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

Announcements and Suppliers

19/04/2018: Australian Shiraz wins the best wine of the year at 2018 London Wine Competition
At the first-ever London Wine Competition, which took place in London on March 8-9, 16 wines from all over the world – including five from Australia and four from Italy – were awarded the prestigious Gold medal. The top scoring wine, Arcadian Shiraz from Idyll Wine Co. in Australia, was named the “Wine of the Year.” In addition to the 16 Gold medal winners, another 137 wines were awarded Silver medals.

17/04/2018: Book your Hills Heist classes at Winebar One!

11/04/2018: Wine industry impact conference call for speakers

10/04/2018: Wanted: Wine Australia Board Directors
People interested in serving as non-executive directors on Wine Australia’s Board have until Friday 13 April 2018 to apply for Board vacancies that were recently advertised in the national press. To be considered for the Ministerial appointments, applicants must demonstrate expertise in one or more of the following fields: grapegrowing, winemaking, marketing, technology, human resource management, communications, strategic management, finance, administration of research and development, law, business management and administration, government policy, processes and public administration. Candidate information is available at henderconsulting.com.au or enquiries may be directed to Julie Brennan at Hender Consulting on (08) 8100 8827. Information about Wine Australia, its functions and operations can be found at www.wineaustralia.com.

9/04/2018: 2018 Melbourne International Wine Competition Entries Now Open
The Melbourne International Wine Competition (MIWC) is now taking wine submissions. Now in its fifth year, MIWC will be held in the heart of Melbourne on June 24-25, 2018. MIWC sets itself apart with its judging panel – made up of real trade-only buyers who will judge wines by category and actual price. This is a great opportunity for established wines to reconnect with true trade buyers and for new wines to be discovered.

5/04/2018: DWWA Webinar Series – 9, 16 & 23 May 2018
Direct Wine Workshops Australia is a 3-part online webinar series presented by Sandra Hess of DTC Wine Workshops and Robin Shaw of Wine Tourism Australia for Australian wine companies wishing to enhance their direct sales. The first online workshop kicks off on Wed 9 May, followed by workshop 2 on Wed 16 May with the final workshop on Wed 23 May. Participants will learn essential skills to effectively convert cellar door visitors to loyal customers. Aimed at small and medium sized wineries, the series will provide a strong foundation for developing and implementing a successful direct-to-consumer strategy.

3/04/2018: New workshops coming soon
Wine Business Solutions will soon be holding workshops around Australia.

Australian Wine Industry News

20/04/2018: NWGIC seeks wine industry voices
Members of the Australian wine and grape industries have an opportunity to provide advice and help shape the direction of research. The National Wine and Grape Industry Centre (NWGIC) is looking for people from a diverse range of industry perspectives to be independent members of the Centre’s Board. Source, Winetitles

20/04/2018: Teroldego triumph: Fruitful in WA
It all started with a crush. A wine crush, of course: purely professional admiration. Back in the 1990s, when he was working at Cape Mentelle in Margaret River in Western Australia, winemaker John Durham read about Elisabetta Foradori, the charismatic young owner of a family wine estate in Trentino, northeast Italy, who was helping to revive the fortunes of a local red grape variety called teroldego. Source, Australian Financial Review

20/04/2018: Vintage 2018 at Wingara Wine Group
Vintage is over for another year and we have some terrific wines from the 2018 harvest. Here is a summary of the season from our grapegrowing and winemaking teams at Deakin Estate and Katnook Coonawarra. Source, Wingara Wine Group

20/04/2018: Riverland grapegrowers important meeting
Even if you are not one for meetings, this one is important. Riverland winegrowers need to be there in numbers. The Wine Grape Council is coming to town with a roadshow. There will be plenty of guest speakers to discuss future outlooks on a range of topics but most importantly, the Council Chair, Heather Webster and Business Manager Lisa Bennier will present the case for an overhaul of the State Council contribution rate. Source, Riverland Wine

20/04/2018: Australia's success in China
At the start of this year, the trade organisation for the Australian wine industry set out major investment plans for China, as sales to the country surged by 63% by value in 2017. Then, in March, Wine Australia appointed David Lucas to the newly-created role of regional general manager for Greater China, further signalling its dedication to the market. At this year's ProWein, just-drinks sat down with Wine Australia's GM of marketing, Stuart Barclay, to find out more about why Wine Australia is so excited about China. Source, Just-Drinks

19/04/2018: Prince Edward visits Seppeltsfield Winery
Seppeltsfield Winery once again opened their cellar doors to royalty with Prince Edward arriving in the palm-lined village on Tuesday morning. The Duke of Wessex was invited to the picturesque site dating back to 1851 as part of his visit the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award ceremony with a private luncheon. Source, Barossa Herald

19/04/2018: Tassie's Best Vineyard 2018 award winner
Tasmania's Best vineyard has been named with everything from management and nutrition through to disease control impressing the judges. Jansz Parish Vineyard at Penna in the Coal River Valley, has been awarded the Royal Agricultural Society of Tasmania 2018 Tasmanian Vineyard of the Year award. Source, Triple M

19/04/2018: Young consumers approve alternative bottles
Younger wine drinkers in Australia are more comfortable with buying wine in alternative sizes compared to their older counterparts, making them more open to options such as 1.5 litre formats, half-bottles or cans, according to Wine Intelligence. Source, Beverage Daily

19/04/2018: The importance of constant brand evolution
Regardless of the size of your company, or the nature of your products and distribution, constant innovation is required to ensure that you retain your connection with your target market. Nina Chalmers, Creative Director at CoLLECT Design provides first-hand insight into embracing change for enhanced perception of your brand. Source, Winetitles

19/04/2018: Catalogues most useful in alcohol purchases
A report from Roy Morgan has revealed that Australians find catalogues to be the most useful media when it comes to purchasing alcoholic beverages. The report detailed that 38 per cent of those questioned said catalogues were the most useful media, ahead of internet search, with 22 per cent, other websites at 10 per cent, newspapers at 4.2 per cent, television at 3.4 per cent, magazines at 1.7 per cent, radio and the Yellow Pages in 2017. Source, The Shout

18/04/2018: Wine Support Package bypasses Griffith
Griffith is home to some of the largest and most successful wineries in Australia, but the established industry will be snubbed during an international showcase wine tour this month. Producers will show off their showcased products to journalists, wine buyers and industry heads from Asia and North America. Source, The Area News

18/04/2018: Cool climate winemaking in Tas
Just over two years ago Alex Russell and partner Lara Suitor were making a variety of red and white wines in the Riverland district of South Australia. A move to Tasmania came about after the pair drove past a vineyard for sale in north east Tasmania and decided to purchase the property. The two have made a successful transition to cool climate winemaking in Tasmania producing 30 tonnes of fruit off two hectares this vintage. [Listen to audio for full report] Source, ABC Country Hour

18/04/2018: Vintage 2018 at Sirromet
Sirromet Wines began its 2018 harvest mid-January, bringing in eight tonnes of Chambourcin and the first three tonnes of the Moscato Giallo fruit from its Mount Cotton vineyard. Ten different varieties off 92 blocks from their Granite Belt vineyards followed soon after, bringing in a total of approx. 450 tonnes of fruit for the 2018 vintage. Source, Winetitles

18/04/2018: Court of Master Sommeliers exam results
The Court of Master Sommeliers Australia has announced the results of its Introductory and Certified Examinations held in Sydney yesterday, with 27 students achieving the title of Introductory Sommelier and 19 students achieving the title of Certified Sommelier. Source, Winetitles

