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

1/10/2015: Tonnellerie CADUS is replanting trees!
The tree gives us the barrel, and now the barrel is replanting the tree: for each barrel delivered, Tonnellerie CADUS has committed to planting a tree in France! This is a major innovation in the world of cooperage, a generous and altruistic contribution to nature and one which every customer may be proud of. In partnership with a Burgundy nursery, a French leader in re-forestation with a policy of compensatory planting, Tonnellerie CADUS will replant sessile and common oak in several regions in France.

1/10/2015: Celebrations to mark 40th Anniversary of wine education at CSU
This year marks the 40th Anniversary of wine education at the Wagga Wagga Campus of CSU and its predecessor institutions. Since 1975, the University has graduated more than 1,000 students in the fields of viticulture, wine science and wine business, with these graduates now working in Australian and International wine industries. This significant event will be celebrated in Wagga Wagga on November 27 and 28.

1/10/2015: Immediately reduce electricity bills with Beacon Solar
As Commercial Solar specialists, Beacon Solar is committed to providing our clients a seamless experience when switching their business to solar. Beacon Solar have been involved in the Commercial Solar power market for over 7 years and have assisted many businesses reduce their electricity consumption with reductions of up to 42% through incorporating Solar Power systems into their facilities. We have an experienced team that can tailor system design and configuration to suit individual site characteristics.

21/09/2015: Veriflow™ Find Brett fast- Rapid Brettanomyces bruxellensis test available
AWRI Commercial Services is offering a rapid Brettanomyces bruxellensis detection service with a 1-2 day turnaround time. This service will provide results much more quickly than traditional plating methods currently used to detect viable Brett cells. The report will indicate whether the sample is positive or negative for B.bruxellensis. It will also provide the approximate number of cells/mL, giving an indication of the level of contamination.

Australian Wine Industry News

6/10/2015: Hopes new weather stations for Canberra's wine region will reduce disease
Canberra's winemakers are hoping new weather stations will provide more reliable data for the region. Two weather stations costing $10,000 each have been installed just outside Canberra, one at Four Winds Vineyard in Murrumbateman, and another at Brindabella Hills near Hall. They are capable of measuring basic conditions, such as rainfall, humidity and wind speed, along with agricultural conditions such as leaf wetness and soil temperature.

6/10/2015: Chinese appetite for the Barossa cools, but new players emerge in SA
Chinese appetite for Barossa Valley vineyards and wineries has cooled. But the lower dollar is attracting new overseas players to South Australia's premier wine-growing region alongside local winemakers looking to shore up their fruit supply, as drier El Niño conditions loom. "Asian interest has cooled a little bit, possibly because of the new government restrictions on money coming out of the country and because of the slowdown in the Chinese economy," said Toby Langley, managing director of advisers Gaetjens Langley. "Buyers are a little more cautious."

6/10/2015: Treasury Wine Estates to consider Diageo's Sterling Vineyards division
Treasury Wine Estates, owner of Penfolds, Wolf Blass and Rosemount, may look closely at buying the Sterling Vineyards wine brand in California but is likely to steer clear of other lower-end brands that British alcoholic drinks giant Diageo is putting up for sale. Diageo, which has a market capitalisation of $43 billion, makes most of its profits from its spirits portfolio which is led by Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff Vodka, Captain Morgan rum and Tanqueray gin, while in the beer category it also sells the Guinness brand.

6/10/2015: Lindeman’s woos Gen Y men with its Gentleman’s Collection
Lindeman’s is the latest wine brand to embrace millennial drinkers, especially males, who are under-represented in wine sales compared to beer or cider, with the launch of a new product called the Gentleman’s Collection that will hopefully introduce the 172-year-old brand to a new generation of drinkers. It follows on the footsteps of McGuigan, which recently pitched its own generation Y brand called You, with other winemakers set to follow as they attempt to pick up new drinkers and tempt younger consumers away from rival drinks.

6/10/2015: Marketing boost to benefit Riverland wine
Primary producers in South Australia's Riverland are set to benefit from a new regional food, wine and tourism branding project. Regional Development Australia has secured a $40,000 grant to develop a collaborative marketing strategy and brand identity, to help promote local premium products and experiences.

2/10/2015: 280,000 litres of wasted wine at the centre of million dollar Supreme Court dispute
HOW 280,000 litres of wine – the equivalent of 373,333 bottles – ended up on the ground and in the drainage system of a Riverland storage facility is at the centre of a million-dollar claim by an SA-based international wine company. In Supreme Court civil proceedings, Accolade Wines is seeking $789,669 plus costs from family-owned SA winemaker Kingston Estate and Berri engineering company Monash Property. The claim is not for the value of the wine, but for damage caused to its property by the wine’s escape on August 16 or 17, 2013.

2/10/2015: England white wins 'wine-off' against Australia
An England versus Australia “wine-off” held by the WSTA saw a “shock” win for an English Bacchus against its Aussie Chardonnay counterpart. Hosted by the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) and former England rugby star Andrew Sheridan, the head-to-head blind tasting pitted three English wines from Bolney Wine Estate against three Australian counterparts from Wolf Blass. he wines were tasted by four English and four Australian rugby fans.

2/10/2015: Asahi Buys Mountain Goat Brewery
Asahi Holdings (Australia) has bought Melbourne-based craft brewer, Mountain Goat Beer. Owners, Cam and Dave said on Monday night: “We’ve been contract partners with Asahi for three years now, and with their expert help, our beer has grown in demand, expanded nationally, and found a special place with beer lovers. We are confident with Asahi on board, we will be able to convert many more people to craft beer than we could do on our own.”

2/10/2015: Phylloxera Board changes to Vinehealth Australia
The Board responsible for protecting South Australian vineyards from pests and diseases since 1899, has unveiled a new name and identity. The Phylloxera and Grape Industry Board of South Australia will now be known as Vinehealth Australia a move which comes as part of the board’s five-year strategic plan. Vinehealth Australia will continue collaborate nationally to safeguard South Australia’s $1.79 billion wine industry from diseases, pests and other conditions that may affect vine health and, importantly, to help maintain South Australia’s phylloxera-free status.

2/10/2015: Wine Australia welcomes 45 Masters of Wine
For the first time in 30 years, a group of 45 Masters of Wine will visit Australia on an action packed visit to 10 wine regions across the country. Hosted by Wine Australia in collaboration with Tourism Australia, the group will kick off their tour with a breakfast and tasting of local fine wines at Bennelong Restaurant in the Sydney Opera House this Sunday. Guests will enjoy breakfast canapés such as shaved culatello with barley toast and truffle butter, and mud crab congee, matched to some of Australia’s finest sparkling wines.

2/10/2015: Exceptional Australian wines delight at Premium Australia Tasting
Wine Australia’s inaugural Premium Australia Tasting, held this week at Australia House in London, provided an excellent opportunity for attendees to experience the diversity and quality of Australian wines priced above £10. The large-scale tasting featured more than 500 Australian wines, many poured by the people who created them, with 31 Australian winemakers and principals in London for the event.

1/10/2015: Cold, hard facts about new-generation concrete tanks revealed in latest issue of Wine & Viticulture Journal
The quality improvements that concrete fermenters and tanks can bring to wine and the potential pitfalls inherent in their use is explored in the just-released September-October issue of the Wine & Viticulture Journal. Tackling the subject is the Journal’s regular contributor Cathy Howard, who recalls her first encounters with concrete tanks during her early winemaking career when open-topped versions were used extensively throughout the Australia wine industry.

1/10/2015: Young winemakers 'incredibly optimistic' despite industry downturn
Young winemakers say they are still optimistic about the future of their industry despite difficult conditions faced by Australia's wine sector. A senate inquiry hearing last week heard evidence of the economic woes faced by growers and wine producers, with an oversupply of grapes among key factors driving the industry's downturn. Stuart Horden, from Brokenwood Wines in the Hunter Valley, is among a group of young winemakers taking part in a future leaders program in South Australia's Riverland region this week.

1/10/2015: IWSC announces wine trophy winners
The IWSC has announced its 2015 varietal wine trophy winners, following seven months of judging wines from more than 30 countries. A total of 24 trophies have been awarded, with wines from the Southern Hemisphere faring particularly well. Both South Africa and Australia received four trophies each. urning toward Australia, which was awarded a total of 50 gold medals this year, House of Arras’ EJ Carr Late Disgorged 2002 was awarded the Bottle Fermented Sparkling Trophy.

