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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.
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Announcements and Suppliers
22/06/2016: Entries for 2016 James Halliday Chardonnay Challenge close next week
Wineries across Australia have until Friday 2 July to enter this year’s James Halliday Chardonnay Challenge. Named in honour of Australia’s leading wine writer and Yarra Valley resident, James Halliday, the Chardonnay Challenge awards the top wine for each region and the best chardonnay of the year.
22/06/2016: Exhibitor registrations now open for the International Bulk Wine and Spirits Show
The International Bulk Wine and Spirits Show (IBWSS) is an annual trade show and conference, open to trade professionals only, which takes place in San Francisco, CA. IBWSS exhibitors are wineries and distilleries looking to sell bulk wine and spirits, producers and negociants who offer contract manufacturing / private label programs and wineries / distilleries / importers who have one time excess stock to clear.
8/06/2016: International Bulk Wine and Spirits Show Announced
Beverage Trade Network is pleased to announce the launch of the International Bulk Wine and Spirits Show (IBWSS) in San Francisco on July 26-27, 2017. IBWSS will give supermarkets, retailers, restaurants, wineries, distilleries and other buyers a premiere international platform to source bulk wine and spirits and meet private label suppliers.
6/06/2016: Breakfast reunion for Roseworthy and The University of Adelaide past wine graduates and staff
The University of Adelaide Wine Alumni network is holding a breakfast Reunion at the 16th Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference in Adelaide in July. The breakfast will be held from 7.00-9.00 am, Wednesday 27 July 2016, in Hall K of the Adelaide Convention Centre, North Terrace, Adelaide, at a cost of $37.
Australian Wine Industry News
24/06/2016: Toasting three terrific tasters
The Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) announced today the winners of the dux of three recent Advanced Wine Assessment Courses (AWACs). Oakridge Wines winemaker Tim Perrin took out dux of AWAC 36, Sons of Eden assistant winemaker Tim Bourne was named dux of AWAC 37 and Penfolds winemaker Stephanie Dutton was awarded with dux of AWAC 38.
24/06/2016: What happens when Australian wine takes an Italian lover?
WHAT happens when Australian wine takes an Italian lover? A new beverage start-up is born. Crowdfunded by Queenslanders Tommy McLean and fifth generation wine maker Simon Gilbert, SOFI Spritz has now taken a step into the spotlight to snag investment from Channel 10’s Shark Tank judges.
24/06/2016: Riverland Trust Mark launched
“It is said that if you stand by river long enough you will eventually see your own life and it.” This was Paul Henry’s opening remark at a simple ceremony to launch the Riverland Trust Mark on Wednesday. Pride was the keyword and there was plenty of it on show. In front of more than 60 guests, the founder and brand strategy director ofwinehero spoke of the importance of building stronger regions through the development and support of premium food, wine and tourism industries in the Riverland region.
24/06/2016: Farewell to the MAESTRO
Jacob's Creek Chief Winemaker Bernard Hickin ponders which vintage to pour as he begins his retirement AFTER 40 YEARS of wizardry at Australia's Jacob's Creek, chief winemaker Bernard Hickin is passing the baton at the end of this month to Ben Bryant to carry on the brand's world-renowned legacy. Hickin's departure has meanwhile inspired Bryant to create an exceptional tipple, the 2010 Limited Edition Shiraz Cabernet, to honour Hickin's four decades of dedication in maintaining the trusted quality and style that has earmarked Jacob's Creek wines since 1976.
24/06/2016: How Treasury Wine Estates fought off private equity bids
Chief executive Clarke explains his strategy and why he plans to stick with the winemaker. Two weeks after Michael Clarke landed the job of chief executive of Treasury Wine Estates, he received a phone call telling him that KKR, the private equity group, had proposed a takeover offer for the winemaker. “My wife and I were putting down an offer on a house when the chairman called,” says Mr Clarke, who had only recently travelled from the UK to Australia to take the job.
23/06/2016: Online selling into China proving a success for some WA agribusinesses
Western Australian agribusinesses are exploring e-commerce as a method of selling their products into China. While it can be a slow and challenging process, e-commerce is showing signs of success for some sectors. The first order of an Australia Post pilot program to send wine direct to consumers in China will be shipped next month Six months ago, the program between Australia Post and five Western Australian wineries was launched to sell wine on the popular Chinese-owned website 1688.com.
23/06/2016: Virtual vintners have legs in China, toppling traditional importers
Wu Zhendong sees himself as something of a wine buff. The 25-year-old lawyer from China's western city of Chengdu is a member of his local wine club, likes to drink Chateauneuf-du-Pape - and now, like many of his peers, buys most of his wine online. Wu reflects a major shift in China's $14.2 billion wine market, where increasingly price-savvy shoppers are driving a boom in online trade, upending the fast-growing market that has long been dominated by large-scale importers.
23/06/2016: Wine equalisation tax rebate concern on rise as survey finds growing pessimism among vignerons
A national survey of small and medium winemakers has found widespread pessimism about proposed changes to the wine equalisation tax. The 2016 Federal Budget revealed plans to lower the WET rebate from $500,000 to $290,000, with businesses without a financial stake in processing facilities no longer eligible. The results found more than one third of the 600-odd producers who took part in the survey would be worse off under the changes, while 40 per cent would not be eligible for the rebate.
23/06/2016: Vital vote for Murray Valley wine grape growers
A poll in the Murray-Darling and Swan Hill wine regions later this year will have a say in shaping the future of the local winegrape sector. The current four-year term of the Murray Valley Wine Grape Industry Development Committee (IDC) ends in December, meaning that all wine grape growers in the two regions will be required to vote on it continuing. The IDC operates under Victorian legislation, which by agreement with the NSW government also extends across the border.
23/06/2016: Morris Wines to be closed and sold by owners Pernod Ricard
Iconic, multi-generational, Rutherglen winery, Morris Wines will be closed and sold. Owners, Pernod Ricard Winemakers have announced that the vineyard will be closed and sold whilst the company will keep ownership of the brands. Pernod Ricard Australia is the local arm of a global beverage giant, which owns Australian labels like the Barossa Valley's Jacobs Creek, and Coonawarra's Wyndam Estate.
22/06/2016: Climate change from a global wine industry perspective
The overall wine industry consensus is that global climate change is real, but in the vineyard, the results are neither uniform nor clearcut, nor can they strictly be attributed to the climate. Denis Dubourdieu, winemaker and Professor of Oenology at the University of Bordeaux reports the French climate definitely warmed between 2000 and 2010 and, despite variations from year to year, France has produced a number of great vintages within that decade. Meanwhile, in Australia, Brian Croser says by adapting to it, warming has been an overall plus for Tapanappa Wines.
22/06/2016: Hunter Valley rising star awarded the Sydney Royal Wine Scholarship
Alex Beckett, a born and bred Hunter Valley wine enthusiast, has been awarded the prestigious 2016 Sydney Royal Wine Scholarship. Beckett, a fourth year Viticulture and Oenology student at the University of Adelaide, will receive $5000 towards his tertiary studies, as well as the opportunity to steward at the 2016 KPMG Sydney Royal Wine Show, in July. “I was very lucky to have grown up in the Hunter, which has created opportunities from my first cellar door job through to this amazing scholarship opportunity,” Beckett said.
22/06/2016: New scholarship for South Australian ‘Women in Wine’
TAFE SA is introducing a new scholarship to support South Australian women looking for careers in wine. TAFE SA Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) and French Wine Scholar Gill Gordon-Smith says she had been inspired by the inaugural Australian Women in Wine Awards in 2015 to show support to other women keen to develop their career in the industry. McLaren Vale Winemaker and Australian Women in Wine Awards advisory committee member Corrina Wright said the amazing work that women are doing in wine should be more widely recognised.
22/06/2016: WA's Sandalford calls on government to reconsider WET changes
REDUCING the Wine Equalisation Tax rebate will have a “catastrophic” impact on jobs in the local industry, says the boss behind one of WA’s oldest wineries. The Turnbull Government announced in its Budget that the WET rebate cap would be cut from $500,000 to $350,000 from July next year and further decrease to $290,000 in 2018. The changes are expected to boost government coffers by $300 million in revenue in the next four years, but Sandalford Winery chief executive Grant Brinklow said would also hurt WA’s largely boutique wine industry.
22/06/2016: From Canada’s snow to sunny future in Hunter
Jeff Byrne came to Australia in 1995 with a backpack, a love of Caribbean rum and, bizarrely, a love of surfing. Bizarrely because in his homeland of Canada – he’s from Halifax, Nova Scotia – temperatures can regularly plummet to between minus 10 and minus 30 Celsius. Average snowfall is more than 150cm a year. Fast forward 21 years and he’s one of the Hunter Valley’s bright young winemakers, in charge of not one, but three labels … Audrey Wilkinson, Poole’s Rock and Cockfighter’s Ghost.