18/04/2018: Tips for managing post-harvest vines
A year ago, in the March 2017 issue of Grapegrower & Winemaker, viticulturist Sam Bowman revealed the importance of post-harvest vineyard management and the reasons why it should be a consideration as much as nutrition, irrigation and fungicide programs during the growing season. Now, he explores the topic further by presenting a round table discussion with some of Australia’s leading lights of viticulture. He asks about what works best for them once harvest has taken place. Source, Winetitles

17/04/2018: Hunter Valley forms WIF committee
The WIF was formed to address the specific needs of the wine industry, with the main to provide a forum for matters of consideration pertaining specifically to the wine industry and to provide the HVWTA committee information to support any recommendations relating to those matters on behalf of the Hunter Valley wine industry. Source, Cessnock Advertiser

17/04/2018: TWE drives Chinese export success
Treasury Wines, which also sells the Wolf Blass brand, is a major driver of the export success to China as it targets the growing middle class in that country. Its share price has quadrupled to $17.50 over the past four years. Treasury Wines now has a sharemarket capitalisation of almost $13 billion. Penfolds is the biggest selling Australian wine brand in China, followed by Rawsons Retreat, also owned by Treasury, which is No.2. Wolf Blass sits at No.5. Source, Australian Financial Review

17/04/2018: Wine professionals experience Aus regions
April 2018 is proving to be one of the busiest months ever for immersive wine tours due to additional funding through the Australian Government’s $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support Package, with Wine Australia hosting more than 30 international wine professionals this month. Source, Winetitles

17/04/2018: The heart and soul of Margaret River
Margaret River’s wines are marked by the indelible stamp of its maritime climate and soils (alluvial rock over a shifting strata of loam to clay), conferring varying shades of ripeness, intensity and structural authority to cabernet sauvignon and Bordeaux blends, which are the region’s signature. Source, Halliday

17/04/2018: Profits as vintners target Asian middle class
This column’s readers know I have commented many times on the boom in middle-class consumption in Asia and what it means for Australian companies. By 2030, Asia will represent two thirds of the global middle class – a megatrend that has profound implications. Source, The Bull.com.au

17/04/2018: #V18 Biosecurity tips
#V18 Tip#11: Who’s hitchhiking with you? Have you seen our campaign? http://vinehealth.com.au/tourism/ If you have a cellar door, we have collateral that can help your staff spread the biosecurity message to your visitors. #Vinehealth www.vinehealth.com.au

16/04/2018: Aus wine exports setting new records
Australian wine exports continue to set records, with a new high for the average value of bottled wine exports of $5.74 per litre and exports to China (including Hong Kong and Macau) increasing by 51% for the year to March 2018 to reach $1.04 billion – a first for exports to a single country – according to data released by Wine Australia today. Source, Winetitles

16/04/2018: Aus wine and food the toast of Vietnam
Australian wine, food, cuisine and culture are the toast of the town in Vietnam during April as it welcomes the third annual Taste of Australia event, the ‘Food and Wine Journey’. Minister for agriculture and water resources, David Littleproud, took part in the celebrations and joined key Australian distributors and retailers to showcase the best Australia has to offer. Source, Winetitles

16/04/2018: New spraying system saves dollars
Early trials with an innovative vineyard spraying system that uses sensors to accurately control spray rate and direction are showing encouraging results. University of Queensland (UQ) researchers say their Pesticide Adjusted for the Canopy Environment (PACE) system has been able to reduce the amount of chemicals used by as much as 50 per cent, even at the full canopy stage. Source, Wine Australia

16/04/2018: SA wine regions prepare for climate change
Wayne Farquhar bought his first Barossa Valley vineyard in the 1970s. He had a very practical reason for doing so. "I don't like drinking beer at all," Mr Farquhar said. "I grew up drinking wine and I wanted to make my own." In his time he's seen growing conditions become more unpredictable. It's reinforced his concern climate change may threaten some Barossa wine drinkers' favourite drops. Source, ABC

16/04/2018: WA winemakers benefit from grants
A Margaret River wine business will receive the federal government’s first Wine Export Grant for its exporting activities in the United States. Awarded on a first come, first served basis, the grants program allows small- and medium-sized wine producers to claim reimbursement of specific export promotion expenses incurred since January 1 this year. Source, Queensland Country Life

13/04/2018: Halliday Wine Companion launches in China
At last month’s Chengdu Food and Drinks Fair (CFDF), a leading trade event attracting more than 100,000 wine importers and buyers from around China, the Mandarin translation of the Halliday Wine Companion guide was officially launched. A press conference held at the Shangri-La Hotel saw Halliday Wine Companion publisher Simon McKeown and key representatives from Chinese publishing partner Shanghai Godolphin Communications talk to the new venture. Source, Halliday

13/04/2018: Wine most popular, but beer most drunk
The Roy Morgan Alcohol Currency Report reveals 69.3% of Australians 18+ drink alcohol in an average 4 week. Of all Australians 18+ years old, 44.5% consume wine, 39.1% consume beer, 27.5% consume spirits, and 13.6% consume cider. Women had the highest incidence of wine consumption, with nearly 50% of all women drinking wine in an average 4 weeks compared to 39% of men. Source, Roy Morgan

13/04/2018: Thinking of selling the vineyard or winery?
Recent grape price improvements in the Riverland have triggered a long-overdue return to optimism by many in the region and further afield. Pleasingly the commercial sector of the wine industry is finally getting some attention, after many outsiders had seemed to write-off this sector because it wasn’t fashionable. Source, Riverland Wine

13/04/2018: Treasury CFO to head US operations
The chief financial officer of Penfolds owner Treasury Wine Estates is being shifted from number-crunching to a new role running the operational side of the wine group's big United States operations as it undergoes a major distribution overhaul and eyes acquisitions. Source, Australian Financial Review

13/04/2018: Halliday: global quality control
Having recently returned from China – a place I visit regularly – I am more certain than ever that Australia has found itself in an unprecedented place in the wine world. The last boom (1995-2007) saw exports hit an all-time high of 798 million litres generating $2.989 billion; the last bust (2008-2014) slashed volume to 694 million litres worth $1.808 billion. Source, Halliday

12/04/2018: Bottling options for Adelaide Hills wineries
Boutique wine makers in the Adelaide Hills of South Australia say a new bottling line with the capacity to package beverages for small producers is a boon for the region. Sidewood Estate has put the finishing touches on it $4 million winery expansion in the South Australian town of Nairne, which includes one of the most technologically advanced bottling lines in the Adelaide Hills region. Source, The Lead

12/04/2018: How will Amazon Australia affect wine retail?
While the long-awaited launch of Amazon into the Australian market in December failed to live up the hype, there are signs that the online juggernaut is now making its presence felt. At a recent Drinks Association Network Breakfast Yngve Andersen from Bain and Company presented to an eager crowd of liquor industry members what to expect from Amazon over the coming 5 years and his prediction of Amazon’s offering growth and the implications for the drinks industry. Source, Wine Intelligence

12/04/2018: CSU winery is adding three new wines
It could be that 2018 will be remembered as a “good year”, at least in wine circles. As grapes from the 2018 harvest arrive at Charles Sturt University’s boutique winery, wine maker Campbell Meeks is impressed with the quality of the fruit and excited about the prospect of “making more great wine”. The winery has announced it is adding three new wines. Source, The Daily Advertiser

12/04/2018: Growers need to prepare for vintage 2019
Post-vintage grapevine management, particularly in dry years, is crucial to a favourable start to the following season. It’s in this light that Wine Australia is encouraging grapegrowers to brush up on post-harvest care as vintage 2018 wraps up across the country. Source, Winetitles

12/04/2018: Mudgee winemaker fights to save winery
David Lowe is a legend of the Australian wine industry. He honed his craft at Rothbury Estate in the Hunter Valley under two industry giants, Len Evans and Murray Tyrrell, in the 1980s, having begun his love affair with grapes when he planted his first vineyard on his family farm in Mudgee in mid-western New South Wales the mid-70s while still a boy. Source, Business Insider Australia

