulting on 0447 400 092 or at julietcreek@gmail.com.

Australian Wine Industry News

6/12/2016: China still a ‘big question mark’
Despite Asia now accounting for 30% of its exports, Gaja, one of Italy’s most well-known wineries, still finds the Chinese market something of a puzzle, admitted Gaia Gaja. Speaking to dbHK during her Hong Kong trip to launch the new 2013 vintage, the capable heiress confessed that even after 15 years in China, the winery still faces hurdles to expand its share in the market, hampered by the country’s market segmentation, a result of different drinking cultures and distribution networks in different provinces. “China is a big question mark for us. It’s developing its own dynamics. There are many things I did in the US and they worked great, so I can replicate them in Denmark. And I may have a strategy for London as well, but nothing makes sense in China."

6/12/2016: $100,000 cellar door grants through WET rebate
Winery owners will be able to spend up to $100,000 on sprucing up their cellar doors under a Federal Government grants program to boost the wine and tourism sectors. The grants will be available to eligible wineries as part of an overhaul of the Wine Equalisation Tax Rebate scheme, intended to put an end to rorting by “phantom winemakers”. Revenue Minister Kelly O’Dwyer and Assistant Agriculture Minister Anne Ruston have announced the Government’s final plan for the WET overhaul after they completed a lengthy consultation process with the wine industry. The main change to the WET rebate will be a cap reduction from $500,000 to $350,000 from July 2018.

6/12/2016: A new kind of bottle shop
The selection of wines on tap at The Drink Hive in Rosebery changes monthly, and customers are encouraged to bring along old bottles to refill. This month’s selection includes a Pinot Rosè, a blend of Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris grapes from the Swinging Bridge winery in the Central Ranges, NSW. Re-using bottles reduces the impact on the environment (Bertaud and Farrell are against plastic bags and wear aprons made from recycled material), but also allows Bertaud to stock varieties that may not be available or affordable when packaged as single bottles.

6/12/2016: Plucking the foreign goose
The morning news on the ABC network featured blondes, and more blondes, riding a derelict van along a non-descript street in sunny Australia. It did not matter who they were, or even where they were. They were simply “backpackers”, the sort of culturally designated code for all that is money, and all that is budget. Accustomed to the politics of plunder, the Australian budget minders have been wondering how best to cut hands that feed them over the years. Of late, the only story that this Parliament seems to be interested in is the issue of the backpacker tax. Obsessively, deals have been made, trading taking place behind party rooms and the not so very closed doors about what rate would be most suitable.

6/12/2016: Australians embrace the festive spirit(s)
The festive season is a busy time for liquor retailers as consumers stock up on beverages to help them celebrate. But while beer and sparkling wine remain the popular choices, research from Roy Morgan reveals many Australians will celebrate with rum, whisky, bourbon, vodka, gin or tequila, with more than a quarter of Australian adults consuming spirits at least once in an average four weeks. Australians’ overall alcohol consumption has been relatively stable in the past few years. 69.6% of the adult population consumes alcohol in any given four-week period. Wine remains the most popular beverage, consumed by 44.5% (or almost 8.3 million people) in an average four weeks, followed by beer (38.5% or over 7.1 million). Spirits are the third most popular type of liquor, drunk by 26.2% of the adult population (nearly 5 million people).

5/12/2016: Wine community Christmas present: WET rebate update
THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT has announced a revised WET rebate and eligibility package, providing clarity before Vintage 2017 begins. The previously announced cut to the cap from $500,000 down to $290,000 will be revised to $350,000 with an additional top up grant of $100,000 also set to be introduced. The revised eligibility criteria for claiming the WET rebate will become ownership of at least 85 per cent of the grapes at the crusher. The cap changes will also be deferred until 1 July 2018, but revised eligibility criteria will be brought forward to this date. There will also be a new mandatory process to ensure the tax liability has been incurred before the rebate is claimed.

5/12/2016: Fire at McLaren Vale winery Alpha Box & Dice
Billowing black smoke filled the sky above McLaren Vale on Sunday as fire caused up to $400,000 damage to the cellar door at trendy winery Alpha Box and Dice. SA Country Fire Service commander, Brett Loughlin, said just after midday yesterday, multiple calls were made to report a commercial structure alight at the Olivers Rd winery. He said seven appliances and 40 firefighters battled the blaze for around 30 minutes to bring it under control and save the last remaining quarter of the stone building.

5/12/2016: Make way for more female bosses in Australian wine industry
Michelle Geber has stepped up to become the boss of a 116-year-old wine company in the Barossa Valley and says many more female chief executives will follow in the wine industry around Australia as generational change accelerates. Geber, who has become general manager at Chateau Tanunda, said the wine industry, which was traditionally dominated by males, has been gradually shifting. "I think the industry is opening up more and more to women," she said. The shift will speed up, as many of Australia's family-owned or privately-owned wine producers go through generational change.

5/12/2016: How climate change is affecting the wine we drink
Regardless of where Australian wine makers are growing — from the Hunter Valley to the Tamar Valley — climate change is making its presence felt. It’s creating big challenges for an industry already dealing with so much, including a more competitive market here and overseas. Winemakers are adapting, and consumers need to be open to changing their wine drinking habits. There is no doubt that higher temperatures will mean higher alcohol content, compressed vintages and higher risks for our winemakers.

5/12/2016: Hungerford Hill announces new owner and winemaker
Hungerford Hill Wines, which was established in 1967, has a new owner after being purchased by Iris Capital, owned by Sam Arnaout. The purchase of Hungerford Hill is the second significant wine related investment in the Hunter Valley by Iris Capital, after the purchase of Sweetwater Estate in 2016. Arnaout and his family take over ownership of the successful and acclaimed Hunter Valley winery, vineyard and brand from James Kirby, who has successfully owned the brand since 2002.

2/12/2016: WA winemakers celebrate wine equalisation tax win
WA winegrowers are celebrating after pressuring the Federal Government into backing away from a divisive Budget measure, winning a rewrite of tax changes that threatened to cripple the State’s fine wine industry. The Coalition will dump plans to reduce the $500,000 tax rebate cap on the wine equalisation tax to $290,000. The measure was announced in the May Budget as part of a $250 million savings measure. The Government will reduce the rebate cap to $350,000 and grant “top-ups” of up to $100,000 for producers who sell wine from the cellar door.

2/12/2016: Accolade holds roadshow for potential investors
Accolade Wines is holding a roadshow for potential investors across Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong next week as it gears up for its IPO listing next year. A spokesman for the wine giant’s parent company this morning confirmed to db a report in the Australian Financial Review that it was holding a “non-deal” roadshow, which the AFR said would give it greater visibility and “make the company more attractive to potential investors” ahead of its listing. The Roadshow, which starts next Tuesday (6 December), is set to take in New Zealand, Melbourne and Sydney before heading to Hong Kong.

2/12/2016: Heritage listed Brisbane icon bought back to life
111 Constance St Fortitude Valley has been a fine wine destination for many years, and now, the 112 year old Defiance Flour Mill building is home to Baedeker. For travel buffs, the name Karl Baedeker is synonymous with the romance of globetrotting, as a travel author before his time. His famous mid 1800’s guides are highly collectable. The venture, a partnership between Grape Therapy’s Darren Davis & Wine ‘n Dine ‘m Catering’s Craig Fox, brings together the industry veterans in a project 15 years in the making. These two mates have always talked about collaborating, and Baedeker combines both their strengths.

2/12/2016: Australia’s answer to ‘sauvalanche’
Sauvignon blanc is among Australia’s most popular whites but the market has been dominated by New Zealand labels in a phenomenon labelled the “Marlborough tsunami” by wine writer James Halliday. “It’s called the ‘sauvalanche’ and it’s been happening for the past eight years,” Howard Park Wines director Natalie Burch said. “It’s not something we could replicate, so producers like ourselves who have sauvignon blanc planted have looked at how to set apart our wines and make them more interesting to drink.

2/12/2016: World’s best sommeliers to visit Australia
Wine Australia will invite the best sommeliers in the world to discover Australia’s incredible wine offering as part of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017, being held in Melbourne in April. The World’s 50 Best Restaurants have partnered with Tourism Australia to bring the renowned event to Australian shores, where world-leading chefs, restaurateurs, media and influencers will gather to celebrate the very best in global gastronomy. The overall event program and awards will showcase Australia’s outstanding food and wine culture to an international audience of industry professionals and food lovers.

1/12/2016: Support for South Australia after hail storm havoc
The local industry wine body Riverland Wine is offering support to wine growers in South Australia’s Riverland after a devastating hail storm wreaked havoc throughout the region, “shredding” the vines of many producers. The organisation has posted an updated list of support available on its website for winemakers to seek assistance following the storm on 11 November. Wineries in the region lost up up to 80% of their crop as many were anticipating a good vintage in Riverland, reports ABC news. The storm left a trail of destruction from Cadell through Barmera, Berri and Monash to Yamba.

1/12/2016: Tasmanian Pinot Noirs at Royal Hobart Wine Show
Tasmanian Pinot Noirs have won nine gold medals at this year’s Royal Hobart International Wine Show. New Zealand Pinot Noirs scored three gold medals, and one gold medal went to an Australian mainland Pinot Noir. The Chair of the Show’s organising committee, John Ellis of Hanging Rock Vineyard in Victoria, described the outcome as a statement of strength by Tasmanian Pinot Noir producers. More than three days of judging have now wrapped up in Hobart, and an Awards dinner brought together wine judges, wine industry identities and the wine consuming public to hear the results.

1/12/2016: Fine wine in China
Several wineries from northern Victoria put their best drop forward at the 2016 ProWine China event in Shanghai earlier this month. About 200 wines from 19 exhibitors were showcased under the Wine Australia Pavilion, including products from Wahring’s Trifon Estate Wines, Heathcote’s Whitebox and Wild Duck Creek Estate and Nagambie’s Four Sisters, McPherson and Tahbilk wineries. McPherson Wines owner Andrew McPherson said ProWine was one of the biggest, most networked wine trade shows in the world and was held at various locations throughout the year.

1/12/2016: Wine exporter adds Adelaide Hills vineyard to stable
One of the Adelaide Hills' oldest vineyards, Blackford Stables, has sold for $1.5 million after being on the market for more than a year-and-a-half. The 46.12-hectare property near Charleston was snapped up by an unnamed local industry participant with an export business targeting the Chinese market. It includes a residence, heritage-listed stables and 14 hectares of vineyards planted to sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, pinot gris, sangiovese and pinot noir.

1/12/2016: Australia's newest Master Sommelier Ben Hasko
Anyone can tell a Shiraz from a Riesling but it takes a bit more than that to earn the title of Master Sommelier. Many of us like to think we know our fruity tipples but so far only three Australians have passed the rigorous testing needed to gain the prestigious title. The newest member of that club is Ben Hasko.

30/11/2016: Australia’s Wine Business on the Rise
The roller coaster Australian wine business heads skyward with refined bottles. The inside story of Australian wine is a heartbreaking tale of boom and bust. Veterans still shake their heads over “The Great Vine Pull of 1987.” After five years of uncontrolled surpluses, the government actually paid growers to remove Shiraz vines and leave their land barren. The result was the loss of thousands of acres of the best old-vine Shiraz. The industry recovered and another boom ensued, only to come crashing down in the recession of 2007-2008. Then a strong surge in the value of the Aussie dollar made entry-level wines such as Yellow Tail no longer seem like appealing bargains.