21/06/2016: Orange wine producers band together to air concerns over new tax
THE NEW wine equalisation tax (WET) could have grave consequences for many of Orange's wine producers. Along with the Wine Federation of Australia, Orange producers want the government to retain the $500,000 WET rebate cap and not reduce it to $290,000 and also bring forward from July 2019 to July 2017 changes to exclude bulk and unbranded wine from the rebate.
21/06/2016: A little less conversation, a little more action please
When Tourism Australia launched the ‘Restaurant Australia’ strategy in 2015, Nathan Gogoll was impressed to see the efforts to put food and wine in focus. But he questions whether the Australian wine industry actually got any traction from the promotions. TOURISM AUSTRALIA RESEARCH, conducted across 15 of Australia’s key tourism markets, shows ‘great food, wine, and local cuisine’ is a major factor influencing holiday decision-making (at 38 per cent), ranking just ahead of world-class beauty and natural environments (37 per cent).
21/06/2016: Applications open for Pontifex Scholarship
The Daniel Pontifex Memorial Trust, with the support of Wine Australia, is now accepting applications for the 2016 Daniel Pontifex Scholarship. The scholarship offers a rising hospitality star professional placements in some of London’s finest restaurants as well as the opportunity to visit wine regions to further their career and knowledge.
21/06/2016: Profile: Dave Powell
Dave Powell is larger than life. The loud-mouthed Australian is big in every way possible – size, volume, ambition, but he makes wines of surprising delicacy. I meet with him on a Tuesday morning at private members’ wine club 67 Pall Mall in St James’s. Running late, he apologises for leaving me hanging a further five minutes while he nips outside for a smoke. Dressed in chinos and a white shirt with his hair tied back in a ponytail, the 53-year-old admits that the staff had to lend him a blazer to meet the club’s formal dress code. “At least they managed to find one that fits,” he quips.’
21/06/2016: Meet the 12 finalist of the Young Guns of Wine
Whether it’s bold and innovative techniques in the vineyards, pushing winemaking boundaries or experimentation with non-traditional varieties, Australian wine’s new breed are prepared to throw out the old rules and step forward with a fresh attitude and approach. The desire to embrace the funky and gritty art of winemaking has led to wines that are truly exciting and capture a revolution in the glass. These are the people and the wines that are celebrated with the Young Gun of Wine Awards.
20/06/2016: $18 million free kick for Kiwi wine beggars belief, say Australian producers
Letting New Zealand wine producers access $18 million in tax rebates funded by Australian taxpayers while they compete against local rivals for shelf space and sales "beggars belief", say local winemakers. Winemakers from Australia's wine regions are fuming that an overhaul of a Wine Equalisation Tax rebate by the Turnbull Government has left intact a subsidy paid to Kiwi winemakers who are vying for the same markets as Australian producers.
20/06/2016: WA: Scent of wine tax reprieve
Liberal Senator Anne Ruston has given the WA wine industry hope it could avoid big job losses and rationalisation as a result of changes to tax rules. The Assistant Minister for Agriculture said the coalition would reconsider its changes to the wine equalisation tax if it won the election. Senator Ruston, who has been at the forefront of negotiations on behalf of the Government, met WA industry leaders in Margaret River and the Swan Valley in the past two days to hear their concerns.
20/06/2016: Naracoorte's Matt Lowe and Jason Standley win State Government 2016 Vinnovation Award
Matt Lowe and Jason Standley of Wrattonbully’s Treasury Wine Estate have taken out the State Government’s Vinnovation Award with their invention, which helps to safely dispense sulphur into grape bins. Currently sulphur, which prevents browning of grapes, is applied manually. This new idea is an automated system where the bin is positioned under a nozzle connected to a pre-mixed tank of sulphur solution.
20/06/2016: Deutsch relaunches Peter Lehmann as Australian wine rebounds
With the Australian wine category returning to health in the U.S. market, Barossa Valley-based Peter Lehmann Wines aims to capitalize on the segment’s growth.Acquired from Hess Family Wine Estates by fellow Australian winemaker Casella Family Brands for about $50 million in 2014, the brand is currently relaunching in the U.S. under Casella partner Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits, unveiling new packaging across a streamlined portfolio.
20/06/2016: Wine in his veins
WINEMAKERS don’t sleep during vintage, do they? There is so much to think about, so much to know, so much to do. It’s 9am on a sunny summer day, February 19, to be exact. In the back of the Margan’s winery complex just a stone’s throw west of Broke, a small team is busy unloading a four-tonne bin of just-picked shiraz grapes, guiding them through the chute where the grapes, skin and juice, are cooled and pumped into vast storage silos.
17/06/2016: ‘Technological showcase’ for wine industry
Two of Australia’s leading digital providers for the wine industry have announced the first in a series of country-wide events showcasing the latest technological trends and product solutions for grapegrowers and winemakers. BlackSquare, a global provider of DTC solutions and Vintrace, who specialise in cloud based production software, are hosting the events which kick off in the Yarra Valley on July 7.
17/06/2016: Impact of the ‘Brexit’ on Australian wine exports
Published in the May-June issue of the Wine & Viticulture Journal, Angelica Crabb looks at the ‘what ifs’ ahead of Thursday’s referendum in which voters in the UK will decide whether Britain should exit from the European Union. In February 2016, UK Prime Minister David Cameron announced that a referendum on whether or not Britain would remain in the European Union will be held on Thursday 23 June 2016.
17/06/2016: Another Successful Year for Australian Court of Master Sommeliers Graduates
Once again, sommeliers from around Australia have sat the Introductory and Certified Sommelier Examinations held in Sydney on June 10th 2016, with much success. Established in 1977, the Court of Master Sommeliers is the most esteemed vocational body for the industry, hosting the programme annually in participating countries around the globe. The first Court of Master Sommelier courses were held in Australia in 2008. Since then in Australia 789 sommeliers have participated in the examinations.
17/06/2016: Culinary elite enjoy Australian fine wine during World’s 50 Best celebrations
Australian fine wine has been toasted in New York this week at a number of events celebrating the 2016 World’s 50 Best Restaurants and the announcement that Melbourne will host the awards in 2017. Close to 1000 of the world’s culinary elite were guests at both the official World’s 50 Best Awards ceremony held at Cipriani on Sunday night.
17/06/2016: VIC100 Wine Awards call for entries
Entries are now open to Victorian winemakers for the 2016 VIC100 Wine Awards. The annual VIC100 identifies the top 100 wines of the year, as well as regional winners and the coveted VIC ONE – the year’s hero of Victorian wine. Nick Stock, VIC100 Curator, is returning with the challenging job of overseeing the judging of all wines entered, and narrowing it down to the top 100.
16/06/2016: Wine consumption up in Oz but overall alcohol down as young Australians opt for “abstinence”
New figures suggest that “abstinence” in young Australians is behind the recent nose-dive in alcohol consumption across the country – although wine consumption is on the up. According to figures published last week, Australia has reached the lowest level per capita consumption since the 1960s, but wine continues to gain traction in the market.
16/06/2016: Crush result down for Murray Valley growers indicative results find
PRELIMINARY crush results for the Murray Valley wine- grape growing region are down 10-15 per cent, according to Wine Australia. The results were discussed by Wine Australia manager for market insights Peter Bailey at the Murray Valley Winegrowers forum, held near Mildura last week. Bailey said 250,000 tonnes of the crush had been received so far and while crush results were down, prices were up.
16/06/2016: Wine & Viticulture Journal releases 30th anniversary issue
Australia’s Wine & Viticulture Journal celebrates 30 years of publishing with the release of its May-June issue this week. To celebrate its three decades publishing articles on grapegrowing, winemaking and wine marketing and exporting, the Journal’s 30th anniversary issue, with its special cover design, features three contributions from members of the industry reflecting on some of the changes that have taken place during the publication’s lifetime:
16/06/2016: Banning Aldi booze implies we're all alcoholics in WA
Closer scrutiny of the cheapest alcohol available at Western Australia's major liquor retailers shows Aldi has every right to appeal a decision to reject its application to sell booze at one of its stores. The director of Liquor Licensing rejected the German supermarket giant's bid to sell alcohol at its Harrisdale store, one of a number of Aldi's soon to open in Perth, because it believed its booze was so cheap it would cause more harm to public health than rival competitors owned by established conglomerates Woolworths and Coles.
16/06/2016: Entries open for the 25th NSW Small Winemakers Show
Entries are now open for NSW Small Winemakers Show 2016, which celebrates its 25th year of competition. To celebrate, organisers have invited back some of their favourite judges and chairmen of the past 25 years. Mike De Iuliis of De Iuliis Wines will be returning as Chairman of Judges for the third year. De Iuliis said he feels the show is more relevant today than it has ever been.
