Daily Wine News
A snapshot of wine business, research and marketing content gleaned from local and international wine media sources. Emailed Monday to Friday excluding public holidays. Click here to subscribe, for advertising inquiries, click to download our media kit.

Announcements and Suppliers

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

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

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

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

Australian Wine Industry News

23/03/2018: Action on spray drift
The now former Minister for Agriculture, Leon Bignell recently responded to Riverland Wine’s letter raising concerns about spray drift damage in the region. He advised that as a result of our concerns, there will be a meeting between the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) and national and state regulators to identify action to deal with the problem. Source, Riverland Wine

23/03/2018: Yabby Lake wines defy climate science
Winemaker Tom Carson started work at Yabby Lake Vineyard on Victoria's Mornington Peninsula in 2008, just after vintage. Before that, he had established a fine reputation at Yering Station winery in the Yarra Valley. Now, after a decade in the job – including, in 2013, becoming the first person to win the famous Jimmy Watson trophy at the Melbourne Wine Show with a pinot noir – Carson decided it was time to put together a progress report. Source, Australian Financial Review

23/03/2018: New wine app set to launch in Aus
A new model that will change the face of wine distribution is set to launch in Australia in April, featuring a diverse portfolio of emerging and unique brands. ootra is an app that allows wine producers to sell to restaurants and wine merchants, bypassing the traditional sales team and putting winemaker and customer directly in contact. Source, Winetitles

23/03/2018: Grant support for King Valley Prosecco push
A project designed to further increase the public appetite for Prosecco received a boost yesterday with the announcement of funding to support a marketing and growth strategy by Wines of the King Valley. The State Government will inject $50,000 of funds by means of a Food Source Victoria grant to support the $100,000 project, which it says is aimed at cementing the region as Australia’s official home of the Prosecco name and brand. Source, Wangaratta Chronicle

23/03/2018: ‘Keeping it real’ with a bargain Merlot
When he followed his rivals into the arid but heavily-irrigated Riverland, Yalumba’s Wyndham Hill Smith knew well the advantage of hanging a word like Oxford around the neck of a bottle of cheap wine. I’m sure a few Australians had heard of that ivy-hung university town back in 1958, but probably a few more were then familiar with the very posh Oxford edition of the King James Bible. Source, In Daily

22/03/2018: Dry stalls Tasmanian vintners' irrigation scheme
Months of heat and low rainfall have taken their toll on Tasmania's east coast, with the dry weather conditions stalling the first season of a new irrigation scheme. The Swan River, which feeds the Swan Valley Irrigation Scheme, runs near Craigie Knowe Vineyard in Cranbrook, near Swansea. Vineyard owner Glen Travers said the river was close to running dry. Source, ABC

22/03/2018: Opinion: Neil McGuigan on natural wine
Four-time international winemaker of the year, Neil McGuigan, has delivered a brutal criticism of the natural wine category describing it as a “grape-based alcoholic beverage”. Speaking with TheShout at ProWein in Düsseldorf this week, McGuigan was asked for his opinion on natural or orange wine which is wine made with minimal or no chemical or technical intervention and generally minimal or no sulphites for preservation which can attract a unique or funky bouquet when smelling the wine. Source, The Shout

22/03/2018: Warning: grow new grapes or perish
A new report suggests wine producers’ reluctance to try different grape varieties could work against them to overcome the challenges of changing climate patterns. In this article which originally appeared in Cosmos Magazine, Jeff Glorfeld explains why some think the concept of terroir should be left behind. Source, Winetitles

22/03/2018: Angullong releases its trophy winning reds
Angullong Vineyard continues to champion an exciting range of alternative varieties with the recent release of their awarded 2016 Angullong ‘Fossil Hill’ Barbera ($26) and 2016 Angullong ‘Fossil Hill’ Tempranillo ($26). The 2016 vintage was regarded as one of best in the history of the vineyard, which was planted in 1998. “The season started well as the soil moisture was near perfect after adequate winter rainfall, and finished well,” said Angullong’s Ben Crossing. Source, Winetitles

22/03/2018: TWE purchases Coonawarra Estate
Australian wine giant Treasury Wine Estates has confirmed the acquisition of Wetherall Coonawarra Vineyards in south-western Australia’s Coonawarra wine region for an undisclosed sum. The settlement on the purchase was completed on 16 March, TWE revealed to dbHK, without disclosing the transaction amount. The purchase is “in line with TWE’s strategy to increase our access to premium fruit”, driven by increasing global demand for premium wines, said the company. Source, Drinks Business

21/03/2018: Toorak Winery reports on vintage
Yields are down, but Toorak Winery winemaker Robert Bruno believes taste buds will be the real winners of this year’s vintage. Vintage in Leeton shire and the wider MIA is drawing to a close after another busy season. Just this week has time finally slowed for Mr Bruno and his team, but there’s still plenty to do. Source, The Irrigator