1/10/2015: New AGWA directors commence roles
Wine Grape Growers Australia (WGGA) and Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) have welcomed the new directors of the Australian Grape and Wine Authority (AGWA) as they begin their roles today. “We congratulate the Chair and Board appointees and we look forward to working with them,” said Tony D’Aloisio, WFA president. D’Aloisio and Vic Patrick, WGGA chairman, thanked the interim board members for their work over the past year through the establishment phase of the new authority.

1/10/2015: Maurice O’Shea Award Dinner to partner with key wine conferences in July 2016
McWilliam’s Wines, the Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference & Trade Exhibition (AWITC) and the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) announced today that the 2016 McWilliam’s Maurice O’Shea Award Event will be held in Adelaide on Monday 25 July 2016. The Maurice O’Shea Award Dinner will take place in conjunction with the 16th AWITC and the WFA Outlook Conference which are being held as a combined event in Adelaide from 24 to 28 July 2016.

30/09/2015: Not the usual suspects sparkling tasting
The Wine & Viticulture Journal is calling on Australian wine producers who make sparkling wine from non-traditional varieties to enter the publication’s next wine tasting. The tasting is open to dry white or red sparkling styles not made from the varieties traditionally associated with sparkling wine production, namely Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Sparkling styles made from varieties other than Prosecco and Shiraz are also encouraged, with these styles having been tasted specifically in previous Journal tastings.

30/09/2015: Cross-regional sourcing key to Grange 2011
Cross-regional sourcing is key to Penfolds latest release – a Grange from the extremely challenging 2011 vintage in South Australia. Speaking yesterday to the drinks business at the London release of the flagship wine, Penfolds winemaker Peter Gago said that the 2011 marked the third really difficult year since Grange was launched in 1951, but stressed that the wine was made possible by selecting grapes from across South Australia.

30/09/2015: Direct to customer sales grow 19%
Times have rarely been tougher for wine producers in Australia. On-going oversupply, a period of strong exchange rates following the GFC and a supermarket duopoly have made making money in the wine business extremely challenging. Direct to customer sales has been a savior for many small to medium wine businesses who now earn around half of their income from selling direct to consumer.

30/09/2015: Dean Carroll takes on CEO role with Brown Brothers
Brown Brothers yesterday announced the appointment of Dean Carroll as its new CEO, taking over from Roland Wahlquist in December. After joining the company in 2007, Carroll worked his way up to be a key member of the Brown Brother’ senior management team as chief sales executive. Over the past six months, the winery’s board have undertaken a rigorous process engaging a recruitment specialist to seek out both internal and external candidates who were benchmarked against some of the most respected CEOs in the world.

30/09/2015: OPINION: Wine’s lesson from the mining industry
Philip White Opinion: After my editor avoided a major Riverland/InDaily crisis by deciding to publish Henry’s response 'In defence of the Riverland Wine Industry', Henry voiced his “disappointment and frustration at seeing someone who clearly has a passion for wine and the wine industry sink the boot into the Riverland”. Andrew Weeks, business manager of Riverland Wine, the leading regional wine industry body, wrote a similar response in The Week That Was.

29/09/2015: Paul Schaafsma to head Accolade Wines
Accolade Wines has appointed its General Manager UK and Ireland, Paul Schaafsma to be Chief Executive Officer, succeeding John Ratcliffe who will become Deputy Chairman and also continue to advise on the strategic development of the company. Schaafsma has been involved in the wine industry for nearly 20 years, with extensive experience in the Australian, UK, European and African markets.

29/09/2015: Penalty rates and biosecurity highlighted in Wine Tasmania's submission to senate inquiry
Penalty rates, biosecurity and more marketing for cool climate wine regions are part of the thrust of the Senate hearing submission from Wine Tasmania. CEO Sheralee Davies appeared before the Committee in Launceston along with four Tasmanian winemakers. Davies says the submission has put forward several changes to the Wine Industry Award 2010 including a reduction from 4 hours to 2 hours for casual staff.

29/09/2015: Mobile operation a little bottler for NSW and Canberra wineries
Mobile wine bottler Des Profitt spends almost half his life on the road to keep costs down for regional wine producers. For 13 years he has been travelling from Cudal near Orange in central west New South Wales and bottling wine at wineries in the south of the state. However it is more than just hitching his swag and turning up to a winery. When the New Zealand-born Mr Proffit arrives, it is in a large semi-trailer.

29/09/2015: Clonakilla Riesling wows Canberra wine show judges
Clonakilla Wines' 2015 Riesling was named wine of the show against strong competition from "the vintage of a lifetime" at the weekend's Canberra and Region Wine Show. Winning winemaker Tim Kirk said the current district vintage was proving a "belter" for Murrumbateman and Canberra district winemakers with Mother Nature balancing the books after three "challenging" wet years from 2010 to 2012. "Mother Nature has given us a couple of belters in 2013 and 2015," he said. "2014 was pretty good as well.

29/09/2015: Low-alcohol wine that tastes good
Wine that's low in alcohol but big in flavour - that's what people want according to research by Charles Sturt University (CSU) consumer sensory scientist Professor Anthony Saliba. Professor Saliba, from CSU's School of Psychology, has examined consumer attitudes towards low-alcohol wine in Australia and in the United Kingdom and found taste is the key, not just lower alcohol levels. "A survey of more than 800 Australian wine consumers in 2013 showed there was a significant market opportunity for low-alcohol wine," said Professor Saliba.

28/09/2015: WFA rejects FARE call for wine tax increase
The Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) has rejected calls by the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) to increase wine taxes. Paul Evans, WFA chief executive, said FARE’s claims were unhelpful at a time when the Australian Government and Parliament have committed to working with the wine sector on a recovery plan.

28/09/2015: It’s time to celebrate our women in wine
The Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) has joined with the Fabulous Ladies Wine Society to encourage people across the country to enter the Women in Wine Awards. The awards are the brainchild of Jane Thomson, founder of The Fabulous Ladies’ Wine Society, and this is the award program’s inaugural year. Thomson said there was a positive buzz around the awards which has superseded expectations.

28/09/2015: Shaw wins wine export contract to South Korea under free trade deal
Last year's Australian free trade agreement with South Korea has levelled the playing field for local vignerons wanting to break into one of Asia's biggest markets and Murrumbateman's Graeme Shaw is one of the first beneficiaries. Shaw Vineyard Estate hopes to sell millions of dollars worth of its premium cold climate wines a year direct to the South Korean public through Marley Coffee's 30 strong network of coffee shops.

28/09/2015: Clonakilla Riesling wows Canberra wine show judges
Clonakilla Wines' 2015 Riesling was named wine of the show against strong competition from "the vintage of a lifetime" at the weekend's Canberra and Region Wine Show. Winning winemaker Tim Kirk said the current district vintage was proving a "belter" for Murrumbateman and Canberra district winemakers with Mother Nature balancing the books after three "challenging" wet years from 2010 to 2012. "Mother Nature has given us a couple of belters in 2013 and 2015," he said. "2014 was pretty good as well.

28/09/2015: Australian Sommeliers to attend NZ Winegrowers scholarship program
New Zealand Winegrowers has announced the names of nine successful sommeliers who will participate in the inaugural Sommit Scholarship, held in New Zealand from 30 January to 6 February 2016. The successful candidates will engage with and learn from some of the great minds in the New Zealand wine business. They will taste a range of premium wines from New Zealand and the rest of the world on an intensive seven-day program incorporating flagship events on the New Zealand wine industry’s national calendar.

28/09/2015: Can’t sit still: Bleasdale’s energiser bunny
Behind the scenes at a family-owned wine business with 165 years or history and tradition, growing grapes in an unassuming part of South Australia, is a heavily tattooed young bloke. Sam Bowman is a part-time muso, part-time martial arts fighter and full-time viticulturist. He’s the sort of character who can’t sit still. Emilie Reynolds caught up with the man in charge of the Bleasdale vineyards to find out how he landed in a dream role he never imagined.

25/09/2015: Australian wine industry presents case for reform to Senate inquiry
Representatives of wine companies and national, state and regional wine industry bodies appeared at a public hearing in Adelaide yesterday as part of the Senate inquiry into the grape and wine industry. The hearing was the first of three, with the second starting in Launceston, Tasmania, this afternoon and the third scheduled for the Swan Valley in late October.

