Winebiz - Australia's Wine Industry Portal By Winetitles

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

20/03/2017: Get Your Discount Code Here: IBWSS London Pre-Registration Now Open
The International Bulk Wine and Spirits Show (IBWSS) is an annual trade show and conference, open to trade professionals only, and is set to take place at the Royal Horticultural Halls in London, UK. Please fill out your contact information here and get a special launch code that will give you a flat 40% discount on Exhibitor pricing for IBWSS London 2018 show.

14/03/2017: On-premise recovery in Australia and New Zealand
The amount of imported wine on Australian wine lists fell for the first time in five years according to research just released by Wine Business Solutions. At 34% of all listings, imported wines dipped by 7.5% compared to what they were at this time last year.

14/03/2017: International Bulk Wine and Spirits Show comes to London in 2018
Beverage Trade Network is pleased to announce the launch of the International Bulk Wine and Spirits Show in London on 24 & 25 January, 2018.

Australian Wine Industry News

24/03/2017: Winemakers struggle with rising power costs
South Australian winemaker David O'Leary thought he was doing the right thing when he bought roof-top solar panels two years ago to try to bring down his winery's escalating power bills. But since O'Leary Walker Wines put the 30-kilowatt unit on top of one of its buildings in the Clare Valley, the winery has found its annual power bill has increased by 50 per cent to $50,000 a year.

24/03/2017: Growers need dry weather
Orange's grapegrowers are hoping to see the sun by the weekend, so they can finish their harvest. The region has been drenched with 94.6 millimetres of rain so far this month, more than 20 millimetres more than the March average. “It’s not likely to impact the vintage negatively, if we had a tough season and had this finish, it would be a different story,” said Justin Jarrett, Orange Region Vignerons’ Association (ORVA) president.

24/03/2017: Speculation: Casella has acquired another winery
Word along the grapevine suggests Casella has acquired Shaw Family Vintners (Ballast Stone), situated in Currency Creek, South Australia. If true, Casella will pick up a winery with a capacity to crush more than 5000 tonnes, plus 1200 acres of vines in Currency Creek and McLaren Vale. This update from The Key Report, by Tony Keys.

24/03/2017: Aussies win big at label awards
The L9 World Label Awards saw five Australian label makers receive the top prize in their field. Among the winners was Mildura-based James Print Australia, which topped its category for combination wine/spirits with a Wingara La Land label. A number of Australian businesses also received honourable mentions, including the SA branch of Multicolour.

24/03/2017: Casella restructures to ensure family ownership
The Australian Business Review (ABR) has reported that the family owned winery – one of the largest in Australia – has passed control of the company to the three sons of founders Fillippo Casella. The move is the result of a share buyback agreement, the ABR said, which valued the business at AUS$1.5 billion.

23/03/2017: McGuigan says Australian wine is at war
Four time international winemaker of the year, Neil McGuigan has claimed that the wine industry is at war to win over the hearts and minds of young consumers. "People don't understand that the wine industry is in a war - we are in a war against beer, against spirits and against RTDs," McGuigan said in an exclusive interview at ProWein.

23/03/2017: Bureaucracy may halt new winery
RED tape is threatening an $84 million investment and the creation of more than 200 jobs at a major new winery in Sunraysia, State Parliament has been told. The Weilong Wine Company wants to develop a new winery at Red Cliffs that would have a capacity of 84,000 tonnes and employ up to 220 people at the peak of the season.

23/03/2017: Music could impact the taste of wine
If you've ever wanted to taste your wine a bit better, then putting on some music could help you detect a few more notes in your drink. If the trick to unlocking a better tasting glass is a pleasant soundtrack, Sonic artist and wine reviewer Jo Burzynska says the key is knowing how to put together the right playlist.

23/03/2017: Vermouth is having a moment
Marvellous stuff, wormwood. The fragrant, bitter-tasting, green-grey leaves of the Artemisia absinthium plant have been used for millennia to treat tummy ache and to stimulate appetite. More and more adventurous local winemakers are embracing Vermouth's botanicals, writes Max Allen.

23/03/2017: The wild side of Richard McIntyre
Richard McIntyre is a former surgeon, and chief winemaker at Moorooduc Estate, which he and his wife Jill founded. He talks about his career in wine, his obsession with wild yeast, and vents some strong opinions on Chardonnay.

22/03/2017: Australian production, sales and inventory trends
Wine Australia’s latest report, Australian wine: Production, sales and inventory 2015-16, shows that both production and sales increased domestically and internationally last financial year. Australia’s wine production was up by 10 per cent to 1.31 billion litres in 2016– the highest since 2006. This was the result of higher than average yields combined with above-average juice extraction rates.

22/03/2017: Quality over quantity: Latest beverage trend
Australian consumers are drinking less but are happy to spend more for quality, said industry leaders at the recent Pub Leaders Summit. Operators and managers from across Australia’s pub sector met at Randwick Racecourse on 20 March for the annual Pub Leaders Summit, hosted by Australian Hotelier, with key discussion points including regional opportunities, staff retention, marketing/PR and the blurring of lines between restaurant and pub meals.

22/03/2017: CSU boutique wine celebrates connections
Charles Sturt University's (CSU) new boutique wine to be launched on Wednesday 22 March is a toast to the expertise of Alumni and students. The 2016 boutique vintage of 550 cases includes Chardonnay, Shiraz, Rose, Tempranillo, and Nebbiolo wines. Fruit has been sourced from premium NSW growing regions including, Orange, Tumbarumba, Hilltops and Canberra.

22/03/2017: Bathurst winemakers: A good season ahead
Grape picking has commenced, fermentation is underway and the next vintage of Bathurst wines is being produced. Bathurst may be a small winemaking region compared to others, but its award-winning vignerons are just as dedicated. Mark Renzaglia, from Renzaglia Wines, said all of his white varieties have been picked and were currently fermenting.

22/03/2017: Quiet corner of the Hunter Valley goes Italian
A Little Bit of Italy in Broke brings the essence of Italian hospitality and cuisine to the picturesque Broke-Fordwich region each April. And food lovers, the countdown to the 12th annual festival has well and truly begun. The foodie festival returns to the Hunter Valley on April 7, 8 and 9. The signature event of the weekend is La Grande Festa, to be held in the award-winning Margan Barrel Room on the Saturday evening.

21/03/2017: Australian alcohol retail market in review
Last year, Australians spent a grand total of $14.5 billion on alcohol they purchased from a liquor retailer (as opposed to a bar or other licensed venue). Almost three-quarters of this went to supermarket-affiliated retailers*, with hotel bottle shops and independent stores trailing well behind, the latest Alcohol Retail Currency report from Roy Morgan Research reveals.