15/06/2016: Zero allocation forecast for Murray growers
WINE grape growers are still optimistic about the season despite a forecast opening water allocation of zero. At a meeting in Mildura last week Murray Valley wine grape growers discussed industry issues including irrigation allocations. Goulburn Murray Water has forecast irrigators on the Murray System face an opening allocation on July 1 of zero, and only 25 per cent on August 1 under average inflow conditions.
15/06/2016: Why you might be paying more for your favourite Margaret River wine
West Australians could soon be paying higher prices for local wines as the federal government looks to make controversial changes to the Wine Equalisation Tax. Margaret River wineries might be enjoying widespread praise for the quality of wine produced in the region recently but the tax changes could halt them in their financial tracks.
15/06/2016: I'll Drink to That: Bruce Tyrrell
The Hunter Valley was one of the first Australian regions to be planted with grapevines, almost 200 years ago, and in a way befitting that history, Bruce Tyrrell offers up a sweeping interview that goes across the decades of the modern Australian wine industry with ease and first person insight. Along the way, the history of Australian wine is recounted. Few people could have told this story the way Bruce tells it.
15/06/2016: Australian Wine Institute on way to Moffatdale for seminar
AUSTRALIA'S peak wine industry body will make its way to the South Burnett for a seminar next week. The Australian Wine Research Institute hosts a seminar at Tipperary Estate Winery in Moffatdale on Wednesday, June 22. Queensland Wine Industry Association President and Dusty Hill Winery winemaker Nick Pesudovs said the institute made its way to Queensland every two years for research.
15/06/2016: Brisbane Bullets team up with Sirromet for return to NBL
Queensland winery Sirromet has been named the official wine partner of the Brisbane Bullet’s return to the 2016/17 National Basketball League (NBL) season. After eight years, the Brisbane Bullets are returning to the NBL after strong support from a long list of partners and fans. Rod Hill, Sirromet head of sales and marketing, said the sponsorship would allow the Queensland born and bred winery to further connect with the rich history of the Brisbane Bullets.
15/06/2016: Celebrate the shortest weekend of the year with the Shortest Lunch
Yarra Valley Smaller Wineries are celebrating the virtue of smaller things with the Shortest Lunch over the shortest weekend of the year on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 June, with small tastes, bites and sips of the region’s best boutique wines. Wine and food lovers can celebrate this year’s winter solstice as they progress from one winery to another sampling a series of small serves, without the hustle and bustle of other wine festivals.
14/06/2016: ‘Farming water’ helps wine grape growers stay afloat
THEY’RE the farmers trading orange juice for water — crop growers who have been forced to find an alternative source of income, quite literally, to survive life on the land. Fruit growers in the Riverina district are turning their sights to “farming water”, rather than toiling on the land, to help them put food on the table as farmgate prices are slashed. As the dairy industry faces milk price cuts, so too are wine grape and citrus growers, which is crippling the industry.
14/06/2016: Wine tax change to cost industry jobs
WA’s wine industry is facing a period of “extreme rationalisation” and significant job losses as a result of Federal Government tax changes. Independent analysis by RSM Australia found the wine equalisation tax (WET) changes would result in “a perfect storm of unintended consequences” for WA and warned the rationalisation would be generational.
14/06/2016: Improving Australia’s winegrape profitability through digital technologies
Wine Australia has welcomed today’s announcement by Deputy Prime Minister the Hon. Barnaby Joyce of a project to develop innovative processes for grape and cotton growers using advanced technology. The four-year project – a collaboration between Wine Australia, Cotton Research and Development Corporation and Horticulture Innovation Australia – will integrate systems capable of simultaneous measurement and data provision to assist cross-sectoral holistic decision making for the management of yield, disease and stress.
14/06/2016: More than 240 SA grapegrowers to attend summit week
Wine grape growers from around South Australia will meet at the Adelaide Oval this week to share ideas and learn about innovative practices to meet the challenges of a changing climate and volatile markets. Already more than 240 people have booked for the Summit to be held on Friday June 17 at Adelaide Oval. The Summit will focus on providing early season market outlook information and the sharing of ideas for reducing costs and building vineyard profitability
14/06/2016: Sevenhill Cellars wine producer recognised in Queen's Birthday honours list
Sevenhill Cellars winemaker Brother John May has been recognised on the Queen's Birthday honours list, being made a member of the Order of Australia. Brother John has dedicated much of his life to producing wine and promoting tourism in the Clare Valley. He said he had become a winemaker overnight at Sevenhill in 1972, after a string of unfortunate illnesses and bereavements.
10/06/2016: Emerging technologies revolutionise vineyards
New and emerging technologies are allowing vineyard growers to increase efficiency, yield, fruit quality, or a combination of these, last month's International Cool Climate Wine Symposium in Brighton heard. "There have been major advances in several technologies which we will see in our vineyards," Australian viticulture consultant and Curtin University lecturer Dr Tony Profitt said.
10/06/2016: Murray Valley Winegrowers forum: Wine on the rise
SHORT term indicators are largely positive but there is a long way to go on the road to recovery for the wine industry, growers were told yesterday. Murray Valley Winegrowers held its annual information forum with about 100 people given presentations by Wine Australia, Best Bottlers, Goulburn Murray Water, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and Sunraysia Rejuvenation Project.
10/06/2016: Over 27,000 people expected for McLaren Vale Sea & Vines festival
On the eve of the 24th Festival, the McLaren Vale Sea & Vines Festival, event organisers are expecting a record attendance of over 27,000 people. The June long weekend will see over 35 dedicated events taking place across McLaren Vale, with themed dinners, structured masterclasses and demonstrations. Jennifer Lynch, McLaren Vale Grape Wine & Tourism Association general manager, said she was excited to showcase the region’s world-class wineries, unique personality and picturesque landscapes.
10/06/2016: Biggest event for winemaking region
THE organisers of this year's Winery Walkabout are hopeful recent rainfall in the region will hold out for the event. Tickets for Sunday have sold out and a small number of tickets are still available for Saturday. Rutherglen Wine and Tourism executive officer Natalie Ajay said about 14,000 people would attend the event and a further 6000 would enjoy the region's attractions at the weekend.
10/06/2016: Hunter Valley Wine Festival attracts record crowds
More than 1300 people and 60 exhibitors attended the 4th annual Hunter Valley Wine Festival on the weekend, breaking all previous records. The record crowd turned up at the Hunter Valley Conference & Events Centre at the Crowne Plaza despite the threat of torrential rain caused by the East Coast low, which fortunately delayed moving inland till the Festival was over, and then brought very-welcome rain to the Hunter Valley vineyards after a prolonged dry spell.
9/06/2016: Wine project to investigate yield variability funded by state government
A project aimed at targeting ways to reduce yield variability in Tasmanian wine crops has been granted funding from the state government’s collaboration fund. The funding was announced by deputy premier Jeremy Rockliff at the Wine Tasmania annual conference in Hobart on Tuesday. “Tasmania’s wine and food is a key motivation for many people to visit Tasmania and our tourism numbers are booming as a result,” Mr Rockliff said.
9/06/2016: Export growth boom in grapes and cider
According to an IBISWorld report, grape growing and cider production have placed fifth and six respectively in a list of the top 20 industries for export growth in Australia. The report, which looked at the five-year period from 2010-11 to 2015-16, suggested that grape growers and cider producers in Australia have enjoyed plenty of growth thanks to overseas markets in the last half-decade, with grape growers enjoying a 26.6 per cent increase in exports, and cider producers a nominally smaller 25.8 per cent increase.
9/06/2016: The outrageous and the unusual join WA wineries at City Wine
The outrageous and the unusual will be poured alongside some of Western Australia's new release wines at the Urban Orchard this weekend. The City Wine event at the Perth Cultural Centre on Friday and Saturday will gives wine connoisseurs much more than a glass of red or white to whet their appetite.
9/06/2016: New Wines of Greece return to Australia
New Wines of Greece are returning to Australia this month for a trip full of masterclasses, wine tasting and consumer events to showcase the best wine varietals of Greece. Yannis Voyatzis, president of New Wines of Greece has announced the topics of the Greek wine masterclasses, which he says will help to develop a more detailed picture of Greek wine across its many regions and varietals. “We wanted to continue the story from 2015 and also ensure that anyone new to Greek wine this year would find it just as educational,” he said.
9/06/2016: $10,000 Tasmanian Fellowship supports sustainable winegrowing
Wine Tasmania, together with the Alcorso Foundation, yesterday launched the 2016 program of the Dr Don Martin Sustainable Viticulture Fellowship. The Fellowship offers Tasmanian-based wine sector professionals a grant of $10,000 towards study-based travel or as seed funding for new research projects. It provides an outstanding opportunity for Tasmanian-based wine sector professionals to undertake research into topics of relevance to the broader sector, with a focus on environmental, economic and social sustainability.
