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

25/07/2016: A fast guide to slow-drain (anti-siphon) drip line
PC, FR, SD, AS and ND are just some of the product names used by different manufacturers to attribute different drip line functions. To add to complexity, sometimes these acronyms are interchangeable. SD and AS, although being the same feature, can sometimes be a source of misunderstanding when deciding what drip line should be used.

25/07/2016: Hunter Valley Wine Tender
Slattery Auctions if offering over 1,500 Cases of Roscrea Estate Wine by tender. The wine was made by a high profile Hunter Valley Establishment and there are three great wines for offer. Listed below are the wine tasting notes and quantities: 2014 Roscrea Estate Verdelho: With grapes collected from the Hillside vineyard at Roscrea homestead, this wine shows fruity notes on the nose with hints of lemon and passionfruit.

22/07/2016: Premium winemaking boosted by SA barrel cooling technology
Wineries from the Barossa Valley, Adelaide Hills & McLaren Vale regions, including the Vale’s Yangarra Wines are benefitting from the Climate Wizard Supercool system that controls their barrel hall temperature and humidity. Wine evaporation from oak barrels, known as ‘Angels’ share’, accounts for 4% wine loss during ageing.

20/07/2016: Minimising microbial spoilage risk during packaging
Wine packaging processes strongly influence the integrity of wine that reaches consumers. If microbial contamination occurs during packaging it can cause off-flavours and hazes/deposits, which negatively affect consumer perception. The worst cases of such problems can result in costly product recalls and brand damage.

14/07/2016: Help for WA Wineries
Help is on its way for WA winemakers. The federal government Department of Science and Industry will fund the delivery of new Direct to Customer and Wine Tourism workshops to be delivered by Wine Business Solutions. These will be free to attend for WA wine producers. The two-day programs will cover strategy formulation, creating an unforgettable customer experience, building a fan base of loyal customers and customer engagement leveraging all of the latest tools, technology and social media.

11/07/2016: Australian Inland Wine Show & National Moscato Challenge
The Australian Inland Wine Show is an event that showcases wines made from the ‘engine room’ of the Australian Wine Industry and is run by a small group of volunteers in Swan Hill. 2016 marks the 36th year this event has been held. Past and prospective entrants are encouraged to enter their wines that qualify under the regulations.

11/07/2016: The State of the Australian Bulk Wine Market
The Australian bulk wine market is in a positive place, it’s in a pretty healthy state. With low volumes of back vintage stocks there has been an early interest in 2016 irrigated wines. This interest has been further driven by the 2016 yields across these warmer inland regions. With these irrigated regions producing only average crops for 2016, buyers have picked up volumes early. There looks to be a stabilising of price now and opportunity for a small increase as the stock levels reduce.

Australian Wine Industry News

29/07/2016: Sagrantino will rival Shiraz in OZ one day
Tannic Italian grape Sagrantino will one day rival Shiraz as the best red variety in Australia according to Chester Osborn of d’Arenberg. Speaking to the drinks business during a recent visit to London, Osborn said: “One of the grapes I’m most excited about at the moment is Sagrantino, which will rival Shiraz one day as the best red variety in Australia as it works all over the place and has great acidity.

29/07/2016: Langhorne Creek vineyards welcome winter flooding
While a wet and stormy winter has many South Australians counting the days until summer, flooding at Langhorne Creek south of Adelaide has grape growers smiling. Above-average rainfall means the Bremer River, which flows through Langhorne Creek and to Lake Alexandrina, has overflowed into vineyards. Robbie Potts and his family have grown grapes on the flood plain for 165 years, and use levee banks and floodgates to irrigate their vines.

29/07/2016: Exclusive Online Retailer ‘Iconic Winemakers’ Launches
Iconic Winemakers is a new online venture that is the first retailer to focus exclusively on Australian wine from selected independent winemakers. As an online only site, Iconic Winemakers aim is to supply wines from quintessential Australian winemakers that are not available in bottle shops or large retail chains. Launched by wine expert John Quinn and Lindt Australia CEO Steve Loane, the pair have assembled a virtual ‘Dream Team’ of Australia’s most decorated winemakers.

29/07/2016: Q&A with Scott McWilliam, Chief Winemaker at McWilliam’s Wines
For Scott McWilliam, winemaking is a vocation. He is a sixth-generation winemaker and started working in the family business from the moment he was big enough to help out (age 14). Armed with a Post Graduate degree in Oenology from the University of Adelaide, McWilliam has established himself as one of Australia’s most promising young winemakers and belongs to the Winemaker’s Federation of Australia Future Leaders program.

29/07/2016: Fine wines of NZ revealed
Six of the nation’s leading independent wine experts have come together to create "The Fine Wines of New Zealand" - a list of the country’s most prestigious wines. A selection panel comprising Masters of Wine Alastair Maling, Michael Brajkovich, Sam Harrop, Simon Nash and Steve Smith along with Master Sommelier Cameron Douglas has agreed on the list for 2016 which includes 47 wines representing seven varietals.

29/07/2016: Win a trip to France with the Grapegrower & Winemaker magazine!
The Australian and New Zealand Grapegrower & Winemaker magazine is giving away a trip to Vinitech-Sifel held in Bordeaux, France this year. The global trade show offering the latest innovations in vineyard, winery, bottling and packaging equipment and services and training. Prize includes economy class return ticket to Bordeaux and 4 nights' accommodation.

28/07/2016: Wine conference wraps up with eye to the future
The final day of 16th Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference in Adelaide today will see a focus on the future of grape and wine production. Sessions will cover the latest scientific results, technologies to improve productivity and the Australian wine industry of the future.

28/07/2016: Second recipient of Elderton’s Winemaking Excellence Scholarship announced
Sam Rogers has been named by Elderton Wines as the second recipient of the Elderton Winemaking Excellence Scholarship administered through Foundation Barossa. Originally from the Riverland, Rogers is currently studying a Bachelor of Oenology and Viticulture at the University of Adelaide, in his second year of the four year degree.

28/07/2016: Program to boost wine industry recovery
THE Winemakers Federation of Australia says it is eagerly awaiting the implementation of the federal Coalition’s $50 million program which will focus on helping accelerate the recovery of the nation’s grape and wine industry. The initiative was announced in its budget earlier this year, but legislation to implement it still has to be introduced into Parliament by the government.

28/07/2016: Uber to trial wine tour in SA
Ride sharing company Uber plans to launch a new service to make South Australia's wine regions more accessible to tourists. The company, which has a firm presence in Australia's big cities, will this week trial an "on demand wine tour". Uber senior marketing manager Mal Chia said the initial trial would take place in the Adelaide Hills, with other regions to follow.

28/07/2016: Winery embraces technology
I recently attended a masterclass of d'Arenberg wines with winemaker Toby Porter. D'Arenberg is one of Australia's "First Families of Wine'', with four generations of family ownership dating back over 100 years, and is based a short drive south of Adelaide in McLaren Vale. The winery encapsulates a spirit of upholding tradition; nurturing old-vine plots of Shiraz and Grenache and continuing to use the more labour-intensive basket presses in its winemaking.

28/07/2016: Win a trip to France with the Grapegrower & Winemaker magazine!
The Australian and New Zealand Grapegrower & Winemaker magazine is giving away a trip to Vinitech-Sifel held in Bordeaux, France this year. The global trade show offering the latest innovations in vineyard, winery, bottling and packaging equipment and services and training. Prize includes economy class return ticket to Bordeaux and 4 nights' accommodation.

27/07/2016: Len Evans tutorial claims the Maurice O’Shea
The Australian Wine Industry’s most prestigious accolade – the McWilliam’s Maurice O’Shea Award has been presented to The Len Evans Tutorial. Held every two years, the Maurice O’Shea Award recognises an individual or group for their outstanding contribution to the wine industry. This is the first time the Maurice O’Shea Award Dinner has been held in conjunction with the Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference, which is currently underway in Adelaide.

27/07/2016: Wine future
The Australian wine industry is discussing ways to adapt to climate change, as it meets for a major three day conference in Adelaide this week. Warmer temperatures are ripening grapes faster than ever before and throwing up questions about which varieties can be grown where.

27/07/2016: Australia’s best wine list for 2016
fermentAsian in Tanunda, South Australia has won the Australia's ‘wine list of the year’ award for 2016 while the sommelier responsible for the winning list, Grant Dickson, received the Judy Hirst award, presented in memory of the inspirational woman who helped establish the awards.

27/07/2016: A toast to a living legend of wine
Karl Stockhausen has celebrated another major career milestone - recently marking his 25-year association with the Mount View’s boutique Briar Ridge wine brand. The association began in 1991 when he briefly took over as Briar Ridge manager-winemaker and then became a consultant to its various winemakers, with whom he collaborated in crafting the Briar Ridge Stockhausen Signature Hunter Valley Semillon, Chardonnay and Shiraz wines. Today he works on the Stockhausen wines alongside Gwyn Olsen, chief winemaker of Dr John Davis’ Pepper Tree Wines group.