25/09/2015: Gwyn Olsen to take on head winemaker role with Pepper Tree
Pepper Tree announced yesterday that Gwyn Olsen has been appointed as new head winemaker for the brand. Olsen comes from her current position as winemaker and general manager of Briar Ridge Vineyard where she has been responsible for outstanding growth and wine show success over the past two years. Her awards include Gourmet Traveller Young Winemaker of the Year in 2014, Dux of the AWRI Advanced Wine Assessment Course in 2014 and Hunter Valley Rising Star award in 2015.

25/09/2015: Spring cold snap a concern for grape producers
This week's cold snap has had local grape producers on edge. Spring is a critical time for vines as buds burst, and frost can have serious negative impacts on the plants. Temperatures plunged to seven degrees below average this week, with a light dusting of snow recorded on the Barrington Tops. Upper Hunter vigneron Brett Keeping said buds have burst earlier this year.

25/09/2015: Team Silkman: Hunter wine puts Australia on notice
For a wine label that, at just two years old is still in its infancy, Silkman Wines, produced by a Maitland husband and wife team, has already put Australia on notice. Shaun Silkman sat in the downstairs office at First Creek winery, staring disbelievingly at the computer screen. He turned to his winemaking wife Liz and said just two words: “Holy shit!”

25/09/2015: The second label makeover
I'm often asked, “What’s the next big thing going to be?” It’s an impossible question to answer. It’s not going to be the next big thing, but there’s an interesting little trend going on in the Yarra Valley. A few wineries are giving their second label a makeover. Why is this cool? Well, for years second labels have generally been second wines – a little cheaper than the original and rarely as good as the main label.

24/09/2015: In defence of the Riverland wine industry
COMMENT | Riverland grapegrowers are more water-efficient and contribute to better wines than they’re given credit for, argues Waikerie grower Henry Crawford. Last Tuesday, InDaily readers were treated to the reflections of wine writer Philip White on the change of Prime Minister and the possible ramifications for wine tax policy in this country. Philip, like all of us, is entitled to his opinion, however his comments got the heckles up of many in the industry.

24/09/2015: Last chance to apply for Wine Australia travel bursaries
Grape and wine researchers are reminded that applications for Wine Australia’s travel and visiting scholar bursaries will close on Friday 2 October 2015. Each year, Wine Australia invests $50,000 in travel bursaries and $30,000 in visiting scholar bursaries with applications open to grape and wine researchers twice a year. Applications are currently open for travel set to commence between 1 January and 30 June 2016. Dr Liz Waters, Wine Australia RD&E portfolio manager, said the bursaries help to support local researchers to increase their knowledge and develop skills that will benefit the Australian grape and wine community.

24/09/2015: Minister launches Hunter Valley Wine & Tourism Alliance
Minister for Regional Development John Barilaro will launch The Hunter Valley Wine & Tourism Alliance on Thursday. The alliance, a partnership between Cessnock and Singleton councils as well as the Hunter Valley Wine and Tourism Association, aims to double overnight visitor expenditure in the region by 2020. “International tourists will be encouraged to travel due to the strength of the Australian dollar, domestic tourists will be encouraged to tour within Australia and we must all ensure we pursue excellence.”

24/09/2015: Fine wine to be recognised
For many years, fortified wines have been an intricate part of the Rutherglen Wine Show, so much so, that in 2010 the first ‘Australian Fortified Wine Show’ was launched. The home of great fortified wine, Rutherglen is hosting the premier Rutherglen Wine Show and Australian Fortified Wine Show this week. More than 1,300 entries have been sampled since Friday by a judging panel of renowned judges from across Australia.

24/09/2015: Château Tanunda wins Australian wine of the year at China Wine and Spirits Awards
Château Tanunda claimed 17 medals at the 2015 China Wine and Spirits awards, including the trophy for Australian Wine of the Year. John Geber, Château Tanunda proprietor, said he was thrilled that the result came in the winery’s 125th anniversary year. “Our 125th anniversary year is continuing with such a comprehensive performance in a very competitive show,” he said.

23/09/2015: Cask wine sales could be restricted in the city to reduce problem drinking in the Parklands
CASK wine sales in the city could be restricted under a proposal being considered by the Adelaide City Council to combat problem drinking in the Parklands. Councillor Sandy Wilkinson yesterday suggested making a submission to the Senior Officers Group responsible for administering the Parklands dry zone — which includes representatives from the council, health agencies and police — to consider whether restricting the sale of low-cost and high-volume alcohol, such as cask and fortified wines, in the city would reduce problem drinking and anti-social behaviour.

23/09/2015: Premier insists mine won’t conflict with new Petaluma winery
PREMIER Jay Weatherill yesterday spruiked the potential of South Australia’s clean, green food industry at a newly-opened winery — 400m from a proposed underground gold mine. Petaluma’s new winery at Woodside in the Adelaide Hills is just 400m from a potential gold mine planned by Adelaide company Terramin Australia. Bird in Hand winery is also right next door. Last month Terramin said it had bought 365,000sqm of land at Bird in Hand, in preparation for the development of a gold mine which would operate for four years.

23/09/2015: WINE: Hancocks in new venture
AS a one-time Penfolds winemaker he oversaw several Grange vintages, he was a key figure in Rosemount's growth from a small Denman grape-growing operation into an industry giant and now at the age of 74 Chris Hancock has launched a new eponymous wine brand. It's called Hancock and Hancock and is a joint venture between Chris and his younger brother John. The inaugural releases are 2014-vintage McLaren Vale shiraz-grenache and cabernet-touriga reds.

23/09/2015: Do Medals Matter: Deciphering Wine Awards
There are two types of people in the wine-buying world. There’s the “it wouldn’t have won this many awards if it wasn’t a good wine” camp, and then the “wine awards can tell you nothing aside from the size of a winery’s budget” camp. Which one are you? Are those shiny medals useless, or a handy shortcut when looking for a quality wine? Welcome to Part 3 of Lifehacker’s wine guide, where we decipher what — if anything — a wine’s medal collection can teach you.

23/09/2015: 21st Century Vino in London
Walter Speller, the Italy correspondent for Jancis Robinson's site explains his journey of discovery with Australian wine, which he calls ‘the Italian miracle’. And he describes why he’s excited about 21st Century Vino in London. "I met Jane Faulkner, Melbourne-based wine writer, a couple of years ago in Alba where we taste the Barolo and Barbaresco en primeur. Last year she invited me to be the international judge at the AAVWS, which I was more than happy to do because I was very interested to experience first-hand how Italian varieties were doing in Australia."

22/09/2015: Bream Creek Pinot Noir tops taste test at Chinese wine and spirits awards
A TASMANIAN winery has taken on some of the most famous wine brands in the world at China’s biggest wine competition and come away with gold. Bream Creek Vineyard’s 2011 Pinot Noir was awarded a gold medal at the most prestigious wine and spirits competition in China — the 2015 China Wine and Spirits Awards, in Hong Kong. After becoming the largest and fastest growing wine market in the world, the Chinese market is receiving a further boost thanks to the rising popularity of wines among younger consumers.

22/09/2015: Winery owner up for Telstra award
Laurance Wines owner and founder Dianne Laurance has been named as a finalist for the 2015 Telstra Business Women's Awards in the entrepreneur category. The announcement was made last week and Ms Laurance told the _Times _ she was "extremely excited" when judges called to tell her the news. "It has been a very tough and challenging 12 months for me on a personal side," she said.

22/09/2015: Wine issues get heard
Murray Valley Winegrowers (MVW) will be giving evidence to a hearing of a Senate inquiry in Adelaide on Thursday. The Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee is conducting an inquiry into the Australian Grape and Wine Industry, for the second time in 10 years. Submissions to the inquiry were received until mid-May and the Senate committee is now holding public hearings in Adelaide, Launceston and Swan Valley, WA.

22/09/2015: ANZ's Mike Smith sees future in the not-for-profit sector: vineyards to be exact
ANZ boss Mike Smith is finally coming to terms with his eventual departure from the bank and even opened up about what life would be like beyond mahogany row. Smith will be devoting his spare time to the not-for-profit sector, apparently. "I'm still losing money on the vineyard. But I've always wanted to grow wine," Smith told the South China Morning Post on his latest tour of duty in the region.

22/09/2015: Nuffield's new crop of scholars
A GROUP of 24 of Australia’s leading young primary producers and managers have been awarded prestigious Nuffield Australia Farming Scholarships for 2016, including three from the Northern Territory for the first time. They will undertake cutting edge agricultural and fisheries research across the globe using a $30,000 bursary for a 16-week program of group and individual travel during 2016-17. Representing the wine industry is Luke Mancini from Whitton who will study vineyard management practices and grape marketing techniques for alternative wine grape varieties in warm climates and irrigated areas.