30/11/2016: How this WA winery is using drones and geology
When farmers choose their paddocks, they look for good soil. When winemakers choose their ground, they look for 'terroir' - French term describing the site's soil, climate and topography which can subtly or even substantially influence the way grapes grow and what they taste like when made into wine. Back in 1922, soil quality was the prime concern for a pioneering WA settler named George John Alexander Swinney when he went to the Frankland River region in the Great Southern to choose a site for farming by the banks of the river.

30/11/2016: Two days left to enter Fiano tasting
Australian wine producers have until close of business this Friday (2 December) to register their interest in an upcoming tasting of Fiano being organised by the Wine & Viticulture Journal. The tasting has been prompted by the rapid rise in the number of Australian wineries producing Fiano since the publication last tasted the varietal nearly five years when there was just a handful. Today, the Journal’s sister publication, the Wine Industry Directory, lists just over 70 wineries crushing the Italian white variety.

30/11/2016: Culture Club coming to Seppeltsfield
1980's iconic pop group Culture Club have confirmed a concert at Seppeltsfield in December, as part of a national Encore Tour announced last week. The group, who is led by one of the greatest pop phenomena of all time, Boy George, will hit the Barossa for one night only on Friday 9th December. Seppeltsfield will be Culture Club’s only performance in South Australia, with fellow 80’s bands 1927, Pseudo Echo and Real Life joining as supports. Culture Club has enjoyed a return to fame in recent years, following the reformation of original group members in 2014 after a 15 year break from recording.

29/11/2016: New vineyard weather stations
Four new vineyard weather stations in the Hilltops and Southern Highlands wine regions have extended the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) monitoring network to 42 stations across eight wine growing regions. DPI viticultural development officer, Adrian Englefield, said high rainfall this winter and spring has increased vineyard pest and disease pressure for many NSW winegrape growers. “Up-to-date weather station information from the DPI Weather Station Network is helping growers make informed and timely management decisions,” Mr Englefield said. “DPI’s weather station network gives winegrape growers real time vineyard weather information, which can be used to tailor vineyard spray applications to manage pest and diseases.”

29/11/2016: Langhorne Creek wins leading Australasian wine award
A Cabernet Sauvignon from Langhorne Creek in South Australia has topped a field of 10,000 wines from Australia and New Zealand to be named Winestate Wine of the Year 2016. The award, presented to Lake Breeze Wines for its Arthur's Reserve Langhorne Creek Cabernet Petit Verdot Malbec 2012 yesterday in Adelaide, is the second time the South Australian winery has taken out the award after winning in 2010 with its 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon. This year’s winning wine is Cabernet Sauvignon (86 per cent) blend with small amounts of Petit Verdot (9 per cent) and Malbec (5 per cent).

29/11/2016: Kono Beverages and Bouchon Wines Partnership
Kono Beverages of New Zealand and Bouchon Wines and Spirits of Australia are pleased to announce a distribution partnership with immediate effect. Bouchon will exclusively promote the Tohu and Aronui brands in the State of Queensland. Bouchon will be adding eight Kono wines to their portfolio. These eight wines are made by Kono Chief Winemaker, Bruce Taylor, at their Awatere Valley Winery in Marlborough, New Zealand. The wines are made from premium fruit grown on ancestral lands in Marlborough and Nelson.

29/11/2016: Coles takes on Aldi with cheap, award-winning wine
The supermarket giant’s liquor arm is gearing up to take on the German discounter with private label plonk, after Aldi won over drinkers with a slew of awards. A $5 bottle of red sold exclusively at Coles was yesterday named as the best wine under $20 from Australia and New Zealand at the Winestate Wine of the Year Awards. The James Busby Big & Bold Shiraz 2015 was chosen from a field of 10,000 wines by a panel of expert judges that included Australian wine industry legend Wolf Blass.

29/11/2016: Cellar doors spring up in Sydney’s inner city
Forget about travelling hours to a remote location to sample the best that Australia’s wine regions have to offer — Sydney’s inner west is brimming over with cellar doors which bring the best to you. Earlier this year, Cake Wines opened Sydney first winery cellar door in Redfern, converting an old warehouse into a experiential drinking spot for lovers of vino. Now, Handpicked Wines joins the growing trend with a cellar door in the heart of the Chippendale creative commons.

28/11/2016: New wine label showcases wine research and teaching
The University of Adelaide will launch a new wine label to showcase its research and teaching excellence in wine-making and viticulture. While not a commercial enterprise, the University makes over 400 different wines from sparkling whites through to fortified wines and liqueurs for research and teaching purposes, many of them of high quality. “The Hickinbotham Roseworthy Wine Science Laboratory at the University of Adelaide’s Waite campus was built in 1996 and has been the hub of the University’s proud history of teaching, research and collaborative activity in wine science ever since,” says Dean of Waite campus, Professor Mike Keller.

28/11/2016: Chalkers Crossing top award haul with Len Evans Memorial trophy
Chalkers Crossing is pleased to announce their 2014 Chalkers Crossing CC2 Hilltops Shiraz has won 4 trophies at the National wine show of Australia. The award winning wine took home the most prestigious trophy of the show, the Len Evans Memorial trophy for Champion wine of the show. This wine has received 13 trophies so far in 12 months, including 5 trophies at the prestigious 2016 KPMG Sydney Royal Wine show. It also collected the Shiraz Trophy, the Single vineyard Dry red trophy and the Dry red table wine at the National Wine Show.

28/11/2016: Working with Wine Fellowship winners
Two of Australia’s future wine leaders were awarded the prestigious Negociants Australia 2016 Working with Wine Fellowship at last week’s black tie dinner at Yalumba. Philip Shorten from Armadale Cellars in Victoria and Cynthia Gemus from Negociants Australia in Adelaide were named the winners of the Working with Wine Fellowship 2016. Established in 1998 this biennial program was created to encourage education and enable the future gatekeepers of the Australian wine industry. Open to wine trade and employees of distributors Negociants Australia and Samuel Smith and Son, the fellowship has educated over 2000 Australian wine industry professionals.

28/11/2016: Riverland winery a champion for women in wine industry
After swapping a career in pharmacy for a career in wine, Jenny Semmler is now one of the rising stars in an industry still dominated by men. The owner of boutique Riverland winery 919 Wines won the 2016 Australian Women in Wine awards in the category of best owner/operator. It was the moment that validated her change in careers. "I started off in drugs — I was a pharmacist — and made the change to booze," Ms Semmler said with a laugh. She returned to university to study wine, become one of the first female quality managers at Australia's largest winery, then opened her own winery.

28/11/2016: Correction and apology
In Friday’s edition of Daily Wine News (November 25) we covered the news Saltram’s Shavaughn Wells had won the Winestate Magazine ‘winemaker of the year’ award. Unfortunately, we incorrectly reported that Wells was the first female to claim the magazine’s annual award. On Friday evening Fiona Donald, Seppeltsfield senior winemaker, contacted us to highlight our error. Donald was Winestate’s ‘winemaker of the year’ back in 2001, representing Edwards and Chaffey. The editorial team responsible for Daily Wine News would like to apologise for distributing the incorrect information. We congratulate Wells and commend Donald for the gracious way she called out our mistake.

25/11/2016: Damage bill from hail storm passes $100 million
The damage bill from the devastating hail storm that hit Mildura recently has passed $100 million and is expected to climb higher. New figures from the Insurance Council of Australia reveal that the storm, which hit Victoria's Sunraysia district and communities in NSW and South Australia, has already generated about 20,000 insurance claims, with insurance losses so far estimated at $115 million across the three states. But the final toll is likely to be higher, given some damage is not insured. Campbell Fuller from the Insurance Council said it is expected to "take several months for the full extent of the losses to be known".

25/11/2016: Winners of the 2016 Working with Wine Fellowship
Two of Australia’s future wine leaders were awarded the prestigious Negociants Australia 2016 Working with Wine Fellowship at this week’s black tie dinner at Yalumba. Philip Shorten from Armadale Cellars in Victoria and Cynthia Gemus from Negociants Australia in Adelaide were named the winners of the Working with Wine Fellowship 2016. Established in 1998 this biennial program was created to encourage education and enable the future gatekeepers of the Australian wine industry. Open to wine trade and employees of distributors Negociants Australia and Samuel Smith and Son, the fellowship has educated over 2000 Australian wine industry professionals.

25/11/2016: Invitation to Fiano producers
Off the back of the rapid rise in the number of Australian wineries producing Fiano in recent years, the Wine & Viticulture Journal has announced it will shortly be holding a tasting of the variety. The publication last tasted Fiano nearly five years, when there was just a handful of Fiano producers in Australia. The tasting will act as a snapshot of how Australian producers are currently interpreting Fiano. The results of the tasting will be published in the January-February issue of the Wine & Viticulture Journal. Producers interested in submitting their wines to the tasting are asked to email editor Sonya Logan by no later than next Friday (2 December). Samples for the tasting will need to be received by no later than Thursday 15 December.

25/11/2016: Shavaughn Wells Winestate’s Australian Winemaker of the Year
Saltram Winemaker Shavaughn Wells today became the second female to be awarded Australian Winemaker of the Year by Winestate Magazine at their annual Wine of the Year Awards held in Adelaide. The honour is awarded to the winemaker who produces the largest number of high ranking wines over the course of the year. One of Australia’s most respected wine magazines, Winestate evaluated over 10,000 wines from Australia and New Zealand, with judging panels of industry winemaker peers, Master of Wine individuals and industry experts, in order to come to their decision regarding Australia’s finest wine producer.

25/11/2016: Xanadu Australia’s Best Cabernet Sauvignon
Xanadu has once again been awarded Australia’s Best Cabernet Sauvignon after winning the prestigious Cabernet Sauvignon Trophy at this year’s National Wine Show. This is the fourth consecutive Cabernet Sauvignon trophy and fifth in the last six years that a Xanadu Cabernet Sauvignon has won this trophy, cementing its position as one of the country’s leading Cabernet producers. The 2014 Xanadu Cabernet Sauvignon that took out the national title is sourced from several key vineyards throughout the Margaret River region including Timber Creek in Wilyabrup, Victory Point in Treeton and Xanadu’s own Boodjidup vineyard in Wallcliffe.

24/11/2016: D’Arenberg wine goes from sexist to award-winning
Earlier this year d’Arenberg wines released its premium wine The Old Bloke & Three Young Blondes and was immediately accused of being sexist. The company has now turned that criticism around after being awarded one of the most prestigious graphic design awards in Australia. The Australian Graphic Design Awards were held last weekend and d’Arenberg’s The Old Bloke wine was awarded a Pinnacle, an award which only goes to work that receives a unanimous high score from all judges. In addition, work awarded a Pinnacle is added to the collection of ‘glass mountains’, which acts as a historic narrative of graphic design in Australia.