21/03/2018: 2018 Shiraz is on … with a $50m sweetener
On February 15 a subcontractor machine-harvested the big block of industrial vineyard on the flat clay across the track from me. Shiraz at what somebody said was 15.5 baumé. In other words, 16-plus alcohols. I thought it might have been a bit more. The flavours were cordial sweet and simple. It was clean, but it wasn’t very good. Source, In Daily

21/03/2018: Historic first vintage for Hobart Government House
Just 100 metres from one of Hobart's busiest highways, gardeners at Tasmania's Government House have swapped their normal tools for clippers for the first grape harvest at the grounds. Head gardener at Government House Ben Essex was excited at the prospect of overseeing the historic vintage after taking over the job recently. Source, ABC

21/03/2018: Record numbers at leading trade fair ProWein
Wine Australia and New Zealand Winegrowers have confirmed that the ProWein exhibition, which has commenced this week in Düsseldorf, represents the most important trade event in the annual trade exhibition calendar. Wine Australia are represented at ProWein 2018 with a record participation on a stand that is 20 per cent larger than 2017 featuring 75 wineries and over 500 individual SKUs. Source, The Shout

21/03/2018: Mandala wines celebrate the circle of life
Mandala is an ancient Sanskrit word for sacred circle. It’s also the name on the bottles of wine made with care and precision by Charles Smedley in Victoria’s Yarra Valley. Smedley, a father of four, has designed a set of decorative mandala circles on his labels to celebrate wine and family, which he says are fundamental to his own “circle of life”. Source, News.com.au

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

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

20/03/2018: McWilliam’s Wines appoint Europe distributor
McWilliam’s Wines Group (MWG) has announced the appointment of Hallgarten & Novum Wines to represent their wine portfolio across Europe. The partnership will see Hallgarten & Novum Wines distributing the McWilliam’s table and fortified wines and the iconic Mount Pleasant collections in both on and off premises. Source, Winetitles

20/03/2018: Katnook Coonawarra appoints senior winemaker
Katnook Coonawarra has announced the appointment of new senior winemaker, Tim Heath, who will start his role in late June 2018. Katnook’s executive director of operations and finance, Chris Pike, said the winery is pleased with Heath’s appointment to the role. “We are thrilled that someone of Tim’s winemaking calibre has accepted this role." Source, Winetitles

20/03/2018: Orange harvest strong despite smoke taint
Three Orange vineyards have abandoned their 2018 harvests after smoke from February’s Mount Canobolas fire tainted the grapes. David and Carolyn Gartrell’s Wattleview vineyard, De Salis Wines and the boutique Habitat Vineyard have lost their entire crops. A fourth winery is understood to be awaiting test results on two of their varietals but the others have been cleared of any damage. Source, Central Western Daily

20/03/2018: Victorian program to tackle phylloxera
A new program to combat a biosecurity threat to Victoria’s wine industry was launched at Mount Macedon last week. Macedon MP Mary-Anne Thomas joined Mount Macedon Winery owner Dylan Grimes at his property to announce a $1 million state funding package to create a long-term strategy to manage Phylloxera in Victoria. Source, Star Weekly

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

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

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

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

19/03/2018: Hills winery takes grape-crushing to Singapore
An Adelaide Hills winery that hosts pop-up dinner parties where guests stomp on and basket press grapes is taking its Urban Winery Project overseas for the first time. Almost a metric tonne of freshly picked Sauvignon Blanc grapes will be flown from the Adelaide Hills to Singapore this week ahead of the inaugural international dinners on Friday and Saturday nights (March 23 and 24). Source, In Daily

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

International Wine Industry News

23/03/2018: Indian winery wins top prize
Indian winery Grover Zampa has been named ‘Winery of the Year’ by the Asian Wine Review, shining a light on a country that has been better known for its spirits quaffing ability than viticulture prowess. Founded in the late 1970s, the winery was founded by Kanwal Grover and George Vesselle, the former technical director at Champagne Mumm. Source, Drinks Business

23/03/2018: The life of Robert Haas
Robert Haas, who co-founded Tablas Creek and pioneered Rhône grape varieties in California after spending decades championing French wines on the American market, has died aged 90. Many would agree with the winery’s assertion that Haas was a ‘seminal figure in American wine for 65 years’. Haas is credited with doing much to foster Americans’ love for wine, and French wine in particular, in the decades following World War Two. Source, Decanter

23/03/2018: Auckland’s new Wine Cave
There is no mistaking Joe Wang’s love of wine, New Zealand wine in particular. The sommelier who has worked at some of the most respected restaurants in the country, is now seizing that passion and his knowledge of New Zealand’s high end boutique wines, with a unique venture in Auckland – The Wine Cave. Source, New Zealand Winegrowers

