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.

Announcements and Suppliers

19/04/2016: Submissions for the 2016 Melbourne International Wine Competition are Open!
The Melbourne International Wine Competition is the first major international wine competition with TRADE ONLY judges comprised of: buyers from the top retail stores, sommeliers, restaurant owners, hotel beverage directors, distributors and importers. Unlike other wine competitions, these judges have purchasing power and the ability to make a direct impact on brand sales.

Australian Wine Industry News

4/05/2016: Budget 2016: Wine Equalisation Tax to stop flood of cheap wine
The wine industry will benefit from changes to the Wine Equalisation Tax and funding for the promotion of Australian wine here and overseas, with spirit producers also gaining from an extension of the excise refund scheme. The changes to the WET, details of which were leaked to The Australian last week, are expected to reform a system which has incentivised large producers, including the big supermarket chains, to flood the market with poor-quality wine

4/05/2016: Wine tax 'gaming' ended by changes
The federal government has moved to end 'gaming' of wine industry assistance with cuts to rebates and tightening of eligibility for the Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) rebate. The rebate will be cut from its current $500,000 to $350,000 by July 1, 2017 and further to $290,000 a year later. Wine producers want-ing to claim the rebate will also have to own a winery or have a long-term lease on one, and sell packaged, branded wine domestically under new eligibility criteria.

4/05/2016: Federal budget reveals suite of changes for winemakers
Wine glasses will be clinking at some cellar doors around the country with much lobbied for tax re-forms on the way. The 2016 budget delivers wine tax reforms to clamp down on rorts that have plagued the industry for years. The Federal Government says its wine equalisation tax (WET) reforms will save $300 million over four years, and it will give $50 million of that to the Australian Grape and Wine Authority to promote Australian wine overseas.

4/05/2016: Boost for international wine marketing the trade highlight for budget 2016
A new consulate will be opened in China to help Australian food, tech and education businesses make the most of the recently ratified China free trade agreement. In a statement, Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop announced $39.4 million to open two new consulates, in China and in Papua New Guinea. The new China consulate-general "will assist Australian businesses to expand commercial opportuni-ties in the food, agriculture, clean technology and education sectors," the minister said.

4/05/2016: Federal Budget 2016: Aussie wine the only winner in tourism industry Budget snub
A WINDFALL for wine tourism has been coupled with a money-making plan designed to curb excessive grape production and lift the standard of Aussie drops. In one of the few “wins” for tourism, the Aus-tralian Grape and Wine Authority will score $50 million over four years to promote the country’s wine overseas. Funding will be available from July 1, “to make the most of new opportunities made availa-ble through free trade agreements and build current wine exports”.

4/05/2016: DWN BUDGET REPORT: WET rebate reform
THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT believes changes to Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) will help the wine industry transition to a stronger, long-term position. Changes to eligibility and reductions in the rebate cap, announced with the 2016 Budget, will reduce the amount of money being returned directly to wine producers and some of these savings will be directed straight to Wine Australia, Nathan Gogoll reports.

3/05/2016: National survey reveals damning state of gender equality in the Australian wine industry
A national survey has revealed for the first time the state of workplace gender inequality in the Australian wine industry from the perspective of women working in the industry. The survey, the first of its kind ever undertaken, asked the all-female respondents to report on their experience in four key areas: pay, maternity and child care, sexist behaviour in the workplace and career advancement.

3/05/2016: Durif showcase in Griffith
For the first time, NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) will showcase the red wine variety, Durif, in Griffith on Wednesday May 11, with a view to firmly establishing the wine grape in the Riverina. Darren Fahey, DPI viticultural development officer, said Durif was well-suited to the Riverina and the variety has been making a splash with Australian wine lovers.

3/05/2016: Strong potential for Tasmanian sparkling wine in UK
The future for Tasmanian wine in the UK looks bright, trade representatives have said following a Tas-manian wine tasting in London. Wine Tasmania, supported by Wine Australia, hosted a trade and press master class for more than 50 guests at Australia House on Thursday. Presented by Michael Hill-Smith MW, co-owner of Tasmania’s Tolpuddle Vineyard, the two-hour master class featured 12 premium wines from the cool-climate island state that is making headlines around the world.

3/05/2016: Gumeracha winery plans relocation, restructure
A boutique Adelaide Hills winery will “rationalise” its operations through a shutdown of current operations, including its cellar door, and co-locate with another winemaker. Chain of Ponds Wines will exit its Gumeracha facility after 31 years to move to Project Wine’s Langhorne Creek facility, resulting in the loss of two full-time and four casual jobs.

3/05/2016: A new HIP SIP for St Leonards Vineyard
ST LEONARDS VINEYARD, the historic winery in the Rutherglen Wine Region, Victoria has launched a new range of compelling fortified wines. The first wine to launch is the Tawny, which is predominantly made from Shiraz grapes. The wine has a mix of ripe berry and rancio characters on the nose from 2 - 5 years barrel maturation. On the palate there is rich fruit giving a generous mouth feel with hints of vanilla and chocolate. The wine has an attractive dry finish and is perfect with coffee and cheese or mixed into cocktails.

2/05/2016: McLaren Vale winemaker Steve Pannell: the red baron
MAX ALLEN: I first met Steve Pannell 21 years ago — almost to the day — at the Tintara winery in McLaren Vale, south of Adelaide. It was the 29-year-old’s first vintage as red winemaker for Hardys, one of the country’s oldest and largest wine companies. The 1995 harvest was just drawing to a close; on the tasting bench in the winery were glasses of deep purple, raw young Shiraz. Pannell was like a kid in a lolly shop that day...

2/05/2016: Aircraft pictures helping productivity of Coonawarra vineyards
Cameras attached to fixed-wing aircraft are providing data to viticulturists which is helping to identify canopy temperature – in order to improve water use and wine quality. The pilot project – which has been part funded by the State Government – is helping researchers learn how to reduce vine water stress and improve nutrient status so better irrigation decisions can be made. The Innovative Coonawarra Grape and Wine Incorporated Project is being undertaken at 21 vineyards.

2/05/2016: Frank Margan: A rebel from the days when wine meant sherry
Journalist, author, winemaker and restaurateur Frank Margan was a pioneering hero of modern Australian food and wine: a tireless rebel from an age when wine meant sherry and anything else was plonk or strangely foreign. Margan was born in Sydney's south-west on November 26, 1931. His mother, Madelaine, urged him to try something safe and join the water board as a clerk. Margan lasted until lunch, when he took off, never to return.

2/05/2016: Lovedale Long Lunch returns
The Lovedale Long Lunch will be back in full swing this year, showcasing a range of Hunter Valley food and wine on the 14th and 15th of May. Seven of Lovedale’s wineries will be teaming up with highly-renowned local restaurants and live entertainment for a progressive-style lunch over an entire weekend. Tatler will be offering some classic Hunter Valley Chardonnay and Shiraz together with a mix of cuisines and live entertainment.

2/05/2016: McLaren Vale’s ‘Scarce Earth’ program releases new vintage
The McLaren Vale Scarce Earth program was first launched in 2011 and is now in its sixth release, with 15 McLaren Vale producers today releasing their 2014 Scarce Earth vintage wines. Given that ‘site’ – geology and climate – plays such a well-known and vital role in wine style, a group of local McLaren Vale winemakers and viticulturists launched the McLaren Vale Scarce Earth project five years ago with the purpose of exploring and celebrating this diversity through one of the region’s key varieties – Shiraz.

29/04/2016: Jukes to launch new Top 100
Matthew Jukes is launching his new 100 Best Australian Wines list next Tuesday 3rd May at Australia House, London. This much anticipated event is a must-attend for all those visiting from across the globe and Matthew is expecting over 300 people. “As always, this publication is the result of exhaustive tastings held in the UK and Australia over the last twelve months,” Jukes said. “It represents the finest one hundred Australian wines available on the shelves in the UK for the coming year.