27/07/2016: City vines produce first wine from a botanic garden
Wines made from grapes harvested in a tiny vineyard within a city botanic garden will be launched in South Australia in September. Produced with the support of Jacob’s Creek winemakers, the limited edition wines are believed to be the world’s first wine produced solely from grapes grown within a botanic garden. The 1200 bottles of wine in two styles – a rose and a dry white – are the result of a partnership between National Wine Centre, Botanic Gardens of South Australia and Jacob’s Creek.

26/07/2016: 2016 VINTAGE REPORT: Industry ‘cautiously optimistic’ as wine grape prices increase
Australia’s wine sector recorded increases in the average purchase price of winegrapes and its overall crush this year, according to the Vintage Report 2016 released yesterday at the 16th Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference. The report, released by Wine Australia, the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia and Wine Grape Growers Australia, showed an increase of six per cent in the national crush to an estimated 1.81 million tonnes.

26/07/2016: Woolies house brand wine boss says exclusivity a winner with drinkers
The boss of Woolworths' Pinnacle Drinks arm, which supplies 73 different house brand wines to Woolworths' liquor retailing stores including Dan Murphys and BWS, says having exclusive brands is increasingly important to the company's liquor retailing operations in a highly competitive industry. Woolworths has come under heavy criticism for increasing the amount of house brands it is stocking on its shelves across its $8 billion liquor retailing business and squeezing out branded wine producers.

26/07/2016: De Bortoli aims to be Australia's first zero-waste winery
One of Australia’s biggest family-owned wineries wants to become the country’s first zero-waste wine producer, and has invested more than $15m to achieve this goal. De Bortoli Wines, which has wineries at four sites in two states, has already cut the amount of waste it disposes to landfill from 300 tonnes a year to 48 tonnes as part of a long-term sustainable business plan adopted in 2004.

26/07/2016: Vignerons get an authentic sniff of success over fraudsters
Australian vignerons will soon have a new weapon to fight wine fraud, with chemical analysis helping authenticate whether a wine comes from the Barossa or Beijing. In a response to the growing problem of second-rate wines being fraudulently sold under premium labels, researchers at the Australian Wine Research Institute are working to identify unique chemical signatures of the country’s famous wine regions.

26/07/2016: Australia’s upper-end wines "not cutting through" in UK
UK consumers still perceive Australian wine to be homogenous and dominated by big brands, according to the CEO of Berry Bros & Rudd. Speaking at the Winemakers Federation of Australia conference in Adelaide earlier today, Dan Jago, who assumed leadership at the UK wine importer, retailer and merchant last year, warned that Australia's "fine or esoteric or artisan wines" are not cutting through in the country.

25/07/2016: Casella Family Brands swoops on a McLaren Vale vineyard
Griffith-based winemaker Casella Family Brands, owner of ­success story Yellow Tail with its distinctive image of a yellow kangaroo on the bottle, has swooped on a McLaren Vale vineyard in the heart of South Australia’s wine country in a $12.4 million deal.

25/07/2016: Casella steps in to save Morris of Rutherglen
Historic Australian fortified wine producer Morris of Rutherglen has been bought by Casella Family Brands, saving the brand from potential obscurity. Pernod Ricard, which bought the winery in 1970, confirmed last month its plan to sell off the brand, effectively ending 157 years of winemaking by the Morris family across five generations.

25/07/2016: Wine and viticulture industry arrives in Adelaide
MORE THAN 1100 Australian and international wine and viticulture representatives have arrived in Adelaide for five days of major industry events. There’s a big focus on the latest in information and technology across the grape and wine value chain at the 16th Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference (AWITC), which incorporates the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) Outlook Conference.

25/07/2016: Clare Valley grapegrowers and winemakers to join forces
The Clare Valley Winemakers Inc. and Clare Region Winegrape Growers Association are working towards an alignment of the two bodies, planning to unite as one and create a stronger voice for the region in the next 12 months. The decision to plan to unite came after much discussion from both groups to reach a more cohesive approach, with all members working towards the same overall vision for the region.

25/07/2016: The Australian Women in Wine Awards is back for 2016
The Australian Women in Wine Awards (AWIWA) returns in 2016 to give recognition to and acknowledge the work of women in the Australian wine industry. With statistics indicating that female participation in some areas in Australian wine (notably winemaking and viticulture) remains as low as eight to 10 per cent, the aim of the awards - which were founded in 2015 - is to pursue greater gender diversity and become a driver for change.

22/07/2016: Brexit uncertainty for wine sector: bank
The depreciation of the British pound (GDP) following the UK's decision to leave the European Union could hurt demand for imported wine, including from Australia. The UK is the world's largest market for imported wine by volume and is the largest importer of Australian wine. Agribusiness specialist lender Rabobank says sterling's dramatic devaluation following Britain's vote to leave the EU is of immediate concern because a lower pound means it's more expensive for the UK to buy wine from overseas.

22/07/2016: Penfolds Puts the Corks Back in for Anniversary Tour
The Australian icon's chief winemaker talks about recorking and the quest for the perfect closure. Penfolds marks the 25th anniversary of its celebrated re-corking clinics with a world tour this autumn. The Treasury-owned South Australian winery has run the service since 1991. Owners of Penfolds wines more than 15 years old may bring them for assessment: tasting, topping up, re-corking, certifying and logging on a central database.

22/07/2016: Craft + Estate appointed as US importer of Burch Family Wines
Craft + Estate, a member of The Winebow Group, has announced that it is the exclusive U.S. importer of Burch Family Wines and their range of award-winning wines. Burch Family Wines is a family-owned and operated company producing Howard Park, MadFish and Marchand & Burch wines from Western Australia's premier grape growing regions of Margaret River and Great Southern.

22/07/2016: Top drop of red for less than $15
A South Australian red wine that sells for less than $15 has trumped more than 600 wines from around the country to be judged Australia’s best value red. The Hesketh Midday Somewhere Shiraz 2015, which sells for about $13, will be available in Perth liquor stores from this morning. If the response to The West Australian’ s annual red wine lift-out in previous years is any guide, wine drinkers will need to get in early to get some.

22/07/2016: Victorian winemaker creates world first red gum barrel matured Shiraz
BEECHWORTH’S boutique Star Lane Winery have carved themselves a place in history with their release of the world’s red gum barrel matured Shiraz. Liz Barnes, Star Lane winemaker, matured wine in barrels made from salvaged native Australian red gum hardwood for Star Lane’s new Elements Shiraz. “We always knew we wanted to try the red gum barrel but we also knew we needed to build a name for ourselves first that people could trust and respect,” Barnes said.

22/07/2016: Clare Valley grape growers and winemakers to join forces
The Clare Valley Winemakers Inc. and Clare Region Winegrape Growers Association are working towards an alignment of the two bodies, planning to unite as one and create a stronger voice for the region in the next 12 months. Planning for the amalgamation will commence as soon as possible.

21/07/2016: Dan Johnson promises positive and successful tech conference
On behalf of the Planning Committee of the 16th Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference and Trade Exhibition, I look forward to welcoming you to Adelaide in July. All signs are pointing towards a positive and successful event. I’m particularly excited about some of the features that will make this year’s conference a little different from previous years.

21/07/2016: James Halliday awarded inaugural Cullen Award for Excellence
He has been an advocate for Margaret River wines forever and a day, so it was only too fitting that James Halliday was awarded the inaugural Cullen Award for Excellence at a gala event in the region last weekend. Halliday, universally considered the leading wine critic in this country, was on hand to receive the award from Cullen winemaker and owner Vanya Cullen at a black-tie event at the Wilyabrup winery.

21/07/2016: Jacob’s Creek invites wine lovers into their vineyards
Jacob’s Creek has launched a series of 360 degree films that transport wine drinkers to the heart of the Australian wine country for an aerial tour of the brand's vineyards. The series launches with six short films, created by digital creative agency Impero, each showcasing what Jacob’s Creek is 'Made By' – including the beautiful vineyards of the Barossa and Adelaide Hills, alongside the Home of Jacob’s Creek.

21/07/2016: Clare Valley captured on camera
The Clare Valley wine region is the focus of a 'Palate and PIxel' exhibition by Adelaide photographer John Krüger, opening at the National Wine Centre tomorrow. The Palate and Pixel photographic project is an initiative of the Clare Valley Winemakers’ organisation to create a library of images that capture the emerging talent, heroes and stories behind the region’s wine industry.

21/07/2016: Zac Caudo: Wine-inspired lifestyle
Nestled between Waikerie and Morgan, in South Australia’s Riverland, sits a beautiful cellar door right on the edge of the Murray River. It’s only been open for a few years, but Caudo Vineyard has cemented itself as one of the most popular and progressive wine businesses in the region. The winery’s philosophy of ‘wine inspired by a lifestyle’ has been driven by Zac Caudo who now manages the family business in between water skiing, wakeboarding and fishing. Emilie Reynolds reports.

20/07/2016: Judging commences for Sydney Royal Wine Show
The best of Australian wines have been put under the microscope at this year’s KPMG Sydney Royal Wine Show. Michelle Bouffard, world renowned French-Canadian sommelier was busy smelling, sipping and spitting more than 2,200 Australian wines on day-two of judging out at the Sydney Showgrounds. “I am so impressed with the rigour of the judging process at the KPMG Sydney Royal Wine Show and delighted with the standard of the wines that I have tasted so far,” she said.

