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

13/03/2018: Lallemand Global Wine Technical Conference; Blenheim, New Zealand 2018
A Technical meeting to be held in Blenheim will centre on two iconic New Zealand varieties – Sauvignon blanc and Pinot noir – and will focus on how to shape the unique wine style while maintaining regionality and personality. World renowned researchers and practitoners will present cutting edge wine microbiology research and discuss final product and consumer research. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/lallemand-global-wine-technical-conference-blenheim-new-zealand-2018-tickets-43539251072

9/03/2018: Register now for the 2018 Langhorne Creek Wine Show!
The Langhorne Creek Wine Show is a regional competition open to all financial winemaker members and is held in the first week of May. Held as both an awards presentation and end of vintage celebration, it is a day when grapegrowers and winemakers come together to support the local wine industry, commend the award winners and let their hair down with the rest of the local community. Enter by Friday March 16 2018.

7/03/2018: Speedy vintage analysis
It’s that time of the year again with vintage 2018 now in full swing. AWRI Commercial Services offers efficient and accurate vintage analyses, which can assist your company in making this vintage a successful one. For vintage analysis pricing check out the latest 2018 Vintage Purchase Order. For information on all other analytical services, download the latest price list or visit the AWRI Commercial Services analyses page. Don’t forget… AWRI Commercial Services can also give you confidence by testing wine additives for compliance with the Food Chemicals Codex (FCC). The current suite of additive analyses covers DAP, ascorbic acid, citric acid, erythorbic acid, malic acid, tartaric acid, PMS, PVPP, potassium sorbate, potassium bicarbonate, potassium carbonate and thiamine hydrochloride. For any other queries, please contact AWRI Commercial Services on 08 8313 6600 or [email protected]

5/03/2018: Enter your Cool Climate Wines now!
The 18th International Cool Climate Wine Show is now accepting entries from all Cool Climate Regions within Australia and Overseas. Please go to our website for details and online entering: www.internationalcollclimatewineshow.com or email [email protected] for more information.

Australian Wine Industry News

20/03/2018: #V18 Biosecurity tips
#V18 Tip#7: Spotted anything unusual? Now is a good time to look out for virus expression in your vines. The seat of a harvester will give you a great view to do this. #Vinehealth www.vinehealth.com.au

20/03/2018: Torbreck buys The Escarpment Winery in NZ
Barossa winery Torbreck has announced the acquisition of The Escarpment Winery at Martinborough in New Zealand, bringing together two of the New World’s great wine houses from either side of the ditch. The Escarpment’s founder Larry McKenna – known as the ‘Prince of Pinot’ and an inductee into the New Zealand Wine Hall of Fame – will stay on as winemaker and all current employees will be retained. Source, WBM

19/03/2018: Testing for soil health in NSW
Nine students of Holistic Management (from as far abroad as Barraba, Willow Tree and Oberon) have spent two days setting up and learning to monitor the data the region’s first Environmental Outcomes Verification (EOV) monitoring site at Mudgee’s Robert Stein Winery. Data from the site, measured annually over the long term, will be scientifically tabulated along with independently derived increases in soil health. Source, Western Magazine

19/03/2018: Xavier Bizot : Terre à Terre
Xavier Bizot once said in an interview that the finest wine he had ever tasted was an Australian wine, a bottle of Penfolds 1962 Bin 60A. This interested me as many of my favourite Australian wines are cabernet shiraz blends. Xavier is part of the extended Bollinger family and I’m sure over the years he has tried some very impressive wines from all over the world. Source, 'People of Wine'

19/03/2018: Vic wine business takes off with new concept
Managing director Michelle Sims stumbled upon the concept of a pre-filled wine glass on the London Underground during a trip to Europe in 2012. She quickly recognised the benefits a fully recyclable glass pre-filled with premium Australian wine could offer consumers and distributors alike. Soon she was developing her business and importing stock from America to test the Australian market. Source, Riverine Herald

19/03/2018: Pinot Gs on the rise
ONE of the most intriguing success stories in recent wine history has been the popularity of the not-so-long-ago emerging white variety pinot gris and grigio. Pinot Gs (both gris and grigio being the same grape but theoretically fashioned in different ways) perhaps have risen to notice on the back of other white varieties falling away, bit by bit. Source, The Source SA

16/03/2018: Short season puts squeeze on vineyards
Winemakers of the Great Southern region are closing in on the arduous task of harvesting their grapes as the picking season comes to an unusually early finish. With some wineries having already finished their harvest well before the expected end of season in late April, some producers have said this season has been the shortest in recent memory. Source, The Great Southern Weekender

16/03/2018: Adaptation: a trend for rootstocks
There are opportunities for growers wanting to expand into less established winegrape varieties. One of the leading suppliers of clones and rootstocks to the Australian industry discloses what’s hot when it comes to varieties, and reveals what’s best for coping with heat and dry conditions. Source, Winetitles

16/03/2018: Fire guts Pooraka wine business
A workshop fire at Pooraka has ripped through pallets of South Australian wine bound for Asia and caused hundreds of thousands dollars worth of damage. Firefighters responded to the blaze on Research Rd, which police say isn’t suspicious, just after 2am. The fire ignited inside a unit used by Arlequin Wines, destroying bottles of wine worth up to $300,000, before thick smoke seeped into adjacent businesses. Source, The Advertiser

16/03/2018: Wine Australia: Calling early career researchers
Wine Australia is inviting applications for funding through the Incubator Initiative, a program that connects early career researchers with Australia’s wine regions. This year, 9 of Wine Australia’s Regional Program partners have crafted 24 local research questions for project applications. Projects will be developed to answer a specific regional need, and researchers will work with our Regional Program partners and deliver the findings to grapegrowers and winemakers in the region. Source, Wine Australia