29/04/2016: ‘Virtual winemakers’ to lose rorts as rebate tightened in budget
A $1 billion subsidy for the wine industry will be slashed in Tuesday’s budget, in a move aimed at end-ing rorting by “virtual winemakers” and boosting returns for farmers. The changes are expected to benefit genuine winemakers, including small producers, but will curb the prevalence of wine that is often cheaper to buy than bottled water, known as “two-buck chuck” and sold aggressively by major liquor retailers.

29/04/2016: Woolworths plans changes to Dan Murphy's and its shares are rallying
Woolworths shares jumped after the struggling supermarket group restructured its growing Wool-worths Liquor Group under a new name. A short time ago, Woolworths shares were up 3.8% to $22.07. The retailer is putting its drinks business, including Dan Murphy’s and BWS, under the name Endeavour Drinks Group.

29/04/2016: Nick Blair and Mike Every Set-Up Independent Wine Business
Vision Wine Partners is the new, specialist wine sales and consultancy business, being run by familiar faces, Nick Blair and Michael Every. Most will remember Blair from when he worked at Pernod Ricard and Every from Peter Lehmann Wines. Both have a long history in wine sales and marketing, and have now decided to combine their experience to set up a new, joint-venture that will help Australian wine brands get out from the winery and into market.

29/04/2016: Gold Coast wine lists have advanced in leaps and bounds
GONE are the days of BYO casks and cans of beer, instead wine lists across the Coast have improved with age. One of the world’s leading wine presenters and writers Tyson Stelzer, a former head of science at Ashmore’s Trinity Lutheran College, is toasting the Coast’s maturing tastes. Tyson says our restaurants are showcasing award-winning wine lists in line with our increasingly sophisticated palettes.

29/04/2016: Wine Sector Survey to reveal vintage 2016
Wine Australia has commenced the Wine Sector Survey 2016 that will gather key pricing and crush data to form an accurate picture of this year’s vintage across Australia. The Wine Sector Survey was delivered to wine businesses nationally and – like the Wine Sector Survey 2015 – combines four previously separate surveys to streamline data collection, which will help save time and reduce paperwork for grape and wine businesses.

28/04/2016: Woolworths Liquor Group rebrands as Endeavour Drinks Group
Woolworths Liquor Group has announced that it will be changing its name to Endeavour Drinks Group. The company informed supplier partners today. Endeavour Drinks Group will incorporate Woolworths’ banners: Dan Murphy’s, BWS, Cellarmasters and Langtons. Rose Scott, General Manager Merchandising and Marketing said the company wanted a new name that would differentiate its liquor business from its supermarkets food business.

28/04/2016: INSIDE: Australian Vintage Limited
Australian Vintage Limited is one of Australia’s largest wine producers and the architect of some of the country’s most recognisable brands, including McGuigan, Tempus Two and Nepenthe. But despite brand notoriety and years of award-winning winemaking under the belt, some confusion remains around just who Australian Vintage Ltd is. So, Ashley Pini, Publishing Editor or drinks bulletin, sat down with General Manager for Australasia and North America, Cameron Ferguson, to set the record straight.

28/04/2016: Yalumba ramps up China distribution
Yalumba has announced it will further develop its brands in China through a new distribution partner-ship with ASC Fine Wines (ASC). The partnership will see ASC, which is owned by Suntory Wine International (SWI), become the exclusive distributor in mainland China of wines from The Yalumba Wine Company and Hill-Smith Family Vineyards including its sister vineyard Nautilus Estate of Marlborough, New Zealand.

28/04/2016: Joiy wine's bid to be a global ready-to-drink brand, or 'Wine-eken'
A Hunter Valley winemaker has raised $1.8 million to take his marketing-led wine brand global and beat his industry's "self-limiting" ways. Chris Archer spent 20 years making wines for others in the Hunter Valley and New Zealand, before his frustration led him to launch a beverage startup with his wife, Cath, in 2009. "I want wine to go up against Heineken or Red Bull, these strong global brands that plug into the existing infrastructure in whatever territory they're taking on next," he says.

28/04/2016: Sidewood's land buy for Shiraz
South Australian winery Sidewood Estate has today announced its acquisition of a 25ha vineyard on Ironstone Road at Echunga in the Adelaide Hills. The cool climate location of the new Echunga property fits with Sidewood’s current vineyards at Oakbank, Verdun and Nairne. Owen Inglis, Sidewood Estate owner, said the new vineyard will be dedicated to producing more Shiraz varieties, after a surge in popularity was making it difficult for the winery to keep up with demand.

27/04/2016: Rick Burge releases ‘hipster’ wine
Poking fun at hipster culture, Australian wine producer Burge Family Winemakers has launched a red blend called “The Hipster” in a bid to stay on-trend. As reported by Winsor Dobbin in his blog Gourmet on the Road, the wine is the brainchild of Barossa Valley-based winemaker Rick Burge. Shunning the usual hipster cues of a cloudy appearance, minimalist label and a crazy mash-up of grapes, “The Hipster 2013” is a blend of 42% Garnacha, 31% Monastrell and 27% Tempranillo.

27/04/2016: Vasse Felix replaces Heytesbury with new icon
Margaret River estate, Vasse Felix, has announced it is to replace its top red wine ‘Heytesbury’ with a new ‘icon’ using vines planted by its founder. The ‘Tom Cullity’ – named after the winery’s founder Dr Tom Cullity – is a Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec blend, with the fruit coming from the estate’s “home” vineyard which includes the first vines planted by Cullity in 1967.

27/04/2016: April 2016 Grapegrower & Winemaker magazine out now
The April 2016 issue of the Grapegrower & Winemaker magazine is out now – and is available online for all subscribers. This month we take a look at the upcoming Irrigation Australia Conference, with a massive feature dedicated to the event including a breakdown of key note speakers and workshops. We also assess the impacts of copper on fermentation and bring you the latest research on the right time to use copper in winemaking.

27/04/2016: Getting better with time
Meerea Park winemaker Rhys Eather is a man who likes to make you wait. It’s not discourteous, he just wants to give his flagship Alexander Munro wines bottle age, besides not producing them in years when they don’t pass tough quality tests. That philosophy shows in four wines which have just arrived on my tasting bench. We have two first-release Munro wines from the 2011 vintage, which Rhys rates almost as highly as 2014.

27/04/2016: Bosch backs Tasmanian agricultural technology business The Yield
ONE of Europe’s largest conglomerates is venturing into agricultural technology for the first time by investing $2.5 million in an innovative Tasmanian start-up business. In a world first, the Bosch Group — one of the world’s leading technology suppliers — will invest in Tasmanian business The Yield in a partnership that includes a global licensing deal. Several Tasmanian farmers are already reaping the benefits through their participation in the development of The Yield.

27/04/2016: Masters of Wine to promote safe drinking
The Institute of Masters of Wine has announced it is joining the Wine in Moderation Programme as a partner, with a focus on social responsibility and education. Wine in Moderation, which campaigns for safe drinking, and wine education body the Institute of Masters of Wine will work together to “encourage responsibility in the serving, selling, communication and consumption of wine”, a joint statement announcing the partnership said.

26/04/2016: Coles defends its private label wines
Lucy Clements is a kind of poacher turned gamekeeper of the wine industry. From the Barossa and steeped in the traditions of classical winemaking, Ms Clements made good use of her Bachelor of Oenology from the University of Adelaide to land plum roles at some of the nation’s top vineyards such as Grant Burge, Domaine Chandon, St Hallett and a stint overseas with France’s iconic Taittinger champagne.

26/04/2016: Australia's winemakers look to an uncertain future
The gap between perception and reality must be bridged, James Lawrence says, if Australian wine is to flourish. Over the past eight years, Australia's numerous problems have been well documented by journalists worldwide, much to the chagrin of the nation's proud winemakers. The global financial crisis, grape oversupply and the unprecedented surge of the Australian dollar combined to form the perfect storm.

