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

27/07/2015: Last Week To Become An Exhibitor At Australia Trade Tasting (BOOK BY JULY 30)
Final reminder to register at #AuTT and grow your brand in Australia. Exhibitor registrations ends July 30. Exhibit your brand at Australia Trade Tasting and get in front of Australia's leading importers, important distributors, high-profile retail merchants, and influential media executives. You will also get 1 free ticket to the conference session of your choice between 1st of September and 2nd of September sessions. Learn how to sell, market and grow your distribution, learn from the people who have done it.

27/07/2015: GroGuard is proud to be having its 25th anniversary this year
Since the original publication in the Grapegrower and Winemaker in June 1990, nearly 10 million of GroGuard’s vine guards have been sold. The GroGuard’s legendary ruggedness and reliability has increased the success and profitability of many hundreds of new plantings. We thank our customers for their support and look forward to ongoing success in the years to come.

20/07/2015: Minimising microbial spoilage risk during packaging
Wine packaging processes strongly influence the integrity of wine that reaches consumers. If microbial contamination occurs during packaging it can cause off-flavours and hazes/deposits, which negatively affect consumer perception. The worst cases of such problems can result in costly product recalls and brand damage.

Australian Wine Industry News

30/07/2015: Keystone Group appoints Chris Morrison as new group wine director
Sydney based hospitality group, Keystone has appointed Chris Morrison to the position of group wine director. With over two decades experience working as a sommelier across both the UK and Australia, Morrison will bring a wealth of experience to the role. Throughout his career, Morrison has worked for international restaurateurs such as London’s Sir Terrance Conran together with some of Australia’s finest restaurants including Guillaume at Bennelong, Quay, est, MG Garage and Becasse. Morrison was also named the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide ‘Sommelier of the Year’ in 2006.

30/07/2015: Redmans Wines in the Coonawarra toasts the future
ONE of the Coonawarra’s ­pioneering vigneron families — the Redmans — have never become too big for their boots. Wine gluts, booms and busts have come and gone in the century that the Redmans have been growing grapes and making wine in the South Australian region. The family, who now have a fourth generation involved in the business, have resisted the temptation to expand during the booms. This the Redmans credit for helping them ride out what they say is increasingly a “tough” industry, especially in recent years when it comes to marketing.

30/07/2015: TPP negotiations at pointy end
NATIONAL Farmers' Federation (NFF) president Brent Finlay wants Australian negotiators to aim high and enhance outcomes for agricultural exports, when talks recommence on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement this week in Maui, Hawaii. The Australian government is aiming to deliver commercially meaningful outcomes for Australian agricultural exports such asa beef, dairy, grains, sugar, horticulture, seafood and wine, while securing gains for local resources and energy exports, manufactured and other goods, according to Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb.

30/07/2015: The wine industry gives farmers a taste of what to expect from climate change
Wine, as we have seen once again this week, seems to be a handy way to galvanise concerns about the future ill-effects of climate change. It’s perhaps telling that the prospect of losing a favourite tipple attracts media coverage so readily, when the bigger issue is surely about securing food for the billions who rely on subsistence farming. Those concerns aside, viticulture delivers important messages about a changing climate, for several reasons. High-quality wine is extraordinarily sensitive to the vagaries of the weather.

30/07/2015: WA winery wins best value award
Mt Barker winery West Cape Howe Wines as named the best value winery of the year at last night's Halliday Wine Companion Awards. The award was one of the six major prizes of the event, which was held to coincide with the launch of the 2016 edition of the Halliday Wine Companion. WA wineries also won in three of the 10 varietal categories. Deep Woods Estate in Yallingup garnered the best Chardonnay awards for its 2013 reserve vintage.

29/07/2015: Canberra winemaker aims for sparkling best
To the uninitiated, the large, wooden, punctured A frame in the darkened corner of a tin shed, could be mistaken for an instrument of torture, not out of place during the Spanish inquisition. The shed at Hall, in Canberra's cool climate wine district, is also filled with some of the more expensive, high-tech wine making equipment available. But, even in this day and age, winemaker Greg Gallagher holds on to his champagne or "riddling" table, in his pursuit of making the perfect sparkling wine.

29/07/2015: McLaren Vale winemaker named as nation's best
A MCLAREN Vale winemaker has been named Australia’s best by one of the nation’s top wine critics at an event held at iconic Melbourne Museum last night.. Yangarra Winery’s Peter Fraser was honoured with the title of winemaker of the year at James Halliday’s 2015 Halliday Wine Companion Awards. Selected from more than 1,300 Australian wineries, Yangarra was the only South Australian winery to receive a major award.

29/07/2015: Bombay High Court lifts ban on wine imported from Australia, slams regulator
The Bombay High Court has dismissed the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India's (FSSAI's) case against import of Australia's largest wine brand Jacob's Creek. The court was hearing a petition filed by Pernod Ricard India, which imports Jacob's Creek, against the import ban on a shipment which the FSSAI said contained tartaric acid as well as ascorbic acid. "We appreciate the functions and duties that FSSAI undertakes to ensure the safety of food that is consumed by the public.”

29/07/2015: Chance for Swan Valley vignerons to tap expert advice
WHEN a winemaker gets to a certain vintage, retirement can be difficult because family members might not want to take over the business and selling up is a foreign concept. This dilemma is the basis of the latest Finlaysons Wine Roadshow Decision Time, which will be in the Swan Valley on Thursday, July 30, for the first time in the show’s 23-year history. Wine industry lawyer and Finlaysons wine partner Will Taylor will be the key speaker at the roadshow.

29/07/2015: Tiny Yarra Valley vineyard produces wine of the year
A wine from a tiny vineyard in Victoria's Yarra Valley has taken out one of the country's most prestigious wine awards. Tom Carson, Serrat Wines winemaker, says in comparison to other small, boutique vineyards, his Yarra Valley plot of just under three hectares is truly minute. "In the scheme of things it's just tiny," Carson said. "A really tiny boutique winery might be 10 hectares as a starting point and then up from there, so to be well under that is probably crazy."

28/07/2015: Wine producers ‘misusing’ Wine Equalisation Tax, prompting hopes for overhaul
THE Federal Government has revealed some wine producers have been misusing the Wine Equalisation Tax rebate system, in the strongest signal yet the tax will be overhauled. The Winemakers Federation has been pushing for a tightening of WET rebates to help boost the promotion of Australia wine in key markets, including China and North America. Assistant Infrastructure and Development Minister Jamie Briggs said the Government was concerned about the way the WET is operating.

28/07/2015: Vine removalists pull out Hunter vineyards
As Hunter Valley vignerons struggle to make ends meet, a new business has emerged from the wine industry's woes. The Winemakers' Federation of Australia has revealed that 85 per cent of grape growers across the country have been unable to meet or exceed production costs this year. The situation is worse in the Hunter with 94 per cent of producers struggling to make money. Specialised vine removalist, Tom Stephens, said he has two crews pulling out 30 acres of vines a week.

28/07/2015: Cool summer brings late vintage for Shoalhaven
The Shoalhaven wine vintage is usually a busy, but sequential process of harvesting, crushing and fermenting grapes as they become ripe. But a general lack of warmth and sunlight during the ripening period has meant many of the region's grapes were ready to be harvested at the same time. "All the reds came in on top of each other, so it was a logistical nightmare for a few weeks while we fermented reds and worked out the tank spaces," Two Figs winemaker Simon Hall says.

28/07/2015: Cannibal Creek Winery's unique cricket connection
Establishing a vineyard in the middle of a grape glut has its challenges. But, Kirsten and Pat Hardiker, from Cannibal Creek Winery in Tynong North, west Gippsland, have been able to turn that around. They are targeting the $30 a bottle wine market and a unique connection to sport is helping to attract high end drinkers. Hardiker said the whole experience of establishing a vineyard, and then a winery, had been a challenge.

28/07/2015: July 2015 Grapegrower & Winemaker magazine out now
The July 2015 issue of the Grapegrower & Winemaker magazine is out now – and is available online for all subscribers. This month features an in-depth look at the Wine Equalisation Tax rebate reform with the reveal of a letter from Senator Sean Edwards that shocked the wine industry. We also introduce the Future Leaders of the Australian grape and wine community, and ask each participant what they are most looking forward to in the program.

27/07/2015: Climate change hitting where it hurts: your wine
Spend a day at a wine grape growers' summit and, among many other things, you're left with no doubt about the reality of climate change. Spend another day with a savvy grape grower touring the Barossa and you're left with no doubt about the cost of it and the uncertainty about where it's heading. That's not news for those who follow the wine industry closely at the production level, but for those of us who concentrate on consumption, the matter-of-factness of the change is rather startling.

27/07/2015: Australia fuels recovery in China wine imports
Powered by a strong increase of Australian wine imports in both value and volume, Chinese bottled wine imports has shown moderate signs of recovery during the first six month of 2015, according to custom figures. During the first half of 2015, 143m litres of bottled wines were imported into China, which accounted for $655m, showing 7.5% and 1.9% year-on-year increase respectively, with the average price dropped by 5.2%.

27/07/2015: Tasmanian wine profits top the nation and here's why
The Apple Isle is the most profitable wine region in Australia. Tasmania is following a simple strategy of concentrating on the top-end price brackets and has been careful not to distort the laws of economics, only ever expanding production in response to rising demand. Every one of the six million bottles of wine produced in Tasmania sells at a retail level of at least $15 per bottle, with most much higher. Wine producers in the state say the increasing cachet surrounding its high-quality production is opening more doors both on the mainland and overseas.

27/07/2015: Vino flows as online wine retailers clean up at industry awards night
It was a corker of a night all round at the sixth annual StarTrack Online Retail Industry Awards in Sydney last night, with wine retailers scooping the night's top awards. Online wine retailer and former Smart50 finalist Vinomofo was named Online Retailer of the Year, while the company also picked up awards for Best Pure Play Online Retailer and Best Online Retail marketing Initiative. Fellow wine retailer Naked Wines took out the inaugural People's Choice award.

27/07/2015: After parting with Gallo, Australia’s McWilliam’s shifts upmarket in U.S.
Long a part of the E.&J. Gallo import portfolio, Australian winemaker McWilliam’s has taken a new direction in the U.S. market this year, switching importers and launching two higher-priced wine ranges and a millennial-targeted red blend, with more premium offerings on the way. “The fastest-growing price segment in the U.S. is $10-$20,” notes Mark Hely, McWilliam’s director of international markets. “We’ve traditionally sat at around $10 in the U.S. and Australia, and we’re looking to move up to the $15-$30 range.

