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

1/07/2015: 'The Pavilion' Submissions Are Now Open: Economical market entry option to showcase your brands to the buyers of Melbourne and Sydney
Capped at 100 SKU’s between wines, spirits and beer, it is a perfect area for small producers to get their brands out to the trade. Interstate producers looking to get in front of Melbourne and Sydney buyers can also find ‘The Pavilion’ section a good way to find a distributor or expand current retail distribution. Melbourne and Sydney distributors can also enter their portfolio or key brands if looking to get in-front of Melbourne and Sydney buyers.

22/06/2015: Exporting wine made easy
Exporting wine overseas can seem very complicated, but AWRI Commercial Services makes the process as easy as possible. The highly experienced customer service team can advise on the analytical requirements for different countries and work through the paperwork needed for each specific export destination. There have recently been some changes to the VI1 certification for botrytised wines. Late harvest and botrytised wines can now be exported with the VI1 packaged certificate.

16/06/2015: An afternoon of 'vinnovations' at the WGCSA SA Winegrape Growers Summit in July
The WGCSA SA Winegrape Growers Summit on 17 July at the Adelaide Oval will give growers a unique insight into practical ways to improve commercial vineyard profitability through vineyard innovations, as well as the latest information on the state of the industry and global and Australian outlook and trends. The morning will be dedicated to providing expert analysis of the outlook for Australian wine in domestic and global markets and a variety-by-variety examination of supply and demand including the release of price and tonnage figures from the 2015 vintage.

15/06/2015: Bookings open for SA Winegrape Growers Summit
Bookings are now open for the Wine Grape Council of SA (WGCSA) Winegrape Growers Summit on July 17 at the Adelaide Oval will give growers a unique insight into practical ways to improve commercial vineyard profitability through vineyard innovations, as well as the latest information on the state of the industry and global and Australian outlook and trends.

Australian Wine Industry News

3/07/2015: AHA wants lower excise rate for wine consumed in pubs and bars
TAX on wine and spirits sold at pubs should be cut because they provide a safer drinking environment, the hotels lobby says. The Federal Government is also being lobbied to introduce an American-style “soda tax’’ to discourage Australians from drinking too much soft drink. The Australian Hotels Association wants an excise discount on wine and spirits consumed on premises because of the “safer environments’’ licensed establishments are required to maintain.

3/07/2015: On the right road at Murray Street
Sitting with Anthony Grundel and Craig Viney from Murray Street Vineyards, you get the feeling the pair run a very smooth operation. Grundel, the general manager, is just as comfortable talking about the importance of the winery’s mailing list as he is discussing their plans in China. Viney, who drives a VW Kombi and rides a skateboard, has a sample from the final press of the 2015 vintage on the coffee table. The pair spoke to Nathan Gogoll about making wine, selling wine and capability – rather than potential.

3/07/2015: Fletcher wines gets best of Barbaresco and Barolo
You’d be hard pressed to find a famous wine region around the world without at least a handful of flying Australian winemakers. With the vintage done and dusted in Australia, every year thousands pack their bags for a working holiday in wineries dotted around the northern hemisphere. Vintages in great regions and chateaux guarantee hefty bragging rights plus the chance to sharpen skills working with some of the world’s top fruit. But sometimes the opportunity to make spectacular wines is just too great and our best are lost to faraway lands for good.

3/07/2015: Wineries offer exclusive barrel tastings
A SELECTION of vineyards will this weekend offer a sneak preview of the magic happening in wine barrels across Bendigo. Eight wineries will throw open their doors for two days of exclusive barrel tasting sessions. Bendigo Winegrowers Association president Bill Blamires said the weekend was a chance for wine lovers to taste wine right from the source and enjoy some barrel alchemy. “Meet the winemakers who’ll be keen to chat about the latest vintage and taste future releases straight from the barrel,” said Mr Blamires, whose family operates the Mount Alexander Winery.

3/07/2015: Adam Goodrum honours creative spirit of Veuve Clicquot
A colour says a lot about a brand. Any woman who has ever considered marriage knows what the little blue box means, while shoppers with discerning taste like presents that come packaged in a particular shade of orange. Like Tiffany & Co. and Hermes, champagne house Veuve Clicquot is known for the vivid streak of yellow that wraps around its bottles, and at events and venues around the world, from Bondi Icebergs to the annual polo in New York, whether in umbrellas or ice buckets or festive flutes, that shade of yellow signals a good time waiting to be had.

3/07/2015: Quadruple trophy triumph for First Creek Wines
Hunter Valley Producer First Creek Wines has scooped the pool at the highly regarded Brisbane Wine Show with their 2014 Winemakers Reserve Chardonnay. Competing against some of Australia’s best wines, the First Creek chardonnay not only won all Trophy’s in its class, but also Grand Champion – Best Wine of Show. These accolades come as chardonnay undergoes a strong renaissance. After being out of favour for many years with Australian wine consumers, this resurgence according to First Creek Chief Winemaker Liz Jackson is not simply part of a cycle.

2/07/2015: Orange winemaker penalised $35,000 for dumping toxic chemicals in drain
AN Orange winemaker has been fined $35,000 in penalties and court costs after he was found guilty of emptying toxic chemicals into a drain. Rex Nunzio D’Aquino pleaded guilty in Orange Local Court to a charge of polluting waters after he instructed an employee to empty 21 1000-litre drums into a drain leading from the helipad at Highland Heritage Estate to Summer Hill Creek. The drums contained remnants of chlorpyrifos, a pesticide used on cotton crops, which is harmful to wildlife.

2/07/2015: Local innovations offer winegrape growers better returns
The finalists in the inaugural Vinnovation Awards for South Australia have all produced outstanding solutions to improve vineyard returns with great ingenuity, reports the Wine Grape Council of South Australia. Bill and Phil Longbottom from Padthaway, Ben Blows from Macclesfield, Kim Anderson from Charleston and Hans Lodder from Coonawarra are all in the running for the award, which could see them walking away with a trophy, $2,000 cash and a Pellenc Lixion battery powered pruner valued at over $2,000 and donated by Pellenc Australia.

2/07/2015: Cassegrain Wines picks Japan's bullet trains over Woolworths, Coles
The high-speed Japanese bullet trains have been a much better bet for Cassegrain Wines managing director John Cassegrain than Australia's liquor giants Woolworths and Coles. The NSW-based wine producer supplies about 700,000 small bottles of red and white wine each year to the operator of the Shinkansen bullet trains, JR Tokai, which hurtle around Japan at speeds of up to 320km/h.

2/07/2015: Sommeliers to host Tassie dinner
Sommeliers Australia are inviting people to join them for a "Great Tasmanian Wine Dinner" at Sydney's Quay restaurant in August. The four-course dinner will also feature a rare slection of some of Tasmania's most exciting and revered vineyards and cellars. Each table will have its own dedictaed sommelier for the evening, and a selection of wines offered exclusively to that table. Sommeliers Australia told TheShout: "Given the intimate nature of the evening most wines will be available in very small quantities only.”

2/07/2015: Wine events company expands to growing communications arena
Since launching her wine events company in 2010, Anna Hill has fashioned an exclusive sphere in the Australian wine landscape. As well as providing event management to some of the industry’s best-known names and luxury brands, Anna Hill Events has created tailored packages for the country’s leading boutique labels and specialist publications. With services including concept and development strategy, operations and delivery, public relations and media management for wine producers, distribution companies, new publications and hospitality clients, Anna Hill Events recognises the need for expansion.

1/07/2015: ‘We are working towards a prosperous grape and wine community’ says Wine Australia
Increasing the demand and premium paid for Australian wine and increasing its competitiveness in the global market are the two priorities in Wine Australia’s five year Strategic Plan 2015-2020, released today. Over the next five years Wine Australia will annually invest $35 million in research and development, building markets, disseminating knowledge, encouraging adoption and ensuring compliance, according to Brian Walsh, Wine Australia chair.

1/07/2015: Royal Melbourne Wine Awards new Vermouth category
Recognising its growing popularity in Australia, the Royal Melbourne Wine Awards (RMWA) will this year include a trophy for the Best Vermouth. Alongside the new Vermouth category, there will also be a second Victorian Wines of Provenance Trophy awarded, ensuring both red and white wines are recognised. The trophy recognises Victorian producers who show consistency, quality and excellence over three vintages of the same wine, over a minimum of 10 years.

1/07/2015: Bottling the finest in-store experience
Managing director of EDA Australasia, John Atwill, shares his tips for enhancing point of sale displays for luxury alcohol brands. People often aspire to purchase products from luxury brands. They can be drawn into the qualities associated with the products including status, wealth and exclusivity. It is also often about owning the top of the range products and being part of an exclusive club of owners. Consumers in the luxury alcohol market are no different.

1/07/2015: Proust Q&A: Eddie McDougall
Host of the acclaimed TV series, The Flying Winemaker on Discovery Channel’s TLC, Eddie McDougall is also an award winning winemaker, wine judge and columnist. He was raised in Hong Kong and Australia and in 2013 was selected for the Lens Evans tutorial where he spent time with Australia’s top wine experts in the Hunter Valley. McDougall also has over a decade of winemaking experience and in 2007, created his own brand, Eddie McDougall Wines. He lives in Macau with his wife Frederica and son Hugo.

1/07/2015: Plonk's second vintage goes free-to-air
SATIRICAL wine show Plonk will light up SA screens on Tuesday, July 7, on Channel Nine. The second 'vintage' of the mockumentary, which tracks the misadventures of trying to make a serious wine show, showcases SA's wine regions. The Adelaide Hills, Barossa, Clare Valley, McLaren Vale, Coonawarra and Adelaide City will all feature as Plonk's hapless TV crew - The Chaser's Chris Taylor, Barossa-born Joshua Tyler and creator Nathan Earl - fumble their way through SA wineries across six weeks.

30/06/2015: Strategic analysis of the next five years for the Australian wine sector
The immediate future of Australia’s $4.2 billion wine sector will be the subject of robust discussion when the country’s leading wine grapegrowers, winemakers, suppliers and marketers meet for a landmark three-day event in Adelaide in July. WineTech 2015, the nation’s flagship wine sector trade show, will address national and global influences on demand, capability and competitiveness in a sector that is vitally important to the economy and jobs in agriculture, tourism and hospitality.