11/04/2018: Prosecco wars: Aus vs Italy on naming rights
Forget the new Cold War brewing between Russia and the rest of the world. There's another, more pressing stoush frothing up in industry circles – the Prosecco War between Australia and Italy. In dispute: the freedom to use the name "prosecco". At stake: a rapidly expanding market worth hundreds of millions of dollars for sparkling wines with "prosecco" on the label. Source, Australian Financial Review

11/04/2018: UAV's in viticulture
As part of this project QUT in combination with researchers at Agriculture Victoria Research Division (DEDJTR) operated a UAVs in phylloxera infested vineyards in 2016 and 2017, using advanced sensors to collect imagery of vineyards to assess the symptoms of pest infestations. The UAV was equipped with ultra high definition RGB cameras and multi and hyperspectral cameras to collect aerial imagery from a range of different vineyards. Source, Australian Vignerons

11/04/2018: JAEPA continues to deliver benefits
Last week, Australian wine benefitted from the fifth scheduled tariff cut for bottled wine exports under the Japan–Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA), taking the tariff from 15 per cent to 5.6 per cent. The Japan market remains a challenging one for Australia, but the reduction in the import tariff is creating opportunities for Australian wine. Source, Wine Australia

11/04/2018: 2018 'a cracker of a year' for SA wine
With the harvest almost wrapped up, the council, winemakers and industry experts said the warm, dry weather had helped produce exceptional grapes with intense colours and flavours, across all regions. "The longer warm, sunny conditions of the ripening days and the cool nights has made the quality exceptional," Lisa Bennier, business manager of the Wine Grape Council of South Australia, said. Source, ABC

11/04/2018: German market to take on Aus retailers
Australian alcohol retailers are steeling themselves for some new competition as the German hypermarket Kaufland gets ready to open for business Down Under. Often compared to discounter Aldi, Kaufland stores are generally up to 15 times larger and stock more than 40,000 grocery and alcohol lines, compared to the far more limited selection from Aldi with around 1300 skus. Source, VINEX Market IQ

10/04/2018: #V18 Biosecurity tips
#V18 Tip#10: We know this is a busy time of the year but please don’t take shortcuts with farm-gate hygiene. Your actions impact you, your neighbours, your region, your state and Australia. Biosecurity is a shared responsibility. #Vinehealth www.vinehealth.com.au

10/04/2018: Vic winemakers turn to other grape varieties
Bendigo winemakers are starting to see an interest among consumers for wine made with grape varieties from warmer parts of the world such as the Mediterranean. Winemaker John Monteath from Killiecrankie Wines said they had started to use European white wine varieties from a region in southern France. Source, Bendigo Advertiser

10/04/2018: Future of Mudgee winery in jeopardy
It has become the battle of the winemaker with his investor: and the future of one of the most popular chef's hatted restaurants west of the Blue Mountains lies in the balance. The township of Mudgee has rallied after receivers were called in last week at Lowe Wines, which sits on a piece of land that has been co-owned by David Lowe's family since the 1830s. Source, Good Food

10/04/2018: Is Treasury Wine Estates Ltd a buy?
Shares in global wine company Treasury Wine Estates Ltd (ASX: TWE) have had a bumper 12-months, rising 43% from its $12.01 share price at this time last year to an April 6 close of $17.18. Treasury zoomed to all-time highs after the announcement of strong half-year results in January, with NPAT up 37% to $187.2 million, EPS growth of 38% to 25.6c per share and EBITS growth across all regions. Source, The Motley Fool

10/04/2018: Wine labels and the origin of grapes
On a visit to the Mornington Peninsula, I saw lots of Mornington wine but not so many vineyards. How much of the wine sold as being from the Mornington Peninsula is grown there? Is there any requirement to disclose the region where the grapes were grown? Source, Brisbane Times

10/04/2018: Brokenwood winemaker in Young Gun Top 50
Brokenwood Wines’ assistant winemaker Kate Sturgess has been named in the top 50 Young Guns of Wine for the second time. Ms Sturgess joined the Brokenwood team in 2015 and made the top 50 the following year. She is the only Hunter Valley winemaker, and one of four from NSW, in this year’s top 50. Source, Cessnock Advertiser

9/04/2018: 2014 Margaret River's best Cabernet vintage
A year for the ages. It has already been hailed as a remarkable vintage for cabernet sauvignon but the release of the extraordinary Vasse Felix Tom Cullity cabernet sauvignon malbec, which I have given 99 points, might just be the wine to deliver irrefutable proof that 2014 is the greatest Margaret River cabernet vintage. Source, The West Australian

9/04/2018: Tas sparkling wines setting 'global benchmark'
Tasmania's sparkling wine industry has come of age, with an extraordinary run of prestigious national and international awards in the last two years. One of Australia's top champagne and sparkling wine critics, Tyson Steltzer, said "Tasmania's sparkling wines are now a global benchmark". "In 2016 the House of Arras took out the Best Wine in Show at three capital city wine shows, trumping every still wine in the country," he said. Source, ABC

9/04/2018: Young Gun of Wine
Steadfast and ready, the Young Gun of Wine (YGOW) competition is here, for the 12th year in a row. A household name and a highly regarded competition Australia-wide, this year’s awards agenda brings even more to the table. There is no shortage of winemakers here in Australia, finding this year’s Top 50 a difficult decision; with 19 from South Australia, 12 from Victoria, ten from Western Australia, four from Tasmania and NSW/ACT, and the first ever Queenslander in the mix; Golden Grove’s Ray Costanzo. Source, Winetitles

9/04/2018: GAIA’s A.I to reveal vineyard secrets
Advanced machine learning and high-resolution satellite images are set to revolutionise the Australian grape and wine community’s regional mapping and vineyard insights. World leading agricultural artificial intelligence software, GAIA (Geospatial Artificial Intelligence for Agriculture), has been developed by Consilium Technology, in partnership with DigitalGlobe and Wine Australia. Source, Winetitles

9/04/2018: Wine industry recovery driven by exports
The latest annual Australian and New Zealand Wine Industry Directory (WID) reveals the Australian wine industry continued to rebound, driven by the value of wine exports which increased by ten per cent in 2017. Wine grapes intake was up five per cent and grape growers enjoyed their best year in almost a decade with average prices across all varieties improving by seven per cent. Source, Winetitles

9/04/2018: Cumulus Wines undergoes re-brand
One of Australia’s top producers and the Orange regions most awarded winery will return to the name it was founded under, Cumulus Wines (Pty Limited). The company, previously known as Wine Insights (Pty Ltd) carries an extensive portfolio of premium wines from Orange and the Central Ranges alongside its brands from Clare Valley, Adelaide Hills and Margaret River. Source, Winetitles

6/04/2018: WA wineries shift their focus to China
Wineries across the Capes region are increasingly looking to China as an integral export opportunity, with challenges in the Australian market acting as another motivation to look overseas. Because of their increasing focus on the Chinese market, Watershed Premium Wines recently began advertising for a marketing manager to support further growth in China. Source, The West Australian

6/04/2018: Phillip Broderick: Basket Range Wine
One of the things I love about wine is getting to know the diverse people that are involved in the wine trade. Xavier is from a well established wine family in France, Phil is a full time working magistrate whose been growing grapes and making his own wine for nearly 40 years in the Basket Range. Quite different backgrounds with one thing in common, a passion for wine. Source, People of Wine

6/04/2018: Spray drift update
Following Riverland Wine action on recent spray drift incidents in the region, PIRSA hosted a roundtable forum to discuss the problem and come up with strategies to reduce the risk of damage in the future. Held at the Loxton Research Centre on March 28, the forum was attended by approximately 40 people. Source, Riverland Wine