20/07/2016: Australia’s reputation for fine wines is under threat
The wine tax and its accompanying rebate are outdated and distorting the Australian wine industry. The tax is encouraging the production of cheap wines and oversupply at a time when the industry is struggling to compete internationally. While Australian wine drinkers might not care too much about drinking non-premium wine, this comes at the expense of Australia’s reputation as a premium wine producer to overseas markets.

20/07/2016: Pokémon Go: Wineries catch on to potential
Will the new online Pokémon game become a marketing tool for wineries seeking to attract Millennials? The 'pocket monsters' have shown up in the award-winning Noma restaurant and vineyards in the US, France and Australia... Wineries and restaurants around the world have been among those tweeting sightings of the pocket monsters after the launch of the Pokémon Go app earlier this month on iPhone and Android phones.

20/07/2016: Alibaba is coming to Australia
The world’s largest e-commerce company, already known by keen online shoppers in Australia and worldwide for its eBay-rivalling digital marketplace of very cheap, mass-produced, drop-shipped consumer goods, is setting up an office down under. 1300 Australian brands are already sold through Alibaba’s online stores, and the digital giant is keen for that number to grow.

20/07/2016: Much life in the Brokenwood Graveyard
I’VE been fortunate enough to taste all Brokenwood Graveyard Vineyard Shiraz wines released since the first from the 1983 vintage and I reckon the newly released 2014 is one the best of them all. It comes from what’s been described as a “Holy Grail” Hunter vintage and at last year’s Hunter Valley Wine Show it won trophies for the best red of the show, the best shiraz, the best named vineyard wine, the best named vineyard red and the best current-vintage or one-year-old shiraz.

19/07/2016: AWRI researchers win award for work on anthocyanins and human health
The Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) recently received a Tanner Award for the most-cited paper published in the journal Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety in 2013. The paper, entitled ‘The case for anthocyanin consumption to promote human health: a review’, was published with scientists from the Edmund Mach Foundation in Trento in Italy.

19/07/2016: Merlot deserves more attention in Australia
Merlot may not be venerated in Australia and it’s been “abused” in the US, but the grape “deserves more attention”, according to winemaker Chris Carpenter. Carpenter, who works for Jackson Family Wines, and heads up the winemaking for the company’s Lokoya, Cardinale, La Jota and Mt Brave wineries in Napa, as well as Hickinbotham in McLaren Vale, told the drinks business earlier this month that he’s on a mission to raise the quality profile of Merlot, even though the majority of his wines are Cabernet-based.

19/07/2016: Bursary boost for Ridgemill Estate winemaker
AWARDS are nothing new to Ridgemill Estate. But that didn’t take the gloss off Peter McGlashan’s grin when he claimed the prestigious Queensland Winemaker Bursary earlier this month. The prize includes entry into an Advanced Wine Assessment Course at the Australian Wine Research Institute in Adelaide. “It’s a pretty amazing prize,” Mr McGlashan said.

19/07/2016: Historic winery Auldstone Cellars for sale through Ruralco
A HISTORIC 125-year-old brick and stone building is the centrepiece of a ready-to-roll winery business for sale at Taminick in North East Victoria. Auldstone Cellars dates back to the 1880s with the cellar built in 1891, which has been extensively restored and includes a dining and tasting room and fully functioning winemaking equipment.

19/07/2016: NSW wines to shine at International Convention Centre Sydney
Had sommelier William Wilson been creating a wine list for Sydney's new International Convention Centre just 10 years ago, he says he would not have been able to rely on wines produced in this state. But this week a panel led by Mr Wilson is blind tasting more than 800 wines over four days, which it will narrow down to around 70 different products – 80 per cent of which will have been produced in NSW.

18/07/2016: West Australian overseas wine prices surge, with export value jumping 13 per cent
The price of Western Australian wine overseas has gone up, with the export market seeing a 13 per cent increase in value in the last financial year. While overall production increased five per cent, the value of WA wines increased by more than $4.6 million to just under $42 million in the 12 months to the end of June 2016, according to Wine Australia's export report.

18/07/2016: Conte family sells McLaren Vale vineyards
South Australian winemakers the Conte family have sold their long-held premium vineyards in McLaren Vale. The three Conte Estate Wines vineyards on California Road and Bayliss Road near Aldinga, planted by the family in 1965, were put up for sale last year with a $2.5 million price tag. They cover 53 undulating hectares, of which 35 hectares are planted to Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Gewurztraminer and Chardonnay varietals.

18/07/2016: New era for winery
TWENTY years ago, a 55-acre expanse of land at Glenlyon lay barren, with nothing more than blackberry weeds and the odd piece of floating tumbleweed. But a Melbourne couple saw more than simply dormant land when they gazed over the site at Green Gully Road. They had a vision, and for the coming two decades, put in the backbreaking work of cleaning, planting and building.

18/07/2016: Peter Fraser: a year in review
No one could accuse Peter Fraser of resting on his laurels. Since being named James Halliday’s Winemaker of the Year for 2016, the laidback McLaren Vale winemaker has been busier than ever, representing Yangarra Estate at events across the world and guiding the winery through a “fast and furious vintage”. When the Halliday team caught up with Pete recently, we asked if being named Australia’s best winemaker last July altered the trajectory of the 12 months that followed. “Well, I’ve done a lot more dinners,” Pete quipped.

18/07/2016: Innovation in sparkling wine production: Trust the yeast
Numerous recent studies have been playing with how yeast can work above and beyond the usual call of duty in sparkling wine production. The Australian Wine Research Institute’s (AWRI) superb yeast biologist Jenny Bellon continues to convince yeast to reshape itself to our needs by breeding across the usual species lines.

18/07/2016: Historic winery Auldstone Cellars for sale through Ruralco
A HISTORIC 125-year-old brick and stone building is the centrepiece of a ready-to-roll winery business for sale at Taminick in North East Victoria. Auldstone Cellars dates back to the 1880s with the cellar built in 1891, which has been extensively restored and includes a dining and tasting room and fully functioning winemaking equipment.

15/07/2016: Stanton & Killeen Wines appoints Déjà Vu Wine Company as its national distributor
Stanton & Killeen Wines recently announced a new distribution partnership has been formed with Déjà Vu Wine Company, effective August 17, 2016. The announcement follows Stanton & Killeen’s recent complete vineyard rejuvenation, enabling the 141-year-old wine company to create environmentally sustainable pathways to deliver unsurpassed fruit quality, thus a significant improvement in wine quality.

15/07/2016: Limestone Coast wineries to get a grip on change
With a growing number of wine business owners were reaching retirement age, including among the wineries of the Limestone Coast, there has never been a better time to learn the ins and outs of passing a business onto family members. Generational change can deliver enormous opportunities for Australia’s family owned wineries to enter a new era of growth – but it will only happen if succession is properly planned, says leading wine law expert, Finlaysons Wine Partner, Will Taylor.

15/07/2016: Dormilona's Josephine Perry: Young gun firing the natural cause
Margaret River winemaker Josephine Perry is on the nose, literally. With no equipment to check PH and TA levels that are critical to nearly every aspect her wine, the 37-year-old uses her senses to get the chemistry right, sending samples to a lab only if she thinks something is amiss. Margaret River winemaker Josephine Perry is on the nose, literally. With no equipment to check PH and TA levels that are critical to nearly every aspect her wine, the 37-year-old uses her senses to get the chemistry right, sending samples to a lab only if she thinks something is amiss.

15/07/2016: Treasury Wine Estates jumps on bullish China outlook
Treasury Wine Estate could boost its margins from 14 per cent to almost 20 per cent by the middle of 2020 if it can continue to build its strong sales momentum in China. That's the view of JPMorgan analyst Shaun Cousins, who set a fire under Treasury's share price on Thursday by slapping a target price of $10.25 on the stock. Treasury shares leapt 5.4 per cent to $9.72 on Thursday and have now climbed 89.6 per cent over the past 12 months.

15/07/2016: Goodwill Wine
Drink wine and do good. In partnership with Social Traders and Australia Post, we talk to one of the social enterprises on their Good Spender website: Goodwill Wine. David Laity was one of the thousands of people displaced by the 2009 Black Saturday Bushfires in Victoria. At the time of the blaze, Laity was living in Chum Creek and working at a nursery in the Yarra Valley.

14/07/2016: Wine export sales continue to surge as Asia drives growth
A new report shows the higher priced end of the wine market is continuing to grow, especially in China. The Wine Australia Export Report shows that for the 12 months to June 2016, the value of wine exports grew by 11 per cent to $2.11 billion, and volumes were up by half a per cent to 728 million litres. Expensive bottles of wine, especially those above $10 a litre, have driven the rise in total export values.

14/07/2016: Wine industry staff log-on to hone wine craft
WINE industry workers looking to broaden their knowledge of the craft are flocking to enrol in a free online university course from South Australia. A new version of the University of Adelaide’s World of Wine: From Grape to Glass course was launched this month on itsAdelaideX platform and already has 10,000 enrolments following the success of last year’s inaugural course, which attracted almost 40,000 students from 160 countries via the edX platform.