24/07/2015: SA food and wine industry to benefit from grants
Twelve South Australian companies have shared in more than $340,000 of funding under the first round of the Export Partnership Program. Seven of the twelve companies are from the food and wine industries, each receiving between $18,050 and $31,225. Minister for Investment and Trade Martin Hamilton-Smith said there has been a resounding response from South Australian exporters with 48 fully completed applications received in this first round alone.

24/07/2015: Prominent winemaker Trevor Jones did not destroy $300,000 worth of rival's wine, Adelaide court hears
A Barossa Valley winemaker accused of deliberately opening the taps on four wine tanks and destroying more than $300,000 worth of wine will argue it was not him, an Adelaide court has heard. Trevor David Jones, 57, allegedly committed the crime in February at his previous employer's workplace, Kellermeister Wines at Lyndoch. Almost 25,000 litres of wine went to waste.

24/07/2015: Bulk wine: How Casella cracked the US market
A bouncing kangaroo, like that brandished across Yellow Tail wine bottles, might be a stereotypically Australian image, but Casella Family Brands, the company behind it, built its company offshore. While other Australian wine companies built their brands locally before venturing overseas, Casella went the other way. Instead of clashing with his well-heeled rivals, with their extensive cash reserves, second-gen John Casella redefined wine as an accessible tipple and opened a new market. The result has been astonishing.

24/07/2015: Aussie wine with 'hints of smoked sausage' bound for Chinese market
Australian wine labels may soon use terms like ‘hints of smoked sausage’ and ‘notes of dried hawthorn’ for the labels of wine bottles destined for the Chinese market. Researchers from the University of South Australia have spent more than two years working to translate wine tasting notes for consumers unfamiliar with many western flavours.

24/07/2015: Wine grape summit well attended
Those who attended the recent wine industry summit held by the Wine Grape Council of South Australia are likely to be pleased to have made the effort. It seems that the attendance was higher than last year, and while some of the speakers made an encore appearance, it was an interesting update. Some of the noteworthy presentations included Marc Soccio from Rabobank related global market trends, with special focus on USA and China, where he believes there is scope for improved trade in premium wines.

23/07/2015: Little things make a big difference for small retailers
Research from the University of Adelaide is helping to show small retailers how they can compete against the huge retail chains – and it's the little things that can make all the difference. A study of more than 300 Adelaide shoppers has identified a range of factors that draw them to small retailers. Researchers hope this knowledge will give the small stores some fighting chance against their highly competitive, price-driven neighbours.

23/07/2015: Specialised grape vine removalist thriving
The Australian wine industry continues to pull out grape vines at a surprising pace as the industry peak body reveals 85 per cent of producers are struggling to make money. One of the country's only specialised vine removalists Tom Stephens, who is based in Canowindra in the central west of New South Wales, said his team removes about 12 hectares of vines each week.

23/07/2015: Robot automates bacteria screening in wine samples
A robotic liquid handling system at the Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) is automating the screening of large numbers of malolactic bacteria strains. Using miniaturised wine fermentations in 96-well microplates, the Tecan EVO 150 robotic system is screening bacteria, sourced from the AWRI’s wine microorganism culture collection and elsewhere, for MLF efficiency and response to wine stress factors such as alcohol and low pH.

23/07/2015: Organic wine helps Australian makeover
Organic wine represents an important part of Australia’s reinvigorated premium push, believes the Angove team, which is busy expanding this side of its business. "It’s about a point of difference and getting away from the tag of mass produced Australian wines with no regional identity,” maintained Jonathan O’Neill, regional export manager for Angove, which produces wine across South Australia with a growing emphasis on McLaren Vale.

23/07/2015: Quality over quantity the key to profitability
WINE profitability fell 6 per cent across Australia in 2015 but central Victorian growers are bucking the trend. A report from the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia showed 85 per cent of grapes picked this year were harvested at a loss. Heathcote Winegrowers’ Association president Phil Meehan said most central Victorian winegrowers were smaller operations producing premium wines, which were still profitable. “Quality still demands a good price,” he said.

22/07/2015: Treasury Wine books loss on sale of US winery
One of the Californian wineries and brands which came into the Foster's Group stable after it shelled out a whopping $2.9 billion to buy the broader Beringer Wine Estates business in 2000 has been sold by Treasury Wine Estates at a loss of US$7.5 million, as chief executive Mike Clarke moves to re-shape the operations.

22/07/2015: Weighty returns for growers from award winning ‘Vinnovation’
The brothers responsible for an innovative trailer have been awarded the inaugural ‘Vinnovation’ award for winegrape growers in South Australia. Bill and Phil Longbottom, independent winegrape growers from Padthaway in the South East, were selected ahead of the other finalists for the trailer's potential for adoption across all growing regions, its ability to directly improve profits and its relatively inexpensive cost.

22/07/2015: Predicting fashion and no discounting: Keys to profitability
Maintaining premium wine prices and reacting to trends similar to the latest "handbag", are some of the ways the wine industry can recover from struggling production profitability, according to some New South Wales wine makers. Canberra winemaker Ken Helm is adamant that it is fatal to be price driven.

22/07/2015: Move aside for cider - global beverage markets make room
Impressive growth in the demand for cider in the global markets has put it squarely back on the beverage alcohol map, attracting a younger, more affluent consumer, says agribanking specialist, Rabobank. In its latest report on the international beverage sector, Rabobank’s Wine Quarterly highlights the relative appeal of cider to younger, more well-heeled, both male and female consumers.

22/07/2015: A new advertisement for McLaren Vale
We’re in a vineyard with Mark Lloyd, who’s pretending to prune. A biplane flies over low; he looks at his tank watch, drops everything and heads off to lunch, which explains why he’s pruning in his dinner jacket at the wrong time of year with a watch you could swap for a house. Because movie.

21/07/2015: Winemaker's Federation rejects volumetric tax proposal
The wine industry remains divided over the future taxation system for alcohol, with the winemakers’ membership body refusing to support a system based on volume. Paul Evans, the Winemakers Federation of Australia chief executive, said producers did not have a unified position on tax reform for the industry, with interests divided by the volume and price of alcohol being made by winemakers across the nation.

21/07/2015: Senator’s letter shocks the Australian wine industry
How could such a strongly-united wine industry position be turned down by the Federal Government? Nathan Gogoll unpacks how the campaign for Wine Equalisation Tax rebate reform was set to be rolled out as part of the Federal Budget; cast aside at the 11th hour; and then reintroduced into an upcoming taxation review.

21/07/2015: Call for research to develop the Australian grape and wine community
Wine Australia is inviting research, development and extension (RD&E) project applications in five key areas identified in its recently released five-year Strategic Plan. The call for collaborative multi-disciplinary proposals will be held in two separate rounds in 2015, with the first round opening today for the priority areas of customer insights and digital viticulture. Andreas Clark, Wine Australia chief executive officer, said the five research areas will help achieve Wine Australia’s goal of a prosperous Australian grape and wine community.

21/07/2015: Accolade launches new fine wine business
Accolade Wines has launched a new fine wine business, Distinction Wines, representing brands from Australia, New Zealand and Italy in the on-premise market nationally, from this month. Distinction Wines comprises a portfolio of wines from key premium regions across the three countries, including South Australian Hardys and Grant Burge Wines; Tasmania’s House of Arras and Bay of Fires; Leasingham from the Clare Valley; and Western Australian brands, Houghton and Brookland Valley.

21/07/2015: Thousands of bottles of wine stolen: Clare, South Australia
Thieves have taken about 160 cases of wine from a shed at Clare, north of Adelaide. Police have released CCTV of the theft hoping someone will be able to identify the suspects. They said three men broke into the shed in Kimber Road about 3:00am last Wednesday and took about 2,000 bottles, loading the cartons of red and white wine onto a tandem-axle trailer.

21/07/2015: Treasury Wine books loss on sale of US winery
One of the Californian wineries and brands which came into the Foster's Group stable after it shelled out a whopping $2.9 billion to buy the broader Beringer Wine Estates business in 2000 has been sold by Treasury Wine Estates at a loss of US$7.5 million, as chief executive Mike Clarke moves to re-shape the operations

21/07/2015: Weighty returns for growers from award winning ‘Vinnovation’
The brothers responsible for an innovative trailer have been awarded the inaugural ‘Vinnovation’ award for winegrape growers in South Australia. Bill and Phil Longbottom, independent winegrape growers from Padthaway in the South East, were selected ahead of the other finalists for the trailer's potential for adoption across all growing regions, its ability to directly improve profits and its relatively inexpensive cost.

21/07/2015: Predicting fashion and no discounting: Keys to profitability
Maintaining premium wine prices and reacting to trends similar to the latest "handbag", are some of the ways the wine industry can recover from struggling production profitability, according to some New South Wales wine makers. Canberra winemaker Ken Helm is adamant that it is fatal to be price driven.

21/07/2015: Move aside for cider - global beverage markets make room
Impressive growth in the demand for cider in the global markets has put it squarely back on the beverage alcohol map, attracting a younger, more affluent consumer, says agribanking specialist, Rabobank. In its latest report on the international beverage sector, Rabobank’s Wine Quarterly highlights the relative appeal of cider to younger, more well-heeled, both male and female consumers.

21/07/2015: A new advertisement for McLaren Vale
We’re in a vineyard with Mark Lloyd, who’s pretending to prune. A biplane flies over low; he looks at his tank watch, drops everything and heads off to lunch, which explains why he’s pruning in his dinner jacket at the wrong time of year with a watch you could swap for a house. Because movie.

20/07/2015: Penfolds awarded IWC White Winemaker of the Year
Penfolds was named International White Winemaker of the year by the International Wine Challenge (IWC) at a celebratory dinner held in London last week. The award was collected on behalf of the Penfolds team by senior white winemaker Kym Schroeter, who boasts over a quarter of a century of Penfolds winemaking experience. "The Penfolds team is truly honoured to receive such a prestigious award from the IWC."