24/11/2016: Sirromet’s Green Light on Sustainability
Sirromet is renowned for producing award winning wine from Queensland’s Granite Belt but the winery takes just as much care with its waste management and impact on the environment as it does with its wine production, recently relocating and installing a new $700,000 waste treatment facility on the Mount Cotton property. The new fully computerized waste treatment facility has taken 15 months to install and has the capacity to process 50,000 litres of waste per day, with a holding capacity of 350,000 litres. Chief Winemaker and Project Manager Adam Chapman has developed Sirromet’s waste system and eco department over the last 17 years to ensure the winery is sustainable.

24/11/2016: Powdery mildew app helps vignerons manage expectations
A free mobile app to help vignerons and winemakers quickly assess grapes for powdery mildew in the field is being made available to growers globally. Developed in South Australia by the University of Adelaide in collaboration with industry and Wine Australia, the app was initially launched for use exclusively in Australia ahead of the 2016 vintage. PMapp has been downloaded more than 1000 times and been well received by the Australian industry, prompting the construction of a training website to support the app and its international release this month.

24/11/2016: Australian food and wine more affordable for Japanese
Japan's national obsession with food is paying dividends for Australian farmers. It took seven years for Japan to lock down a free trade deal with a major agricultural exporter such as Australia, paving the way for duty-free or preferential access for goods into the country. Japan is Australia's single biggest export market for beef and dairy products, and Australia's second-largest trading partner overall. It has made products like wine, nuts and beef even more appealing to the fastidious Japanese consumer, according to Austrade's Tokyo trade commissioner David Lawson.

24/11/2016: Vinomofo Launches into TV AD Space
What happens if you give two wine-loving nerds a $25 million investment from Blue Sky Venture Capital? They catch a plane to New Zealand, rope in some renowned industry peeps and film an epic TV ad. It’s the age old business cliche – get a big investment and blow it on a big above the line campaign, but is it the recipe for success or one almighty mistake for one of Australia’s online wine retailer success stories, Vinomofo? “So we decided to make a big ad, which is a little scary for two guys who five years ago were sitting in their garage hand-packing wine boxes for their first eleven mofos,” says Andre Eikmeier, Vinomofo’s co-founder and joint chief executive.

23/11/2016: SA wine industry embraces solar energy
Yalumba Wine Company is just weeks away from completing one of the largest commercial solar system installations in South Australia and the largest to date by any Australian winery. It will have taken more than three months to put the 5384 individual panels in place at three sites in the Barossa: Yalumba Angaston Winery, Yalumba Nursery, and the separate Oxford Landing Winery. When fully operational, the 1.4 MW PV system will produce enough renewable energy to reduce Yalumba’s energy costs by about 20% and cut its annual CO2 emissions by more than 1200 tonnes, equivalent to taking 340+ cars off the road.

23/11/2016: Wolf Blass launches ‘Blass’ wines for Hong Kong & Macau
Wolf Blass has debuted its terroir-driven ‘Blass’ range of wines in Hong Kong and Macau, with chief winemaker, Chris Hatcher, calling the Chardonnay the “star” of the Wolf Blass portfolio. The range is comprised of three wines – a Shiraz, a Chardonnay and a Cabernet. At the Wolf Blass Hong Kong masterclass today, chief winemaker Chris Hatcher presented only the latest 2014 Blass Shiraz and 2015 Blass Chardonnay to Hong Kong trade members at Café Deco in Tsim Sha Tsui. The 2015 Blass Chardonnay is “a jump in quality” from the winery’s lower range whites, such as the White Label Uncorked Chardonnay, said Hatcher.

23/11/2016: Back to the future with SC Pannell
Since Stephen Pannell graduated from Roseworthy in 1989, he has made wine at Seppelt, Andrew Garrett, Wirra Wirra, and Knappstein. He usually heads north between Australian vintages. He’s made wine at numerous great houses in Bordeaux and Burgundy. He loves working in Barolo in Italy and has done three vintages in Spain. Pannell worked at Hardy’s Tintara from 1995 to 2003, becoming Hardy’s chief red wine maker before leaving to begin the S.C. Pannell line with his wife and partner, the former prosecuting lawyer Fiona Lindquist.

23/11/2016: Aldi brands beat big brand competitors in blind taste test
With three champagnes on the table, Aldi quickly fell from its pedestal, ranking third out of the three. Unbeknownst to the testers at the time, the three products were Moet at $55, Duperrey at $35 and Aldi's own Monsigny at $29.99. Moet ranked number one, followed by Duperrey and Aldi's own champagne came in in last place, which Aldi said was a surprise based on previous blind taste test results. 'Typically Aldi comes in first or in even with the others,' a spokesman said.

23/11/2016: Broadsheet Masterclass Series at Rootstock Sydney
When Rootstock Sydney kicks off this Saturday it will bring you some of the most appealing natural wines around. But unlike other food and wine festivals, this won’t just be a round of sip and spit with a few food stalls on the side: Rootstock is also a chance to meet some of the world’s most interesting producers. In partnership with Broadsheet, the two-day festival will be hosting six interactive masterclasses. Each one will be an open discussion with a corresponding tasting session.

23/11/2016:

22/11/2016: Wine flows after Korean free trade pact
Australia's and South Korea's trade ministers have patted themselves on the back over boosted exports stemming from a close-to-two-year free trade pact. South Koreans are going nuts for macadamias and the Australian wine is flowing. But a jubilant Trade Minister Steve Ciobo and counterpart Joo Hyung-hwan only had water available to toast the progress of the close-to-two-year free trade pact between Australia and South Korea. The pair reviewed the deal's progress so far during their bilateral meeting on Thursday afternoon (Peru time) on the sidelines of the APEC summit.

22/11/2016: Shiraz is Back
With American distribution finally catching up to Australia’s innovations, this most loved/hated variety is more diverse and expressive than ever. The pendulum of style swings swiftly in the world of Australian wine. Chardonnay, once broad and richly oaked, swung toward slimness and finesse, then rebounded to become fleshy yet refined—all in just the last decade. Shiraz hasn’t been immune to change, either. Momentum had been building for cool-climate Shiraz when Glaetzer-Dixon’s 2010 Mon Père Shiraz from Tasmania won the Jimmy Watson Trophy in 2011.

22/11/2016: The Vintner’s Daughter opens cellar door at Murrumbateman
The Vintner’s Daughter is pleased to announce that they will be opening a cellar door on site at the vineyard and winery at Crisps Lane Murrumbateman on Saturday 3 December 2016, and will then open Saturdays and Sundays from 10 till 4 pm. Husband and wife team, Stephanie Helm and Benjamin Osborne, established the Vintner’s Daughter in 2014 after they purchased a winery and vineyard, formerly known as Yass Valley Wines, at Murrumbateman in the Canberra District. The vineyard was one of the earliest in the district, having been established in 1978.

22/11/2016: Geber: cabernet franc ‘like perfume on a woman’
Cabernet Franc’s gentle characteristics and aroma is like “perfume on a woman”, according to Chateau Tanunda’s dapper yet forthright proprietor, John Geber. Speaking to dbHK at last week’s Wine and Spirits Fair, Geber said: “Cabernet Franc is like perfume on a woman. It brings out the best qualities of the wine, it’s lovely on the nose and releases these gentle aromas – if used subtly.” The proprietor of iconic Barossa property, Chateau Tanunda also said that the “Barossa is like Australia’s Napa” but at much better value.

22/11/2016: Constantia Flexibles wins three awards from Accolade Wines
Accolade Wines, the number one wine company in Australia and the UK by volume, and the fifth largest wine company in the world, honored suppliers at their annual awards dinner. Constantia Flexibles was honored with the Supplier of the Year award, as well as the Highest On Time In Full Performance, and Excellence in Quality awards. The strong and collaborative partnership between Constantia Flexibles and Accolade Wines is the backbone of these successes, the wine maker said.

21/11/2016: Wine never cheaper in Australia
Would you drink wine that is $2.89 a bottle? Alcohol is the latest battleground in the price was between retail giants Woolworths, Coles and Aldi. Wine has never been cheaper in Australia, with some varieties costing less than bottled water. A high demand from supermarkets and shoppers, imported wine competition and an oversupply of local wines has meant good news for consumers looking for a cheap bottle of plonk. CEO of the Winemakers Federation, Tony Battaglene said most consumers don't want to pay a lot for their wine.

21/11/2016: Chinese knowledge of Australian wine boosting tourist numbers
While Australian wine exporters enjoy the surge in the value of their sales to China, cellar doors at home are also noticing a greater number of eager Chinese tourists. Winemakers believe the increasing sales both at home and abroad are strongly influenced by the relatively weaker Australian dollar, but they are quick to add it is also due to a growing awareness among Chinese consumers about Australia's many wine regions. The industry in Australia has been working to educate Chinese consumers not only about wine culture, but also the many regions where Australian wine is produced.

21/11/2016: Meet the winemakers letting WA speak for itself
Amongst Great Southern winemakers, Mr Diletti is something of a household name, and his talents won the 2015 Winemaker of the Year title from the famed wine writer and critic James Halliday. Mr Diletti's winemaking journey began when he created his first vintage back in 1986 after his father Angelo established Castle Rock close to the Stirling Ranges and backed his son's passion. "Dad not being a wine maker is definitely why it's worked so well, he's left me alone to make all my own mistakes!"

21/11/2016: Parker ‘palate killers’ are gone from OZ
The days of Australian winemakers producing “palate killing” Shiraz to please Robert Parker are finally over according to one key winemaker in the country. Speaking to the drinks business during a trip to London this week, Chris Hancock MW of Robert Oatley Vineyards in New South Wales, said, “We have just about lost all of the jammy, alcoholic, heavy, dead skin Shirazes that are Parker pleasing palate killers, which is an hallelujah moment. Instead, we’re moving towards lighter, brighter more interesting wines from quality producers.

18/11/2016: ASVO announces wine industry Awards for excellence
At a celebratory dinner at the Adelaide Botanic gardens restaurant, President Dr Mardi Longbottom announced the winners of the Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology (ASVO) annual Awards for Excellence. The Awards program recognises professional excellence in viticulture, winemaking and research. The Award recipients have made outstanding contributions to the Australian wine industry through the implementation and promotion of innovative practices and processes to enhance Australian grape and wine production. The ASVO Viticulturist of the year, was awarded to Colin Hinze, of Taylors Wines in the Clare Valley, South Australia.

18/11/2016: Winemaker wines fourth International Winemaker of the Year
The world’s best winemaker has been named at the 2016 International Wine & Spirits Competition (IWSC) in London, with Australian winery McGuigan Wines being crowned International Winemaker of the Year – and in doing so became the only winery in the Competition’s history to win the title four times. Having won the title in 2009, 2011 and 2012, McGuigan Wines saw off competition from the world’s wine producing nations including France, Spain, Italy, Germany and the USA to become the first winemaker in the world to receive the award four times.

18/11/2016: Women in Wine Awards finalist encourages sisterhood
Despite many Australian women enjoying in the occasional glass of wine, fewer dabble in a career within the industry, and viticulturist Sarah Collingwood wants to change that. Her parents have had a vineyard for the past 18 years, but she did not start working full-time in the wine industry until seven years ago. "Now John [my husband] and I haven't left, and we hope we're doing this for the rest of our lives," she said. Ms Collingwood said women only made up roughly 10 per cent of viticulturists and wine makers in Australia.