23/03/2018: Public health concerns over cheap wine
Supermarkets are being accused of being the country's biggest drug dealer. It comes after a Christchurch local snapped a photo of wine sold at Pak'n'Save for just under $4. The wine available is Hardy's Moscato, with an alcohol percentage of 6%. National Addiction Centre director Doug Sellman told Newstalk ZB it should be classed as a public health issue. Source, Newstalk ZB

23/03/2018: Powdery mildew challenges prompt new strategies
Powdery mildew has long been an almost routine headache for grape growers, but labor shortages, climate change, and resistance to chemical treatments, are forcing changes in vineyard management, growers and pest control advisors say. “Powdery mildew is something we take for granted,” says Bart Haycraft, vineyard manager at Santa Rosa, California based Jackson Family Wines. Source, Western Farm Press

23/03/2018: Clearing vegetation helps winery conserve water
The 318-year-old Vergelegen wine estate in Somerset West has become self-sufficient in all its potable and non-potable water needs‚ in one of the largest private conservation projects in South Africa. This is despite producing tons of wine grapes‚ maintaining 18 celebrated gardens‚ operating two restaurants and welcoming 100‚000 visitors every year. To commemorate World Water Day today (Thursday 22 March)‚ the estate shared how it achieved this. Source, Times Live

22/03/2018: Seresin Estate winery sold to Marlborough winemakers
Ben Glover and Rhyan Wardman have bought the iconic Seresin winery, four kilometres west of Renwick. And with more than fifty years’ winemaking experience between them, the purchase marks a return to what they love – producing wines which showcase the depth and diversity of the Marlborough region. Source, Winetitles

22/03/2018: Vintners in US evaluate new varieties
In a nascent industry, the focus is constantly on what’s new and improved. So not surprisingly, seminars on new grapes including Itasca and Crimson Pearl and the latest research on yeast and soil were among the best attended and most buzzed-about presentations at the recent Cold Climate Grape Conference. Itasca, a white grape released in 2016 by the University of Minnesota (UM), was the topic at two sessions: a tasting of eight iterations and a presentation on growing techniques. Source, Wines & Vines

22/03/2018: Another Bordeaux merchant accused of fraud
French prosecutors have accused a leading Bordeaux négociant and bulk wine bottler with "flagrant" wine fraud. On March 15, Bordeaux's criminal tribunal heard the charges against Grands Vins de Gironde (GVG), which is owned by the Castéja family. Investigators allege that GVG illegally blended wines from prestigious appellations with table wine, and mixed appellation wines, vintages and châteaus. Source, Wine Specatator

22/03/2018: The worldwide view of wine from Washington
The growth in the premium wine market has been a boon to the Washington wine industry, as American consumers seem increasingly willing to spend more for wines marketed by variety, vineyard and terroir. But a new trend — branded wines that speak to consumer’s identity, eschewing cultivars and AVAs and other traditional markers of authenticity — is now gaining traction in the lower end of the premium market, said Mike Veseth, author and editor of the Wine Economist blog. Source, Good Fruit Grower

22/03/2018: Zonin 1821 eyes new winemaking territories
Buoyed by its recent foray into Chilean production, Italian producer Zonin 1821 has revealed ambitions for further winemaking ventures beyond its homeland, with New Zealand and even the UK cited as potential countries of interest. Speaking to Harpers at at Prowein, Zonin head winemaker Stefano Ferrante (pictured) described the Dos Almas labelled Chile project, which saw the first wines emerging in 2017, as “a very proud new chapter in our life”. Source, Harpers.co.uk

22/03/2018: Call for Te Mata track to remain
Following the furore over the track when it was built last year, Craggy Range Winery made a commitment to remove the track, but Mr Bate said it may not be possible to restore the area, as it was already being used extensively and it added to the public recreation activities in the region. "The track's resource consent requires Craggy Range to grant a legal easement in perpetuity for the public to walk it. This easement is to be held on our behalf by Hastings District Council, so legally the Craggy track is really our track. Source, NZ Herald

21/03/2018: First competition, and a fourth place
There were probably a few red French faces following last year’s Le revue du Vin de France annual Tasting World Championships. Not only did they not take out the top spot, but they were relegated to 11th position, with Sweden, UK and Luxembourg taking the top three places. The New Zealand team, consisting of five members plus a coach may have wanted to take out the title, but are more than happy to come in fourth, in just their first attempt. Source, New Zealand Winegrower