30/06/2015: Entries open for NSW Small Winemakers Show 2015
Entries are now open for NSW Small Winemakers Show 2015 with judging set to run from August 24 – 26 at the Forbes Youth & Community Centre. The event is exclusive to small NSW and ACT business that crush a maximum of 500 tonnes, therefore any winery that is wholly or part owned by a large wine producer will not be able to take part. Last year, the show attracted 615 entries from 101 small producers across the state, with 38 per cent of entries awarded a medal.

30/06/2015: JD.com founder Richard Liu taps a2 milk, Treasury Wine to rival Alibaba
Chinese billionaire Richard Liu, is hunting Australian companies to fuel the global expansion of his e-commerce website, JD.com, and take on Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma. Liu has partnered with ASX-listed companies including a2 Milk and Treasury Wine Estates to create an "Australian mall", which will sell authentic Australian product to China's fast growing middle class. JD.com, a Nasdaq-listed company with a market capitalisation of $US46 billion ($60 billion), is China's second biggest online retailer behind Ma's Alibaba.

30/06/2015: Accolade Wines to spend £4m on Hardys
Accolade Wines has announced a £4 million (A$8.19m) above the line campaign for its leading wine brand Hardys, to coincide with its sponsorship of the English and Australian cricket teams ahead of the Ashes test matches with Australia. The new Hardys campaign will encompass a full ‘360 degree activation program’ which will run alongside the 2015 Ashes series, featuring an exclusive broadcast sponsorship on Sky Sports throughout this summer’s cricket season. It represents possibly the largest above-the-line investment by a wine brand in the UK.

30/06/2015: Canberra’s taste of Swan
SWAN Valley wines flowed at Canberra’s Parliament House last week as about 500 people came to find out about businesses from the area at a showcase event. Presented by the City of Swan, there were 28 businesses showing food, wine, artwork, and cultural artefacts from the region. Business owners and entrepreneurs met ministers and explained to them their needs and ideas for enhancing the area.

30/06/2015: Barefoot takes steps to raise seaside profile with beach cleaning project
The Barefoot wine brand is taking a campaign to keep Britain’s beaches clean to ix locations over the summer. Edinburgh, St Anne’s in Lancashire, Scarsborough, Llanwit Major in Wales, Weston-super-Mare and Joss Bay in Kent are all on the itinerary for the tour, which will be the eighth year Barefoot has undertaken the project. Over that time, it has helped to give Barefoot a high profile in retailers and bars in coastal locations around the UK.

29/06/2015: Red flows at Grant Burge Wines as Accolade picks up pieces
Accolade Wines, the second largest wine company in Australia, has a lot of work do to improve the performance of its recently-acquired Grant Burge Wines, which plunged to a loss of almost $10 million in its final year as a stand-alone firm. The Australian Financial Review can reveal that Barossa Valley-based Grant Burge Wines tumbled to a loss of $9.4 million after generating sales of $40.4 million in its last 12 months as an independent company.

29/06/2015: Treasury Wine Estates, Pernod Ricard hail China-Aus FTA
Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) and Pernod Ricard have welcomed the signing of a new China-Australia free trade agreement, which will end excise duty on Australian wine imports to the Asian country. The agreement, signed last week, will phase out tariffs of 14-20% over the next four years as the countries look to bolster trade ties. China is Australia’s third-largest export market by value behind the US and the UK and accounts for 5.4% of Australian wine exports, or 11.8% in sales terms.

29/06/2015: WA wineries produce another outstanding vintage
West Australian wine lovers can again toast to good tasting wine after winemakers wrapped up another outstanding vintage, continuing a stellar trend in the west. A sustained period of successful vintages across WA's rich and diverse wine regions have been the envy of interstate wine industries, with 2015 another standout year. Low yields resulted in top-quality varieties south of the state, while the Swan Valley harvest is one of the best vintages on record, with yields spot on and quality buoyed by the cooler start to summer.

29/06/2015: Sulphur-free wine tastes great but isn’t made to last
Sulphur has been used as a preservative and disinfectant in winemaking for thousands of years. The ancient Romans burned sulphur candles inside amphorae before filling them with wine because they knew it helped the wine stay fresh; sulphur dioxide was first added to wine as a preservative as long ago as the late 15th century. Today, the practice of adding sulphur dioxide, SO2, to wine is almost universal.

29/06/2015: ‘Dining boom’ the next big thing for Australian exporters to Asia
HIGH in the Mongolian mountains, far from the reach of skyscrapers and flashing city lights, a shipment of Queensland wine is bundled up with blankets, carried through the rocky and snow-dusted countryside on the back of a yak. It’s one of the more unusual export deliveries for Sirromet winery at Mt Cotton, near Brisbane, which has been quick to stretch its legs into the booming Asian market. And while there’s unique challenges in exporting overseas, director of sales and marketing Rod Hill says it’s worth the effort as a rapidly growing middle class increases global demand for food.

26/06/2015: Volumetric wine tax will harm winemakers, says Casella
The normally close-knit and collegial Australian wine industry is edging towards a civil war over the heated issue of tax, with the patriarch of the nation’s biggest wine exporter, Casella Wines, slamming some producers’ efforts to lobby for the introduction of a volumetric tax as “immoral”. John Casella, whose Griffith-based winery makes the Yellow Tail wine that last year struck nearly $400 million in sales and is the most imported wine in the US, has warned attempts to swap a system based on value to a tax charged per litre would only exacerbate oversupply plaguing the sector, trigger an exodus of growers and see many lose their life savings.

26/06/2015: Wolf Blass named International Winery of the Year
Wolf Blass has been named International Winery of the Year at the San Francisco International Wine Competition. Wolf Blass is the first Australian winery to win this award in over 15 years and only the second Australian winery in history. The Winery of the Year award recognizes the single winery earning the most points, measured by the number and level of awards won. Now in its 35th year, the San Francisco International Wine Competition is the largest International wine competition in America.

26/06/2015: Next generation of Australia's First Families of Wine to hit WA
The next generation of Australia’s First Families of Wine will host consumer tasting event, Unleashed, in Western Australia on 28 August. The future leaders of Australia’s premium family-owned wine companies will bring together more than 100 trade and consumers at a yet to be announced Perth event space, before making their way through the Margaret River. Tomorrow morning they will explore and enjoy the Margaret River Region and spend time at the Burch Family Wines Estate.

26/06/2015: Costco takes battle to sell alcohol in SA to Supreme Court
US RETAIL giant Costco is trying to broaden the supermarket war to another front, taking its battle to sell alcohol in SA to the Supreme Court. The bulk-buy retailer has appealed to the state’s highest court for a licence to sell liquor at its Kilburn outlet. But the Australian Hotels Association is warning any such move — if approved — will set a dangerous precedent and be another stake in the heart of small alcohol retailers and SA wine producers, who are struggling to make a profit.

26/06/2015: Australia urges more trade liberalisation under TAFTA
Australia is keen on liberalisation of the trade in agricultural products and professional services after the Thailand-Australia Free-Trade Agreement (TAFTA) has been in effect for 10 years, while foreseeing strong trade growth between the two nations. However, Somkiat Tangkitvanich, president of the Thai Development Research Institute, said Tariffs on imported wine, beverages and tobacco from Australia should be maintained. “The duties from those products are one of the major sources of income for the government.”

25/06/2015: A Chinese taste of Australian wines
New research from the UniSA Business School’s Ehrenberg-Bass Institute could help transform the export market for Australian wine, enabling producers and distributors to describe their product more effectively using terms more easily understood by Chinese wine consumers. The Chinese Lexicon Project – a two year long research initiative funded by the Australian Grape and Wine Authority (AGWA) and led by Dr Armando Corsi, Dr Justin Cohen and Prof Larry Lockshin, has revealed what terms Chinese consumers use more often when describing a wine, and what Asian fruit and vegetable flavours are equivalent to the typical Western ones used for wines in China.

25/06/2015: Qantas dismisses wine selection panel
Len Evans must be turning in his grave. Qantas has dismissed the wine selection panel he instituted and replaced it with a chef. Neil Perry, who seems intent on being the all-round wine guy as well as a restaurateur and chef, is the new wine consultant for Qantas, replacing the panel of three of Australia’s most highly regarded winemakers, Steve Pannell, Vanya Cullen and Tom Carson, who have done the job for more than 10 years. No doubt Perry will be relying on his teams of sommeliers in his various restaurants to do the hard yakka of tasting massive numbers of wines.

25/06/2015: Entries open for 2016 Sydney International Wine Competition
Will Aldi repeat their success at the 2016 Sydney International Wine Competition? That’s the question everyone is asking after it was announced that entries are now open for next year’s show. With no minimum production requirements, the event encourages boutique and experimental wineries to test their product beside some of the world’s biggest producers. The only international wine show to judge all wines in accompaniment with complimentary food, Warren Mason, Sydney International Wine Competition director, said the event reflects the industry’s move toward food friendly wines.

25/06/2015: Brian Walsh appointed as AGWA chair
Brian Walsh has been officially appointed as chair of the Australian Grape and Wine Authority (AGWA) after almost a year acting in the role. Barnaby Joyce, Minister for Agriculture, made the announcement on Tuesday following a recruitment process which saw a large number of applicants assessed by a selection panel. “Under Brian’s leadership, AGWA has been established quickly and effectively at a very important time for the industry,” Joyce said. “I am very pleased to announce his permanent appointment today for a two year term.”

25/06/2015: Smidge Wines extends distribution reach with Global
Smidge Wines have announced a new distribution relationship with Global Food & Wine in Queensland. “Global have four warehouses, and an impressive customer service network providing Smidge with a competitive advantage for wine distribution in this region,” said Matt Wenk, Smidge Wines owner and winemaker. Smidge has benefitted from the extended reach of Global with enhanced distribution of its most popular wines, including its Houdini Sauvignon Blanc, Adamo and also through to Magic Dirt.

24/06/2015: Will Noosa food and wine festival go ahead?
WHEN Noosa Food and Wine Events, the company behind Berardo's Restaurant and the Noosa International Food and Wine Festival, went into voluntary administration last month there was an outpouring of grief and sadness. Then the severity of debt left with many of the company's suppliers became apparent, and all I was hearing was anger and dismay. This week a Noosa restaurant owner with 35 years' experience running successful eateries challenged Jim Berardo to explain what happened.