15/03/2018: Picking a ‘grape’ Rutherglen vintage
Demand for Australian wine in the overseas market has grown over the past 12 months, which is music to the ears of Rutherglen winemakers as they work on their 2018 vintage. Rutherglen winemakers have been busy picking and crushing the first grapes of the year and while growers anticipate an average vintage the quality of grapes have been described as “very high”. Rain that came during late February is not thought to have impacted on the grapes. Source, Corowa Free Press

15/03/2018: New premises for Artisans Winery
The Artisans collective will open the doors to its new digs on the corner of Vine Vale and Menge Roads, Tanunda, within 12 months, after the Barossa Assessment Panel approved its development application at last Tuesday night’s meeting. The new premises will be purpose-built on the 56-acre vineyard property, which grows predominately shiraz and cabernet, along with some merlot. Source, Barossa Herald

15/03/2018: Aravina Estate's special vintage release
This week sees the release of Aravina Estate’s 2016 Vintage Blanc de Blanc, the first vintage of the one hundred percent estate-grown premium sparkling wine made in the methode champenoise style from hand harvested Chenin and Chardonnay fruit. It heralds a major milestone for the Yallingup business, whose wines are now fully estate grown and produced on site with the newly-installed winery. Source, Busselton-Dunsborough Mail

15/03/2018: New grapes for Quelltaler Estate’s $4.3 million land
CLARE VALLEY’S Quelltaler Estate is buying a chunk of a well-known local farming property at Auburn to expand its red grape vineyards. Managing director Warren Randall confirmed the company was spending $4.35 million on 312ha of the well-known Kenfield farming property after the entire estate went under the hammer for $5.587 million. Source, Perth Now

15/03/2018: Will bulk supply of Aus red reach critical levels?
Bulk supply of some of Australia’s most popular grapes are due to significantly stall buyers have been warned, as a smaller 2018 harvest and the growing Chinese market leads demand to outstrip supply. According to bulk supplier Austwine, this year’s vintage has slowed to a snail’s pace over the past two to three weeks after very hot conditions in January and February led to inhibited sugar accumulation and left growers waiting for grapes to ripen. Source, Harpers.co.uk

14/03/2018: Riverland growers enjoy fruits of success
Growers in Australia’s largest wine region are diversifying their farms to move up the value chain and increase profitability. South Australia’s Riverland produces about 25 per cent of the nation’s wine grapes but vignerons have struggled against low prices for the past decade. Although prices are beginning to turn around, a number of growers are developing new niches to bring their products a step closer to the consumer. Source, The Lead

14/03/2018: Margaret River Semillon hits mark
Semillon brings the Hunter Valley great international renown but it’s not a noted variety in Western Australia’s Margaret River. To Clare and Keith Mugford, however, semillon is the “unsung hero” that has been pivotal in their Moss Wood operation in the northern Wilyabrup sub-region. Source, Newcastle Herald

14/03/2018: $10 million Cellar Door Grant guidelines now available
The Australian Government has released the guidelines for the $10 million Wine Tourism and Cellar Door Grant program, before applications open on 1 July 2019. Eligible wine producers will be able to optimise visitors' experiences at their cellar doors with an annual grant of up to $100,000, aimed at boosting the wine and tourism sectors. Source, Winetitles

14/03/2018: Continuing a Barossa family legacy
The premium wine, abundant vineyards and cellar doors of the Barossa Valley need no introduction. It’s a landscape that talented winemaker Tim Dolan knows well. He accepted the role of senior winemaker at Peter Lehmann Wines last year, and now looks forward to a future bathed in wine success. With a growing market and increasing opportunities for the wine industry, the 32 year old doesn’t shy away from a challenge. Source, Winetitles

14/03/2018: Australian wine exports gather steam in Netherlands
More Australian wine is shipped to Europe than any other region, with 38 million cases being shipped to the continent, compared to 26 million cases to North America and 22 million cases to Asia. And one European destination that is seeing a resurgence in Australian wine exports is the Netherlands, which is Australia’s third largest European market behind the UK and Germany. Source, VINEX Market IQ

13/03/2018: SA state election causes slump in wine sales
Wine sellers are not sure of the reason why, but they say elections — both state and federal — are bad for wine sales. McLaren Vale III Associates manager Tracy Rashleigh said customers seemed to stop spending money on wine at election time, but she could not explain why. Source, ABC

13/03/2018: Flying above the vineyards
Clovely Estate Cellar Door has paved the way for wineries by using technology to make the most of their harvest season. Cellar Door manager Tom Albert has been considering introducing a drone to their winery for a few years now. Mr Albert said they introduced the drone in December last year. Source, South Burnett Times

13/03/2018: A Tamar Valley vintner to watch
Two days ago he was bottling and next month the main harvest heralds the highly anticipated annual celebration of a new vintage. That’s when his work as the winemaker really begins but Arnold is one of those true fortunates to envy, who loves what he does and thrives on it. “I feel fortunate to do what I do; I don’t take it for granted,” he tells. Source, The Advocate

13/03/2018: PM speaks of TPP-11 at Wirra Wirra winery
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull visited the Wirra Wirra winery in McLaren Vale where he talked up the advantages of the new Trans-Pacific Partnership for Australia’s wine industry. The TPP-11, which was signed by 11 countries in Chile last week, will eliminate more than 98 per cent of tariffs in a trade zone with a GDP of $13.7 trillion that spans the Americas and Asia. Source, The Shout

13/03/2018: Women in wine forging a new, diverse industry
Take for instance Kathleen Quealy who, in 2016, became the first female ‘Legend of the Vine’ awarded by Wine Communicators of Australia. She went on to study viticulture and winemaking under the tutelage of Pinot Gris advocate Max Loder, before cultivating her own reputation for a new variation (never before seen in Australia we might add) Pinot Grigio. Source, Women's Agenda

