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||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.
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Announcements and Suppliers
31/08/2015: VinPilot® DryFog humidification reduces wine loss
Wine ageing in barrels for three years can lose up to 14% of its volume when stored at 60% relative humidity. The VinPilot DryFog system increases the RH and is able to maintain it at higher levels up to 85%, which results in reduced losses by 80%. The DryFog system creates and controls high humidity conditions without wetting resulting in wine evaporation being reduced, saving on major 'topping' and 'angel share' costs.
26/08/2015: Groguard celebrates its 25th year of the Vineguard
Legendary for its ruggedness and reliability, with nearly 10 million GroGuard vine guards being sold, the GroGuard has increased the profitability of numerous new plantings.
26/08/2015: Australia Trade Tasting is here!
‘Australia Trade Tasting’ is a buyers only trade tasting and educational conference happening in Melbourne and Sydney.
21/08/2015: AuTT Conference is here!
We are now in our last week of registrations of #AuTT15 conference, so time is ticking away to get your passes! Don't miss your chance to see our amazing speaker lineup in action and network with other inspiration attendees. For the LAST TIME* we're throwing it back to our lowest price available -- $450 for an All-Access 2 day Pass! Don't miss one of the best sales, marketing and distribution content which will help you grow your brand.
19/08/2015: New Direct to Customer Research
Wine Business Solutions’ 2015 Direct to Customer benchmarking is now underway. This is your opportunity to add to the pool of knowledge in relation to the most profitable part of your wine business. Just follow this link to take the survey It’s also your chance to get the finished survey for half price or $A200 off. All you will need is your revenue and case sales numbers for the last two years as well as your Direct to Customer sales.
18/08/2015: Oak & Innovative Wine Making Technologies Regional Workshop
Ausvat PTY LTD together with the Winery Engineering Association Limited proudly present 'An Oak & Innovative Wine Making Technologies Regional Workshop to be held in Willunga on September 16th 2015. Content for this exciting day will include Professor Roger Boulton’s “UC DAVIS Experimental Super Winery/Winery of the Future, new Gen Stakvats wine maturation membrane technologies and innovative Oak Stave Reclamation with an actual demonstration including patented and scientifically proven FIR toasting.
Australian Wine Industry News
4/09/2015: Recognition for industry stalwart
The annual Queensland Wine Awards is the night of nights for the local wine industry with accolades for wine quality, service quality and contribution to the wine industry. This year Ballandean Estate matriarch, Mary Puglisi, was recognised for her outstanding contribution.
4/09/2015: Wine taxes
Following on from last week’s discussion about wine tax are some suggestions from industry how reform of tax can meld with focusing on rebuilding demand to assist industry recovery. So what are some of the ideas put forward so far, asks Riverland Wine?
4/09/2015: House of Arras 2005 Grand Vintage Brut crowned best Australian sparkling wine
House of Arras 2005 Grand Vintage Brut was crowned Best Australian Sparkling Wine last night at the Awards Dinner of the 2015 Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships. "Tasmania is undoubtedly Australia’s most exciting sparkling wine region, while Ed Carr of Accolade is definitely its most prolific, award-winning, sparkling winemaker."
4/09/2015: FARE not playing fair: Winemakers’ Federation hits back
On Thursday, the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) made public comments on wine tax that were immediately and strongly disputed by the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia. “FARE makes the claim that wine taxes are low in Australia compared to other countries which is incorrect,” said Paul Evans, the WFA chief executive.
4/09/2015: Nominations open for the ASVO 'awards for excellence'
The 4th annual Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology’s (ASVO) Awards for Excellence have been officially launched, with the ASVO calling for nominations for the prestigious awards. Since their inception, the ASVO Awards for Excellence have attracted a high calibre of entrants and are now recognised within the industry as a demonstration of expertise for wine industry professionals to aspire to and achieve.
3/09/2015: International tourist spending growth reaches Sydney Olympic heights
The tourism sector is continuing to pick up speed after the collapse of the mining boom, with an influx of visitors from China and India and more splurging on food and wine contributing to the strongest annual growth rate in spending since the Sydney Olympics were held in 2000. The Australian Financial Review reports total spending rose by 10 per cent to a record $33.4 billion in the 12 months to June 30, outpacing a 7 per cent rise in visitors to 6.6 million, the latest international visitor survey from Tourism Research Australia showed.
3/09/2015: Are you the next AAVWS Ambassador?
Do you want to join the Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show (AAVWS) in Mildura this November? Launched in 2014, the AAVWS Fellowship invites applications from wine professionals and knowledgeable enthusiasts who are excited by the opportunity to explore and celebrate Australia’s alternative varieties and share that new found fervour with their networks and industry groups.
3/09/2015: AFFW next generation forms board
The next generation of Australia’s First Families of Wine has formed the AFFW Next Gen Committee, announcing its first four board members last week. The AFFW Next Gen Committee chairman, Scott McWilliam of McWilliam’s Wines, named Richard Burch of Burch Family Wines, Jessica Hill-Smith of Yalumba and Katherine Brown of Brown Brothers as the first members of the Next Gen board.
3/09/2015: Wine, telecommunications discussed with Senator
Unreliable telecommunications, poor infrastructure and proposed changes to the Wine Equalisation Tax were the major talking points at Dal Zotto Wines in Whitfield, Victoria, when Senator Richard Colbeck, parliamentary secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, visited yesterday. Michael and Otto Dal Zotto met with Senator Colbeck and Liberal candidate for Indi, Sophie Mirabella, to discuss pending reforms to the Wine Equalisation Tax (WET).
2/09/2015: Treasury Wine Estates CEO Mike Clarke paid $4.45m as it returns to profit
Treasury Wine Estates chief executive Mike Clarke has collected a handsome pay packet of $4.45 million in his first full year at the helm of the maker of Penfolds, Wolf Blass and Rosemount, with his pay supercharged by the strong turnaround in the financial performance of the group. Mr Clarke began as the chief executive of Treasury in late March 2014 and the company's annual report lodged with the Australian Securities Exchange on Tuesday shows his total remuneration for the 12 months ended June 30, 2015 amounted to $4.45 million.
2/09/2015: Increasingly challenging environment: New research from Wine Intelligence
Australian wine drinkers are subtly changing their drinking habits, with research indicating that although consumers are drinking on a more regular basis, they are consuming less overall, according to a new report published today. The Australia Landscapes 2015 report from Wine Intelligence found a slight decrease in volume of wine consumed, as well as a slight overall decrease in the wine-drinking population, with an estimated 11.2 million adults drinking wine at least once every month, down from 11.5 million in 2014.
2/09/2015: NSW growers get latest vineyard update
Winegrape growers are set to benefit from the latest research results and practical management options for the 2016 vintage by attending a National Wine and Grape Industry Centre (NWGIC) vine health field day at Griffith next week. NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) viticulture development officers, Darren Fahey and Adrian Englefield, will be joined by some of Australia’s most respected scientists and viticulturists to deliver information tailored to meet industry priorities.
2/09/2015: Tickets sell out quickly for Sydney's first Wine Island festival
Tickets to the Wine Island festival, which will be held over three days from Friday, November 13 on Clark Island, went on sale at 9am Tuesday, September 1, but most of the 3000 tickets sold out within 15 minutes. Some Sydney wine buffs have been left disappointed after missing out on tickets to the latest food and wine event to hit the city.
2/09/2015: Casella expands national accounts team
Casella Family Brands has restructured, and is expanding, its national accounts team following an increase in sales for 2015. The restructure has seen a number of changes for the company, with three key appointments coming to the national accounts team.
1/09/2015: Wine ‘has strong future’
Visiting international wine judge and celebrated author Stephen Brook believes there is a strong future for specific wine styles and varieties from the Swan Valley but the key is marketing. “The Swan Valley does certain things very well, but in some cases these are varieties and styles which are not in huge demand, so the challenge for winemakers and marketers is to create markets for them,” he said.
1/09/2015: Wet winter; good wine
West Gippsland’s famously wet weather comes in handy for wine growers – some wineries are able to choose not to irrigate. “A distinctive factor between cool climate varieties and the irrigated varieties is the production level,” Wild Dog Winery owner Gary Surman told the Warragul & Baw Baw Citizen. “We would produce about a fifth of the volume of tonnes per acre compared to irrigation vines.”
1/09/2015: Margaret River winemakers put trial products to the taste test
A series of West Australian viticultural and winemaking trials were put to the palate-test this month as part of an inaugural event. The Department of Agriculture and Food of WA (DAFWA) facilitated a tasting workshop, at the Margaret River Education Campus, where winemakers provided feedback on different wine trials.