24/06/2015: State cellar door rebate - Avoiding unintended consequences
A discussion paper prepared by the Department of Primary Industries and Regions South Australia (PIRSA), was circulated to South Australian wine producers on Monday 22nd June. The paper outlined a consultation process to review the current State Cellar Door Rebate in South Australia. While the SA State Government is considering abolishing the Cellar Door Rebate in SA, a process of industry consultation will occur to ensure any decision made does not have unintended consequences.

24/06/2015: Treasury Wine Estates eyes 'big' growth in China
Treasury Wine Estates has turned around its China business and is targeting annual sales growth approaching 20 per cent over the next five years, helped by the recently signed free trade agreement and declining sales of Chinese-made wine. In an interview with The Australian Financial Review, the company's new managing director for Asia, Robert Foye, described the growth in China as "big" and said the turnaround had been faster than expected.

24/06/2015: Australians unlikely to follow brands on social media
Just 11 per cent of Australians on social media are “very likely” to be following brands on social media, according to eMarketer research from Waggeer Edstrom Asia-Pacific. The March 2015 survey asked internet users in nine different Asia-Pacific countries to rate how likely they were to follow a brand on social media and found that Australians lacked enthusiasm. Despite only 1.2 million Australians considered very likely to come across information about brands on social media, wine brand Yellow Tail has a huge following with 1,366,396 fans, the largest Facebook audience in Australia.

24/06/2015: Boggy Creek Wines branching out with olives
A shady car park feature has grown into winter fun for a north east Victorian winery. Boggy Creek Wines, in the King Valley, charged $5 for people to pick their own plastic bag of olives creating fun for visitors in the depths of winter. Georgia Beavis, from the winery, said there was no intention of the trees becoming an attraction when they were planted. "Why they were planted in the first place is that they provide really good shade," she said.

23/06/2015: Greek winemakers bid to break into Australian market
In the midst of the Greek financial crisis, a contingent of Greece's top wine producers is touring Australia hoping to capitalise on the lucrative Australian wine market. Twenty-five of Greece's leading wineries are undertaking the tour which, according to producers and officials, will hopefully increase both consumer awareness of Greek brands and exports to Australia. The Trade Commissioner from the Greece Embassy, Vaianos Oreopoulos-Kelenis, said that Greek wine exports to Australia were currently worth around $1m.

23/06/2015: How climate change could alter food and wine in Aus
Wine grape growing is Australia's largest fruit industry and you'll find few climate sceptics among winemakers. Many are already seeing their grapes ripen earlier because of temperature rise. By the middle of the century, places with a Mediterranean climate – such as South Australia, Victoria and Margaret River in Western Australia – will be less suitable to grow current grape varieties, particularly red ones used for Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

23/06/2015: Wine Australia searches for next star of hospitality
Wine Australia and the Daniel Pontifex Memorial Trust are searching for the next big name in hospitality. The Daniel Pontifex Scholarship recognises the passion and enthusiasm of tomorrow’s leading hospitality professionals, rewarding them with a place on Wine Australia’s trade and press visit to Australia in November. Daniel Pontifex, whom the scholarship commemorates, was killed in a car accident during his employment at Kensington Place Restaurant in London.

23/06/2015: ACA's National Feast fit for a Governor
GOVERNOR General Sir Peter Cosgrove has praised Australian farming industries in describing agribusiness as an industry the nation can’t do without. “Here in Australia we are fortunate to have an agribusiness sector that delivers bountiful, fresh, high quality and delicious food to our table and to the tables of 60 million people right around the world,” Cosgrove said. “So on this - the longest night of the year - we come together to feast and to give thanks for all that we have.

23/06/2015: Wyndham Estate wines renamed
From this month, Wyndham Estate will be renamed to George Wyndham, recognising the man that planted Australia’ first commercial vineyard of Shiraz grapes in 1830. The new packaging features George Wyndham’s signature and pays homage to his character, said the company’s chief winemaker, Steve Meyer. “This change bestows full honour to our founder. George Wyndham epitomised the Australian spirit. With vision and courage, he embraced the enormous potential of the land around him to create rich robust wines.

22/06/2015: Hunter vigneron accuses wine industry body of failing to fairly promote Hunter wines
A Hunter vigneron has hit out at the country's peak wine industry body, accusing it of failing to fairly promote and market Hunter wines. Ballabourneen Wine Company has lodged a submission with a senate inquiry into the Australian wine industry. It says the Australian Grape and Wine Authority is not providing value for money or due recognition to the Hunter Valley as one of the country's prestige wine regions.

22/06/2015: Woolworths CEO announces retirement as company declines in sales
During Woolworths Limited’s trading update this week, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Grant O’Brien announced that he would be retiring later this year. The decision comes after the company revealed continued declines in Q4’15 sales. Specifically, Woolworths’ Food and Liquor business reported declines in May and June, mirroring those recorded in Q3’15. While seeking a replacement for Mr. O’Brien, the company has therefore also announced that it will be cutting up to 1,200 jobs to reduce costs.

22/06/2015: Students develop wine industry software that could “help feed the world”
A team of University of Adelaide students won the inaugural Tech eChallenge award for a new software system aimed at saving the wine industry millions of dollars each year – and their work could also be applied to global food production. The team, called Seer Insights, developed the GrapeBrain software system, which they hope will improve the efficiency of production in viticulture.

22/06/2015: Canberra wine exporters ready to cash in on Chinese free trade
Wine exporters from across the region have raised a toast to the Chinese free trade deal which they hope will grow the Australian brand in the major market. Shaw Vineyard Estate owner Graeme Shaw, of Murrumbateman, said the greatest benefit of the progressive elimination of trade tariffs would likely be promotional opportunities. The free trade agreement, signed by Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Wednesday, was expected to remove the 14 per cent tariff on Australian bottled wine, and 20 per cent slug on bulk wine, across four years once in effect.

22/06/2015: Australian wine lists win big
Australian restaurants have some of the best wine lists in the world, after winning big at the annual World's Best Wine Lists Awards. Organised by the UK-based magazine The World of Fine Wine, the awards give out one-, two- and three-star rankings to restaurant wine lists. Australia won big, with 249 restaurants picking up awards, second only to the United States, which has 312 restaurants making the grade.

22/06/2015: Craft brewers oppose NZ peers’ excise relief bid
New Zealand brewers want to further capitalise on their booming beer exports by accessing a tax break currently only accessible to Australian brewers. By excluding NZ brewers, Australia’s Brewery Refund Scheme that was introduced in 2012 may be in breach of the current free trade agreement between the countries. The NZ brewers say the success of their winemaking counterparts after they were given access to the Australian Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) rebate gives an indication of the scope for growth.

19/06/2015: Sydney Wine Academy to launch new Sake course
The Sydney Wine Academy has announced the arrival of Yukino Ochiai to their academic line up. Ochiai will be teaching the new Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Level 3 Sake course which was created in collaboration with Academy director, Clive Hartley. The Sydney Wine Academy - a WSET approved program provider - is one of a few select establishments in the world offering education at this level for this niche area of hospitality.

19/06/2015: Sydney wine prowler goes on morning con spree
A MYSTERIOUS woman who roams the streets of Botany, in Sydney’s southeast, in the early hours of the morning has conned dozens of residents out of their wine. Nicknamed “the wine lady” by residents on the Facebook’s Botany Bay/Mascot Notice Board, the woman tells her victims a heart-wrenching story about her mother suffering a stroke. She then requests an alcoholic beverage.

19/06/2015: OPINION: Misinformation about wine-tax reform
In case you thought the threat to the Riverland region from volumetric tax had abated, think again. While preparing this report another ‘story’ appeared in the press alleging the supposedly unfair nature of the current tax system. On the anti-alcohol website ‘The Conversation’ there is a report calling for the end of cheap wine casks. Once again, this story cherry-picks evidence to suit the cause. It quotes the cost of alcohol damage to society as “upwards of $15billion per year”; a figure from a 2008 paper that has since been discredited.

19/06/2015: Guys are no longer ashamed to down a bottle of rosé with their bros
“I like to say that real men drink pink,” says Thomas Pastuszak, wine director of the swanky NoMad Hotel in Manhattan. “There used to be this perception that Rosé was a girly drink, but that’s just not true.” As Procrustean gender norms fall into the dustbin of history, more menfolk are succumbing to the charms of the Pink Mistress, blithely knocking back Rosés ranging in colour from onionskin to rare steak. Like his counterpart, the much-discussed female whiskey drinker, the Rosé bro is inaugurating a freer, more egalitarian world of gender-fluid beverage consumption.

19/06/2015: Australian Sparkling on show at VITeff
Lallemand Australian has shown its support for local, Australian sparkling winemakers by helping them get to VITeff in the Champagne region later this year. This biennial fair is recognized as the place to be for sparkling wine producers from all over the world and will take place from 13th to 16th October 2015 in Epernay, France. For those winemakers selected, the Chamber of Commerce and Union des Oenologues will fly them to France, supply accommodation and event tickets.

19/06/2015: Australian wines win at Decanter World Wine Awards
A total of five Australian wines have claimed International Trophies at this year’s Decanter World Wine Awards. International trophies are the highest accolade that a wine can achieve at the Decanter World Wine Awards. This year’s event saw 35 International Trophies awarded from a total of 15,929 wines tasted at the beginning of the judging process. The awards were judged by 240 of the world’s most refined palates including 85 Masters of Wine and 23 Master Sommeliers.

18/06/2015: $10,000 Tasmanian fellowship supports sustainable winegrowing
The 2015 program of the Dr Don Martin Sustainable Viticulture Fellowship was launched at the Wine Tasmania conference on Tuesday 16 June 2015. In launching the 2015 Fellowship, inaugural recipient Paul Smart announced expanded project criteria to include seed funding for on-the-ground research projects, in addition to study-based travel. Sheralee Davies, Wine Tasmania chief executive officer, commended the Alcorso Foundation for its proactivity and support in initiating the $10,000 Fellowship.

18/06/2015: Hopes new wine country alliance will end to 'backyard politics'
Key stakeholders have agreed to unite for the development of Hunter Valley wine country after years of turbulence. The Hunter Valley Wine and Tourism Alliance will bring together Cessnock and Singleton councils, as well as the Hunter Valley Wine and Tourism Association. Both councils have this week agreed in principle to the formation of the alliance, that aims to promote a "more holistic and harmonic collaboration" between members.