13/03/2018: #V18 Biosecurity tips
#V18 Tip#6: Do you want to move grape must or unfiltered juice from a PIZ or PRZ into a PEZ for further processing? Contact your state biosecurity department for sending and receiving certification requirements. http://vinehealth.com.au/industry/plans-and-policies/phylloxera-regulations/ #Vinehealth www.vinehealth.com.au

9/03/2018: Those 'other' white wines
According to the 2017 Australian and New Zealand Wine Industry Directory, data from the 2015 vintage shows that Viognier plantings declined to 765 hectares from 1194 in 2014. The same trend is showing with Marsanne, which is down to 163 hectares from 192 hectares in ’14. No information was recorded for Roussanne, although it would hover around 100 hectares. Source, Halliday

9/03/2018: Aussie well placed to guide Chinese wine industry
Australian Mike Gadd was among the 48 contestants from 17 nations who joined the two-year Ningxia Winemakers Challenge (NWC) in 2015. He now consults for Ningxia winery WENS and, as drove around the countrywide last month in the company delivery vehicle—woo-hoo!, I interviewed him about the region’s wines, vineyards and more. Source, Grape Wall of China

9/03/2018: CPTPP signing a boost for Aus and NZ
The Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) has welcomed this week’s signing of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP11) in Santiago, Chile. New Zealand Winegrowers has also welcomed the signing and the contribution it will make to strengthening New Zealand’s economy. Source, Winetitles

9/03/2018: Big Riverland wine family tests the water
As a wine family name, Byrne might not ring too many bells unless you live in the Riverland. They now have around 400ha of vines there and some in Clare. With Brit consultant Philip Reedman MW, they have 18 brands and nearly 80 wines from some vineyards I’ve never before heard of and a few others. Source, In Daily

9/03/2018: Kevin Sobels to sell Hunter Valley winery
Kevin Sobels, the legendary Australian winemaker, and wife, Margaret are selling their Hunter Valley winery, as they look towards retiring. They hope to be staying around Pokolbin. Sobels is a fifth generation descendant of German immigrant winemaker, Carl August Sobels. Source, News.com.au

8/03/2018: John Lewis: Grant Burge trio
The Grant Burge 2010 Shadrach Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012 Meshach Shiraz and 2014 Abednego Shiraz-Mourvedre-Grenache have hit bottle shop shelves, and my tasting bench, and are reviewed below. All three are crafted from Barossa grapes by chief winemaker Craig Stansborough, who has been making Burge wines for 25 years – rating the 2012 Meshach as one of the great Barossa vintages because of the below-average yields, small berries and ideal ripening conditions. Source, Newcastle Herald

8/03/2018: Support for Tasmania fruit fly management
Tasmanian growers will be better armed in the fight against fruit fly following the federal government grant of $100,000 to Fruit Growers Tasmania. Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, David Littleproud, said the grant would add to the state’s suite of measures against Queensland fruit fly outbreaks. Source, Winetitles

8/03/2018: UniSA launches food and wine education
For the first time, the University of South Australia’s Ehrenberg-Bass Institute is offering executive education in food and wine marketing. In the intensive five-day courses, Premium Food & Wine Marketing (July 2018) and Wine Marketing (September 2018), participants will be immersed in the latest evidence-based knowledge about marketing food and wine. Source, Winetitles

8/03/2018: Rutherglen festival tops promising vintage 2018
Rutherglen winemakers will be knee-deep in vintage as the annual Tastes of Rutherglen festival rolls around this weekend. Lake Moodemere Estate sixth-generation winemaker Michael Chambers said most winegrowers were about halfway through vintage. He said while tonnages might have been slightly down, quality was first-rate. Source, The Border Mail

8/03/2018: A cool change
Vaughn Dell and Linda Morice took over their Sinapius Vineyard more than a decade ago. Their four hectare site features Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling and an array of other vines suited to the region’s cool conditions. Now, as Mark Smith reports, the vignerons are off to Europe in search of potential alternative cool-climate varieties, and wine styles, to establish in Tasmania. Source, Winetitles

7/03/2018: Record harvest for Coolangatta Estate
Illawarra’s most awarded wine producer is celebrating its best harvest in 20 years this week after the 2018 vintage was picked in a record three weeks. Usually the annual grape harvest starts in late January and extends to early March but this year the 50 people employed to pick more wine winners for the Illawarra and Shoalhaven snipped the fruit off the vines in a record three weeks. Source, Illawarra Mercury

7/03/2018: Trentham wins Wine Design Challenge award
Trentham Estate has announced the redesign of its Estate label has won both a Gold and a Category Trophy at the Drinks International Wine Design Challenge 2018. The Murray Darling region winery has taken out the top award under the category of ‘Repackage Wine Design’. Source, Winetitles

7/03/2018: Patina Wines: The diversity of Orange Riesling
“The Orange region, with its volcanic and sedimentary soils, intense sunshine and cooler climate, plays an integral part in bringing out the best of the variety.” The region experiences an average of nine hours sunshine per day during the growing season with 1872 sunshine hours for October to April. Source, Winetitles

7/03/2018: Nominations open for the 2018 ASVO scholarship
The 2018 ASVO Scholarship to attend the Advanced Wine Assessment Course (AWAC) administered by the Australian Wine Research institute (AWRI) is now open. Nationally competitive, the ASVO Scholarship offers high-achieving individuals an opportunity to undertake vocational or professional development in wine assessment. Source, Winetitles

7/03/2018: Three cheers to being green
When Hayley Purbrick began working for her family’s winery eight years ago, she could never have imagined it would be the first carbon-neutral winery to be certified in Australia. Purchased by the Purbrick family in 1925, Tahbilk is home to five generations of farmers who realised their environmental responsibility to leave a sustainable legacy. Source, Shepparton News