18/11/2016: ASVO fellows honoured
Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology (ASVO) President Dr Mardi Longbottom today announced two new fellows. Brian Croser AO and Di Davidson AM have been honoured for their particularly outstanding and meritorious contribution to the grape and wine industry and to the Society by being admitted as fellows of the ASVO. “Selection was particularly difficult this year because of the extremely high calibre of individuals nominated for our Fellows program said Dr Longbottom and for the first time more than one member was recommended by the selection committee.

18/11/2016: Winegrape powdery mildew app goes global
Grape growers and winemakers around the world will be able to easily assess powdery mildew in the field with the help of a mobile application just released globally. PMapp, which supports decisions about grape quality, has been developed by the University of Adelaide in close collaboration with the Australian grape and wine sector, and supported by Wine Australia. “Powdery mildew is a serious disease that affects grapevines worldwide and can cause off flavours and aromas in wine if it is not controlled,” says project leader Eileen Scott, Professor of Plant Pathology at the University of Adelaide’s School of Agriculture, Food and Wine.

17/11/2016: Storm damage reports key to extra help
Winegrape growers are urged to continue to lodge damage reports to trigger additional support under Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA). Following last Friday night’s destructive hail and gale-force winds, growers have been lodging damage reports with Murray Valley Winegrowers (MVW). These have been passed on to government assessors, and as at Wednesday afternoon (November 16), damage to wine grapes covered more than 1100 hectares, with probable losses of around 25,000 tonnes.

17/11/2016: Win for makers mentor: Women winemakers in spotlight
Iain Riggs has taken home an Australian Women in Wine Award (AWIWA). Iain is renowned for mentoring at Brokenwood some of Australia’s finest young wine professionals, many of them women – like Yarra Yering’s Sarah Crowe, James Halliday’s 2016 winemaker of the year. And that is why Iain has been given the title of Workplace Champion of Change at the 2016 Australian Women in Wine Awards. The six 2016 AWIWA winners were announced on Tuesday night via a live-stream broadcast screened at functions in regional wine areas, including one in the Hunter at Brokenwood winery.

17/11/2016: Australia is slowly regaining its wine mojo
Australian vintners are beginning to recognize what went wrong between 2008 and 2013. In the late-1990s, Americans became obsessed with wines from the Land Down Under. For most of this millennium’s first decade, fruit bombs with quirky names and eye-catching labels flew off the shelves of U.S. retailers. But sales soon began free-falling. Between 2008 and 2013, the U.S. market for Australian wine declined by more than 20 percent.

17/11/2016: Shoalhaven semillon top drop in interantional wine show
Coolangatta Estate’s success at major wine shows continues with the Shoalhaven Heads vineyard run by the Bishop family winning Best Wine at the 2017 Sydney International Wine Competition. Cellar door manager Ben Wallis sad Coolangatta Estate’s 2009 Wollstonecraft Semillon has won three trophies this week including the Joy Lake Memorial Perpetual Trophy for Best Wine of Competition. He said it was great achievement for his father-in-law and viticulturist Greg Bishop who nurtured the vines to produce the highest quality wine possible.

17/11/2016: Meet the grape that put Aussie reds on the map
The enigmatic origins of the Syrah variety have finally been decoded thanks to the science of DNA analysis. University of California Davis researchers collaborating with Monpellier University in France have been responsible for solving many of the most difficult amplelographic questions of our time, including the parentage of the Syrah variety. For over a century wine experts have speculated over the origin of Syrah, proffering theories that it originated in the similarly named Iranian city of Shiraz or was brought by Phoenicians from Syracuse in Sicily. Both theories turned out to be erroneous. US and French scientists proved that the parents of Syrah are two rather obscure French grapes.

16/11/2016: All the Winners of the 2016 Australian Women in Wine Awards
The winners of the 2016 Australian Women in Wine Awards (AWIWA) were announced last night, 15th November, via a web broadcast that was streamed to celebration events taking place all over Australia. Seven award winners were named in six categories. “On behalf of the entire Board of the AWIWA I want to extend our sincere congratulations to all the winners,” said AWIWA Chair, Jane Thomson. “It is truly a delight to see the breadth of talent and dedication recognized. We know these awards are having a positive impact on the conversation around gender equality in our wine community, and we know that the winners of the 2016 AWIWA powerfully demonstrate the contribution that women make.”

16/11/2016: Seppeltsfield global best of wine tourism
Barossa Valley estate Seppeltsfield has been crowned Global Best of Wine Tourism at the 2017 Great Wine Capitals awards, announced in Portugal last week. Seppeltsfield is the first Global Wine Tourism Winner to represent Adelaide, South Australia - a new member to the Great Wine Capitals network this year. The award of excellence graces Seppeltsfield as Australia’s leading property for wine tourism services. Representatives from Seppeltsfield joined South Australian government primary industry and tourism delegates in Porto, Portugal to accept the award.

16/11/2016: Winemakers Federation of Australia changes leadership team
WFA announced today that Mr Sandy Clark, former Chairman of Brown Brothers Group and Mitchelton Wines, has been appointed by the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) as its new President. Mr Clark will succeed Mr Tony D’Aloisio AM, whose second and final permitted term as President concludes at the close of today’s AGM. Mr D’Aloisio congratulated Mr Clark on behalf of the Board and said “I am delighted that such a qualified and experienced individual as Mr Clark is taking over as President. He brings an xtraordinary wealth of business acumen spanning various sectors. I wish him well.’

16/11/2016: Jacob’s Creek appoints new winemaker
Jacob’s Creek Chief Winemaker Ben Bryant today announced the appointment of Trina Smith to the position of Group White & Sparkling Winemaker, based out of the brand’s home in the Barossa Valley. With over 20 years of winemaking experience and completion of international vintages in California, Italy and South Africa, Trina’s vision for Jacob’s Creek will be driven by her diverse background and specialist winemaking expertise. “Jacob’s Creek is a proudly Australian brand of world-class standards, with a strong heritage of some of the finest winemakers in the country, who continually inject their passion and knowledge into building the brand into what it is today.

16/11/2016: McGuigan: ‘Brexit was a slap in the face’
The UK’s decision to leave the EU was “a slap in the face” but it doesn’t lessen Britain’s importance as a key wine market according to Australian producer Neil McGuigan. Speaking to the drinks business during a visit to London, McGuigan said: “Brexit was a slap in the face and caused us a lot of stress due to the devaluation of the pound but you’ve got to get on with it. “There are a lot of issues at the moment with wine brands coming into the UK from around the world but the longterm outcome could be positive if Australia negotiates a good free trade agreement with the UK, which could accelerate the change of a shift of emphasis from the Old World to the New World.

International Wine Industry News

6/12/2016: Martinborough vineyards contaminated by spray-drift
Up to eight vineyards in Martinborough have reported damage to vines, and some could experience significant crop losses. Samples have been collected by the Greater Wellington Regional Council to try to discover exactly what has caused the damage, but some wineries suspect the cause is most likely to be agricultural spray-drift. The regional council confirmed it was investigating an incident reported on November 21 relating to a helicopter in the area several weeks before. The council said samples from foliage had been taken to its lab for analysis, and work was being done to identify the source of any possible spray-

6/12/2016: Weeds big topic at organic field day
Increased herbicide resistance in ryegrasses and weeds will be a real threat to farming and viticulture in the future, says scientist Dr Charles Merfield, of the BHU (Biological Husbandry Unit Organics Trust) Future Farming Centre at Lincoln University. He was speaking at a Southern Organic Group field day on Bruce and Merril Catto's Waipahi property in front of 115 people on November 23. Organiser Allan Richardson said the theme of the event was ''Growing great crops and pastures with less chemical inputs''. ''The 115 people there were from across the spectrum, from conventional to organic and people who want to be organic,'' Mr Richardson said.

6/12/2016: Blossom Hill: Emphasis on fizz for wine re-brand
Treasury Wine Estates is re-naming its Blossom Hill Fruit Bloom range in order to stress bubbles over fruit. Investment has been funnelled into the sparkling range which will be known as Blossom Hill Spritz. The ingredients won’t change, but the name and packaging have undergone a refresh in order to better match the name and the product, “namely a slightly bubbly, refreshing, lighter proposition, compared to others in the market”.

6/12/2016: Pernod Ricard lauded for corporate responsibility
Drinks company Pernod Ricard has secured the top spot in Vigeo Eiris’ international corporate responsibility index for September 2016. It was awarded for its environmental protection policies and its mitigation of products' 'societal impacts', the company announced last week. It currently possesses an ‘A-’ grade from the UK’s Carbon Disclosure Project for its actions to better manage climate change, which include its pledge to reduce CO2 emissions per unit produced on production sites by 25% between 2010 and 2016 and 30% by 2020.

6/12/2016: ‘Gigglewater’ Prosecco in a can launched
A new Prosecco brand called ‘Gigglewater’ is due to launch in the UK in January with a range that includes a Frizzante Secco housed in a 20cl can. Gigglewater is a “new lifestyle-led sparkling wine brand” aimed at millennials and female consumers that takes its name from a slang term for alcoholic drinks from Prohibition era America. The brand hopes to capitalise on booming sales of Prosecco, as reported in db last week. “With growth of sparking wine continuing we are really excited to be launching a brand into this dynamic category,” said Catherine Monahan, Gigglewater’s founder and CEO.

6/12/2016: Wine Spectator reveals its top 10 wines of 2016
Wine Spectator has revealed its top 10 most exciting wines of 2016, as part of its overall top 100 wines of the year. The top spot in this year's list goes to Lewis 2013 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, a wine that is described as "remarkably elegant and refined". Speaking about the top wine, Wine Spectator's Senior Editor, James Laube, said: "What the Lewis Cabernet typifies is modern winemaking. The grapes are very, very ripe, expressive, opulent; there's an underlying seem of elegance and finesse and grace and harmony. You notice the acidity is lively, you notice the tannins are there but they're soft and agreeable".

5/12/2016: New Zealanders remain eligible for WET rebate
New Zealand wine makers will still be able to claim the WET rebate under these reforms, to the chagrin of many Australian winemakers. But the changes will mean fewer Kiwis are eligible for the rebate, and none will have access to the new wine tourism and cellar door grant, which is available to eligible Australians who exceed the rebate cap of $350,000. "A lot of the wine that's coming into Australia from New Zealand actually is currently coming in in bulk, and that won't be eligible," Senator Ruston said. "There will be a significant number of people from New Zealand who are currently claiming the rebate who will no longer be able to."

5/12/2016: Pinot Noir NZ announces impressive culinary program
With just 60 days until New Zealand’s most significant wine event - Pinot Noir NZ 2017, the lid has been lifted on an all-star line-up of kiwi chefs putting food on the table alongside world class New Zealand wines. Pinot Noir NZ happens just once every four years, and brings together the wines, people and places that benchmark New Zealand Pinot Noir. There will be 117 wineries bringing over 600 wines to 600 visionaries, industry leaders, influencers and lovers of Pinot Noir.

5/12/2016: You need to have flexibility in your vineyard
Vineyards represent a great deal of work. Planning, pruning, canopy management, spraying, — all require people, time, and energy. The fashion with which these tasks are completed can be very different between a one-person operation with half an acre versus a team of people taking care of a 100-acre vineyard. However, in both these situations it can be difficult to get the work completed within a given time frame. Vineyard tasks are seasonal by nature. Late winter and spring are times for most of the canopy management jobs and autumn brings harvest season. During these busy periods in the spring and fall there are often more tasks than available time. It’s critical for a manager to prioritise duties to maximise the benefit to the operation with limited resources.