18/06/2015: Fifty years on, time to call it a day for cheap wine casks
In 1965 Sir Robert Menzies was Prime Minister of Australia, Charles Perkins led the Freedom Ride protesting against racial discrimination against Aboriginal people, and on April 20, a patent was issued to winemaker Thomas Angove’s company for the first wine cask. Since then, as the wine industry’s “Ask for Cask” promotion campaign tells us, casks have been “part of our lifestyle”.

18/06/2015: Turn of the screw a fine way to stop a wine
The screwcap has permeated Australian wine culture since the first concerted effort was made at widespread adoption back in 2001. And with good reason. It's 15 minutes into the first episode of the wine show spoof Plonk (series one screening on Stan with series 2 to debut soon) before the subject of wine closures is discussed. Plonk's trio of viniculturally challenged protagonists have ventured to the Hunter to interview Bruce Tyrrell, only to discover that Stuart McGill has got there ahead of them.

18/06/2015: Aus, China sign free trade deal
Australia and China have signed the long-awaited free trade deal, an agreement that will supply China's wealthy and growing middle class with quality beef and wine, enriching Australian producers. The Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) have welcomed the agreement, which will draw down existing wine tariffs to zero over four years. With the potential to add tens of millions of dollars to the Australian wine industry’s export earnings, the free trade deal has prompted WFA to reinforce the need for increased Government funding to promote Australian wine overseas.

17/06/2015: Yalumba shifts online focus to storytelling with new site
Yalumba has launched a completely reworked online presence to share stories with customers from around the globe. Launched to staff and club members of the Yalumba Wine Room on Friday, the rebooted site has a strong focus on photography and video of the company’s wines, winemakers, cooperage, nursery and wine room along with a blog. Nick Waterman, Yalumba managing director, said the revamp was in response to consumer demand for an innovative online presence, and reflected the competitive nature of the global wine industry.

17/06/2015: Separating fake from fine wine
Judging whether a wine is worthless or worth thousands might sound like a pretty good gig. Better still, Maureen Downey says she created the job for herself, and is paid hundreds of dollars an hour to separate fine from fake wine. There is one drawback. "Unfortunately, tasting is not part of what I do," sighs Downey. "We can't verify via the contents of the bottle. For one thing, if you were to open a bottle, you destroy it, so authenticating at that point is kind of useless. I'm often the thirstiest person in the wine industry."

17/06/2015: Government urged to give state’s wines a boost
THE state government should be doing more to help Tasmanian wineries export their product to the world, according to international marketing body Wine Australia. On the final day of the Wine Tasmania annual conference, Wine Australia stakeholder engagement manager Ali Lockwood said it was critical to get the state’s fine wines on the international market.

17/06/2015: June 2015 Grapegrower & Winemaker magazine out now
The June 2015 issue of the Grapegrower & Winemaker magazine is out now – and is available online for all subscribers. This month features an in-depth WineTech 2015 preview which provides a full list of products and services available at the trade show, along with information on events and seminars. The annual vintage report continues as we move the focus to New Zealand with a wrap up of harvest conditions across the North and South Islands.

17/06/2015: Adelaide wine shines on world stage
The world’s biggest wine show, the Decanter World Wine Awards has named Sidewood Estate’s 2013 Mappinga Reserve Shiraz as the Best International Rhone Varietal over £15. The Adelaide Hill’s winery was the first to win an award in this category and said the wine boasts 100% Adelaide Hill’s fruit. Sidewood’s Mappinga Reserve Shiraz range was no stranger to success with the label’s 2012 vintage also winning a number of national and international awards including Winestate’s Bang Bros Trophy for Top 5 Australian and New Zealand Shiraz of 2013.

16/06/2015: Tasmanian wineries urged to offer greater experiences at cellar door
Tasmanian wineries are being told to take risks and enhance and diversify their cellar door operations. State grape and wine industry peak body Wine Tasmania said too many producers were playing it safe, and missing out on a significant opportunity to attract more customers and boost their profits. Cellar door experiences - where a winery sells its products direct to the public - was a key topic at Wine Tasmania's annual conference in Launceston.

16/06/2015: Industry cool on SA bid to become a Great Wine Capital
The Weatherill Government wants to formalise South Australia as a Great Wine Capital, but the industry isn’t convinced. The Great Wine Capitals scheme is a network of international cities which, according to the group’s website, “share a key economic and cultural asset: their internationally renowned wine regions”. Rodney Harrex, chief executive of the SA Tourism Commission, confirmed in a Budget and Finance Committee hearing last week that SATC and the Department of Primary Industries were spearheading a push to enrol SA in the group.

16/06/2015: Pernod and Treasury agree on tax reform
Australia's two leading winemakers, Pernod Ricard (PRW) and Treasury Wine Estates (TWE), have put forward their case for wine tax reform to the Federal Government. Yesterday, the pair urged the government to change to a system that they say will restore growth and will secure a more sustainable future for the industry. Submissions to the government as part of its discussion paper on tax reform have now closed.

16/06/2015: All grain, no grape in Margaret River
The first Single Malt Whisky distilled in the Margaret River Wine Region has been released by The Grove Experience distillery. A fine way for The Grove to celebrate 20 years in the region. A special limited 90 bottle release distilled by The Grove's artisan distiller James Reed who has mastered the craft of distilling spirits by travelling the world to gain knowledge and experience for his passion in creating fine top shelf spirits.

16/06/2015: As volume continues to slide, Aus wine sees premium progress in US
While New Zealand wine continues to thrive in the US, Australia has seen little let-up in its U.S. struggles. However, the ailing category is seeing a silver lining in the premium tier. Plagued in recent years by both oversupply issues and a rising domestic currency, Australian shipments to the U.S. slipped nine per cent to just over 17.8 million cases in 2014. But much like top imported wine player Italy, the category has benefited from trading-up trends, with declines skewing heavily toward Australia’s low-end and bulk segments and higher-end wines demonstrating gains.

15/06/2015: Taylors Wines partners with the Wallabies
Taylors Wines has been named as official wine partner of the Australian national Rugby Union team, the Qantas Wallabies. The partnership will see Taylors as the official wine supplier and sponsor of all major Wallabies events and matches for the next three years. As official wine partner, Taylors will maintain a presence at Wallabies matches and events, and the brand will also run a national marketing campaign throughout the Rugby Championship.

15/06/2015: Is there a future for Granite Belt wine and tourism group?
Granite Belt Wine and Tourism members will hold strong following an extraordinary general meeting on Tuesday evening. The organisation met at the QCWT to discuss the future of the organisation and its assets. Those in attendance voted to keep GBWT going as a lobby group and voice for the Granite Belt Wine Country but to hold off making decisions about its assets until the Destination Southern Downs board had been given adequate time to organise themselves.

15/06/2015: Penfolds in line for windfall if wine volumetric tax goes ahead
It's interesting to watch the nation's drinks companies in a tizzy, all backing that horse called self-interest ever since the Federal Government announced a White Paper into taxation. The Treasury is examining the complex way that booze in taxed in this country. The big political sticking point remains wine, and the impact a proposed flat "volumetric" tax rate of $2.20 per litre would have on the industry.

15/06/2015: Hunter Valley’s new content marketing and publishing partner
Edge has won a competitive pitch for the Hunter Valley Wine & Tourism Association (HVWTA) account to manage their digital content and social strategy and revitalise the Hunter Valley magazine and visitor guide. The HVWTA is a ‘not-for-profit’ membership body charged with destination and wine marketing for the region and its members, comprising vineyards, accommodation providers, tour operators, restaurants and cafes.

15/06/2015: Berardo may face lawsuit after Noosa Food and Wine failure
Rumours are building that a class action against Jim Berardo will be waged. Creditors of his failed businesses found out at a meeting with Noosa Food and Wine Events administrator John Cunningham on Thursday that the Noosa International Food and Wine Festival had not made a profit in years and had no money in the bank. The Worrells Solvency and Forensic Accountants administrator in Mooloolaba was open to all 120 creditors. "We're screwed. There's no money," said one beverage supplier, who was owed thousands of dollars.

International Wine Industry News

3/07/2015: Sam Hunt, the wine
New Zealand’s favourite poet Sam Hunt has partnered with fine wine distributor and retailer La Cantina Wines to launch the Sam Hunt range of wines. These New Zealand wines feature poetry by Sam, with a verse from a different poem on each bottle. “A poem printed in a book often dies, I’ve noticed, from suffocation and neglect,” says Sam. “Alternatively, a poem told or sung - or printed on a wine label, say - stands a much greater chance of life, of getting it across.

3/07/2015: New brand design for Left Field Wines
What a whimsical and inventive brand story Aaron Pollock Design has created for the New Zealand wine Left Field. Left Field is an existing brand, a part of the Te Awa Collection, that didn’t have a clear voice or any defining personality to stand out in the market. It was time for a brand refresh. A perfect project for Aaron Pollock Design, known for their amazing brand identity work for lifestyle products. “The objective was to create a brand that doesn’t take itself too seriously.”

3/07/2015: Lix-ex Fine Wine 100 Index grows after years of decline
Fine wine market Liv-ex said its Fine Wine 100 Index rose 0.9% in June to close on 244.08, up 3.4% on a year ago. That follows a slow recovery from the nadir of July last year, when the index dropped to 234.01, its lowest level since September 2009. It rose 1.9% to the end of 2014 and has gained 2.3% in 2015 so far. Bordeaux Index MD Gary Boom said the market was experiencing ‘welcome, gentle recovery’, with the company’s own LiveTrade index up 3.02% in 2015 and rising steadily every month since last August.

3/07/2015: Long-lost sisters break into male-dominated wine business
Breaking into the wine business isn't easy, especially if you're a woman or a minority, but two half-sisters who hadn't met for the first halves of their lives did just that after uncorking a crucial part of their past, reports CBS News correspondent Michelle Miller. Andréa and Robin McBride have a personal story as unique as their professional one. They're black women in a field dominated by white men. In 2010, they started the McBride Sisters Wine Company.

3/07/2015: A $315 million bet on Pinot Noir
The amazing rise of Joe Wagner’s Meiomi brand surprised him as much as anyone. He developed the wine to grab hold of a wave of enthusiasm for Pinot Noir in mainstream America. But he also took full advantage of that wave, making an outstanding wine at a good price and maintaining quality as he grew by building relationships with grapegrowers across California. Wagner announced today that he has agreed to sell the fast-growing label to drinks giant Constellation Brands for $315 million. The deal is expected to close in August.