5/03/2018: Cool summer creates 'exceptional' season in Swan Valley
Winemakers in Perth's Swan Valley say a cooler than average summer has created one of their best seasons in living memory. Perth has just had its mildest summer in 18 years, with an average temperature of 30 degrees Celsius and no days over 40C. President of the Swan Valley and Regional Winemakers Association Yuri Berns said the cooler days and nights led to a later harvest because grapes had ripened at a slower, steadier rate. Source, ABC

5/03/2018: Winegrape growers on the front line of climate change
David Bruer has been growing vines and making wine at his Temple Bruer vineyard in the Mount Lofty Ranges in South Australia since 1978. In his vineyard laboratory, weather records for every vintage for nearly 40 years are stacked in plastic folders. They clearly show a steady increase in maximum temperatures over that time of about 1 degree. It might seem like a relatively small change but the impact has been dramatic. Source, ABC

5/03/2018: WA will consider alcohol floor: Health Minister
WA Health Minister, Roger Cook, wants the state to follow the Northern Territory in introducing a floor price for alcohol, saying it would reduce violence and hospital admissions. The NT government announced it had opted for a $1.30 a unit floor price that would push up how much consumers pay for "really cheap grog". Source, SBS

5/03/2018: Granite Belt’s Apple and Grape Festival draws 100k visitors
The Stanthorpe Apple and Grape Harvest Festival has been billed a roaring success but organisers are wasting no time planning for the next instalment. Festival president Greg Thouard said early crowd numbers at the weekend were near the 75,000 visitor mark, bringing the total for the 10-day event to about 100,000. Source, Toowoomba Chronicle

5/03/2018: Wine Australia appoints regional GM for Greater China
Wine Australia has appointed experienced China hand, David Lucas, to the new role of Regional General Manager Greater China. Wine Australia chief executive officer, Andreas Clark, said Lucas' background was ideal to help the Australian wine sector grow and defend the Greater China market. Source, Winetitles

1/03/2018: Aust to boost premium wine sales in BC
Wine Australia wants to boost its presence of wines in the premium category in British Columbia (BC) where Australian wines are “significantly under represented”. Of the 1091 wines listed at over $50 a bottle, only 26 are Australian, according to BC Liquor Stores data. However, Australian wines are more heavily represented in the $10 - $19.99 per bottle price category than the overall market. Source, VINEX Market IQ

1/03/2018: Detections of brown marmorated stink bug
Two further detections of the exotic pest brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys) have been reported in Horsley Park, NSW and Perth, WA. Dead and live bugs were found in separate shipments of electrical components and bricks that had been imported from Italy. Source, Australian Vignerons

28/02/2018: Hunter Valley winery receives top awards
McLeish Estate’s iconic Semillon range has been honored once again on the international stage, with a total of four trophies awarded its McLeish Cellar Reserve Semillon at the prestigious 38th Sydney International Wine Competition. This year’s competition took place in October, with 1757 wines judged from a record 13 countries. Source, The Cessnock Advertiser

28/02/2018: Record harvest for SA's Port Pirie school
St Mark’s College has seen a tremendous growth in their school vineyard, with their 2017/18 crop of Shiraz vines becoming a record harvest for the agriculture students. Students began picking the grapes in February this year, with the total volume weighing in at 1170 kilos, in comparison to 540 kilos the year before. Source, The Recorder

28/02/2018: Burge Family Winemakers winery hits the market
If you read the local wine press you’d be aware that leading Barossa winemaker, Rick Burge, is putting his business, Burge Family Winemakers, on the market. Rick was diagnosed with cancer in 2013. He got the all clear a year or so ago. Unfortunately the cancer has returned. Source, 'People of Wine'

28/02/2018: Tempranillo takes off in the Clare Valley
Taylors Wines, one of the Clare Valley’s handful of heavyweight producers, was quick to recognise the possibilities of alternative varieties, and put in a vineyard of Tempranillo 16 years ago. The resulting wine made its debut as part of the Taylors Estate range in 2012. The 2017 version was released just in time to be entered in the latest Hot 100 Wines. Source, The Adelaide Review

28/02/2018: Tyrrell's buys ‘oldest vineyard in NSW’
Australia’s Tyrrell Family has purchased a 13.52 hectare vineyard in the lower Hunter Valley, which includes a 1.1 hectare block that it believes is the oldest producing vineyard in New South Wales, having been planted in 1867. Source, The Drinks Business

International Wine Industry News

19/03/2018: France anti-fraud body uncovers wine scam
France's anti-fraud body says it has uncovered a huge scam in which a merchant tried to sell more than 48 million litres of wine falsely labelled as Cotes-du-Rhone. The DGCRF said in its annual report that the fraud encompassed the equivalent of 13 Olympic-sized swimming pools full of wine. Source, 9 News

19/03/2018: VINEX launches global bottled wine exchange
A comprehensive new web-based trading exchange was launched by VINEX at Prowein that will allow wine producers, brand owners and major retail chains, importers and distributors to source and trade bottled wine using sophisticated trading methods. The new Bottled Ex now takes the same secure trading methods and opens it up to bottled wine for business to business industry organisations licensed to trade wine and grape derived product. Source, Winetitles

19/03/2018: Sparkling wine to spike in British market
While Prosecco may still be the most popular sparkling wine, UK consumers have a new-found curiosity for Crémant and New World offerings. Speaking to the drinks business, Vinexpo chief executive Guillame Deglis said that sparkling wine from Argentina and New Zealand will become more visible in British supermarkets and the on-trade this year in spite of Prosecco’s overwhelming dominance in the market. Source, Drinks Business

19/03/2018: Future prospects for international wine markets
International wine markets undergo constant change. Traditional European wine markets decrease in importance and producers compete to enter new markets. Guiding this process, ProWein decided to establish an industry barometer to gauge the attractiveness of current and future sales markets and wine origins. Source, Meininger's Wine Business International