14/07/2016: Schild Estate appoints Vintage House Wine and Spirits as national distributor
Vintage House Wine and Spirits, the distribution house of Angove Family Winemakers has been appointed as the exclusive Australian distributor for Barossa winery Schild Estate. Vintage House will commence distribution on 1 September 2016 and “completes” the distribution house’s Barossa offering with cult winery Cimicky being in its portfolio since 2003. Schild Estate has been under the watchful eye of patriarch Ed Schild, who this year celebrated his 60th vintage.

14/07/2016: Goodwill Wine
Drink wine and do good. In partnership with Social Traders and Australia Post, we talk to one of the social enterprises on their Good Spender website: Goodwill Wine. David Laity was one of the thousands of people displaced by the 2009 Black Saturday Bushfires in Victoria. At the time of the blaze, Laity was living in Chum Creek and working at a nursery in the Yarra Valley.

14/07/2016: Sydney Cricket Ground to host First Planted wine auction
Claiming back the wine roots of Australia, the NSW Wine Industry Association and Langton’s have joined forces to hold the inaugural First Planted Auction at the Sydney Cricket Ground 02 September 2016, showcasing the oldest and most diverse wine producing state in the country. “Winemakers from across NSW have been winning awards and producing outstanding vintages for decades.

14/07/2016: Liquor retailer launches Iconic wine platform
Sydney independent retailer and former Penfolds executive John Quinn has partnered with Lindt Australia CEO Steve Loane to launch Iconic Winemakers, a new online platform to showcase Australia's best winemakers. The new platform operates as a champion for Australian wine with its focus on high quality over price. Founder Quinn told TheShout: "What we're about is quality and not price.”

13/07/2016: Murray Valley winegrape prices rise while production falls
The prices of most winegrape varieties in the Murray-Darling and Swan Hill wine regions increased this year while production dropped marginally. Data provided by wineries to Wine Australia for the 2016 Murray-Darling / Swan Hill Wine Grape Crush Report revealed a 27% increase in the average price of Chardonnay, up from $223/tonne to $283/tonne.

13/07/2016: Is ‘brand Australia’ dead?
Australia’s largest wine company, Treasury Wine Estates, recently announced an initiative to put a spotlight on the regionality of their wines. The message was clear. Australia’s biggest wine company was moving away from ‘brand Australia’. Should other wine brands follow? Emilie Reynolds reports.

13/07/2016: Angove all in on organics
Angove Family Winemakers is zeroing in on going completely organic as the movement gains ever greater ground in Australia. Speaking to the drinks business, John Angove, explained that with 270 acres already certified organic and another 19-20 acres set to follow next year, “ultimately we’re looking at the option of the entire 400 acre vineyard being organic. We need to see what the demand will be but we’re seeing a lot of interest and other big companies doing likewise.”

13/07/2016: Karl Roberts, of Capella Vineyards on the Mornington Peninsula, has a glass half-full approach
FIRST Karl Roberts noticed early season stress on leaves in a block of pinot noir vines at Capella Vineyard, on the Mornington Peninsula. “We had a few days of excessive heat in the December of 2014 and the leaves were colouring and falling off in one block of pinot,” he said. Next, Karl — the vineyard manager for Capella Vineyard, owned by Handpicked Wines — attended a seminar run by Landcare about regional trials of compost under vines.

13/07/2016: Australian Sweet Wine Challenge open for entries
Now in its 11th year, the Australian Sweet Wine Challenge is conducted by the Riverina Winemakers Association to highlight the variety and quality of Australian sweet wines. The Riverina region is widely acknowledged to be one of Australia’s premier sweet wine producing regions. The Challenge is open to any non-fortified sweet or semi-sweet wine that is commercially available, with a minimum stock of 50 dozen lots held at the time of entry.

12/07/2016: Heath Wines wins $250k insurance bid over money lost to US buyer who failed to pay for wine orders
A SOUTH Australian winemaker has successfully sued its international insurance company for $250,000 after it refused to cover money lost when a US buyer failed to pay for wine it had ordered. Adelaide company Heath Wines took its US-based insurance company, Atradius Credit Insurance, to the SA District Court to recover $284,000 in unpaid money owed by Vinocopia.

12/07/2016: Australia’s Petaluma makes return to UK market
Australian wine brand Petaluma is making a return to the UK market after after a four year absence, appointing Bancroft Wines its exclusive UK distributor. Based in the Adelaide Hills, Petaluma was last represented in the UK four years ago by Bibendum. This month it will make its return to the UK with Bancroft Wines.

12/07/2016: Granite belt wine industry wins big at RNA awards
WINEMAKERS on the Granite Belt are rejoicing after local vineyards took home big accolades in the Brisbane RNA wine awards last week. Granite Belt wineries claimed a total of 19 medals of the 21 which went to Queensland wineries in the RNA, which was announced on Friday. A massive 11 of those went to Symphony Hill Wines. Symphony Hill winemaker Mike Hayes said the win was “surreal” for their team. “We’re sort of pinching ourselves,” Hayes said Symphony Hill winemaker Mike Hayes was thrilled after winery's big wins last week. “It’s incredible.”

12/07/2016: Shiraz impresses judges
Norfolk Rise Vineyard has attained one of Australia’s top wine awards this week when it claimed a trophy at the 2016 Royal Queensland Wine Show. The Trophy was awarded to Norfolk Rise Vineyard for their 2015 Shiraz, claiming ‘best Shiraz of show’ with 96 points, outperforming over 400 other Shiraz entries from across the country.

12/07/2016: Jodie Opie joins Evans & Tate
Evans & Tate announced Jodie Opie has joined their wine production team in the role of winemaker. Growing up in Perth, Opie completed a Bachelor of Science (Human Biology) at Edith Cowan University before moving to Adelaide to study a Bachelor of Science (Oenology) at Adelaide University.

11/07/2016: MCI’s Treasury Wine suit an ‘abuse of process’
Treasury Wine Estates has escaped one of two class action lawsuits filed against the winemaker after a shock $160 million writedown and profit warning three years ago, with the Federal Court ruling the pursuit by controversial litigator Mark Elliott was an “abuse” of the court process.

11/07/2016: Australia’s oldest wine club is in a world of hurt
AUSTRALIA’S oldest wine club is in a world of hurt. The Wine Society has lost money for years, squeezed by discount bottle shops and rival online retailers. Now the non-profit cooperative wants its 25,000-plus members to ratify a restructure that would see external investors provide a $3 million banking facility. The money will be used to help pay down debt, including $4.2 million owed to suppliers.

11/07/2016: Kingsley Grove Estate winery turns to the bottle to create exotic ice cream flavours
THEY’RE two of the great joys in life – wine and ice cream – and now one Queensland family has combined the pair to form the ultimate sweet treat. Kingsley Grove Estate is churning out wine ice cream from its small vineyard near Kingaroy to widespread acclaim. “We often have people come to our cellar door just to try the ice cream,” winemaker Simon Berry said.

11/07/2016: Solar power the answer to Queensland wineries’ weather woes
QUEENSLAND winemaker Grant Casley has found a way to fight back against the state’s unpredictable weather – and he’s encouraging other wineries to do the same. The owner of Casley Mount Hutton Vineyard and Winery in the Granite Belt said installing solar power on his property had not only helped save his business $6000 a year in electricity costs, it helped see him through when a hailstorm destroyed his entire yearly grape crop.

11/07/2016: Tasmanian wine list award finalists announced
Finalists in the 2016 Tasmanian Wine List of the Year competition have been selected and voting is now invited from members of the wine loving public. Now in its third year, this program is presented by Wine Tasmania in partnership with the Tasmanian Hospitality Association to recognise Tasmanian businesses supporting the island’s outstanding wines.

International Wine Industry News

29/07/2016: Making magic with every vintage
It’s been a busy and successful decade since Rod McDonald won Winemaker of the Year. He talks about the past and the future of his Hawke’s Bay wine career. A record-breaking summer is set to translate into magic in wine bottles. So predicts Rod McDonald. The award-winning Hawke’s Bay winemaker should know. He has dedicated the past 23 years to creating delicious wine and has nabbed numerous successes along the way to prove his prowess.

29/07/2016: Vineyard destroyed by fire, others threatened by smoke
The Soberanes Fire that grew to more than 23,000 acres near Big Sur today already has claimed one vineyard and is threatening the 2016 vintage in parts of Monterey County. According to Kim Stemler, executive director of the Monterey County Vintners & Growers Association (MCVGA), Big Sur Vineyard owner Lenora Carey was informed Monday night that her property, which included a small estate vineyard, had been lost in the fire, which started July 22.

29/07/2016: Germantown 'craft winery' owner crafts 9,000 bottles by hand
Apple Works Winery just wrapped up its first month of business in Germantown after opening its doors on July 1. Kevin Behnke has owned the property located on W179 N12536 Fond du Lac Ave., between Highway G and Maple Road since 2002. The site of Apple Works was once an apple orchard of the same name, which opened in 1983. "The area needs something like this because there is nothing else quite like this," Behnke said.