6/04/2018: Treasury untroubled by trade war blues
Sharemarket darling Treasury Wine Estates says it's in a strong position to withstand financial fall-out from any trade war between the United States and China even though it has been stepping up an export push into China with Californian brands Sterling and Beaulieu Vineyards. Source, Australian Financial Review

6/04/2018: Sip of the good old days
Gone are love letters, treasured photo albums and children’s tree-climbing adventures. In are Tinder hookups, family shots on Facebook and computer screen battles. Winemaking is no exception. At Murrumbateman Winery, Bob Makin and Jennifer Lawrence are trying to change this. Their small operation takes a hand based approach, from the picking, to crushing to pressing and bottling. Source, Town&Country Magazine

5/04/2018: Why now’s the time to invest in wine
Wine experts are advising aspiring wine connoisseurs and those looking to earn some extra cash that now is an opportune time to invest in good-quality Australian wine. Demand for single-site Australian wine has grown exponentially in recent years, so much so that East End Cellars owner Michael Andrewartha has resorted to strategically allocating his stock. “We’re seeing a lot of interest coming from local buyers but also out of Hong Kong, Singapore, China, [and] Denmark,” Andrewartha says. Source, InDaily

5/04/2018: Accolade Wines sold to Carlyle Group for $1 billion
An agreement has been established between 80% shareholder, the CHAMP III Funds (CHAMP) and 20% shareholder, Constellation Brands, Inc. (Constellation) to sell 100% of their shareholdings in Accolade Wines (Accolade) to The Carlyle Group (Carlyle). The total consideration for the purchase is A$1 billion. In early 2011 CHAMP acquired two separate divisions from Constellation for $290 million and began the process of creating Accolade Wines. Source, Winetitles

5/04/2018: A Barossa Grenache trinity
Jason Barrette, who makes wine all over the world since leaving Penfolds at Magill Estate, made this wine at Hemera Estate (formerly Ross Estate) in the Barossa. Century-old Grenache vines were picked earlier than normal to make an austere, adult rosé. Most of the fruit was crushed, left on skins for a meagre two hours to get the right hue and phenolics from the skins, and then fermented cool in steel. Source, InDaily

5/04/2018: Brown Brothers quits ‘unforgiving’ UK market
Family-owned Brown Brothers cited a number of factors for the decision to withdraw its eponymous brand, including Brexit-related uncertainty, unfavourable exchange rates, shifting consumer trends, increased operating costs and the high level of competition. Brown Brothers has operated in the UK for more than 25 years, during which it has experienced ‘some wonderful periods of sales momentum’, particularly through its focus on unusual grape varieties. Source, Decanter

5/04/2018: Wine dynasties: The next-gen winemakers
Charlie O'Brien has always wanted to be a winemaker. Growing up in McLaren Vale, South Australia, he was surrounded by vineyards. His parents, Kevin and Helen O'Brien, bought a winery in the region in 1997, the year before Charlie was born, and renamed it Kangarilla Road. Even as a toddler he loved the sights and sounds of winemaking. Especially the tractors. Source, Australian Financial Review

5/04/2018: WA wineries shift their focus to China
Wineries across the Capes region are increasingly looking to China as an integral export opportunity, with challenges in the Australian market acting as another motivation to look overseas. Because of their increasing focus on the Chinese market, Watershed Premium Wines recently began advertising for a marketing manager to support further growth in China. Source, The West Australian

4/04/2018: Wine Australia appoints R/GA Sydney as creative agency
Wine Australia has appointed creative agency R/GA Sydney to help raise the profile and demand for premium Australian wine in China and the USA, as part of the Australian Government’s $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support Package. The new global marketing strategy will be brought to life in May, when Australia headlines Vinexpo Hong Kong as ‘Country of Honour’, with the largest-ever showcase of 140 wine brands representing over 35 regions. Source, Winetitles

4/04/2018: Meet Canberra's second generation winemakers
It may be one of the youngest wine areas in the country, but the second generation of winemakers is coming through in the Canberra region. Born into the families that first planted the vines, they're putting their personal touch on wines that are finally making people stand up and take notice across the country. Source, Good Food

4/04/2018: Game-changing insectarium helping NSW winery
With 76 hectares of vines, Coppabella is Tumbarumba’s largest single vineyard and also notable as home to an insectarium – a game-changing concept in which predatory insects eliminate or greatly reduce the use of pesticides and combat erosion. Insectariums have been used in numerous Australian vineyards and orchards and involve the planting of areas of native vegetation that attract bees, ladybirds, lacewing wasps and damsel bugs as predators for vineyard pests such as vine moth caterpillars. Source, Newcastle Herald

4/04/2018: Who wins A US-China trade war? Maybe Australia
In the 1990s, as the Asian economic miracle was taking shape, Australian politicians worked hard to overcome the country's geographic and cultural distance from that region to position it on the economic front lines. And while the US has pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, Australia is still part of the pact. Canberra has also forged a series of bilateral deals with its regional neighbors, including a China-Australia Free Trade Agreement. Source, NPR

4/04/2018: Aus wine industry declares war on counterfeiters
Wine Australia has issued a warning to shonky exporters after being granted new powers to safeguard the industry from counterfeit operators. The body can now disallow shipping approvals, and has the option to suspend or cancel licences. Wine Australia General Counsel Rachel Triggs said the new powers, which replace controls introduced in the early 1980s, reflect the changes in the modern industry. Source, ABC

3/04/2018: New Australian wine regulations
Wine Australia and the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) has welcomed the introduction of new Australian wine regulations which came in on April 1, 2018. The new Wine Australia Regulations 2018 replace the Australian Grape and Wine Authority Regulations 1981 and regulate wine exports from product, shipment and licencing perspectives. Source, Winetitles

3/04/2018: Kangaroos cost Canberra grower $80,000+
Kangaroos with a taste for pinot noir grapevines have torn through a vineyard in the Canberra wine district, costing the owners more than $80,000. The annual wine-grape harvest is now nearing completion across the region, and most farmers are hailing the overly dry seasonal conditions as ideal for growing quality fruit. But Maipenrai Vineyard has been incredibly "unlucky". Source, ABC

3/04/2018: ChemClear bookings end soon in SA
South Australians have less than four weeks to register their old farm chemicals with ChemClear. Growers, farmers and chemical users throughout the state have until 27 April to book their unwanted chemicals with Australia’s largest agvet chemical disposal service, for the statewide collection in June 2018. ChemClear program manager, Frank Wimmler, said South Australian growers were committed to using the service to safely dispose of their unwanted agvet products. Source, Winetitles

3/04/2018: #V18 Biosecurity tips
#V18 Tip#9: Stay alert for biosecurity breaches and report anything unusual to Vinehealth Australia. It only takes one phylloxera bug to start an infestation. We need you to play your role in keeping our vines safe. #Vinehealth www.vinehealth.com.au

3/04/2018: SA wine media cadetship
The 2018 wine media cadetship, aimed at aspiring journalists with an aspiration for specialising in the wine sector, has opened for application this week. Now in its second year under the new format, the cadetship presents a platform for young wine media to take the next step in their budding communication careers. Source, Winetitles

3/04/2018: Orange wine region's cellar doors judging
Gourmet Traveller selects five cellar doors from each of the country’s wine regions each year through an anonymous judging process – this year, Swinging Bridge was the star cellar door, Angullong Wines took out best small cellar door, Philip Shaw Wines the best large cellar door, Angullong Wines took out best small cellar door, Philip Shaw Wines the best large cellar door, Borrodell Vineyard was judged to have the best food, De Salis Wines was named the best tasting experience, while Word of Mouth Wines had the best other experience. Source, Central Western Daily