19/03/2018: Villa Maria named No. 1 wine brand in NZ
For the fourth year in a row Villa Maria has been named one of the most admired wine brands in the world. Villa Maria is the highest ranking New Zealand winery in this year’s ‘World’s Most Admired Wine Brands’ list. The judges focus on consistency or improvement in quality, the wine being a true reflection of the country of origin, and meeting the needs and tastes of its target consumer. Source, Winetitles

19/03/2018: NZ wine director to address alcohol policies
A new organisation - the New Zealand Alcohol Beverages Council - has been created to inform discussions around the role of beer, wine and spirits in New Zealand, and ensure responsible Kiwi drinkers aren’t forgotten in the formulation of policy around alcohol. Kevin Mapson, Managing Director of Pernod Ricard New Zealand, is the inaugural Chair of the pan-industry body, which he says will also promote the economic and social value of the alcohol industry to New Zealand. Source, Voxy.co.nz

19/03/2018: Global wine companies collaborate
Global wine companies, Baron Philippe de Rothschild (BPhR) and Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) have announced a new e-commerce collaboration and partnership with leading online retail platform, Tmall, to enhance brand building, supply chain efficiencies and consumer experiences in premium wine. Source, Food&Beverage

16/03/2018: 2018 Bayer Young Viticulturist comp dates set
Now in its thirteenth year, the Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year Competition has become an important fixture in the wine industry calendar. Its purpose is to grow the future of the New Zealand wine industry and it is a fantastic opportunity for Young Vits (30 yrs or under) to upskill, grow in confidence and widen their network. Source, Winetitles

16/03/2018: Conviviality cancels dividend after £30m tax bill
Retail group Conviviality is cancelling its dividend after revealing it must pay an unexpected £30m tax demand by March 29 and issued a second profit warning in less than a week, warning it could struggle to meet its banking covenants. Source, The Telegraph

16/03/2018: History Wine is a Northwest treasure
Every wine has a history; a story of time and place that reflects the primal geologic forces that shaped the landscape where its grapes were grown, the climate that nurtured them and the deft hand of the winemaker than transformed them into wine. Hence, it’s fitting, the latest wine offerings from the young, gifted Oregon wine maker Melissa Burr should be called History. Source, Forbes

16/03/2018: China's wine production down for 5th year
According to the latest figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics, the domestic wine production drop is also coupled with sales decline. Total revenues generated from wine sales plummeted 9% year-on-year to RMB 42.137 billion (US$6.67 billion). China has the world’s second largest area under vine after Spain, and ahead of France and Italy, according to QIV. Source, Drinks Business

16/03/2018: Austrian exports reach all time high
Austrian wine exports hit a new high last year, cracking the 150 million euro barrier for the first time, despite a slight drop off in volume. Exports jumped by 7.4% to reach a record 158.6m euros, helped by the average price per litre also hitting an all time high of 3.39 litres, according to the latest figures from the Austrian Wine Marketing Board. Source, VINEX Market IQ

16/03/2018: Vineyard opposes building of aged care facility
A popular Auckland winery has accepted a geriatric hospital could be built next door after the case went to the Environmental Court. Kumeu Property Limited has been fighting to build a geriatric hospital, assisted living facility and child care centre in north-west Auckland since 2016. Auckland Council denied the consent application in March 2017 because it did not fit with the area's countryside living zone. Source, Stuff

16/03/2018: Hamilton Russell: Pinotage is capable of greatness
Speaking to the drinks business during the launch of the 2015 vintage of his Ashbourne Pinotage in London last week, Hamilton Russell said: “In 1996 I told Jancis Robinson MW that one day South Africa’s most famous wine will be made from Pinotage and she laughed at me. “Brits have developed a prejudice about Pinotage but they love it in the US." Source, Drinks Business

15/03/2018: Italian lessons: trying something different
Their process is in some ways very old world, utilizing minimal new world wine-producing equipment. With whole cluster fermentation, and native yeast, they don’t fine or filter their wines, which are strictly aged in neutral French oak. Harvesting is done a bit earlier at 22 to 23 brix, leaving them with highly aromatic, lower alcohol wines. The wine in their repertoire that stood out as “now that’s different” to me was their Marsanne. Source, Napa Valley Register

15/03/2018: Something special to offer
NZ-based wine writer Shaughn Jenkins taps into the passion of local producers in a developing corner of Central Otago to discover the bright future that’s ahead for the sub-region’s grape and wine industry. Long held as one of the southern-most bastions of wine production on the planet, New Zealand’s Alexandra Basin is rising out of isolation with a bevy of revitalised vineyards, new wine brands and an increasingly obvious sub-regional character. Source, Winetitles

15/03/2018: Earliest harvest on record for Otago Polytechnic
Grape harvest is underway in Central Otago with some vineyards reporting their earliest harvest ever. Otago Polytechnic Central Campus staff and students were picking chardonnay grapes at the Bannockburn vineyard on Friday, before students moved onto Akarua this week to help with harvest. Vineyard manager and lecturer Rachel Petrie said harvest was five weeks earlier than last year. Source, Stuff

15/03/2018: Corks have significant impact on wine
Making wine — the growing of the crop, the fermentation process, aging in barrels, bottling and sealing — is a study in proper sequential science. Blow it somewhere along these lines, and the winemaker could be out of business quickly. Dr. Paulo Lopes, research and development manager at Amorim Cork, has found that with proper temperature and humidity control, wine can be stored upright with no ill effects. Source, The Jamestown Sun

15/03/2018: Cape Town wine tourism grows by 16%
Ninety-nine percent of tour operators in the Western Cape include wine tours in their itinerary, which has helped wine tourism in the province grow by 16% in the past year. This is according to a new study, the second annual Wine & Food Tourism Study in the Western Cape conducted by Wesgro last year, in partnership with Explore Sideways, a leader in curating immersive food and wine tours of Cape Town and its surrounding areas. Source, IOL