3/07/2015: Vinitaly sets out to win over Chinese consumers in Shanghai
Seven months after announcing its return to Shanghai, on the first of July Vinitaly International took part in the official press conference for the presentation of the first edition of the Shanghai Wine & Dine Festival. Seven months after announcing its return to Shanghai, on the first of July Vinitaly International took part in the official press conference for the presentation of the first edition of the Shanghai Wine & Dine Festival.

2/07/2015: Gisborne to host first Chardonnay and sparkling wine symposium
A feast of Gisborne’s finest cultural, historical and gastronomical attributes will be on show at New Zealand’s first Chardonnay and sparkling wine symposium early next year. Gisborne is to host Past, Present and Beyond... the Tale of New Zealand Chardonnay and Sparkling from February 4 to 5, on the back of the inaugural International Sauvignon Blanc Celebration in Marlborough (February 1 -3). Chris Yorke, New Zealand Winegrowers’ global marketing director, said Gisborne is the perfect venue for the symposium.

2/07/2015: Marlborough Lines buys 80% stake in Yealands Wine Group
Marlborough wine grower Peter Yealands has sold a majority share of his company - Yealands Wine Group - to local electricity supply company, Marlborough Lines. The lines company paid $89 million for an 80 per cent share of the total shareholding for one of the country's biggest wine companies and exporters. Yealands said the sale was a "marriage made in heaven". There were very few wholly locally owned wineries in Marlborough, he said.

2/07/2015: Making biodynamic wine in Bordeaux
THE first time I saw a draft horse in a Bordeaux vineyard I thought it was a PR stunt. Call me a cynic, but I was convinced that when the journalists left, the horses would be sent straight back to whichever farm they came from. I hate to admit it, but in the case of Château Pontet-Canet I was wrong. Every April I visit this small corner of Pauillac, just south of Château Mouton-Rothschild, to taste the latest vintage.

2/07/2015: Buying wine and liquor online is about to get more personal
Soon, shopping online for wine and liquor will be as individualized as shopping for books on Amazon.com and choosing movies on Netflix. Drizly, maker of a mobile and Web app that allows users to shop for alcohol and get it delivered, is paying marketing software startup BlueConic to collect information on Drizly users in an effort to bolster marketing efforts and make the experience more individualised.

2/07/2015: Constellation buys Napa wine brand for $315m
Constellation Brands, one of the world's biggest wine and spirits companies, has agreed to buy the fast-growing Meiomi wine brand for a reported $315 million. The Victor, N.Y.-based wine giant said it's agreed to purchase Meiomi from Copper Cane LLC, a Napa Valley company controlled by Joe Wagner. The deal is expected to close by early August, Constellation said, noting that the Meiomi brand "has quickly established itself as a leader in the U.S. wine industry" as a high-growth luxury brand.

2/07/2015: Bancroft sets out expansion strategy
Agency company Bancroft Wines is aiming to build its business in on-trade national accounts and expand its footprint in independent wine merchants as it enters its second quarter of a century. The company, founded by Adam Brancroft MW as Adam Adam Bancroft Associates celebrates its 25th anniversary at an event in London this week. Neil McAndrew, managing director, said he hoped to become a more significant player while remaining focused on the model of small and medium sized family wine producers.

1/07/2015: Room for internationals to scoop market lead in 'attractive' German market
International wine makers should seriously consider Germany at a time when consumers are willing to pay more and discounters are premiumising the segment, says Wine Intelligence. The research organisation’s new German Wine Market Landscape 2015 report found the average price for gifting wines in the market had risen in the past two years, while wines for formal dinner parties were also up over the same period.

1/07/2015: Rioja festival goers soaked in 130,000 litres of red wine
Ten thousand people took part in the 'battle of wine' festival in Haro, Rioja, throwing 130,000 litres of red wine at each other. The annual festival – named ‘La Batalla del Vino’ in Spanish – is held on 29 June for St Peter’s Day. It starts with traditions that have been maintained for three centuries, including a procession with the town mayor, and a pilgrimage to the Hermitage of San Felices de Bilibio, the patron saint of Haro – before the battle of wine begins.

1/07/2015: Bancroft sets out expansion strategy
Agency company Bancroft Wines is aiming to build its business in on-trade national accounts and expand its footprint in independent wine merchants as it enters its second quarter of a century. The company, founded by Adam Brancroft MW as Adam Adam Bancroft Associates celebrates its 25th anniversary at an event in London this week. Neil McAndrew, managing director, said he hoped to become a more significant player while remaining focused on the model of small and medium sized family wine producers.

1/07/2015: Accolade's Fish Hoek goes Fairtrade
Accolade Wine’s South African Fish Hoek brand has become the supplier’s first fully certified Fairtrade range. The company said there are now more producers in South Africa with Fairtrade accreditation, which made it possible for them to convert the brand. Marketing director Amy White said: “With the expansion of Fairtrade in recent years we are confident that we have secured a long-term, quality supply source and we have been and will continue to work with local growers to ensure consistency and quality for years to come.

1/07/2015: Beaujolais aims for sparkling wine appellation
The head of the wine council for Beaujolais has revealed that the region is hoping to gain appellation status for its sparkling wines, although approval is expected to take around five years. Beaujolais has been producing a small quantity of sparkling wines over the past few decades, but labelled as table wines under the Vins de France classification. Jean Bourjade, managing director of Inter Beaujolais, said a sparkling Beaujolais appellation would not try to compete with well-established sparkling wines.

1/07/2015: New focus on beer at SIMEI
Leading trade show in wine technology, SIMEI (International Enological and Bottling Equipment Exhibition) has announced there will be a new focus on craft beer for the first time in 2015. Workshops and laboratories will have sensory analysis and technological innovation as their subjects, through the account of experiences of famous beer masters and talk shows that will discuss the production problems and the future of the beer market. The public of operators will be able to take part in an in-depth study program that will illustrate the state-of the-art of the sector.

1/07/2015: Organic vines shine in side-by-side trial
The final results of a ground-breaking three-year national organic grapegrowing trial are in – and the organic vines have come out shining. In the Organic Focus Vineyard Project, three vineyard teams transitioned half of their grapevines to organic production, while a team of scientists monitored the results and their wine industry peers looked on. For comparison, half of each focus vineyard site was managed under standard wine industry agrichemical practices.

1/07/2015: Craft beer may become more popular than wine
If you're sitting down in a nice restaurants one of the first things you do is to ask for the wine list, but it seems like more and more people are ordering a beer instead. But diners aren't asking for just your standard stuff - more top restaurants are now answering the demand for craft beers. One of those is Auckland's Masu restaurant, Nic Watt from Masu joined Paul Henry this morning to explain. "There has been a huge movement towards people wanting artisan and craft beer selections. It’s really about the culture and the handmade process around the beer.

30/06/2015: Ripping out 25,000 healthy vines a lesson for whole NZ economy: winemaker
A Wairarapa winemaker believes there's an example for the national economy in his risky decision to uproot 25,000 healthy vines and plant a variety that's less productive, but more profitable. Martinborough's Murdoch James Estate is ripping out 10 hectares of Sauvignon Blanc, which represents half its annual production, and replacing them with the notoriously tricky, but much higher value Pinot Noir. Adding to the risk of the $300,000 operation is that it could take five years for the new vines to return a full crop.

30/06/2015: Great line up awaits judges of international wine competition
The fifth annual Spiegelau International Wine Competition takes place from the 14 – 16 July, in Marlborough, New Zealand. During the event, 21 judges will be faced with approximately 1300 wines from New Zealand, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, South Africa, USA and South America. Commenting on the line up, Competition Director, Belinda Jackson says, “We strive to get a good representation from countries other than New Zealand and Australia and this year is our most diverse yet.”

30/06/2015: Why the American market is so important to Bordeaux winemakers
For centuries, Bordeaux was at the centre of the world’s trade in wine. Its access to sea routes helped make claret the favourite wine of the British Empire, which in turn spread Bordeaux’s fame far and wide. That dominance has evaporated over the past four decades as a technological revolution in viticulture shattered Bordeaux’s monopoly on quality, creating challengers in California, Argentina, Australia and South Africa. Globalization helped those upstart wine regions compete directly with Bordeaux in markets around the world.

30/06/2015: Historic drought sprouts success for Napa vineyards
In Napa Valley, home to some of California's prized vineyards, the vines are looking healthy, despite the state's historic drought, reports CBS News correspondent Ben Tracy. Michael Honig, who owns a 67-acre vineyard in Napa, said the lack of rain in the past three years has produced some of the best wine California has seen in nearly a decade. "Dry years are good because it forces the vine to find water on its own and really penetrate deeply into the soils," he said

30/06/2015: Argentine winery owner pursues bond with China
For winery owner Jose Manuel Ortega Gil-Fournier, China is not just a market but also an inspiration with culture, traditions and a future. Leaving his job at an investment bank in 1999, Ortega gambled everything on developing a winery in the western Argentine province of Mendoza at the foot of the Andes mountain range. "I saw this wonder and decided to abandon everything and dedicate myself to this.”

30/06/2015: Barefoot takes steps to raise seaside profile with beach cleaning project
The Barefoot wine brand is taking a campaign to keep Britain’s beaches clean to ix locations over the summer. Edinburgh, St Anne’s in Lancashire, Scarsborough, Llanwit Major in Wales, Weston-super-Mare and Joss Bay in Kent are all on the itinerary for the tour, which will be the eighth year Barefoot has undertaken the project. Over that time, it has helped to give Barefoot a high profile in retailers and bars in coastal locations around the UK.

29/06/2015: Blaze hits Waikato's Vilagrad Winery
As Jacob Nooyen watched the winery his family had established a century ago go up in flames his first thought was "God, save the wine! I'm the winemaker and there's just so much work that's gone in to making the wine," said the winery owner and winemaker after Monday morning's blaze which severely damaged 60-70 per cent of the Ngahinapouri winery near Hamilton. Every Waikato firefighting crew was called in to battle the blaze.