20/07/2015: Wine Australia appoints US market entry program manager
Wine Australia has announced Ben von Doussa has commenced in a newly created role of market entry program manager in the North American market. Stuart Barclay, general manager – market development, said that von Doussa’s role demonstrated Wine Australia’s long-term commitment to the critical North American market. “The US is one of the largest wine markets in the world and yet, despite its potential, Australian wine exports to the US have declined for more than six years,” Barclay said.

20/07/2015: 2015 Vintage Report shows signs of opportunity, says WFA
The Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) released their annual Vintage Report last week with figures showing a 2015 Vintage crush of 1.67 million tonne with some modest and patchy strengthening in average winegrape prices and exports. The red crush marginally beat out the white on tonnage, with 835, 523 tonnes compared to 834,041. Shiraz (391,649), Cabernet Sauvignon (209,588) and Merlot (107,280) were the top three red varieties while Chardonnay (376,339), Sauvignon Blanc (89,125) and Semillon (66,572) led the way for whites.

20/07/2015: Kalleske Wines wins small business award for SA
Kalleske Wines has been awarded the Small Business Award at the 2015 Telstra South Australian Business Awards. This year, Kalleske Wines was nominated and progressed to become a finalist in both the Small Business and Regional Business categories. Kalleske took out the Small Business Award, presented at an awards ceremony on Friday, July 10 2015 at the Adelaide Convention Centre. The Barossa Valley winery will now proceed to the national competition with the 2015 Telstra Australian Business Awards held in Sydney next month.

20/07/2015: Understanding consumer trends in wine
The most successful companies in the wine industry will be those that search for information on consumer behaviour across a wide variety of sector, according to Natasha Rastegar, Country Manager Australia and New Zealand for Wine Intelligence. Speaking in Adelaide at WineTech 2015, Rastegar said it was important to understand innovation drivers for consumers beyond wine experiences to learn bold new marketing strategies.

17/07/2015: Cool climate Australian Shiraz still a ‘hard sell’, says Paringa owner
Mornington Peninsula's potential for cool climate Australian Shiraz should not be ignored as the region's reputation for Pinot Noir rises, but consumers need more convincing, says the owner of Paringa Estate. Shiraz is still strongly associated with Barossa in Australia, and all of the spicy, ripe and jammy character that entails. But, many Australian winemakers argue that Shiraz is quite the chameleon in their country.

17/07/2015: Wine shoppers bustle to claim Treasury CEO Mike Clarke's $3000 mega-fridge
A steady stream of wine buyers are shelling out more than $500 on bottles of Penfolds, Wolf Blass and Wynns wines so they can buy a steeply discounted large-scale wine fridge normally worth $3000, in early signs that an expanded high-risk promotion by Treasury Wine Estates chief executive Mike Clarke is paying off. Campbell Stott, general manager of Woolworths' Dan Murphys superstore chain, said in the first two weeks of the Treasury Wines promotion his chain had been surprised at the number of shoppers choosing to trade up

17/07/2015: Lehmann’s David-Franz red rose takes fruit from many vines
IF there’s just one wine that captures the agrarian spirit of the Barossa Valley, it’s David Lehmann’s astonishing Red Rose. The unusual wine, sold under the artisan David-Franz label, realises what David, son of the Margaret and the late Peter Lehmann, calls one of his “dearest oenological dreams” — to make a wine from more than 100 different varieties.

17/07/2015: Margaret River's Domaine Naturaliste scores UK deal with Aussie Rules
Specialist Australian wine importer Aussie Rules is adding Margaret River producer Domaine Naturaliste to its portfolio. The producer won Margaret River regional trophies at this year's International Wine Challenge for its Artus 2013 Chardonnay and Sauvage Sauvignon Blanc- Semillon from the same vintage. Aussie Rules will be importing both along with other wines from all three of Domaine Naturaliste's price tiers.

17/07/2015: More people buy wine online than at cellar door
In an industry flooded with different labels, standing out from the crowd is a hard ask. For Kirsten Hardiker, from Cannibal Creek Vineyard in west Gippsland, tapping into the one in five people who have bought wine online recently is a work in progress. "It's definitely important to have that presence. We're probably not taking advantage of it, like we could. It's a time thing, and having the skill to do that... but we're definitely still working on it."

16/07/2015: Poor wine grape prices making retirement for growers impossible
Low wine grape prices are continuing to plague growers and a free financial counselling service is urging people in trouble to reach out. Rural Business Support Financial Counsellor, Rita Perre, said some grape growers have never recovered from the millennium drought and now the price of grapes is preventing growers from servicing debts. She said some growers do not have the cash flow to continue production and cannot sell their properties at a sustainable price, but there is help available.

16/07/2015: Making cellar door experiences memorable
The “wow factor” is increasingly extending way beyond the quality of the wine in presenting the most memorable cellar door impressions, according to a recent seminar held at WineTech 2015. Wineries that offer regional food and wine experiences and share insights about the artisans that produce them enjoy the greatest success in terms of immediate and follow up sales. Over three days, WineTech 2015 is addressing national and global influences on demand, capability and competitiveness for the Australian wine industry and it is featuring a vast trade floor of new products and technologies.

16/07/2015: Australian wine exports rise in value and volume
In the 12 months to 30 June 2015, the value of Australian wine exports rose five per cent to A$1.89 billion according to the Wine Export Approval Report June 2015 released today by Wine Australia. This is the first time the value of wine exports has increased on a financial year basis since 2006–07. Andreas Clark, Wine Australia’s Chief Executive Officer, said growth in value was driven by the strength of Australian exports in the Asian market. “The value of wine exports to Northeast Asia was up 29 per cent and Southeast Asia was up 18 per cent."

16/07/2015: QLD college changes Australia's wine landscape with 'strange bird' varieties
Queensland's only wine college is leading the way in wine production by adopting unique varieties that are suited for the southern Queensland climate. The Queensland College of Wine and Tourism opened in Stanthorpe in 2007 as a joint venture between the State Government, Stanthorpe High School and the University of Southern Queensland (USQ). The development of the industry by the college and local region has put Queensland wine makers on the map.

16/07/2015: Australian wine exports rise in value and volume in 2014–15

16/07/2015: Wine scientist thinks he has the best job in the world
Learning what makes a great bottle of wine is about more than just the taste test. What are the qualities that separate a cheap bottle of plonk from the finest wines Australia has to offer? What is the best way to keep a bottle of wine fresh? And why are screw caps superior to traditional cork tops? These are just some of the questions that Dr Markus Herderich has spent a career investigating. As the group manager of research at the Australian Wine Research Institute, he is lucky enough to follow his "passion about wine and science" during his day job.

16/07/2015: Poor wine grape prices making retirement impossible
Low wine grape prices are continuing to plague growers and a free financial counselling service is urging people in trouble to reach out. Rural Business Support Financial Counsellor, Rita Perre, said some grape growers have never recovered from the millennium drought and now the price of grapes is preventing growers from servicing debts.

16/07/2015: Researchers looking to make more alcohol out of wine waste product
Improving the processing of wine waste to produce more alcohol is the focus of new research at South Australia's University of Adelaide. Researchers are looking at ways to make the processing of grape marc; the solid waste left after crushing the juice from grapes, more sustainable.

15/07/2015: Australian wine firms announce merger
Australian producers Wine Insights and Cumulus Wines have merged to “capitalise on changing market and sector conditions and emerging market opportunities.” The merger brings together brands including Rolling and Climbing from New South Wales, Moss Bros from Margaret River, The Riddoch Run from Coonawarra and multi-regional brands Beelgara Estate and The Habitat. It creates a combined gross revenue of AUD$20 million (£9.6m) with sales of over 400,000 cases of wine across 27 markets.

15/07/2015: Queensland growers welcome cold snap as the Sunshine State shivers
Fruit and vegetable growers across Queensland say this week's cold weather has been a double-edged sword for farmers. Grape growers on the Granite Belt in Southern Queensland said the cold snap was good for wine producers, helping set vines for next summer's harvest. Winemaker Peter McGlashan said the cold conditions would result in consistent fruit growth. "The cold weather is really good for vines. It puts them to sleep for the winter period and, when spring comes, it means that we have a nice even budburst, which means even growth and good fruit set," he said.

15/07/2015: Organics is about working smarter, Baileys of Glenrowan says
GOING organic doesn’t have to be hard work, it’s just about working smarter. That’s what Baileys of Glenrowan, owned by Treasury Wine Estates, has found after recently announcing all of its 2015 estate-grown table wines would be made under Aust­ralian Certified Organic standards. The winery’s fortified wines and also its durif variety aren’t yet organic, but should be converted and fully organic in 18 months.

15/07/2015: Coonawarra’s Balnaves riding high in this year’s Top 100 Wines
THEY’VE been in the wine business for 25 years and seen boom and bust cycles come and go, but right now the Balnaves of Coonawarra are riding high. Despite all the challenges the wine industry faces, Kirsty Balnaves says it’s been a long and slow build for her family and luck’s been on their side. Exports are up as the dollar has dropped recently, Ms Balnaves reports, and the Balnaves cellar door has seen a rise in domestic visitors.

15/07/2015: WineTech 2015 underway in Adelaide
Winetitles had a chat to Matthew Moate, WISA executive officer, about the first day of WineTech 2015 and what's in store for the rest of the week! WineTech is the flagship Wine Industry Supplier Trade Show. It is an initiative of Wine Industry Suppliers Australia Inc (WISA). Members and wider supply sector provide products and services to grapegrowers, winemakers and other businesses that operate along the full wine industry value chain. WineTech is managed by prominent South Australian owned and operated Kym Jones Exhibitions.

14/07/2015: Vale Guenter Prass AM
The Australian wine industry mourns pioneering industry legend Baron Guenter Prass AM who passed away peacefully on Sunday, July 12, aged 88 years. The son of a winemaker and grandson of grapegrowers, Prass’ esteemed career began in Germany where he studied viticulture and winemaking. One of the first flying winemakers, he went on to work in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and Australia

14/07/2015: Feral settles trademark stoush with winery d’Arenberg
Western Australia’s Feral Brewing will tweak the branding of its Sly Fox beer under the settlement of a long-running trademark dispute with winemaker d’Arenberg. The winery claimed the Feral Brewing Sly Fox Summer Ale infringed its trademark for The Feral Fox Pinot Noir, which the McLaren Vale winemaker registered in 2002. A settlement agreed in recent weeks enables Feral to keep the name, but it has to make certain changes in how the branding is displayed, national sales and marketing manager Steve Finney told Australian Brews News.