15/03/2018: Global wine trends for 2018
Lizzy Rudd, the newly appointed chairman of UK fine wine merchant Berry Bros & Rudd, has tipped English wine, Loire reds and South African wines as the key players setting the wine trends for 2018. “France’s Loire region produces some of the world’s best known white wines including Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé, but what about the regions red wines?” she asked. Source, Drinks Business

14/03/2018: Stuart Smith: NZ's 'Minister of Wine'
Meet New Zealand's "Minister of Wine". National's Kaikoura MP Stuart Smith has received a new role as the party's viticulture spokesperson. This is on top of the Civil Defence and Earthquake Commission portfolios he already holds. Smith said he was "delighted" with his new role, representing one of his electorate's key export earners. Source, Stuff

14/03/2018: Chinese graduate studies wine in Hawke's Bay
Working Hawke's Bay's busy vintage, Peter Zhang is sorry he isn't able to make this week's graduation. But having gained EIT's Diploma in Viticulture and Winemaking, he is delighted to have made a giant step towards achieving his dream. Born and raised in China, Peter gained his computer science degree in Shanghai before working as a logistics manager for International Port Group for 4½ years. But winemaking was what he really wanted to do. Source, NZ Herald

14/03/2018: Okanagan wine industry lacks climate change plan
A lack of research contributes to an absence of long-term strategies for the Okanagan grape growing industry to deal with the impact of climate change, says a leading U.S. industry researcher. Gregory Jones, director of wine education for Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon, says minimizing and adapting to the risks posed by a warming temperature for the grape growing and wine industries is critically important. Source, Keremeos Review

14/03/2018: Uruguay hosts nine MW to broaden wine appeal
On 24-26 February, Uruguay hosted nine Masters of Wine who traveled with the aim of learning about its viticulture, about which they previously knew very little. They were invited by Wines of Uruguay (the association that reunites the exporting wineries of Uruguay) and INAVI (National Wine and Viticulture Institute), in an effort to continue the work of communication about Uruguayan wines. Source, The Drinks Business

14/03/2018: Manage your barrel inventory using bar codes
Barrel management systems (BMS) including tracking, maintenance and history have traditionally been adjunct functionality to many winery management systems. Perhaps simple systems are overwhelmed by the added complexity of mobile vessels versus larger tanks that usually live in one location. It’s no wonder then that many of us still track barrels via spreadsheets, clipboards and placards at row ends. Source, Vintrace

14/03/2018: Centuries-old German winery attracts attention
Specialising in riesling, the Schätzel familyhas been making wines for 650 years in the Rheinhessen, Germany’s largest wine region. Its wine styles are pure expressions of restraint and elegance, with each bottle encapsulating the origins of its making. According to winemaker Kai Schätzel, the Rheinhessen is far from being an homo­genous region, with diverse subregions and terroirs. Source, South China Morning Post

13/03/2018: Wine prices 'could rise by up to 30%'
The price of supermarket staples like Prosecco, Pinot Grigio and entry-level Spanish reds could rise by up to 30% due to the frost-ravaged 2017 harvest. “We’ll start to see the 2017 wines coming to the market now and I think for higher volume, lower price wine you will see cost increases,” Berry Bros & Rudd’s chief executive, Dan Jago, told The Guardian. Source, The Drinks Business

13/03/2018: Spanish wine industry in numbers
In terms of vineyard area, Spain has the highest amount in the world – almost one million hectares (2.4 million acres). However, the drier climate and poorer soils result in lower production levels, around 42 million hectolitres per year, below those of Italy and France. The mountainous orography of the country and its sheer extension result in an amazing variety of wine styles. Source, Decanter

13/03/2018: White wine exports drive sales of Rioja
Exports from Rioja jumped by 4.39% last year compared to 2016, with shipments performing particularly well in Russia and China, and boosted by white wine sales. Total exports amounted to 108,344,804 litres, up 4.39% from 2016, according to the Denominación de Origen Calificada Rioja, with sales soaring by nearly 40% (39.71%) in Russia, +17.3% in China, UK (+3.21%), Canada (+6.75%), the US (+5.80%), Switzerland (+4.21%) and Holland (+2.46%). Source, VINEX Market IQ

13/03/2018: Winemakers learn trade in Marlborough
A growing number of young winemakers from around the world are travelling to Marlborough to learn their trade. The first fruits of the region's wine season are beinThe first fruits of the region's wine season are being harvested and young wine enthusiasts have travelled to New Zealand for a taste of the action. It's estimated around 1000 workers go to Marlborough each year for vintage. A high proportion of those are from foreign countries. Source, TVNZ

13/03/2018: New chair to lead NZ Winegrowers Research Centre
Mark Gilbert has been appointed as independent chair to the New Zealand Winegrowers Research Centre (NZWRC) Ltd. Gilbert will lead the NZWRC board, ensuring the long-term sustainability and success of the new national grape and wine research centre to be based in Marlborough. Source, Winetitles

13/03/2018: Indian wine Fratelli going global
"There's no reason India can't make some of the best wines in the world," says Mr Gaurav Sekhri, 45, one of the co-founders of Fratelli wines, an Indian winery based in the Western Indian state of Maharashtra. The claim may seem ambitious, but it comes from one of India's biggest wine producers, alongside the likes of the long-established Sula and Grover Zampa vineyards. Source, The Straits Times

9/03/2018: Matua and 19 Crimes wines earn brand status
Matua’s “Chill Check” label and the augmented reality app “Living Wine Labels” featuring 19 Crimes have helped both brands earn “Hot Brand” status for the second consecutive year from Shanken Communications, Impact Magazine. The awards are given each year to wine brands with depletions of more than 250,000 cases in the US, while also growing 15% or more in the previous calendar year, and showing sustained double-digit growth over several years. Source, Globe Newswire