1/09/2015: Morning booze ban would cost city jobs: wine merchant
Adelaide City Councillor Sandy Wilkinson suggested the ban last week, arguing that some liquor stores were profiting from the struggles of vulnerable people – particularly those who drink in the parklands – by selling alcohol early in the morning. However, East End Cellars owner Michael Andrewartha says his store has never sold cheap liquor, and that a morning ban would have a “severe impact” on his business. “At least three staff would lose their positions, and for no reason,” he told InDaily.
31/08/2015: Fine wine key to US market growth
A focus on premium wine and the story Australia has to tell are key to increasing North American market share, according to Wine Australia regional director Angela Slade. The United States was the top destination for bottled Australian wines by value at $369 million and for exports by volume at 108 million litres in the past 12 months.
31/08/2015: Australian Vintage profits drop
Australian Vintage Limited has reported an 11 per cent drop in its annual profit to $9.4 million amid tough conditions for the industry globally. Revenue for the business increased 7.5 per cent on the previous year to $230.9m, which the company said “reflected higher branded sales despite anticipated lower bulk and processing sales”.
31/08/2015: Family winemakers buy Barossa Valley landmark
Renowned winemakers the Calabria family have snapped up the picturesque Magnolia Vale wine property in the heart of the Barossa Valley for about $1.9 million. The 12-hectare property on the corner of Magnolia and Light Pass Roads in Tanunda has 10 hectares of vines producing grapes for Treasury Wine Estates. It is also renowned for its 1800s bluestone cellar door and restaurant leased to Artisans of Barossa, run by seven local wine producers.
31/08/2015: The Australian Vinegar story: Australia’s first dedicated vinegar-making facility
LiraH, Australia’s leading premium vinegar producer, started with some oak barrels on a farm at Ballandean only 10 years ago. In 2003, Ian Henderson and his wife Robyn launched Australia’s first dedicated vinegar-making facility in Queensland’s premier wine-growing region, the Granite Belt.
31/08/2015: Coonawarra’s Raidis Estate powering up innovative visitors
Leading the charge to support innovation, Raidis Estate has recently installed South Australia’s first Tesla recharge station at their Coonawarra Cellar Door, enabling Tesla owners to visit the Limestone Coast wine region with ease for the first time. The idea was sparked by Melbourne-based Tesla owner Keith Wein who visited Emma and Steven Raidis at their Cellar Door while waiting 24 hours for his battery operated vehicle to recharge.
28/08/2015: Oh, what a Hunter vintage
"Stock up on the ’14 vintage, customers, it’s a cracker ... the hype of the 2014 shiraz from the Hunter is not a myth. Top wines had beautiful fruit with good oak balance and will be treasures for years to come." No, this is not a salesman’s spiel, it’s the 2015 Hunter Valley Wine Show judges giving enthusiastic praise to 2014 shiraz.
28/08/2015: De Bortoli Wines keeps it in the family in the Yarra Valley
The De Bortoli winery in the Yarra Valley holds two things in the highest regard: family and taste. “We don’t want our wines to taste like they come from the Barossa,” Stephen Webber says. “We want our wines to taste like the Yarra Valley. It’s a pretty important thing called terroir, which means the flavour of the place, and we try pretty hard to make sure our wines taste like they come from here.”
28/08/2015: Push on for wine tax reforms
The Abbott Government has released its Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) Rebate Discussion Paper aimed at pruning market distorting wine industry subsidies. Submissions to the discussion paper – originally flagged for release in July - are due to close on September 11. A WET Rebate Consultative Group comprising senior wine industry members has also been established as part of the taxation reform process.
28/08/2015: 50,000 cases per month – and growing
GraysOnline, the Australian online retail and auction company, recently separated its wine offer through the stand-alone GraysWine.com.au. The general manager of the Grays wine division is Simon West, somebody with a lot of ‘skin’ in the wine industry. In a Q&A with Nathan Gogoll, West explains his background in sales and marketing and details how GraysWine wants to work with the wine brands it sells.
28/08/2015: Entries close soon for the Wine Communicator Awards
Entries for the WCA’s prestigious annual Wine Communicator Awards, which for the first time will include a category for ‘best wine educator’ close in less than two weeks – on Thursday 10 September. There are nine award categories, including the Wine Communicator of the Year, Digital Wine Communicator of the Year, and New Wine Writer of the Year.
27/08/2015: Grape and Wine 2015: Friday 28 August will focus on action
A wine industry leadership summit ‘Grape and Wine 2015 - A Focus for Action’ will be held in Adelaide tomorrow, Friday 28 August. It is understood representatives from 40 national, state and nominated regional industry organisations will be involved. There is an ambition Grape and Wine 2015 will reach consensus on: - Priority areas for industry representative bodies to contribute to a return to profitability; and - Principles that should shape a future industry representative structure and organisations. However, on the eve of this ambitious meeting, opposition to one proposed restructure has gained momentum.
27/08/2015: Winemaker toasts lower Aussie dollar
The maker of McGuigan wines has raised a glass to the falling Australian dollar. Australian Vintage says it is looking to increase sales in the United Kingdom, the United States and Asia in the year ahead. The push to expand further overseas comes as the company tries to cope with increased pressure on its margins, or the money it makes on its wines.
27/08/2015: Wine exports looking up after nine year gap
There is a renaissance in the Australian wine industry with exports looking up for the first time in nine years. According to Stuart Barclay of Wines Australia, wine exports from Australia have increased by five per cent to fetch AU$1.89 billion in the past 12 months. It is the first increase in export revenue for Australian wines since 2006/2007.
27/08/2015: Dan Murphy's CDO reveals why the spotlight is on the customer journey
During her time as Dan Murphy's CDO, Faye Ilhan has helped drive a number of innovations, including being the first retailer to launch click-and-collect across all outlets, and introducing Dan Murphy’s ShipSmart, which enables customers to receive unlimited deliveries. “We knew the number one grudge with delivery is the delivery charges,” she told CMO.
27/08/2015: Neville Rowe joins Chateau Tanunda as new senior winemaker
Château Tanunda has appointed Neville Rowe as Senior Winemaker, taking over from Stuart Bourne. Neville has had 20 years’ experience in the wine industry with time at some of Australia’s top wine companies including Domaine Chandon LVMH Group, Hardy’s Tintara, Mitchelton and Sevenhill Cellars.
26/08/2015: Wineries blend to create opportunities
Four Barossa wineries have pooled resources to benefit financially disadvantaged youth, through a project that will fund traineeships. Kaesler Wines, Seppeltsfield Winery, Torbreck Vintners and Two Hands Wines each contributed one tonne of premium Shiraz grapes for the Concordis project, producing 1600 magnums to be sold as a fundraiser.
26/08/2015: Queensland wine grower sees his best profits in 15 years
Despite the highs and lows of the Australian wine industry, one small-scale producer is celebrating record profits. Scenic Rim grower David McMaugh owns and operates the Bunjurgan Estate Vineyard, where he has increased his revenue by 22 per cent in the past financial year.
26/08/2015: Oliver's Taranga receives Penfolds Grange perpetual trophy
A Fleurieu winery has joined an elite club of producers that have had their grapes regularly appear in, arguably, the state’s most prestigious red. Oliver’s Taranga Winery at McLaren Vale has received the Penfolds Triple Crown Grange Growers perpetual trophy. It recognises wineries that have had their grapes used in the Penfolds Grange for three years in a row.
26/08/2015: There's a new service that lets you order wine over text
Naked Wines, an online wine retailer that lets customers fund independent winemakers, just launched a new service letting people order bottles of plonk via text. The “Text for Wine” service was suggested by employees and lets existing customers order a case of wine by texting the name to Naked. That then gets added to their order.
26/08/2015: Wine Engineering Association conference: Finding a better way
The Winery Engineering Association's 2015 national conference and exhibition is underway in the Barossa. The theme for WineEng 2015 is 'finding a better way – excellence in winery operations and asset management' and the Chateau Tanunda Winery is hosting the event.
25/08/2015: Hunter region wine glut sends grape expectations down the drain
Glen Howard wants to grow grapes until he dies but fears the industry might croak before he does. The 63-year-old has tended vines on his picturesque Pokolbin property in the Hunter Valley since he was a teenager, despite the business running at a loss for the better part of the past decade, as a downturn in wine demand has led to a glut in grapes.