14/07/2015: Smidge offers vegan friendly wine
How many vegans are there in Australia? More than a quarter million people say they are vegan, more than one percent of the population. Worldwide, some vegan converts might surprise you, like Mike Tyson and the co-founder of Twitter, Biz Stone. They all have in common a desire to live a more healthy life with a plant-based diet, and for many vegans that includes wine. Options for vegan wine have just increased in Australia, with the addition of Smidge Wines of McLaren Vale.

14/07/2015: ARC looks to make the most out of wine waste product
Turning a waste left over from the wine-making process into a sustainable industry is the aim of new University of Adelaide wine research at the Waite campus. Researchers are looking at ways of improving the processing of grape marc - the solid waste left after crushing the juice from grapes - for increased alcohol production for use in spirits such as brandy, and for fortifying wines. “The amount of red and white grape marc produced (including skins, stalks, and seeds) depends on the size of the winery and wine-making technologies used."

14/07/2015: The Orange Wine Festival celebrates 10 years
Celebrating 10 years in 2015, the Orange Wine Festival continues to be a standout showcase of the high quality wines that are being produced in the region. Kicking off on October 16, the festival will be held over three weekends and will also include an array of mid-week activity with a general focus on celebrating the regions wines. "The three-week format worked well in 2014, allowing visitors more time to venture out of the city to Orange for the festival," said Michelle Stivens, festival chair. "Spring is also such a lovely time of year in Orange, with the leaves returning to the vines and the blossom in full bloom."

13/07/2015: ‘Iron Chef’ a new ally in winemakers’ export push
QUEENSLAND wineries have gained a valuable ally in the battle for supremacy within the Asian wine market. Hiroyuki Sakai, made famous through his role as 'Iron Chef French' in the popular Japanese television show 'Iron Chef', has supported Australian wine by assisting with the launch of Tokyo-based Winetree's premium Queensland wines. Ko Nagata, managing director of Winetree's parent company, Global Sky Group, commented: "Sakai-san is known for his refined tastes and we're confident he will help put premium Queensland wines on the map in Japan.

13/07/2015: Research identifies growing fungicide resistance
Fungicide resistance across Australian vineyards is on the rise, with new research identifying higher–than–expected populations of powdery mildew, downy mildew and botrytis bunch rot with resistance. Powdery mildew, downy mildew and botrytis bunch rot are the three most economically significant diseases in Australian viticulture – costing the sector in lost crops and disease management.

13/07/2015: Wine Communicator Awards open for entries
Entries for the WCA's annual Wine Communicator Awards have opened today and this year they will include a category for Best Wine Educator. There will be nine award categories in all this year, including the Wine Communicator of the Year, Digital Wine Communicator of the Year and Best Wine Website or Wine App. WCA Chairman Angus Barnes said: "These awards are open to professionals across Australia.”

13/07/2015: Ghost Rock opens new commercial winery on Tasmania's central coast
In winter you would expect things to slow down at a vineyard. Vines fall into a deep sleep from the cold, grape juice is fermenting in tanks and the tourist traffic at the cellar door tends to drop off. At Ghost Rock near Port Sorell on Tasmania's central coast, it is far from quiet. Vineyard staff are busy pruning and tying down canes. Deliveries are coming in and leaving the property. Inside the winery, the extended Arnold family plans its week ahead.

13/07/2015: Top US award for Print Hall wine list
WA wine buffs need not travel to Europe or the US to experience one of the finest wine lists in the world — one of the best is here in Perth. The American wine “bible” Wine Spectator magazine has bestowed its highest accolade, the Grand Award, on the city’s Print Hall restaurant, the flagship fine diner in the Print Hall complex of restaurants, bars and a bakery cafe. In the 35-year history of the Grand Award, only 73 restaurants have won it. Just two of those have gone to Australian venues.

13/07/2015: Fresh. Energetic. Altmann.
Making wine, saving the world. It’s all in a day’s work for Vanessa Altmann. Emilie Reynolds caught up with the Langhorne Creek winemaker to chat about her journey so far and the exciting chapters to come. Vanessa Altmann says sometimes it’s the wines you least expect that surprise you. Perhaps, sometimes it’s the same with winemakers. At 32 years of age, Altmann has been in the wine industry for 14 years but her journey into winemaking was certainly unique. Too busy serving wine to study it, Altmann said she caught a big break when she was just 19-years-old.

10/07/2015: Entries open for National Moscato Challenge
Following a successful inaugural event last year, the National Moscato Challenge is returning this year and organisers are looking to make the event bigger and better. Entries are open now to any winery in Australia who produces a Moscato style wine, giving them an opportunity to benchmark their Moscato’s against wines of similar style in a class all of its own. Chris Dent, National Moscato Challenge organiser, said the lure of Moscato’s sweet, fruity and low alcohol style has seen dramatic growth in the marketplace in recent years.

10/07/2015: Recruiting the next generation of talent into our wine industry
There are positive global signs for the Australian wine industry through potential new markets, but the sector could be facing a major dilemma through lost talent as its ageing growers and winemakers enter retirement. Mary Retallack, viticulturist and industry leader, said the vast majority of people running vineyard properties and making wine were aged 55 and above. “As these people transition into retirement, there is a real possibility that we will lose an immense amount of knowledge and experience from the industry.”

10/07/2015: There’s no middleman when it’s straight From the Producer
Online wine sales have become more popular than direct purchases for the first time ever, according to a recent report by Wine Intelligence, with one-in-five wine drinkers shopping online. Market estimates put the size of the Australian online wine market at about $500 million with annual growth at 20 per cent. While the numbers are up, many online wine channels drive prices down, and the returns to the winery in a heavily discounted environment are meagre.

10/07/2015: ARC grant for wine research at CSU
A new two-year study led by a Charles Sturt University (CSU) researcher will aim to change the way the Australian wine industry puts research into practice. The Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Project was announced on Tuesday 6 July by the Minister for Education and Training, the Hon. Christopher Pyne MP. It will receive ARC funding of $191 394. The study, Information Seeking and Research Adoption: Assessing Communication Strategies will be led by CSU Professor of Information Studies Lisa Given.

10/07/2015: Penfolds Re-corking Clinic unearths rare Grange collections in Taipei
For the first time in Penfolds 171 year history, Peter Gago, chief winemaker, delivered the Penfolds Re-corking Clinic to fine wine collectors in Taipei. The ultimate in after-sales service, the winemaking team inspected Penfolds red wines aged 15 years and older, by appointment, at W Hotel Taipei on 7 July 2015. Highlights of the collections assessed included rare Grange vintages dating back more than four decades as well as well-cellared collections of Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Henri Shiraz, and Special Bin Block 42 Kalimna Cabernet Sauvignon wines collected in Taiwan from around the world.

International Wine Industry News

30/07/2015: Wine trade group, wineries sue over Illinois shipping
The Wine Institute and three Napa County wineries have filed a lawsuit against the Illinois Department of Revenue and Attorney General’s Office over a dispute on whether they should have charged tax on shipping fees for online purchases into the state. The trade group for California wineries and Chimney Rock Winery, the Miner Family Winery and Staglin Family Vineyard filed suit in Illinois state court in response to hundreds of Illinois False Claims Act complaints that have been brought by attorney Stephen Diamond. Diamond has been acting on behalf of the state.

30/07/2015: Wine exports healthy as value rises
We might be drinking a little less, but we're drinking better quality, according to the latest export figures. French, Italian and Spanish wines continued to perform well on the export market, as the global thirst for wine remains seemingly unquenched. Figures released this week by Dutch agri-bank Rabobank showed that while volumes for French and Italian wines dipped slightly in the first quarter of the year, value was most definitely up.

30/07/2015: French drop tradition for private wine storage, says cellar owner
It has been a widely held view in the wine trade that most French collectors would rather keep their fine wines close at hand than pay for professional storage – unlike many of their counterparts in the UK. One of the most extreme examples is Michel-Jack Chasseuil, whose 40,000 bottle cellar built within his own home contains a treasure trove of French wine. But, a new generation of private cellar operators say higher fine wine prices and the physical confines of urban living mean more French people are considering professional wine storage.

30/07/2015: Sensory analysis: An essential esset for the enological sector
MILAN – Sustainability and sensory analysis will be the focus of several International Conferences held at the next edition of SIMEI in Milan on November 3-6 2015. SIMEI is the world reference point for wine technology, not only because it is an extraordinary showcase of the best innovations of the sector, but also because exhibition organiser UIV has always intended to make it a unique, top-level professional update and information opportunity. In 2015, the scheduled International Conferences will host several qualified speakers: each of which will give their own professional contribution and encourage participants to take part in the discussion.

30/07/2015: Mark Langlands takes out Bayer Wairarapa Young Viticulturist of the Year
Mark Langlands from Te Kairanga has been named as the Bayer Wairarapa Young Viticulturist of the Year 2015. Contestants battled it out at Te Kairanga Vineyard with their final challenge being to deliver a speech to a key audience in the evening at the Martinborough Village Cafe. Contestants completed a wide range of activities including questions on trellising, vine management, pests & diseases, budgeting, tractor maintenance and irrigation as well as having an interview and a quick fire buzzer round.

30/07/2015: Hospo forum designed to inspire
It’s commonly accepted that members of the hospitality industry are past masters at celebrating their profession. However, this September things become a little more studious for New Zealand food and beverage professionals. The annual Hospitality Summit & Feast by Famous Chefs is an opportunity for the Kiwi pros to put their heads together for their own benefit while also celebrating the achievements of colleagues.

29/07/2015: Italy breathes a sigh of relief over 2015 vintage
After a lousy 2014 harvest, growers and producers are keeping their fingers crossed as the grapes ripen. It's still early to be talking about the quality of the 2015 vintage, but Italian growers are simultaneously breathing a sigh of relief and keeping their fingers crossed after a poor 2014. Generally, life is looking up for growers across Italy this year, with good rain levels in the early part of the season offset by blazing heat in July. So far, so good, but there is some concern among growers about the intensity of the heat, although weather forecasts suggest a cooler August.