8/06/2016: Barossa loses a favourite son
The Barossa Valley became a little less voluble over the weekend, as word spread of the loss of a man loved and respected by many. Fifth-generation grape grower and winemaker Kym Jenke passed away suddenly on Saturday. Through a myriad of online tributes, Kym – who was also known for his love for hot rods – has been remembered as a character with a zest for life and infectious smile.
8/06/2016: PHILIP WHITE: The climate is ripe for some workable wine policy
Philip White goes looking for election policy which could help the wine industry face the new extremities of climate. Forgive me if I’m wrong, but I do believe the posh bits of the east coast of Australia just started to fall into the Pacific Ocean. Like ancient Viking gods that feed on CO2, the evil weather warriors, Niño and Niña, are at war in a manner few understand. We’ll call this wild tide early coastal collateral damage.
8/06/2016: Australia’s Mediterranean varieties driving next cycle of interest in UK
Australia’s future popularity in the UK may well ride on the growing number of Mediterranean varieties emerging from the country, delivering a more niche and premium proposition than the established reliance on volume sales. “The mood in Australia is slowly moving back to some cautious optimism,” John Angove of Angove Family Wines told Harpers.
8/06/2016: Around 15,000 people expected to visit local wineries this weekend
Silos Estate is among the many vineyards opening their cellar doors for a three-day festival of wine and local produce this long weekend. Owner Rajarshi Ray is the festival coordinator and said most of the wineries involved were in the Gerringong, Shoalhaven Heads, Kangaroo Valley and Nowra areas. “We have got a good group of people involved this year starting in the north with Crooked River Wines and Roselea Vineyard near Gerringong.
8/06/2016: Tyrrell's Semillon earns Legends title
A 22-YEAR-OLD Tyrrell’s Hunter Valley Semillon has been declared an international Legend of Wine by the British “bible of wines”, Decanter magazine. The listing places the Tyrrell’s flagship 1994 Vat 1 Semillon among such Decanter Legends as Krug champagne, Chateau Margaux, Chateau Haut-Brion Blanc, Egon Muller-Scharzhof, Chateau Palmer, Chateau Mouton Rothschild, Chateau Lafite and Chateau d’Yquem.
7/06/2016: Vinnovation finalists announced
Wine Grape Council of SA (WGCSA) yesterday annnounced the finalists in the 2016 PIRSA Vinnovation Award, created to recognise innovations which produce gains in efficiency, reduce OH&S risk and increase vineyard profit potential. Five entries have been chosen as finalists, with two entries being from one person.
7/06/2016: Yalumba and Pernod Ricard in court fight over use of the word ‘signature’ on wine labels
ONE of South Australia’s wine luminaries is involved in a legal battle with a global winemaker over the use of the word “signature” on its labels. Adelaide based wine merchant Samuel Smith and Son — owned by the Hill-Smith family — has taken its dispute with Pernod Ricard to the Federal Court. The Hill-Smith family runs one of Australia’s oldest family owned wineries, Yalumba, at Angaston, which carries The Signature range.
7/06/2016: Information for growers at Irymple
THE Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) will give growers some guidance on expectations for next year’s vintage at a grape and wine roadshow to be held at Irymple this week. Key topics will include the latest news on water availability in the coming season and whether a surge in wine exports points to industry recovery. Murray Valley Wine Growers (MVW) executive officer Mike Stone said that while the 2016 harvest finished only two months ago, growers were about to start preparing for next year.
7/06/2016: Are fruit infused wines the next big thing?
The fruit infused wine category is relatively new to Australia but has been making waves over in the UK, so should retailers be paying attention? Led by a growing trend in the UK, the fruit infused wine category is one to watch, with retailers and suppliers who are looking to capture that 18 to 35-year-old female demographic, or entice new entrants into the wine market.
7/06/2016: Adam Bone’s plan to boost sherry and port production in Australia
LOVERS of Australian whisky should consider it their patriotic duty to drink a sherry for mum, a port for dad and a Tasmanian dram for the country. That way they’ll continue to support the local whisky industry and protect the future supply of sherry and port barrels for whisky maturation. Folks, whisky derives many of its flavours and characteristics from the barrels during maturation. The US supplies bourbon barrels, leaving port and sherry casks, which complete the trinity of whisky flavour profiles, to come from Australia and Europe mostly.
7/06/2016: Hunter Valley Wine Festival draws massive crowds
Hundreds of people swirled through the Crowne Plaza, wine glasses aloft, sampling the region’s finest drops for the Hunter Valley Wine Festival on Saturday. The biggest names in Hunter wine – from Tyrell to Tamburlaine – poured thousands of glasses to people from across the state. But there were a fair few underdogs spruiking right alongside the giants – proof that the Hunter has plenty more opportunity to yield.
6/06/2016: Distribution shake up at Samuel Smith & Son and Negociants
Samuel Smith & Son and Negociants Australia have announced changes to their portfolios effective from 1st July 2016. After a 23 year distribution partnership with Negociants Australia, Wirra Wirra is moving to the Samuel Smith and Son portfolio, effective 1 July 2016. They will be the first McLaren Vale winery to be featured in the Samuel Smith & Son offering. Paul Midolo, director strategy and trading, said the Samuel Smith & Son team were excited to add the iconic McLaren Vale brand to their portfolio.
6/06/2016: Rymill Coonawarra joins Oatley Fine Wine Merchants portfolio
Oatley Fine Wine Merchants announced they will manage the Australian distribution of Rymill Coonawarra wines from July 1, 2016. Oatley Fine Wine Merchants has established a strong foothold in the Australian on-premise market – a key reason why Rymill Coonawarra has joined the Oatley portfolio. John Rymill, Rymill Coonawarra owner, said the wine company was looking to grow with a new and supportive distribution partner.
6/06/2016: Wine Australia announces new Head of Market, Americas
Andreas Clark, Wine Australia chief executive officer, today announced Aaron Ridgway has been appointed as Wine Australia’s new Head of Market, Americas. Clark said he was delighted Aaron was joining the Wine Australia team. “He is a dedicated and passionate advocate for Australian wine with a sound track record in our important US market, Clark said.
6/06/2016: Rising temperatures spark 'race to Tasmania' for winemakers escaping heat
They are one of the oldest families of wine in Australia, and after more than 120 years in Victoria, Brown Brothers' decision to expand outside of its traditional growing area because of rising temperatures is paying off. Warm springs and hot summers can affect grape quality and produce lower-quality, more alcoholic wine. Wine companies big and small are scrambling to adapt, with vineyard managers changing things like the way they prune, how they sit the vines on the trellis, different grape varieties, and the location of vineyards.
6/06/2016: Former Hunter winemaker is spreading the Joiy
RULES were meant to be broken, or so the old saying goes. Winemaker Chris Archer certainly thinks so. The Tyrrell’s protégé who gets a kick out of “blending” glasses of wine at restaurants to improve the flavour has gone one step further and blended Australian and New Zealand Riesling grapes to create a consumer-friendly sparkling wine in a 250ml bottle. Archer describes it as “the first Australasian sparkling” and in direct competition with so-called lifestyle drinks.
6/06/2016: Matua winery sold to family business
The original Matua winery in Auckland has been bought by a family-owned business. Sutton Group Holdings Lts has acquired the Waimauku winery where Matua claimed to have planted the first Sauvignon Blanc vines in New Zealand. Sutton Group is a family-owned business with a 30 year history of engineering, packaging, food and beverage experience.
International Wine Industry News
24/06/2016: New Zealand needs to build regionality and specialist varieties
New Zealand must promote both grape varieties and its varied regionality if it is to continue its success, according to a recent debate. Speaking at a debate organized by Hatch Mansfield and New Zealand brand Villa Maria, Hatch Mansfield managing director Patrick McGrath said the country needed to look beyond Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and embrace new regions in order to grow and build on its reputation.
24/06/2016: What will Brexit mean for fine wine?
Gary Boom, managing director of BI, said he was wary of making bold predictions given the unprecedented nature of the Brexit vote, but added: ‘We can say that the uncertainty associated with a leave vote would likely result in further volatility, which is generally unwelcome for any market. ‘[Sterling] has been weakening [against the euro] in the lead-up to the vote and it seems probable that it would continue to fall if we vote leave.’
24/06/2016: Alibaba founder buys two more French vineyards
Chinese billionaire Jack Ma has purchased two vineyards in the famed Bordeaux winegrowing region in France – the Chateau Guerry and the Chateau Perenne – for nearly 12 million euros ($13.56 million), the Agence France-Presse reports. The news agency says the 64-hectare Chateau Perenne produces about 500,000 bottles of red and white wine annually, while the smaller, 20-hectare Chateau Guerry produces 84,000 bottles of red a year.