25/08/2015: Treasury Wine CEO annoyed with Rosemount and its laggard ways
Treasury Wine Estates chief executive Mike Clarke is annoyed that one of his main brands, Rosemount, has been an underperformer for so long at a time when most of the other brands in his stable are performing strongly. Rosemount, which came into the firm's stable in 2001 when BRW Rich Lister Bob Oatley sold it for a whopping $1.4 billion after building it up as a private company over three decades, is one of the 15 "priority" brands that Mr Clarke has stepped up investment behind since taking over as Treasury chief executive in March 2014.
25/08/2015: Australian Natural: Organic wine and ‘affordable luxury’
Ross Tan and Nick van Leeuwen of Australian Natural have spent most of their first year in business relentlessly promoting their organic and biodynamic wines in China. Here is a quick and dirty earthy interview about their organic wines and their views of the market.
25/08/2015: Australian winemakers court Asian tastebuds
Wrapped tightly in sleeping bags to keep them from freezing in frigid conditions, Australian winemaker Sirromet's bottles slowly make their way across the vast Mongolian landscape on the back of a yak. The wine's journey from Queensland, about 9,500 kilometres (5,900 miles) as the crow flies, to isolated parts of the sparsely-populated Asian nation is one example of the growing appeal of vintages from 'down under'.
25/08/2015: Blue Pyrenees and Taltarni to feature at sparkling wine technology exhibition
Two Pyrenees Shire wineries will represent Australia on the world stage in France later this year at the prestigious VITeff sparkling wine technology exhibition. Blue Pyrenees and Taltarni are two of just seven Australian wineries to be chosen to attend the exhibition in Champagne. Of the seven chosen, three are from Victoria and four from South Australia.
24/08/2015: Shiraz shines at Hunter Valley Wine Show
The judges of the CCL Label Clear Image Hunter Valley Wine Show have agreed that the 2014 Hunter Shiraz vintage is one of the region’s best. “The Shiraz classes of entry were tremendous and have set new levels of benchmark for the Hunter," said PJ Charteris, the chairman of judges. More than 50% of the 2014 Hunter Shiraz wines entered into the 2015 show were awarded medals.
24/08/2015: China growth just the start says Treasury Wine Estates
Six months ago Treasury Wine Estates had barely made a sale into Chinese supermarket chain, Yonghui. Now the maker of Penfold's, Wolf Blass and Wynns counts the Fuzhou-based retailer as its largest single customer on the mainland. Such examples made China the stand-out performer in TWE's full year results on Wednesday, as volumes in Greater China rose 36 per cent and profits across the region were up 52 per cent.
24/08/2015: Wine waste could become biofuel
Each year global wine production creates an estimated 13 million tonnes of waste known as grape marc, or mar as the French say. It's made up of grape skin, stems and seeds, but it doesn't have to be waste. Researchers from the University of Adelaide say it could become a competitive biofuel.
24/08/2015: Kiwi winemakers quaff $70,000 of our money each day
Australian taxpayers are giving their Kiwi cousins a whopping $70,000 a day to help them make wine. The Federal Government has raised questions about the viability of the scheme and has established a panel of wine industry luminaries to decide the fate of the wine equalisation tax (WET) by the end of the year.
24/08/2015: How much Generation Y will pay for a bottle of wine?
Australian Vintage wants to sell more wine to 18-to-34 year olds, and in doing so has uncovered some fascinating data about what ‘generation Y’ wants from its alcohol, and the amount they’re prepared to pay for it. The listed wine group employed two generational pyschologists for the 15-month process of developing YOU Wines, which general manager Cameron Ferguson claims is the first attempt by an Australian company to reach 18-34s with a “pure wine” product.
21/08/2015: Wine tax rebate rorts distorting industry, discussion paper says
A wine tax rebate costing more than $300 million a year is distorting the industry and being widely exploited by wholesalers, distributors and “virtual winemakers”, a government discussion paper has found. A review into the wine equalisation tax (WET) to be released by Assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg today, has revealed widespread rorting of the subsidy scheme, which allows winemakers — including New Zealand producers — to access a tax rebate of up to $500,000.
21/08/2015: Wine producers start planning for possibility of El Nino's severe frosts
It could not have been a better start to the season for wine producers in the central west of New South Wales. There have been decent snowfalls to set fruit, dams are full of water for irrigation and the soil moisture profile is full. But this could all come undone very quickly if the threat of El Nino eventuates late this year. Local producers have grown increasingly nervous about the severe frosts predicted by the weather bureau and are already starting to prepare.
21/08/2015: Blue Pyrenees and Taltarni among seven Australian wineries to attend VITeff exhibition in Champagne
TWO wineries from Victoria’s Pyrenees will represent Australia at the world’s most prestigious sparkling wine conference in France later this year. Blue Pyrenees and Taltarni are two of just seven Australian wineries chosen to attend the VITeff exhibition in Champagne — the birthplace of sparkling wine. Both wineries were established by French winemakers in the 1960s and specialise in making traditional sparkling wine, which they submitted to VITeff hoping for a chance to show off their efforts on the world stage in October.
21/08/2015: WA couple make Queensland winery tree-change
It was one of those moments where even though moving to the other side of the country sounded crazy, for Josh Phillips and Zoe Young it was about diving in the deep end and taking on the challenge of running a winery in Queensland. For some people the idea of a desk job doesn't quite cut it. They need to feel the soil between their toes and the brush of the breeze on their face.
21/08/2015: Adelaide researches are converting grapes into biofuel
The University of Adelaide released findings yesterday that indicate the solid waste left over from winemaking could make a competitive biofuel. Published in the journal Bioresource Technology, the researchers showed that up to 400 litres of bioethanol could be produced by fermentation of a tonne of grape marc. Global wine production leaves an estimated 13 million tonnes of grape marc waste each year. Nationally it is estimated that several hundred thousand tonnes are generated annually and it is generally disposed of at a cost to the winery.
20/08/2015: Trevor Jones dismissed of all charges over $300,000 spillage
ONE of Australia’s most prominent wine critics faces potential contempt of court and defamation proceedings for commenting on a court case. Lawyers on Wednesday accused James Halliday of contempt of court for writing about Barossa Valley winemaker Trevor David “Boots” Jones. The accusations were made during a hearing in which the court dismissed charges Mr Jones had deliberately drained $300,000 of chardonnay from a rival’s tanks.
20/08/2015: Treasury Wine Estates bringing 'brosé' to Australia this summer
Treasury Wine Estates has at least one ace up its sleeve as it looks to continue its good run into the new financial year. It involves the often derided pink coloured beverage known as rosé, or brosé as some people calling it this northern hemisphere summer. Men drinking rosé, or brosé has been a bit of a talking point in the US and Europe this summer. Apparently, people are switching from drinking craft beer to it, causing all sorts of thinkpieces on the matter.
20/08/2015: Wolf Blass encouraging consumers to chase their dreams
Wolf Blass launched a new brand campaign celebrating those who “boldly chase triumph”, with an innovative “Here’s to the Chase” creative platform. A collaboration between Wolf Blass and new marketing partner J. Walter Thompson, the campaign marks the brand’s first relaunch since the agency was appointed as Treasury Wine Estate’s global marketing services provider in February this year.
20/08/2015: Neoclassical reds challenge preconceptions of Australian wine
Australia is known for global wine brands that are consistent, predictable and value for money. There is, however, an alternative wine scene worth exploring, and a new breed of winemakers who are challenging established brands with their exciting experimentation. They bring passion, exuberance and an unorthodox approach to winemaking. A blend of tradition and innovation seen in these "neoclassical" Australian reds.
20/08/2015: Cask wine feeling similar pinch to market for bottles
The proportion of Australian adults drinking wine has been in decline for some years, including the Aussie wine cask, whose popularity is also dropping. The latest findings by Roy Morgan Research indicate that 45 per cent of the population - or 8.1m Australians - drink some kind of wine every month, down from 50 per cent in 2007. Of these, almost 1.3m consume cask wine, suggesting a substantial decline from the 2.3m who drank it back in 2007.
19/08/2015: Treasury Wine bounces into the black
Treasury Wine Estates has bounced back into the black, after an overhaul of the wine company stripped out more costs than the firm had forecast. The wine company today posted a net profit of $77.6 million in the year ended June 30, compared with a loss of $100.9m in the previous corresponding period. The firm's earnings before interest, tax, material items and other accounting adjustments rose 22 per cent compared to the previous year, reaching $225.1m.