21/09/2015: QLD food and wine producers cashing in on Chinese appetite
QUEENSLAND food, wine and skincare producers are cashing in on the 300 million Chinese online shoppers who are being lured by the green image of brand Australia. Consumers from Beijing to Guangzhou are logging on to purchase everything from Australian skincare to wine on the country’s big online market places. Mt Cotton winemaker Sirromet’s online wine sales for home delivery account for more than 40 per cent of its Chinese sales.

21/09/2015: Penfolds Grange takes a back seat to new kids on the block
AUSTRALIA’S most famous wine, the iconic Penfolds Grange, has been outplayed this year by an unlikely bunch of its own stablemates. The stars of this year’s highly anticipated Penfolds luxury wine releases are white hot — not red. Four high-class whites, a riesling and three chardonnays, steal the attention from its usual leading red lights such as Penfolds Grange, St Henri and Bin 389, continuing stellar 2015 competition form which has led to the Magill based producer being named International White Winemaker of the Year at London’s prestigious International Wine Challenge.

21/09/2015: Melbourne executive buys Mornington Peninsula's first commercial vineyard
A Melbourne business executive has acquired the prized Main Ridge Estate vineyard in Victoria's Mornington Peninsula for more than $3.25 million. The five-hectare property, with three hectares under vine, at 80 William Road in the affluent rural town of Red Hill was the first commercial vineyard on Mornington Peninsula when it was founded 40 years ago by winemakers Rosalie and Nat White, who have decided to retire.

21/09/2015: Wine show promises record entries after coldest winter in 15 years
The Canberra region's high-quality 2015 wine vintage will face the judges as two wine shows begin this week. The Australian Cool Climate Wine Show at Murrumbateman and the Canberra and Region Wine Show at Exhibition Park provide opportunities for the best drops to be compared as the next growing season begins. Canberra District Wine Industry Association president John Leyshon said he and other wine producers had enjoyed an impressive past season, with a doubling in the weight of grapes produced on his own winery.

21/09/2015: Two big winners at Hunter Boutique Winemakers Show
Saddlers Creek and Thomas Wines were the big winners at the Hunter Boutique Winemakers Show this week. The awards, held at the Crowne Plaza on Thursday night, celebrate the efforts of the smaller wineries and is invariably a hotly contested affair. Saddlers Creek’s 2009 Semillon took out two major awards – it was named best white wine of the show, and also took out the Karl Stockhausen trophy.

18/09/2015: Alternative options to captan are needed
Recent changes to the maximum residue level (MRL) and residue definition for captan in wine by the European Union may require many wine grape growers to reconsider their fungicide options for the 2015/16 growing season. Captan is a proven option in fungicide spray programs for the management of key grapevine diseases including Phomopsis Cane and Leaf Blight, Black Spot, Botrytis Bunch Rot and Downy Mildew.

18/09/2015: Red Hot Tips participant lights up vineyard for fuel reduction
Falling embers from a bushfire in the summer of 2013 were a wakeup call for vineyard owner, Lindy Bull. "I was made aware two years ago just how long it took for us to get everyone out of the vineyard," she said. "How upset were the tourists, as it closed the area down. "There's so much damage with an uncontrolled fire, particularly in the height of the tourist season." Bull owns Freycinet Vineyard on Tasmania's east coast not far from the popular Freycinet National Park.

18/09/2015: Food and Wine Fest head says allegation false
THE director of the failed Noosa International Food and Wine Festival, Jim Berardo, has denied claims by the company liquidator that he was trading insolvent, and that money problems should have been obvious from as early as June, 2012. Berardo said his company was "absolutely not trading insolvent", as the liquidator charged with getting the best deal for creditors considers further action.

18/09/2015: Graduates in wine with honours
Bangkok aficionados hone their knowledge with an evening at the "Wolf Blass Academy". Wolf Blass has had a presence in Thailand for four years, but only last week did the Australian winery treat local connoisseurs to a "Wolf Blass Academy" - an evening of tastings and tips that was, by all accounts, well worth the wait. The firm's head winemaker, Stuart Rusted, led the appreciative crowd at the Dusit Thani Bangkok through a course on its labels, pointers on how to taste wine, what to look for when buying wine and, most interestingly, how to actually describe wine.

18/09/2015: Meet the winemaker – Steve James, Voyager Estate
Steve James, Manager of Winemaking and Viticulture at Voyager Estate in Margaret River, is currently touring the US, visiting vineyards and comparing notes with his American counterparts. Whether overseas or at home in Margaret River, he is dedicated to making wine that exemplifies its origins. He took some time out to talk us through his passion for winemaking.

18/09/2015: WISA: Celebrating value chain contribution to wine quality and value
The wine industry is not unlike other industries that rely on various players and influences across the value chain to drive innovation resulting in greater efficiencies, industry capability and ultimately contributing to profitability for stakeholders. The national body representing suppliers across the grape and wine value chain, Wine Industry Suppliers Australia Inc (WISA), will be hosting their 9th Annual Supplier of the Year Awards in Adelaide on the 22nd October.

17/09/2015: Silkman Chardonnay wins best in Halliday challenge
Hunter Valley’s Silkman Wines impressed at the annual James Halliday Chardonnay Challenge, with their 2014 Reserve Chardonnay named as the best with a score of 98. With 600 wines from 355 producers representing more than 50 Australian wine regions, James Halliday, wine critic, together with new judge Philip Rich praised the quality of wines entered into the competition, with more than 41 receiving 95+ points. “We are continually amazed by the quality and diversity of Australian Chardonnay which only a competition like this can truly bring out,” Halliday said.

17/09/2015: Pernod Ricard hopes low-sugar, low-alcohol will help revive alcopops sales
Global drinks giant Pernod Ricard is riding the global sugar backlash and trend to healthier foods and drinks to try to reignite sales of the much-maligned alcopops segment after years of big declines. Pernod Ricard hopes lower-alcohol and lower-sugar products will kick-start growth in the segment for the first time since Kevin Rudd introduced an "alcopops tax". "Our aim is to turn around category performance from decline to growth," Pernod Ricard managing director Julien Hemard said.

17/09/2015: Women in wine celebrated in Perth this September
This September Perth will be the focus of The Fabulous Ladies’ Wine Society’s mission to celebrate and give profile to women behind the wine. The Perth Fabulous Ladies Wine Soiree on 24 September at The Terrace is set to showcase Western Australia’s own Joanne Bradbury and her label 3drops wine. The timing is particularly significant as this event – which is part of a successful national series - will be held just two weeks before entries close in the first ever Australian Women in Wine Awards. And entries from Western Australia are currently far outnumbered by those from the eastern states.

17/09/2015: Hunter has top year in domestic and international tourism
Cashed-up New Zealand businesses could give Hunter tourism operators a welcome boost on top of what’s already proved a bumper year. Domestic business tourism to the Hunter increased 99 per cent in the past year Destination NSW figures reveal. To further capitalise on these gains Hunter tourism stakeholders will co-fund a targeted marketing campaign worth $230,000 to promote the region to Kiwi businesses.

17/09/2015: Judging under way to pick SA’s Hot 100 Wines
Judging for the Hot 100 South Australian Wines competition is under way, and organisers have one simple goal: to find and celebrate the most drinkable wines in South Australia. Its goal may be simple but it’s the manner in which they judge, collate and celebrate these wines that’s captured attention and caused a stir in the traditional realms of wine shows and judging. Entries opened in June for the ninth annual Hot 100 SA Wines competition, created and hosted by The Adelaide Review.

17/09/2015: Rich red Shiraz with an undertone of gold
SANGUINE Estate is celebrating another gold medal with its latest release 2013 D’Orsa Shiraz awarded five stars in the Mainfreight World’s Greatest Syrah and Shiraz Challenge. The 2013 D’Orsa Shiraz was awarded the gold medal in the $50 to $75 category and finished as the eighth best shiraz in the world, finishing just three points behind the 2008 Penfolds Grange Shiraz, valued at $899 a bottle. The results of the challenge are featured in the September/October issue of the Winestate Magazine that will be distributed within Australia and New Zealand as well as Asia, USA and UK.

International Wine Industry News

6/10/2015: Wine industry welcomes Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement
New Zealand Winegrowers has welcomed the news that Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiators have reached a final agreement. “This is an excellent outcome for the New Zealand wine industry,” said Philip Gregan, New Zealand Winegrowers CEO. “Finalising the TPP is strategically very important for our export future as the TPP countries already account for over 60% of New Zealand wine exports.”