21/03/2017: Australian sparkling: Diversity and quality
For years, the French have dominated when it came to the sparkling wines served at important celebrations. But things are changing in the glittering world of fine celebratory sparkling wine. As sparkling aficionados already know, there’s a whole world of fine sparkling wine out there ... and Australian sparkling stars are shining brighter than ever...

21/03/2017: It’s official: Australia loves champagne
Australia’s love affair with champagne continues, popping the second largest number of bottles in history in 2016, according to an announcement made by the Comité Champagne at Prowein in Germany overnight. “An exceptional sales record in 2015 was an anomaly, and 2016 figures perfectly fit Australia’s buoyant growth curve, popping an average of 600,000 more bottles every year since 2009,” said Tyson Stelzer, author of The Champagne Guide and host of the Taste Champagne event series.

21/03/2017: Wine yields doubled in parts of WA
Ideal conditions have seen wine-grape yields more than double in some vineyards around Western Australia, but recent weather has proven a challenge for winemakers. Higher ground-water levels, a long, cold winter, and mild summer had things looking "exceptional" around the Margaret River area in particular.

21/03/2017: Sulfur-free wine grew 500% in a year
A specialist organic and biodynamic winery from the McLaren Vale has seen demand for its sulfur-free wine grow by 500 per cent in 12 months. Brian Lamb of Paxton Wines, who spoke to TheShout at ProWein in Düsseldorf, said the NOW wine, which is now into its second vintage, has been developed to address the no-sulfur wine category.

21/03/2017: #V17 Biosecurity Tips
#V17 tip #8: Provide parking for visitor vehicles away from vines on a hard pack surface. #Vinehealth

20/03/2017: Laser technology to protect vines from birds
Using a laser beam to control birds might sound like something out of a science fiction movie, but workers at an Adelaide Hills vineyard hope the technology will save their grapes from the flying pests. Shaw and Smith is one of a handful of Australian vineyards trailing the use a laser that sends out a random series of light patterns across the vineyard and into nearby trees to scare the birds away.

20/03/2017: Moores Hill Estate's solar-powered winery
Fiona Weller and Julian Allport didn’t set out to create a solar-powered winery. But as they picked and processed their first vintages of the season last week, that’s exactly what they’ve achieved. It was a journey that began in 2015, Weller said.

20/03/2017: Vineyards warned to be vigilant
Vineyard operators have been reminded to implement best practice biosecurity measures when entering and leaving properties as vintage ramps up across Victoria. Damien Sheehan, Victorian Viticulture Biosecurity Committee chairman, said best practice vineyard biosecurity was the responsibility of the vineyard owner or manager, and the best place to implement it was at the farm gate.

20/03/2017: Tackle the scourge of gazanias
Celebrity gardeners aren’t joking when they describe gazanias as hardy plants suited to a range of tough environments. Unfortunately, that’s not such good news when you’re trying to get rid of them. Gazanias have become such a problem to some grapegrowers that the Riverland Wine Viticulture Technical Group (RWVTG) organised a comprehensive two-year trial to work out how best to eradicate them.

20/03/2017: New Margaret River marketing director
The Margaret River Wine Association has appointed Amanda Whiteland to the newly-created position of marketing director. A south-west local, Whitehead brings a wealth of global wine marketing experience having worked in marketing roles both domestically and internationally for 20 years.

17/03/2017: Organics, the future of wine
The Pyrenees has a special place among the winemaking regions of Australia. Having been one of the few areas in Australia to avoid the phylloxera plague of the late Nineteenth Century, it has an unbroken lineage to the original plantings in Victoria of the 1860s. Mt Avoca’s Matthew Berry is the second generation of his family to make wine here. His father, an old-school stockbroker, began the vineyard in the 1970s as a hobby, one that eventually became a passion.

17/03/2017: Australian wine wallowing at the bottom
Australia is the largest supplier of imported wine to the UK, and according to US Nielsen figures the largest supplier to the US also. But Australia's exports have recorded slight declines in volume and value in both countries. Per 750ml bottle, Australian wine is the second cheapest wine in the UK and the cheapest in the US.

17/03/2017: Queensland: Tourism benefits from food and wine
Queensland is tempting the tastebuds of a new generation of foodie travellers in a mouth-watering bonanza for the state’s tourism industry. Statistics from Tourism Research Australia reveal that tourists spent more than $21 billion on food, wine and brewery experiences across the nation last year.

17/03/2017: Meet the unsung heroes of winemaking
Talk to people in the industry and you’ll hear the catchphrase ‘great wine is made in the vineyard’ time and time again, so in the latest issue of Halliday magazine, the vineyard is where we went. Of all the working dynamics that exist within a winery, it’s the relationship between viticulturist and winemaker that’s most vital. And at Yangarra Estate in McLaren Vale, it’s a union that’s outlasted many marriages.

17/03/2017: Rutherglen Tweed Ride returns
Event organisers are calling all chaps, dandies and bon vivants to join them for a weekend of cycling revelry, divine food and vintage fashion in Rutherglen. The Tweed Ride is a gentle ride of approximately 20km, interspersed with three incredible food and wine experiences that showcase the very best of the Rutherglen region.

16/03/2017: Full 2017-18 opening water allocation
Improved Murray-Darling Basin storages and strong inflows has seen South Australian Murray irrigators receive 100 per cent opening water allocation for the upcoming water year. The announcement of full entitlement for 2017-18 is a far cry from just last year, when the opening allocation for irrigators sat at 36 per cent of water entitlement.

16/03/2017: Export insights: Germany and The Netherlands
As excitement builds for ProWein Düsseldorf, which starts on 19 March, Wine Australia's Market Bulletin takes a look at the German and Dutch markets, which are two of Australia’s most important European export markets.

16/03/2017: Export package to stimulate regional growth
The first of a series of statewide consultation meetings was held this week, to discuss the options for the Federal Government’s $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support package.Tony Battaglene, Chief Executive of WFA says he is confident the package will benefit the whole sector. "This support package will complement AGWA’s export and market promotion activities; the WET Rebate Reforms announced in the 2016 Budget; and the $10 million cellar door and regional tourism grant that comes in in 2018-19."

16/03/2017: Vintage 2017: Grapes with a taste for the heat
The Chalmers family kicked off their wine grape harvest just over three weeks ago and so far, the vintage is looking to be a promising one. Tennielle Chalmers, who farms alongside her parents, sister and brother-in-law at Merbein, said a cooler spring had resulted in slower ripening. “The fiano grape is the variety we have picked the most of so far this vintage,” Chalmers said.

16/03/2017: Duke’s sets new Riesling mark
John Vickery’s Leo Buring Rieslings were the greatest in this country between the 1950s and the 1970s. Brian Croser’s Petaluma Rieslings then set the quality standard until Jeffery Grosset led Australia to a more pure, longer and more international style in the 1990s. Is the baton about to be handed on once more?