24/06/2016: Virgin Wines launches wine store on Amazon
Virgin Wines has launched a wine shop for ‘boutique’ by-the-case wines on Amazon market place. The range launched with around 40 of its most popular and top pick wines, which are available as cases of six or 12-bottles. There is a particular focus on 6-bottle cases and mixed cases in order to drive trial, a spokesman said, adding that it was likely to add incremental customers rather than cannibalise its own website.
24/06/2016: Barnes & Noble to Unveil New Stores Selling Beer and Wine
Barnes & Noble is turning to an age-old partnership to help it revive its business: literature and alcohol. The New York bookseller says it is opening four "concept" stores in the next year that will feature restaurants with an expanded menu including beer and wine. The first concept store will open in Eastchester, New York, in October, followed by locations in Edina, Minnesota; Folsom, California, and Loudon, Virginia.
24/06/2016: Peter Yealands Honoured with 2016 Kea World Class New Zealand Award
Peter Yealands has been awarded with a 2016 Kea World Class New Zealand Award, New Zealand’s most prestigious individual achievement award. Founder of Yealands Estate Wines in Marlborough, Peter Yealands has become a trailblazer for sustainable wine production. One of his most notable achievements for the future of winemaking was the founding of the world’s first carbon zero winery.
23/06/2016: Australian producers whine over tax rebates for Kiwis
Australian winemakers are fuming that their New Zealand counterparts receive $18 million in tax rebates funded by Australian taxpayers. As part of the Closer Economic Relations trade deal between the two countries, New Zealand winemakers are entitled to rebates from a system originally set up in 2004 to boost regional employment in Australia. The Australian Financial Review has reported that winemakers were expecting that following an overhaul of the Wine Equalisation Tax (WET), the rebates would end for New Zealand producers, who have up until now been claiming $25m a year.
23/06/2016: Chequebook wine reviews leave a bad taste
Over the past couple of weeks, the issue of chequebook wine reviewing has had another round of airplay. It's a tangled web that has raised a number of questions. For example, are all the shiny "Recommended by" stickers you see on wine bottles in our stores created equal? And are all wine writers who are hosted by a winery, or groups of wineries, compromising their integrity?
23/06/2016: South African wine industry could add 100,000 jobs by 2025
Cape Town - South Africa’s wine industry could add a further 100 000 jobs by 2025, mostly in the Western Cape, following the signing this month of the Economic Partnerships Agreement (EPA) between the European Union (EU) and the Southern African Customs Union (Sacu) countries. So said Michael Mokhoro, stakeholder relationship manager for South Africa’s wine and brandy industries.
23/06/2016: Blight threatens to devastate Spain's sherry grape harvest
A warm and wet spring has caused havoc in the vineyards of Andalusia where vintners report that fungus is threatening this year’s sherry production. Winegrowers fear that as much as 80 percent of their crop could be destroyed thanks to mildew fungus caused by warm temperatures and unusually high rainfall during spring. Wine producing cooperatives across the Jerez region, which lent its name to the fortified wine, have reported devastating effects on their crop.
23/06/2016: Has Pinot Noir peaked?
Anyone who plays the stock market—or even just observes it from the sidelines—knows that timing is everything. Even Apple Inc., the world's most valuable company, is no longer the stock-market darling it once was, never mind its still-massive earnings. Why the bloom-off-the-rose gloom? It's all about the future, a "what will you do for me tomorrow?"
23/06/2016: Portugal’s port wine industry apprehensive about economic impact of Brexit
Portugal and the UK have a centuries-long history of trade relations, with one of the strongest ties arguably being the export of Port wine. The island nation is Portugal’s sixth biggest market for the product, with over a million bottles exported between January and April 2016 alone. So what impact would a UK exit from the EU have on Port producers? Vote Leave campaigners claim withdrawing from the EU would free up trade opportunities, while the Vote Remain camp has warned of negative consequences.
22/06/2016: Strong 2016 New Zealand wine vintage supports export growth
As the 2016 harvest draws to a close in New Zealand, growers are reporting an excellent vintage with yields up 34% compared to last year’s smaller than average harvest. “The rebound in production from the 2016 Vintage will be another boost to the export ambitions of our sector. The 2016 Vintage will definitely keep us on track to achieve our goal of $2 billion of wine exports by 2020,” said Philip Gregan, New Zealand Winegrowers CEO.
22/06/2016: Vineyard register gives lay of land
The New Zealand Wine Growers vineyard register 2015-18 arrived in Mark Henderson's inbox recently. While he's neither a statistician nor a mathematician, he enjoyed having a burrow into the facts and figures within as it gives a real 'state of the play' of our local industry. The plantings of all varieties are mapped out by region, and ranked nationally for both the current and previous year, with forecasts for the two years ahead. You can see where things stand, and spot any developing trends.
22/06/2016: A complicated year for Champagne
The past three months have been disastrous for the Champagne vineyards because of the awful weather. This will be a make or break week in the grape growers fight against mildew. Between mid-April and early May there were a succession of heavy frosts. The growers in the Côte des Bar were the most severely affected. In Les Riceys 200 grape growers had 75% of their vines destroyed. The buds were burnt by a surprise winter frost. They are going to have to use their reserve wines and grapes from undamaged vines to make this year’s Champagne if they want to compensate their losses.
22/06/2016: French vineyard to safeguard its entire output with NFC
The Geantet-Pansiot vineyard estate in Burgundy, France is to equip all of its wine bottles with a 'near field communication' (NFC) tag to let its customers authenticate the beverage and receive information about the wine directly on their smartphone. The implementation is a result of a partnership between digital authentication specialist Selinko and NXP and will be made available for all wine categories.
22/06/2016: Vintners confront economic challenges of warming
What if a bottle of Pinot Noir wine from Oregon no longer tasted quite like it was grown in the cool Willamette Valley? Or if a Riesling from Germany's Mosel Valley tasted a little more like it was grown in warmer Austria? Those are the questions confronting winemakers worldwide as they figure out how to grow grapes and produce wine amid changing weather conditions and unpredictable climate patterns caused by a warming planet.
22/06/2016: Q&A: Cultivating a vintage life with Michael Mondavi
There are few names in America as iconic as Mondavi, one of the original families who put California's Napa Valley on the winemaking map decades ago. The legacy of Mondavi, whose patriarch Robert died in 2008, is now in the hands of son Michael, 73. When the original business was sold to beverage giant Constellation Brands back in 2004, Michael Mondavi started again, building Folio Fine Wine Partners with his wife, son and daughter. In the latest instalment of Reuters' "Life Lessons" series, the legendary winemaker spoke about how growing a fruitful vineyard is very similar to cultivating a successful life.
21/06/2016: The future of New Zealand wine
A smattering of the great and the good of the UK wine trade turned up for a debate last Tuesday (June 14), titled ‘What direction should New Zealand winemaking take for the future’, sponsored by Villa Maria and arranged by its UK agent, Hatch Mansfield. The ‘elephant in the tasting room’ is: ‘Is New Zealand a one-trick pony (Sauvignon Blanc).
21/06/2016: New Zealand Winegrowers Extends Sommelier Scholarship to the UK & Ireland
New Zealand Winegrowers is offering three sommeliers from the UK and Ireland the opportunity to visit New Zealand to participate in an invite only sommelier scholarship event, with a select group of international sommeliers. The one day Sommelier Summit will see the group hosted by local sommeliers, Cameron Douglas MS and Stephen Wong MW. Cameron and Stephen will lead tastings and discussions on current trends, as well as presenting some unique examples of New Zealand wines that have limited availability.
21/06/2016: Majestic sales pop but Naked Wines acquisition leaves a hangover
Majestic Wine has reported the first improvement in its sales figures in four years as it made a “good start” to its three-year turnaround plan. Overall sales rose 41.3pc to £402.1m in the year to March 28, while Majestic Retail enjoyed like-for-like sales growth of 4.8pc.
21/06/2016: Climate Change From A Global Wine Industry Perspective
Among its latest reports, the Journal of Wine Economics (JWE) presents a paper with the climate change views of respected wine industry pros spanning five continents. The overall wine industry consensus is that global climate change is real, but in the vineyard, the results are neither uniform nor clearcut, nor can they strictly be attributed to the climate.
21/06/2016: Restaurants yank popular Californian wine over environmental controversy
Justin Vineyards’ bulldozing of hundreds of oak trees has uncorked some disapproval among San Luis Obispo County restaurateurs and wine fans, who are making their feelings known with their wallets. The vineyard manages land owned by Estate Vineyards LLC, a subsidiary of the multinational Wonderful Company, and recently cut down the oaks to make room for more grapes on their 750 Sleepy Farm Road property, just west of Paso Robles.
21/06/2016: BREXIT: The UK decides
As Britain’s referendum on membership of the European Union approaches, Andrew Jefford looks through his wine glass at the campaign... In four days’ time, we will know the result of the UK’s referendum on continuing membership of the European Union. I’d like to write that the referendum ‘will be over’ – but that depends on the margin of victory for the winning side.