29/07/2016: 25th Indy International Wine Competition blends tradition, innovation
More than 2,000 wines from around the world have been entered in the 2016 Indy International Wine Competition, an event that blends history and culture with modern science. Now in its 25th year, the competition is the largest independent wine contest in the United States, with participants ranging from small private winemakers to large commercial wineries.

29/07/2016: Austria's wine exports down
Austria's wine export revenues in 2015 declined for the first time in eight years. Wine exports last year amounted to 48 million litres and €143 million, according to Statistik Austria. This was due to the difficult vintage in 2014 which resulted in reduced volumes. The decrease in sales of 1.1%, compared with 2014, turned out to be less than had been feared.

29/07/2016: Fine wines of NZ revealed
Six of the nation’s leading independent wine experts have come together to create "The Fine Wines of New Zealand" - a list of the country’s most prestigious wines. A selection panel comprising Masters of Wine Alastair Maling, Michael Brajkovich, Sam Harrop, Simon Nash and Steve Smith along with Master Sommelier Cameron Douglas has agreed on the list for 2016 which includes 47 wines representing seven varietals.

28/07/2016: Wine pioneer 'a true leader'
Tributes have poured in for one of the pioneers of the Martinborough wine industry, Richard Riddiford, who died on Tuesday. One of the early directors of Palliser Estate, Mr Riddiford died of cancer following a short illness, aged 65. He has been described as the driving force behind the wine festival Toast Martinborough, which started in 1992.

28/07/2016: Why you can rely on wine show awards
OPINION: There has been much talk in the media in recent months about independence of wine writers, paid reviews and gold stickers on wine bottles that promote things other than success, all with the aim of trying to get you and me to select one bottle over another when we browse the shelves of our favourite wine supplier. In this column I want to have a look at wine shows and the judging process that means you can rely on a gold, silver or bronze wine show medal as a solid indicator of quality.

28/07/2016: 'Catastrophe' for wine lovers as Chablis crop ruined
Hailstones the size of golf balls pelted the Chablis region, about 200km south of Paris, last month. It was the final nail in the coffin of this year's crop following unseasonable frosts and rain in April. More than 1,000 acres of prized Chardonnay vineyards, especially in the southwest of the region, were all but destroyed by poor weather which also hit the Cognac and Beaujolais-producing region of Burgundy.

28/07/2016: UK loses €25 million in spirits and €62 million in wine sales thanks to counterfeiting
A new report has revealed that €87 million in sales across wine and spirits is lost each year in the UK due to the counterfeiting industry. The full extent of the cost of the fake wine and spirits market was revealed in a report released today, which showed the 4.4% of spirits sales and 2.3% of wine sales are lost each year across the EU thanks to the sale of fake alcohol.

28/07/2016: Wine Giants to Share Bottling Insights
Producing nearly 70 million cases of wine each year between them, The Wine Group and Trinchero Family Estates take up two of the the top four spots on Wines Vines Analytics’ list of the top U.S. wine companies. On Aug. 17, bottling and production specialists from these California wine producers will share some of the challenges and solutions involved with getting millions of gallons of wine out of barrels and tanks and into the hands of consumers.

28/07/2016: Poderi Luigi Einaudi Buys 22 Acres in Barolo for $6.5 Million
Piedmont's Poderi Luigi Einaudi has purchased 22 acres of prime land in Barolo from the four brothers of the Dardo family for more than $6.5 million. The land is located in the prized Bussia cru’s Dardi subzone—named for the sellers’ family—and includes 10 acres of Nebbiolo and 2.5 acres of Barbera, with the rest either unplanted or home to truffle forest.

27/07/2016: Challenges as Marlborough wine industry booms
Wine production in Marlborough is tipped to increase by 25 per cent over the next five years so industry leaders are meeting to today to plan for the future. The movers and shakers of the Marlborough wine industry are holding a meeting today to discuss the future of one of the country's biggest exports. Results from the recent Marlborough Labour Market Survey, a joint initiative by Wine Marlborough, New Zealand Winegrowers and Marlborough District Council, show the industry is rapidly expanding.

27/07/2016: Project 1000 to grow jobs for Hawke’s Bay people
Project 1000; a scheme to provide 1000 new jobs for currently unemployed Hawke’s Bay workers over the next three years has been announced by Social Development Minister Anne Tolley and Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell today. Project 1000 is part of Matariki – Hawke’s Bay Regional Economic Development Strategy and Action Plan 2016, which aims to accelerate job growth and raise incomes in the region.

27/07/2016: Wineries thriving in heat
After struggling through one of the coldest summers in decades, wineries in Prince Edward County - the Canadian province of Ontario - are enjoying the heat. “With this heat, we’re on pace to have a vintage year, which happens once every ten years,” explained Anthony Auciello Jr., owner of TerraCello Winery. In the world of wine, vineyards are lucky if they get one or two outstanding growing years, he explained.

27/07/2016: Vineyard cover crops reduce expense, save environment
Cornell researchers have advice for vineyard managers in cool and humid climates like the Northeast: cover up. Maintaining bare soil beneath vines has long been accepted management practice used to stifle competition and preserve water and nutrients for grapevines.

27/07/2016: Denis Dubourdieu, a titan in the world of wine
Renowned winemaker, wine consultant and wine researcher Denis Dubourdieu has died in Bordeaux after prolonged illness. Named as the Decanter Magazine Man of the Year this past June, and awarded Knight of the Legion of Honor in March this year, Dubourdieu was General Director of the Institute of Vine and Wine Science at the University of Bordeaux in France. He helped re-shape modern appreciations of how the production of good wine relies not only on grapes and technical techniques, but on how land is managed.

26/07/2016: Experiment with ancient orange wine
A Waitaki winery is experimenting with an ancient wine technique to produce orange wine. Orange wine was first produced about 5000 years ago in Georgia. The wine was made when white grapes, with seeds and skins included, were mashed up and placed in a container and left for a period of time with little to no additives included in the ingredients list, website Wine Folly says.

26/07/2016: Bayer Central Otago Young Viticulturist of the Year 2016 announced
Mike Winter from Amisfield has taken out the Bayer Central Otago Young Viticulturist of the Year for 2016. This is the third year Winter has taken out the title and he is very determined to take out the National title this year, especially as it is the last time he can compete. He will be too old next year as cut off age for the competition is 30 years old or younger on 31 December, so Winter will be putting a lot of time and effort into study and preparation over the next few weeks.

26/07/2016: Organic wines keep it on the lowdown
In Napa, words like "organic" and "biodynamic" can be seen as a drawback. Mildew and viruses may actually make wine taste better, but you might not want to get into the true dirt of organic farming with consumers. These were two of the takeaways from Napa Valley's 10th annual organic grapegrowing conference last week.

26/07/2016: German wine drinkers want to know more
German wine drinkers are becoming more interested in wine, according to a new Wine Intelligence report. The report, Germany Landscapes 2016, found that 35% of regular wine drinkers surveyed stated that they had high involvement levels with wine, significantly more than the 30% the previous year, with 39% reporting wine to be important to their lifestyles, compared with 33% the previous year.

26/07/2016: The Wine Innovators Storming Unknown Bordeaux
Two adjacent Bordeaux wine regions remain largely unknown and unappreciated by international wine consumers, as well as by many non-French visitors to southwest France. Wine châteaux here offer excellent value, and there are fewer tourists than in the nearby famed Médoc or Saint Emilion regions. Their surroundings are also visually impressive.

26/07/2016: ASC takes on Delicato Family Vineyards
ASC Fine Wines has announced it has acquired the exclusive distribution rights to Californian winery, Delicato for Mainland China. The new partnership will see a select portfolio of Delicato brands available throughout China, including Gnarly Head, Delicato Family Vineyards and Irony. “ASC Fine Wines’ expansive market coverage, experience in fine wines and focus in digital aligns with the family’s long-term market development strategy,” said Chris Indelicato, President & CEO of Delicato Family Vineyards.

25/07/2016: Wine industry growth good news for Marlborough vine supplier Ormond Nurseries
Business is picking up for a Marlborough nursery that supplies grape vines to the wine industry after a devastating downturn almost a decade ago. Ormond Nurseries, outside Blenheim, was one of around 35 businesses around New Zealand supplying the industry before the 2008 harvest. General manager Ben Wickham said the huge harvest, which saw speculators swamp the market with bulk wine, dropped prices and killed demand for new plantings.

25/07/2016: Bannockburn vineyards unite to produce 'evolutionary' map
Bannockburn vineyards owners have collaborated to produce a vineyard map for their Central Otago sub-region. Felton Road Wines winemaker Blair Walter, who led the project, launched the map at a function at the Bannockburn Hotel and Restaurant on Thursday. The map, with its high level of detail, was a first for New Zealand, he said.