21/03/2018: Waitaki challenges and success
Is Waitaki Valley the most challenging or the most promising New Zealand wine region and who is making money from this area? The valley is one of the southernmost wine regions in the world at 45° latitude and its winemakers are the last in New Zealand to harvest their grapes each year, typically picking two to three weeks later than Gibbston Valley, which is the last of Central Otago’s wine areas to harvest – and is even further south. Source, New Zealand Winegrower

21/03/2018: Value of US wine exports fall
The value of US wine exports fell 5.5% to $1.53 billion in 2017, with shipments to the European Union suffering a near-20% revenue slump, according to data from the US Dept of Commerce. California’s Wine Institute – the state is responsible for 97% of exports – blamed the decline on the strong dollar, ‘heavily-subsidised foreign producers’ and competitors making free trade agreements in key markets. Source, Decanter

21/03/2018: Portugal's protectionist policy reaps benefits
The UK’s largest wine retailer has reported soaring sales of Portuguese wines, driven by their diversity, value for money and an increasing interest in local grape varieties. Majestic Wine has just reported a hefty 56% increase in year on year sales of its Portuguese range, as the wines becomes increasingly popular with UK consumers. Source, VINEX MARKET IQ

21/03/2018: Sichuan: China's high-altitude wine region
Sichuan province, bordering Yunnan and Tibet in southwestern China, has been tipped by local government as the new testing ground for high-altitude viticulture, as the province’s wine industry turnover exceeds RMB 700 million (US$110 million). Sichuan at the moment has about 20 wineries and 63,000 mu (4,200 hectares) of land under vine, with an annual production of 15,000 tonnes, according to the Chengdu Wine & Spirits Association. Source, Drinks Business

21/03/2018: Fruity flavor helps Chile gain in Chinese market
China’s wine imports increased by 17% in volume in 2017; value rose by 18%. Chile is China’s No. 3 source of imported wine, after France and Australia, and China-Chile trade is likely to increase this year in connection with an upgraded bilateral free trade agreement reached in 2017. Vina Errazuriz expects revenue in China to grow by 30% in 2018, following a similar gain that lifted its sales in the country to $8 million in 2017. Source, Forbes

20/03/2018: Conviviality's CEO resigns
Diana Hunter, the chief executive of beleaguered UK drinks wholesaler Conviviality has resigned after the company issued two profit warnings and revealed it would have to tap investors for more cash after receiving an unexpected tax bill. Hunter has stepped down from the board today with immediate effect, but is staying on “for a period of time in order to provide transition support,” according to a statement issued by the company. Source, VINEX Market IQ

20/03/2018: Esk Valley harvest weathers storm
The winery hit hardest by the flood that inundated the Eskdale Valley 12 days ago was yesterday still playing the waiting game over the future of some of its grapes nearing the peak of the harvesting season. But Linden Estate hopes the harvest would still take place without loss. The major issues are when to harvest and how. Source, NZ Herald

20/03/2018: Fine-wine investment 'too good to be true'
In 2008, in the midst of the financial crisis, the Financial Times designated the market for fine wine as "a haven for investors in difficult times" which probed the interest in fine-wine investments in modern times. As a consequence, wine is not being viewed as only a pure consumer good any more, but also as a tempting investment opportunity by many investors. Source, NZ Herald

20/03/2018: 2000-year-old wine unearthed in central China
A bottle of 2000-year-old wine has been found in an excavated and sealed bronze vessel in China's Shaanxi Province. The bronze jug, along with a further 260 items, was unearthed from a civilian tomb collection near Shaanxi's capital Xi'an. It would appear the container dates from between the late Warring States period (475-221 BCE) and the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BCE), Xinhua reports. Source, GB Times

20/03/2018: Scientists give wine waste a second life
Seeds, stalks, skins made up about a quarter of a grape and are usually thrown away after the wine is produced. In total, 14 million tons of pomace (the leftover part of grapes) is produced by the wine industry every year. When put into landfills, pesticides and fertilizers can leach into the environment, and the low pH of pomace can cause the soil to become more acidic. Source, ZME Science

20/03/2018: Henkell: world's leading sparkling wine producer
German group Henkell has become the world’s largest sparkling wine producer after purchasing 50.67% of Freixenet’s shares. It has singed an extensive, international cooperation agreement with the remaining shareholders José Ferrer Sala and José Luis Bonet Ferrer. Freixenet is Spain’s largest cava brand, while Henkell owns Mionetto, the world’s bestselling Prosecco brand. Source, Drinks Retailing News

20/03/2018: NZ's largest wine region to expand
Marlborough, New Zealand's largest wine region, is planning to add the size of the Hawke's Bay wine region, and some, over the next two years. Marlborough's 24,000 hectares of vineyard is expected to be boosted by a further 6800 hectares by 2019/20. Hawke's Bay, the second largest wine producing region in New Zealand, has a vineyard area of 4744ha. Source, Stuff

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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