5/12/2016: Climate change could turn Britain into major producer
Warmer temperatures in the U.K. due to man-made climate change could make the country a leading wine producer by the end of the century, according to new research. The study, commissioned by the company Laithwaite’s Wine, evaluated how rain and temperature conditions are expected to change by 2100. The study shows that conditions in central and eastern England may be ideal for Sauvignon Blanc while Scotland could produce Pinot Grigio. Britain already has a successful wine industry, with over 500 vineyards producing, among others, globally celebrated sparkling wines. But climate change could make higher elevations suitable for wine production.

5/12/2016: Harvest report: Piedmont starts late but ends strong
Unlike other parts of Italy and northern Europe, the 2016 growing season in Piedmont was mostly dry and warm, with enough rain at the right times and ideal conditions for the region’s most important grape, Nebbiolo. Some vintners are comparing it to 2004, others to 2001, both excellent vintages. Overall, conditions were dry, but there was no drought pressure like in 2007 or 2003, and peak temperatures during the summer months did not spike as they did in 2015 or 2005, according to Giovanni Pasquero Elia, proprietor of Paitin in Neive. “All the grape [varieties] seem more consistent in quality than 2015, with less alcohol and better acidity,” he noted. “It reminds me of 1982, my first harvest.”

5/12/2016: Oregon wines nab top spots on Wine Spectator list
Two of the top three wines of the year, as ranked by Wine Spectator magazine, come from Willamette Valley wineries. Domaine Serene's Dundee Hills Evenstad Reserve 2014 Chardonnay ranked second on Wine Spectator's yearly Top 100 list; Beaux Frères’ 2014 Pinot Noir followed as the third best of 2016. The top spot went to Napa Valley's Lewis 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon. Wine Spectator tastes more than 18,000 wines in a blind test to choose its Top 100. The full list will be released December 5. Domaine Serene's reserve is the first Oregon Chardonnay to make the Top 10. The state's wine makers have long been praised for their Pinot Noir.

5/12/2016: Q&A with award winning vineyard manager
With more than a quarter century of scientific, technical and field experience in wine grape irrigation, Mark Greenspan is considered one of the world’s go-to consultants. Greenspan started Advanced Viticulture in 2005 and is its president and viticulturist. It’s small for a North Coast vineyard management company, farming about 180 acres for 20 clients. Yet the company has a much wider impact, consulting on hundreds more acres. The firm provides technical services for more than 30 regular clients and custom work for a number of others.

2/12/2016: Pinot Noir NZ announces impressive culinary programme
With just 60 days until New Zealand’s most significant wine event - Pinot Noir NZ 2017, the lid has been lifted on an all-star line-up of kiwi chefs putting food on the table alongside world class New Zealand wines. Al Brown, Graham Brown and Josh Emett will join Pinot Noir NZ’s culinary director - Wellington food legend Ruth Pretty MNZM in delivering a three day exposé on the local food scene. Al Brown - the restaurateur behind Auckland eateries Depot and Federal Delicatessen, as well as the Montreal-style bagel factories Best Ugly Bagels, is guest chef on day one.

2/12/2016: 20% of wine storage tanks in Marlborough damaged by quake
An estimated 20 percent of wine storage tanks in the Marlborough region, the country’s largest wine producing area, have been damaged by the impact of the recent Kaikoura earthquake. New Zealand Winegrowers has just completed a survey of the earthquake impact on its members and chief executive Philip Gregan said the wine loss experienced accounts for only a little over 2 percent of Marlborough’s total annual production. “While this is frustrating, this is not a major concern as vintage 2016 was a near record one,” he said. “This means there is plenty of wine available to continue our market growth.”

2/12/2016: China reports strong imported alcohol growth
China’s total alcoholic beverage imports including wines, beers and spirits registered strong growth in both volume and value terms in the first 10 months of the year, according to the latest figures released by China Association for Imports and Export of Wine & Spirits. From January to October, the country imported over 1.8 billion litres of alcoholic beverages, worth about US$3.5 billion, an increase of 35.07% in volume and 13.89% increase in value over the same period last year. Its total wine imports grew by 18.01% year on year to about US$1.9 billion, while volumes jumped 15.51% to about 505 million litres. Bottled wine imports dominated the majority of the market and were measured at US$1.79 billion, a 19.3% increase compared with the same period in 2015.

2/12/2016: Could climate change lead to British malbec?
While many wine regions are working to battle the impact of climate change, British producers are expected to benefit, according to a study commissioned by Laithwaites Wine which claims that Britain could not only become a major exporter of wine by 2100, but by then be producing Malbec. While English sparkling wine production is already flourishing in the South of England, Professor Mark Maslin and Lucien Georgeson from University College London, who led the study, believe that continued changes in temperature and rainfall will allow more grape varieties to be cultivated in as yet unfamiliar wine growing regions.

2/12/2016: US winery deploys wine Grenade's Wine maturation process
Californian winery AuburnJames has bottled 6,000 cases of Cabernet Sauvignon using Wine Grenade’s membrane-based maturation process, the first US winery to apply the innovative technology. This allowed the St Helena, California, winery to augment its premium wine business and compete in a new price tier without incurring the costs of upgrading facilities or storage capacity. Wine Grenade’s technology, developed in New Zealand, replicates oak barrel maturation inside of steel tanks by slowly and precisely dispersing tiny amounts of oxygen through a moving permeable membrane.

2/12/2016: Climate Change Sends Wine Growing North
The United Kingdom could become one of the world's most important grape-growing countries, due to climate change. Pinot Grigio and Pinot Noir will be made as far north as the Scottish city of Edinburgh by the end of the century, according to a survey carried out by one of the UK's leading universities. Climate change scientists at University College London combined climate predictions through to the year 2100 with data about the required temperature range for different grape varieties.

1/12/2016: Video: Epicentre of NZ earthquake
New Zealand's recent Kaikoura earthquake ruined enough wine to fill more than five million bottles, according to new industry estimates. Click through to see an up to date report, alongside a video of cracks in the landscape caused by the quake. Marlborough lost just over 2% of its annual production in the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck New Zealand two weeks ago, according to trade body New Zealand Winegrowers. Marlborough produces ‘well over’ 200 million litres of wine annually, it said. A fifth of the region’s tank capacity was damaged to varying degrees, NZ Winegrowers said.

1/12/2016: Treble success for boutique Bay winery Alpha Domus
Two trophies and a gold for its premium 2015 Alpha Domus AD Noble Selection has left the winery's managing director Paul Ham and winemaker Barry Riwai with plenty of reasons to smile. The latest success of the dessert wine, which came with a trophy at the 2017 Winestate Magazine Wine of the Year Awards, came in the wake of the Bridge Pa Triangle-sited winery celebrating another treble of success with its 2015 Barnstormer Syrah taking gold medals at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards, the Sydney International Wine Competitions and the Hawke's Bay A&P Wine Awards.

1/12/2016: Dogs vs Chromatography — Who is the Winner?
Man’s best friend helps us in all kinds of ways. Assistance dogs for people with sight problems; dogs who can help to detect explosives; and search and rescue dogs who help us to find people who are lost. Now a researcher at the University of Melbourne in Australia has found another way that our canine friends can help us — in vineyards to help keep one of Australia’s best exports in top shape. Vineyards are susceptible to many pests and diseases and keeping vines healthy is an important task — and this is where Sonja Needs and her faithful dog Keely help to preserve the vineyards of Australia. -

1/12/2016: Ridgeview CEO named ‘business woman of the year’
Tamara Roberts, CEO of English winery Ridgeview, has been named ‘Sussex Businesswoman of the Year’. Roberts was recognised for her work at the winery, which she took over in 2014, at the Business Women Excellence Awards ceremony in Brighton last Friday. The awards are designed to “celebrate and recognise” successful businesswomen in the southern English county. Having taken over in 2014, Roberts has overseen Ridgeview’s growth to 300,000 bottles and has plans to double production further over the next five years.

1/12/2016: Romanian wine to grow in UK
Romanian wine in the UK is expected to grow by around 10% after production in the Eastern European country grew by more than a third, producer Cramele Recas has claimed. Patrick Cox, CEO of Romanian’s largest wine producer, Cramele Recas, said there was strong potential in the UK market for Romanian wine, following a good year in 2015. “The UK has been the fastest growing export market for Romania in the last five years, and Romania has become the fastest growing supply country for the UK market. In 2016 we estimate a 10% growth over 2015 in the UK – and 2015 was a record year,” he said.

1/12/2016: Expert says restaurants should be creative with drinks menu
There may be many big name professionals and critics at wine businesses based in Asia, but not many have enjoyed as much attention as wine critic and expert Jeannie Cho Lee has, the first Asian to be recognized as a wine master by the dignified Institute of Masters of Wine based in the United Kingdom. Lee, after she received the honor of becoming a Master of Wine in 2008, has been building up her name as wine critic, professor, television host, consultant and many others, to encourage others in Asia to step up and get their feet into the industry while showing the wine-making regions how important the Asian market is for them for the future.

30/11/2016: Doc Adams cellar door in McLaren Vale unveiled
Adams Wines is proud to announce the official opening of their Cellar Door. A destination that is set to be iconic in the McLaren Vale wine region, as a facility to accommodate tastings, a family friendly atmosphere set amongst McLaren Vale vines and beautiful Australian bushland. The Cellar Door will be officially opened on Monday 28th of November. Proceedings to be held at the Cellar Door premises, 276 California Road, Tatachilla SA 5171 from 1.30pm onwards. Adam Jacobs, Managing Director, commented, ‘We are excited to now have a home in the heart of McLaren Vale where we can share and showcase our premium wines with local produce in a unique and engaging environment.

30/11/2016: New Zealand plans for Vintage 2017 after Earthquake
The New Zealand wine industry is busy planning for the up-coming vintage after taking into account the impact of the recent Kaikoura earthquake. “We have completed our survey of the impact of the earthquake on our members” said Philip Gregan, CEO of New Zealand Winegrowers. “It is clear there was some wine loss as a result of the earthquake but it amounts to only a little over 2% of Marlborough’s total production. While this is frustrating, this is not a major concern as vintage 2016 was a near record one. This means there is plenty of wine available to continue our market growth.”

30/11/2016: Government helps wine industry fix damage from quake
Officials from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Ministry for Primary Industries are working with New Zealand Winegrowers to resolve quake damage to wine storage tanks in the Marlborough region that is threatening the 2017 harvest. An estimated 20 percent of wine storage tanks in the Marlborough region, the country's largest wine producing area, have been damaged by the impact of the recent Kaikoura earthquake. There is the potential that a lack of storage will affect the ability of the industry to process the full 2017 harvest, which commences in around 15 weeks, said Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce.

30/11/2016: Wine sales see a spirited increase during holiday season
This time of the year, alcohol sales see an increase. Beer, wine, and liquor sales in the United States have grown 11.7 percent from 2011 to 2016, according to market research firm Ibisworld. Additionally, sales for alcohol are higher at the end of the year than any other time. Local wineries and vineyards benefit from this increase in sales around the holiday time. Babak Bakhtiar, Director of Marketing at CrossKeys Vineyards, says they are witnessing an increase in sales overall, as well as holiday purchases.