29/06/2015: Marketing plan invites changes in perception
GISBORNE District councillors have been told the “‘massive” national and international marketing machine of Air New Zealand could overcome the stigma and poor perception many people have of the region. Jasper Holdsworth, a trustee of Activate Tairawhiti, and Gavin Murphy, the vice-president of the Chamber of Commerce, successfully asked councillors yesterday to reverse a previous decision not to grant Activate Tairawhiti $50,000 a year for three years to support an Air New Zealand campaign marketing larger Q300 aircraft on the Wellington to Gisborne route.

29/06/2015: Sweden's wine industry is maturing nicely thanks to climate change
The song of a skylark mingles with the clink of glasses from the small bodega by the winery. Inside, the sommelier is serving visitors as they gaze out on to rows of vines stretching down a slope of rolling hillside. This may look like Languedoc, Rioja or the Mosel, but it’s rural Sweden, where climate change is midwife to the slow birth of Europe’s northernmost wine region. The plot of fertile soil a short drive from Malmö, Sweden’s third city, has been in Håkan Hansson’s family for five generations.

29/06/2015: Trouble brews over Saint-Tropez' ‘crap’ wine
A French cooperative learns the hard way that it's best to check the meaning of a name before putting it on the label. Trouble has struck the paradise resort of Saint-Tropez in the south of France after someone belatedly realized that the name of this year's local Rosé means "crap" in German. The glitzy resort in the Var department, famed for its old port and celebrity guests, is also surrounded by vineyards that produce grapes for Rosé.

29/06/2015: Grand slam for English wine as Wimbledon bosses serve a local glass
English wine could be a smash hit when it is served at Wimbledon for the first time from tomorrow. Tennis fans will be able to order a glass of Bolney Wine Estate Pinot Gris 2014 to go with their strawberries and cream. The All England Club decided to stock up on the home-grown wine for VIPs in corporate areas and has bought 400 bottles from the West Sussex winemaker, the Sunday People reports.

29/06/2015: China’s Ningxia region launches wine contest
Up to 60 winemakers will have the chance to travel to China in September to learn from its winemakers and compete for a prize pool, as the second Ningxia Winemakers Challenge (NWC) is launched. Applications for the winemaking contest opened this week, which will see winemakers given the chance to practice their craft by producing a wine from the region to compete for a prize pool of €120,000.

26/06/2015: Wine master returns to judge
The oldest and largest regional wine awards in the country were launched last night at a lavish affair at EIT in Taradale. About 50 people sipped on Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah and Chardonnay to officially open the Hawke's Bay A&P Bayleys Wine Awards, 2015. Steve Smith, Master of Wine and one of New Zealand's most respected wine industry leaders, will return to the judging panel. "After a decade, it's great to be back. I'm thrilled to be joining a judging team again for an exceptional year on the back of three outstanding Hawke's Bay vintages," said Smith.

26/06/2015: What might a TPP deal mean for New Zealand?
With the US Senate's approval of a fast-track bill on Wednesday, the 12-nation trade deal may be just months away. Government ministers in the past have highlighted estimates the 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership, which includes New Zealand and the United States, could deliver annual gains of $5.5 billion by 2025. For New Zealand, a TPP would open a door to a trade deal with the world's largest economy, the United States, after 20 years of lobbying.

26/06/2015: G.H. Mumm rereleases key vintages to Hong Kong market
Due to the region’s increasing interest in bubbles, the Champagne house has relaunched highlights of the Cordon Rouge range from the last 30 years as part of the new Collection du Chef de Caves. Speaking at the launch in Hullett House, Mumm’s chief winemaker, Didier Mariotti explained the reason behind the move from the Reims-based champagne house. “Despite Australia still being the number one market for us in the Asia Pacific, Hong Kong has a lot of potential.”

26/06/2015: Start of veraison signals critical period for managing the vineyard
“To maintain grape production with less water, don’t start watering until you need to,” George Zhuang advises. “And, when you do, only apply what you need.” Based on what he was seeing in the field and reports from colleagues in the second week of June, George Zhuang, University of California Cooperative Extension viticulture farm advisor for Fresno County, expected veraison to begin in California’s raisin-type grapes around the middle of June. That would put the onset of veraison about a week earlier than last year.

26/06/2015: Chinese consumers buying wine online
While online wine sales were virtually non-existent in China as recently as a few years ago, nearly 20% of wine in the country is now sold through e-commerce, according to a speaker at the Cal-China Wine Forum held Tuesday at Napa Valley College. Wayne Batwin, president of PRIME Market Access International in Napa, is a consultant to the nascent Cal-China Wine Culture Exchange, which organized the event. According to Batwin, Chinese e-commerce is growing rapidly, with food and beverage products performing especially well in the sector.

26/06/2015: Crimea urges Russia’s ban on wine imports from Europe
Crimean winemakers plan to once again ask the country’s leadership to introduce a ban on imports of wines from Europe to Russia, the chairman of the Crimean Bureau of Grapes and Wine said on Thursday. "We plan on discussing at the coming session of the Bureau of Grapes and Wine the issue of another request for the country’s leadership on introducing a ban on imports of the European wine. The session will be held next week," Yanina Pavlenko said. There are all the grounds for introducing the embargo for the European wines now, she said.

25/06/2015: 2015 'it' year for Hawke's Bay wine
If there was ever a year to return to the judging panel of the Hawke’s Bay A&P Bayleys Wine Awards, 2015 is it for one of New Zealand’s and Hawke’s Bay’s most respected wine industry leaders, Steve Smith, Master of Wine. "After a decade, it’s great to be back. I’m thrilled to be joining a judging team again for an exceptional year on the back of three outstanding Hawke’s Bay vintages," said Smith. Hawke’s Bay was in for some of the best wines the region has ever produced - which was the culmination of three big factors, he said.

25/06/2015: Wither Hills new white wine cellar development
Two major wineries are getting ready to ramp up production to meet growing demand with new infrastructure being built in time for next season. Wither Hills Winery is readying for a 50 per cent increase in production with the construction of a new 3000-square metre white wine cellar. The building will help add an extra 3000 tonnes of white wine production to the Lion Nathan-owned company's current annual production of 8000 tonnes. The increase follows the company's intention in 2010 when it obtained resource consent to target 15,000 tonnes per year.

25/06/2015: Restaurant, pub and hotel wine sales continue to decline in UK
Wine sales have continued to fall in restaurants, pubs and hotels over the last three months with only sparkling and fortified wines bucking the trend. According to the Wine & Spirit Trade Association's (WSTA) Quarter 2 Market Report, wine sales (volume) declined two per cent while sparkling and fortified were up 35 adn 15 per cent respectively. Red wine led the category's overall decline with sales down five per cent while Rose also saw a drop. White wine was the only category to see little or no change in volume sales.

25/06/2015: China vineyard Helan Mountain near Yinchuan sees bright future
IN the desert sands of central China, the first sprouts of a potential giant is emerging. The Chinese wine industry is slowly gaining a foothold in a domestic market that has, until now, been dominated by foreign wine. But with more affluent Chinese consumers turning to wine, the future looks rosé for both Chinese and Australian wine producers. Much of China’s local wine is emerging from Ningxia Province, which sits in the geographical centre of China.

25/06/2015: UK market in growth as price increases slow
The latest figures from the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, for the second quarter of 2015, show that “consumers are finally getting the break they deserve after years of inflation-busting tax rises”. The latest report from the WSTA highlights the role that a combination of factors have played in slowing price inflation, a positive result for consumers. Duty cuts and lower inflation are cited as the main reason for the positive findings in the report, which indicated that the benefits of the slowing price increases were being passed down to the customer by producers and retailers.

25/06/2015: US wine imports fall
Wine import volumes, excluding other fermented categories like cider, declined by five per cent on a year-over-year basis to 255.6 million liters in the first quarter of 2015. A 25 per cent rise in imported sparkling wines, including champagne, was offset by a nine per cent decline in table wine volumes. Volumes for fortified wines, which include additional alcohol added during the fermentation process, were up 23 per cent.

25/06/2015: Wine gang on trial in Bordeaux
Fifteen people went on trial on Monday for stealing almost 4,000 bottles of grands crus wines worth €1 million (A$1,450,000) from a string of top Bordeaux chateaux, in an elaborate scheme in which some were stolen to order. The alleged wine thieves were arrested last year in a vast sting operation involving 300 gendarmes in four regions of southwestern France and Paris, called Cassevin – or Winebreak.

24/06/2015: EIT student wins viticulture award
Constellation Brands scholarship winner Jascha Oldham-Selak is upholding a long family tradition in pursuing a passion for wine. The 25-year-old was recently awarded this year’s Constellation Brands New Zealand Ltd wine industry scholarship for a student enrolled in viticulture degree studies at EIT. The $5000 scholarship will help fund Jascha’s Bachelor of Viticulture and Bachelor of Wine Science concurrent degree studies.

24/06/2015: San Francisco wine competition celebrates 35th year with global array of winners
A celebratory 35 years of the preeminent international wine competition in the United States wrapped up on June 14th with the San Francisco International Wine Competition. Surpassing last year's record number of entries, this year's competition had a 7% increase in contenders from the year before. The elegant downtown Hotel Nikko was once again the headquarters for this competition, judged by 50 leading palates from around the U.S. as well as Australia, Germany and New Zealand.

24/06/2015: Three reasons why 2015 is the most competitive wine market ever
Wine has been with us since nearly the dawn of civilization. Despite a long history and a prominent place in vying for our disposable income for hundreds of years, 2015 very likely marks the most competitive wine market in history. If you often feel overwhelmed by the variety - and volume - of choice when you saunter among the shelves of your favourite wine retailer, don't take it personally. One of the interesting and ironic side effects of a robust wine market is having more quality choices from which to pick our next bottle.

24/06/2015: Vinexpo: five days ‘too much’ says organiser
Vinexpo doesn’t need to run for the full five days because no visitor stays more than three, according to the CEO of the biennial Bordeaux wine and spirits fair, Guillaume Deglise. Despite containing as many as 2,350 exhibitors, Deglise told db yesterday that “no-one stays for the full five days”, and “we have realised that people stay three days maximum”. He also said that a fair lasting five days was too much for the exhibitors. “Visitors reduce their number of days because there is a cost to staying longer, and it is an investment for exhibitors too.”