26/04/2016: Vinnovate uncorks fresh Vino Cap success
BAROSSA Valley brothers Joshua and Simon Schmidt’s screw cap closure which allows wine drinkers to dictate their own tastes when enjoying a tipple has been judged as the top start-up idea across the Australian and NZ wine industry. The Vinnovate co-founders last week won the Brancott Estate Win-explorer innovation challenge, taking home the $35,000 cash prize.

26/04/2016: South Coast wineries are trying to keep up with demand
Wineries in the Gerringong and Shoalhaven Heads area are already attracting plenty of interest from Sydneysiders wanting to attend the Shoalhaven Coast Winter Wine Festival on the June long weekend. Wine producers are well advanced in plans to open their cellar doors from June 11 in a three-day extravaganza of wine tasting, local produce and entertainment.

26/04/2016: Mitchell Harris wine: a partnership written in the stars
The Mitchell Harris partnership was written in the stars, but the crucible was Ballarat, where four people of roughly similar age grew up to follow pursuits other than wine. Craig Mitchell became an anaesthetist, and his wife Alicia a physiotherapist, just like Craig’s sister Shannyn, who was to marry John Harris. John began to study immunology and pathology, but decided to abandon that career and enrol in the oenology degree course at Charles Sturt University

26/04/2016: Masters of Wine to promote safe drinking
The Institute of Masters of Wine has announced it is joining the Wine in Moderation Programme as a partner, with a focus on social responsibility and education. Wine in Moderation, which campaigns for safe drinking, and wine education body the Institute of Masters of Wine will work together to “encourage responsibility in the serving, selling, communication and consumption of wine”, a joint statement announcing the partnership said.

22/04/2016: Caution urged over winegrape industry recovery
Signs of better times ahead for the Australian wine industry should be celebrated but not taken as an indicator of recovery. Mike Stone, Murray Valley Winegrowers (MVW) executive officer, said increasing wine exports and a report from Australia’s largest bulk wine broker, Austwine, which suggested a potential shortage of some varieties point to the start of a turnaround in industry fortunes.

22/04/2016: SA: A new regional hub for wine, grains and fisheries
Adelaide is now a hub of agricultural research, with the grains and fish research and development corporations increasing their presence in South Australia by opening a joint office at the Adelaide Wine Centre. Senator Anne Ruston, Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, will today officially open the ‘collaborative cluster’ at the Adelaide Wine Centre at 3:30 PM. “It is fantastic to see these research organisations co-locating where they can better share resources, skills and information,” Ruston said.

22/04/2016: Riverina growers ripping out vines in favour of other crops: report
RIVERINA grapegrowers are ripping up vines in search of new crops as the industry continues to suffer a crippling grape glut. Last month, growers in the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area received a letter from the Wine Grapes Marketing Board (WGMB) warning them of “limited opportunities” in domestic mar-kets. The board wrote: “it is the opinion of the board and a number of wineries that grape growers are not likely to receive any increase in their returns in the foreseeable future.”

22/04/2016: Chinese firm buys $29m Balgownie Estate winery
Listed Chinese investor Interactive China Cultural Technology Investments has plunged further into Australia’s tourism sector, splashing out almost $29 million on the Balgownie Estate luxury resort, spa and winery across Yarra Valley and Bendigo. The transaction represents the group’s third investment in the sector after spending more than $17m in late 2015 acquiring two granges, Lancefield Estate and Hepburn Springs, near Daylesford, with winery accommodation, conference centres and land for development.

22/04/2016: Hipster vs classics
There’s been a lot of noise in the wine world about the merits of new wave, hipster winemaking versus the long-standing classics. In an exclusive tasting, our expert panel puts top examples from each camp to the test… and the results might surprise you. Some call them hipster or new wave Aussie wines, recog-nisable by their murky colours that range from cloudy whites and orange to wishy-washy crimson and turbid red.

21/04/2016: Cheap wine damaging our brand overseas, says Treasury chief
Treasury Wine Estates chief executive Michael Clarke, whose global portfolio includes Penfolds, Wolf Blass and Lindemans, has warned Australia must move away from the poor reputation “Brand Australia” has overseas for cheap wine, to an industry that stands for more premium wine that generates sustainable profits. Addressing The Australian’s Global Food Forum in Melbourne, Mr Clarke also called on the federal government to snuff out the wine equalisation tax (WET) rebate system in its current form, which he said was “being rorted’’ and only served to further cheapen “Brand Australia”.

21/04/2016: Why Sydney's rich listers love the Hunter Valley
Hunter Valley is Australia’s oldest wine-making region. Viticulture in the Hunter, just two hours drive north of Sydney, dates back to 1820s when James Busby, considered both father of the Australian and New Zealand wine industries, was among the first to plant vines there, alongside George Wyndham. Today, the region boasts a $520.6 million tourism and wine industry with over 150 vineyards producing some of the nation’s best wines including Semillon and Shiraz.

21/04/2016: McLaren Vale's vintage finishes on a high
The 2016 vintage has been heralded by grapegrowers and winemakers as ‘one of the greatest vintages in McLaren Vale’s history’. There was an exciting anticipation in the lead up to the flurry of activity through the months of February, March and April and Richard Angove, Angove Wines chief winemaker and managing director, has confirmed the predicted quality. “2016 may well go down as one of the great vintages in recent memory,” Angove said.

21/04/2016: English sheep breed makes for good wine in NSW
Tradition has it that a cheeky red should accompany a lamb dish. However a glass of red may not be obligatory if dining on lamb found grazing at a winery on the Southern Highlands in New South Wales. Their diet at one vineyard could mean the taste of wine permeates their meat. Winemakers Jeffrey Aston and his two colleagues Ian MacDonald and Mark Bourne run the sheep through what is known as their tractorless vineyard.

21/04/2016: Mayor urges support for Grampians Grape Escape
Northern Grampians Shire Mayor Cr Murray Emerson is urging the community to support the Grampians Grape Escape later this month. Cr Emerson said the Grape Escape had grown into one of the Northern Grampians Shire’s biggest events. The Grampians Grape Escape is on April 30 and May 1 at the Halls Gap Recreation Reserve.

20/04/2016: Marcello Casella fronts court over alleged role in $5 million marijuana haul
A FORMER director of the region’s largest winery, Casella Wines, has fronted court over a massive marijuana haul. A $5 million cannabis plantation was discovered in Crowther two years ago. Marcello Casella, son of the Casella Wines founder, and Andre Turner appeared before magistrate Peter Dare SC in Young Local Court this month. A third man, Francesco Polimeni, also allegedly involved in the drug bust, also appeared.

20/04/2016: Owners of Southern Highlands vineyard go back to the drawing broad with new $12 million price
Sweetwater estate – billed the “most significant vineyard in Australia” – was withdrawn from its Tuesday auction despite its original $30 million asking price being halved to $15 million. Alan Jurd, of Jurd’s, said it was withdrawn on Tuesday morning and is now being offered with a $12 million asking price. The property has garnered strong interest from Asian buyers, some of whom had requested an 18-month settlement given problems moving their money out of China, according to Jurd.

20/04/2016: Hunter Valley wineries some of the best in Australia
TURNING off the main highway I am struck by the immediate sense of calm that envelops me as I leave the city behind and enter New South Wales’ Hunter Valley wine region. Where busy city streets are replaced by perfect rows of vineyards and winding roads. But the Hunter Valley I remember has changed.

20/04/2016: Grampians winery Mount Stapylton to release 2014 Ivan Shiraz
MOUNT Stapylton Wines in the Grampians will release its 2014 Ivan Shiraz at the Grampians Grape Escape wine dinner later this month. Mount Stapylton plans to release the Shiraz at a dinner at the Comfort Inn Country Plaza at Halls Gap on Saturday, April 30. The Mount Stapylton Shiraz wines consistently rank in the top 40 Shiraz wines in the largest international competitions in the world.