30/11/2016: Italy Increases Wine Exports To China
In the first nine months of the year, Italy has sold the same wine quantity in China as across the whole of 2015. According to Business Strategies/Nomisma, in September Italian wine companies achieved €90 million worth of sales in China (+ 28.1% higher than last year). In particular, sparkling wine sales grew 35% more than 2015. China remains the tenth biggest buyer of Italian wine, accounting for 5% of total exports.

30/11/2016: French wine label printer grows strong business
Located in the Bordeaux wine area (France), Imprimerie Laulan prints premium labels for leading wine producers in the country. For the past twenty years, the company has grown its business steadily, relying on waterless offset printing and Toray thermal waterless plates. Toray Industries Inc, a leading manufacturer of waterless offset plate technology, reported about the implementation of waterless offset printing using Toray plates at Imprimerie Laulan, one of the landmark label printers for the Bordeaux wine industry. Toray plate technology has helped grow the company's footprint in label printing and triple the company's revenue over the past twenty years.

30/11/2016: 'Drink wine, save water' MEC tells delegates
Welcoming delegates to the inaugural African Agri Investment Indaba on Tuesday, Western Cape MEC for Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde, had a warning or two and some advice to share. First, the warning about the drought. ” We are under pressure,” he said, urging everyone to do their bit and use water sparingly. Then came the advice. Winde suggested that one way that people could help was by drinking wine instead of water, adding that there were also delicious local grape juices for those who didn’t drink alcohol.

29/11/2016: Geographical indications set for New Zealand
The Act to bring New Zealand's long-dormant geographical indications (GI) registration scheme into force has been passed by parliament. GIs are used to signal that products originating from a particular geographical region possess certain characteristics or qualities attributed to that location. Well known examples include Champagne and Scotch whisky. It is expected that the registration scheme will be in force by around March or April 2017. This will allow 'interested persons' to register a GI in relation to wine or spirits.

29/11/2016: Sweet Success for Hawke’s Bay’s Alpha Domus Winery
Boutique Hawke’s Bay Winery Alpha Domus continues to attract attention at national and international competitions, with a string of awards to its name. Most recently, Alpha Domus’s 2015 The Barnstormer Syrah has won three gold medals, at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards, the Sydney International Wine Competition and the Hawke’s Bay A&P Wine Awards. Managing Director Paul Ham says this is a huge coup for the family-owned winery. “In an increasingly crowded marketplace with a large number of big players, it’s testament to the care and attention we as a boutique wine producer place on every stage of the process from vine to wine,” says Mr Ham.

29/11/2016: Why I hate female sommeliers and so should you
You would be forgiven for thinking that we are living in a marvelous time for women in the wine industry. With headlines like “The Rise of the Female Sommeliers” and “Sex and the Sommelier: Make Way for Women,” women are showing up everywhere. From “13 Badass Female Winemakers” to “New York City’s Pioneering Female Sommeliers,” women seem to be making big strides in wine making and tasting. As a female wine writer, I should be delighted by this celebration of “female” sommeliers and winemakers. Surely this explosion of coverage of women in wine is cause for excitement. But I’m not excited. In fact, I hate it.

29/11/2016: UK wine wholesalers split on Brexit uncertainty survival chances
Around 40% of UK's wine wholesalers and distributors are considered to be well-placed to cope with any potential fallout from the country's decision to exit the European Union, according to recently-published research, although almost a third could struggle. A report from market analysts Plimsoll Publishing, released earlier this month, is based on a "financial health check" on 1,223 wholesalers and distributors in the country. The results claim that 483 firms are performing well in current market conditions, and should be able to weather any uncertainty in the sector.

29/11/2016: Georgia pledges largest-ever wine export to China
Georgian wine company Badagoni will sell five million bottles of Georgian wine in China in what will be the largest export of Georgian wine to China in the history of both countries. A respective memorandum was signed by representatives of Badagoni and China's Wenzhou Bydoway Import & Export Co. in Georgia’s top winemaking region Kakheti today. The country's Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Agriculture Minister Levan Davitashvili and other high officials attended the signing ceremony.

29/11/2016: Oxney Estate launches first organic English sparkling wine
Stretching out its green fingers, while further affirming its green credientials, east Sussex vineyard Oxney Organic Estate has launched its first organic English sparkling wine. Made by winemaker David Cowderoy, The Classic 2014 is a blend of 40% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir and 30% Pinot Meunier, and has a low dosage of 4g/l. Adding to a collection of award-winning still and sparkling rosé, still white and a classic cuvée sparkling, the wine spent a minimum of 20 months on lees and what Oxney describes as a delicate and persistent mousse.

28/11/2016: Ministers visit Marlborough for wine talks
Marlborough had a very ministerial day on Thursday, with three senior cabinet ministers flying in to the region. Economic development minister Steven Joyce, communications minister Amy Adams and primary industries minister Nathan Guy were all in Marlborough. Joyce and Guy attended a meeting with wine industry representatives at WineWorks, in the Riverlands Industrial Estate, where they were briefed about the impact of the earthquake. Some wineries and vineyards sustained damage as a result of the earthquake, which industry experts say was worse than the previous large shock centred in Seddon three years ago.

28/11/2016: Longview Estate goes from $30 to $598 a bottle
Longview Estate's White Diamond, which at the start of 2016 was retailing locally for about $30 a bottle, is now being sold for a whopping $598. The vineyard just south of Whangarei was taken over by a group of Chinese and New Zealand investors in March and the super-sweet variety is being lapped up by the Chinese, clearly prepared to pay top dollar. The boutique wine had a cult-like following locally, and when news it would soon disappear from Northland shelves broke in July, hundreds of Advocate readers expressed their disappointment online.

28/11/2016: World’s wineries arrive in Seoul with new flavours
The growing Korean market is an exciting place for winemakers. Many wine aficionados are busy in November, as that’s when most wineries make their visits to Korea. After wrapping up the busy harvest season which takes place from early September to late October, winery owners or marketing managers usually make their way to their major markets to talk about the weather conditions at their vineyards over the past months and their expectations of the wine made with the season’s new harvest.

28/11/2016: Wine critics' language turns obscure terms into reality
Indole, an intriguing compound which can be both attractive or repugnant depending on its intensity, is found in the florals of jasmine, but also in the faeces of humans and pigs. It's been more attractively described as "dank flowers in a vase". These descriptors are employed on the Australian Wine Research Institute's advanced wine assessment course. Most people attending are winemakers honing their show judging skills, but there are also marketers, educators and researchers from the halls of wine academe, and sometimes sommeliers. This year, they came from countries including Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Spain and Canada.

28/11/2016: 'Extreme' Japanese winemaker is a natural
Hirotake Ooka does not do anything by half. For nearly two decades the former Japanese chemist has been on a quest to make the very best and most natural French wine possible. But he hasn’t made it easy for himself. His modest vineyards on a hill near Cornas, where the mountains of the Ardeche drop into the Rhone valley, is not so much steep as vertiginous. Which means not only that his grapes must be picked by hand but that he and his pickers are often forced to perform the backbreaking task on their knees, grape by grape.

28/11/2016: Out of Africa – the Next Big Wine Market?
Could the world's poorest continent be the savior of the world's wine producers? Fifty years ago, fine wine was generally the preserve of the Western man. Caucasian, male and wealthy – those were the boxes that needed to be ticked if you were looking to shift any serious volumes of Lafite or Krug. But times change. The emergence of the BRIC economies – Brazil, Russia, India and China – has completely transformed the global wine industry, with a growing number of brands investing considerable sums into unlocking the potential of the world's emerging nations.

25/11/2016: NZ Winegrowers welcome more seasonal workers
New Zealand Winegrowers welcomes the increase in the number of seasonal workers under the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme announced by Social Development Minister Anne Tolley and Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse today. An increase in 1,000 RSE workers for the 2016-17 season will help support the wine industry during its peak times said Jeffrey Clarke, General Manager, New Zealand Winegrowers. “There’s a huge demand for labour during vintage and pruning. Although the wine industry is focused at placing New Zealanders into work, there is often a shortfall and RSE workers ease some of that pressure.”

25/11/2016: Shipping by sea cheaper than ever
As export volume grows Te Mata Figs is switching to shipping containers for its fig-flavoured fare, following several years of flying them overseas. Director Murray Douglas said air freighting to Australia was cheaper than sending it to many parts of New Zealand by road, despite an out-of-town repacking. "If you ship by air out of Hawke's Bay no air cargo containers can be taken out of Hawke's Bay Airport because the planes are too small," he said.

25/11/2016: Fine wine market, the only way is up?
With the end of the year approaching it seems increasingly likely that the secondary market for fine wine will end the year positively. Last year there were hopes the market might return to growth but major hiccups in July and November meant Liv-ex’s principal index which tracks the market, the Fine Wine 100, finished the year slightly down but otherwise flat. Disappointing as this was, stability had been returned to the market after four consecutive years of declines and has provided a springboard for recovery over the course of 2016.

25/11/2016: A glass of wine could protect from stroke
New research is now saying that a large glass of wine a day could be a preventative measure against having the most common type of stroke. The University of Cambridge study, which was carried out on 20,000 adults, found that three units of alcohol a day seemed to reduce the risk of these adults having an ischaemic stroke (the most common form where blood clots form and block the flow of oxygen and blood to your brain) by 8% in 85% of the cases. And light drinking, which is no more than one and a half units of alcohol a day (AKA a small glass of wine) reduces your risk of having a stroke by 10%, by increasing good cholesterol in your body.

25/11/2016: Made in Hong Kong
Who would have thought that one could make wine in Hong Kong? But Eddie McDougall has proven that good vintages can come from the most unlikely of places, releasing four locally made wines under the label The Urban Project. One of them, Sampan, was awarded first runner-up in the Old World Red Wine Below HK$100 category in this year’s Restaurant & Bar Hong Kong House Wine Awards. McDougall, who calls himself The Flying Winemaker, has made wines all over the world. “I started learning how to make wine when I was 19, in Australia,” he says. “I haven’t stopped since.”

25/11/2016: Thief steals $83K worth of wine
Someone made off with more than 1,000 cases of wine earlier this month after stealing a truck from a wine distributor in Newark, police said. According to Cpl. James Spadola, a spokesman for the Newark Police Department, the theft occurred sometime between 8:45 p.m. Nov. 13 and 3:50 a.m. Nov. 14 at The Country Vintner, a wine importer and wholesaler that delivers wine and spirits to restaurants and retailers across the state. The business is located at 816 Interchange Blvd.

24/11/2016: New Zealand’s sustainable wine production shines in LA
New Zealand Winegrowers’ Sustainable Because video has received three category nominations at this year’s Annual Taste Awards in Los Angeles, California. “The short documentary created by WINERAM Productions cleverly encapsulates the reasons why sustainability is important to so many New Zealand wine producers” said Sarah Szegota, Communications Manager at New Zealand Winegrowers. “Not only are the category nominations testament to the skill of the team at WINERAM, but also to New Zealand’s winemakers and grape growers who are leading the charge in sustainable, organic and biodynamic wine production.”