24/06/2015: Veuve leads Champagne charge in the US
The US is back in celebratory mood as Champagne sales show healthy growth. After suffering a setback in sales in 2012, the US market's thirst for Champagne has returned with a vengeance, with 2014 sales figures growing by almost 5 per cent. Champagne producers shipped 1.3 million cases last year, a jump of 4.5 percent, according to research company Impact Databank, which also noted that the US market had grown by 140,000 cases since 2009.

24/06/2015: Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc named best at international wine comp
Toi Toi Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc has been recognised as the top of its class, being awarded best Sauvignon Blanc at the 2015 San Francisco International Wine Competition. Judged by a respected panel of wine experts, the San Francisco International Wine Competition is the largest, most influential wine competition in America. Over three days last week more than 50 international judges, including two from New Zealand, blind tasted more than 4,900 wines from 1,400 wineries in 26 countries to find the best of the best.

23/06/2015: Industry ready to push wine tourism
Wine tourism is the ''next frontier'' for the Central Otago wine industry. The findings of a recent Lincoln University survey of wine tourists would be invaluable, Central Otago Winegrowers Association president James Dicey said yesterday. ''Wine tourism is really the next frontier for winegrowers. ''Until now we've been focused as an industry very much on the trade - wine writers, buyers and retailers ... a small number of people with influence.

23/06/2015: Kiwi dollar is on a downward roll - how far do experts see it falling?
Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler and exporters alike will be taking some comfort from the devaluation of the New Zealand dollar over recent weeks and analysts are calling it lower still. The catalyst for the latest shift lower was the Reserve Bank's surprise 25-basis-point rate cut on June 11. The central bank specifically singled out the sharp decline in dairy prices for comment in its monetary policy statement, and once again said the currency was overvalued.

23/06/2015: Italy’s island vineyard where inmates are taught the secrets of winemaking
Gorgona, a northern island in the Tuscan Archipelago, is Italy’s answer to Alcatraz: the only remaining penal colony in Europe. But unlike the notorious former jail in the San Francisco bay, prisoners on Gorgona spend their days tending a vineyard on sun-baked slopes surrounded by aromatic pine trees, rather than locked in high-security cells. The Telegraph was granted a rare visit to Gorgona, where the inmates are part of a unique experiment in rehabilitation.

23/06/2015: Ireland: ‘Wine shouldn’t be sold for less than €10’
Ireland: The committee wants the minimum price for alcohol set at the upper level of €1.10 (A$1.60) per unit being considered by the Government. This would see the price of the standard bottle of wine with 13 per cent alcohol content top €10 (A$14.70) in shops. A shake-up of the way drinks are sold would also see alcohol products displaying similar health warnings to those on cigarette packets. Calorie details and alcohol levels would also need to be prominent, according to the report released today.

23/06/2015: Wine firms toast Africa's ripening market
For wine and spirits companies looking to expand their businesses, Africa and its growing middle class clamouring for refined tipples is now one of the world's fastest-growing beverage markets, analysts say. Wine consumption in Africa is rising five times faster than the global average, according to a study of 24 sub-Saharan African countries released this past week by British wine consultancy IWSR at the world's leading wine fair, Vinexpo.

23/06/2015: Spain's wine exports to Canada surge 44%
Spain has become Canada's No. 5 supplier of wine, with exports rising 44 percent over the past five years, thanks to a growing appreciation of the Spanish bottled delights. "Spanish wines have a growing presence in Canada, with a 5.44 percent share of the market, a full percentage point above sales five years ago," Maria Gorriti, Spain's trade representative in Toronto, told EFE. While Canada's total wine imports have increased 22 per cent since 2010, imports of Spanish wines grew more than 44 per cent in the same period, Gorriti said.

22/06/2015: Kiwi wineries in organic experiment
The Organic Focus Vineyard Project followed the experiences of three prominent wineries - Mission Estate in Hawkes Bay, Wither Hills in Marlborough, and Gibbston Valley Wines in Central Otago - while each company transitioned one of their vineyards to BioGro-certified organic production. The vineyard managers agreed to participate the reality show by switching half of their land to organic methods while the industry watched their every move via the internet, scientific reports, and on the ground at public events.

22/06/2015: Vintner has taste for success
It wasn't exactly California weather but one of the bright lights of the American wine industry, Charles Banks, was not too bothered by the distant dark skies and low-teen temperatures of rural Hawke's Bay yesterday. He was more interested in taking in the "remarkable" landscape of the Gimblett Gravels and being back in a part of the world he confessed he had fallen in love with. "Hawke's Bay is a very special place and it has great people - and nothing works without great people."

22/06/2015: How technology is helping wine sellers bypass the supermarkets
Justin Howard-Sneyd has had some pretty heavyweight wine retail jobs – he is a former head of wine at Waitrose and one-time global director of wines at Direct Wines (who own Laithwaites). But when he made the first vintage of his own, big-hearted, ample red wine deep in the Languedoc in 2009, rather than focusing on chasing a retail listing, the first thing he and his wife, Amanda, did was hit the email.

22/06/2015: English fine wine can become serious market force
Highly influential and renowned wine expert and winner of the Best Sommelier of the World award, Gerard Basset made a strong endorsement of English wine at the masterclass of the first day at Vinexpo 2015 being held in Bordeaux this week. Speaking as a part of the “Excellence in unexpected places” panel, which showcased eight ‘unexpected’ medal-winning wines from the Decanter World Wine Awards.

22/06/2015: A wine list for the Instagram age at Momofuku Ko
Several sommeliers have used social media to successfully get the word out to wine drinkers about what they were up to — who can forget Michael Madrigale’s big bottle pics, or the trend for sabering that Patrick Cappiello set off as shots of him with a sword proliferated — but Momofuku’s Jordan Salcito may be the first sommelier to format an actual wine list in the style of social media. She has arranged the Momofuku Ko wine list around stark photography of winemakers, of the type that sommeliers and wine collectors post to their own Instagram feeds.

22/06/2015: Why this French-funded wine company is choosing Burlington over Paris
With new funding from a Paris-based venture firm and a French CEO at the helm of wine-tech company Coravin, it wouldn't be a surprise if the company chose to move its headquarters to the "city of lights." But that's not the case. Former Nestlé Nespresso executive Frédéric Levy, who was appointed CEO of Coravin earlier this year, said there are no plans for the company to move out of Burlington.

19/06/2015: Napa relaxes grape-content rule for industrial wineries in city
City planners have thrown their weight behind relaxing the rules on local grape content at wineries in industrial areas, and on Tuesday, the Napa City Council did the same. The council’s 4-1 vote, with Scott Sedgley dissenting, exempts wineries in industrially zoned lands from the city’s version of the requirement that wines made in the valley contain at least 75 percent Napa County-grown grapes.

19/06/2015: Biodynamic wine dives into the mainstream
The sale of the Benziger brand to the makers of Franzia could give impetus to biodynamic wines. Ten years ago I went to one of the first biodynamic wine tastings in San Francisco. The mainstream wine media mocked it as a bunch of loons who bury cow horns filled with manure, and spend hours stirring potions by hand. There actually were some scruffy hippies in the room, with unusual tasting no-sulfite wines.

19/06/2015: Hong Kong star launches online wine, champagne brand
Hong Kong movie star Carina Lau yesterday launched her own online wine and champagne brand at the world's biggest wine and spirits fair Vinexpo in southern France. Going on sale in China on the Alibaba website under the name of the Chinese-born actress are six top-end Bordeaux and four other wines from the region as well as two Moutard champagnes and a sparkling wine.

19/06/2015: Diageo shares spike briefly on rumour of Moet Hennessy stake sale
Diageo shares spiked following a rumor that LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton would move to buy the company's 34 percent stake in Moet Hennessy. LVMH, the world's largest luxury good provider, sold a portion of its Moet Hennessy wine and spirits unit to Diageo, the world's biggest spirits groups, in the 1990s. There had been sporadic chatter over the past six years that LVMH would sell off even more of Moet Hennessy, giving Diageo majority or even full ownership, according to multiple sources

19/06/2015: US 'phenomenally thirsty' for wine: experts
The American wine market, already the world's biggest, still has "phenomenal" potential for growth if handled with care, US wine professionals said this week at the world's leading wine fair, Vinexpo. "We are a young thirsty nation," one expert said, referring to the 370 million cases of wine guzzled in 2014 -- 25 percent of them imported -- as well as the steady growth in wine consumption in the past two decades, which is expected to see an 11 percent hike between 2014 and 2018.

19/06/2015: Jetstar to fly New Zealand regional routes
Jetstar, which is owned by Qantas, will start flying regional routes across New Zealand to give tourists better access to popular spots including the Marlborough wine region. Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce announced the move in Auckland this morning. He commented that ‘This is the next stage of the growth of Jetstar in New Zealand…We are also pleased to see how well the New Zealand economy is going.’

19/06/2015: New Zealand's best Syrah wine
Few New Zealand wine types promise as much as Syrah. It isn't always an easy variety to handle in the vineyard and winery in New Zealand, unlike Australia where Shiraz, as Syrah is known there, can make good wine across a broad spectrum of regions and climatic zones. But grown in the right place, and made with appropriate expertise, New Zealand Syrah is emerging as one of the world's great red wines.

18/06/2015: Focus on link between cancer and drink
Pressure group Alcohol Action is hosting a conference on alcohol and cancer today at Te Papa in Wellington, in partnership with the Cancer Society of New Zealand. According to Alcohol Action, more than 800 New Zealanders under 80 years of age die every year of alcohol-related causes - and nearly a third of them die from a cancer linked to drink. The most common type of cancer in that category is breast cancer. The audience at the conference was told that physicians have known about the carcinogenic connection for years but say the public knows little about it.

18/06/2015: Chinese MW student hired by Air New Zealand
Alongside Linda Murphy from the US, Cambridge-graduate Fongyee Walker has been chosen to join Air New Zealand’s resident wine judges, Jim Harre and John Belsham, in helping to select the one million bottles of wine served annually to its passengers. Walker has been instrumental in offering advice for international wine companies looking to tackle the Chinese market and co-runs Beijing-based Dragon Phoenix Fine Wine Consulting, China’s most successful WSET provider.