25/07/2016: Wine wars: Fury and arson in the vineyards of southern France
A wine war has erupted in southwestern France where angry claims of fraud and skulduggery involving "foreign" grapes have boiled over into violent action in the summer sun. Staff at the Jean Gleizes domain in central Ouveillan, outside Narbonne are still in shock after the wine domain's tasting cellar was set ablaze by unknown assailants earlier this month, leaving it in ruins.

25/07/2016: Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec uncork deal to allow online wine purchases
Canada's premiers and territorial leaders have agreed in principle on an internal trade deal they say will help create jobs and improve the economy. "This truly is a historic day," said Yukon Premier Darrell Pasloski, speaking at the end of a two-day premiers meeting in Whitehorse. It's not clear, however, what will immediately change under the agreement, which will replace an old agreement dating back 23 years.

25/07/2016: Scientists claim to ‘re-create Montelena 1973’ with no grapes
A company in San Francisco has claimed it can create wine without using grapes or fermentation - only with molecules. Ava Winery claimed it has created synthetic wine in a laboratory from amino acids, acids, sugars, volatile organics and ethanol. Its co-founders said they decided to begin the project after seeing one of the California wines that won in the 1976 Judgement of Paris tasting.

25/07/2016: Grapegrowers urged to develop technology they need
For about the past three decades, machines have been used increasingly in grape vineyards, doing more tasks that used to be done by hand — from pruning vines to harvesting grapes. But as advanced as this machinery has become, there are still tasks that machines can’t do — or at lease do well — in vineyards.

22/07/2016: Do Austria’s wine label changes go far enough?
European wine law often amounts to an impenetrable tangle of red tape. Well done to Austria then, for pushing ahead with a simplification of sorts. With the ratification of new regulations in June, Austria continues apace. In Austria’s most easterly region the old appellations of Neusiedlersee, Neusiedlersee-Hügelland, Mittelburgenland and Südburgenland are now all subsumed into the single appellation Burgenland unless they are from one of Burgenland’s DACs (Disctrictus Austriae Controllatus).

22/07/2016: A battle over vines and trees in Napa Valley?
Napa County residents packed a local court on July 15 for a rather arcane hearing on rules for qualifying voter initiatives for election ballots. Extra chairs were brought into the courtroom to accommodate the spectators, with dozens more people standing outside in the hallway, several wearing buttons that read “Save the Watershed.”

22/07/2016: ‘Nightmare’ grapes can make for dreamy wines
THE origin of ginger remains a mystery. Depending on whom you talk to, it originated in the lush tropical jungles of south China or India. One of the earliest written accounts of ginger is in a four thousand year-old Chinese book in which the underground root’s medicinal qualities are examined in detail.

22/07/2016: Why Keller wine is one of the world's great dry Riesling producers
German winemaker Klaus-Peter Keller has an almost uncanny knack for consistently producing breathtakingly good dry rieslings, even when conditions are less than ideal. By way of recent example, the 2014 vintage in Germany was wet and generally challenging, and resulted in good rather than great wines across the board. But not from Keller. His were sublime.

22/07/2016: New Zealand Winegrowers launches independent retail promotion for NZ Pinot Noir
New Zealand Winegrowers are offering independent UK retailers the chance to win one of two trips to Pinot Noir NZ 2017. The Pinot Noir NZ Celebration is a premium three-day wine event, held in Wellington, New Zealand, in January 2017. It brings together media, trade and enthusiasts from all corners of the globe, to be educated, stimulated and connected to what makes NZ Pinot Noir so special.

22/07/2016: Plan to lure leading researchers to New Zealand
The 'Entrepreneurial Universities' initiatives will aim to bring 15 - 20 world-leading researchers to New Zealand, with our universities bidding for the opportunity to host them and their research teams. The $35 million investment is funded out of Budget 2016’s $761.4 million ‘Innovative New Zealand’ package and will involve 50/50 partnerships with individual universities. The research will focus on core areas of the New Zealand economy such as wine (and the wider horticulture domain), agritech and tourism.

21/07/2016: NZ wine wins top red trophy at Oz show
Judge Rock 2014 Pinot Noir from Alexandra in Central Otago won “Red Wine of the Show” at the Australia and New Zealand Boutique Wine Show 2016 held in Sydney a few weeks ago. I was one of the judges and can say, with some authority, that the standard of entries was very high indeed. The show only accepts entries from wine producers that crush less than 250 tonnes of grapes each vintage.

21/07/2016: A First for Yealands with Official Green Company GC-Mark
Yealands Family Wines (Yealands) has just become the first winery in the world to carry the DQS Green Company GC-Mark for its winery operation at their Seaview winery in Marlborough. DQS Group (DQS) based in Germany are one of the leading certification bodies for management systems worldwide. DQS have developed a checklist of criteria to obtain a Green Company GC-Mark that is based on national and international recognized standards and regulations. To receive a Green Company GC-Mark, a company must succeed in “minimising its negative impact upon the environment.”

21/07/2016: Sakura Japan Women’s Wine Awards announced
One of the largest wine competitions in Japan, the Women’s Wine Awards has announced the launch of its 2017 event with entries open from October. Chaired and founded by Yumi Tanabe, a wine educator, journalist and consultant, the Japan Women’s Wine awards is now in its fourth year and aims to recognize the increasing quality of indigenous Japanese grapes as well as international varieties. The competition is open from 1 October to 30 November with samples to be delivered to Sakura’s head office in Tokyo by 13 January.

21/07/2016: Wine ‘war’ in Sancerre as vines vandalised
A dispute over who should be allowed to grow Sauvignon Blanc in the Loire appears to have spilled over into vineyard sabotage after one grower reported losing 6,000 vines. In what French media has termed ‘war in Sancerre‘, one wine producer in the Loire has complained to police after vandals sabotaged between 5,000 and 6,000 of young vines.

21/07/2016: The wine innovators storming unknown Bordeaux
Two adjacent Bordeaux wine regions remain largely unknown and unappreciated by international wine consumers, as well as by many non-French visitors to southwest France. Wine châteaux here offer excellent value, and there are fewer tourists than in the nearby famed Médoc or Saint Emilion regions. Their surroundings are also visually impressive.

21/07/2016: Winery re-united with rare bottle after Decanter article
South African winery Groot Constantia has bought back one of its oldest bottles of wine still in existence, after learning about it being auctioned from aDecanter.com article. Records show that Groot Constantia’s Grand Constance wine was enjoyed by French emperor Napoleon during his exile on St Helena. In a rare sale, a bottle of Grand Constance 1821 was auctioned online by Catawiki last week.

20/07/2016: John Saker: Smaller wine producers drive authenticity
Comparisons between Marlborough and Champagne are not uncommon. Both regions are blessed, producing wine styles that get winery accountants grinning from ear to ear. Their vines often carry massive crops, ripeness isn't the big issue it is in other regions and at the end of it there is a distinctive wine the world wants to buy. At a time of fierce global competition, there are worse formulae to have working for you.

20/07/2016: Colour guide gets it right
I well remember a childhood treat where Mum would give me money to buy a bottle of fizzy drink from the dairy. The bottles were so incredibly cold that the first mouthfuls caused a searing pain to rush through your nose and into your brain. Somehow, this was meant to be pleasurable. We've come a long way since then, but appropriate serving temperatures for wine can still be elusive. White wines often suffer the greatest misfortune in our homes, cafes and restaurants: served direct from the fridge, they glisten attractively with condensation.

20/07/2016: Winemakers may be able to select cork according to its phenolic content
In the future, winemakers may be able to select a natural cork closure with a specific concentration of phenolics to positively influence a wine’s development in the bottle. As previously reported by the drinks business, cork may benefit the ageing of wine through the release of phenolics and volatiles from the structure of the closure, which comes from the bark of the Quercus suber, commonly called the cork oak.

20/07/2016: Barolo Burglars Steal Thousands of Bottles of Wines
Two of Barolo's wineries have been robbed of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of wine in less than three weeks, and the evidence suggests the same thieves are behind both crimes. Methodical teams wearing laboratory-style cleanroom suits that hid their identities from security cameras broke into the Armando Parusso winery in Monforte d'Alba in the middle of the night on July 13 and took roughly 120 cases of some of Parusso's best wines, worth about $112,000.

20/07/2016: The future of the family-run wine business is in young hands
Commercial, industrial, investment-oriented? Or artisan, small-scale, family-centred? Which is the future of wine-making? Anyone reading the trade press will realise how important that first trio has become, not least with the oriental enthusiasm for buying wine estates – remarkably, more than 100 Bordeaux châteaux now have Chinese owners.

20/07/2016: CEO of wine supply giant Conviviality plays down Brexit worries
The CEO of Conviviality, which has this year become one of the largest wine suppliers to restaurants and supermarkets in the UK, says the group is well equipped to cope in Brexit Britain. A weak pound and warnings of significantly slower economic growth for the UK in the next few years have failed to dampen an optimistic mood at Conviviality, the owner of Bargain Booze shops which has transformed its business in the past 12 months by buying major suppliers to restaurants and supermarkets.