24/11/2016: Foley family wines warns of challenging year after earthquake
Foley Family Wines, which operates through brands including Vavasour and Martinborough Vineyard, has warned investors of a challenging period ahead, partly as a result of the Kaikoura earthquake. The quake caused significant damage to storage tanks at the Grove Mill winery in Marlborough, with some bulk wine lost. There was a small amount of damage to vineyards, with minimal damage to finished goods and buildings. Last week, the company said it was clear the damage would be more than its insurance excess of $1 million, although it has the resources to cover the extra cost.

24/11/2016: Lucca Biodinamica brings sustainable energy to Tuscany’s wine scene
Lucca has recently moved up the ranks on the Tuscan tourist trail as more and more people hear about its intact walls, its curious tree-topped tower and its epicurean specialities from tordelli lucchesi to buccellato. But the city—and the rolling hills surrounding it—is gaining fame for another reason, all to do with its wine. Whilst Tuscany has long been known as a key wine-producing region in Italy, the wines of the Lucca province have largely been overshadowed by household names like Chianti and the Super Tuscans of Bolgheri.

24/11/2016: Big wine company makes a big move in Oregon
Jackson Family Wines, the California-based company that has purchased four vineyards in Oregon since 2013, is building a 68,000 square-foot wine production facility in McMinnville, in the heart of the state’s Pinot noir region. The company’s presence in Oregon unsettles a few who wonder about its potential impact on the state’s unusual wine sector. Jackson Family is an international wine company with operations in Chile, France, Italy and Australia in addition to the U.S. In Oregon, the company has bought the Zena Crown, Gran Moraine, Penner-Ash and WillaKenzie vineyards and wineries since 2013.

24/11/2016: Ste. Michelle asks court to dismiss Treasury Wine relief request
Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, (SMWE) has asked a San Francisco federal court to dismiss Treasury Wine Estates’s (TWE) request for declaratory relief that its planned use of “Stag” as a brand does not infringe trademarks or other laws. As previously reported by Wine Industry Insight, Ste. Michelle sued TWE in early October alleging trademark infringement and unfair competition among other charges. In response, TWE filed a complaint seeking a court declaration that their marketing efforts did not infringe SMWE trademarks.

24/11/2016: Game of Thrones' wine is coming
If any group of TV characters have an excuse to drink, it's the cast of HBO's hit "Game of Thrones." Whether they're being tortured (Theon); marched naked through the streets (Cersei); losing a hand (Jaime); being forced into a creepy marriage (Sansa); dying and coming back (Jon); or on the run after killing dad in the privy (Tyrion); they deserve the strongest goblet of Dornish red that a sack of golden dragons can buy. Now viewers can join in at home. On Tuesday, HBO announced a partnership with Vintage Wine Estates of Santa Rosa, Calif., to release a "Game of Thrones"-branded Cabernet Sauvignon, a proprietary red blend and a chardonnay. Bottles will range in price from $20-$40 (£16-32, AU$27-54).

23/11/2016: Church Road Winery picks up Australian wine awards treble
Church Road Winery's winemaker Chris Scott has picked up a leading Australian magazine's New Zealand Winemaker of the Year title for the second time in four years - but he was more delighted with the magazines' second nod to Church Road. "It is nice to get but what is more satisfying is that we took the Winestate Syrah/Shiraz of the Year Trophy," Mr Scott said. "It is the first time that title has gone to a New Zealand wine." Syrah/Shiraz had previously been the domain of Australian producers until the magazine's judges tasted and lauded the Church Road McDonald Series Syrah 2014 which they decreed was "stunning".

23/11/2016: New Zealand exports to S.Korea up after FTA
In the first nine months since entry into force of the New Zealand-Korea Free Trade Agreement, food and beverage exports to South Korea rose 16 percent to 449 million NZ dollars (317.17 million U.S. dollars) compared to the same period a year earlier, McClay said in a statement ahead of the first anniversary of the agreement. “Those products where tariffs have been eliminated immediately have fared extremely well,” said McClay.

23/11/2016: Huneeus Vintners Buys St. Clement from Treasury Wine
Treasury Wine Estates has sold Napa Valley’s St. Clement Vineyards to Napa-based Huneeus Vintners LLC, according to public records and company representatives. The sale includes the historic house, winery and estate vineyard but not the St. Clement wine brand, inventory or intellectual property, according to representatives for Huneeus Vintners and Treasury Wine Estates. Both parties declined to disclose the sale price. St Clement Vineyards’ tasting room closed Sept. 25, according to Treasury Wine Estates. spokeswoman Megghen Driscol.

23/11/2016: Vineyards losing labor to marijuana growers
California’s marijuana and grape growers are at odds over more than water. They also are vying for the same labor pool at harvest time. Travis Foote, general manager of Vineyard Logistics, said his Mendocino County vineyard-management company started this year’s harvest in mid-August with 22 pickers. Less than six weeks later, he was down to eight. “The marijuana pay is much better, and the work is much easier,” Foote said. “They pay cash, and people can do the work from home a lot of the time. Marijuana doesn’t require a lot of labor the rest of the year, but when we need workers the most, they need workers the most.”

23/11/2016: Sussex wine step closer to PDO
Sussex wine is a step closer to achieving PDO status after its application was submitted to the EU by Defra – but it could take several years for the formal certification to be agreed, the English wine industry has warned. It follows reports in the Times, Telegraph and Daily Mail this week regarding the region gaining protected regional status within the UK and that this could take only six months to push through. Defra this morning clarified that it had now formally submitted the application to Brussels, and as such it was a step in the process that could take several years to be agreed and finalised, but added that there was “no timeframe in mind” for how long the PDO process would take, now that it was “out of Defra’s hands”.

23/11/2016: American's attitude to wine seems to be changing
America’s voters have opted for a very different future. Their attitude to wine seems to be changing too. As much of the world focused its attention on the US in 2016, the Wine Intelligence team have also been focusing on the world’s number one wine market – one that, if you’ll excuse the pun, trumps all others in terms of volume and value. The US has been showing a steady annual volume growth rate of 1% for the past 5 years. With a consumption rate of just over 12 liters per adult per year and 60% of US adults currently abstaining from wine, it has long been thought of as a market with significant growth potential.

22/11/2016: Sacred Hill Special Selection Continues on Stellar Course
The team at Sacred Hill have had an exciting run of accolades, most notably, a double gold in the 6 Nations Wine Challenge and two medals at the Hawkes Bay Wine Awards. The premiere award is the double gold for the Helmsman at the 6 Nations Wine Challenge in Sydney recently. The international judging panel compare the very best from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada and The United States with New Zealand wines performing strongly this year. David says “It’s no mistake that the Helmsman is good. The team love crafting wine from our very special site in the heart of the Gimblett Gravels."

22/11/2016: Stoneleigh hosting wine pop up at abandoned hotel in Sydney
New Zealand’s Stoneleigh have pushed for a big presence in Sydney during these next few weeks, taking over an overrun and abandoned hotel in Chippendale to create a Jumanji-like immersive wine experience that sketches the wondrous Stoneleigh vineyards onto the concrete jungle that is inner Sydney. The philosophy of minimal intervention winemaking will be fully showcased at one of the more unique pop ups of the summer, inviting guests to head on into the hotel and lose themselves in the wild, overgrown interior while enjoying some of Stoneleigh’s finest.

22/11/2016: Marketing policies in China paying off big time for Italian wine
In the first eight months of 2016, Italian wine exports to China outperformed the overall market by more than six points. The Italian market share (5.5%), however, remains too low for such a top exporter, despite being the world’s largest wine producer, the country is still only in fifth place among the main partners of Beijing. In the first eight months of 2016, China imported wine for €1.4 billion, with a jump of 24%. Italy grew by 30.4%, according to data from Nomisma’s Wine Monitor. “These are the first positive effects of the promotion policies set in place in China by the Italian government,” said Giovanni Mantovani, the CEO of Veronafiere trade fair.

22/11/2016: Tiny urban farm winery opens in Geneva
Megan Hall and Alex Fredrickson were working in Tasmania when they hatched the idea of starting a winery in the Finger Lakes. Camila Tahim, who would become their third partner, was in Chile. The trio, all in their 20s, had met while working at New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva. Their work there and in the far-flung locations was part of their graduate studies at Cornell University. Hall and Fredrickson started a business plan, and when the three finally returned to the Finger Lakes, they hammered out the details of what would become Wicked Water, the first urban farm winery in the city of Geneva.

22/11/2016: Red wine can counteract harmful effects of smoking cigarettes
Drinking red wine is widely regarded as protective against cardiovascular disease. A new report in The American Journal of Medicine found that a glass or two of red wine before lighting up a cigarette can counteract some of the short-term negative effects of smoking on blood vessels. Cigarette smoke causes acute endothelial damage, vascular and systemic inflammation, and cellular aging. Red wine stimulates the formation of endothelium-dependent relaxation factors such as nitric oxide, which improve endothelial function in coronary arteries possibly because of the high phenol concentration in red wine.

22/11/2016: Constellation Brands Authorizes One Billion Share Repurchase
Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE: STZ and STZ.B), a leading beverage alcohol company, announced today that its board has authorized a new share repurchase program of up to $1 billion of the company's common stock to be utilized over time. This new program is in addition to the company's current $1 billion share repurchase program. The company currently expects to execute the new $1 billion share repurchase authorization opportunistically in the future, subject to then-current market conditions and management's discretion.

21/11/2016: Chinese wine lovers making 2016 a top export vintage
China's increasing thirst for premium Australian wine has helped push export values to a 13-year high. Local winemakers are hiring Chinese speaking staff to cater for an influx of savvy wine tourists at the cellar door. Despite the surge there are warnings that Australian export vintages are under growing threat from the vineyards of France and South America.

21/11/2016: Urban vineyard thrives on the sunny slopes of Mt Eden
For Mike and Angela Sparks there is immense satisfaction to be found looking out over their vineyard while sipping a glass of syrah made from the grapes they've grown there. Not such an unusual thing in a winemaking country you might think, except the Sparks' family vineyard is right in the middle of Auckland city, planted in the backyard of their home. Where other people might have shrubs, trees and vegetable beds, they have vines staked in neat rows, growing up a high wall and over a pergola, covering a large part of their steep section on the slopes of Mt Eden.

21/11/2016: Family Owned Wine Company supporting the NZ Industry
New Zealand’s winemakers and brewers from big to small will now be able to supply direct to customers through a locally-owned platform. New Zealand’s oldest independent wine retailers, Glengarry Wines are a family-owned company established in 1945. As an independent, Kiwi born and bred enterprise, we have always championed the small guys and brought the rarer, more eclectic wines to our customers. We are delighted to be still operating from a position of strength in what is an increasingly hectic and crowded market, flooded now with a number of operators from outside our borders.

21/11/2016: Prowine celebrates record numbers
The fourth edition of ProWine China – the leading international trade fair for wines and spirits in Shanghai was hailed a success, with an increase in visitor and exhibitor numbers from last year. This year’s exhibition attracted 12,431 trade visitors – an increase of 20% from 2015 – with over a third coming from outside of Shanghai. There was also a larger contingent of international exhibitors from last year hailing from all over the ‘Silk Road’ route, including Ningxia and Xinjiang provinces of China, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Belarus and Latvia.