20/04/2016: 2016 Tasmanian Wine List Award launched
Wine Tasmania and the Tasmanian Hospitality Association (THA) have again partnered to recognise and reward Tasmanian venues that support the local wine sector. Now in its third year, the Tasmanian Wine List of the Year Award was launched recently as part of the THA’s 2016 Awards for Excellence.

19/04/2016: Premium wine export hit fresh highs, but many winemakers continue to struggle
A growing appreciation for premium Australian wine has driven the value of wine exports up 13 per cent in the year to March, to $2.1 billion. Wine volumes also increased, with the United States holding its position as Australia's largest export market. China is now the second largest market, overtaking the United Kingdom.

19/04/2016: Wines of WA calls for WET reforms to respect core principles previously agreed
Wines of Western Australia has called on the Federal Government to respect and adhere to the core principles it agreed with winemakers with respect to WET reform. The Federal Government has said that for its 2016 Budget it will be introducing WET rebate reforms which is calls, “well designed and sustainable”. Last year Wines of WA engaged in an extensive consultative process with the Winemakers Federation of Australia, and made a pre-Budget submission to the Government.

19/04/2016: Possible effects of changes to alcohol taxes: IBISWorld
Industry analysts at IBISWorld have compiled an analysis of the beer, wine and spirits industries and assessed how the sector could be affected by switching to a flat volumetric tax. Performance of the wine, beer and spirit categories was mixed over the analysis period. Wine production in Australia has struggled over the past five years with a persistent oversupply in both the Australian and overseas markets.

19/04/2016: Hunter Valley's Hermitage Road wine trail in Pokolbin boosted by Andrew Thomas
Hermitage is a famous appellation in France, and the Hunter Valley road of the same name no doubt honours its northern Rhone namesake, famous for "limited quantities of seriously long-lived reds". The boutique wineries that take in the Hermitage Road at the north-eastern corner of Pokolbin also have a reputation for limited quantities of seriously good red wine (and Semillon), if its cluster of much-awarded medallists is anything to go by.

19/04/2016: Evans and Tate strives to be the 'best' in WA
Evans & Tate is Margaret River’s biggest winery, but brand manager George Stupart says its marketing strategy is to ensure it is viewed as not just the biggest but also the best. “We are strongly focused on our customers’ needs and approach everything we do with the mantra ‘how can we add value to our customer’s business?’ We continue to place strong focus on the basics – range, pricing, logistics – and our sales teams work closely with all our customers at various levels to uncover specific opportunities for growth,” Stupart said.

18/04/2016: Chinese market now bigger than US for Australian wine
Wine Australia has revealed that the Chinese wine market has now taken over the US wine market in total turnover after a 66 per cent rise over the last year. Wine Australia general manager of marketing, Stuart Barclay, told TheShout that the 66 per cent growth in the Chinese market represented both volume and value sales. “The Chinese market is still very strong, and when you combine this with the Hong Kong market it is worth over $500 million.”

18/04/2016: Why Chinese tourists are increasingly keen on Margaret River
Prospective Chinese tourists to Australia are more likely to search for information about Airlie Beach, Hobart and Adelaide than Perth, but they are increasingly interested in Margaret River as a destination, due its reputation for good wine and food. Data from TripAdvisor's China arm revealed searches for Margaret River have risen by 525 per cent over the last year and now make up one quarter of all searches for Perth.

18/04/2016: Bamboozlement of international booze guidelines
International guidelines for alcohol consumption are so confusing it's enough to turn you to drink. Scientists who studied low-risk drinking advice around the world concluded that there is a "substantial" risk of misunderstanding. Guidelines were found to vary greatly, with measurements of the amount of alcohol in a "standard drink" ranging from 8g in Iceland and the UK, to 20g in Australia.

18/04/2016: Jauma Wines’ McLaren Vale grenache is too good to ignore
In warm climate regions such as South Australia’s McLaren Vale, Grenache is a better grape than Shiraz, especially when it comes to making wines that taste of where they’re from. That’s got your attention, hasn’t it? Well, it has if you’re a wine geek and/or you reckon McLaren Vale Shiraz is the bloody duck’s guts, mate, and Grenache is for girls. I know it’s a generalisation, but the more I taste of the new wave of Grenaches coming out of the region.

18/04/2016: How a single vineyard became SA’s Little Italy of the wine world
Over the years this column has focused regularly on the so-called “alternative” or “emerging” wine grape varieties that have created a growing following among winemakers and plenty of tasty adventures for curious consumers. Many of the wines reviewed began their lives in the Adelaide Hills district of Kersbrook at a 120-hectare vineyard grown by Caj Amadio, who began planting there in the late 1990s.

15/04/2016: New Winetitles Media general manager
Winetitles Media, publisher of leading Australasian wine industry publications and digital services, has appointed Peter Muscet as general manager. Muscet steps into the role as Elizabeth Bouzoudis moves to the Winetitles Advisory Board, where she will continue her involvement with the company which already spans more than 10 years. Muscet joins Winetitles Media with a broad range of publishing, media and marketing experience, which has included senior roles with Rural Press (now Fairfax) in regional newspapers and digital media.

15/04/2016: Penfolds full steam ahead in China as others fret over e-commerce wobble
The managing director of Treasury Wine Estates business in Asia says the surging sales in China, which have been behind a big profit spike, won't be crimped by the latest e-commerce regulatory crackdown in China. Treasury's top brands, Penfold and Wolf Blass, have experienced strong growth as the Asia division more than doubled its profits to $46.5 million in the first half of 2015-16, and the broader industry has also been part of a surge which has made Greater China the largest export destination for Australian wine, overtaking both the United Kingdom and the United States.

15/04/2016: Pinnacle drinks is misunderstood, says GM
The industry tends to get the wrong idea about Woolworths’ exclusive brands business, Pinnacle Drinks, because the division hasn’t widely communicated its reason for being, according to its General Manager Chris Baddock. He told drinks trade magazine that Pinnacle is effectively a supplier embedded in the Woolworths Liquor business and that there are two reasons for its existence.

15/04/2016: Clover Hill Wines named Tasmanian vineyard of the year
IT is one of Australia’s principal producers of sparkling wine, and now Clover Hill Wines at Tea Tree has been named Tasmanian vineyard of the year. The vineyard, which was established in 1986 on the site of an old dairy farm in North-East Tasmania by the Goelet family, aims to produce sparkling wine using traditional French methods.

15/04/2016: Angove Family Winemakers turns 130 years old
South Australian, family-owned wine and spirits business, Angove Family Winemakers, is celebrating its 130th anniversary. Angove Family Winemakers was founded in 1886 by Dr. William Angove, who began making wine on the property as a tonic for his patients. Today, the business produces the famous St Agnes brandies and is well known for its single vineyard and organic wines.

15/04/2016: Tomich Wines opens near replica cellar door in China
There is nothing quite like a cellar door experience to woo new customers. That can be a tricky concept for Australian wineries trying to forge new markets in China. But not for Adelaide Hills-based Tomich Wines. Owner Randal Tomich has opened a near replica of his Adelaide cellar door in Shanghai and plans to roll out similar tasting facilities in major cities across China.

International Wine Industry News

4/05/2016: Marlborough District Council moves to monitor vineyard spray drift
Efforts to track vineyard spray drift are still in the pipeline nine years after a report highlighted gaps in the data collected by the Marlborough District Council. A 2007 report was commissioned by the council in the wake of concerns about the impact of vineyard spraying on air quality in Marlborough. The Envi-ronet report made a series of recommendations aimed at boosting base line data on the impact of vineyard sprays in the region.

4/05/2016: Wine industry forecasts growth in plantings
Gregan said the forecasts in the just released Vineyard Register Report 2015-18 were a minimum, and he expected the actual plantings to be above predictions. "We know there have been some land pur-chases [for vineyards] that are not included in this data, so the numbers will lift further," Gregan said. "The industry is expanding, reflecting the demand for our products in international markets."