15/03/2017: Opening the cellar door to regional Australia
The Federal Government is calling on wine producers to have their say on a $10 million Wine Tourism and Cellar Door Grant program. “Eligible producers will be able to access an annual grant of up to $100,000 per annum (plus GST) for their eligible sales,” said Senator Anne Ruston.

15/03/2017: Record Australian participation at ProWein 2017
The highest number of Australian wineries in history will be exhibiting at the world’s largest wine and spirit exhibition – ProWein – which starts this weekend. A total of 6300 exhibitors from 60 countries representing 295 wine growing regions will come together for the three day event from 19-21 March at Messe Düsseldorf in Germany with almost 100 exhibitors and 200 separate brands from Australia and New Zealand.

15/03/2017: Four Winds Vineyard claims design awards
A family-owned vineyard in Murrumbateman has earned international acclaim for its new range of “evocative” and “inspiring” wine labels. Four Winds Vineyard scooped the pool at the 2017 International Wine Design Challenge in London, claiming five gold medals and one trophy.

15/03/2017: Two boutique Hunter wineries turn 20
IN coming weeks two of the Hunter’s most engaging boutique wine ventures – Gartelmann and Catherine Vale – will celebrate their 20th anniversaries. The charming Catherine Vale vineyard was created by school teachers Bill and Wendy Lawson on a citrus orchard and cropping property. The Gartelmann operation in Lovedale, owes its existence to Jorg Gartelmann suffering a heart attack, undergoing by-pass surgery and waking up one morning in 1996 deciding he wanted to own a vineyard rather than run a Sydney computer business.

15/03/2017: What happens when you add water to must?
The addition of water prior to fermentation is a legal and commonly used technique in a number of countries, including the United States, but surprisingly there has been little formal research into how the wine composition and sensory aspects are affected. Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) recently announced a decision to allow the limited addition of water to high sugar musts and juice to reduce the chance of problems arising during fermentation.

14/03/2017: Where there’s smoke there’s not necessarily taint
The most concerted effort yet to understand how, when, where and why smoke affects wine grapes kicks into gear this vintage. Victorian-based researchers will accompany authorities to the site of controlled burns in and around wine regions to monitor the movement and make-up of the smoke to get a better idea of the patterns of impact. "The missing component in all the research that’s been done to date is the smoke composition work," said co-project leader Dr Ian Porter.

14/03/2017: Nick O'Leary creates wine for Canberra Day
It's Canberra's birthday this week so what better way to celebrate than with a wine of its own. Winemaker Nick O'Leary and Local Liquor have teamed up to create Canberra its own wine - a Shiraz.

14/03/2017: Tastes of Rutherglen draws record crowd
Tastes of Rutherglen topped all records of previous years. The two-day progressive gourmet dining experience attracted increased online ticket sales and meals served over the weekend-long festival. Winemakers of Rutherglen executive officer Natalie Ajay said online pre-sale tickets were up more than 30 per cent this year.

14/03/2017: Relaxed vintage in the Central Ranges
Windowrie Wines, who source grapes from Orange through Cowra and on to Hilltops, is in a perfect position to gauge the quality of the vintage from NSW’s Central Ranges. “It is all coming together,” said Jason O’Dea, “this is the my first vintage were all the ‘ducks are in a row’. It certainly takes a lot of the stress out of vintage.”

14/03/2017: WA winery prioritises employee education
Education is a crucial element of success in the winemaking industry, which is why Howard Park Wines is committed to supporting their staff in furthering their knowledge in the wine industry. Vineyard Supervisor Tristan is a perfect example of how this initiative pays off for both the employee and Howard Park Wines themselves. Currently studying a Bachelor of Viticulture part time at Charles Sturt University while still working full time on the vineyard.

14/03/2017: #V17 Biosecurity Tips
#V17 tip #7: Do not allow unauthorised vehicles to drive within your vineyard. Provide a vineyard vehicle for use if necessary. #Vinehealth

10/03/2017: NSW tourism body returns serve
The NSW tourism body has defended itself after heavy public criticism from a Hunter Valley wine region leader. Hunter Valley Wine and Tourism Association vice president Andrew Margan slammed Destination NSW for a perceived lack of support for the Hunter’s wine tourism industry. But Destination NSW says it “actively supports” the state’s food and wine sector.

10/03/2017: Vintage of the century
Orange wine region: All of the fruit for sparkling wine has been picked and early whites are starting to come in – at 750 metres and below Pinot Gris, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc have been picked and Chardonnay is starting to come in. The verdict? Definitely an excellent growing season. Perhaps the vintage of the century? Only time will tell.

10/03/2017: Research Incubator to fund regionally-focused projects
Wine Australia is inviting researchers who are just starting their careers to apply for funding through the Incubator Initiative, a new program that will fund a series of regionally focused research projects. The Incubator Initiative connects researchers who are still early in their careers with Australia’s wine regions to lead a co-funded locally-focused research project from priorities identified by Wine Australia’s Regional Program Partners.

10/03/2017: Hopping mad or stroke of genius?
A dude in a yellow suit, a stuffed kangaroo, a barbecue, a beach, and Ellie Gonsalves in a white bikini. That’s Yellow Tail’s US Super Bowl ad. The campaign was a roaring success, boosting sales by 26% in January. It’s apparently the first time in 12 years the Yellow Tail brand has experienced a sales spike of more than 20% in one month.

10/03/2017: Vision for food and wine hub
An historic old barn that sits at the start of Victor Harbor Road in Old Noarlunga will be renovated into a new food, beer and wine hub, as the owners aim to create a “gateway” to the Fleurieu Peninsula’s wine region. Alan Varney has eyed off the heritage listed barn at the start of Victor Harbor Road and joined forces with a few good mates to bring the brewery/winery/kitchen called ‘Victor’s Place’ to life.

9/03/2017: Accolade drops IPO plan
One of the world's biggest wine initial public offerings in years has withered on the vine. The owners of Australian vintner Accolade Wines Ltd. recently dumped plans for an offer that could have valued the company at more than 1 billion Australian dollars (US$760 million), ranking it among the world's top pure-play winemakers.

9/03/2017: National win for SA grapegrowers
South Australian vineyard owners have been recognised on a national stage for their commitment to wine industry biosecurity. Vinehealth Australia (formerly the Phylloxera and Grape Industry Board of SA) received a 2017 Australian Biosecurity Industry Award in Canberra on Tuesday night, presented by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.

9/03/2017: Partnership to tackle 'fragmented' biosecurity system
Australia's seven plant research agencies have come together to tackle what they have described as fragmentation and a lack of coordination in Australia's biosecurity system. The wine, wood, cotton, grain, rural industry, sugar and horticulture research and development corporations (RDC) are forming a partnership to streamline funding and improve the collaboration of biosecurity programs.