20/06/2016: Marlborough wine industry entering 'end game' as competition for vineyard land heats up
The wine industry in Marlborough is entering its end game, according to one industry expert. Cloudy Bay Vineyards estate director Ian Morden said there used to be plenty of useable land in the region, but now the end game was in play as companies began to compete for scarce vineyard space. He compared this to players on a chess board, positioning themselves to acquire the best vineyard land for the kind of wine they wanted to produce.
20/06/2016: Growth forecast for New Zealand wine industry
The 2016 New Zealand grape harvest has finished, with high quality fruit being picked across the country. Producers benefited from excellent summer and early autumn weather in grape growing regions, enabling full ripening and flavour development. Philip Gregan, New Zealand Winegrowers CEO, said growers and wineries were looking for a larger vintage going into harvest.
20/06/2016: Sue-Ann Staff: ‘People who think it’s cool to start wineries underestimate the work’
Sue-Ann Staff, 45, made wine in Ontario’s Niagara Escarpment at Pillitteri Estates, 20 Bees and Megalomaniac before establishing Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery Inc. I was a competitive figure skater, so if I came home after school on the bus I’d always keep an eye out for my grandmother’s car, because that’s where the crew was working. I’d come home and ask my mom what farm she was on.
20/06/2016: Head of Sonoma Winegrape Commission vows to raise visibility – and prices
Karissa Kruse has a mission. The charismatic president of the Sonoma County Winegrape Commission wants to raise the price wineries pay for Sonoma grapes, which now sell for much less than those in Napa County, and her approach is multifaceted. Part of her strategy is to position Sonoma as a leader in sustainability. The commission’s board of grape growers has set a goal of having all of its members fully sustainable by 2020.
20/06/2016: Vineyard virus denialism compromises proactive estates’ efforts
THE problem of vineyard virus has been a recurring theme among serious wine writers in SA — one that the critics and commentators have taken more seriously than many of the players more directly affected by the problem. This is partly because growers would like to wish it away, and probably believe that if they hear no evil and speak no evil, there will be no evil. Those who care about wine quality refuse to be silent about it because the fruit from virus-infected vines is palpably impaired.
20/06/2016: SPECIAL REPORT: China and Niagara's wine
Who owns Niagara’s wine industry? The region’s most famous export is meticulously marketed as a made-in-Niagara product. So much so, that time, energy and money are poured into promoting the products as world quality because they are from Niagara. The local industry’s best-known marketing brand, the Vintners Quality Alliance or VQA, is a label designed to explicitly say “This bottle contains Niagara grapes, and that makes it special.”
17/06/2016: 50ml glasses of wine enough, health board says
Nelson's health board has defended its decision to fight for tiny tots of wine in a seven-course degustation. Wellington chef Martin Bosley, who is preparing food for a seven-course degustation meal at Te Awhina Marae, said it was "ridiculous" that each of the courses would be served with just 50ml of wine. The marae had wanted to serve 100ml glasses, then 75ml, but had to drop it to 50ml after negotiations with the Nelson Marlborough District Health Board.
17/06/2016: Marlborough wineries in expansion mode to meet growing international demand
Marlborough wine companies are in expansion mode, planting vineyards and applying for resource consents to expand their wineries. The demand for New Zealand wine, which has seen exports double since 2008, has put the industry in an optimistic state of mind, with many wine companies planning for future growth. Wine Marlborough general manager Marcus Pickens said winery expansions and the rise in resource consents was led by increased plantings, which was in turn driven by demand.
17/06/2016: Majestic aims to be the Apple Store of wine
Speaking to db in an interview, the new md of Majestic Retail John Colley said the wine specialist had developed an operational business plan based on the vision put forward by CEO Rowan Gormley last November, adopting ideas and input from staff across the business. The company’s new stated aim to be the nation’s favourite wine specialists, and Colley drew a parallel with the effective way the Apple Store has built and maintains loyalty with its customer-base by focusing on what it sees as its usp – its in-store experience.
17/06/2016: Moet Hennessy has high ambition for Ao Yun red wine from China’s Yunnan highlands
Team producing HK$2,600-a-bottle cabernet blend in one of the remotest parts of the country with help of Tibetan farmers aim to deliver the greatest wine in China and make it world-class. In a function room at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Jean-Guillaume Prats, president of Moet Hennessy Estates & Wines, presents a dramatic video of swirling white clouds over snow-capped mountains, long-haired yaks, old women in colourful dress, and terraced hills.
17/06/2016: Bordeaux Wine Festival launches soon
The upcoming Bordeaux Wine Festival—Fête le Vin 2016 (June 23-26)—differs from other high profile wine events in this region (such as Vinexpo, or the annual “en primeur” tastings) because it will take place along a public waterfront, and is intended for all to enjoy. Representatives from dozens of wine châteaux will pour sips of their beloved nectar to the public along a strip of the Garonne riverfront a mile and a quarter long.
17/06/2016: Government invests $856,000 in Ontario's wine industry
To celebrate Ontario Wine Week, the Ontario government and the Government of Canada are investing in a Prince Edward County winery as part of a larger $856,000 investment to help Ontario wineries to expand their production, grow their brand recognition and leverage new economic opportunities. Hardie Wines Limited, also known as Norman Hardie Winery has received over $43,000 under the Growing Forward 2 initiative.
17/06/2016: Newton: Wines in motion
After winning New Zealand’s Young Winemaker of the Year Award for the second time in a row, Mudbrick’s Patrick Newton has firmly positioned himself as a force to be reckoned with in the winemaking community. Emily Reynolds caught up with the family man about travelling the world, landing his dream job and the best time of the year to catch some swell on Waiheke Island.
16/06/2016: Foley Family Wines pays growers early for record 2016 vintage
Foley Family Wines, the NZAX-listed company majority owned by US businessman Bill Foley, will bring forward the final payment to its grape growers for its 2016 vintage, reflecting the strength of its balance sheet. The winemaker will pay growers the final instalment in May instead of July as it benefits from a 31% increase in the 2016 grape harvest to a record 6954 tonnes, it said in a statement.
16/06/2016: Marlborough District Council backs proposed wine research centre
The Marlborough District Council has set aside a substantial kitty to help drive regional development over the next five years. Councillors have unanimously backed a proposed world-class wine research centre in Blenheim to the tune of $75,000 this year and a further $150,000 a year for five years. They have also increased the Marlborough Research Centre's funding from $110,000 to $250,000.
16/06/2016: What the hell is blue wine?
It’s all the rage in Spain. There’s red wine, white wine, even pink wine. But now thanks to six young Spanish entrepreneurs, in collaboration with the University of the Basque Country and Azti Tecnalia (the food research department of the Basque Government), blue wine—which targets millennial drinkers—is about to hit European markets.
16/06/2016: Microbes in pressed grapes may predict flavour metabolites in the finished wine
The microbial mix found in grape juice during the winemaking process may help shape the terroir of a finished wine, report food scientists at the University of California, Davis. In a study published in the May/June issue of mBio, an online open-access journal from the American Society of Microbiology, the researchers found that the microorganisms found in must - freshly-pressed grape juice, before fermentation - can be used as biomarkers to predict which metabolites will be found in the finished wine.
16/06/2016: $6 Walmart Wine Ranked Among the Best in the World
Wine drinkers who love a great bargain should take note of this award-winning brand that you can easily pick up on your next grocery shopping trip. When you think of fine wine, you probably don’t consider the bottles you find on shelves at Walmart. Surprisingly enough, Decanter World Wine Awards just named La Moneda Reserva’s Malbec, a wine sold in the big box store, as its Platinum Best in Show.
16/06/2016: Burgundy merchant raided over wine fraud
Maison Béjot Vins et Terroirs' CEO has resigned after a raid by customs officers in April following suspicions that fraudulent Burgundy wines were being produced. In April, the French media reported that the Burgundy negociant Maison Béjot was being investigated on suspicion of mixing Burgundy wines with those of other French AOCs; a practice which is strictly forbidden under French law.
15/06/2016: Another Taranaki fruit winery at risk of being liquidated
Another Taranaki fruit winery is at risk of going into liquidation after failing to pay tax. The New Zealand Customs Service has applied to put Cottage Wines Limited into liquidation over an unpaid debt of $14,625.25, most of which is related to excise duty. The Companies Office register shows Cottage Wines Limited's sole director is Barbara Burnard, who took over the role from husband Zane in August 2015. The paperwork against the company was filed last month in the High Court.
15/06/2016: Cloudy Bay vows to bring fine Pinot Noir to the masses
The time is ripe for New Zealand to democratise the enjoyment of fine Pinot Noir and leading producer Cloudy Bay intends to be at the vanguard, declared estate director Ian Morden last week. In London for a Pinot Noir Salon blind tasting Morden said the estate’s brand and strong distribution network gives it a great opportunity to showcase New Zealand Pinot Noir to a wider audience than the best Burgundies will ever reach.