4/05/2016: Swirling wine export currents: China, Australia, Portugal, Angola, USA, Brazil
International wine trade patterns are changing rapidly and in surprising ways for Portugal and other wine-producing nations. I have many friends who still are not convinced that China is now or ever will be an important factor in global wine trade beyond high end Burgundy and Bordeaux, for example. They just can’t imagine China as a wine power.

4/05/2016: Britain central to global wine trade, say figures
Britain’s wine trade has more than doubled in the last decade, making it one of the most important countries in the world for wine, new figures released on the opening day of the London Wine Fair re-veal. The UK is now the world’s second largest importer of wine by volume behind Germany, and the second largest by value, behind only the US. It means Britain imports more wine per head than any other of the world’s top markets.

4/05/2016: As Chilean Wines Struggle To Rebrand, Consumers Find Excellent Value
The indefatigable Aurelio Montes looks a bit worn out and admits to me, “It is exhausting, I am getting tired. We [Chile] are on the shady side of the street and we need to get some sun!” Montes is talking about the increasing competition from countries like Argentina, Australia and New Zealand and falling price points.

4/05/2016: California winery uses solar power and energy storage
The Stone Edge Farm and winery in Sonoma, California has a 32 kW solar array, 14 of Aquion’s 25 kWh M-Line battery modules, and an Ideal Power 30 kW multi-port power conversion system. The solar PV array provides electricity to the primary residence, workshops, and offices. The renewable electricity system is generating so much power that some can be sold back to the local utility.

3/05/2016: NZTE makes a play for the Asian dollar via virtual reality wine tours
New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) has teamed up with Samsung to use virtual reality as the latest tool to attract Asian buyers to New Zealand food and wine. Visitors to Singapore's Food Hotel Asia 2016, an international exhibition of food and drinks attracting tens-of-thousands of buyers from Asia and the rest of the world, were treated to a virtual trip to New Zealand and taken on a wine tour to showcase the country's landscapes, the origin of New Zealand wine.

3/05/2016: 4000 Brits back NZ winemakers first vintage
A New Zealand winemaker has fulfilled a lifetime ambition of creating his own wine label following a crowdfunding campaign involving 4,000 UK wine drinkers. Dominic Maxwell, who has previously made wines for Greystone and Muddy Water in New Zealand, as well as winning New Zealand’s Winemaker of the Year award in 2011, appealed to Majestic-owned online retailer Naked Wines to support him in his ambition to create his first solo vintage through crowd-funding.

3/05/2016: South African wine's U-Turn on terroir
Although it was once home to generic blends, James Lawrence finds plenty of variety in the country's rejuvenated wine landscape. The pace with which South Africa has transformed its wine industry is one of the most dramatic changes to have occurred in recent times. The widespread air of prosperity and freedom – not to mention more than 500 private wineries – would certainly surprise any South African returning home after 50 years on Mars.

3/05/2016: Proposed tax bill to benefit US wine industry
Bill aims to modernize federal wine taxes, some of which are dated from the Prohibition era. California U.S. Representative Mike Thompson has teamed up with fellow representative Dave Reichert from Washington to propose a series of federal tax breaks for the U.S. wine industry. Thomp-son and Reichert are proposing an overhaul of laws that “brought in $1.07 billion in federal excise taxes from the U.S. wine industry during the last fiscal year,” reports The Press Democrat.

3/05/2016: Taxes on wines in Europe may impact market
Last week's column on the evolution of India's wine industry over the past three decades noted that a complicated range of taxes made wine very expensive. Indeed, taxes impact heavily on the pocket book of any visitor to that country: We typically noted six different taxes on top of the bill at restau-rants, adding about 40 percent to the advertised cost on the menu. This leads us to consider the issue of taxes on wine among European wine-making nations compared with the high cost of wine in the United Kingdom.

3/05/2016: Why is eBay opening an online wine shop?
eBay recently announced that it is launching a new destination on its platform called eBay Wine where users can browse for a wide selection of wines including collectibles, rare and everyday wines for all occasions and purchase them online. The company is partnering with Drync, a mobile app platform for wine, to bring a wide selection of wines to its U.S. shoppers through Drync’s retail network.

2/05/2016: Wine industry heads deny Sauvignon Blanc demand decline
Demand for New Zealand's flagship wine is starting to dwindle in overseas markets as winemakers continue to rely on one variety from one region, a wine analyst says. However, wine industry heads claim that is not the case. Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is well-known for putting New Zealand wine on the world stage, but over the past few years there has been an "over-reliance" on the variety in some overseas markets, Rabobank wine analyst Marc Soccio says.

2/05/2016: Top Bordeaux wine critic Robert Parker to retire
American wine guru Robert Parker, whose ratings could make or break Bordeaux vintages for the past 38 years, is to turn his power over to a successor on Sunday, his magazine announced. It will be the end of an era for the 68-year-old oenologist, who has however been retiring in stages, in 2014 leaving his British successor Neal Martin to rate "en primeurs" (futures) while continuing to evaluate top Bor-deaux vintages.

2/05/2016: How China is becoming wine’s new frontier
China has come from nowhere to overtake traditional wine countries in terms of land area under vine. So just what is going on in the Far East? If you fancy some crystal ball-gazing into the world of wine, it’s worth keeping up with the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV). The intergovernmental organisation, which regulates the science of viticulture, oenology and the wine economy, also releases an annual report on what’s coming down the pipeline in world wine.

2/05/2016: Warning over scams involving tax and wine
Action Fraud has recently issued warnings over two new scams involving tax rebates and wine invest-ments. The first of these involves members of the public being texted by fraudsters purporting to be from HMRC and offering a tax rebate. The text message contains a link to a website and requests to provide personal information, including bank account information, in order to claim the rebate.

2/05/2016: Wine grape growers weigh in on Cabernet Sauvignon clones
Consumers want variety, and wine consumers are growing increasingly sophisticated. The trend is driving winemakers to seek new ways to differentiate their wines in a crowded marketplace. Some are aiming to stand out by returning to their roots. Clonal selection is key to viral resistance and yield. The clone also can impart different characteristics to the grapes and wine, whether it’s fruit size, acidity or tolerance to heat or cold.

2/05/2016: NZ wine industry's 'moral' issue
A lack of accommodation for overseas vineyard workers is creating a "moral and ethical issue" for Marlborough's wine industry, with some workers housed four to a room in bunk beds. This has been described as over the top by other accommodation providers, but the labour contractor responsible for providing the Recognised Seasonal Employer workers with accommodation says it comes down to a lack of options. Blenheim woman Hazel Monk befriended some Ni-Vanuatu workers staying at the Honi-B Backpackers, in Blenheim, and said she was disgusted when she found out they were paying $150 a week each to share a room for four.

29/04/2016: WINETOPIA final line up announced
The final line-up is complete for Winetopia, held May 20-21 at Shed 10 in Auckland, as event organisers promise to deliver the ‘greatest celebration of New Zealand wine”. Presented by Singapore Airlines, WINETOPIA will give visitors the opportunity to taste their way around every region in New Zealand in a single session.

29/04/2016: Serious frosts hit Burgundy
A cold snap has seen severe frosts hit the entire length of Burgundy’s vineyards as well as other French regions – although the full extent of the damage is so far unknown. Temperatures plunged to below zero recently leading growers in Burgundy and elsewhere in Europe to awake to an almost wintry landscape – if they hadn’t been up all night seeing to their candles and other anti-frost measures.

29/04/2016: Trade talk: Why attend the London Wine Fair
With the 36th London Wine Fair just days away, we ask key members of the trade what they expect to get out of this year’s fair, and why they choose to return each year. Featuring 700 exhibitors and 10,000 wines, along with a comprehensive range of debates, seminars and masterclasses, LWF 2016 is set to be the biggest and most diverse yet. Across the fair, more than 400 grape varieties will be repre-sented this year, a record according to organisers, including the more obscure Öküzgözü, Vidiano and Weißer Herold varieties.