19/07/2016: Yealands extends large vineyard to neighbouring farm block
One of Marlborough's last remaining conventional sheep and beef farms in the lower Awatere Valley has been sold to Yealands Wine Estate for vineyard development. Straits View Farm, a 266 hectare property owned by Ken and Shirley Marfell in the valley, was bought by the wine producers for $4.35 million. The land is on the boundary of the 1000 hectare Yealands Estate, near Seddon, and will be developed into a vineyard.

19/07/2016: Waimea Estates celebrates six international medals
Waimea Estates winery are another Nelson winery to win medals at the San Francisco International Wine Competition. Waimea Estates left the competition with six medals overall, two gold and four silver. The winery's Waimea Albariño 2015 and Spinyback Pinot Gris 2015 won a gold medal each. The Waimea Sauvignon Blanc 2015, Waimea Chardonnay 2014, Waimea Classic Riesling 2015 and Waimea Pinot Noir 2015 were all awarded Silver Medals.

19/07/2016: State of California Vineyards
San Rafael, Calif.—After the announcement last week that veraison is happening in some Napa Valley vineyards, Wines & Vines asked sources in other areas how their grapes are faring so far this summer. Veraison has also begun in the vast Paso Robles region. At Halter Ranch in the Adelaida District, vineyard manager Lucas Pope reported that it is just starting, with colour on about 10% of the ranch, putting it on par with 2015, or about 3 weeks earlier than average.

19/07/2016: Montes: Malbec is for ‘lazy’ winemakers
Aurelio Montes Jr. has spoken out about Argentina’s flagship variety, admitting that the ease at which Malbec grows makes it a grape for “lazy winemakers”. Speaking during a comparative tastings of the wines he makes at Kaiken and those made by his father, Aurelio Montes Sr, in Chile, Montes Jr. said: “Malbec is for lazy winemakers as wherever you plant it, it’s good. Malbec can be good, very good or exceptional depending on where in the country you grow it.

19/07/2016: Why Do Generations Matter?
Visit just about any winery in Lodi, California and you will hear the tag line, ‘4thgeneration grower’ or maybe, ‘5th generation grower.’ There are a lot of family farms in Lodi that have been growing crops since the 19th century and are now making wines. A visit to these wineries is not just about tasting the wines. It’s about meeting the families.

19/07/2016: Chinese wine tipped for more prominent role on UK shelves
Uncertainty over exchange rates and trading relationships with Europe could open the door for China to seize a far greater share of the UK wine market, according to arguably the country’s leading buyer. Andrew Shaw, who is now in charge of buying wine for the Conviviality group – including Bargain Booze, Wine Rack, Bibendum PLB and Matthew Clark, among others – said he “firmly believes in the quality of Chinese wine”.

18/07/2016: Wine companies and Marlborough iwi Rangitane partner to protect waahi tapu sites
Protecting historically important sites does not need to come at the expense of commercial development, members of a Marlborough iwi say. Last week two Rangitane o Wairau members, wine company owner Haysley MacDonald and his father Phillip MacDonald, reached an out-of-court settlement with Heritage New Zealand after facing charges for clearing scrub and constructing a fence near a historic pa site without permission.

18/07/2016: New Zealand ups its game in white wines
The grape arrived in New Zealand in the 1830's, brought by Roman Catholic Missionaries. Wine production began but it was mostly for religious use or family consumption. It wasn't until the 1960s when people were in a position to travel more and more easily (why? Passenger jet airplanes!), that some Kiwis began to contemplate a self-produced wine that would pair with local cuisine rather than importing from Europe.

18/07/2016: Owner Speaks Out on Controversial Barolo Sale
The sale of a historic winery to a convenience store owner is not the disaster some reports are claiming. Earlier this week, Italian newspaper and American wine publications broke the news that the Vietti winery of Castiglione Falletto, in the heart of the Barolo production zone had been sold.

18/07/2016: The skills that future wine leaders need
Dr Marc Dressler doesn’t look like an ex-banker. For a start, he’s not wearing a suit. He’s affable and open, and casually dressed, sipping a coffee in the pretty Baroque town of Neustadt-an-der-Weinstrasse. “I worked in Deutsche Bank, then at Dresdner Bank,” he says, when asked about his qualifications. He ticks off a list of accomplishments: an MBA from Vermont, a PhD in material organization theory, then a career in business consulting along the way. He’s taught in European business schools, and in the USA.

18/07/2016: UBC researchers determine vineyards adversely affect soil quality
Biologists from UBC’s Okanagan campus are digging under vineyards to see if the Okanagan’s grape industry is affecting soil quality. The team of researchers spent the better part of three years studying soil samples from more than 15 vineyards throughout the valley. Associate Professor Miranda Hart, PhD candidate Taylor Holland and Agriculture Canada research scientist Pat Bowen looked at soils in vineyards and neighbouring natural—or uncultivated—habitats.

18/07/2016: Croatian Malvasia: Young winemakers start fresh
In northern Croatia, a younger generation of wine growers is pushing the boundaries with innovative interpretations of their indigenous variety of Malvasia, a versatile and diverse wine. Malvasia is a highly original grape variety, but also a very confusing one, as it is also the synonym for numerous other quite unrelated grape varieties.

18/07/2016: Making Wine, Not War, in Lebanon
In a country that is perpetually described as “on the brink,” passionate entrepreneurs have chosen to turn away from conflict, and toward the ancient craft of winemaking. Joseph G. Bitar of Kfifane in northern Lebanon was a general in the Lebanese Army when he was assigned the job of military attaché at the Lebanese embassy in Rome. This was back in the 1970s, and it was then that the general embraced the Italian tradition of drinking wine.

15/07/2016: Marlborough iwi Rangitane O Wairau 'outraged' by settlement with Heritage New Zealand
Marlborough iwi Rangitane o Wairau have hit out at Heritage New Zealand and one of their own trustees following an out-of-court settlement relating to an important historical site. Trustee Haysley MacDonald and his father Phillip MacDonald were charged with interfering with the Kowhai Pa site, near the archaeologically significant Wairau Bar, near Blenheim, but reached an out-of-court agreement with Heritage New Zealand on Tuesday.

15/07/2016: Winemakers put themselves on map
Bannockburn vineyard owners are putting themselves on the map. In a five-year collaboration, they have produced a highly detailed map of their vineyards of a type commonly found in the world's fine wine regions. The map shows details of the Central Otago wine subregion - just south of Cromwell - such as vineyard ownership, varieties planted, topography, row orientation and individual vineyard blocks. Felton Road winemaker Blair Walter has been driving the project, which was instigated by the winery's owner, Nigel Greening.

15/07/2016: Smoking alcohol warned to be more dangerous than drinking
Residents in the United States are being warned that the re-emerging trend of smoking alcohol is more harmful than just drinking. A number of videos have recently appeared online apparently giving youngsters tips on how to vaporise alcohol to inhale it, and more dangerously, there is no need for any kind of device to implement this. However, there are alcohol bongs, dry ice cocktails and people even free-base alcohol over an open flame, according to 10News WTSP.

15/07/2016: Montes experimenting with dynamite
Pioneering Chilean winemaker Aurelio Montes Sr has revealed that he is experimenting with dynamite to monitor its effects on sub soils in his vineyards. Speaking during a comparative tasting in London last week of his wines and those made by his son, Aurelio Montes Jr, at Kaiken in Argentina, Montes said: “I’m putting dynamite in the sub soil in some of my vineyards at the moment to see what effect it has.”

15/07/2016: Cru Beaujolais is the wine world’s rising star
At the tail end of Burgundy—France’s revered wine region whose Côte-d'Or slopes are praised as pinot noir’s perfect fit—a different grape takes over. Here, in the Beaujolais zone, the best sites, running along the forest-topped granite hills in the area’s north, are given over to gamay—a variation more specifically named gamay noir à jus blanc.

15/07/2016: Scientists prep for effects of climate change on wine
McMinnville, Ore.—All management is local, a point underscored in several presentations at the 11th International Terroir Congress taking place this week in McMinnville. The congress kicked off Monday with a day of presentations that surveyed the potential effects of climate change in wine-producing regions around the world, including changes in how grapes are grown and how consumers will perceive wines.

14/07/2016: Schild Estate appoints Vintage House Wine and Spirits as national distributor
Vintage House Wine and Spirits, the distribution house of Angove Family Winemakers has been appointed as the exclusive Australian distributor for Barossa winery Schild Estate. Vintage House will commence distribution on 1 September 2016 and “completes” the distribution house’s Barossa offering with cult winery Cimicky being in its portfolio since 2003. Schild Estate has been under the watchful eye of patriarch Ed Schild, who this year celebrated his 60th vintage.

14/07/2016: Vinomofo gives Kiwis taste of premium wine service
Popular Australia online wine ordering company Vinomofo is on track to reach 15,000 New Zealand members and wants to take Kiwi wines to the world. About 3500 signed up as members when the business offered a taster of its premium wine service at a pop-up event in June. Vinomofo said it was on track to expand its Kiwi membership by another 12,000 ahead of another pop-up event in August.

14/07/2016: How new UK prime minister Theresa May might treat wine
The incoming prime minister of the UK, Theresa May, has shown a tough attitude to alcohol in the past, but is also a pragmatist by reputation. Theresa May is set to replace David Cameron as prime minister of the UK today (13 July), after becoming the last woman standing in a short but fraught Conservative Party leadership race. What might her premiership mean for wine drinkers and the wine trade?