International Wine Industry News

20/04/2018: Industry reviewing irrigation methods
Irrigation New Zealand's biennial conference this week attracted more than 400 representatives including local and regional councils, farmers, experts, and environmentalists, all wanting to discuss the industry's future. "We as farmers need to take some responsibility and accountability for that and lead the charge of cleaning up our own environment," said James Dicey from Mount Difficulty Wines. Source, TV NZ

20/04/2018: Third party quality control in Penglai, China
Penglai in China’s eastern Shandong province has introduced a third-party assessment organisation to evaluate the city’s 55 wineries for food safety related issues especially targeting fake wine made with toxic chemicals that pose potential health hazards. Source, Drinks Business

20/04/2018: First Rosé made in D.C. for decades
On April 22, District Winery is throwing a party to unveil its 2017 dry rosé, an easy-sipping, crisp and acidic pink wine with notes of strawberries and green fruit. The real occasion for celebration, though, is that this is the first wine to be produced and sold in the District of Columbia since Prohibition. Source, The Washington Post

20/04/2018: Have high acid wines finally burned out?
There was a time when the single most popular phrase among a certain subset of wine drinkers was “high-acid.” Exhausted from the uber-ripe, fruity, and boozy juice of the previous era, many sommeliers and wine professionals began extolling the virtues of high acidity in the mid-2000s. Granted, it’s hardly controversial to assert that acidity is an integral part of a balanced wine. Source, VinePair

20/04/2018: Napa, Sonoma wineries are pouring
Blazing yellow mustard flowers that herald spring have returned to garnish the hillsides and flatlands of Napa Valley and Sonoma County, the heart of California's wine country and American wine culture in general. The blooms flourish in contrast to the perception "that the wine country was destroyed, the wineries were all destroyed, the vineyards were all destroyed”. Source, News Center Maine

19/04/2018: Majestic Wine warns it may suffer £3m hit
Majestic Wine has warned that fresh investment plans meant to attract new customers will knock next year’s profits by up to £3 million. The company said it was already investing around £12m a year in attracting new customers, but that new information showed the investment opportunity was “materially bigger than previously thought”. Source, Insider.co.uk

19/04/2018: NZ and Prosecco top UK wine sales
The 2018 Wine Nation report from UK-based Accolade Wines reveals it was a good year for Prosecco, and New Zealand wines, but a bad year for Champagne. Accolade, which own the Hardys and Banrock Station labels, monitored the drinking habits of 6,000 regular wine drinkers to identify the latest consumer trends. Source, Drinks Business

19/04/2018: Screwtops increase for still wine closures
Screwcaps now account for almost a third of the total global bottled still wine market, according to new data. Six year ago the market share of the aluminium closures in Europe alone was around a quarter (26%), but by 2016 this proportion had risen to nearly 30% (29.6%) according to Euromonitor. Source, VINEX Market IQ

19/04/2018: Burgundy exports hampered by Chablis shortage
Exports from Burgundy made small gains last year across all the French region’s key markets, though volumes were largely static due to the recent smaller vintages. In total, Burgundy producers exported 0.7% more wine in 2017 compared to the previous year, with a shortage of Chablis and Petit Chablis holding back further potential growth. Source, VINEX Market IQ

19/04/2018: Producing less that is worth more
NZ wine is an amazing international success story: we are now generally accepted as the best producers of sauvignon blanc and pinot noir in the world. But we haven’t cracked it in China. China takes about one fifth of all our exports and this is consistent across all our sectors. The exception is wine: China buys only one fiftieth of NZ’s wine exports. Source, Rural News

19/04/2018: Studying wine science in paradise
On a typical day, Diana Hawkins might harvest grapes, inoculate a Chardonnay barrel with malolactic bacteria, punch down her master’s project (it’s Pinot Noir, fermenting in a bucket), attend a lecture, learn a winemaking trick in the lab, and put in a long evening doing homework. Source, SevenFiftyDaily

18/04/2018: Expert predicts dramatic change for Bordeaux 2050
A viticulturist and oenologist has predicted that the taste of Bordeaux wine is likely to change dramatically by 2050, should global warming continue at its current rate. Pascal Chatonnet, an expert in Bordeaux wine, was invited to make the predictions by environmental journalist group l’Association des Journalistes de l’Environnement. Source, The Connexion

18/04/2018: Romanian wine sales jump in UK
UK supermarket Waitrose has reported surging sales of Romanian wine with volumes up by 17% year on year. This was boosted by a particularly good performanace from its own-label Blueprint Romanian Pinot Noir, which enjoyed a 60% year in year increase, according to the retailer. “Romanian wine is a real success story and word is definitely getting around about how delicious it is,” said Waitrose’s wine buyer Victoria Mason. Source, VINEX Market IQ

18/04/2018: Oregon Winery funds wine studies
A small liberal arts college in Willamette Valley is significantly expanding its wine-education program with the help of a $6 million gift from one of Oregon's leading wine families. The donation from Grace and Ken Evenstad of Domaine Serene is one of the largest in Linfield College's 160-year history. Source, Wine Spectator

18/04/2018: China lowers VAT tax for imported wine
The Chinese government has announced that it will lower the country’s VAT tax from the current 17% to 16% for imported goods, which is expected to boost China’s wine imports, especially for countries such as Australia and Chile that have signed Free Trade Agreements with China. The new policy was announced by the State Administration of Taxation in early April, and will take effect starting from 1 May. Source, Drinks Business

18/04/2018: Sauvignon 2019 announces programme
In January 2019 the world’s top wine experts will arrive en masse in Marlborough to attend New Zealand’s International Sauvignon Blanc Celebration. It’s an unparalleled opportunity for New Zealand to shine the spotlight on our diverse Sauvignon Blanc offerings to leading wine producers, experts and key influencers. Source, Winetitles

17/04/2018: Chinese investment in California
All the rhetoric over trade wars and tariffs could take a toll on a California wine region that's already seeing a slowdown in investor activity. California's Temecula Valley wine region has been a popular place for Chinese investors, but lately there's been a pullback in those dollars and some projects have "stalled." Source, CNBC

17/04/2018: In memory of Soave pioneer Leonildo Pieropan
Leonildo Pieropan, known simply as Nino Pieropan, died on 13 April at home and surrounded by his family, according to UK importer Liberty Wines. He will be remembered as a standard-bearer for wine quality in Italy’s Soave region, and in particular for championing recognition of single vineyard ‘cru’ sites, as well as for the ageing potential of the area’s white wines. Source, Decanter

17/04/2018: What might our future vineyards look like?
As I continue to talk to winemakers, I find myself wanting to look ahead a bit more. I’m always curious what they think is coming next and where Long Island wine will be five, 10 or even 20 years from now. In that vein, I’ve taken to asking the winemakers I talk to what grapes they’d plant if they were planting a brand-new 10-acre vineyard. The results of this extremely informal poll have been really interesting. Source, Northforker Long Island

17/04/2018: California lawmakers praise Napa wineries
Three wineries and one farming company that went green in recent years went last week to the state Capitol, where lawmakers praised their examples of sustainability for the California wine industry. In a joint hearing Wednesday of the state Senate and Assembly Select Committees on Wine, the four companies, including two from Napa, were lauded with this year’s Sustainable Winegrowing Leadership Awards for their work. Source, Napa Valley Register

17/04/2018: Wine company sponsors Marlborough festival
A family-owned Marlborough wine company has snapped up the naming rights for the region's premier garden festival. The sponsorship contract garnered interest from several companies, but a chance meeting between neighbours prompted Rapaura Springs Wines to throw its hat in the ring. Source, Stuff