9/03/2017: Record number of rural women
Rural entrepreneurs inducted into the Businesswomen's Hall of Fame celebrate the leadership skills of women in Australia. Twenty-five per cent of the inductees this year were women involved in rural and agricultural businesses. Running for 19 years, the Hall of Fame now has more than 200 inductees.

9/03/2017: 'Crazy' makes the cash register ring
McLaren Vale is leading the way in learning how Europe's most successful tourist attractions draw in record crowds. Australia's entry in the unorthodox winery stakes is now nearing completion in McLaren Vale, South Australia. The controversial d'Arenberg Cube is a daring innovation expected to attract huge numbers of visitors to the McLaren Vale area.

8/03/2017: International Women's Day: Danni leads the way
One of the beneficiaries of Treasury Wine Estates’ focus on diversity in the workplace is its Bilyara winery manager Danni Casey. Across nine years, Casey has worked her way up the packaging line management ladder to her current position as Bilyara winery manager.

8/03/2017: Women’s success celebrated
Cullen Wines will host the Margaret River Chamber of Commerce’s International Women’s Day celebration... to share stories of successful women in business and the community. Kalgoorlie-Boulder businesswoman Peggy Strudwick-Brown will be keynote speaker, alongside Cullen Wines managing director Vanya Cullen, real estate agent Rebecca Hannan and Swimming Women owner Charlotte O’Beirne.

8/03/2017: Shared meals create a community for women
Fully Booked is built around the idea of connecting women who work in the food and wine industries, which are often physically taxing and exhausting businesses. Hours are long and getting together socially can be difficult, but Fully Booked addresses this by having events with loads of notice featuring a different female chef, producer or winemaker as the focal point of each get together.

8/03/2017: Q&A: Virginia Willcock
"I've never wanted to be a great female winemaker, only a great winemaker. Male or female, it's the same world."

8/03/2017: Wineglass ceiling
Surely the Australian industry has moved on from the bad old days when female winemakers, vineyard managers and sommeliers were considered a novelty? Well, yes and no. We revisit an article from November 2015, where Max Allen explores the motivation behind the Fabulous Ladies Wine Society and the Australian Women in Wine Awards.

8/03/2017: A 17-year winemaking partnership
Sue Hodder and Sarah Pidgeon, winemakers for Wynns Coonawarra Estate, were jointly named the ‘Winemaker of the Year’ at the 2016 Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology (ASVO) Awards for Excellence in November last year. The award recognises the work that the two have done particularly with Cabernet Sauvignon; their contribution to the local community; and to the broader wine community in Australia and internationally.

7/03/2017: Winemaker blasts tourism officials
One of the Hunter Valley's leading winemakers has blasted New South Wales tourism officials for failing to properly support the industry. Andrew Margan, from Margan Wines, said Hunter wine country was the state's biggest tourism drawcard outside of Sydney, yet continually failed to attract government funding.

7/03/2017: Penny’s Hill: Back-to-back Mundus Vini awards
For the second year running, McLaren Vale estate producer Penny’s Hill won ‘best of show – Australian red’ at the 2017 Mundus Vini Grand International Wine Awards in Neustadt, Germany. In an international field of more than 6000 entries from more than 150 wine growing regions, Penny’s Hill wines were awarded four gold medals.

7/03/2017: More Yellow Tail TV ads for the US
Yellow Tail caused a stir in the advertising and wine communities when it brought wine to Super Bowl airwaves for the first time since 1988. Spurred by this success, Yellow Tail has plans to pursue a three-year campaign (estimated to cost more than $40 million) centred on TV spots. It’s an unusual venue for promoting wine.

7/03/2017: Best sommeliers in the world visit Australia
Some of the world’s best sommeliers will visit Australia this April to experience the exceptional quality and diversity of Australian wine, to coincide with The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017 event program. Wine Australia has selected 50 sommeliers from leading restaurants and bars across the world to visit Australia to get to know our major wine regions, meet the winemakers and experience the breadth of Australian wine

7/03/2017: #V17 Biosecurity Tips

7/03/2017: d’Arenberg will launch Mencia with an online event
d’Arenberg has added a new variety to the winery list – Mencia (pronounced 'Men-thee-ah'). And not afraid of a giving the wines tongue-twisting titles, d’Arenberg has labelled it’s Mencia as ‘The Anthropocene Epoch’.

6/03/2017: Canberra: Near-perfect conditions
Canberra district grape growers are praising recent conditions as great for winemaking, as they begin to harvest thousands of tonnes of fruit. Intense spring rain set vines up for a very healthy growing season, and delivered water views at neighbouring Lake George, Lerida Estate general manager Anne Caine said. The rain left the soil vineyard soil so saturated, irrigation was not needed this vintage.

6/03/2017: Harvesting under the stars
South Australia's Southern Flinders may not be known for its wineries but its warmer climate gives Shiraz grapegrowers a head start on the season. Kilikanoon Wines has begun harvesting at their 18-hectare vineyard near Port Germein this week, with more than 100 tonnes of grapes already picked and trucked to its winery in the Clare Valley.

6/03/2017: New home for Innocent Bystander
The new home for Innocent Bystander opened last week in the heart of Healesville in Victoria’s picturesque Yarra Valley. Innocent Bystander Headquarters, previously White Rabbit Brewery, has been completely re-imagined by BEE interiors to reflect the Innocent Bystander gastronomic philosophy that great wine requires great food

6/03/2017: New leadership for WISA
The peak body representing the grape and wine supply chain, Wine Industry Suppliers Australia Inc. (WISA), has announced Paula Edwards, from Winegrapes Australia Pty Ltd, has been elected as the new chair of the board. Edwards replaces David Evans who reluctantly resigned from the board at the end of January. Kate Bickford, from DW Fox Tucker Lawyers, was endorsed as the vice chair.

6/03/2017: Vintage 2017 update
Vintage 2017 is off to a late start for Wingara's two wineries (Katnook Coonawarra, in South Australia; and Mildura, Victoria - home to Deakin Estate, La La Land and Azahara). This update offers the latest insights from the Wingara winemakers and viticulturists.

International Wine Industry News

24/03/2017: Wine exports growing strongly
In its Agribusiness Monthly report for March 2017, Rabobank included reviews of both the New Zealand wine and horticulture sectors. In what marks quite a milestone for the New Zealand wine industry, recently released data summarising US wine imports for the 2016 year show that the value of bottled and bulk wine imported from New Zealand now exceed that imported from Australia.

24/03/2017: Marlborough winery takes stand against tiny invaders
A Marlborough winery is helping protect the future of New Zealand's vineyards. Tohu Wines, which is an entrant in the Cawthron Marlborough Environment Awards wine industry innovation category, is at the forefront of pioneering research into the control of vine-eating grass grubs. The Maori-owned company, owned by Kono Beverages, has joined forces with a PhD student from Lincoln University to carry out a study into organic control options for the grass grub.