19/08/2015: Wine industry expert expects falling dollar will attract foreign investors
Wine industry experts expect foreign investment in South Australian vineyards will increase as growers exit the industry after a tough decade. Prolonged dry weather and poor prices have conspired against growers in recent years. Winemaker and lawyer with Finlaysons, Will Taylor, said depreciations in the Australian dollar offered further encouragement for foreign investors looking to buy agricultural land.
19/08/2015: August 2015 Grapegrower & Winemaker magazine out now
The August 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 post frost management strategies, drawing on a case study by Amanda Mader of Gumpara Vineyards in the Barossa Valley. We also take a peek inside Nigel Blieschke’s diary from the first few Future Leaders sessions during which participants focused on team building and physical activities.
19/08/2015: More time to have your say on wine industry organisational restructure
Grape and Wine 2015 – a Focus for Action will be held in Adelaide later this month with some 40 regional, state and national wine organisation representatives gathering together. To help inform the delegates at this forum, industry participants are urged to submit their feedback via a national survey. There is just one week remaining to submit your feedback.
19/08/2015: WISA declares WineTech2015 a success
A month after WineTech2015 hit Adelaide for its first solo show, Matthew Moate, executive officer of Wine Industry Suppliers Australia (WISA) has declared it a success. “I can hardly believe that it has been four weeks since WISA successfully delivered WineTech 2015,” Moate said. “Feedback is still being collated but the majority of initial commentary is that the event delivered on its priority of creating an environment for genuine buyers to engage with the grape and wine supply sector.”
18/08/2015: Technology wins over traditional gala for Women in Wine Awards
The way of the future for awards nights is being embraced by Australia's newest wine awards Australia's newest wine awards program, the Australian Women in Wine Awards which launched on July 30, is ditching the glittering gala night in favour of live-streaming technology in an attempt to include more women in this history making event. The awards, the first of their kind in Australia, acknowledge and reward the work of women in the Australian wine industry, as well as industry leaders who champion equality and fairness for all sexes in the workplace.
18/08/2015: NSW seals Asia export deal
THREE new multi-million dollar export deals have been created on the back of Asia's growing taste for NSW wine, natural oats, and baby formula. Mid-way through his trade mission to China and Hong Kong to promote NSW, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Stuart Ayres announced the state had secured three agreements for exporting wine, oats and baby formula to Asia, buoyed by increasing demand for Australian wines and health food.
18/08/2015: OLN profiles Wine Australia's UK head Laura Jewell MW
Laura Jewell has amassed a rare bank of knowledge over a 25-year career that has spanned wholesale to convenience and, of course, the mighty Tesco. And now she can add generic marketing to her repertoire after taking the top job at Wine Australia in March. A Master of Wine since 1997, she spent the past four years in arguably the UK’s most commercial machine, overseeing Tesco’s product development with a focus on own-label and exclusives.
18/08/2015: Wine Detective Sarah Ahmed to join Hunter Valley Wine Show judging panel
Internationally renowned wine judge Sarah Ahmed joined a panel of esteemed wine personalities yesterday as judging kicked off for the 2015 Hunter Valley Wine Show. Also known as the Wine Detective, Ahmed is one of Decanter’s ‘experts par excellence’ and joined the group of judges as they work their way through 730 entries from 69 wine exhibitors from the Hunter Valley region.
18/08/2015: Granite Belt winery Golden Grove Estate hits the right spot with drinkers
Ray Costanzo remembers fussing around his grandfather Mario’s knees as a toddler while the old man prepared the latest vintage on the family’s Granite Belt farm. More than three decades later the younger Costanzo’s Golden Grove Estate is one of the country’s most awarded winemakers and a flagbearer for the Granite Belt’s growing reputation for quality vintages. Throughout Queensland there are about 1500 hectares of wine vineyards, mostly in the southeast.
17/08/2015: Premier Estates Wine faces 'Taste the Bush' backlash
Premier Estates Wine is facing a furious backlash over its ‘Taste the Bush’ marketing campaign. Angry consumers have taken to social media to declare the digital push – the Australian brand’s first advertising campaign – “sexist”, “vulgar” and “childish”. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has also received a small number of complaints about the digital video campaign. The ad, which was created by London agency Saatchi Masius, features an elegantly dressed woman extolling the qualities of Premier Estates’ Shiraz.
17/08/2015: Australian Vintage sharpens European focus
Wine producer Australian Vintage is stepping up its European ambitions with the creation of a new business manager post. The company, whose brands include McGuigan, Nepenthe and Tempus Two, has hired Tim Lockwood, former European sales & marketing manager for Grant Burge Wines. He will take up the Berlin-based role of Australian Vintage business manager for Europe on 1 September.
17/08/2015: Between sips: Return to Oz
THERE ARE two things that Australians take offence to: one is that the northern hemisphere still considers the southern to be less of a hemisphere—and this has nothing to do with the shape. The other problem is that nobody can think of Australia without trying to pitch in their favourite kangaroo or sheep joke. Oh wait, the sheep joke is an ‘honour’ reserved for the Kiwis. With wines, the same attitude carries over.
17/08/2015: Fells takes UK distribution for Australia's Brown Brothers
Australia’s family-owned wine producer Brown Brothers has appointed Fells to handle its UK distribution. The Victoria-based producer will switch on its core range of wines from PLB after August 31. Duncan Brown, export manager, said Fells has a well-earned reputation for developing premium wines in the UK and will be instrumental in rebuilding the Brown Brothers brand across all market channels.
International Wine Industry News
4/09/2015: Teammates in new game: winemaking
Damon Huard’s hands are stained a deep purple. His white polo shirt has two circular splotches of the same hue. For the past hour he has been drinking wine siphoned out of new $1,500 French-oak barrels—just another day at the office. “This is our little Napa,” says Huard. It’s late July, another football season approaches, and the former NFL quarterback is surveying his new 5,300-square-foot winery outside Seattle with the look of a proud parent.
4/09/2015: Reputation of B.C. wines tested against global benchmarks
B.C. wines were put to the ultimate test at the Judgment of BC on Tuesday, Aug.25. Twelve B.C. wines were pitted against 12 acknowledged global benchmarks, and BC's C.C. Jentsch Syrah 2013 from the Okanagan Valley ranked first among the flight of Syrah, and Soumah Chardonnay Single Vineyard 2013 from Yarra Valley, Victoria Australia came out on top for the flight of Chardonnays.
4/09/2015: Wine Marlborough board members stepping down
Wine Marlborough's longest serving board member Ruud Maasdam is to step aside at this year's elections after 15 years. Maasdam, owner and winemaker at Staete Landt Winery, has served on the board since 2001 and is one of four board members, along with Simon Clark, Laurin Gane and Guy Lissaman to step down from the 11-person board.
4/09/2015: Bay winemaker aims to make his mark in China
It's a long way from Te Awanga to Ningxia in the heart of China but when there is wine to be made distance and location is not really an issue. And for Clearview Estate Winery's newest winemaker Matt Kirby it could be a nice little feather in the cap should what he creates during his China wine experience get the thumbs up from a judging panel in two years - not to mention a nice little earner.
4/09/2015: Winemakers scramble to keep up with 2015 harvest
Jeff Morgan of Covenant Winery in Berkeley stood in a vineyard at the top of Sonoma Mountain recently and examined the bright green cluster of grapes he was holding in one hand. He noticed there were small brown specks covering the grape globes and a smattering of raisins on nearby vines — all signs that the Chardonnay grapes were getting ready to be picked.
4/09/2015: Sci-Fi Vineyards: The Drones of Burgundy
The Drones of Burgundy may sound like a sci-fi movie paired with good wines but the truth is far less exciting. The drones are really in place to help hunt a pestilent scourge–with a stripper-like name: Flavescence Dorée. Flavescence Dorée is a tiny leafhopper, but it is an enormous menace to anyone in the business of growing grapes.
3/09/2015: Fabian Yukich and George Fistonich: Organic wine makers
In what was once a considered a low-end hippy market, organic wine is fast becoming the preferred drop of choice for discerning wine palates worldwide. That growth is seeing the sector gaining momentum throughout NZ vineyards. Today seven per cent of New Zealand wine growers are certified organic or biodynamic.
3/09/2015: Leading winemakers announce partnership with Kinross
Renowned New Zealand winemakers Hawkshead, Valli, Domaine Thompson, Wild Irishman and Soho have formed an exclusive wine partnership with Gibbston’s Kinross Cottages and General Store. Perfectly positioned half way between Queenstown and Bannockburn, Kinross now operates as the exclusive Gibbston cellar door for this stellar group of winemakers. Brought together under one roof for the first time, their stories are entwined in the history of New Zealand wine making, and Kinross is the perfect hub to be drawn into their world.