29/07/2015: Bacteria behind lethal vine disease found on French soil
The Xylella fastidiosa bacteria has been discovered on the island of Corsica, just over 18 months after its first recorded appearance in Europe, in olive groves in Italy. News of its spread to Corsica prompted a fierce reaction from Europe’s plant protection organisation (EPPO), which said this week that ‘eradication measures have been immediately implemented’. It is a potentially worrying development for wine producers – and wine drinkers.

29/07/2015: Grant puts wine director on study path
Craggy Range director of wine and viticulture Steve Smith, is one of 12 senior executives and business owners given the opportunity to attend the world's most prestigious business schools after receiving a Prime Minister's Business Scholarship. Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce said the scholarships allowed top executives to expand their international expertise and were designed to help make New Zealand firms more internationally competitive.

29/07/2015: Concha y Toro becomes world's biggest vineyard
Chile’s Concha y Toro has become the biggest vineyard owner in the world following Treasury Wine Estate’s sale of its Asti Winery assets. According to Treasury’s annual financial report for 2014, the group owned 10,781 hectares of vineyards, just over 30ha more than Concha y Toro’s total vineyard holding of 10,750ha – which includes the company’s 9,133ha in Chile, 1,154ha in Argentina and 463ha in the US, where it owns Fetzer and Bonterra.

29/07/2015: Traditional wine retail is 'dying'
The traditional model of wine retail involving uninspiring walls of wine is dying out and being replaced by a more engaging, interactive experience according to one top indie merchant. Speaking to the drinks business, Stephen Finch, owner of Vagbond Wines said: “The traditional” model of wine retail involving bottles on shelves is dying. “A creative crop of innovative wine merchants like Loki, Bottle Apostle and Hanging Ditch are offering a much more engaging and adventurous option.

29/07/2015: OPINION: The alcohol industry would prefer that alcohol did not cause cancer
OPINION: Alcohol Action New Zealand and the Cancer Society ran a joint one-day conference recently at Te Papa to discuss alcohol and cancer. I was surprised by the lack of response from the alcohol industries in the media. Their formula of intervening to spread doubt about the credentials of the researchers, and therefore the evidence, can usually be relied upon when we talk openly about the health effects of alcohol. On reflection, I see that an immediate response would have initiated an unwinnable debate over the evidence.

28/07/2015: New Zealand School of Wine planned for Blenheim
Blenheim could become an educational hub for winemaking and viticulture under ambitious plans to develop a New Zealand School of Wine in Marlborough. Marlborough Boys' and Marlborough Girls' College have submitted proposals that college staff teach year 12 and 13 students level two and level three NCEA in wine production and viticulture from 2016. The colleges are in talks with the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology for the centre to be based at their Budge St campus in Blenheim.

28/07/2015: New wine event planned
Wine enthusiasts may soon have a new event on the calendar in Central Otago to look forward to. A 10-day regional wine event called the Down to Earth Wine Celebration is being planned for around Labour Weekend. Down to Earth Wine Celebration Ltd has applied for $4700 from the 2015-16 Earnscleugh-Manuherikia Promotions budget, the request to be discussed by the Vincent Community Board meeting today.

28/07/2015: Resurgent forest fire threatens Bordeaux
A forest fire raging near the southwestern French city of Bordeaux was advancing again Sunday afternoon after strong winds crushed firefighters' hopes of a break in the weather. Efforts to put out one of the country's worst fires in five years were considerably stepped up on Sunday, after fire crews had spent almost two days battling the blaze. While most of Bordeaux's vineyards are situated mostly to the east and north of the city, there are wineries in the fire affected area of Pessac-Léognan, including the famous Château Haut-Brion estate.

28/07/2015: Waitrose sees mini bottles of wine surge in sales
Waitrose says sales of mini bottles of wine have soared in recent weeks as the trend for single serve sizes accelerates. Last week’s sales of small bottles- 18.7cl to 25cl instead of the usual 75cl- were up 82 per cent from last year, with its mini version of San Leo Prosecco leading the way at 230 per cent ahead of 2014. The retailer said popularity of the bottles at events such as music festivals, Wimbledon and the Ashes cricket has boosted sales.

28/07/2015: Wine investment market seeing ‘relative calm’
After three years of declines, the wine market finally has something to cheer about as prices rose in the first half of 2015 -- albeit at a modest pace. Despite the economic headwinds in Europe and Asia, the benchmark Liv-Ex Fine Wine 50 Index has risen 0.8 percent since the start of the year, after dropping 40 percent from its mid-2011 peak. The wine market has been roiled over the past seven years, first by the 2008 financial crisis and then by a recent sell-off driven in part by China’s crackdown on lavish gift-giving.

28/07/2015: Napa committee supports compliance checks of all wineries
Faced with complaints about lax permitting for wineries, a Napa County committee has thrown its weight behind a requirement that all local wineries deliver annual proof they are following county rules. A self-certification program endorsed Monday morning by the Agricultural Protection Advisory Committee would require wineries in the unincorporated county to certify their compliance with wine production limits and use permit conditions. Each winery’s principal officer would sign the statement.

27/07/2015: Cool Climate briefing addresses climate change in viticulture
Climate change and the consumer’s role were cropped up alongside the effects on viticulture and vinification in the International Cool Climate briefing at the 2015 London Wine Fair. ‘There’s also something I call “cool climate thinking”,’ said Dr Jamie Goode, who will be closing the ICCWS on the final day of the three day conference. ‘In a warm climate you might be thinking “How can I make balanced wines”.’ Goode was speaking at the International Cool Climate Wine Symposium briefing at the 2015 London Wine Fair, back in May, at London Olympia.

27/07/2015: Increases in wine tax 'against the spirit' of EU trade, group claims
The Support Your Local campaign said increases in the cost of a bottle of wine goes against the spirit of the European Project. The group is calling on the Government to reduce excise duty on the beverage in the next budget. It says a €1.50 increase since 2012 is having detrimental impact on farmers across the continent, while lowering the quality of wine being consumed here. "€1.50 has been added in excise to a bottle of wine over three budgets," said Evelyn Jones of the National Off-Licence Association.

27/07/2015: Gormley invests 96% of Naked sale stake in Majestic
Naked Wines founder and Majestic’s new chief executive Rowan Gormley has taken 96% of his cut from the £70m sale of Naked in the form of shares in Majestic. Speaking exclusively to the drinks business Gormley said: “I’m committed to this for the longterm – I took 96% of my stake in the form of shares in Majestic. “I’m fully committed to the company and I believe in it, so it seemed to be the best place to put the money and a good personal investment.”

27/07/2015: Confessions of a middle-aged wine snob
William Sitwell's abhorrence of any bottles costing less than £12 (A$25) is causing him ever more financial and social embarrassment - he reports from the UK summer on the trouble with being a wine snob... Summer sunshine, warm evenings, and the ice box is working overtime. Ice gets sloshed into everything - water, juices and - uh-oh - wine. Good winemakers go to an awful lot of trouble putting their precious liquid into bottles only for fools to dilute it with nasty water. Except, of course, ice can mask a bad wine.

27/07/2015: Matt Duggan bags third Young Viticulturist of the Year award
A Blenheim man has eyes on the national title of the Young Viticulturist of the Year award after winning the Marlborough crown for the third time. Cloudy Bay viticulturist Matt Duggan, 29, beat five other Marlborough finalists on Friday in a day-long competition of theory tests and physical challenges thrown at the young entrants. It was the fifth time Duggan entered the competition, and the last before he reaches the cut-off age of 30.

27/07/2015: Right marketing key for expansion
Wine drinkers in China and the US will lap up what Hawke's Bay has to offer provided local vintners get their marketing right. That is the message from two top international wine judges hired by Air New Zealand to help tweak the airline's wine selection process so it appeals to their home markets. California-based Linda Murphy and Fongyee Walker, from Beijing, shared their insights on the US and China markets with local producers at a Hawke's Bay Winegrowers presentation, during a trip to the region this week.

24/07/2015: South African wineries report a great—if dry—year
Winemakers in the world’s Southern Hemisphere regions have an advantage on their Northern Hemisphere comrades—while grapes are still hanging on the vines up north, down south they are tasting the first wines of the 2015 vintage. Here is the first of our Southern Hemisphere Harvest Reports for 2015, a dispatch from South Africa's Cape wine regions. The good news: South African producers were nearly universal in their effusive praise for the 2015 growing season.

24/07/2015: Champagne yields lowest in a decade
Appellation authorities take a cautious approach, despite a surge in sales. Maximum allowable yields in Champagne this year will be lower than they have been in 10 years, as producers look to reduce the amount of wine they have on hand. The Comité Interprofessionnel des Vins de Champagne (CIVC) set the maximum yield and other harvest parameters on Monday, with the trend to go for lower appellation yield continuing this year.

24/07/2015: One in three US wine drinkers use internet to source prices but only 11% buy online
American wine drinkers have dramatically increased their use of the internet and social media to source information about wine over the past four years – but only 11% have actually bought wine in the ecommerce sector in the previous six months, a Wine Intelligence has shown. While 58.5 million of regular wine drinkers say they research wine online, fewer than 10 million buy wine online.

24/07/2015: Unusual weather impacts grape harvests
Wine WalkWeather systems around the US have changed normal vineyard patterns. The bottom line is that the quantity of grapes being harvested or anticipated to be harvested is lower than normal for a variety of reasons. The coastal areas of Texas have experienced 40 days and nights of rains, clouds and cooler-than-normal temperatures. The result was an influx of fungus which was hard to contain due to daily rains and soggy vineyards.

24/07/2015: Vintage year awaits winner
A competition which fosters young leaders in the viticulture industry and is in its tenth and largest year is open to viticulturists aged 30 or younger. Competition co-ordinator Nicky Grandorge, who is a Wine and Spirit Education Trust-certified educator and won the 2007 Vintner's Cup, has 20 years of experience in the industry. "I have a real passion for wine and the trade," Grandorge says.

24/07/2015: Trendsetter: Rachael Carter from Soho Wines Co.
Soho Wine Co Founder & Managing Director Rachael Carter and her team are mixing up the New Zealand wine arena with handsome models, chic labels, stylish fashion designer names and last but not least, great award-winning wines. What’s so special about New Zealand wine? "We have such unique landscape, our climate & soil etc… the main thing I love about New Zealand wine is our commitment to quality."