15/06/2016: China's Bordeaux: winemakers in 'gold rush' to turn desert into vineyards
“This,” says Emma Gao as she races through the sun-scorched countryside of north-west China in a dusty Nissan Livina, “is la Route des Chateaux. There are almost 40 different entrepreneurs – maybe more. Every day it is changing,” the Chinese winemaker explains, slaloming between French, English and Mandarin as she tours her 70-hectare (170-acre) vineyard at the heart of a region government officials are calling China’s Bordeaux.
15/06/2016: Are bacteria the secret to a great wine vintage?
A wine's terroir is defined by a complex formula involving climate, soil, genetics and the way the grapes are handled. But, as Viviane Richter reports, scientists have added microbes to the mix. You wouldn’t think of bacteria and fungi as serving up cherry undertones or silky textures. But that’s exactly where the distinct bouquet of wine linked to a certain region, known as “terroir”, may come from. A team of University of California, Davis scientists has discovered the mix of microbes in grape juice can predict the mix of chemicals that shape the flavour of a wine.
15/06/2016: Vintage accuracy once again under scrutiny
When it comes to product attributes, wine is a particular tricky commodity. When examining a single wine, there are many factors that consumers may want to know before making a purchase. Most recently, vintage has been the centre of a lot of scrutiny. This past May, California-based retail juggernaut ‘BevMo!’ was served a class-action lawsuit for advertising in-store and online (mostly on wines under $25) vintages that didn’t match the products they were selling.
15/06/2016: Non-Champagne sparklers are thriving, led by Prosecco, Cava and Korbel
Sparkling wine is surging in the U.S. market, with nearly all segments of the category achieving impressive growth. Total sparkling wine depletions approached 20 million cases in 2015, a 6% increase over the previous year, according to Impact Databank. Over the past two years, sparklers have added more than 2 million cases in volume. The category is almost evenly divided between the domestic and import segments, and both are on the rise.
14/06/2016: Winegrower of Ara agrees to sell Ara brand to Giesen
Giesen Wines has reached agreement with Winegrowers of Ara to purchase from it the Ara Brand and associated business to complement its own brand portfolio. Alex Giesen says Ara’s focus on premium single estate wines fits well with the company. “We have invested increasing resources into our global growth and the growth experienced by Ara in recent years positions the brand well within the Giesen portfolio. It will enable us to become even more relevant to our global customers.
14/06/2016: First ever Bayer Auckland/Northern Young Viticulturist of the Year announced
Tim Adams from Mudbrick has become the Bayer Auckland/Northern Young Viticulturist of the Year 2016. Although the national competition is now in its 11th year, this is the first year Auckland has been added as a region to feed into the national final. Congratulations also goes to Jake Dromgool from The Landing in Kerikeri who came second and to Mohit Sharma from Man O War who came third.
14/06/2016: Wine is still an ‘old boys club’ with women under-represented in key roles
Harpers columnist Guy Woodward used his column in this month’s magazine to challenge the wine industry to be more inclusive and encouraging of female career development in all areas of the wine trade because ultimately it is good for business. The wine trads will has the image of being predominately a “man’s world”.
14/06/2016: U.S. vintners fracture over TTIP wine debate
The divide sets up a major showdown as U.S. and EU negotiators work furiously to wrap up the trade talks before President Barack Obama leaves office. European winemakers have gained useful allies in the push to protect regional names, such as Chianti and Champagne, in trade talks with the United States: vintners from California’s most-prized wine country.
14/06/2016: Pinot Grigio to take Sauvignon Blanc's 'great white' mantle
Great whites The past few years have seen a huge rise in popularity for New Zealand sauvignon blanc. Riding the crest of this wave is Cloudy Bay, located in Marlborough, on the northern tip of the South Island, which has been filling our glasses with the white wine since 1985. Before that, Sauvignon Blanc was considered a poor cousin to the chardonnay-based white wines of Burgundy.
14/06/2016: From Blood to Wine – Innovation in technology aimed to assist winemakers
“That’s how we passed from blood, to spirits, to wine.” Were a wine lover to hear this out of context, they might recoil in horror at the merest association between the two. For Luv Valecha and his two friends and colleagues, Aurore Ceyrolle and Hugo Gradel, the link is critical. The three students from the Institut d’Optique Graduate School, part of the Université Paris-Saclay in France, have created a unique, portable device, adapted from existing blood analysis technology invented by biotech start-up Archimej Technology, which allows for the real-time control of wine quality.
10/06/2016: Wine research centre needs Marlborough District Council funding
A world-class wine research centre in Marlborough looks set to get the green-light from Government, an industry group says. The proposed New Zealand Research Institute of Viticulture and Oenology is one of three finalists seeking to capture $25 million in government funding and be established as a Regional Research Institute. The proposal is being led by New Zealand Winegrowers. New Zealand Winegrowers general manager for science and innovation Simon Hooker said there was a strong indication from the Government they would be backed.
10/06/2016: Loveblock Makes New Zealand Wines with Heart & Soul
A conversation with Loveblock winery founder Erica Crawford reminds you that love isn't just an emotion - it can be a catalyst for creating something truly special. When wine industry veteran Ericaand her award-winning winemaker husband Kim stood on the hills overlooking Marlborough's Awatere Valley in New Zealand, they fell in love with the stunning view. They purchased the property in 2006 and to make the wines, Erica jokes that she “hired the best winemaker I know – my husband."
10/06/2016: Why Constellation Brands wants to spin off a key business line
As early as this fall, beer, wine, and spirits manufacturer and marketer Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE:STZ) may spin off its Canadian wine business in an initial public offering on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Bloomberg News, which reported the details on a move management had previously disclosed it was considering, reports that the IPO could be worth $1 billion in Canadian dollars, or about $787 million at current exchange rates.
10/06/2016: Majestic Wine raises store managers' pay in attempt to retain staff
Britain’s biggest wine retailer is to increase pay for its store managers in an attempt to prevent one in four of them leaving the business each year. Majestic Wine is introducing new share incentive plans and overhauling cash bonuses for its 213 store managers, who typically earn a £30,000 salary – up from £28,000 in November – plus an annual bonus.
10/06/2016: Meet the French Hipster Winemakers Changing the Natural Wine Scene
While the thought of Anjou wine tends to conjure up rosés that go down easy with the promise of a headache, the vineyards of the Loire Valley, land of natural wines—to whom Anjou belongs—are rethinking their identity altogether. Historically, there are few prestigious appellations here, making it a blank slate for winemakers. And invention is precisely what the Mosse family focuses on, ever since they started cultivating vines in 1999.
10/06/2016: Investors Target English Sparkling Wine to Challenge Champagne
With the increasing success of the English and Welsh sparkling wine industry, investors are looking to help expand the wineries and challenge traditional French Champagne. The popularity of Champagne worldwide opens an obvious and large market for English bubbly that winemakers and investors are eager to join. Hedge-fund Exile Mark Driver is spending over 14 million pounds to transform Rathfinny Estate, located in the South Downs in Sussex, into the UK’s biggest vineyard.
9/06/2016: Constellation Brands to invest in NZ to meet US wine demand
Constellation Brands New Zealand has a new managing director, Simon Towns. Oliver Lewis talked to the leader of the largest wine exporter in the country about his plans to grow the business. What did you do before taking the job in New Zealand? I was the senior vice president for strategy and business development for Constellation in the United States. It was very much about setting the five-year direction of the business across both wine and spirits.
9/06/2016: What a Brexit would mean for New Zealand
Come June 23, Britain will decide whether it will remain in the European Union or leave. According to the latest polls, Britons narrowly favour remaining in the EU - but if it decides to exit, what would this mean for New Zealand? There are two main areas to consider: migration and trade. The EU is New Zealand's third-largest trading partner. The two-way trade valued at $19.6billion in goods and services in the year to June 2015. Main exports to the EU include sheep meat, fruit and wine.
9/06/2016: Alibaba billionaire Jack Ma buys next Bordeaux château
Jack Ma, billionaire founder of Alibaba and owner of Château de Sours in Bordeaux, has added Château Perenne in Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux to his portfolio of wine estates in the region. The sale, which was completed last month for a reported €16 million, will see this 64 hectare estate, planted with mainly the Merlot grape, become Ma’s second château in the region.
9/06/2016: Loire frost may cause wine shortages
It may become harder to obtain Loire wines from certain areas after a severe spring frost looks set to significantly dent the region's 2016 harvest, an official report says. Severe spring frost has ruined the equivalent of between 20% and 30% of an average harvest in the Loire Valley, according to an official report by regional body InterLoire. An average harvest is around 1.9 million hectolitres, or 253 million bottles, it said.