3/09/2015: Can serious wine come in a can?
If you still can’t get past that wines in a screw-top bottle can be high quality, then wine in a can is going to make you flip your lid. Several innovative wineries around the world have started “bottling” their juice in cans and marketing it toward a hipper crowd, some — like Oregon’s Underwood — more successfully than others. Underwood’s pinot noir, pinot gris and rosé aren’t dumbed-down novelty wines. They’re what they’d put in glass, and do, just more portable.
3/09/2015: How climate change could hike the price of Oregon Pinot
Oregon's wine industry is set to celebrate another banner year. While it will be difficult to top 2014, when the grape harvest increased nearly 40 percent over 2013 to a record 78,000 tons and sales increased 14 percent to $430 million, many growers are predicting an exceptional crop again this year. The optimistic outlook comes despite the hot, dry summer that pushed up the 2015 harvest by as much as three weeks.
3/09/2015: Vintage Wine Estates buys Napa's Swanson Vineyards
Vintage Wine Estates has continued a recent winery-buying spree, announcing its purchase of Napa Valley's Swanson Vineyards, a pioneer in California Merlot. The deal, which closed Aug. 31, comes just a month after the Sonoma-based company purchased B.R. Cohn Winery.
3/09/2015: Wine education enters the digital age
A new, free wine education tool has launched, offering online video content to help students tackle the Master of Wine syllabus and hone their essay skills. WineTutor.tv, which launched this week, has been set up by Tim Wildman MW in partnership with Johnny Mindlin, a specialist in producing educational audio and video content.
2/09/2015: Wine links forged through scholarship winners
Exploring New Zealand’s wine regions on his month-long Bragato exchange scholarship, Alessandro Mangiameli has encountered a few surprises. From Treviso in Italy’s Veneto region, the 18-year-old says winery machinery and winemaking processes are much the same in both countries but different vineyard practices reflect the local soils and climatic conditions.
2/09/2015: Church Road Winery celebrates trophy win in Japan
Church Road Winery is celebrating a trophy win after their Church Road Grand Reserve Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2013 was awarded the Trophy for Best New World Red Wine at the Japan Wine Challenge 2015. The award-winning 2013 vintage, was chosen as the very best in the ‘New World Red Wine’ category - one of only 12 trophy winning wines awarded from the 1,400 wines entered across the world. Church Road Senior Winemaker Chris Scott says he is very proud of the trophy win.
2/09/2015: Alibaba brings the taste of Napa Valley wine to China
Chinese Internet giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is betting that a country known for sipping black tea will develop a taste for Napa Valley red. The e-commerce company will offer Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and other varieties to its 367 million Chinese customers through its online store Tmall, in a partnership announced Tuesday with Mondavi-owner Constellation Brands Inc.
2/09/2015: Bay Area vineyards withstanding impacts of drought, for now
While the 2015 vintage appears to be of excellent quality, vintners around the Bay Area who turn grapes into wine could use some divine assistance - El Niño-driven rains, perhaps - to avoid a potentially crippling fifth year of drought. This year's grape harvest began in earnest last week and is expected to continue into November.
2/09/2015: Michaels give $300,000 to SSU wine
The Michael family, who own Peter Michael Winery in Sonoma County's Knights Valley appellation, pledged $300,000 toward the forthcoming wine education centre at Sonoma State University. The gift to the School of Business & Economics, which hosts the Wine Business Institute, will be used to build the Peter Michael Winery Executive Classroom in the planned Wine Spectator Learning Centre, the Rohnert Park-based institution.
2/09/2015: Walla Walla vintner and vineyard named tops in Washington
What could top being named 'winemaker of the year'? Accolades for your grapes, too. Jean-Francois Pellet, winemaker for Amavi Cellars and Pepper Bridge Winery, has been named by Seattle Magazine as Winemaker of the Year for 2015. The magazine also selected Les Collines Vineyard as its Vineyard of the Year in the 10th annual awards that recognize the best of the best in Washington wine.
1/09/2015: Foley Family Wines boosts sales, earnings
Foley Family Wines, which is controlled by American billionaire Bill Foley, says full-year operating earnings more than doubled on increased sales of bottled wine and modest profit from a growing pool of bulk wine. Operating earnings before revaluations and tax rose to $3.5 million in the 12 months ended June 30, from $1.2M a year earlier, the Blenheim-based company said in a statement.
1/09/2015: Young winemaker credits Marlborough origins
Winemaker Lauren Swift has credited a Marlborough winery for her win in the Young Winemaker of the Year award. Swift grew up in the Awatere Valley and went to school in Seddon and at the Marlborough Girls' College, before moving to study wine at the Eastern Institute of Technology in Hawkes Bay. She was awarded the inaugural Tonnellerie de Mercurey Young Winemaker of the Year Award at the Romeo Bragato wine industry event in Napier last week.
1/09/2015: Wine industry should work for transparency
The discussion of what rules wineries should live with regarding production and visitation limits is complicated. But some salient factors seem self-evident. The rules should be obeyed. The forthright policy of the Napa Valley Vintners Association is hard to argue with. They say wineries should comply with their use permits or other regulations and, if they cannot or don’t want to comply, they should seek to have them amended. Agreement that the rules should be obeyed is a good place to start.
1/09/2015: German researchers study climate change effects on wine and its taste
A warming climate means grapes reach maturity more quickly. For some vintners, climate change seems to be a good thing. Then again, they could be mistaken. Researchers in Germany's central state of Hessen are working to find out how it all affects the vines. Geisenheim, Germany - The unmistakeable sound of hissing can be constantly heard in the vineyards of Geisenheim, in Germany's central wine-growing region of the Rheingau. In a large outdoor testing area, Geisenheim College researchers are pumping grape vines with artificially high levels of carbon dioxide (CO2).
1/09/2015: Tasting notes – the shame of the wine world?
An American friend sent me a copy of Bianca Bosker’s July 29th New Yorker article entitled ‘Is There a Better Way to Talk About Wine?’. The author tackles the familiar topic of tasting notes and their often extravagant language. It’s a soundly researched canter through this subject. She suggests (by quoting a couple of James Suckling’s notes for 1989 Haut-Brion, one made in 1992 and one in 2009) that a kind of adjectival inflation is at work, and that tasting notes are getting ever more baroque.
1/09/2015: 2015 Champagne harvest ‘very promising’
The 2015 Champagne harvest kicked off on Saturday August 29, 10 days in advance of the 2014 vintage after a particularly hot and dry summer. The first grapes picked were in the Aube department. “The vines are in perfect health and the grapes are of an exceptional quality, said Thierry Lassaigne, a grower in the Aube village of Montgueux, who started picking the first parcels at the weekend.
1/09/2015: Here's why wine tastes different when you're on a plane
Wine is increasingly becoming a major priority for flyers (CNN dubs them “oeno-flyers”), and airlines are investing more and more time and money into hiring expensive sommeliers to curate their wine offerings. But it’s not as simple as good wine on sea level = good wine at altitude. Sommeliers need to rethink their methodology in selecting wines for planes.
31/08/2015: Council consultant to scope science research
The Marlborough District Council is to pay a consultant $20,000 to scope out an idea for a research institute in Marlborough. In the 2015 budget, ministers Steven Joyce and Nathan Guy announced $25 million over three years to support new privately-led regional research institutes. The Government wants institutes to focus on scientific research relevant to a region, with an emphasis on research into new technologies, new firms, products and services.
31/08/2015: Dry River wines of Martinborough a well-kept secret for too long
Neil McCallum is a pioneer of New Zealand pinot and the Wairarapa wine region, otherwise known as Martinborough. A former research scientist with a PhD in organic chemistry from Oxford University, McCallum and wife Dawn planted the region’s first 100 vines in 1979. They named their vineyard Dry River after a 19th century sheep station in the region, which itself was probably named due to the area’s dry, gravely and free-draining soil.
31/08/2015: Why should you get to know Georgian wines? Because they’re exciting.
We tend to think of the classic vinifera wine grape varieties as European, meaning French, Italian and Spanish. But vinifera’s origin lies to the east, in the Caucasus region: where Europe and Asia intersect, where ancient trade routes crisscrossed the mountains between the Black Sea and Persia, and near where the Bible says Noah planted a vineyard after the ark settled on Mount Ararat. This is where the oldest archaeological evidence of wine production, vinifera seeds in clay vessels, was found.