29/04/2016: Continental Wines hosts May portfolio tasting
Over 230 wines representing more than 12 countries will be in the spotlight at Continental Wines’ up-coming annual portfolio tasting in Hong Kong. Taking place on Thursday, 19 May at Club Lusitano in Ice House Street from 2-6pm, Continental Wines fourth portfolio tasting will host over 20 representatives from its portfolio, including New Zealand winemakers, Ben Cowley from Auntsfield; Paddy Borthwick from Paddy Borthwick and David McKee from Black Barn.

29/04/2016: Q&A: François Audouze, Wine Collector
One of France's great wine lovers talks to W. Blake Gray about trust in a post-Rudy world. François Audouze is one of the best-know wine collectors and advocates of older wine in France. He likes to share, and he holds wine dinners, mostly in Paris but occasionally in other cities worldwide, where he serves great bottles from his collection.

29/04/2016: Albarino is NZs white to watch, says Bob Campbell
Albariño could be the next white grape to emerge as a success in New Zealand, according to New Zealand wine ambassador Bob Campbell MW. Speaking at a New Zealand wine masterclass in London organised by The New Zealand Cellar, Campbell said there were several white varieties competing to become the next breakout white grape in the country – Grüner Veltliner and Arneis among them – but that “his money” was on Albariño following the release of a number of standout varietal wines made from the grape.

28/04/2016: Oz travel website praises Bay gems
Wineries, unique architecture and a beautiful coast are features an Australian website is touting as Hawke's Bay's standouts. Australian website, Experience OZ & NZ, is calling for votes from around the world for New Zealand's top destination for 2016. Hawke's Bay was one of 30 nominated places, but needed to make it into the top 10 before it could expect to take top spot.

28/04/2016: Marlborough wine institute named Gov’t funding finalist
Marlborough is the largest wine growing region in the country and now it is on the verge of becoming the undisputed centre of wine research. Minister of Science and Innovation Steven Joyce announced on Wednesday that a proposal to establish a wine research institute in the region had made the shortlist for a new $25 million government initiative.

28/04/2016: Merchant Survey: 2015 Margaux wine of the vintage
Merchants taking part in Liv-ex’s annual en primeur survey have declared Château Margaux to be the ‘wine of the vintage’ in 2015, but the first growths in general have been called a “mixed bag”. Every year before the campaign gets underway, Liv-ex sends a survey to its 440 international members ask-ing them a series of questions about the latest Bordeaux vintage.

28/04/2016: Push to update wine excise tax rules
The U.S. Tax code can be an obstacle to progress, says Rep. Mike Thompson, so he’s introduced bi-partisan legislation to change that, his office announced this week. The St. Helena Democrat, senior member of the House Committee on Ways and Means and Co-Chair of the Congressional Wine Caucus and who represents most of Napa and Solano counties, introduced the Wine Excise Tax Modernization Act. It aims “to modernize federal excise taxes on wine to allow wine makers and grapegrowers to create new, innovative products.”

28/04/2016: eBay gets boozy with wine site
When people think of wine, they might imagine California's Napa Valley or Italy's farmland, but almost certainly not eBay's website. The giant marketplace wants to shift that vision. The company is now seeking to become an online destination for your next purchase of Pinot Noir or Chardonnay. On Wednesday, eBay unveiled a new US-based site called eBay Wine and a partnership with startup Drync to bring a broader selection of reds, whites and Rosés to eBay's new online store.

28/04/2016: Vector transmitting Red Blotch Virus found
Researchers at the University of California, Davis (UC-Davis) have found the vector that seems to be spreading grapevine red blotch, a major step toward controlling the disease. A virus known as grape-vine red blotch-associated virus (GRBaV) was discovered in vineyards planted with red wine grape cultivars in Napa County in 2008. It creates a disease on vines that presents as red blotches that start on leaf margins or blades and continue onto primary and secondary veins. In white grape cultivars, the blotches appear white or pale yellow.

27/04/2016: Sentry Hill put into liquidation with $130k worth of debt
A Taranaki fruit winery has been placed into liquidation. In the High Court at New Plymouth on Tuesday, an order was made to liquidate Sentry Hill Winery (2006) Ltd due to an unpaid debt of $130,000 owed to New Zealand Customs. According to the statement of claim, Sentry Hill owed Customs $140,741.30 for four instalments of unpaid tax since December 2013.

27/04/2016: NZ Sauvignon tasting aims to prove diversity
Producers of New Zealand’s most popular wine variety, Sauvignon Blanc, are aiming to show off the diversity of their produce at a London tasting in May. The New Zealand Sauvignon: Re-discovery and New Directions tasting while take attendees through Sauvignon wines from different regions and sub-regions in an attempt to show the range of differences possible in the eponymous variety.

27/04/2016: Herbicide resistance a growing concern
Grapegrowers tend to base weed control choices on what they used successfully in the year of their best yields. They may vary those choices somewhat to account for specific problems their scouts turn up, but usually there are two or three compounds they use year after year. Instead of finding contin-ued success and high yields, those “tried-and-true” weed control compounds are bringing two other things to vineyards: herbicide-resistant and herbicide-tolerant weeds.

27/04/2016: Jordan Wine Estate takes action against Global warming
Gary & Kathy Jordan are one of the most proactive and forward-thinking wine producers in South Africa. Their 24 years on Jordan have taught them to harness what they have effectively. They recently acquired a neighbouring portion of land on the north-facing slope on the sea side of the winery, and have spent invested hugely in the preparation of the land.

27/04/2016: New proposal would slash taxes for California's winemakers
A representative in California is coming through big for the wine industry after introducing a bill that would provide a number of tax breaks to help spur innovation, according to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. Mike Thompson, a Democrat, teamed up with fellow representative Dave Reichert from Washington to push the bill through.

27/04/2016: Halleck Vineyard: Expert strategies for creating a luxury brand
I met brand strategist Ross Halleck, owner of Halleck Vineyard in California’s Sonoma valley, a year ago in Orange County. Then I met him again at the Digital Footprint event in Philadelphia last week. It turns out we had much in common. Halleck has a deep background in tech, having served as CMO and consulted for multiple technology firms.

26/04/2016: Rabobank tips export growth for kiwi wines
Rising global demand for New Zealand wine points to further export growth for the industry this year, rural lending specialist Rabobank said. The bank, in its latest quarterly report on the wine sector, said demand growth for New Zealand wine was expected to continue with the country's cool-climate wine styles and premium positioning remaining in favour in most major export markets.

26/04/2016: Vintage optimism, but issues seen
The New Zealand wine sector looks set for a bountiful 2016 vintage and growing exports to the US, but the country's reliance on Sauvignon Blanc production and lack of investment in other grape varieties must be addressed. While the 2016 harvest is expected to better last year's, analysts are picking the larger export companies will benefit more than smaller businesses struggling with cost pressures and distribution issues.

26/04/2016: Wine industry toasts production, consumption rise
The global wine trade turns in a healthy performance as wine lovers increase consumption. The global wine trade improved last year, with the US and China driving consumption, and New Zealand the star performer on the production side, according to a just-released report. The report, from Dutch-based Rabobank, showed that while the generic end of the market was struggling with oversupply and lower demand, the upper levels of the trade were booming, following on from a light vintage in 2015.

26/04/2016: How Norman Hardie is blurring the line between old and new world wines
“Napoleon said that, ‘An army marches on its stomach.’ He forgot that in Russia, and he lost.” Wine-maker Norman Hardie is pointing to the well-worn stove that has fed untold numbers of staff, wine-makers, restaurateurs, food writers, and friends. “We eat very well here, and we’ve had over 10,000 meals around this stove,” Hardie ponders. “How do you communicate? Around food. When we eat well and we’re around the table, we communicate, we learn, and we make it better. That’s what that stove is.”