18/06/2015: Fine wine market grows 234% in 10 years
A new report has revealed the increasing popularity of fine wine over the past decade, highlighting growth of 234 per cent. Commissioned by Cult Wines, a specialist in the acquisition, management and valuation of rare wines, the report by Intelligent Partnership also predicted a shortfall in production as demand for fine wine increases from wealthy buyers, particularly from China and India. Citing research from Morgan Stanley the report places current global demand at around 3 billion cases, compared to total production of around 2.8 billion.

18/06/2015: Los Angeles County bans new vineyards due to drought
New Los Angeles County wine is not on the horizon since the Board of Supervisors have imposed a temporary ban on new or expanded vineyards in a large area of the northern Santa Monica Mountains to help manage the severe drought in the region. City News Service reports that Supervisor Sheila Kuehl says the ban is a temporary step designed to give county planners time to review water issues as they relate to vineyards.

18/06/2015: Younger wine drinkers ready to try something new
While some consumers like to stick with what they know, others are more adventurous—even in the alcoholic beverage aisle. In February 2015, Nielsen fielded an English-only survey of more than two thousand adults in an attempt to determine which alcoholic beverage drinkers are the most open to trying new brands—beer, wine or spirit drinkers. It appears that those who drink wine are the most brand adventurous—19 per cent have bought 10 or more wine brands in the past year.

18/06/2015: The emerging wine culture in Fiji
Fiji has developed a successful tourism industry over decades of investment and promotion that has built on the beauty of our islands and the warmth and hospitality of our people. In the past few months since the election, we have seen a new wave of investment in the tourism and hospitality sector, promising an even greater future for the country's major industry and revenue earner.

17/06/2015: Bay chardonnay tops world
Hawke's Bay winemaker Hugh Crichton has claimed the King of Chardonnay crown. His Vidal Legacy Chardonnay 2012 has received the International Chardonnay Trophy at the prestigious Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) in London. The awards are the world's largest and most influential wine competition. More than 16,000 wines were judged by a panel of 240 experts including some of the world's greatest winemakers, sommeliers and masters of wine.

17/06/2015: Air NZ defends claims it is stingy with wine
Air New Zealand will broaden the range of wine in premium cabins as it pushes back on claims it is being stingy topping up glasses in the back of the plane. Passengers have complained in several letters to the Herald's Travel magazine that the airline of holding back on wine during flights, one questioning whether it wanted to be known as "the Scrooge of the sky."

17/06/2015: Climate change in the vineyard
A winemaker walks into a barber shop and sits in the barber’s chair. The barber notices the winemaker looks sad and asks, “Andre, why are you looking so glum?” Andre replies, “Due to climate change, the temperatures are rising in Burgundy, France. That’s created an unprecedented streak of great vintages, about a decade’s worth, in fact.” “That’s good,” says the barber. “No, that’s bad. The popularity of Burgundy has swelled worldwide demand to such an extent that prices for many these wines have skyrocketed beyond what most wine lovers can afford.”

17/06/2015: Top 10 biggest drinks industry acquisitions
With Chinese buyers snapping up Bordeaux châteaux at a rate of knots, continued consolidation among former rivals and big brewers eying up their craft counterparts, the drinks world is ever-changing. Last week rumours were rife that AB InBev could be preparing a takeover bid for Diageo, a deal that would bring together the world’s biggest producers. The rumour mill went into overdrive after a prominent columnist in Brazil claimed that the country’s richest man, billionaire Jorge Paulo Lemann, might be thinking about putting together a takeover bid for the world’s largest premium alcoholic drinks company.

17/06/2015: Online wine sales at 5% worldwide but on the rise
Online wine sales accounted for a mere five percent of global sales of whites and reds and roses last year but are expected to rise sharply, according to a study released Monday at France's Vinexpo wine fair. Cellars and stores still account for the vast majority of wine purchases worldwide but online sales, amounting to $6 billion, have become a crucial channel for sales with an around sixfold increase since 2006, said Bordeaux's Kedge Business School.

17/06/2015: High-end wine, lifestyle monthly launches in English, Chinese
A high-end monthly magazine and website available in English and Chinese titled "Le Pan" launched in France's wine mecca Bordeaux on Monday at the world's biggest wine fair, Vinexpo. Based in Hong Kong, the wine-focused glossy will be destined for monied globe-trotters and will be headed by Asia's first Master of Wine, Jeannie Cho Lee, reflecting the region's growing taste for wine and luxury living.

16/06/2015: Central Otago's fruit and wine productivity threatened
An extra 600 beds are needed to keep up with predicted labour demand within the horticulture and viticulture industries in Central Otago, a new labour market report says. The Central Otago Labour Market Survey was released on Monday and highlights labour issues facing the horticulture and viticulture industries in the region. Accommodation provision was one of the biggest issues to resolve, with the report predicting labour demand to grow with an additional 600 beds required by 2018/19. The report also highlights a lack of suitably trained staff.

16/06/2015: World experienced sommelier joins Craggy Range
One of the country’s most experienced sommeliers has been appointed customer experience manager at Craggy Range Winery in Hawke’s Bay. Advanced sommelier Michael Bancks is working towards becoming New Zealand’s second only Master Sommelier and returns to Craggy Range after three years in France. Formerly manager of Craggy Range’s Terrôir Restaurant for six years from 2004, Bancks was awarded the title of Sommelier of the Year at the Culinary Fair in 2008 while in that role.

16/06/2015: French vintners feel heat as leaders seek carbon consensus
France’s wine industry faces a major shake-up over the next three and a half decades as the impacts of a warming atmosphere force changes to traditions that have lasted generations. Already the grape harvest, which was once in late September, is routinely brought forward. In Bordeaux, the harvest has gone from the end of September to the end of August at times as farmers battle increasing levels of ¬alcohol in the grapes caused by heat. Champagne grapes are regularly being harvested two weeks earlier compared to 20 years ago.

16/06/2015: Georgian wine export to decline by 50% in 2015
Due to the Ukrainian crisis and devaluation of the Russian Rouble, Georgian export of wine is predicted to decrease by over 50% in 2015, in comparison with the previous year. Leading Georgian companies are expecting over 20% of an export drop with the help of a market diversification policy. Meanwhile there still remain companies that were strongly dependent on the Russian market. The U.S., UK, Poland and China will be the target countries for promoting Georgian wine in 2015.

16/06/2015: Boss bids to cheer up Majestic Wine
Majestic Wine reported a slide in annual profits today as its new boss pledged to scale back new store openings and warned that earnings would take a further hit as he tries to inject some fizz into the business. Chief executive Rowan Gormley said he wanted to make the shopping experience "simpler, easier and more fun" for customers as part of a series of initiatives to turn around the group's fortunes and will cost around £3 million to achieve.

16/06/2015: Asia market ‘has matured’
This year’s en primeur campaign has been hailed a success by several Hong Kong-based wine merchants, with many Asian consumers having changed their buying habits to reflect personal consumption. Speaking to db as the 2014 en primeur wraps up, Eric Desgouttes, general manager for Kerry Wines in Hong Kong and China, said: “What worked well for us were Left Bank First Growths. The price was right all across the board and obviously the weakened euro is helping tremendously.

16/06/2015: Fruit flavoured wines are drinks of the future
Fruit-flavoured, wine-based drinks will soon flood the UK market and bulk shipping firms can help retailers and suppliers capitalise on the trend, according to a leading wine consultant. Henry Powles, of bulk shipping and bottling firm Encirc, said fruit ciders have led the way and wines will follow in a bid to cash in on the love of sweeter drinks among younger adults. He told OLN: “I think we are going to see more wine-based drinks produced in the coming years, with flavours added, both in a sparkling format and table wines.

15/06/2015: Air NZ picks new wine experts for its cellar
Air New Zealand has appointed two leading international wine judges and commentators to help select the one million bottles of wine its passengers drink a year. Linda Murphy is based in Sonoma County near the Napa Valley in the United States and is one of the world's most sought after wine judges, according to the airline. Fongyee Walker is based in Beijing and is the co-founder of Dragon Phoenix Wine Consulting, leaders in Chinese wine education and consultancy. The airline has restricted the wines served in the economy and premium economy class cabins to Villa Maria group labels but can select from all wine makers for its business class.

15/06/2015: Villa Maria's new chief winemaker
Hawke's Bay winemaker Nick Picone has been appointed chief winemaker for the Villa Maria Group, with chief executive Sir George Fistonich describing the 37-year-old as a "shining star" of the New Zealand wine industry. Picone said he was proud to take on the role and agreed it was a long way from when he started pursuing a grape and wine certificate at the EIT back in 1996 - where after one month he knew he wanted to be a winemaker rather than a viticulturist. "It's a bit daunting but it is really exciting," he said. "I've been with Villa Maria for 18 years and with the experience I had in the regions I've worked in, and knowing the great teams of people we have, I realised I was in a position to accept the responsibility."

15/06/2015: Majestic Wine hopes to get its fizz back
Majestic Wine’s new boss will give an early indication of how he plans to put some fizz back into the business when he presents the retailer’s annual results this week. Rowan Gormley joined the group, which has 15 Scottish sites, after it bought online rival Naked Wines, a company he had founded and run since 2008, for up to £70 million.

15/06/2015: France fizzes at IWSC 2015
France regained its position at the head of the medal table and sparkling wine shone as the International Wine & Spirit Competition released its northern hemisphere results. After losing the top spot to Italy last year, France returned in force in 2015 with a total of 802 medals, including 15 Gold Outstanding awards and 20 Golds. These included a Gold Outstanding medal for Sainsbury’s £12 Taste the Difference Pouilly-Fuissé 2014.

15/06/2015: Decanter World Wine Awards 2015: Results revealed
Spain has boosted its reputation as a rising force in fine wine at the Decanter World Wine Awards 2015, taking the international trophy for Red Bordeaux varietals over £15, in a year that produced several surprises and also saw Australian, French and South African wines prosper. In results announced yesterday, Spain’s Miguel Torres scooped the international trophy for Red Bordeaux varietals over £15 for its Reserva Real 2010 vintage from Penedes in Catalonia

15/06/2015: Prosecco bottles recalled over fears they may 'spontaneously shatter'
The world's oldest wine club, UK-based The Wine Society, has recalled thousands of bottles of prosecco over concerns that the bottles could shatter at any minute. The society has received reports of bottles of Prosecco But I Duecento spontaneously shattering while lying in its member's wine racks. The bottles can only have been bought online and delivered to The Wine Society members, who pay a yearly membership fee to get their hands on the booze.

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