23/07/2015: Napa Sets New Record for Earliest Harvest
California's harvest season seems to be getting earlier as Mumm starts picking for sparkling wines Mumm Napa is scheduled to kick off Napa Valley's harvest season today in what will be its earliest start on record. Winemaker Ludovic Dervin said the sparkling wine specialist's first pick will be one day earlier than the previous earliest harvest kickoff in 1997 – a warm year that was considered one of Napa's greatest at the time.

23/07/2015: Fine wine predictions: Rise of Piedmont?
Is the time for the northern Italian region coming as its Bolgheri cousins suffer at the hands of a Bordeaux resurgence? Online fine wine platform, Wine Owners (WO), has released a number of fine wine predictions it expects to see come to fruition over the coming year. One of these centres around the potential for Piedmont to become the driving force in the Italian fine wine category as the “Super Tuscans” see their advance blunted by a renewed interest in Bordeaux.

23/07/2015: Slovenia is too shy to tell you how great its wine is
The greatest winemaking nation may not be France, Italy, New Zealand, or Australia—it could be one you’ve never heard of. Like Slovenia. Nestled above Italy and tucked just underneath Austria, the central European country spent centuries as part of the Austro-Hungarian empire. Occupied by Nazi Germany, it was co-opted into the former Yugoslavia and for the last 24 years, has been a nation state in its own right.

23/07/2015: How Greece's debt crisis is impacting its wine industry
Greece contains some of the oldest wine-producing areas on the planet, with vineyards having been in some parts of the country for more than 4,000 years. As the European Union engages in protracted negotiations over the fate of Greek debt refinance and the status of Greece in the common currency union of the euro, changes have been felt at many levels of Greek society, and certainly in the wine industry. Greece is among the top 10 wine producers of the European Union, with over 300 indigenous varietals, and wine is one of Greece's top exports to the US.

23/07/2015: New Zealand's organic wine producers deserve to be taken seriously
When an agricultural sector's whole promotional schtick is based on the goodness and purity of its growing environment, you'd think those who are doing most to protect and nurture that purity would be held up as heroes. That's not the way it works in the New Zealand wine industry. A powerful event took place in Marlborough recently – the national organic and biodynamic wine conference. Gathered there were representatives of some of the country's best wine producers

23/07/2015: Inexperience won't hinder young viticulturist
Kurt Robinson has not spoken to an audience since he was 15-years-old. On Friday, the Young Viticulturist of the Year finalist will step onto the dais to talk about an unknown subject with little preparation. All six finalists will be required to speak on a subject in the day-long competition, which includes practical and theory sections, and a lunchtime fun event. The Spring Creek Vintners cellar hand and vineyard worker from Southland would not have it any other way.

22/07/2015: NZ wine dominates at Boutique Wine Awards
New Zealand’s Mount Brown Estates was the big winner at this year’s Boutique Wine Awards, claiming the Red Wine of Show, Estate Grown and Produced, and Wine of the Show gongs. The awards were in recognition of the winery’s Grand Reserve Pinot Noir 2013.

22/07/2015: More than 80 gold medals at 2015 Spiegelau International Wine Competition
More than six per cent of all wines entered were awarded a gold medal at last week’s Spiegelau International Wine Competition, resulting in 83 wines receiving a score of 18.5 or more out of 20. Commenting on the results, Chair of Judges, Mike DeGaris concluded, “the terrific 2013 vintage really shone through – especially for Hawkes Bay Syrah, while the Pinot Noirs offered ripe fruit and good structure. The Chardonnays were really well put together and overall, were better balanced.”

22/07/2015: World’s first blue wine goes on sale
Keen to push beyond the realms of red, white and rosé, a group of young Spaniards have broken the mould with the launch of the world’s first blue wine. As reported by Olive Press, six entrepreneurs in their 20s have invented Gik, a bright blue wine from Bierzo in northwest Spain made with red and white grapes.

22/07/2015: World Bank invests to enhance Georgia’s unique Qvevri winemaking method
The World Bank has spent 2.3 million Gel ($1,017,700) to enhance Georgia’s ancient Qvevri wine-making methods by establishing a Qvevri Workshop in the eastern part of the country. The Qvevri Workshop facilities are being set up in the small village of Ikalto, about 110 km from the capital Tbilisi, with a museum and cultural center equipped with state-of-the-art technologies, and a workshop where visitors can learn ancient wine-making methods, according to Georgia Today.

22/07/2015: Morrisons and Tesco win wine awards
Morrisons has been named the best UK supermarket for wine at the International Wine Challenge Awards (IWC), taking home the accolade for 2015 Supermarket of the Year. Meanwhile, Tesco was named best Own Label Range of the Year, with 98% of the wines entered on Tesco’s behalf awarded a medal.

22/07/2015: Winemaker debuts crowdfunded rooftop vineyard in Brooklyn
A Navy Yard might not be exactly what comes to mind when envisioning a terroir that is suitable for viticulture. But with the help of Finger Lakes industry leaders and Cornell University, a first-of-its-kind urban planter system has been developed - on a Brooklyn rooftop.

21/07/2015: Central Otago 'young viticulturist of the year'
Congratulations to Mike Winter from Amisfield who has just become the Bayer Central Otago Young Viticulturist of the Year 2015 and now goes through to the National Final. After a challenging day of activities on Friday at the Central Otago Polytechnic, the contestants’ final task was to deliver a speech at the Annual Winemakers Feraud dinner on Saturday night at Northburn. It was a very close competition with Annabel Bulk taking 2nd place and Cliff Wickham coming 3rd, both from Felton Road Vineyard.

21/07/2015: Hunter’s Wines team up with Breakers basketball team
Hunter’s Wines have become the official wine sponsor to the New Zealand Breakers for the upcoming NBL season. The sponsorship deal reinforces Hunter’s on-going support of basketball in New Zealand. Hunter’s have been gold sponsors of the Nelson Giants for many years and are supporters of Marlborough Basketball. Hunter’s Wines Managing Director and New Zealand wine icon, Jane Hunter said “we are very pleased to grow our association with basketball in New Zealand”. Pic: Hunters Cap: Jeremy Adsett – Marketing Manager, Jane Hunter – Managing Director, Peter Macdonald – General Manager.

21/07/2015: Has sweet red wine taken over the U.S. wine market?
Is it possible that sweet red wine sales totalled one-third of all the Chardonnay sold in the U.S. across the past year? And did slightly better against Cabernet Sauvignon? Or that sweet red wine outsold Syrah, Zinfandel, and Malbec over that time period, and almost overtook Merlot? Hard to believe, but apparently true. A leading wine industry analyst, working with proprietary data, has estimated sweet red wine sales in the 52 weeks ending April 25 were about $534 million. Pic: sweet red Cap: Sweet red wine is leading the way in popularity in the US.

21/07/2015: International wine ambassador
Guillaume Deglise has been chief executive of Vinexpo, a wine fair, since 2013. The fair, which alternates each year between Bordeaux and Hong Kong, wrapped up its latest French edition in June, having drawn 2300 exhibitors and 48,000 visitors from more than 150 countries. “I was born in Nancy in northeast France, quite close to Germany. It’s not wine country. It was when I went to Dijon to study business and marketing at the age of 18 that I caught the wine virus.”

21/07/2015: Shanxi develops a taste for wine business
China is one of the biggest consumers of wine in the world. According to the International Organization of Vine and Wine, it now boasts the second largest amount of vineyards after Spain, pushing France into the third place. And in north China’s Shanxi Province, energy companies are putting more capital into the wine industry. They believe the special climate and soil there will help create a lucrative red wine business.

21/07/2015: Sales fizz at Matthew Clark
High end Prosecco and English sparkling wine have helped to drive a 40 per cent year-on year uplift in fizz sales at Matthew Clark, one of the UK’s largest on-trade suppliers. Building on its buoyant sparkling wine sales over the Christmas period, this latest surge is underpinned by a 57 per cent rise in Prosecco volumes and 145 per cent boost for English sparkling wine. “People are willing to spend more when they’re out; they want a top restaurant experience,” explained Emmy Webster, marketing communications manager for Matthew Clark.

21/07/2015: NZ wine dominates at Boutique Wine Awards
New Zealand’s Mount Brown Estates was the big winner at this year’s Boutique Wine Awards, claiming the Red Wine of Show, Estate Grown and Produced, and Wine of the Show gongs. The awards were in recognition of the winery’s Grand Reserve Pinot Noir 2013.

21/07/2015: More than 80 gold medals at 2015 Spiegelau International Wine Competition
More than six per cent of all wines entered were awarded a gold medal at last week’s Spiegelau International Wine Competition, resulting in 83 wines receiving a score of 18.5 or more out of 20. Commenting on the results, Chair of Judges, Mike DeGaris concluded, “the terrific 2013 vintage really shone through – especially for Hawkes Bay Syrah, while the Pinot Noirs offered ripe fruit and good structure. The Chardonnays were really well put together and overall, were better balanced.”

21/07/2015: World’s first blue wine goes on sale
Keen to push beyond the realms of red, white and rosé, a group of young Spaniards have broken the mould with the launch of the world’s first blue wine. As reported by Olive Press, six entrepreneurs in their ‘20s have invented Gik, a bright blue wine from Bierzo in northwest Spain made with red and white grapes.

21/07/2015: World Bank invests to enhance Georgia’s unique Qvevri winemaking method
The World Bank has spent 2.3 million Gel ($1,017,700) to enhance Georgia’s ancient Qvevri wine-making methods by establishing a Qvevri Workshop in the eastern part of the country. The Qvevri Workshop facilities are being set up in the small village of Ikalto, about 110 km from the capital Tbilisi, with a museum and cultural center equipped with state-of-the-art technologies, and a workshop where visitors can learn ancient wine-making methods, according to Georgia Today.

21/07/2015: Morrisons and Tesco win wine awards
Morrisons has been named the best UK supermarket for wine at the International Wine Challenge Awards (IWC), taking home the accolade for 2015 Supermarket of the Year. Meanwhile, Tesco was named best Own Label Range of the Year, with 98% of the wines entered on Tesco’s behalf awarded a medal.

21/07/2015: Winemaker debuts crowdfunded rooftop vineyard in Brooklyn
A Navy Yard might not be exactly what comes to mind when envisioning a terroir that is suitable for viticulture. But with the help of Finger Lakes industry leaders and Cornell University, a first-of-its-kind urban planter system has been developed - on a Brooklyn rooftop.