31/08/2015: A toast to Southeast Asia's wine underdogs
At first glance, it was like any run-of-the-mill vineyard — manicured rows of grapevines winding through the countryside and the faint scent of fruit wafting in the air. But here in the rural heartland of Thailand, things are done differently. The Tha Chin River trickles through tropical soil, cutting wide canals filled with long-tailed boats across the 10,000-acre plot. Sun-drenched grapes hang high on bamboo stilts as straw-hatted farmers tend to plump, green beauties.
31/08/2015: Natural wine is a natural fit in Tokyo
The natural wine movement is spreading. Everywhere I look in Tokyo, neighbourhood wine bars and small bistros are introducing all-natural wine lists. I’m starting to wonder, why does natural wine fit so organically into the city? Japanese consumers were early adopters of natural wine, developing a taste for it in the early 1990s — even before it was a trend in France.
31/08/2015: Researchers develop a method to sniff out counterfeit wine without opening the bottle
How do you know if a wine is authentic without opening the bottle? A team of researchers at U.C. Irvine believes they have developed a valuable new tool in the battle against counterfeit wines — a test that authenticates wine by extracting wine vapour molecules from the cork while it's still in the bottle.
28/08/2015: Bayer 'young viticulturist of the year' announced
Caleb Dennis is the 2015 Bayer 'young viticulturist of the year'. Representing Hawke’s Bay, Caleb competed in a wide range of challenges over three days to beat three other contestants and claim the title. The nataional final took place in Hawke’s Bay so the local contestant received a rapturous applause from the crowd when the results were announced, especially from his colleagues at Craggy Range.
28/08/2015: A night of celebration at the Romeo Bragato Wine Awards
An Auckland Chardonnay and a Hawke’s Bay Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot shine at this year’s Romeo Bragato Wine Awards. Grown by Brett Donaldson, the Villa Maria Single Vineyard Ihumatao Chardonnay 2013 won the coveted Bragato Trophy - Champion Single Vineyard Wine and the Bill Irwin Trophy for Champion Chardonnay.
28/08/2015: Gallo to purchase Talbott Vineyards; wine giant seems to be reinventing itself
E. & J. Gallo Winery, the world’s largest wine company, today announced that it will purchase Talbott Vineyards in Monterey County’s Santa Lucia Highlands. The deal will close September 4, and neither side is saying how much Gallo is shelling out. Coming on the heels of Gallo’s purchase of J Vineyards & Winery last March, the Talbott deal signals a potentially significant shift in Gallo’s focus toward premium wines.
28/08/2015: Vineyard improves water efficiency through technology
Ag companies are learning to do more with less water. Four years into the drought, it’s become the new normal for many companies. The Delicato Family Vineyards in San Bernabe is rethinking its watering practices. New technology is helping age old agriculture. Compared to 2011, in 2014, DFV used 55 percent less water to irrigate and frost protect.
28/08/2015: Wine grape harvest starts with bar set high
Vineyards across the Mid-Valley are gearing up for harvest with the bar set much higher by last year’s haul, when overall grape harvest in the state jumped 39 percent compared with 2013. “It marks the third straight year of double-digit production gains,” said Michelle Kaufman, communications manager with the Oregon Wine Board.
28/08/2015: So you want to be a winemaker? Here’s some advice.
Should you go to college and take an oenology or viticulture degree? Or should you learn through hands-on experience? Should your first job be in a mega-winery or a small artisan producer? Is there anything to be gained from overseas experience? Here's some advice from Ben Salazar, Winemaker at Edmeades Winery.
27/08/2015: Viticulture in the spotlight
Hawke's Bay's big wine week kicked off on Tuesday with the first stages of the Young Viticulturist of the Year competition. The three-day competition, featuring four regional finalists, is being held at Te Awa Winery near Hastings and coincides with the 21st New Zealand Winegrowers Romeo Bragato Conference, which is being held at the Pettigrew Green Arena, Taradale.
27/08/2015: Top Shelf heads to New Zealand
The Intermedia Group is proud to announce Australia’s biggest trade liquor event will be coming to Auckland from 26-28 June 2016 as a partner of Fine Food New Zealand. Top Shelf is a trade festival dedicated to wine, beer, premium spirits and craft drinks and will combine some of the best local and international brands, fun, education, sampling and a great line-up of guest speakers to bring the world of fine drink to life.
27/08/2015: Amazon wine executive Steve Johnson on analytics, pricing, commoditising, and more
Amazon announced yesterday that it will start delivering wine, beer and spirits as part of its Prime Now quick-delivery service within Seattle, where the company is headquartered. This Q&A with Amazon Wine executive Steve Johnson considereda the successes and the obstacles that the platform presents.
27/08/2015: Why French winemakers are seeing the world through rosé-coloured glasses
Consumption of rosé wine is skyrocketing. US imports of rosé from the Mediterranean region have grown in the double digits for the past 10 years running. This is good news for winemakers in the southern, Provence region of France, where many vintners used to make a few bottles of rosé only for themselves. Not anymore.
27/08/2015: A brawl in the Loire: Vouvray wine by another name
Two winemakers feel betrayed by their neighbors after changes to appellation rules ban them from calling their wines Vouvray. The word Vouvray will no longer appear on the labels of two of Vouvray’s leading winemakers—Jacky Blot, of Domaine de la Taille aux Loups, and François Chidaine. As of the 2013 vintage, the wines will be sold as Vin de France, thanks to a change in appellation laws the winemakers say they were blindsided by.
27/08/2015: One group that’s benefitting from B.C.’s drought? Wineries
For grape growers in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, the best of times always come with a threat of the worst. That became apparent earlier this month as wildfires swept through the southern interior near the Washington border, tragically destroying homes and narrowly missing vineyards farmed by such wineries as Church & State and Road 13.
26/08/2015: Export wine value grows to reach $1.4billion
As the value of New Zealand wine exports has grown by seven per cent to reach a record $1.42billion this year, expansion in the United States market is playing a big part, New Zealand Winegrowers say. ''This pushed wine to become New Zealand's sixth-largest export good by value,'' winegrowers chairman Steve Green said in the association's annual report.
26/08/2015: Marlborough councillors question Yealands grape supply deal
Landowners who want to sign up to the Flaxbourne Irrigation Scheme and diversify into viticulture are being asked to grow grapes solely for Yealands Wine Group in a deal questioned by Marlborough District councillors. Flaxbourne Community Irrigation Limited has promoted a deal to 58 landowners to sign a grape supply agreement with Yealands Wine Group.
26/08/2015: Wine crush starts unseasonably early
A mild winter, warm spring and hot summer are yielding the earliest harvest in memory for Washington state’s wine growers. “I would say it’s a record-breaking early vintage,” Casey McClellan, founder and winemaker at Seven Hills Winery in Walla Walla, said last week. “I’m picking semillon on Monday (today) and that’s two weeks before schedule.”
26/08/2015: A good year for French wine despite drop in production
The French grape harvest was slightly lower in 2015 compared to last year due to a lack of rain, but industry professionals are still expecting an exceptional vintage. The French ministry of agriculture’s figures are always eagerly awaited by wine lovers the world over, particularly since France reclaimed its status as the world’s top wine producer last year after a two-year slump due to heavy rains and low temperatures.
26/08/2015: The rise of Oregon wine-making
Oregon agriculture has had its struggles in the last decade. Federal figures showed operating and fuel costs at farms were up substantially and income down – so much so that by 2007 an estimated two thirds of all farms were reporting net annual losses. Still, Oregon today remains an abundant state, with newer, under-50-acre farms growing custom crops of endless variety, and agriculture – comprising everything from cattle to apples – accounting for roughly 15 per cent of the state's economy. Yet few stars rise as clearly within it as wine – or the grapes that create wine.
26/08/2015: Italian grapes finding success in Texas
Aglianico? Dolcetto? Montepulciano? Pinot Grigio? Sangiovese? Trebbiano? Vermentino? In Texas? Si, si. Va tutto bene! Those Italian varietals thrive on the High Plains around Lubbock, although the dusty, wind-blown, table-flat region could hardly be mistaken for Basilicata, Campania or the Abruzzo.
25/08/2015: Marlborough promoted at national wine conference
The wine industry's annual Romeo Bragato conference will feature four finalists from the Cawthron Marlborough Environmental Awards at a workshop highlighting sustainability practices in the region. The three-day annual conference opens on Wednesday in Napier and will showcase marketing trends and research innovation in the industry.