24/03/2017: India: Reading between the wines
With Indians rapidly turning to bottles of red, white and rosé, the way the country perceives and consumes wine is rapidly changing. And it was to gauge this wine drinking habit that Sonal Holland, master wine expert and founder of SoHo Wine Club, led a survey of the urban Indian wine consumer.

24/03/2017: "The greatest scientific breakthrough of our time"
Over the course of three years, through some of the most enjoyable research he’s probably ever conducted, Brandeis University biophysicist Daniel Perlman studied the flow of liquid as it leaves the lip of a wine bottle.

24/03/2017: California vineyards: Back from the brink of disaster
It’s hard to imagine what might have happened to the region without this season’s rains. Record low rainfall levels, coupled with record average temperatures in an age of global warming, had left viticulture from Monterey to Ventura in a low-grade peril. The five-year drought had been so inexorable in its effects, so disruptive to seasonal cycles, that growers were having a hard time imagining what a return to normal would look like.

24/03/2017: Proposed change for Canadian wine labels
Upcoming changes to wine labels are going to make it easier for customers to know when they’re buying 100 per cent domestic wine. The changes pertain to cellared wines, which are wines bottled in Canada, but don’t use 100 per cent Canadian grown grapes. Labels will say 'international blend from imported and domestic wines,' instead of the current wording, ‘cellared in Canada.'

23/03/2017: Tasty treble for Church Road
For Chris Scott and the winemaking crew at Church Road, the results of leading Master of Wine Bob Campbell's search for the 12 best Hawke's Bay wines from the 2014 vintage was a satisfying case of "one of each". The Taradale winery grabbed three of the 12 places and did so by nailing one in all three classes which were tasted and scored by Campbell last week.

23/03/2017: Winemakers in on the brewing act
It's not just New Zealand's established brewers cranking out new beers; one recent delivery came from a Christchurch-based company better known for its grape-based beverages – Giesen Wines. Three brothers – Marcel, Alex and Theo Giesen – are introducing a range of beers into New Zealand's already crowded beer-scape.

23/03/2017: Concern grows as immigration clampdown looms
As the 2017 growing season begins this spring, those winemakers are dealing with a Trump administration hell-bent on cleaning up illegal immigration. As a result, a labor shortage has made it more difficult to find experienced labor and when growers do find it, they pay more money than ever for it.

23/03/2017: Willamette Valley: Facilities for white, sparkling wines
Oregon’s Willamette Valley is best known for Pinot Noir wines, but vineyards see increased opportunity in branching out. Domaine Serene, of Dundee Hills, has begun construction of an 8,000-square-foot winery dedicated to producing Chardonnay, sparkling wine and a white version of Pinot Noir, the wine that made the Willamette Valley a player in the international wine scene.

23/03/2017: Romania adds to UK wine woes
One of Romania's biggest wine producers, Cramele Recas, has slashed its marketing budget for the UK and intensified export efforts with other European countries, amid continued Brexit uncertainty. Cramele Recas makes 10 million bottles from 1000 hetares (2400 acres) of vines and exports all over the world. At the latest count, 2.65m bottles went to the UK.

23/03/2017: NBA Great Yao Ming is making a big impact
Yao Ming released his first wine in 2011, the same year he retired from basketball. His St. Helena, Calif., operation—which produces about 4,500 cases per year—is by no means a vanity project, with Yao playing an active role developing wines that have earned lofty praise (including a score of 95 from Robert Parker for the 2010 Yao Ming Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon).

22/03/2017: 2017 Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year
Now in its 12th year, the Bayer Young Viticulturist of the year competition continues to grow along with the calibre of the contestants. Aimed at growing the future leaders of the New Zealand wine industry, the competition increases the confidence, skills and networking opportunities for all those who compete. This gives the contestants as well as the wine industry a very strong foundation from which to continually improve and develop.

22/03/2017: Misha’s Vineyard unveils tasting room
Misha’s Vineyard has opened a tasting room in Cromwell, the heart of the Central Otago wine region. The ideal location overlooking Lake Dunstan on the main approach to Cromwell, is already proving a busy destination for wine lovers.

22/03/2017: Research shows opportunity for low/no-alcohol
One third of Britons have reduced their alcohol intake over the past year, according to the latest research from Mintel. The market analyst said the findings indicate a “significant opportunity” for low-alcohol and alcohol-free beers, ciders and wines, a sector which is already seeing a raft of new product development.

22/03/2017: Changing tastes: China’s imported wine industry
China’s taste for wine is growing rapidly, and the country is set to overtake the UK to become the world’s second largest wine market by 2020, reaching a value of US$21 billion. According to VINEXPO research, the market is anticipated to grow by an average of seven percent each year over the next four years, with 6.1 billion litres of wine expected to be sold in 2020.

22/03/2017: Billionaire built wine brand with Instagram
Howard Leight's winery, Malibu Rocky Oaks, which sits at a commanding elevation of 2000 feet in the Santa Monica Mountains, was born almost by accident. In 2005, Leight purchased the 37-acre parcel of land in Malibu and began construction. The grape vines that were planted were primarily placed there to assist with water runoff from the mountainsides.

22/03/2017: Fears over sommelier shortfall
Brexit is making it harder to recruit talented sommeliers from Europe, according to senior members of the UK trade - echoing growing concerns throughout the UK hospitality industry. Many of the top sommeliers in the UK come from EU member countries and have played strong roles in a boom period for fine dining and high-end gastropubs in Britain in the past 20 years.

21/03/2017: There’s more to NZ wine than Sauvignon Blanc
Think of New Zealand and you might just think of Sauvignon Blanc. After all, 70 per cent of New Zealand’s wine is packed with those fresh, zippy, gooseberry-charged flavours that have made New Zealand Sauvignon the standout wine revolution of the past 20 years.

21/03/2017: Clearer guidelines needed
Central Amalgamated Workers' Union organiser Steve McManus said he wanted to see more uniform deductions across the wine industry, as well as lower contributions in general. "There should be some sort of industry standard, because the prices seem to vary from one contractor to another - it could be $140, or it could be $180 a week for accommodation," he said.

21/03/2017: Champagne producers blame Brexit for decline
Sales of champagne fell last year as a weaker pound weighed on British demand in the wake of the Brexit referendum vote, France's main champagne industry body said on Monday. Sales to Britain, still the biggest export market by volume, fell 8.7% to 31.2 million bottles, the CIVC industry association said. By value, British exports tumbled 14% to €440m (£381.16m).

21/03/2017: Grapes you don't know but should: Verdicchio
Verdicchio (pronounced ver-dee-kee-oh) is a popular grape variety in the central Italian region of Marche. The name comes from the Italian word for green — verde — because of the greenish-yellow hues of the grape. The grape has been grown for the last six centuries and produces dry, refreshing white wines with citrus and almond notes.