20/07/2015: Hillside organic vineyard for sale
Hillside organic vineyard supplying highly-acclaimed wine label for sale. An established, organic Marlborough vineyard which has supplied grapes to celebrated wine label Churton, has been placed on the market for sale. Located at 941 Waihopai Valley Road, the 22-hectare vineyard sits high above Marlborough in the Waihopai Valley. Planted across the rolling contours of the land , it encompasses predominantly sauvignon blanc and pinot noir grapes, along with small blocks of petit manseng, and viognier.

20/07/2015: Is sipping cider a threat to the wine industry?
Impressive growth in the demand for cider in the global markets has put it squarely back on the beverage alcohol map, attracting a younger, more affluent consumer, according to the Rabobank Wine Quarterly Q3 report. "In the past decade, the cider category has gone a long way to discard its old fashioned image and connect with a new wave of consumers," says Rabobank beverage analyst Marc Soccio.

20/07/2015: Huia Vineyard wins best biodynamic winery award in New York
Marlborough organic winegrower Huia Vineyard has won a swath of international awards but the latest was the most surprising, owners Mike and Claire Allan said. The couple, who have used biodynamic winemaking principals since 1996, won the Natural/Biodynamic Winery of the Year at the New York International Wine Challenge among more than 1000 organic and conventional made wines entered from 30 countries. "We didn't realise there was an award until we were called at home by our sales agent in Denver, " Claire said.

20/07/2015: German Riesling is on the rise
There is no better wine style to drink at the height of summer than German Riesling. At its best, it’s a style that is unmatched at combining complexity and concentration of flavour with lightness of touch and alcohol. I say style, but I should really say styles: while the Riesling grape is the ingredient German winemakers use to make the overwhelming majority of their best white wines, the wines vary greatly according to the region, village, or vineyard in which they are grown.

20/07/2015: Cheers as Aldi wine wins top-value award
A WINE from supermarket Aldi has scooped the best-value bottle of the year award. The £6.99 own-label The Exquisite Collection Clare Valley Riesling, won the award at the International Wine Challenge. The judges were some of the world’s top connoisseurs and consider wines across the globe. The Exquisite Collection Clare Valley Riesling has already received a host of awards this year, including a gold medal at the International Wine Challenge.

20/07/2015: Virginia wineries cope with grape shortage
Villa Appalaccia grows most of its own grapes for its wines. At one of the few Virginia vineyards planted on shale, grape varieties such as Pinot Grigio, Aglianico and Cabernet Franc do well in the cool climate in the hills along the Blue Ridge Parkway at the border of Floyd and Patrick counties. But the winery does not grow its own vidal blanc simply because it doesn’t have enough space. So it buys those grapes from another Virginia vineyard.

20/07/2015: Viticulturist started young
For Central Otago's Young Viticulturist of the Year 2015 winner, having a glass of wine at the dinner table from the age of 10 was normal in his family. Mike Winter (28), of Cromwell, won the competition held at the Otago Polytechnic campus on Friday and Saturday. Although it ''never really tasted fantastic'' at that age, that was the time he was introduced to the world of wine and viticulture. The combination of an interest in winemaking, being hands on, working outdoors, and an interest in wine itself made him realise it was something he wanted to pursue as a career.

17/07/2015: New Zealand winery celebrates a Milestone event
Chuck Byers, wine writer, recently attended the 25th anniversary celebration of the Milestone restaurant chain. Milestone’s marketing and public relations specialist, Lindsay Kirsh, met Byers at Milestone’s Yonge and Dundas location and introduced him to the ‘Bringing Tasty Back’ theme. Kim Crawford, together with parent company Constellation Brands, was the winery in the spotlight, and rightly so.

17/07/2015: Aston Martin teams up with Dom Pérignon
The Italian arm of British sports car manufacturer Aston Martin has teamed up with Dom Pérignon to offer a luxury Champagne extra that James Bond would be proud of. Taking luxury to another level, Aston Martin Milano has partnered with Dom Pérignon to offer buyers of its Milano Rapide S sports car the optional extra of having a bespoke Champagne cellar installed into the boot.

17/07/2015: Decanter to host second Shanghai Fine Wine Encounter
Decanter will return to the Ritz-Carlton in Pudong on 28 November for its second edition of the Decanter Shanghai Fine Wine Encounter. The first Decanter Shanghai Fine Wine Encounter was described as ‘the best wine show of the year in China’ and drew plaudits from visitors and exhibitors alike. News of the second edition was announced on July 15 at a press conference in Shanghai and hosted by Decanter’s publishing director, Sarah Kemp.

17/07/2015: Accolade lists top three UK on-trade wines
Wine brands Stowells, Jack Rabbit and Hardys are the current top three most popular wines in the UK on-trade, according to the latest report by CGA Strategy. Figures released by CGA on wine brand performance to the end of June reveal the trio to be the most popular in the UK off-trade. All three of the wines are distributed by Accolade Wines.

17/07/2015: Why it pays producers to promote a signature wine
You can name a wine after its grape, where it comes from, or both, as in Argentine malbec. While there's a risk of promoting uniformity, regions that don't do this, such as Chile, lack signature wines. Some regions have done this with resounding success: for many people, the name "Marlborough" is merely the first half of the phrase "Marlborough sauvignon blanc". Cabernet sauvignon, although grown in virtually every region of California, has a special affinity with the name Napa.

17/07/2015: Young viticulturists test skills
Reigning champion Brenton O'Riley and former multiple winner Matt Duggan are among the finalists lining up for best young viticulturist of Marlborough. The 2015 Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year winner will be as adept at presenting a speech to an audience as they are at backing a tractor through a narrow vineyard row. Event co-ordinator Samantha Young said the competition attracted a high calibre of entrants throughout the country.

16/07/2015: New Zealand wine recalled due to glass scare
A New Zealand winemaker is recalling three of its products due to possible glass fragments in its Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc. 3 Stones wines initiated the recall yesterday after a packaging fault was found which meant glass fragments could be dislodged from the bottles upon opening. The products affected are 3 Stones Sauvignon Blanc 2014 (batch code L5148), 3 Stones Pinot Gris 2015 (batch code L5148 and Clearwater Cove Pinot Gris 2015 (batch code L5148).

16/07/2015: Wine auction set to be fast and furious
The tastings have been completed, the scores tallied, now let the bidding war begin. Wine drinkers with an eye for a bargain will have the chance to lap up the range of wine varieties when almost 4000 bottles go under the hammer at the annual Spiegelau International Wine Competition auction on Thursday night. The auction at the Marlborough Convention Centre is the traditional closing of the three-day judging competition which has seen 1300 wines from the world's major grape growing regions scored on their merits.

16/07/2015: Bordeaux winemaker death inquiry to focus on pesticides
A potentially groundbreaking criminal investigation is set to be launched in France over claims that the death of a Bordeaux winemaker was caused by exposure to pesticides. The first steps towards a criminal prosecution came after Valerie Murat filed legal action over the the death of her father, claiming ‘involuntary homicide’. James-Bernard Murat, a winemaker in Pujols in the Entre deux Mers region of Bordeaux, died of lung cancer in 2012.

16/07/2015: How France dominates oak barrel trade for fine wines
Crafted by artisans using high quality oak, "Made in France" wine barrels, in which age some of the world's most expensive wines, are selling like hot cakes abroad, with exports making up 70 percent of the market. The barrels house an elite club of wines, with only two to four percent fermenting in these prized oak containers. Other wines usually age in concrete or steel tanks. While the barrel market dipped slightly in 2014 after 20 years of solid growth, the industry is still going strong.

16/07/2015: English wine makes British Airways first class list
English still wines have often struggled to generate the same excitement as their sparkling wine counterparts in recent years, but British Airways has gone some way to redressing the balance. The 2014 vintage of Bolney Estate‘s Pinot Gris, priced at £16 to £17 per bottle in retailers, will be served to first class passengers on all BA flights to and from the US throughout August. It is the first English still wine to be listed by the airline, the winery said. ‘It demonstrates the quality reputation that British wines are now receiving,’ said Bolney’s managing director, Sam Linter.

16/07/2015: Big brand wine opportunity greater than ever in China
The opportunity for branded inexpensive New World wines in China is bigger than ever before, according to Wine Intelligence. Following the release yesterday of its China Wine Market Landscape Report, Richard Halstead, who is co-founder and COO at Wine Intelligence, told the drinks businessthat it wouldn’t be long before a major international wine brand made significant headway in the country. “It is only a matter of time before there is a big brand breakthrough,” he stated. Continuing, he explained, “The market for a proper, sensibly-price, brand-led offer is probably more open now in China than it has ever been.”

15/07/2015: Crackdown ordered against toxic wine sellers
Karachi Commissioner Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui on Monday directed the excise and other relevant departments to launch crackdown against production and sale of unprocessed wine in the city. “Police, excise and relevant departments of anti-narcotics should monitor the production and sale of prohibited wine in the city. They should spread their patrolling and take strict action against the people involved in selling such wine as it has taken many lives during previous Eid,” he said in a letter sent to the excise department.

15/07/2015: Another early harvest: Climate change?
California has had so many “early harvests” lately that we’re going to have to redefine what the word “early” means. Maybe “early” is the new “normal.” It seems like the last two years, 2013-2014, were mind-blowingly early. The 2013 vintage was “Early [with] exceptional quality vintage throughout the state,” said the Wine Institute. Then, in 2014, Wine Spectator said that, in 2014, “Everything was ready to go in early- to mid-August, even Cabernet Sauvignon, which usually ripens much later.”

15/07/2015: High-profile references for guilty wine boss
A former All Blacks coach, an ex-Olympic rower and rich-lister, and a high-profile chairman went in to bat for former wine boss Peter Scutts who was sentenced to eight months' home detention yesterday. Scutts, 59, a former chief executive of the Auckland Blues rugby franchise, will serve that sentence at an undisclosed address. He had references when appearing in the High Court at Auckland yesterday from former All Blacks coach Sir Graham Henry, broadcaster Murray Deaker, former Olympic rower Peter Masfen and high-profile businessman Michael Stiassny.

15/07/2015: The Chinese stock meltdown and NZ
The dramatic rise and fall of the Chinese stock market does not augur well in the short term for New Zealand exports to the world's second largest economy according to local economists. New Zealanders woke today to news of a downward spiral in the Chinese stock market. The Shanghai Composite index fell 5.9 percent, taking the value of shares to 32 percent below their peak in June. But lying beneath that headline number the story is about a stock market which has seen a large correction over a short period of time.