26/04/2016: Warm Up: Tannins
Aging wines to perfection is a mix of cold science and subjective art. Finding that "sweet spot" to open a special bottle can be a very personal decision, and when we nail it, a truly magical wine experience can unfold. But what exactly are we calibrating our palates to be tasting as wines age? What exactly is going on inside the bottle? If we focus in on tannins, we find that our perception of tannins greatly affect how we perceive the texture of wine.

26/04/2016: United Kingdom Vineyards Association appoints first CEO
The United Kingdom Vineyards Association has named Barry Lewis as its first chief executive officer. Lewis - owner of the English Wine Shop and Amber Valley wine maker – assumed his new role in February. His responsibilities include building the UKVA into an efficient central industry body and delivering services to the growers and producers in the UK. He will be working directly with the UKVA Council to co-ordinate the management committee.

22/04/2016: Thirst strong for NZ wines
Export growth is on the cards for the Kiwi wine industry this year amid rising global demand, says rural lending specialist Rabobank. The bank, in its latest quarterly report on the wine sector, said demand growth for New Zealand wine was expected to continue with the country's cool-climate wine styles and premium positioning remaining in favour in most major export markets.

22/04/2016: Wine harvest predicted to surpass 2015 vintage
New Zealand's strong export market should be able to let wine producers cope with the 2016 vintage, which is shaping up to be larger than last year's. Michael Cooper said a just released Rabobank report on the size of the vintage was supported by anecdotal evidence from growers he had been speaking with. However Wine New Zealand said it was not in a position to release any official figures for another month. Rabobank described this year's vintage as providing volumes which would be "just right".

22/04/2016: Bordeaux wines take on disruptors with biodynamic, organic, sustainable moves
Two thousand years of war, politics, passion and sometimes painful progress have given the wines of Bordeaux a reputation that terrifies most wine drinkers. But when you get good Bordeaux, there is nothing like it. Powerful, rich, lean and long, breathtaking wines that are about concentration, texture and tannin. There are few wines able to transmit so much about a region and vineyard so thoroughly into a glass and have those characteristics age gracefully over time.

22/04/2016: Brits love of online wine buying continues
Online sales of wine in the UK in 2015 topped £800 million, which represents nearly 11% of the overall British wine market, new figures reveal. The stats, based on a survey conducted by Wine Intelligence, show that 25% (7.4 million) of the UK’s 29.6 million regular wine drinkers ordered wine on the internet last year, spending £7 per bottle on average. Market researchers are predicting that British online wine sales will continue to grow in the next three years to 14% of the country’s overall market.

22/04/2016: Napa grape yields down significantly in 2015
Napa’s Valley’s famed wine region produced significantly fewer grapes in 2015, dragging with it the gross value of all grapes produced in the county by 24 percent to less than $550 million. That compares to the previous year’s record value of $718.9 million on over 174,000 tons produced, also a record. Av-erage grape yields fell 30-32 percent compared to the previous year.

22/04/2016: A Global Vineyard
Alejandro Bulgheroni, 72, came to wine late in life. But he’s making up for lost time. Beginning with a partnership in a winery in his native Argentina in 2009, he now owns ventures on four con-tinents. “Some projects we’re starting from scratch,” he told me. “Others have centuries behind them. But my total aim is to make the best product possible.”

21/04/2016: NZ and China only two to increase vine plantings
New Zealand and China are the only countries in the world planting more grapes. New Zealand's vineyard area is expected to increase in Marlborough alone by about 1000 hectares a year for the next four years. In Hawke's Bay Delegat bought an 800 ha dairy farm last year beside its 400 ha Crownthorpe vineyard, and is planting there. Wine New Zealand chief executive Philip Gregan confirmed wine plantings were on an upward trajectory.

21/04/2016: Hub aims to help NZ businesses in China
A Wairarapa-based wine and agribusiness company is leading the way for New Zealand businesses in China, by setting up an international trade centre. Murdoch James Estate has been successfully exporting wine, wood products, meat and cherries to China for the past five years, and has set up a commercial retail complex and logistics park to help others do the same.

21/04/2016: University announces new wine grape
The University of Minnesota touts a popular legacy of apple breeding, but earlier this month, the school debuted a fruit that fans can sip on. The Itasca, a cold-hardy wine grape, will make its way to nurseries and licensed growers’ vines in 2017. It will be about another four years until Itasca-based dry white wines will hit liquor store shelves, said University grape breeder and horticulture professor Matt Clark.

21/04/2016: Wine Advocate to appear at London Wine Fair
Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate is appearing at the London Wine Fair for the first time in the publication’s 38-year history. The American magazine founded by Mr Parker, the world’s most famous wine critic who this week announced he was handing over all Bordeaux tasting duties to British wine writer Neal Martin, will host a series of tasting sessions at the UK’s biggest wine trade event in May.

21/04/2016: Crown Cellars funks up own label range
Crown Cellars, the specialist wine and spirits division of Carlsberg UK, has launched an on-trade exclusive range of wines with ‘funky’ labels to appeal to new wine consumers. Revealing the new own-label win range at the Crown Cellar portfolio tasting at Oxo Tower on London’s South Bank, wine buyer Louise Boddington said the collection is aimed at consumers who are “looking for something a bit different and those who may have been put off wine in the past due to “stuffy and confusing wine labels and language”.

21/04/2016: Lewis-Clark Valley named newest American viticultural area
Idaho's wine industry continues to flourish with the newly approved Lewis-Clark Valley American Viticultural Area (AVA). The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) today announced this important federal designation, which defines the geographic region of northwestern Idaho and bordering eastern Washington as a unique grape-growing area.

20/04/2016: Spraying mistake costs Marlborough grapegrowers around $1.6 million
A contractor has sprayed seven Marlborough vineyards with the wrong chemical, costing the grapegrowers around $1.6 million in lost revenue, a viticulturist says. The affected vineyards, about 5 kilometres from Blenheim in the Wairau Plain, were sprayed using a fertiliser that makes the wine produced unfit for export. Consultant viticulturist Murray Paterson, who was brought in to advise one of the growers, said the phosphorus and potassium-based fertiliser, Perk Supa, was used by the contractor in March.

20/04/2016: Jack Ma wants a piece of New Zealand, literally
With appetite for fine wine and dairy products booming on Alibaba’s import-focussed Tmall platform, it’s not surprising that chairman Jack Ma has his eyes on New Zealand. Though the e-commerce billionaire’s love for the country is apparently not just just commercially driven. During a Q&A session yesterday with the New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key, Ma hinted that he was potentially interested in buying land in the southern island, calling it the “dream land.”

20/04/2016: Italian winemaker says climate change affecting industry
Polina Bosca, a sixth-generation Italian winemaker, has said that frequent crop destruction due to extreme temperatures climate change all over the world is "seriously affecting" the global wine industry, because of frequent crop destructions due to extreme temperatures. She hails from Bosca is the sixth generation of the Bosca family of winemakers, of Canelli in Italy's Piedmont region, which is known for its winery culture and the extensive presence of grape vineyards.

20/04/2016: Britain's Jancis Robinson on discovering the sensuality of wine
The master of wine, columnist and author, who recently attended a Hong Kong event for the Room to Read charity, talks to Bernice Chan about finding fine wine at university and how she chooses wines for Britain's Queen Elizabeth. What do you make of the wine business in China? “It’s getting there. That said I’m blissfully protected from the 90 per cent underbelly of fake stuff.

20/04/2016: Everyone really is just picking their wine based on the label
Feel like a fraud when you hit the wine store? Does the prospect of trying to pick between a $12 Sauvignon Blanc, a $14 Chablis, and a $17 Vouvray make you panic and perspire? Are you ashamed that you remedy this anxiety by going for the one with the more refined-looking label, even if you have no fucking clue what it’s going to taste like? You may feel alone. Despondent. Like a failure. But don’t worry—we’re all doing it.