6/10/2015: China's wine producers make overseas acquisitions as market shifts
China's wine imports in August surged 28.9% year on year to 44.6 million litres in volume and rose 12.7% to US$154 million in value, but the average import price declined from both a month and a year earlier to only US$3.45 per liter, prompting the nation's leading wine companies to acquire upstream wineries or related enterprises abroad, reports the Shanghai-based National Business Daily, citing statistics compiled by GrandView, a private think tank in China.

6/10/2015: More California winemakers using less water to grow grapes
The grape vines that grower Frank Leeds tends in Napa Valley stand among the unheralded heroes of California's drought, producing decade after decade of respected Cabernets and other wines without a drop of added water. In a state where farms and dairies take the biggest gulp of the water supply, Leeds and the owners of his Frog's Leap Winery are among a minority — but a growing minority — of California growers and winemakers who believe that when it comes to wine grapes, the less irrigation, the better.

6/10/2015: Greece’s 2015 Wine Harvest: Smaller Is Better
There is an ancient saying in Greek, Theros, Trygos, Polemos, meaning “wheat harvest, wine harvest and war”: all three are situations that need immediate attention and cannot be postponed until later. Hopefully there will be no war, but having completed the wheat harvest, we are nearing the finish line of the wine harvest. All indications show that 2015 will be a great vintage for Greek wine. Although the weather has been rather on the strange side, there will be low yields all over Greece, which is always great for quality.

6/10/2015: Small wineries worry about their bottom line
Some small and medium sized winery operators are concerned about a plan meant to put their product on more shelves in more stores. The BC Government now allows the sale of wine in grocery stores, although at the moment, few stores have made the switch. Small and medium sized producers are concerned about being wiped off the shelves all together by large producers.

6/10/2015: Marlborough winegrowers prepare for El Nino
Marlborough winegrowers are preparing for the strongest El Nino summer since the extreme 1997/98 event, which cost New Zealand hundreds of millions of dollars in drought-destroyed crops. In New Zealand, the ocean-driven system typically brings colder, wetter conditions and prevailing westerly winds. Regions that normally receive higher rainfall become wetter, while dry areas of the country, including Marlborough, are often subject to drought.

2/10/2015: South African wine board approves reforms
The South African Wine and Spirit Board (WSB) made amendments to its wine regulations last month following extensive lobbying from the Swartland Independent group of winemakers. WSB certification sets the quality standard for all wines being exported from the country, as well as providing comprehensive data on a wine’s origin, content and age through its Wine of Origin scheme. The regulatory amendments include the introduction of six new classes of wine.

2/10/2015: Diageo presses ahead with wine sale
Diageo, the company behind Captain Morgan rum and Smirnoff vodka, is believed to be pressing ahead with a sale of its wine brands, including Blossom Hill, as its under-pressure boss Ivan Menezes continues his sell-off of the group's peripheral businesses. Australian firm Treasury Wine Estates was named as a leading suitor for the FTSE 100 company’s wine business, which also encompasses the Piat d’Or and Rosenblum brands.

2/10/2015: International Sauvignon Blanc Celebration adds WOW Factor
New Zealand’s first ever International Sauvignon Blanc Celebration, from 1 to 3 February next year, promises to WOW attendees with a unique line up of activities. Media, winemakers, marketers and trade representatives from around the globe will converge on Marlborough to celebrate a wine variety that has captivated consumers world-wide. The popular variety will be explored by international guest speakers, as they dissect what has made Sauvignon Blanc one of the most loved white wines in the world.

2/10/2015: Ancient Winemaking Style on the Rise
Naturally sparkling wines have been made for centuries, and now one of the oldest methods of producing them has made a resurgence. Pétillant-naturel (natural sparkling) is a catch-all term for practically any sparkling wine made in the méthode ancestrale, meaning the wine is bottled before primary fermentation is finished, without the addition of secondary yeasts or sugars.

2/10/2015: Americans love New Zealand wine
Americans like New Zealand wines more than anybody else in the world, even their next-door neighbors. The U.S. market has overtaken Australia, and is now valued at $372.2 million (around one quarter of wine exports), up 13 percent from last year, according to the 2015 Annual Report of New Zealand Winegrowers. Australia slipped to second place at $362.2 million, down 5 percent, while the United Kingdom was the third biggest export market for Kiwi wines, with exports growing 11 percent to $353.9 million.

2/10/2015: Hasty harvest in Southern Oregon
Southern Oregon's wine grape harvest might best be described as fast and furious. The region's hot, dry summer meant an early start for many vintners. Yields are up in some vineyards that were hit by the late 2013 frost and saw smaller production in 2014. For others, the yield is more typical. One thing's for certain, just about everyone will be through harvesting by the third weekend in October, a far cry from 2011, when growers were scrambling to gather in grapes before late-November frost got to them.

1/10/2015: Marlborough hosts international wine celebration
Sauvignon Blanc producers from around the world will gather in Marlborough in February next year for the inaugural International Sauvignon Blanc Celebration. The event, organised by New Zealand Winegrowers, is the first of its kind in New Zealand and is set to become a fixture on the wine calendar. The celebration will provide an opportunity for the wine industry to host producers and experts from seven countries, including Australia, South Africa, Chile, France, Italy, the United States and Austria.

1/10/2015: Locally produced wines world class, says judge
Mark Robertson has been keeping a close eye on the Hawke's Bay wine industry since he left the region. The Australian-based winemaker has a close connection with the Bay. And now the former Raureka Primary School student is a judge for the oldest regional wine competition in New Zealand - the Hawke's Bay A&P Bayleys Wine Awards. He spoke at a sponsors' function at Black Barn Vineyards last night after completing two days of judging.

1/10/2015: Burger King launches Whopper Wine
Not content with freaking us all out with black burger buns for Halloween, Burger King has now launched Whopper Wine – with the strapline: ‘fire is what we do best’. Which doesn’t really make any sense, but then none of this really makes sense. The red wine has been launched in Spain to celebrate 40 years of serving burgers to the country’s senors and senoritas.

1/10/2015: Ningxia to speed up tech exchange via international winemaking competition
Ningxia has launched its second international winemaking competition with significantly increased number of participants. With more local wineries involved, this young region is set to absorb more hands-on know-hows from its international peers. Launched by the wine authorities of Ningxia Helan Mountain East, the second edition of Ningxia Winemakers Challenge will see 48 winemakers from 18 countries, including Argentina, Australia, South Africa and Italy.

1/10/2015: Constellation Brands employees donate $100,000 for California wildfire Relief
Constellation Brands, Inc. and its employees have joined together to donate $100,000 to the American Red Cross, which is providing disaster relief to the people and communities impacted by the recent wildfires in Northern California. The company offered a two-to-one match on all employee donations made to the American Red Cross from September 15 - 25. "This collaborative effort shows how committed our employees are to giving back to their communities.”

1/10/2015: Naked Wines responds to angry Angels article
The following materials arrived via email following the September 28 publication of “Majestic: Angels angry over Naked Wines closing of Kenwood tasting room without warning. Naked Wines did make an effort to notify its Angels, but apparently some did not get the message as evidenced by numerous emails received by Wine Industry Insight and by the perplexed Angels we interviewed Friday afternoon at the site of the former tasting room.

30/09/2015: Standard high as awards get under way
Judging got underway yesterday for the Hawke's Bay A&P Bayleys Wine Awards - the oldest regional wine competition in New Zealand. Senior judge Rod Easthope said that, after a bit of a lull, the wine industry was experiencing an upward trend. "We had 410 entries this year, which is our third highest number ever," Mr Easthope said. He said that when he tasted a wine he imagined it being served in a New York restaurant and whether it would sit alongside the best wines in the world.

30/09/2015: Wine flights on track for November
A Marlborough airline is making it easier for winemakers and tourists to travel between the two largest wine producing regions in the country. Blenheim company Sounds Air will start flying between Blenheim and Napier from November 5. General manager Andrew Crawford said there was demand from people in the wine industry, who commuted between Marlborough and Hawke's Bay.

30/09/2015: Sauternes in a spin over possible child cancer connection to vineyard spraying
Concerns are raised after a government report fails to rule out a link between vineyard spraying and cancer rates. The cost of producing France's greatest sweet wines could be measured in more than simply dollars and cents, as claims emerge that vineyard sprays in the Sauternes region could be causing an alarming spike in child cancer rates. Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper reports that a former mayor of the town of Preignac has called for an investigation.