15/07/2015: Scotland's first home grown wine is branded 'undrinkable'
Wine connoisseurs have waited years to taste Scotland's first to be grown from the grape. But, unfortunately a vineyard owner's plans appear not to be ripe enough for their delicate palate after they described the wine as undrinkable. Christopher Trotter, from Aberdeen, hoped to defy the climate and set up his own vineyard in Fife three years ago. There has been international interest in his bid to make wine in one of Europe's wettest countries, and the first bottles of "Chateau Largo" have been keenly awaited.

15/07/2015: Bordeaux trade falls away
Trade in the recently upgraded Bordeaux 2005 vintage is already slowing on the Liv-ex platform after an explosive, initial burst. Robert Parker’s rescore at the end of last month did much to push the vintage back into the spotlight and a number of the wines have seen substantial increases in value. Nonetheless, actual trade in the vintage has fallen away sharply with Liv-ex reporting that having hit a 37% share of trade by value in the week finishing 2 July, its share the following week (3-9 July) was a mere 2.6%.

14/07/2015: Questions remain over Yealands sale
More questions are being asked on the purchase of Yealands Wine Group by Marlborough Lines. Both Kaikoura MP, and former New Zealand Winegrowers chairman Stuart Smith, and winegrower John Forrest, remain unconvinced the deal was in the best interests of the community. The pair say a number of questions remain unanswered from the lines distribution company board of directors after $89 million was paid to buy 80 per cent of YWG a fortnight ago. The purchase was made about the same time as two Marlborough Lines directors, James Hay and Anthony Beverley, resigned from the board.

14/07/2015: Entry-level is an emerging opportunity for wine producers seeking exports to China – report
The slowdown in the Chinese economy and government austerity and anti-corruption measures are creating an opportunity for producers of entry-level and mid-priced wines, a new China Wine Market Landscape Report from Wine Intelligence has revealed. The market for imported wine continues to grow but average prices paid for a bottle of wine in both the on and off-trade environments has fallen, creating space for cheaper wines to thrive.

14/07/2015: Magherafelt firm secures exclusive rights to sell top Australian wine
A Co. Derry wine distributor has secured the exclusive rights to sell Lisa McGuigan Wines in Northern Ireland. The company expects to sell 12,000 cases of the wines worth £300,000 in the first year of the deal. The McGuigan Family are one of Australia’s most distinguished wine making families and one the fourth generations jetted in to Northern Ireland recently to launch her own label distributed by Magherafelt based Cabroso Wines.

14/07/2015: Why French wrong to think wine in screw-cap bottles won't age well
It was a small news story; the end of a decade-long experiment into the screw-cap closure for André Lurton Pessac Léognans whites. But it came just weeks after I had done a horizontal tasting of 2005 wines of that particular style where one of the Lurton estates, Château Couhins-Lurton, stood out as exceptionally young and fresh - I think I wrote about the fresh aromas of billowing cotton sheets that made me look again at the vintage to check that they hadn't served up something younger. It turned out to be bottled under screw cap.

14/07/2015: World’s first “Smart Wine Bottle”
Thin Film Electronics ASA (Thinfilm), a global leader in the development of printed electronics and smart systems, today announced a partnership with the G World Group (G World), a global authentication company specializing in transparency and accountability solutions. The partnership will unveil the industry’s first “smart wine bottle” built using printed electronics technology at GSMA’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) Shanghai 2015.

14/07/2015: Spiegelau judges gather to savour wine
Twenty-one judges, 1300 wines, three days to savour. All eyes, and noses, will be centred this week on the fifth annual Spiegelau International Wine Competition at the Marlborough Convention Centre. Established by Wine Competition businesswomen Belinda Jackson and Margaret Cresswell, of Blenheim, the competition brings together wines from France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Portugal, South Africa, Australia, North and South America, and New Zealand.

14/07/2015: Spiegelau judges gather to savour wine
Twenty-one judges, 1300 wines, three days to savour. All eyes, and noses, will be centred this week on the fifth annual Spiegelau International Wine Competition at the Marlborough Convention Centre. Established by Wine Competition businesswomen Belinda Jackson and Margaret Cresswell, of Blenheim, the competition brings together wines from France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Portugal, South Africa, Australia, North and South America, and New Zealand.

13/07/2015: United States set to overtake Australia for NZ wine exports
Winemaker Alex Giesen is tipping the United States to become our biggest export market in one to two years, but it may happen even faster. Giesen predicts the US will overtake Australia and the United Kingdom as the biggest quaffers of New Zealand wine in 12 to 24 months. Giesen and his brothers founded Giesen Wines in 1984 in Canterbury. Now much of its grape growing is in Marlborough. He said New Zealand wine exports to the US had doubled in five years to 5.88 million cases in the year to April 2015.

13/07/2015: World Famous Wine Critic Jancis Robinson Announced for Pinot Noir NZ 2017
The world’s most influential wine commentator Jancis Robinson, OBE, MW, is heading to New Zealand for Pinot Noir NZ 2017. Bringing Robinson to New Zealand, with her world leading reputation as one of the most authoritative wine critics and writers, is seen as a major coup for the country’s Pinot Noir producers. It is the biggest international wine conference held in the southern hemisphere. Robinson is the first in a leading line-up of 15 guest speakers to be announced for the highly anticipated three-day event being held on Wellington’s waterfront from 31st January 2017.

13/07/2015: Rescue plan for historic Chilean Malbec
A small enclave containing 140-year-old vines is trying to get growers to choose vines over lumber. A group of southern Chilean farmers is seeking government funding to help preserve their ancient Malbec vines, some of which date back to the time when Ulysses Grant was in the White House. It's one part of an initiative – the Traditional Vines Rescue Plan – launched by the Chilean marketing consultancy Andes Wines, its aim to persuade holders of old vines and rare varieties to preserve and nurture what they have.

13/07/2015: The power of a good wine label: It sells more wine
It’s a simple truth: most of us purchase wine based on our instant reaction to the wine label. “The wine label really only has about 1.5 seconds to make an impact,” notes John Lawlor, co-founder of Real Picture Research, a visual engagement research company. Lawlor and fellow co-founder, Don White, spend their days researching the impact of wine labels. “At the point of purchase the only real info the consumer has is the label, and within that 1.5 seconds we draw so many conclusions. Wine is such an image product so the label is a big part of the impression.”

13/07/2015: Rustic meets refined in Mexico's blossoming wine region
Forget Sonoma: North America's trendiest wine region is located south of the border. The burgeoning region between the Baja California town of Tecate south to Ensenada boasts brand-new wine-tasting rooms, striking natural landscapes, unique boutique hotels and boundary-pushing restaurants. So, why haven't you ever heard of it? Mexico has been making wine for centuries, but Baja's Mediterranean-esque wine country, the fertile Valle de Guadalupe, has been flying blissfully under the radar of most oenophiles.

13/07/2015: Redding company Best Bottle producing new reality wine show
Different wine regions around the world will go head to head, in a new reality show called Best Bottle, to see who can make the best bottle of wine. Scott Krauger, CEO, founder, and executive producer has been in the wine industry for about 25 years. Wine is his passion. "The concept was really created from my love of wine," Krauger noted. With the reality show, Krauger wants to show the world what it takes to create a bottle of wine.

10/07/2015: US market offers huge potential for New Zealand wines
New Zealand wine exports to the United States are growing faster than to our traditional international markets of Australia and the UK, and that pace is being matched by increasing recognition at the top competitions. In the five years from 2010-2015, exports of Kiwi wines increased three times faster than the UK and Australia. For the 12 months ended April 2015, New Zealand exported 5.88 million cases of wine to the US – up three million since 2010. During that period, exports to Australia increased to 6.4 million (4.8 million five years ago).

10/07/2015: Caleb sets sights on national final
For Craggy Range viticulturist Caleb Dennis it was a case of third time lucky when he picked up the Bayer Hawke's Bay Young Viticulturist of the Year title last week. "I was pretty ecstatic to have won this year as it was the third time I had entered," was how he summed it up. The 27-year-old beat seven other contestants at the Te Awa Winery-staged event to take the Hawke's Bay title and now goes through to the national final against the rest of the industry's best young viticulturists.

10/07/2015: 'First ever' criminal investigation in France into wine grower's death from pesticide use
A French criminal court has launched an unprecedented inquiry into the “involuntary homicide” of a Bordeaux wine grower who died of lung cancer after using a toxic pesticide on his grapes for 40 years. James-Bernard Murat, died in 2012 after spraying his vineyards in southwestern France with three pesticides containing sodium arsenite, which is now banned as a carcinogenic poison. His cancer was officially confirmed to be “linked to his profession” in 2011.

10/07/2015: Valmira Raises the Bar for Spanish Wine Prices
It might be from the less-favored region of Rioja Baja, but it costs more than Vega Sicilia. Rioja Baja's most expensive wine is set for release, and it will be one of the costliest in Spain. Alvaro Palacios' single-vineyard, 100-percent Garnacha called Valmira, from Alfaro in the far southeast of Rioja, will hit the shelves at €380 ($425) – more than Vega Sicilia's Único. Rioja is no stranger to expensive bottles – Artadi's Vina el Pisón, and Bodegas Contador come to mind – although when it comes to price, nothing beats Ribera del Duero or Priorat.

10/07/2015: Matthew Clark boosts boutique range to cash in on premium wine growth
Matthew Clark has added more than 30 boutique wines to its portfolio as demand for premium wines in the on-trade continues to grow. Company stats show that sales of premium wines are up 10 per cent on last year, with restaurants (up 14.5 per cent) and gastropubs (up 52 per cent) putting in a particularly impressive performance. "We're delighted to welcome so many new top producers to our 2015 list," said purchasing director, Simon Jerrome.

10/07/2015: Meet the Chicago startup that wants to purify your wine
You may have seen the small label at the bottom of your wine bottle that reads "Contains Sulfite" and wondered, what is this? Is sulfite bad? Is that what's giving me wicked wine hangovers? There's some debate about the health risks of sulfites (no, it's probably not what's giving you headaches), but for a certain segment of the population, sulfites are indeed harmful and prevent people from consuming wine. Those with asthma can have severe sulfite sensitivity, and others are just simply allergic to it.

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