21/03/2017: Brazilian wineries look more to China
Brazilian winemakers, especially from the State Rio Grande do Sul, are looking to market their product to more countries of the world, among which China has been a main customer. "We started our business with Chinese clients in the year 2015. Although it is far from a long and permanent cooperation, we can foresee the potential of the Chinese market," said Giorgia Forest from the Aurora Winery.

21/03/2017: Fine wine is number one 'investment of passion'
According to the Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index (KFLII), which tracks the value of 10 desirable asset classes, wine was the top performer last year. Based on the performance of the Knight Frank Fine Wines Icons Index, compiled for us by the team at Wine Owners, investment grade wine saw a huge surge in value last year – up almost 25 per cent across the board.

20/03/2017: Dropping grapes: Heartbreaking way to better wine
Yesterday in the vineyard was the green cut or final thinning; the time you take out a varying quantity of grapes, depending on what mother nature has thrown at this particular vintage. Certain weather conditions will bring greater numbers of bunches per vine and heavier weights of bunches. All of this is critical to the winemaker to ensure they get the best product for them to weave their magic in the winemaking process.

20/03/2017: Queensberry now on NZ wine map
The official opening of Archangel Wine Tasting Lounge and Cellar Door sees the relatively new Central Otago winery formally put the sub-region of Queensberry on New Zealand’s wine map. Just 15 minutes’ drive from Wanaka, on Queensberry Terrace in the Upper Clutha Valley of Central Otago,

20/03/2017: Is the US wine boom over?
What if the 40-year-long US wine boom, which increased wine consumption threefold and turned that country into the world’s biggest wine market, is over? And what if the end of the wine boom means US consumption grows only as much as the increase in the country’s drinking-age population, about 1% a year?

20/03/2017: Prosecco sales: Forecast growth
Prosecco sales are forecast to grow 17.3% to 8.3 million cases by 2020 and Brits’ insatiable thirst for the Italian sparkler will prop up an otherwise declining category. IWSR research shows that still UK wine volume sales have fallen 6.3% since 2011, and it anticipates they will fall another 1.6% by 2020. But that loss of 1.9 million cases will be compensated by sparkling wine sales growing by 2.4 million cases, with Prosecco in the driving seat.

20/03/2017: Out of the vineyard: 'Farm to glass' wine
If you want to know where wine comes from, just ask Tom Gore. The second-generation Sonoma County grape farmer grew up harvesting grapes with his father and has managed vineyards for wineries such as Simi and Clos du Bois.

20/03/2017: Burgundy's other white grape
Burgundy is most famous for its impeccable and highly regarded Pinot Noir and Chardonnay but little attention is paid to the smaller plantings of other varietals with official status in specific areas within its Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC).

17/03/2017: Yealands gives back to Seddon community
Every household in a small Marlborough town, rocked by three major earthquakes in as many years, has been given an emergency kit. Yealands Wine Group, which has its Seaview winery just outside Seddon, 23 kilometres south of Blenheim, distributed Grab & Go emergency packs to residents on Tuesday night.

17/03/2017: I thought biodynamics was witchcraft
The owner of a winery that is now at the forefront of New Zealand’s growing biodynamic movement admits she thought the practice was “witchcraft” when she and her husband began applying its methods to their Pyramid Valley vineyard in North Canterbury.

17/03/2017: Treasury Wine Estates' new European MD
Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) today appointed Tom King as its new European MD following the sudden recent passing of Dan Townsend.

17/03/2017: French wine capitalising on US trends
Major trends in the US wine market including premiumisation, sparkling wine, and rosé play to the strengths of French wine leading to a 14.2% value growth, surpassing runner-up New Zealand at 13.7%, to claim the highest import growth by nation over the past 52 weeks according to Nielsen data.

17/03/2017: Symposium works to advance women in wine
This year’s Women of the Vine & Spirits Global Symposium in Napa brought together women and men from all aspects of the industry and from around the globe. The event kicked off Monday, March 13 with a look back at the creation of the National Women’s History Project, founded in nearby Sonoma in 1980. The project prompted the foundation of Women’s History Month, recognised each year in March.

17/03/2017: What Millennials want from their wine
For all that 'Millennials' love about their technology, they still want to hear the story of the wine from a somm, not a tablet. In that regard, there isn’t much difference across various generations; turns out that good service is still good service.

16/03/2017: Central Otago vineyard wants a village in the vines
Central Otago is the country's most scenic wine region, with the Cromwell basin home to the majority of its vines. But, tourism growth is putting the squeeze on and developers are looking for innovative ways to satisfy the demand for accommodation. The Wooing Tree Vineyard owners want to shake things up.

16/03/2017: Vineyard workers say they were underpaid
Ni-Vanuatu workers on the Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme have taken their pay rate concerns to the Labour Inspectorate and Immigration New Zealand. Pacific Island vineyard workers thought coming to New Zealand would be a blessing, but after a season of low pay and broken promises they don't think they will be back.

16/03/2017: Should growers make bulk wine?
Much attention has been paid recently to wine producers acquiring vineyards to secure affordable, quality supply as grape prices rise. Less discussion has focused on growers who see this rise in profits as a way to invest in themselves by diversifying into wine production. This perennial question, “To crush or not to crush?” and its sister question, “Bulk or branded?” are often answered with an intuitive decision.

16/03/2017: New Bill to make British embassies serve English wine
A proposed law to force British embassies around the world to buy and serve English and Welsh wines instead of Champagne, Prosecco and Cava is being introduced in the UK Parliament. Britain’s Diplomatic Service should do more to support English wine – and Welsh wines – at official functions overseas, according to Nusrat Ghani MP. Her Sussex constituency includes several English wine producers.

16/03/2017: 50% of Indian consumers order wines exclusively by glass
Often cited as an important emerging market for wine, India's immense and evolving consumer population presents a number of opportunities. Although traditionally and even today, whisky and rum continue to dominate alcohol consumption in India, the increasing availability of locally-produced and imported wine has spawned significant interest in wine.

16/03/2017: Sandy grave helps wine keeps its freshness
A dozen barrels of wine have been buried deep in sands beside the Atlantic on the Landes coast as winemakers return to a traditional method of maturation that helps keep the wine fresh and fruity. The wines, from Tursan in Landes, will be stored in the natural underground cellar at a constant 15C and lifted and bottled after six months.

15/03/2017: Winegrowers confident grapes survived rain
Despite the wet weekend winegrowers still believe they are heading towards a fantastic vintage. New Zealand Winegrowers chief executive Philip Gregan said most growers would have heeded the weather warnings last week. "There was a lot of warning that there was going to be heavy rain, so I am confident that winegrowers would have got their grapes off before the inclement weather," he said.