30/09/2015: What do California’s wildfires mean for the 2015 wine harvest?
September is wine harvest month. For Shed Horn Cellars in California’s Lake County, it has been a disaster. A wall of flame from the Valley Fire, which started on Sept. 12, burned the winery to the ground. For nearby Hawk and Horse Vineyards, this harvest is a miracle. Though the same fire charred hundreds of forest acres on the 1,300-acre property, the 18-acre biodynamic vineyard was barely touched. “No one can explain why it was spared,” said an emotional Tracey Hawkins, whose family owns the estate.

30/09/2015: English wine to double production in 7 years
English vineyards are forecasted to double in capacity and production over the next seven years, British MPs have been told. The prediction was revealed as politician’s toured one of the UK’s biggest wine producer’s, the Rathfinny Wine Estate, where they also heard about the Sussex winery’s application to the EU to have the county fully recognised as a wine appellation. Tim Loughton MP, said it opened MPs eyes “to see at first-hand what an important British success story our domestic wine industry is becoming.”

30/09/2015: Vintage Champagne market ‘being exploited’
The vintage Champagne category is being exploited by certain houses who are upping production to raise their prices, according to one producer in the region. Speaking to the drinks business during a lunch at Le Gavroche last week, Antoine Malassagne, winemaker at Champagne AR Lenoble said: “A vintage Champagne should be something special with huge character and ageing potential.

29/09/2015: Graham Norton backing triples Invivo wine sales
Kiwi wine business Invivo has tripled its monthly sales after launching its latest Graham Norton Sauvignon Blanc into Ireland. Invivo is backed by the UK personality, Norton, who owns two per cent of the company and as part of this, produced his own limited edition sauvignon blanc last year. According to co-founder Tim Lightbourne the success of the specialty wine, which was only sold in New Zealand, led to the decision to expand the reach into Norton's home country of Ireland.

29/09/2015: Wine Industry welcomes progress with South Korea Trade Deal
New Zealand Winegrowers welcomes news that the Tariff Amendment Bill was passed through Parliament on Friday, a big step towards implementing the Free Trade Agreement with South Korea. Philip Gregan, New Zealand Winegrowers chief executive officer, said the negotiators have achieved a great outcome for the wine industry. "Tariff free access into South Korea at the time the agreement comes into force represents a significant boost to our export ambitions in one of the key Asian markets," he said.

29/09/2015: Wine globalisation set to continue
The past two decades have seen globalisation of the world’s wine markets proceed like never before, in both speed and comprehensiveness. There was a degree of trade expansion in the five decades to World War I but, until the late 20th century, interactions across continents involved little more than the exporting of vine cuttings and traditional production expertise. Indeed most wine was consumed in the country of production, and those countries were mostly in Europe.

29/09/2015: Italian grape harvest gives cause for celebration
Italy's growers breathe a sigh of relief as the weather ensures a good harvest so far. Italian producers and growers are optimistic about the 2015 harvest, after a fine summer ensured the disaster of last year was not repeated. Bad weather saw a much-reduced harvest in 2014, both in terms of quantity and quality, but this year's glorious summer weather has put smiles back on growers' faces, according to Italy's Wine News website.

29/09/2015: Aldi to launch online wine sales early next year
Aldi is to open a new front in its assault on the UK grocery market early next year when it begins selling wine online. The move comes despite the impact of the continuing price war on the group, which has suffered its first fall in operating profits in six years. Matthew Barnes, chief executive of Aldi in the UK and Ireland, said a huge part of an £11m decline in operating profits last year, to £260m, was due to price cuts, as Aldi responded to waves of activity by its bigger rivals.

29/09/2015: Napa vineyard pest find may have been fluke
A leaf-consuming grapevine pest with a Halloween-like name apparently ended up being only a brief visitor to Napa Valley this summer. A single western grapeleaf skeletonizer moth showed up in a vineyard sticky trap along Tubbs Lane near Calistoga in June. But further trapping has yielded no more of this invasive species. “Good news,” county Agricultural Commissioner Greg Clark said.

28/09/2015: Brand building workshop for winegrowers
A workshop helping Marlborough winegrowers build their brand and expand into overseas markets is planned for November. The Marlborough Wine Business Workshop, which has been held since 2003, promises to show businesses how to engage with customers, enhance their brand and work better with distribution partners. Wine Business Solutions manager Peter McAtamney said it would help businesses tailor their products to the demands of international markets.

28/09/2015: Sense of place worth toasting
Love of food and wine and the region it comes from is a key motivator for Toast Martinborough's new director, Anna Nielson. Ten thousand tickets went on sale yesterday for the annual event which will run this year on Sunday, November 15. Nielson co-founded Wellington on a Plate festival with Sarah Meikle, "in the middle of a recession", and has been to roughly 10 of the 24 Toast Martinborough events including - she can't remember which - either the first or second ever event back in 1991.

28/09/2015: Amazon France opens online wine service
After several false starts, Amazon France has started selling over 34,000 food and alcohol products, in a direct challenge to the power of French supermarkets. Starting on 23rd September, the number of products available on Amazon France is around three times more than the average supermarket in France, according to industry observers. But so far there are no frozen or fresh foodstuffs.

28/09/2015: Bordeaux winegrowers hail 'magnificent' harvest
Bordeaux (AFP) - For lovers of a good red Bordeaux, 2015 is shaping up as a "magnificent" vintage, growers from the largest wine-producing area in France said Thursday. The harvest kicked off with Merlot grapes, which are eventually blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and Franc to make the blended wine, and vintners are delighted. "It is magnificent, much like the wonderful years of 2005 or 2010," gushed Michele Bechet, owner of Chateau Fougas.

28/09/2015: Water and wine: Sustainability in practice
The recent infernos in and around California’s drought-stricken wine country are still raging. In fact, in addition to the most destructive fires in Lake County and near vineyards in the Sierra Foothill region, new fires have broken out this week affecting vineyards and wineries in Monterey County’s Carmel region, producer of world-class Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Obviously, this underscores one giant need for California, our country’s leading wine-producing state: water.

28/09/2015: Let's not forget the importance of what happens in the vineyard
People in the wine world sing the praises of noted winemakers, treating some of them as demi-gods. This tends to inflate the price of their wines. It's nice to have wine heroes. But we should not forget the work of the people who grow the grapes. Indeed, it has often been said that great wines are made in the vineyard. Great winemakers acknowledge the skill of the viticulturist. Some great winemakers are also great viticulturists.

25/09/2015: Local microbes give wine character, study finds
The distinct regional conditions, or terroir, in which grapes are grown are thought to shape a wine’s character. But strict scientific evidence of this phenomenon has been lacking. Now, researchers in Auckland, New Zealand, have confirmed that at least one aspect of terroir—local differences in yeast strains—does indeed alter the outcome of Sauvignon Blanc fermentation. Their findings were published yesterday (September 24) in Scientific Reports.

25/09/2015: El Nino 'bad for farmers, great for grapes'
The 1997 El Nino, which was as intense as the current one, helped bring on a severe drought in the summer of 1997 and 1998. Geoff Wright from Wrights Vineyard and Winery in Gisborne said 1997-98 was a fantastic year for winemakers, particularly in Gisborne. "So if we are looking for an El Nino dry summer, what we are looking at producing is probably really good ripe grapes from our vineyard and producing some really good wine," he said.

25/09/2015: For these winemakers, forsaking the status quo leads to success
In 2007, when Bertony Faustin switched careers, from anesthesia technician to winemaker, he felt like an outsider. He was new to winemaking and the locations of his vineyard and winery isolated him from the Northern Willamette Valley scene. Faustin's 18 acres of grapevines are on a 50-acre estate, owned by his parents-in-law, on Germantown Road. Yes, that's right: The vines are a stone's throw from Forest Park, in Multnomah County.

25/09/2015: Pouilly Fumé winemaker to fight INAO over right to use AOC
A leading proponent of biodynamic and natural-winemaking in Pouilly-Fumé will take the national institute for appellations - or INAO - to court, over its decision to strip him of his right to an AOC. Alexandre Bain of Domaine Alexandre Bain in the Loire appellation of Pouilly-Fumé received a letter from the INAO last week ‘definitively’ revoking the right to label his wines AOC Pouilly-Fumé.