9/03/2018: Christchurch vineyard under threat of sale
The future of one of Christchurch's most central vineyards is under threat as the city council looks to buy the property and turn it into a floodwater storage basin. The Christchurch City Council confirmed this week it was negotiating to purchase the 9-hectare Cracroft Chase vineyard and winery, nestled in Cashmere Valley. Source, Stuff

9/03/2018: "Chile must push its appellations"
Chile must focus on promoting its wine regions, according to Concha y Toro technical director Marcelo Papa, who is launching a new label to push Puente Alto. Pointing out that the country needs to premiumise its wine offering in the face of rising costs, he said that it was vital Chile starts to sell its products by region, rather than grape variety. Source, The Drinks Business

9/03/2018: German wine exports up with Chinese growth
Last year saw German wine exports increase by 7% in both volume and value, with 1.1 million hectoliters of wine worth 308m euros shipped to 124 different countries. Average prices climbed by one cent to 2.89 €/l, with Qualitätswein accounting for almost three quarters (71%) of total exports, selling for an average of 3.32 €/l, nine cents higher than in 2016. Source, VINEX Market IQ

9/03/2018: The evolution of the Languedoc wine region
We are in one of the largest wine-producing regions in the world. Languedoc-Roussillon, in the bucolic south of France, produces more wine than the whole of the US combined. Until recently, the Languedoc neither earned nor deserved respect. It was a region reviled for over-cropping, with uninteresting wines made largely in co-ops, sometimes using grapes from Algeria to lift the fruit intensity. Source, Halliday

9/03/2018: Vineyard program helps boost grapegrowing
Nova Scotia has increased the amount of land being used to grow grapes for its fledgling wine industry by about 40 per cent over the last four years. Frank Dunn, deputy minister of agriculture, says the expansion bodes well for an industry he insists is gaining worldwide repute but one that requires patience. Source, Global News

8/03/2018: Vindependents adds Mountford Estate to portfolio
Available from Vindependents with immediate effect, Mountford Estate is a boutique winery producing just 5,000 cases of wine from 10 ha of vineyard. With its reputation as one of New Zealand’s “finest wine producers”, Mountford Estate was a “perfect fit” for Vindependents, said Jessica Hutchinson, founder and managing director. Source, Harpers.co.uk

8/03/2018: Mills Reef Winery wins Wineworks Trophy
Tauranga's Mills Reef Winery has scooped a top award in New Zealand's oldest wine competition. The Bethlehem-based winery won the Wineworks Trophy for Champion Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends for its Mills Reef Reserve Cabernet Merlot 2016 at the Royal Easter Show Wine Awards gala dinner, held in Auckland on Saturday. Source, NZ Herald

8/03/2018: Is wine still a French treasure or a health risk?
A crisp Sauvignon Blanc. A light Pinot Noir. A mature Bordeaux, deep and dark and wise with age. These are all pillars of national identity at least as much as they are beverages. With the tannins comes a trace of the terroir, and with the terroir comes the taste of tradition. But wine also poses a significant health risk — or so say the country’s health minister, Agnès Buzyn, and a host of doctors who have rallied behind her. Source, Washington Post

8/03/2018: New laws against misleading wine labels?
The Wine Origins Alliance today released the results of a new poll that finds 94 percent of American wine drinkers support laws that would protect consumers from misleading wine labels. The results, announced at Vinexpo New York, underscore the importance location plays in wine. Source, Cision

8/03/2018: Bloated Wine bureaucracy in Europe
Another day, another freshly-minted private winemaking association. This time it's the Viticoltori di San Donato in Poggio (The Winemakers of San Donato in Poggio), a guild of vignerons based in Chianti. Their remit – surprise, surprise – is to promote the unique terroir of the region, drawing attention to the "soil and climate features of the vineyards of the different wineries, to promote the agricultural, historical and cultural tradition." Source, Wine-searcher

8/03/2018: Israel's winemaking: global and contemporary
The modern, large-scale experiment with wine continues in the country known today as Israel. The thing that is interesting about Israel is that it has sort of started over where wine is concerned. It began “starting over” roughly 30 years ago, sure (and an influx of talent and investment from California followed). Source, Chicago Tribune

7/03/2018: Exploring NZ’s vineyard virome
This research, sponsored by New Zealand Winegrowers, provides insight on the prevalence and impact of viruses in the commercial vineyard estate; helps inform useful conclusions on vineyard biosecurity and raises a number of important research questions that could help to protect the wine industry’s long-term sustainability. Source, New Zealand Winegrower

7/03/2018: Marlborough weta have a taste for grape vines
Here in Marlborough in the early 2000s, a then little-known species of ground weta was discovered, causing significant damage to vine buds in the Awatere Valley. This led to a decline in grape production caused and big problems for grape growers. Weta have always been in the Awatere, but the introduction of vineyards to the area proved to the weta's advantage - the population boomed as a result. Source, Stuff

7/03/2018: Broader fine wine market rules in February
The Fine Wine 100 index tracks the 100 most frequently traded labels on the secondary market and is the industry benchmark. Last month it took a very slight downward course (0.1%), which marks the third consecutive month it has been running down/flat though the declines have all been small. Source, The Drinks Business

7/03/2018: Damaged wines to hit the market
Hundreds of bottles of wine damaged in fires and hurricanes will be sold to unsuspecting consumers this year, according to one of the world's leading wine fraud experts. Maureen Downey, founder of Chai Consulting, is a familiar name in stories about counterfeit wine. Source, Wine-searcher

7/03/2018: Growing demand for workers in the wine industry
“If you talk to the winemakers, they will say the wine is made in the vineyard,” said Dr. Gabriel Balint, chair of the Viticulture Technician Diploma Program at Okanagan College Penticton. “And I totally agree. If you don’t have good grapes, you can’t do anything in the winery.” Stepping outside the cellar, there is the world of viticulture — the growing of grapes for the wines. Source, Eagle Valley News