15/03/2017: Bulk wine sold overseas threatens NZ reputation
The millions of litres of bulk wine (almost all of it Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc) that leaves NZ shores is more than troubling. It's a disgrace. Bulk wine, for those not in the know, is wine exported in immense plastic bags. It is then bottled and badged in different parts of the world, which is why you see so many 'New Zealand' brands you've never heard of when you travel.

15/03/2017: Chile’s pioneering winemakers raising the bar
Progressive winemakers are blazing a southerly trail to Chile’s oldest vineyards, intent on bottling wines of character from grapes like Carignan, Cinsault, País, Muscat and Riesling. It’s a romantic tale of new wines from previously underappreciated heritage vines.

15/03/2017: Linking wine sensory properties with harvest date
Knowing when to harvest is a key step in the making of a good wine. Why is the timing of harvest so critical? How can harvest date affect the sensory perception of astringency in the final wine? Picking the optimal harvest window is challenging because of the complex response of these components to climate and vineyard practices.

15/03/2017: EU holds back: Calorie labels on wine
There’s no reason why wine producers should not provide more comprehensive information on ingredients and nutrition, says a new report published by the European Commission. But, Commission officials announced this week that they wouldn’t impose tighter labelling rules on wine, beer and spirits – for now. Instead, producers will be given a chance to take more ‘voluntary’ action.

15/03/2017: Cornell professor recognised for grape, wine research
In recognition of her major contributions to the state’s wine and grape industries, Justine Vanden Heuvel has earned this year’s research award from the New York Wine and Grape Foundation. In addition to research and outreach work, Vanden Heuvel teaches undergraduate courses on the science of viticulture and enology, as well as a course on wine culture.

14/03/2017: East Coast deluge threatens grape harvest
Wet weather is jeopardising this year's grape crop, Gisborne winegrowers say. After suffering through near-drought conditions a month ago, some parts of the east coast of the North Island have had 200 millimetres of rain fall in the past month. Gisborne Winegrowers Association spokesperson Doug Bell said the heavy rain was causing problems for crops that were ready to pick and was setting the harvesting schedule back.

14/03/2017: Vineyard posts a 'charcoal' grey area
The wine industry should protect New Zealand's clean, green image by ditching chemically-treated vineyard posts, a Marlborough councillor says. Thousands of posts are stockpiled around the region, and lingering traces of chemicals may be dangerous if vineyards are rezoned into residential areas.

14/03/2017: More women graduating with winemaking degrees
More women than men have graduated in the last three years from a science-intensive program in Canada - oriented around grape-growing and wine-making. Debbie Inglis, the director of Brock's Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute, said the success of women in winemaking is opening opportunities for other young women.

14/03/2017: Bud break spreading through North Coast
With springlike temperatures finally arriving over the weekend, North Coast winemakers and viticulturists said Monday that bud break in vineyards has begun in earnest, signalling the start of the grape growing season. “They are just going nuts,” said Dan Barwick, winemaker at Paradise Ridge Winery in Santa Rosa, of the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir vines on the winery’s 156-acre estate.

14/03/2017: Does Napa have too much Cabernet?
Does Napa Valley have too much Cabernet? And does it charge too much for it? These questions were not on the agenda, but unexpectedly popped up this week at a Napa Valley Grapegrowers' conference. "We all know about vineyards that should probably be planted to other things that are being planted to Cabernet for economic reasons," said sommelier Kelli White. "That's going to end up being underwhelming Cabernet at premium prices."

14/03/2017: TWE MD Dan Townsend has passed away
Dan Townsend, who has worked in the drinks trade for the past 30 years, died in California on a work trip. He was 53. This report from Harpers.co.uk

10/03/2017: NZ wine now top three US import by value
New Zealand has edged out Australia in the import value of its wine in the United States, now worth $579 million. But it will be some time before it can compete with Italy whose wine import value to the US is worth $2.83 billion, or France ($2.3b).

10/03/2017: Gewürztraminer is “the best” of New Zealand’s whites
Gewürztraminer is “the best” of New Zealand’s white varieties with its ability to age comparable to Riesling, but its potential is largely overlooked, believes winemaker Nick Nobilo. A vocal supporter of Gewürztraminer, Nobilo founded his Ormond vineyard in Gisborne in 2000 under the Vinoptima name, specialising in the variety.

10/03/2017: Treasury Wine Estates announces French portfolio
Treasury Wine Estates has announced the introduction of a French wine portfolio to disrupt the traditional ‘old world’ mould of the French category and drive growth for the Company globally, with an initial focus on North Asia. The new French proposition, to be launched in the first half of F18, will build on Treasury's existing portfolios from Australia, New Zealand, California and Italy.

10/03/2017: International bulk wine insight
The Grapegrower & Winemaker recently caught up with Denys Hornabrook, the co-founder of VINEX, the bulk wine trading exchange to discuss its development and gain an update on the current market outlook. Hornabrook believes we are entering a really interesting phase where the pendulum is moving toward demand and applying price pressure.

10/03/2017: Decision not to unite Vinisud and Millésime Bio
Efforts to unite two international trade shows have been thwarted after there was a disagreement over whether they should both take place under one roof. Jo Gilbert reports for Harpers.

10/03/2017: California: Total crush and winegrape prices climb
With a bigger crop than in 2015, wine grapes from the 2016 harvest sold for higher prices, even reaching record levels in areas of North Coast. “It was a bit of a sleeper crop. It just didn’t seem all that big on the vine in the Central Valley.”

9/03/2017: Heavy rain forecast: Hawke's Bay harvest
The heavy rain forecast for the end of the week has pushed the harvest of white wines forward concerning local winegrowers. According to MetService yesterday Wairoa clocked 66mm of rain, Napier 26mm and Hastings 38mm within 24 hours. Hawke's Bay Winegrowers Association chairman Michael Henley said this persistent wet weather was concerning, especially in terms of harvesting the white wine.

9/03/2017: The lowdown: Tua Marina Vineyards
We have a great climate here. Many varieties grow well. Because of the size of the industry we are dependent on the demand in our export market. Worldwide there is a huge range of varieties, and we would like to see a bigger diversity grown here. Other similar varieties from a Mediterranean climate are already grown in New Zealand, such as Viognier, Albarino, Vermentino.

9/03/2017: Europe: More than 60% of global production
Europe remains the leading wine producing and consuming region by a wide margin. The region accounted for more than 60 percent of global wine production and consumption in 2015, while accounting for less than 10 percent of the world's population. Wine consumption in Europe is projected to increase slightly to 15.2 billion liters in 2020.

9/03/2017: Bulk wine: US supply figures
The three biggest bulk wine suppliers to the US are Australia, Chile and Argentina, between them comprising 87% of the market. Bulk imports increased in 2012 for all countries but then declined in volume the following two years. However Chilean and Australian prices fell in US dollars by 18% and 19% and these two countries accounted for more than 50% of bulk shipments.