21/11/2016: Jamdani registered as GI product: Lessons from Champagne
The 1996 Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Properties Agreement (TRIPS) of 1996, of the world Trade Organisation (WTO) provides the most comprehensive multilateral treaty to enact and enforce intellectual property laws, including Geographical Indication Law. Geographical indications (GI) give the producers of a region the exclusive right to use the indication for their products originating from that region. It also means that they have the right to prohibit any unauthorised use, usurpation or imitation of the sign on a product that is not from the designated area or which does not have the qualities guaranteed by the GI.

21/11/2016: Xi Jinping’s Chile trip to boost Chilean wines
Chinese president Xi Jinping’s upcoming visit to Chile, the first of its kind by a Chinese state leader to the South American country in 12 years, is expected to give a huge boost to Chilean wine exports to China, reports official Chinese newspaper People’s Daily. In 2015, Chilean wine exports to China stood at US$175 million, a 41% increase in value over the previous year after China abolished all tariffs on Chilean wines in the same year. Since signing a Free Trade Agreement in 2005, China has become Chile’s biggest trade partner, and Chile has grown into China’s third largest trade partner in Latin America.

21/11/2016: ASDA sales slump continues in 3q
Across its wider group business, the US retail giant, which operates in eleven global markets including the US and UK, reported a “solid” third quarter, with growth in its online operation, with revenues of $118.2. The retailer is also said to be launching Asda’s best-selling Chilean Malbec which saw booming sales across its UK store after being named the best single varietal under £15 by Decanter magazine. In September, the retailer announced it was upping its focus on fine wine parcels through its online Wine Shop as it seeks to increase exposure and build momentum of the wine site.

18/11/2016: Matua named New Zealand Wine Producer of Year at IWSC
Competition (IWSC), winning the trophy for New Zealand Wine Producer of the Year, announced last night in London. The winery, which produced New Zealand’s first Sauvignon Blanc in 1974, had a medal tally which incorporated the Trophy alongside 12 medals, including Gold Outstanding for the 2013 Matua Single Vineyard Pinot Noir, five Silver Outstanding medals, four Silvers and a Bronze. This now means that Matua has received the title of NZ Wine Producer or Winemaker of the Year at a major international wine competition four years consecutively.

18/11/2016: Marlborough wine companies count losses following earthquake
Wine industry experts in Marlborough are saying the 7.8 magnitude earthquake on Monday was more damaging than the last event to shake the region. The 2013 Seddon earthquake caused an estimated $100 million worth of damage to wine companies and grape growers, who are putting a brave face on the latest tremors. Wine Marlborough general manager Marcus Pickens said he had been out to inspect more than 20 wineries, and was impressed at the resilience shown by staff. "There has been damage, and it's fair to say it's bigger than the last event across the board, most wine companies have had some impact in terms of wine loss or tank movement," he said.

18/11/2016: Research establishes the Chinese Lexicon Project
Most western wine drinkers probably wouldn't use terms like dried hawthorn or Chinese sausage to describe the taste of certain wines. But Australian researchers say those terms are a useful part of a world-first project aimed at better-informing Chinese consumers, and increasing Aussie wine exports. Armando Corsi and Larry Lockshin could probably spend all day talking about and describing the taste of wine. Which is a good thing, because much of their academic focus at the University of South Australia has been on the popular fermented beverage. In particular, solving the problem that certain western flavour descriptions can pose for Chinese consumers.

18/11/2016: Tibetan winery plans IPO in Australia
Tibet’s first organic winery, Mo Er Duo, is planning to go public in Australia next year, reports local Chinese wine media Jiuye Times. Its wines, made from China’s secluded Tibetan plateau, the same area where LVMH group’s ‘Ao Yun’ wines are produced, are expected to fill a void for Chinese produced high-altitude wines, says a local official from Lhasa Committee of Industry and Commerce at the winery’s press conference on 13 November. Ao Yun’s release price on Liv-ex was between £1,410 and £1,600 per six bottles. No details have yet been revealed regarding Mo Er Duo’s wine prices or the amount to be raised through the initial public offering.

18/11/2016: Complaint over TWE's use of "Stag" name in the US is dismissed
The on-going legal battle between two leading wine companies over the use of ‘The Stag’ name and imagery has reached another benchmark as the complaint was dismissed temporarily by a judge. A court has dismissed the complaint from Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars (SLWC) and its parent company Ste. Michelle Wine Estates (SMWE), in a lawsuit against Australian wine company TWE – which also owns a Californian winery - for its use of the brand name ‘The Stag’ in the US.

18/11/2016: Majestic Wine toasts sales growth
Majestic Wine said it was on track for higher growth as it fell into the red for the six months to September. The retailer posted a pre-tax loss of £4.4m, compared with a profit of £4.5m for the same period last year, and said it had been focusing on boosting sales rather than the bottom line. Majestic said the loss was largely due to a failed marketing campaign for its Naked Wine business. Like-for-like sales rose 5.7% in the 26-week period.

17/11/2016: Wine industry welcomes new legislation
News of the passing of the Geographical Indications (Wine and Spirits) Registration Amendment Bill in parliament last night has been welcomed by New Zealand Winegrowers. “The Geographical Indications (Wine and Spirits) Registration Act will be a significant advance for the New Zealand wine industry,” said New Zealand Winegrowers CEO, Philip Gregan. “Our ‘Geographical Indications’ - the names and places where our wines come from - are at the very heart of the New Zealand wine story and this new law provides an additional level of protection for them.”

17/11/2016: Rural community hit hard by quake
Monday's quake has hit the rural community hard, leaving farmers without power and affecting vineyards in the busy bottling period. The earthquake has struck at one of the busiest times for vineyards in Marlborough and North Canterbury who are bottling wine for export. Part of the land at Trevor Burkhart's vineyard in Blenheim that backs on to the Opawa River has slumped about a metre. "There are big cracks through the vineyard, we've got to try and figure out how to fix that. The problem we've got with the vineyard is with ongoing spraying - you can't actually get the tractors in now."

17/11/2016: Aldi poised to sell wine in China
Aldi is poised to sell wine online in China in the second quarter of 2017 using its Australia business as a base. The discounter has been rumoured to be mulling a launch in mainline China since 2014, when it was reported by the Guardian, however a report in German trade publication Lebensmittel Zeitung announcing the online-only move last week has been confirmed to the Australian media by Aldi. The Aldi spokesman quoted by The Sydney Morning Herald said the discounter had been researching the market and undertaking feasibility studies for several years and was now ready to launch an e-commerce site in mainland China during the early part of 2017.

17/11/2016: Hunting fraud in France’s wine heartland
Crafty winemakers throughout the ages have sought sneaky ways to pass off low-grade plonk as top vintages. The jailing this month of a French wine baron shows the practice is still alive and well. Francois-Marie Marret was given a two-year sentence for fraud for blending poor quality wine with high-end Saint-Emilions, Lalande-de-Pomerols and Listrac-Medocs to sell to major supermarkets under prestigious labels.

17/11/2016: 2016 was ‘a nightmare’ vintage in champagne
Piper-Heidsieck’s chef de cave, Regis Camus, has admitted that the 2016 harvest was “a nightmare” in Champagne with “an explosion of mildew” he’d never witnessed before. Camus said: “The 2016 vintage was a nightmare. We had snow in April and very low temperatures in the vineyards. Nearly all of the vines in the Côte des Bar were killed by frost – production in Champagne is down by 15%. We had lots of rain in May, June and July, which led to an explosion of mildew like I’ve never seen before."

17/11/2016: U.S. to file complaint over B.C. liquor reforms
Province responds that the 60 B.C.-only liquor licence are actually 'grandfathered' into NAFTA rules. A trade dispute between British Columbia and the United States could be fermenting over the provincial government's recent liquor reforms, but the provincial government says it's not violating any international rules. At issue, says the California Wine Institute, is the introduction of legislation in 2015 allowing grocery stores to sell wine from British Columbia — and British Columbia only.

16/11/2016: Bay wine wins Syrah category at Air NZ Wine Awards
An Otago pinot noir with "truffle-like" overtones may have stolen the show yet the Bay can still lay claim to the country's best syrah. Mission Estate Winery scooped the coveted Champion Syrah category at Saturday night's Air New Zealand Wine Awards, with its Mission Reserve Syrah Hawke's Bay 2015. It was pipped at the post by Lowburn Ferry's Home Block Pinot Noir Central Otago 2014, which claimed the Air New Zealand Champion Wine of the Show Trophy in front of a 1000-strong audience in a gala dinner at Auckland's Viaduct Events Centre.

16/11/2016: Peter Yealands recognised with Lifetime Achievement Award
Yealands Wine Group Founder and Principal, Peter Yealands, has been recognised with a Lifetime Achievement Award at The Drinks Business Green Awards 2016 for his continued innovation and commitment to sustainable practices. His company, Yealands Wine Group (Yealands), on the same night received a Renewable Energy Implementation runner-up award for the installation of the largest solar array in New Zealand on their winery roof. The Drinks Business Lifetime Achievement Award looks for an individual who has "excelled throughout their career in furthering environmental, sustainable or ethical practices in the drinks industry to the benefit and education of others."

16/11/2016: Jackson family wines renews IMW sponsorship
Californian wine producer Jackson Family Wines has renewed its sponsorship of the Institute of Masters of Wine (IMW), the institute has confirmed. Jackson Family Wines became a ‘Supporter of the Institute’ in 2013 and joins a host of key industry players, including Constellation, Riedel and Santa Rita Estates, who act as major supporters. The family-owned Jackson Family Wines crafts award-winning wines with a focus on sustainable viticulture, and responsible vineyard and natural resource management. The family’s portfolio comprises more than 40 wineries.

16/11/2016: South African female winemaker wins top us wine award
American publication 'Wine Enthusiast' has named a South African as its Winemaker of the Year for the first time ever. The awards honour individuals who have contributed to the success of the industry and those who show ‘groundbreaking vision’. The winner, Andrea Mullineux who is originally from California, has been running Mullineux and Leeu family wines with her husband since 2007. Together they have raked in many accolades including Platter's Winery of the Year in both 2014 and 2016.

16/11/2016: The drinks business green awards 2016
The winners of 2016’s Drinks Business Green Awards, which were announced last night at The Ivy in London. Countries that performed particularly well included Chile, with its VSPT Wine Group picking up the coveted title of Green Company of the Year along with The Renewable Energy Implementation Award, and California – Alexander Valley’s Jordan Vineyard & Winery was given and the The Amorim Sustainability Award for Wine, while the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA) was handed out a further Amorim Sustainability Award, this time for a Generic Organisation.

16/11/2016: Do Canadian wineries focus too much on ice wine?
They say you should try not to die with a bottle of champagne in your fridge. For most Canadians, though, that leftover bottle is far more likely to be filled with ice wine. “Everybody has a bottle of ice wine in a corner of the pantry somewhere, reserved for some unknown special occasion, and nobody ever drinks it,” says Anne Martin, head sommelier at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. “I think that, in Canada’s current wine culture, ice wine is really only given as a gift.”

Research Findings

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AWRI

ICMD

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Bayer Teldor

WID 2016