7/03/2018: Hunting for vineyard disease vectors
Since being first recognized in 2008 in a Napa Valley, California, vineyard, red blotch-associated virus or red blotch disease has spread to many major grape production regions of the U.S. and Canada. Researchers identified the three-cornered alfalfa treehopper as a vector in California in 2016, but cautioned that it’s unlikely it’s the only one. Source, Good Fruit Grower

5/03/2018: Ukraine revamps its wine culture
Ukraine's wine industry is enjoying a revival and branching out into more sophisticated wines after suffering a devastating blow from Russia's annexation of its main vineyards in Crimea in 2014. Source, Yahoo!7

5/03/2018: Washington 2017 winegrape harvest down by 16 per cent
As predicted last fall, Washington’s winegrape crop fell short of record numbers, according to the annual harvest report released this week by the Washington State Wine Commission. The total crushed last fall added up to 227,000 tons, down 16% from the 2016 vintage. Source, Great Northwest Wine

5/03/2018: Azerbaijan to expand wine export
Azerbaijan plans to expand the volume and geography of local wine exports, said Rufat Mammadov, president of the Azerbaijan Export and Investment Promotion Foundation (AZPROMO). “The Chinese market is one of the most important directions for us,” he added, noting that this year, Azerbaijan’s wine house will open in Shanghai. Source, Azernews

5/03/2018: Amarone an under-appreciated wine
Amarone is an under-appreciated fine wine that may be new to many wine drinkers. Amarone comes from northern Italy and is made in a process requiring the grapes be dried before pressed for their juice. Amarone is known as a wine of great depth and richness. Source, Journal Review

5/03/2018: NZ wine companies turning vegan
In Central Otago, more wineries and viticulturists are changing their production methods to make their wines vegan-friendly. Wine and other alcohols aren’t obvious culprits for containing animal products, yet many companies still use processing and fining agents made from animals such as egg whites, casein (a protein from cows’ milk), gelatin and, isinglass (fish bladders) – some alcohol is also sweetened with honey. Source, Livekindly

5/03/2018: Villa Maria awarded 12 golds and two trophies
Villa Maria's reputation as NZ's most awarded winery was upheld when it was awarded 12 golds and two trophies at last night's Royal Easter Show Wine Awards. Villa Maria took home an impressive 20% of the total gold medals awarded in the 2018 competition. Group chief winemaker Nick Picone was particularly excited the golds spanned all four tiers of Villa Maria wines. Source, NZ Herald

1/03/2018: Central wine snares three trophies in Sydney
Bald Hills boutique vineyard near Cromwell has won three trophies in the same competition for the same wine, and viticulturist Gary Crabbe is delighted. The Bald Hills 2015 Single Vineyard Pinot Noir won the Best Pinot Noir, Best Red Table Wine, and Best Wine of Competition trophies in the 2018 Sydney International Wine Competition. Source, Otago Daily Times

1/03/2018: Will there be a South African wine drought?
Although Day Zero has now been pushed out to 9 July 2018, the South African wine industry has reached a challenging stage in the harvest season due to the continuing drought and devastatingly low water supplies in the Western Cape. At present many wine farms are facing the smallest crop in 12 years. Source, Eat Out

1/03/2018: Resistance rising for powdery mildew
Powdery mildew populations in Washington are becoming increasingly resistant to a common group of fungicides, according to a recent survey, but that resistance is not solely to blame for the many mildew-laden orchards last year. The 2017 season, weatherwise, was “perfect for mildew,” said Washington State University Extension viticulturist Michelle Moyer, for a number of reasons. Source, Good Fruit Grower

28/02/2018: Prowein 2018 prepares for 25th edition
More than 6,700 exhibitors from 61 countries are set to pitch up at Messe Düsseldorf for the show, which will take place from 18-20 March, with some 60,000 visitors set to attend. Some 500 events – including numerous guided tasting sessions, seminars and presentations – will be held directly at exhibitors’ stands and at the two ProWein Forums, located in Hall 10 and 13. Source, The Drinks Business

28/02/2018: Foley Family Wines returns to first-half profit
Foley Family Wines returns to first-half profit as sales climb 21%. The Marlborough-based company reported a profit of $298,000, or 0.5 cents per share, in the six months ended Dec. 31, turning around a loss of $323,000, or 0.54 cents, a year earlier, it said in a statement. Source, Scoop Independent News

28/02/2018: Stink bugs force fourth bulk carrier to leave NZ
A bulk carrier from Japan has been directed to leave New Zealand waters after stink bugs were found on the vessel - making this Japan's fourth bulk carrier ordered to leave by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI). The Glovis Caravel was ordered to leave New Zealand yesterday evening after the crew reported finding nearly 600 stink bugs, 12 of them alive, while the vessel was anchored near Auckland. Source, NZ Herald

28/02/2018: Organic wine growth in France and UK
Organic wine sales are on the rise, and far oustripping the non-organic market, with an increasing number of vineyards in Europe switching to sustainable practices. French organic wine sales are now in excess of 1.2 billion euros, a figure which has tripled in the past seven years, according to figures presented at the organic wine fair Millésime Bio last month. Source, VINEX Market IQ

28/02/2018: On a mission to vanquish viruses in vineyards
For so long, Washington State University plant pathologist Naidu Rayapati has been touting the importance of planting certified clean material to ward off grapevine viruses, the message may sound like it’s on repeat to growers. And yet, it’s a message that continually needs to be drilled home, given the increasing prevalence of viruses in Washington and the challenges they pose. Source, Good Fruit Grower

28/02/2018: Biome Makers' biotech recognises top 10 US terroirs
By determining specifically which bacteria and fungi influence the soil or wines produced from the soil, the company promises wine producers they can better manage and predict microbial risks that might damage grapevines and/or send wine on a negative journey through bacterial spoilage—or to just tasting bad. Source, Forbes

Research Findings

What's On in Australia

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WID 2017