9/03/2017: Delicato takes ownership stake in V2 Wine Group
Delicato Family Vineyards of Napa has made a significant equity investment in Sonoma’s V2 Wine Group operated by Dan and Katy Leese, according to a Tuesday announcement, taking over the ownership portion from entrepreneur Pete Knight. Delicato, the seventh-largest winery in the United States, has been on a tremendous growth spurt in recent years.

9/03/2017: $9 billion economic impact on Canadian economy
A research study conducted on the Canadian wine and grape industry, has revealed the economic impact of the Canadian Wine industry is up 33% from $6.8 billion to $9 billion over the period 2011-2015. Canadian winemakers support a broad network of related industries in rural and regional centres across Canada through significant investments, long-term jobs and market opportunities in rural communities.

8/03/2017: Two more directors for NZWinegrowers
At the recent elections for NZWinegrowers Inc, there was a noticeable lack of female candidates. Consequently, the 10 directors chosen by members were all males. But that gender imbalance has been somewhat countered by the appointment of two more Directors, bringing the board numbers up to 12. The newly appointed directors are Rachel Taulelei and Katherine Jacobs.

8/03/2017: New Zealand's 'first lady' of wine
The 'first lady' of New Zealand wine has picked up another prestigious award for her longstanding contribution to the Marlborough wine industry. Hunter's Wines managing director Jane Hunter was presented with the Wine Marlborough Lifetime Achievement Award late in 2016.

8/03/2017: Conversation with Napa winemaker Alison Crowe
There is something of an aura of mystery and glamour surrounding wine and winemaking. While there are the collectible bottles that fetch as much as a diamond ring or car, most of the wine produced by hardworking grape growers and winemakers is made to be enjoyed. “People make wine,” stresses Alison Crowe, director of winemaking with Plata Wine Partners.

8/03/2017: Linganore welcomes third generation winemaker
Melissa Aellen is only 25, but she’s already a veteran winemaker. Aellen grew up in the Linganore Winecellars family business. The daughter of executive winemaker Anthony Aellen, she has bachelor’s degrees in viticulture and enology, and has worked in seven wineries across the country and in New Zealand, learning the art of winemaking.

8/03/2017: South African wines come into their own
Ntsiki Biyela is South Africa's first black woman winemaker. She is a trailblazer for the region with a long list of accolades. Biyela was awarded a winemaking scholarship even though she had never tasted wine. South African Airways, in a new effort to promote new and diverse talent in the wine industry, sponsored her education in viticulture and oenology.

8/03/2017: Women in wine
The wine world isn’t generally known for its forthright political views, but all the paradigms are shifting in the new governmental landscape. In response to the pussy-grabber-in-chief and what he represents, Kate Norris, the female half of Division Winemaking Company and the Southeast Wine Collective (SEWC), decided to organize a showcase of women winemakers.

7/03/2017: Overseas workers concerned about vineyard pay
Overseas workers on the Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme have approached a union over their concerns about pay rates working in vineyards around Marlborough. Labour Kaikoura candidate Janette Walker set up the meeting, between the workers and a representative of the Central Amalgamated Workers Union, last week.

7/03/2017: Looking for greatness in Pinot Noir
When we say a wine is great, what do we mean? How is greatness defined in a wine. That's far too hard a question to answer, even when attempted by luminaries of the wine world. So instead of defining greatness in wine, four panellists at the recent New Zealand Pinot Noir festival did their best to explore the idea in the context of Pinot Noir.

7/03/2017: Fresno first to reach bud break
Pinot Grigio grapes, typically the first to exhibit bud break, are ready for the weekend, according to George Zhuang, University of California Cooperative Extension viticulture farm advisor for Fresno County. Despite the chilly, wet winter, Fresno County wine grape varieties appear to be on schedule with last year, Zhuang told Wines & Vines.

7/03/2017: UK: Christmas fizz sales top 45 million bottles
Sales of sparkling set yet another benchmark in the run up to Christmas, with sparkler-hungry Brits quaffing 10% more than usual in the off-trade and 37% in the on-trade. Jo GIlbert reports for Harpers.

7/03/2017: Advances in cork quality: IQ session
The Cork Quality session was rather mind blowing. In the last two years two cork suppliers – Amorim Cork and Cork Supply USA – have developed technology that has made it possible for them to release natural cork guaranteed to be TCA free. The implications of that advancement alone are mind boggling for the global wine industry. The technology is equally impressive.

7/03/2017: Languedoc to bid adieu to appellations
Producers in the Languedoc region are increasingly sidelining appellation frameworks in favour of supposedly inferior designations. It is precisely this freedom to make wines outside of the AOC system that many producers regard as the region's most important selling point. "Winemakers in the region are far more willing to experiment and innovate than in other parts of France," says Jean- Claude Mas, owner of Domaines Paul Mas.

6/03/2017: The difference between Shiraz and Syrah
Who would have thought that wine drinkers in the UK were so set in their ways? “Normally we call this wine Syrah, but we are experimenting with putting Shiraz on the label for the latest shipment to the UK,” said David Roper, winemaker at Villa Maria in New Zealand.

6/03/2017: Trophy for first Gewürztraminer vintage
A wine celebrating the Giesen brothers German heritage and love of aromatics has won the Trophy Champion Gewürztraminer at the 2017 Royal Easter Wine Show Wine Awards. Giesen claimed the prestigious honours with The Brothers Gewürztraminer 2014, the first vintage the company has made with this style.

6/03/2017: Wine consumption: US still rising
The US is still seeing significant wine sales growth; it is the highest wine consuming country by volume, drinking 341.5 million nine-litre cases in 2016. This is expected to rise 4.9% by 2020, to 358.3 million cases, according to a report released this week by trade show Vinexpo and drinks research firm The IWSR.

6/03/2017: No, organic wine doesn’t actually taste better
The messaging is as clear as it is ubiquitous: Drink organic wine for a more environmentally friendly experience, choose an organic bottle for a better tasting wine. But just how accurate are these claims? Are we really getting a better tasting bottle of wine when we shop organic?

6/03/2017: Women in the wine industry
There were no jobs for women in winemaking in the late ’70s. If you wanted to get in, you had to start in the lab. So many industries back then were male-dominated… I’m amazed with what I’ve seen in the last 10 years, and I’m excited to see that path continue for women in the wine business.

6/03/2017: Does the future of winemaking lie underwater?
Ever since a treasure trove of 170-year-old Champagne was salvaged by divers from a shipwreck at the bottom of the Baltic Sea in 2010, change has been afoot in the world of wine. A handful of winemakers from around the world have forgone land-ageing techniques and started experimenting with underwater wine ageing.

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