14/07/2016: Napa wines get better legal cover in Asia
Napa Valley winemakers can expect better legal protection for their wines in Singapore and South Korea after the countries passed a ruling to make copycats illegal. Singapore and South Korea said they would legally recognise the Napa Valley appellation as the exclusive preserve of Napa wines. Both countries are important emerging markets for wine in Asia.

14/07/2016: Looking beyond Riesling’s bad rap
Few things are more predictable in the wine world than the yearly declaration that we have finally arrived at the “Summer of Riesling.” Despite the constant drumbeat from wine writers, sommeliers, and wine makers, American consumers have been slow to change their long-held opinions of this iconic grape: sweet, fruity, and unserious. For those of you open to changing your opinions however, the upcoming Riesling Rendezvous is an unparalleled opportunity to explore this misunderstood varietal.

14/07/2016: New luxury wine cellar opens in Phuket
Part of a 5-star retreat called Kata Rocks, the wine cellar aims to bring premium wines to Thailand’s popular tourist destination of Phuket. The cellar will also offer wine tastings, educational food and wine pairings and the chance to rent out the whole space for private gatherings. It is part of a luxury boutique, Kata Rocks which overlooks Kata Beach in west Phuket and is located nicely underneath the resort’s infinity pool.

14/07/2016: New Zealand wine family stick together
A group of 12 families at the heart of the New Zealand wine industry have come together to forge an identity to face the global consolidation that has reached their islands. The Family of Twelve hopes to remind the world that family-owned producers remain among the major influences of the industry. Together, they want the world to know that companies such as Constellation Brands, which is the country’s largest exporter (Kim Crawford, Nobilo, Monkey Bay) hasn’t gobbled the power all up and that the beverage giant doesn’t represent the rest of the industry.

13/07/2016: Strong 2016 vintage confirms positive outlook for NZ wine
As demand for New Zealand wine continues to grow in the key markets of the USA, the United Kingdom and Australia, the industry is rising to the challenge. That’s according to Alistair King, Crowe Horwath’s viticulture specialist, who says the outlook is positive, particularly with a plentiful grape harvest for the 2016 vintage.

13/07/2016: NZ startup reinvents calculator to source wine
New Zealand entrepreneurs Roy Zane and Steven Male are launching a world first: a calculator which helps users work out how much wine to buy for their wedding or upcoming event. The free Wedding Wines calculator works on a simple four step process in which users are asked a few details about their event including the main type of food being served and the drinking habits (from tea-totaller to heavy) of the average attendee.

13/07/2016: California wine industry asks feds to tighten labelling standards
At the behest of the local wine industry, a new proposal would toughen federal labelling standards on a bottle of wine, controlling more tightly wineries’ claims of vintage dates, varietals and geographic region where the grapes are grown. Local vintners have complained that exemptions currently allowed by the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau are misleading consumers and hurting the reputation of their local wine regions.

13/07/2016: The Rebel Winemaker Of Bordeaux
From a quiet region of Bordeaux where the high side of wine costs a few dozen dollars per bottle—one winemaker who shucked tradition now sells a portion of his precious liquid for close to two thousand dollars per bottle. To learn more I visited the eight-acre château (and home) of Dominique Léandre-Chevalier in the tiny village of Anglade, an hour northeast of Bordeaux city.

13/07/2016: Bag-in-box wine in line for strong comeback
Bag-in-box wine is set to make a big return to prominence, only this time it’s boutique rather than shabby-chic. While most would feel that this rather ramshackle way of consuming wine, and that its resurgence is coming off the back of possible recession, but it is actually in so-called ‘progressive bars’ where the bag-in-box style is truly taking hold.

13/07/2016: Historic Barolo winery Vietti sold to US investor
The 143-year-old Vietti winery in Piedmont has been sold to the Krause family, self-confessed Barolo lovers and owners of convenience stores in the US, for an undisclosed fee. Vietti is the Krause family’s second winery acquisition in Piedmont in the past year, after buying Enrico Serafino from Gruppo Campari in June 2015.

12/07/2016: Delegat revises forecast full-year profit to 37 million on record case sales
Delegat Group, New Zealand’s largest listed wine company, has revised its forecast net operating profit for the 2016 financial year up $1 million to $37 million on record case sales. Net profit is expected to be $54 million for the year ended June 30, including a $17 million fair value adjustment to biological assets such as its vines and grapes Delegat said in a statement to the NZX. It also said it achieved record case sales of 2.4 million for the year, up 9 percent on last year.

12/07/2016: Wanaka "black label'' Pinot Noir wins top award in London
One of Wanaka's pinot noir secrets - Akitu A1 2014 - is out of the bottle. Hawkesbury Estates' Akitu A1 2014 won four awards at the acclaimed International Wine Challenge in London on July 7, including the New Zealand Pinot Noir Trophy and the IWC Sustainable Trophy. For Hawkesbury's vineyard manager, Steve Blackmore, the wins are just reward for more than 10 years of patient management. "There are a lot of awards out there and this is one of the best," he said.

12/07/2016: California wine sales hit record-high sales volume
California wines sales both domestically in the US and international hit a record of 276 million cases in 2015, with an estimated retail value of US$31.9 billion, according to the Wine Institute located in California. Of the record breaking numbers 229 million cases were shipped domestically. “California wines continue to attract global recognition for their outstanding quality and value.”

12/07/2016: Brexit vote sparks uncertainty in Bordeaux
In the early hours of June 24, the mobile phones of executives at BI began buzzing with e-mail alerts. BI is a London-based wine merchant, known until recently as Bordeaux Index, and the messages signalled heavy trading on their Internet platform. "The [Brexit] referendum results had come in and the guys in Hong Kong were trading, bang, bang, bang, £100,000, £100,000.”

12/07/2016: Majestic Wine picks up high street chain of the year award
Majestic scooped the top prize for High Street Chain of the Year award at the recent International Wine Challenge Merchant Awards. Now the UK’s biggest specialised wine retailer, they were credited for their transformational strategy devised with the intention of making it easier for their customers to find the wines they want with the help of over 900 team members and connoisseurs.

12/07/2016: ProWine confirms Hong Kong fair in 2017
ProWine, the Asian version of the world’s largest wine and spirits fair – ProWein, has announced it will launch its first Hong Kong fair in 2017. Since 2013, ProWine holds an annual fair in Shanghai – ProWine China, and earlier this year ProWine Asia was launched in Singapore. ProWine Asia will now launch in Hong Kong in 2017, and will then alternate between Singapore on a bi-annual basis.

11/07/2016: Vilagrad Winery toasts to the future a year on from fire
A blaze that took every fire crew in the Waikato to put out has done little to taint Vilagrad's vision. Last week, the Nooyen family sat down to dinner to acknowledge the anniversary of the fire that tore through 60 per cent of their winery. The blaze destroyed the offices, kitchen and other parts of the 100-year-old wine cellar.

11/07/2016: Marlborough Tonnellerie de Mercurey Young Winemaker 2016 Announced
Jordan Hogg from Seresin has been announced as the Marlborough Young Winemaker for 2016. The competition took place on 8 July at MRC in Blenheim where six contestants spent the day battling it out across various activities. Hogg scored very strongly across the board showing a great degree of knowledge and professionalism. Matt Fox from Hyland Viticulture placed second while Shelley Young from Delegat came third in the competition

11/07/2016: Nova Scotia wine industry to be studied by federal scientists
The federal government is investing $400,000 to support a wine grape research program in Kentville in an effort to help Nova Scotia's award-winning wine industry grow with new information about varieties, growing techniques and processing. That kind of information will help grape growers and wineries take full advantage of the region's unique microclimates and land. "I think it's kind of a really important step in the progression of our future," said Mike Mainguy, executive winemaker at Luckett Vineyards.

11/07/2016: Does a grower’s personality enter into the wine?
In our ongoing attempt to understand terroir, or cru–the sum total of influences upon the character and quality of a wine—we now come across the statement by Eric Lebel. He is (or was, when Champagne, Uncorked was published, earlier this year), the Chef de Cave, or cellarmaster, at Krug Champagne. The book’s author, Alan Tardi, interviewed him extensively; Tardi wanted to know in particular what makes for the highest quality in a Champagne.

11/07/2016: A return program for wine bottles? Glassworker union supports idea
How often have you put your empty wine bottles in the recycling bin? It's almost habit for most Quebecers, thinking they're doing their bit for the environment. But one the province's biggest unions says we may just be fooling ourselves. Le Syndicat des Métallos, which represents glassworkers in the province, were handing out flyers in front of SAQ outlets Saturday morning.

11/07/2016: France in a flap over bidding adieu to vine herbicide
A looming ban on the use of glyphosate in grapegrowing industry has left a country divided. Glyphosate's future in European viticulture has been on very shaky grounds recently – what was supposed to be a breezy 15-year re-authorization process of the popular herbicide turned into a political impasse when the EU Standing Environmental Committee failed to come to an agreement.

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