20/04/2016: Ste. Michelle Wine Estates buys Patz & Hall
Pacific Northwest powerhouse Ste. Michelle Wine Estates has acquired Patz & Hall, a prestigious producer of California Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The sale includes the brand, inventory and winery equipment. The purchase price was not disclosed. The sale marks Ste. Michelle's first move into Sonoma County, and Patz & Hall is a plum. "Sonoma is a noble place for grapegrowing, and we have just lusted after it," Ted Baseler, Ste. Michelle's president and CEO, told Wine Spectator.

19/04/2016: Marlborough to be 'full' within years
The Marlborough wine growing region is expected to be fully planted within the next few years and several changes are expected to impact the globally-recognised area. Peter Yealands, one of the largest producers in the region famous for Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, told TheShout he believes all the land available for growing wine may be developed within the next few years.

19/04/2016: Growers quietly confident for grape harvest
Bringing in the grapes is a nervous time for a co-operative's growers, but there is nothing but smiles on their faces during a "dream" harvest. Marlborough's annual wine harvest is drawing to an end but there will be no let up until the last grape has been picked. Working 24 hours around the clock have been harvesters, truck drivers, supervisors and growers for the past two to three weeks throughout the region.

19/04/2016: Winemaker Denis Malbec cast large influence over North Coast wine industry
Denis Malbec was born to be a winemaker, family and friends said. In fact, Malbec was born at the Château Latour in Pauillac, France, where his father and grandfather both worked and where he later would become the cellar master and enologist. He later moved with his wife, May-Britt, to the North Coast, where he became a consulting winemaker at prestigious brands throughout Napa and Sonoma counties.

19/04/2016: World wine trade buoyed by rebound in China demand
Wine exporters toasted an upturn in Chinese wine consumption in 2015 after a two-year decline, as a growing taste there for reds helped global wine trade expand, the International Vine and Wine organisation (OIV) said on Monday. Chinese imports jumped 44 percent to 5.5 million hectoliters, while overall consumption in the country grew by 3 percent to nearly 16 million hectoliters. "Chinese domestic demand was the single biggest contributor, in volume terms, to growth in trade in 2015," the OIV said in a report.

19/04/2016: New grape varieties for Champagne
On April 12th the CIVC, Comité Champagne, in Epernay announced a 15 year program to develop grape varieties for the future. Champagne makers face two main challenges in the following decades. In the worst case scenario temperatures could rise 4.5°C by 2100. There’s also the pressing need to develop vines that have a high resistance against diseases such as powdery and downy mildew. These new varieties would lead to a decline in the use of chemical products and so help the environment.

19/04/2016: Organic wine consumption doubles in Italy
The number of organic wine consumers in Italy has doubled over the past two years to 10.6 million, or 21 per cent of the population over 18, according to the Nomisma Wine Monitor. The percentage has been constantly growing in recent years – in 2013 it was 2 per cent and in 2014, it was 12 per cent. Global sales of organic wine reached €205 million in 2015, of which €68 million was achieved in domestic markets.

18/04/2016: New Delegat full-bodied success story
WELDERS mix with winemakers at the landmark Delegat winery beside the Hawke's Bay Expressway in Hastings. Representing the biggest investment in the region's industry for more than 30 years, currently function is more important than form in the 13,000sq m building under construction, enabling it to process this year's harvest.

18/04/2016: End of a ‘challenging’ grape season: Millton
One of the oldest biodynamic estates in the world says they don’t need chemicals in a great environment like this. SOME of the last grapes in the district came off the vines at Manutuke yesterday, marking the end of a challenging season for Millton Vineyards and Winery. “It is the saddest day of the year for us. We have to wait one year to enjoy the fruits of our labour but when you work this hard it is an enjoyment as well,” says winemaker James Millton.

18/04/2016: Chinese businessman draws attention of wine salesmen in Italy
Italy's wine producers are happy to see more and more buyers from China to choose Italian wine, especially in this year's wine exposition in Verona, the city of love in Italy. During the 50th edition of the Vinitaly, an annual international wine fair in Verona, many wine producers witnessed a dialogue between Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and Alibaba founder and Chairman Jack Ma.

18/04/2016: The students in China learning and talking about wine on WeChat
A group called Wine in University, which has close to 7,000 followers across China, meets using smartphone app, which makes it easy to hear expert talks and to chat about wine with fellow enthusiasts. Tencent’s WeChat might be known as a popular messaging app with a built-in wallet function, but for a group of young wine enthusiasts in China, it has become an effective educational tool, too.

18/04/2016: Foothills Vineyards guard against frost
Like farmers everywhere, Jackson Starr, winemaker/vineyard manager at Sierra Starr Vineyard & Winery in California’s Northern Foothills, keeps a close eye on the weather. With his 12-acre vineyard just beginning to show growth, he reacted to a forecast of frost yesterday by spraying his crop with a frost-protection product. As it turned out, his property in Grass Valley got a little rain instead, but he’s still worried, so the preventative measures weren’t in vain: The lower vineyards and younger, shallow-rooted vines could still be damaged tonight or later in the week.

18/04/2016: Thought Leadership: Sparkling wine
In the latest Cesium Group Thought Leadership event, key figures from the world of sparkling wine gathered to share their insights into the UK market for Champagne, Prosecco, Cava and, of course, English bubbly. The rise of sparkling wine – from Prosecco to Cava and English bubbly brands – has been one of the hottest topics in the drinks trade in recent years.

15/04/2016: Grape spills costly as harvest continues in Marlborough
Harvest is a week away from winding down, but there have already been more grape spills than last year, police say. Highway patrol team leader Barrie Greenall said the greater yield this season meant there were more grapes to transport, which had resulted in more spills. These usually happened at roundabouts or intersections because trucks did not slow down enough and were forced to brake suddenly, he said.

15/04/2016: Starbucks selling NZ wine
North American Starbucks customers can now order a glass of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc to go with their mocha Frappuccino. The global coffee chain started selling alcohol five years ago when it introduced an evening menu in Seattle, which features a selection of wine and craft beer alongside coffee and tea and savoury small plates. "Starbucks Evenings" as it is called has been rolled out to hundreds of cafes across North America and features Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand's Villa Maria and Kim Crawford wineries.

15/04/2016: Biodynamic and organic wine sails into Britain
A French sailing boat packed with organic and biodynamic wine has arrived on British shores, as part of an initiative to make exports more environmentally friendly. This week the Grayhound, a 108-foot lugger sailing boat, arrived in Plymouth with a five-tonne cargo of French organic and biodynamic wines. The ship, which is part of TransOceanic Wind Transport (TOWT), transports organic and biodynamic wines from France to England. It will return across the English Channel with Cornish ales.

15/04/2016: 1000 points of algorithm shine on wine
“Wine Lister is a true hub of information that can adapt to the user’s requirements. It’s a sophisticated system, rating sophisticated wines, for an increasingly sophisticated audience.” That’s Ella Lister talking about the new 1000-point wine rating system, and that is not a typographical error. Let’s face it, what once was a decent wine critic score, 85, is today nearly a joke .

15/04/2016: Amateur winemaker develops solution for making wine smell better
In the southwest corner of British Columbia, a former professor of pulmonary medicine is trying to make white wines smell even better. Dick Jones believes he has found a way to retain more aromatic compounds in wine, preventing them from being lost during fermentation. So far, local wineries are impressed with the results, and now Jones hopes to have his device, dubbed AromaLoc, patented and on sale next year.

15/04/2016: The battle for Spanish wine
As a determined band of Spain’s top terroir-focused winemakers continues to win support for its cause, the country’s consejos face a choice: do they resist, or do they adapt? All fine wine makers will tell you that great wines are made in the vineyard. Rather than put his or her stamp too obviously on the wines, it is the vintner’s job to work with what nature has given them and do their best to create a liquid expression of the land where the grapes were grown.

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