16/04/2018: Registrations open for sparkling wine workshop
Ed Carr and Louisa Rose will feature on the panel of the Sparkling wine workshop presented by the NZ Society for Viticulture and Oenology. The workshop, focussing on the NZ and Australian experience, will be held in Marlborough, NZ’s largest winegrowing area. Source, Winetitles

16/04/2018: A study on wine labels
Simonetta Doni started her career in editorial art, publishing art catalogues until 1985, when she received a commission to redesign the Ser Lapo label for Mazzei’s Fonterutoli estate. Today she has more than 200 clients, some of them among the most iconic names in Italian wines: Frescobaldi, Mazzei, Barone Ricasoli, Domenico Clerico; Tedeschi, Ca’ del Bosco, Mezzacorona, Bertani, Argiolas and more. Source, Meininger's Wine Business International

16/04/2018: Opinion: wine and health warnings
After a new study revealed the safe daily limits of alcohol consumption was much lower than previously thought, professor Doug Sellman?, of the National Addiction Centre, said there needed to be clearer labelling on bottles about the risks of alcohol, including brain damage to unborn children and cancer. Source, Stuff

16/04/2018: New Canadian wine lab to support industry
Research to be conducted in a lab workspace being renovated at the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada research centre in Kentville could lead to new knowledge and innovations for Nova Scotia’s burgeoning wine industry. A 400 square-metre space is currently being converted into a wine research lab, part of a multi-dimensional research approach in support of Nova Scotia grape growers and vintners. Source, Annapolis County Spectator

16/04/2018: Wine aged in bourbon barrels
Called 1000 Stories, the Bourbon-barrel-aged red Zinfandel was the result of a “brainstorming session” almost five years ago at Fetzer, and has become so sought-after in its domestic market, the product become a major focus for Blue, a pioneer in organic viticulture, who was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award for his 25-year dedication to sustainable vineyard management in The Drinks Business Green Awards 2014. Source, Drinks Business

16/04/2018: B.C. wine labelling restrictions
The B.C. government on April 12 announced plans to change regulations and alter how wineries in the province operate, as well as what words they are allowed to put on wine labels. The most significant change is that winery owners from four parts of the province will newly be able to put their wines’ regional origin on wine labels. Those regions are Thompson Valley, Shuswap, Lillooet and the Kootenays. Source, Kamloops Matters.com

13/04/2018: Busy summer for biosecurity officers
New Zealand’s border biosecurity defenders have just been through their busiest summer on record, said the Ministry for Primary Industries. MPI biosecurity officers screened some two million passenger arrivals for risk goods between December and February, a five percent increase on last summer. Source, Winetitles

13/04/2018: How to identify common wine taints
Last summer leading cork producer Amorim invited a party of wine hacks on a trip to see cork production in Portugal. The Buyer’s write-up here stoked the hard-fought cork vs screwcap controversy. Confident apparently that cork producers are edging ahead in the closure wars, Amorim is now defiantly tackling cork’s big drawback, wine taint, head-on. Source, The Buyer

13/04/2018: Allan Scott Family Winemakers appoints CEO
Allan Scott Family Winemakers' Board is pleased to announce the appointment of Darrell O'Brien to the newly created position of chief executive of the Allan Scott Companies. Mr O'Brien's appointment "is an important progression for the Allan Scott Companies," commented founder, Allan Scott. Source, National Business Review

13/04/2018: Italy wine sector posts strong gains
Italy's wine sector posted strong gains in 2017, according to an annual wine industry survey by analysts at Italian merchant bank Mediobanca on Thursday. Turnover rose by 6.5 percent in 2017 compared to the previous year, and by 24.7 percent compared to 2012, according to Mediobanca. The survey covered 155 Italian wine companies, which in 2016 totaled turnover of 25 billion euros (28.32 billion U.S. dollars). Source, Xinhua News

13/04/2018: Portuguese wine sales soaring in UK
Portuguese wine sales are soaring in the UK, with Portuguese specialist Oakley Wine Agencies reporting year-on-year volume and value growth of over 60%. Commenting on these “spectacular” results, Oakley Wine Agencies founder, Nick Oakley, told the drinks business: “Portugal’s time seems finally to have arrived. Source, Drinks Business

13/04/2018: VinItaly 2018 to celebrate women in wine
Vinitaly will celebrate the achievements of women working in wine this year’s event with three international tastings that will showcase their achievements and their wines, from countries including the United States, France, Spain, Australia and China. Source, Drinks Business

12/04/2018: Beaujolais launches new marketing campaign
Beaujolais has unveiled a new marketing campaign with the intention of boosting awareness of its wines in Asia. The French region’s new campaign, Beaujolais of Character, was revealed by its wine board, Inter Beaujolais, celebrating its wine and casual bistro culture. The wines to benefit from the 'Beaujonomie' push will include Beaujolais and Beaujolais Villages red, rose and white, but also the majority of crus priced between €7 and €15. Source, VINEX Market IQ

12/04/2018: No EIT wine course in Gisborne this year
Suspension of Gisborne’s wine course at EIT Tairawhiti Polytechnic this year, after operating for nearly three decades, has been described as “disappointing” for the region. It is one of four courses the polytechnic did not run in 2018 because of a lack of enrolments. EIT chief executive Chris Collins said it was regular business process for EIT not to run some programmes if they did not get sufficient enrolments. Source, Gisborne Herald

12/04/2018: UK agent to distribute te Pa Family Vineyards
Buckingham Schenk has been appointed exclusive UK agent for Maori wine business te Pa Family Vineyards. As of May 1, the UK-wide importer will be representing te Pa’s portfolio in the UK, distributing the Marlborough winery’s te Pa and Pa Road ranges. Founded by the MacDonald family, whose Maori lineage goes back to 1350, the te Pa estate spreads over 400ha in Marlborough’s Wairau and Awatere regions. Source, Harpers.co.uk

12/04/2018: Oregon's wine economy is expanding, report says
Oregon's wine industry has cultivated growth with a focus on higher-priced, high quality wines and recent numbers show that growth according to an economic impact study from Full Glass Research. The last study was conducted in 2013 and the figures show a 67 percent jump from a $3.35 billion industry three years ago to $5.61 billion in 2016. Source, The Newberg Graphic

12/04/2018: Opinion: somm in the city
If you want to know anything about wine, ask a sommelier. These wine lovers put their livers on the line every day to bring the very best labels to your glasses. I spoke to six of Florence’s top wine waiters about their “madeleine” moment, house party picks and insider information for this year’s releases. Source, The Florentine

12/04/2018: Autonomous vehicles: a future for wine
Making roads safer is only part of the picture of what can be done with AI for the wine business. The marketing support they will able to provide wineries with, eventually, is going to be mind blowing. Much of the industry, van Allen notes, is already making use of AI to show impressive 360 views of vineyards as well as being used for facial recognition. The technology has long been in place in the car industry. Source, Forbes

12/04/2018: Autonomous vehicles: a future for wine
Making roads safer is only part of the picture of what can be done with AI for the wine business. The marketing support they will able to provide wineries with, eventually, is going to be mind blowing. Much of the industry, van Allen notes, is already making use of AI to show impressive 360 views of vineyards as well as being used for facial recognition. The technology has long been in place in the car industry. Source, Forbes

11/04/2018: Spain beats Italy, France as biggest exporter
Spanish wineries led the world's exportation of the red stuff in 2017 with sales of 22.8 million hectolitres, according to data released by the Spanish Observatory of Wine Markets. This puts the country ahead of its main competitors Italy (21 million hectolitres) and France (15 million hectolitres). Source, Euronews

11/04/2018: Irrigation robots in California
We all know by now that robots are the future of farming, and things are no different for winemakers in The Golden State. Faced with the shortage of water and workers, they asked researchers from the University of California to create an irrigation system that needs minimal human input. Source, engadget