25/08/2015: Marlborough region boasts new kosher grape juice
Marlborough is well-known as one of New Zealand’s premier wine regions and has the best potential for grape growing in New Zealand. Now, a Marlborough winemaker is making great strides with a high quality chardonnay grape juice that is alcohol free. The grape juice is made to Jewish kosher standards and is endorsed by the Kashrut Authority of Australia & NZ.
25/08/2015: Beaujolais harvests early, Burgundy close behind
Following an exceptional summer of dry and hot weather, the harvest in Beaujolais starts today, three weeks earlier than last year. The official start date was set as August 24 in comparison to September 10 in 2014.
25/08/2015: New rule will change definition of Japanese wine
The National Tax Agency is preparing to establish a new rule that will require wine labelled as Japanese wine to be wholly produced in Japan using domestically-harvested grapes. The agency plans to finalise the new standard as early as this autumn and enforce it in two years after publicising it.
25/08/2015: Can a great design make you rich?
It coudn't hurt, say experts at Wines & Vines Packaging Conference. After sealing the deal to sell his Meiomi brand to Constellation Wines for $315 million, Joe Wagner became the wine industry’s newest “it boy.” The fifth-generation Napa Valley winemaker opened the second annual Wines & Vines Packaging Conference in Napa on Aug. 21, giving the keynote address before an audience of 250 curious wine pros.
25/08/2015: The struggle of small wineries
This is a sad story, told by the Vancouver Sun, about a small British Columbia winery’s legitimate fear that it may get squeezed out of the market. It’s the same old story: Getting harder and harder to compete with the big wineries in shelf space, distribution and price. When I read a tale like this, my heart goes out to the proprietors. It’s never been easy to sell wine (in either Canada or the U.S.), but it’s getting more difficult.
24/08/2015: John Forrest: Low-alcohol wine is going to 'kick ass'
The owner of New Zealand-based Forrest Wines explains why low-alcohol New World vintages are 'kicking ass'. John Forrest says "there's a huge market for products [that let] you still enjoy the fat, sugar and alcohol, but with less negative health implications. We have dropped the alcohol content in our wines from 14 per cent to 9 per cent, which means 40 per cent less alcohol and 40 per cent fewer calories".
24/08/2015: New Zealand Wineries report promising wines but not much volume
Spring frosts reduced yields on both islands, but a warm, dry summer helped quality. MaryAnn Worobiec, reporting for Wine Spectator, reports on the 2015 vintage in New Zealand. Overall, vintners are pleased with the quality of the 2015 vintage, but there is going to be less wine to go around.
24/08/2015: France seeks to add more fizz to its wine tourism industry
Bubbly brought fame and fortune to Champagne, and now, since being named a Unesco world heritage site in July, the region hopes more tourists will make it a holiday destination. Same for Burgundy, whose vineyards are already a big draw – it, too, is now on Unesco’s roll of honour. The double good news marks a major gain for France, which is trying hard to make wine a pillar of its tourist economy.
24/08/2015: Year after quake, Napa’s wine industry healthy
In the immediate aftermath of last August’s earthquake in Napa, photographs quickly circulated of shattered wine racks, toppled barrels and what looked like an endless river of spilled red wine. Many worried that the 6.0-magnitude quake would render irreversible damage to Napa Valley’s wine industry. One year later, the local wine community as a whole is as healthy as ever.
24/08/2015: Beyond the beach: Exploring Sicily's emerging wine scene
Though wine has been produced in Sicily for millennia, it hasn’t always been good — until the 1990s, Sicilian wine was cheap, mass-produced, and primarily sold off in vats for blending. But then the island underwent a viticultural renaissance: Industrial vineyards were ripped out and replaced with low-yield vines, and a new generation of producers emerged, passionate about highlighting the island’s little-known indigenous grapes.
21/08/2015: Judges gearing up for Bragato Wine Awards 2015
A 12 strong judging team, including international judge Dan Sims, is gearing up to judge almost 600 entries for this year’s Bragato Wine Awards in Hawke’s Bay. Sims started out in the Australian wine industry as a sommelier and is a well-respected wine commentator, educator, and promoter based in Melbourne. Known for being outspoken on the subject of making the world of wine accessible, Sims is currently focused on producing large scale events for wine drinkers that are informative and interactive.
21/08/2015: Top viticulturists to vie for title
Massey University's beef research team put GPS collars on 30 cows within three herds of 20-30 cows and monitored their movements over two winters, as part of a project looking at pugging and cows' environmental impactFOUR of the grapegrowing industry's finest prospects will be lining up in Hawke's Bay next week battling for the title of national Young Viticulturist of the Year.
21/08/2015: Prosecco bursts Champagne's bubble as Britain's sparkling wine of choice
The Italian sparkling wine prosecco has overtaken champagne for the first time in Britain, with sales far outstripping its French rival, according to research. Sales of prosecco jumped 72 per cent in value in the year to mid-July, reaching £339m (A$725m), the research company IRI found. “Prosecco is a fashionable drink that provides a cheaper and excellent quality alternative to champagne,” said IRI alcoholic drinks analyst Toby Magill.
21/08/2015: Embrace wine diversity
In a perfect wine world, winemakers would only make wine from fully ripened grapes. But winemakers must often deal with fruit that is less ripe or too ripe. Just as growers must often manipulate fruit quality in the vineyard, winemakers, too, have techniques they can use to improve fruit quality. Veteran winemaker Brian Carter recently explained how to overcome some of the challenges presented by grapes that are under- or overripe.
21/08/2015: Vineyard crop control research helps fruit quality and growers
PORTLAND, US - The Lake Erie grape belt, a designated American Viticultural Area (AVA) which runs from Buffalo to Erie, PA, is the largest AVA in the eastern U.S. with over 19 million grape vines in production. Each winter season when most western New Yorkers are digging out from sequential lake effect snow storms, grape growers in the region are doing one of the most important and expensive management practices, dormant vine pruning.
21/08/2015: Bulgaria expects double increase in grape harvest this year
Despite the drought, Bulgaria expects the harvest of grape to reach around 200 million kilogrammes, which will represent a double increase compared to last year. This was announced by the chairperson of the National Vine and Wine Chamber Radoslav Radev in an interview for Trud daily. According to him, the expectations are both for good quantity and good quality of the grape harvest.
20/08/2015: Martinborough grower's high hopes for Pinot venture
Don McConachy and the lead character in the movie Sideways are both in a search for the perfect Pinot Noir. But while wine buff Miles just wants to drink the elusive flawless red, McConachy's dream is to create it. Two years ago mechanical engineer McConachy returned from working overseas for 21 years on a variety of heavy engineering projects and bought 4 hectares of prime Martinborough viticulture land in order to fulfil his ambition.
20/08/2015: Top quality speakers for NZ Syrah Workshop 2015
The Organising Committee of the 2015 NZ Syrah Workship have announced a “top quality” line up of speakers for the event, held 4-6 November 2015 at Bayview Chateau Tongariro, Mt Ruapehu. Winemaker Gary Mills from Victoria's Jamsheed Wines will be looking at his four single vineyard sites over a particular years and the terroir expressed between them. Four distinct site spread across Victoria: Upper Yarra Valley - a cooler site on red volcanic soils producing wines of spice and silky texture. Pyrenees - pink quartz laced granite profile producing deep rugged wines with particular savoury appeal and tenacity
20/08/2015: Oz Clarke to speak at International Cool Climate Wine Symposium
With nine months to go, Oz Clarke and Dr Jamie Goode, two leading UK speakers, share what they are most looking forward to next May at the International Cool Climate Wine Symposium. For both of them, the opportunity to meet with such a wide range of global winemaking and viticultural talent ranks high among the ICCWS attractions.
20/08/2015: Tesco puts a cork in its Wine Community
Tesco is about to put the cork back in on a venture launched for wine lovers, as part of CEO Dave Lewis’ plans to concentrate on its core business. The Tesco Wine Community (TWC), a social media site set up for wine buffs will shut down at the end of the month, prompting complaints from members that Tesco is turning its back on fine wine lovers in favour of those looking for more basic booze.
20/08/2015: Online wine retailer raises $2m in new investments
Bright Cellars Inc., a personalized online subscription wine retailer that moved to Milwaukee in June after participating in the gener8tortraining program, has raised $2 million in an investment round led by CSA Partners, the venture capital fund backed by Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele. Bright Cellars will use the money to continue building its platform and hire more team members, said Richard Yau, chief executive officer.