9/06/2016: Former Meridian winery to take on Treasury’s ‘masstige’ wines
Wine production at the old Meridian winery on Highway 46 East in Paso Robles will get a boost as owner Treasury Wine Estates consolidates winemaking operations on the Central and North Coast. The move follows Treasury’s $552 million purchase of the majority of spirits giant Diageo’s wine business in October, including well-known brands Beaulieu Vineyard and Sterling Vineyards.
9/06/2016: Investors in French wineries are paid back in wine
It's called Wine-Funding. The traditional world of French winemaking is raising cash in a decidedly new-fangled way: through online investments. Bloomberg reports Bordeaux entrepreneur Maxime Debure has launched a crowdfunding site called Wine-Funding, which allows anyone to "buy a stake in wine domains that are just starting, renovating, or expanding."
9/06/2016: Archaeological dig confirms Georgia's wine heritage
A neolithic site throws up evidence of winemaking going back to the earliest days of civilization. Georgia’s claim to be the cradle of winemaking have been strengthened with the discovery of vine residue dating back 8000 years at an archaeological dig. The excavations, in south-eastern Georgia's Kvemo Kartli region, have provided fresh support for the country's claim of being the birthplace of winemaking.
8/06/2016: Marlborough wine students get helping hand with scholarships
A change in career has proved the right move for a Marlborough lawyer and chef, who have won scholarships to support their winemaking studies. Family law practitioner Barbara Mead and Karaka Cuisine chef Sander de Wildt, who are both in their second year of study for a Bachelor of Viticulture and Winemaking at the NMIT campus in Blenheim, are two of 120 Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology students to receive $1500 scholarships.
8/06/2016: Invivo signs wine distribution deal with Lion
A Waikato winery backed by Irish comedian Graham Norton has signed a distribution deal with beverage giant Lion. Lion will distribute Invivo Wines' Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough Pinot Gris and Graham Norton's Own Sauvignon Blanc nationwide. Invivo is big on branding and notched up a marketing coup in 2011 when it secured Graham Norton as a "brand ambassador".
8/06/2016: Women winemakers of Burgundy
They used to call them “the hidden generation.” The women of Burgundy’s domaines: once banned, never heard, and rarely seen. Women in the shadows. The women of the hidden generation were the mothers and grandmothers of today’s rock star wine makers like Ludivine Griveau, Hospices de Beaune’s first female wine maker since 1443. Her 2015 inaugural vintage broke all previous auction records.
8/06/2016: A 1,000-Euro investment in French wine repays bonds with booze
French winemakers are looking for new investors, and for 1,000 euros (A$1,500) they’ll let anyone in. Bordeaux-based entrepreneur Maxime Debure says producers in his famous wine-making region, and others like it, need money and they are opening up to raising it online from private investors with smaller tickets.
8/06/2016: Dispelling China’s Prosecco confusion
Prosecco producers need to invest more time in cultivating the Chinese market in order to clear up the ‘confusion’ which currently surrounds Prosecco, says the CEO of historic winery, Villa Sandi. Speaking to the drinks business Hong Kong during this year’s Vinexpo, the CEO of Villa Sandi, Giancarlo Moretti Polegato said that China could be a “prime market” for Prosecco but a lack of information put off potential consumers as they viewed Prosecco to be a “poorer version” of Champagne.
8/06/2016: Interview: Moët Hennessy’s Rodney Williams talks Champagne
Champagne, often considered a leading indicator of the health of the overall wine market, has shown strong growth in the U.S. lately, with volume up 5% to 1.38 million cases and per-case value leaping 20% to $334 last year, according to Impact Databank.Moët Hennessy USA’s Veuve Clicquot and Moët & Chandon combine for 835,000 cases annually, accounting for more than 60% of the total U.S. Champagne category, and both brands showed solid progress in 2015, as Veuve Clicquot climbed 9% and Moët & Chandon grew 4%.
7/06/2016: WineFriend: the wine buddy that delivers
An innovative wine company has been described as “primed for growth and investment” thanks to its focus on getting the basics of business right. WineFriend, which launched late last year, is a subscription service that takes the hassle and guesswork out of choosing a great bottle of wine at a reasonable price. It is the first company of its kind in New Zealand, delivering a customised selection of wine to its subscribers, based on their individual taste preferences.
7/06/2016: Serving wine in larger glasses encourages people to drink more
Selling wine in larger glasses encourages people to drink more, even when the amount of wine served in different sized glass remains the same, new research suggests. Scientists at the University of Cambridge believe bigger glasses may encourage drinkers to consume their wine faster and therefore to order more. But they found the opposite effect did not occur when the same quantity of wine was served in smaller glasses.
7/06/2016: Suspected death threat sent to Burgundy winemaker
French police are investigating a possible death threat sent to the home of a Burgundy wine union president, as tension in France grows over the use of pesticides in vineyards. A letter sent to the head of the Mâcon producers’ union, Jérôme Chevallier, warned of deaths unless growers stop using pesticides in their vineyards. Local police are treating the anonymous letter, sent to Chevallier’s home address, as a possible death threat.
7/06/2016: Tesco simplifies own label range
Tesco has overhauled its own label wine range, removing two ‘confusing’ sub-brands to offer a more coherent and ‘recognizable’ range. The retailer confirmed today that 118 wines had been included in the “redesign” of the own label range, which has ditched the entry level ‘Vineyards World Wines’ and ‘Simply’ sub-brands to allow it to strip out duplication and devote more space to better-selling lines. Availability is also being improved, it said.
7/06/2016: Jamie Ritchie appointed Sotheby’s head of wine
Jamie Ritchie has been named as Sotheby’s new ‘worldwide head of wine’ and will oversee all of the house’s wine auction and retail businesses. Ritchie, who has been at the auctioneer since 1990 and based in New York since 1994, has been responsible for conducting some of Sotheby’s most important fine wine sales to date.
7/06/2016: New Zealand winemakers have a taste for punk rock
BLENHEIM, New Zealand — You expect pretty arrangements of flowers and just-so shrubs outside a wine-tasting room. And it’s not surprising to see lovely wine bottles and crystal drinking glasses displayed behind a classic wooden bar. But it’s not every winery you visit that has “I’m So Bored With the USA” by the Clash blasting while you swirl your chardonnay. Nor do most wineries have famous lyrics from the likes of John Lennon and the Stranglers imprinted in blocks between rows of yellow roses in the exterior garden.
6/06/2016: Wine creates a powerful pull
Wine in New Zealand has become both big business and a big talking point. So anyone arranging an incentive event needs to 'know their onions' when it comes to wine. Wayne Harris, general manager of planners Go Conference & Incentive in New Zealand, says Kiwis' wine knowledge has grown exponentially - and woe betide the planner who does not arrange wine of a quality consistent with the group's knowledge in any incentive event in Australia.
6/06/2016: Matua winery sold to family business
The original Matua winery in Auckland has been bought by a family-owned business. Sutton Group Holdings Lts has acquired the Waimauku winery where Matua claimed to have planted the first Sauvignon Blanc vines in New Zealand. Sutton Group is a family-owned business with a 30 year history of engineering, packaging, food and beverage experience.
6/06/2016: Making a case for consolidating wineries
There have been some dramatic acquisitions in the wine business the past several months. Most recently, Jackson Family Wines purchased Copain winery, a highly regarded boutique Sonoma County producer of Syrah, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. In April, Ste. Michelle Estates, the parent company of Washington State’s Chateau Ste. Michelle and Columbia Crest wineries, purchased Patz & Hall, another Sonoma County specialist in chardonnay and pinot noir. The sale amounts for these purchases were not disclosed.
6/06/2016: Supermarkets selling 'British' wine made from imported grapes
Wine producers in the UK are concerned that the labelling of cheap wine made from imported grapes as 'British' could damage the reputation of British-grown produce. Major UK supermarkets are selling ‘British’ wine made out of imported grapes from elsewhere in Europe, prompting concerns about the reputation of wine grown in England. Tesco, Asda and Lidl are among those selling wines made from cheap grapes grown and pressed abroad and labelling them as British produce.
6/06/2016: How ripe is too ripe for red wines: the debate rages
THE debate about what constitutes quality and complexity when it comes to South African reds (and by extension, red wines everywhere) shows no signs of abating. From the flippant view that this country’s well-heeled punters prefer over-ripe, heavily oaked reds, to the counterattack from the Swartlanders who eschew these strategies, it seems that it’s not a discussion susceptible to any useful resolution.
6/06/2016: Vintners act to block counterfeits as China’s thirst for Canadian ice wine grows
The Niagara peninsula, a flat strip of lush farmland that separates Lake Erie from Lake Ontario, feels like the Klondike right now, with eager farmers ripping out stately orchards of pear and peach trees to plant row upon row of grape vines on every possible scrap of soil. Someday soon, the farmers may ring the doorbells in the little subdivision that crowds the fields in the village of Virgil, to ask permission to grow a few grape vines in their front yards.