11/04/2018: Château de Lagorce sold to Chinese buyer
Bordeaux winery Château de Lagorce has been sold to a Chinese wine merchant for an undisclosed amount, adding to the growing list of Chinese investors snapping up vineyards to sate domestic consumers’ thirst for the region’s wines. Source, Drinks Business

11/04/2018: DiBuduo retires as CEO of Allied Grape Growers
After nearly two decades of leadership, Nat DiBuduo will retire as president and CEO of Allied Grape Growers (AGG) at the end of June. The AGG board has appointed Vice-President of Operations Jeff Bitter as the next president of the 500-member statewide winegrape marketing association. DiBuduo made the announcement at the AGG April Grower District Meetings. Source, Wine Industry Insight

11/04/2018: Pioneering Nelson winemaker remembered
On March 27 this year Nelson lost one of its pioneering winemakers, Dr Dave Glover passed away. He always had a huge smile at the ready, scoffed at fools and probably at people who didn't agree with him too, but he was also determined to make the best wines he could and share his passion with anyone who would take the time to drop in to see him at his Upper Moutere winery, a winery he established in 1988 after planting the first vines in 1985. Source, Stuff

11/04/2018: 'Winter storms' for NZ vineyards
The year's first "winter storm" arrived yesterday, bringing plunging temperatures, heavy rainfall and the occasional claps of thunder to the region. Although, Hawke's Bay is expected to get off lightly compared with other parts of the country. Metservice Meteorologist, April Clark said this was the country's first cold outbreak this year and the drop in temperature would be felt. Source, New Zealand Herald

10/04/2018: US vintners fear Chinese consumer backlash
Despite the short term negative effects of sales, U.S. vintners are concerned about the potential backlash from Chinese consumers, said Michael Parr, vice president of international sales for Wente Family Estates, on Sunday. The escalation of the tariff battle between the United States and China has made the California winemakers worry about the potential backlash from Chinese consumers not only on wines, but also on overall US products. Source, Xinhua Net

10/04/2018: Bargain Booze and Wine Rack retailers sold
In a statement published this morning, Conviviality has confirmed the sale of its retail businesses, which includes Bargain Booze and Wine Rack, to UK grocery retailer and wholesaler Bestway for £7.25 million. The statement added: “The sale secures continued employment for circa. 2,300 employees of the Conviviality Retail business and provides continuity of trade for suppliers and franchisees”. Source, Drinks Business

10/04/2018: Jefford: Savoie – the hunt for greatness
What is Savoie’s greatest wine? The question is a fascinating and complicated one – and it’s not easy to answer. Savoie is better at exporting its vines (20 to 30 million plants are grown each year by Savoie nurserymen) than its wines, most of which are consumed in the region by thirsty skiers and hikers. ‘We regard any wine which gets beyond Lyon as an export,’ joked grower Philippe Ravier. Source, Decanter

10/04/2018: California's new wine labels
The California Certified Sustainable labels were recently approved for use on the states’ 2017 vintage wines. They will first appear on white and rosé wine bottles later this year, with a separate category for reds set to be rolled out by 2020, reports the Washington Post. The CSWA developed the labels to “enhance transparency, encourage statewide participation and advance the entire California wine industry toward best practices in environmental stewardship,” according to a statement on the organisation’s website. Source, Drinks Business

10/04/2018: NZ's Misha's Vineyard 2018 harvest
Despite a season that was off the chart in terms of heat we ended up with a vineyard that was possibly the healthiest it’s ever looked through to harvest. This was due both to the lower incidence of wind over the whole season and because harvest was much earlier/compressed so leaves were still in good condition. Source, Misha's Vineyard

9/04/2018: Te Mata Estate's secret - vintage pickers
Look in any one of Te Mata Estate's vineyards and you will see a gang of hard-working pickers, although they may not be your average type - a little more vintage you could say. More than 70 people, averaging 70 years old, but anywhere from early retirement age to well into their 80s, hand pick the winery's grapes. Te Mata Estate founder John Buck said: "They are people who epitomise what the unsung quality of Hawke's Bay is really all about. Source, NZ Herald

9/04/2018: Tech to help protect grapegrowing
The New Zealand IoT (internet of things) Alliance believes cutting-edge technologies will have a profound impact on helping improve New Zealand’s agricultural productivity. Alliance executive director Kriv Naicker says a major study into the potential benefits of IoT last year found that better use of IoT across agriculture could provide more than $570 million for the economy. Source, Scoop Independent News

9/04/2018: Foley Family Wines buys Oregon's Acrobat brand
King Estate Winery in Oregon has sold its Acrobat wine brand to Foley Family Wines, in line with its of expanding its offerings from this “emerging and rapidly growing” region. The two winemaking families described the transaction “one of the most important to date” for the growing Oregon wine industry. Source, Drinks Business

9/04/2018: Bordeaux wine fraud
Merchant group Grands Vins de Gironde (GVG) was fined 400,000 euros by a Bordeaux tribunal yesterday (5 April), but saw half of this amount suspended, according to separate local media reports from Sud-Ouest and France Bleu, quoting directly from the court. A spokesperson for Bordeaux’s wine council, the CIVB, confirmed to Decanter.com that GVG had also been ordered to pay the body 3,000 euros in damages, after the CIVB joined the prosecution as a civil party. Source, Decanter

9/04/2018: Bordeaux '17 vintage 'heterogeneous'
The 2017 vintage from leading Bordeaux wine estates, due to be presented to global merchants in the region this week, is looking “heterogeneous” following a combination of spring frosts in some areas and an otherwise relatively good growing season, according to a report from the London-based online wine market Liv-ex. Source, Bloomberg Pursuits

9/04/2018: Vinexpo chief to stand down
Guillaume Deglise, Vinexpo's chief executive is standing down after the Hong Kong exhibition that takes place at the end of next month. The trade show organisers said Deglise was leaving to “embrace new career projects” within the wine and spirits industry after fulfilling the goals set out by the Bordeaux-Gironde Chamber of Commerce when he joined Vinexpo five years ago. Source, VINEX Market IQ

6/04/2018: Kelp water nutrition for vines
Marine farmer Mick Norton stumbled onto his natural kelp tea back in 1991 after he investigated New Zealand's native giant kelp for commercial use. Although the tea, a mixture of kelp and fresh water, doesn't do much for people, it's a game-changer for grapevines. Norton said the kelp tea was the "big breakthrough" his business Tory Channel Natural Kelp needed thanks to the tea's ability to enrich vineyard produce in Marlborough. Source, Stuff

6/04/2018: Georgia's exports increase
Georgia exported 17.7 million bottles of wine to 43 countries in the first quarter of 2018, announces the Georgian National Wine Agency. In January-March of 2018 Georgia generated about $40.47 million from the sale of wine abroad. Revenue increased by 26 percent from January-March 2018, while the volume of exports increased by 24 percent, said the Georgian National Wine Agency. Source, Agenda.GE

6/04/2018: The new Old World: emerging Romania
There’s something peculiarly Romanian about this story; a bleak irony that somehow sits well in a country that spent most of the last century being shafted by its own leaders and learned not to expect too much from life. This, after all, is the country that Churchill traded to Stalin in exchange for Greece, thereby condemning it to almost 50 years of communism. Source, imbibe.com

6/04/2018: Anson: tasting Château Corbin
There is, as you probably know, going to be no Château Corbin in 2017, after the frost that so badly affected the vines in this corner of St-Emilion – although there will be a small amount of the second wine Divin de Corbin. It’s a tough decision for any winemaker to sit out an entire vintage, so it seemed like a good time to head over to the château for a vertical of older vintages and to see which years are ready to drink right now, and which need to stay in the cellar for a little longer. Source, Decanter