25/09/2015: China surveys wine industry for the revision of national standards
China is to launch a domestic wine industry survey to address issues including production standards and quality indicators, as an initial step to revise its national standards of wine. In the announcement of the survey, the China National Wine Quality Supervision and Inspection Centre listed the key areas for Chinese producers and related institutions to make suggestions on. These key areas include regulating the winemaking process, categorising wine styles, and defining key indicators of wine quality.

25/09/2015: Wine prices in 2015
At the beginning of the year, I wrote: “The producer strategy for wine prices in 2015: Stealth increases — introducing new brands as well as new varietals and blends within existing brands to get us to trade up to a $15 bottle from $10, or to an $18 bottle from $15.” The new brands bit was correct, but I missed on the stealth thing. Price increases this year, thanks to producers, distributors, and retailers eager to raise prices, have been anything but stealthy.

24/09/2015: Failed wine company 'unlikely' to repay debts
The receivership of Marlborough's Isabel Estate Vineyard is drawing to a close, but the wine company still owes more than $4.5 million. The latest six-month receiver's report, released on September 1, showed around $4 million was paid to secured creditor Bank of New Zealand in the year to July. But a further $4.5m remained unrecovered. Unsecured creditors, who were collectively owed $200,000, were "unlikely" to be repaid, the report said.

24/09/2015: NZ Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc tops IWSC awards
New Zealand wines have notched up a record number of top awards at the prestigious UK-based International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC). New Zealand beat entrants from all other nations to take home both the IWSC Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc Trophies, as well as 20 gold medals across one of the widest spread of styles and varieties ever seen from New Zealand at the competition.

24/09/2015: Economic factors key in wine’s Pacific Northwest migration
NAPA — Washington State may be overshadowed by California’s wine industry, but it is gaining prominence and will continue to do so thanks to cheap land, fewer regulations and growing recognition of the quality of the Evergreen State’s varietals. That was the message Tuesday from Ted Baseler, president and chief executive of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates of Woodinville, Wash., which has grown to be the nation’s seventh-largest wine company through the strength of its home market.

24/09/2015: Changyu snaps up Spanish wine firm
Yantai Changyu Pioneer Wine Co Ltd, a leading Chinese wine producer, has stepped up its overseas moves with the acquisition of Marques del Atrio, a wine company in Spain. Changyu, which has more than 100 years of history, was established in 1892 by Chinese diplomat Zhang Bishi. Since then, it has made its presence felt at several international exhibitions.

24/09/2015: Earliest start to B.C. grape harvest on record
The hot temperatures and lack of rain over the summer resulted in a record break start to the grape harvest in the Okanagan and throughout British Columbia. Wineries were able to pick different grape varieties two to three weeks ahead of schedule with Jackson-Triggs Okanagan Estate being the first to pick Sauvignon Blanc grapes for table wine on August 20th.

24/09/2015: 2015 Mosel harvest on a knife-edge
The 2015 harvest in the Mosel has the potential to be great, but inclement weather is raising slight concerns that it will fall short of expectations. As has been the case across most of Europe, summer this year in Germany has been hot and dry but early autumn has brought heavy and persistent rain showers and continued warm weather, leaving producers fearing the onset of rot.

23/09/2015: Marlborough Sauvignon shortage could be ‘healthy’
A Sauvignon shortage in Marlborough could be healthy for the image and profitability of the famous New Zealand region, according to one producer. Clive Jones, winemaker at Nautilus Estate and chairman of Wine Marlborough, told db that this year’s smaller vintage will ensure the sell-out of Sauvignon stocks ahead of next year’s harvest, removing the need to sell wine at low prices, which damages both the region’s reputation, and producers’ margins.

23/09/2015: Daniel Le Brun scores hat-trick at NZ’s biggest wine show
The New Zealand premium sparkling brand, Daniel Le Brun, scooped three gold medals at the recently held 2015 New Zealand International Wine Show. In an exceptional display of consistency, the Daniel Le Brun Brut Non-Vintage, Daniel Le Brun Rosé and the Daniel Le Brun 2009 Blanc de Blancs were all awarded with gold medals, from a pool of over 2,000 wine entries worldwide. Daniel Le Brun’s three winning wines will be formally honoured along with other medallists at the 2015 Awards Dinner, to be held at Auckland’s Crowne Plaza Hotel on September 26 2015.

23/09/2015: Premium-minded consumers split wine market, wine execs say
California’s wine industry will continue to split most of its sales above and below the $10-dollar-per-bottle mark, enjoying a rise in overall consumption and a growing emphasis on premium, rather than economy, wines, reported wine industry leaders surveyed by UC Davis. Challenges remain in the form of consolidation in the distribution and retail arms of the industry as well as in water and other environmental issues, the survey respondents said.

23/09/2015: UV innovation in wine tank cleaning
SANTA ROSA – The first method for sanitizing large capacity 100,000 gallon stainless steel wine storage tanks without using any water or chemicals – and the only one commercially available on the market today – was demonstrated at the Jackson Family Wines production facility in Santa Rosa on Friday. The new system uses advanced short-wave ultraviolet ray technology in the “C” band of UV light, called UVC, to sanitize large stainless wine storage tanks using low pressure mercury lamps.

23/09/2015: White Bordeaux is ready for its spotlight
In all the years I've been drinking wine, I'm always happy when someone serves me a dry white Bordeaux. But until now I've rarely bought or ordered one because too few have given me the consistent pleasure I've derived from other white wines, not least a wide array of white Burgundies. Of course, I am well aware of the excellence of the 50/50 Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon blend of Haut-Brion and the 55% Semillon, 35% Sauvignon Blanc and 3% Muscadelle of La Tour-Martillac.

23/09/2015: Chilean winery watches wine drain away after earthquake
Six days after an 8.3 magnitude earthquake struck Chile, residents of Coquimbo province and other impacted areas are still assessing damage and beginning to dig out. The extent of the impact of the quake and the massive waves it triggered is still unknown. Chile's wine industry seems to have escaped with minor damage, but at least one winery has lost much of the wine that was aging in tanks and barrels.

22/09/2015: NZ’s wine market offers potential for overseas producers says Wine Intelligence
Per capita consumption figures on a par with northern Europe make New Zealand a market ripe with potential for wine exporters, a new report claims.UK-based Wine Intelligence said 60 per cent of the adult population of New Zealand drinks wine at least once a month, on par with the Netherlands and Sweden, and ahead of the UK. While overall consumption volumes have remained relatively stable over the past few years, some categories have shown noticeable growth.

22/09/2015: Villa Maria to release first organic wine
Villa Maria will release its first organic wine in Australia, the 2013 Villa Maria Private Bin Organic Merlot, available from 1 October. The organic wine is the product of 16 years of work towards natural and sustainable vineyard and winemaking practices as the company edges towards its goal of having 50 per cent of its company owned vineyards organically managed by 2020. Fabian Yukich, executive director of Villa Maria, has been a passionate proponent for sustainability at Villa Maria for 18 years.

22/09/2015: $2 billion Blue Apron startup will now deliver wine to your door
Blue Apron, a $US2 billion company that wants to make cooking easy by sending you perfect portions of ingredients in a box with a recipe, is now expanding its offerings to deliver wine too. The wine delivery service is called Blue Apron Wine. Every month you’ll get six 500-milliliter bottles of wine — about two-thirds the size of a normal bottle of wine — delivered to your door.

22/09/2015: UK is a ‘vibrant market’ for sherry
The fifth Great Sherry Tasting took place in London this week attracting a record number of trade visitors to sample wines from more than 38 producers, represented by 23 of the UK’s leading importers. More than 300 members of the trade attended the event hosted by Beltran Domecq, president of the Consejo Regulador in Jerez, who described the market for Sherry in the UK as “vibrant”.

22/09/2015: ‘Almost impossible’ to define Rioja anymore
Rioja’s array of different wine styles means it is now practically impossible to define the character of the region’s reds according to one Master of Wine. Speaking during a historical tasting of Rioja wines made in Haro held in the Spanish town last Friday, Tim Atkin WW said: “It is almost impossible to define Rioja today as there are so many different styles. “I think the idea of traditional versus modern Rioja is old hat now – we’ve moved beyond that. Producers like Cune and Muga have both styles in their ranges.”

22/09/2015: London’s top female sommeliers
Close your eyes and think of a sommelier. What image springs to mind? Did you picture a middle-aged Frenchman with a bunch of grapes pinned proudly to his lapel? While this stereotype has been unswervingly pervasive in the wine trade, particularly among consumers, it is one that is proving to be increasingly out of step with reality. In fact, it’s being smashed to pieces by a new tranche of fresh-faced female sommeliers.