20/08/2015: Climate change a 'plus' for Swiss wine growers
Climate change may be bad news for other sectors but it should have a positive impact for Switzerland’s wine industry, a federal agricultural expert says. Global warming is “positive overall for Swiss wine growers because it guarantees better maturation, especially for late harvest grape varieties,” Vivian Zufferey, from Agroscope, the agricultural research organization, told broadcaster RTS.
19/08/2015: Entries open for 2015 Air New Zealand Wine Awards
Entries are open for the 2015 Air New Zealand Wine Awards, a competition which celebrates excellence in New Zealand winemaking and is widely considered to be the country’s most prestigious wine competition. “This is the 40th year New Zealand Winegrowers have managed the Awards”, said Chris Yorke, New Zealand Winegrowers’ global marketing director.
19/08/2015: Stoneleigh: keeping it natural
Stoneleigh launched its Wild Valley range at the end of last week, a line-up of wild-fermented New Zealand wines comprising a 2015 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and a 2014 Marlborough Pinot Noir. The Stoneleigh Wild Valley wines get their complexity from nature, fermented by indigenous yeasts that are naturally present in the Rapaura, Marlborough vineyards. By allowing nature to take its course, the wines have an added texture to the fruity, citrus flavours that earlier Stoneleigh wines are known for.
19/08/2015: A dire threat to Grapevines
Nearly every month, David Gramaje gives a seminar lecture on the same topic. But the plant pathologist at the Research Centre of the Vine and Wine in Rioja never lacks for an audience of worried Spanish winegrowers. They’ve come to hear about combating esca and other vine-trunk diseases, a threat they fear will be the defining vine blight of the 21st century—a scourge on the scale of phylloxera, the pest that nearly destroyed winemaking in 19th-century Europe.
19/08/2015: A new way of life for Washington grapegrower
Derek Way is leaving his dream job as vineyard manager at Sagemoor Farms in Pasco, Washington, to pursue other dreams in China. In September, Way, his wife, Lindsey, and their three young children will pack up and leave their quiet home at the vineyard to go live in an apartment in Nanjing, China, a city of more than 6 million people. Way first visited China six years ago during an international study tour while he was in Class 30 of the Washington Agriculture and Forestry Education Foundation’s leadership program.
19/08/2015: Leading premium-plus wine players drive U.S. growth
Benefiting from robust premiumisation trends, the U.S. market’s leading wine brands priced at $10-and-above are posting solid growth and outperforming the overall category. The total domestic and imported premium-plus wine segments each rose roughly 4% in 2014, and the top 15 domestic players were up 5.7%, to around 27 million nine-litre cases, according to Impact Databank. Growth was even more pronounced for the market’s top five premium-plus imports, which collectively rose 11.2% to 4.3 million cases last year.
19/08/2015: Rioja heading for early 2015 wine harvest
Hopes are rising in Rioja for a successful 2015 wine harvest, and pickers are facing an early start. At Bodegas Sierra Cantabria, Alberto Saldon told Decanter.com that their vines at Vinedos de Paganos have nearly completed veraison (colour change), and should be picked one month early. Rain over the past week means yields are expected to be average across the region. ‘July saw an unusually high number of days over 40 degrees centigrade,’ Saldon said.
18/08/2015: Wine Marlborough staffer returns home
Two years living in Australia was enough to convince new Wine Marlborough communications and marketing co-ordinator Harriet Wadworth it was time to return home. The design and fashion graduate grew up in the region before heading to Sydney to hone her sales and marketing skills with Sydney-based Global Events and Marketing. She spotted the vacancy for the Wine Marlborough position as she was leaving Sydney, she said.
18/08/2015: Kiwi wine flying high with Emirates
Flying business class with Emirates and want to savour a glass of Savvy? You will be served a glass of Hãhã 2013 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. Emirates select world-class wines to complement the flavours of their gourmet meals, and as the only Kiwi wine in business class, and the only Sauvignon Blanc, we reckon Emirates selected a prime example of our flagship wine. With 24,000 bottles for business class travellers to enjoy, it is great exposure for the growing Hãhã brand.
18/08/2015: Fake invoicing, expired wine sours reputation of China's Dynasty
Fake invoicing and selling expired wines are among the allegations that led Hong Kong-listed Dynasty Fine Wine Group to suspend its shares and begin a two-year investigation, the Chinese state-backed wine merchant has revealed for the first time in an exchange filing. China’s third-largest wine merchant by volume and formed as a joint venture between the Tianjin municipal government and Paris-listed cognac maker Remy Cointeau, Dynasty’s shares have been suspended since March 2013 after anonymous allegations were passed to the firm’s auditor, PwC.
18/08/2015: Tesco: Jago won't be replaced
Tesco has confirmed it will not be seeking a replacement for group wine director Dan Jago, who has been appointed chief executive of Berry Bros & Rudd. Jago leaves after 15 years with the supermarket, which he joined as category director for beers, wines & spirits in 2006. He told OLN he “couldn’t wait to get stuck in” and has been handed responsibility for the whole business, overseeing the company’s wine and spirits divisions as well as its international operations.
18/08/2015: Oregon wine producer files lawsuit over herbicide drift
Oregon wine producer Willamette Valley Vineyards (WVV) has filed a lawsuit claiming that it lost prized Pinot Noir grapes worth nearly US$0.5m due to a neighbouring farmer's use of a herbicide. In a case filed at Polk County Court, Oregon wine group Willamette Valley Vineyards claims that ‘herbicide drift’ from a neighbouring grass seed farm destroyed 12.7 tonnes of top Pinot Noir grapes in Elton Vineyard in 2013 – equating to 826 cases of wine, worth $413,780.24.
18/08/2015: Portugal's wine – ready to shine?
Portugal has enjoyed a magnificent year in the consumer press and, after many a false dawn, it may finally be set for its time in the sun. “Despite the accolades, what sells most is Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rioja, New Zealand, California, and way down the list is Portugal,” says Nick Oakley, of specialist Iberian importer Oakley Wines. “We see this as potential to tap, which is why we are still very excited about what we are doing. You can’t continue to have such praise for Portugal and for it not to translate into sales.”
17/08/2015: USA now largest export market for New Zealand wine
The USA has overtaken Australia to become New Zealand wine’s largest export market by value according to the 2015 Annual Report of New Zealand Winegrowers. Now valued at $372 million, up 13 per cent, the US market accounted for around one quarter of wine exports in June year end 2015. Significant potential for further growth in North America and other markets is cited in the Report, as the wine industry advances towards its goal of $2 billion of exports in 2020.
17/08/2015: Tipsy Norton mixes it up with a tasty drop
Bafta award-winning comedian Graham Norton can now add "chief winemaker" to his CV, after he created his own blend of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc - which hits Kiwi stores today. The wine was created during a two-hour blending and tasting session at a London hotel with Invivo winery's chief winemaker, Rob Cameron, and director, Tim Lightbourne. The outcome is the 2015 vintage Graham Norton Blend, and in Norton's own tipsy words on a video promoting the wine: "It's that, that and that ... I hope you like it.”
17/08/2015: New grape breeds reduce the chill for Northern US vineyards
Winegrapes specially bred for extreme temperatures may have a future, despite any laughs connoisseurs might have at the thought of wine labels extolling the virtues of the terroir of Deadwood or Fargo. A grape-breeding project that already has pumped more than $400 million into northern states’ economies and created as many as 13,000 jobs is trying to grow wine grapes where summers are short and winters brutal. Scientists who are breeding the grapes say the wine is improving every year.
17/08/2015: Using less water to make wine
Jesus, it was said, was able to turn water into wine. But how much water and how much wine? That question has never truly been answered. And while a team at the University of California (UC) Davis may also not be able to resolve the matter, it is working to figure out ways to use less water for making wine. A winegrape crush held at the UC Davis vineyards on Thursday found researchers teaming up to help people in the state’s wine industry conserve water while making one of California’s more popular exports.
17/08/2015: Councillor says wine will not be sold from plastic containers
Falkirk, UK: An application to sell wine in plastic containers sparked a sharp exchange of words between members when Falkirk Council Licensing Board met. Councillor Allyson Black was the target for a blunt put-down from the convener, Councillor Malcolm Nicol, at the meeting last week after she challenged his view that wine should only be sold over the counter in glass bottles.
17/08/2015: Greeks are Europe’s eighth highest wine consumers
Greece’s love for wine is a well-known fact. However, a recent map puts this affection into a relative perspective. According to a statistical map that compares annual per capita wine consumption in Europe, Greeks are the eighth highest wine consumers in the continent, as the country drinks 37 litres of wine per capita on an annual basis.