6/04/2018: Conviviality Plc pursuing sale
Beleaguered drinks business Conviviality has said it is still ‘pursuing opportunities’ for its retail operations, including Bargain Booze and Wine Rack stores after agreeing to sell Bibendum and Matthew Clark to Magners owner C&C Group. The company said all trade creditors of its Conviviality Direct business – comprising mainly drinks suppliers Matthew Clark and Bibendum – would be ‘paid in full’ as a result of the deal with magners cider owner C&C, which emerged yesterday. Source, Decanter

5/04/2018: C&C to buy Conviviality businesses
Irish drinks producer C&C Group is set to acquire Matthew Clark, Bibendum and other subsidiaries from the stricken firm Conviviality, with the backing of global drinks giant AB InBev. C&C Group, which produces Tennent’s lager and Magners Cider, announced it was in “advanced discussions to acquire Matthew Clark and Bibendum which between them supply more than 23,000 hotels, pubs and restaurants across the UK. Source, VINEX Market IQ

5/04/2018: California's Cabernet cult keeps growing
When I met Seattle-based economist Mike Veseth at a wine conference in Idaho last February, he shared his take that the "Queen of Red Grapes" might be overprized – and overplanted – in California. With a statewide rise in Cabernet plants – both for its popularity and higher sales prices per ton – more of it is going into both single-varietal wines and blends. Source, Wine-searcher

5/04/2018: ‘B.C. Wine Month’ to fortify wine industry
B.C.’s wine industry is hoping a boost from the provincial government can help it grow after what’s been a challenging year. The province has declared April as “B.C. Wine Month,” and is launching a series of initiatives aimed at fortifying the wine sector. Those include showcasing B.C. wines at government run liquor stores, along with bringing in chefs and sommeliers for wine and food pairing events. Source, Global News

5/04/2018: Possible wine shortage this year?
After last seasons' wonderful grape harvest throughout the Finger Lakes Region, what can we expect to see for this year? California was ravaged with destructive wildfires late last year but Europe was also experiencing not so desirable weather for wine production. Because of that wine production for the 2018 season isn't looking too great. However, here in the Finger Lakes it's not looking too bad for the upcoming season. Source, My Twin Tiers.com

5/04/2018: Harlequins a threat to wine industry
Infestations of Harlequin ladybirds in the Gisborne district could pose a threat to the horticulture and viticulture industries. From Asia, the invasive species was first reported to the Ministry of Primary Industries in Auckland in 2016 and has since been found in the Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Taranaki regions. It has been discovered at Te Karaka and in the Matokitoki Valley. Source, The Gisborne Herald

4/04/2018: China: California wine pairs well with a trade war
China's selection of wine as a target of retaliatory tariffs did not surprise Michael Honig, a winemaker in the Napa Valley, where the tariff would hit hardest. "The reason the government realizes they should penalize us is, we are branded," said Mr. Honig, the president of Honig Vineyard and Winery. "It's hard to go after a wheat grower, because who is a wheat grower? It's a commodity. We are not a commodity." Source, CNBC

4/04/2018: Eden Research a winner for grape protection
Bio-agriculture group Eden Research looks to have unearthed a winner with its natural pesticide, Mevalone. Wine producers in France, Spain and Italy, the world’s three top producing regions, reportedly love the product as it can protect grapes right up until harvest with no issues over residues. Inspired by locals on the ground talking it up, BBC Radio and local TV stations have already run pieces highlighting how well it works. Source, This is MONEY.co.uk

4/04/2018: Allan Scott Companies appoints chief executive
The appointment of Darrell “is an important progression for the Allan Scott Companies” commented founder Allan Scott, “as Darrell will lead the company through the strategic requirements of growth to a level fulfilling the rising demand for our quality product in overseas markets; plus ensure a continuation of the broadening of its innovative beverage presentations as the company also adapts to generational change in the next few years”. Source, Scoop Independent News

4/04/2018: Easter wine festival shows tourism growth
In 2000, it began with four wine stalls. Yesterday, 19 wineries and 19 food stalls lined Sunderland St in Clyde for the town’s 2018 Wine and Food Harvest Festival. The festival is held every Easter Sunday to celebrate the best in wine and food from the Clyde, Alexandra and Earnscleugh districts. Verdun Burgess, founder of Black Ridge Winery, which was one of the four original wineries represented at the festival, said the early days were much quieter. Source, Otago Daily Times

4/04/2018: How organic wine finally caught on
If you cannot remember the last time you had a glass of organic wine, you are hardly alone. Overall, less than 5% of the world’s vineyards are organic. In the United States, the world’s largest consumer of wine, only 1% of wine sold by volume was organic. The paltry market for organic wine around the world belies the fact that over the past half century, countless organic winegrowers and vintners have dedicated great effort to creating a larger market for the category, without much success. Source, Harvard Business Review

4/04/2018: The start-up disrupting the Bordeaux wine industry
U’Wine, now a team of 14, has direct access to 53 châteaux and domains, corresponding to 80 different grands cru classés, including Château Suduiraut, Château Les Carmes Haut Brion and Château Malescot Saint Exupéry. Olivier Bernard, owner and manager of the Domaine de Chevalier, also sold through U’Wine, says: “Today I have a large cellar because I began it 35 years ago. Wine is a story of wine lovers, and it’s a story that needs to start young.” Source, Billionaire

3/04/2018: Technologies to enhance quality at harvest
When environmental conditions aren't up to scratch, a host of techniques and technologies are available to aid wine producers in meeting the challenges of preserving and enhancing quality. In seasons when fruit ripeness is compromised or fruit colour is sub-optimal, Flash Détente extraction enhances wine colour, removes green, unripe flavour characters, improves wine structure and texture and accelerates production time. Source, New Zealand Winegrower

3/04/2018: Opinion: irrigation is not good for nz vineyards
Given our various water scandals and crises of the past few years, and how precious a resource it is, it's beyond me why we don't have a Minister of Water in the Beehive right now. But this column is about wine, not politics. The wine industry may be doing a few things right by the environment, but the manner in which it wastes water is not one of them. We irrigate vines up and down the country. In many cases, we drench them. I know of a number of Marlborough growers who make sure the tap is turned on every day, regardless of weather conditions. Source, Stuff

3/04/2018: Lack of South African wine pushing prices up
The fact South Africa is on course for its lowest harvest since 2005 is having a major knock-on effect to how pricing is shaping up from other countries for 2018. That’s the view of Andrew Shaw, group buying director at Conviviality in the UK, who said for a long time South Africa had set the tone for how wine buying was being conducted elsewhere in the world. Source, VINEX Market IQ

3/04/2018: China hits back with tariffs on US wine
China says it is rolling out new tariffs on meat, fruit, wine and other products from the United States as retaliation against taxes approved by US President Donald Trump on imported steel and aluminium. The Chinese Finance Ministry said in a statement the new tariffs would begin on Monday. The announcement followed warnings Chinese officials had made for several weeks in an escalating trade dispute between the world's two largest economies. Source, ABC

3/04/2018: Oregon wildfires introduce smoke taint
You may remember the marketing phrase: “We will sell no wine before its time.” For some vintages, that line of thinking remains timeless. When it comes to vintages impaired by smoke taint, it’s best to move them quickly and consume the wine before the taint fully manifests itself. Northwest grape growers repeatedly have seen smoke from wildfires envelop the region in recent years, raising legitimate concerns about the effects of smoke on the finished product. Source, The Bulletin

3/04/2018: UK winemakers toast record year
A record number of bottles of UK-made wine reached the market last year, up 64% from 2016, as vineyards released more sparkling and specialist wines. The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) said the industry was reaping the benefits from a "huge" investment over the last decade. Last week Camel Valley vineyard in Cornwall became the first English wine producer to be granted a royal warrant. Source, BBC

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