21/09/2015: New genetic test for vine varieties
A new type of genetic test being performed by a liquid-handling robot at Lincoln University is taking DNA testing to the next level with its ability to deliver five times the standard amount of data used to identify grapevine varieties. Developed by Dr Darrell Lizamore at Lincoln University and delivered by Zebra Biotech, the new transposon marker test is a unique DNA testing process not available anywhere else in the world, offering an alternative to and improvement on existing methods.

21/09/2015: 'Wine flight' plane makes sparkling visit
One of the aircraft which will take on planned "wine flights" between Hawke's Bay and Marlborough next year made an early showing at Bridge Pa last weekend. It also made an impressive showing when it came to making a short landing and take-off. The Pilatus PC12 was flown in by Sounds Air chief pilot Craig Anderson who had a group of aviation mates aboard and the arrival was all about good timing, as Stephanie Eilers from the Hawke's Bay and East Coast Aero Club said.

21/09/2015: Putin and Berlusconi caught up in wine scandal
Ukraine has launched a criminal probe into wine-tasting by Russian President Vladimir Putin and ex-Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi after they allegedly quaffed a US$100,000 (NZ$156, 674) bottle of centuries-old wine in Crimea. The Kremlin strongman and the disgraced billionaire reportedly cracked open a bottle of 1775 Spanish Jerez de la Frontera at the famed Massandra winery during a private visit by Berlusconi this month to the region Moscow annexed from Kiev in 2014.

21/09/2015: Sicilian island toils to save endangered Muscat vines
High on a windswept hillside on the Sicilian island of Pantelleria, vineyard workers are carefully harvesting a variety of Zibibbo grapes from vines at risk of extinction. Also known as Muscat of Alexandria, because it is thought to have originated in the Egyptian city, the grape is used to make Passito wines, some of Italy’s most prized dessert wines. For the past five years, scientists have been scouring remote outposts across the Mediterranean basin in search of endangered strains of this ancient vine.

21/09/2015: Wine tourism touted as growth area for Latin America
Wine experts from Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Chile, and special guests from the US, Spain and Portugal gathered at the Uruguayan capital for the 5th Latin American Wine Tourism Congress. "Together, we in Latin America are senders and receivers of enotourists," honorary conference chair Ivane Favero said during the opening session, EFE reported on Friday.

21/09/2015: Bordeaux’s nuclear bomb proof wine cellar
Chateau Siran’s nuclear bomb proof wine cellar was built in 1980 by Edouard’s father, who had wanted to safely store every vintage of Siran from the early 20th century. But why make it nuclear proof? ‘At the end of the 1970s, you had this nuclear power plant of Blayais that came to the other side of Pauillac, and then it also was the cold war. And then in Switzerland at the same time you had all those houses that had to be built with a bomb shelter in the house,’ said Edouard.

18/09/2015: Mixing Grape and Grain in Marlborough
Josh Scott talks beer snobs, supermarket wine, and reaching "peak hop". If you need something done, ask a busy person, they say. If that's the case, feel free to pass on any important tasks to New Zealander Josh Scott. The son of well-known Marlborough wine figure Allan Scott, Josh not only looks after the winemaking for the family winery but he is also the founder and brewer of Moa Beers, one of the biggest craft breweries in New Zealand.

18/09/2015: New tools to measure sustainability
Consumers and retailers are increasingly demanding more information about the broader impacts of the food they purchase, including a wider range of issues such as food safety, environmental impact, human ethics and overall sustainability. Organic certification already accounts for these demands. It ensures and verifies that organic products have been produced, stored, transported and handled in accordance with precise technical specifications. It ensures that the "chain of custody" between producers and consumers is secure.

18/09/2015: Chilean earthquake hits wine regions
The devastating earthquake that hit Chile last night, causing the evacuation of around one million people, had its epicentre in the country’s Coquimbo wine region. At least 5 people have died as a result of the 8.3-magnitude earthquake, which struck off the coast of Coquimbo at around 8pm local time (11pm GMT). According to reports, the resulting tsunamis have been battering the coast of the country with waves up to 4.5m high, threatening the country’s coastal vineyards.

18/09/2015: Organic wine that’s worth a detour
Might I be doing anything about organic wine for Organic September, a reader asked the other day. Hmmm, well, possibly, but to be honest, I’m not totally convinced. Too many wines labelled organic taste no different from conventional wines, which shouldn’t really come as a surprise, because the certification relates only to what goes on in the vineyard.

18/09/2015: The awkwardness of being a wine snob
The biggest fib in the wine industry: "There is no such thing as good or bad wine, it only matters whether you like it." It's a fib not because it's a false statement but because the people saying it often don't quite believe it. Consciously or not, it implies that the person to whom it is being said is too unaware of what good wine is for the speaker to be bothered debating the topic with them. The mirror image phrase, often used by people who find themselves in conversation with a wine professional, is: "I don't know anything about wine, but I know what I like."

18/09/2015: Growers weigh options as labour gets tighter
CORNING, Calif. — Bob Steinacher has grown organic figs in the northern Sacramento Valley for 34 years. Like many West Coast growers, he has had difficulty finding enough labour for his annual harvest, but he’s always managed to find enough workers who could tell the ripeness of his fig crop to get it picked, sorted and packed. While Steinacher has long given up on the thought of expanding his orchards, he never considered switching his orchards to other crops because of the shortage of workers.

17/09/2015: Marlborough delegation returns from China
A Marlborough delegation has returned from a trip to an emerging winemaking province in China. Four wine industry representatives travelled to Ningxia, along with Marlborough District Council economic development officer Cathie Bell and Marlborough Research Centre chief executive Gerald Hope. The group attended the Ningxia Wine Expo, where Marlborough wine equipment company Vitis had a display. They were hosted by the Ningxia Wine Bureau, which met the cost of accommodation and transport in China.

17/09/2015: Seven degustation dinners in five Central Otago regions
The inaugural Down to Earth Wine Celebration is proving to have a strong wine and food matching theme with 56 food and wine events including seven degustation dinners over the 12 days of the event. It all kicks off on Saturday 24 October with the Gibbston Valley Wine and Jazz Weekend degustation dinner featuring celebrity chef Simon Gault and winemaker Christopher Keys. On Tuesday there is a feast which combines the cuisine of celebrated award-winning chef James Stapley and the passion of Maude Wines winemaker Vanessa Robson at Bistro Gentil in Wanaka.

17/09/2015: White Bordeaux demands close attention
The last 25 years in wine have been signified by the discovery or rediscovery of regions unknown, obscure or half-forgotten. Consumers, and critics for that matter, have often embraced wines from these regions. But they have occasionally rejected them, too, with no small measure of befuddlement. I heard an entire spectrum of responses to the latest subject in Wine School: white Bordeaux from Pessac-Léognan and Graves, one of those half-forgotten styles. It reminded me yet again of the subjective nature of taste.

17/09/2015: Grapes stolen from Guigal
Around a third of the grapes destined for Guigal’s rare Condrieu wine “Luminescence” have been stolen, it has been reported. This year is destined to be the first vintage of the late harvest “Luminesence” cuvée since 2003, but will be produced in substantially reduced quantities after it was discovered that a third of the Viognier earmarked for the cuvée had already been picked. A late harvest Viognier from the “La Doriane” vineyard owned by the Guigal family in Condrieu, Luminesence has only been made twice before.

17/09/2015: South Africa storms ahead in IWSC 2015
South African wine producers are celebrating “exceptional” results from this year’s International Wine & Spirit Competition, as the country achieved a 50% increase in Gold medals. The 2015 results were released to coincide with the start of this week’s Cape Wine event in Cape Town, where IWSC judge Dr Winifred Bowman will host a tasting of medal winners in the Speakers’ Corner zone at 4.30pm on the opening day, Tuesday 15 September. Among the themes that emerged this year was the success of single varietal wines.

17/09/2015: How California’s wine industry is hurting the environment
Wine has been a popular beverage for thousands of years, and California is particularly famous for its fermented vintages, produced up and down the state, with Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino Counties being particularly famous for their wines. However, there’s a hidden secret behind your glass of pinot, chardonnay or merlot: The wine industry often comes with considerable environmental costs. Maintaining a vineyard can be rough on the environment, depending on where grapes are grown and how they’re handled, and oddly enough, prestigious wines are among the worst violators.

Research Findings

What's On in Australia

What's On Overseas


Gro Guard



GemTree Wines - Oddfish Media


AB Mauri

WID 2015