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News posted on Monday, 1 February 2016

Casella Family Brands picks up Howcroft Vineyards on SA's Limecoast
NSW Riverina winemaker Casella Family Brands has snapped up the Howcroft Estate Vineyards near South Australia's Limestone Coast in the first big vineyards deal of the year. Family-run Casella, one of the country's biggest wine producers with brands including Yellow Tail, Peter Lehmann Wines and Brands Laira, is understood to have paid just over the $9 million asking price for the 540 hectare property near Mundulla, which has 412 hectares of planted vines.

Costas, Duxton snap up Littore winery and vineyards
The investment and development arm of the Costa family, the country's biggest growers of fresh fruit and vegetables, has acquired the Littore Wine Group's Jindalee Estate Winery in the Moorabool Valley near Geelong. The 23-hectare Ballan Road winery was acquired by Costa Asset Management (CAM) from receivers Ferriers Hodgson. The family-run Littore Wine Group, one of the country's biggest independent wine producers, was forced into receivership by Rabobank in October last year.

Frankland Estate is changing how Americans view Riesling and Australian wine
Americans can have misconceptions about Riesling. Some believe that this varietal is only ever sweet. Drinkers who do not like sweetness may never try and enjoy a dry Riesling. Reversing this misconception takes consumer education. Australian winemaker Hunter Smith was in America this week, showcasing the dry Rieslings from his family’s Frankland Estate Wines. Founded in 1988 by Smith’s parents, Frankland Estate is in southwest Australia, four hours south of Perth.

An holistic approach to winemaking
Adelaide Hills biodynamic wine pioneers Erinn and Janet Klein aim to produce wines that reflect the terroir of their Ngeringa vineyards, with an emphasis on simplicity and sustainability. The pair met while studying at Adelaide University – Erinn in oenology and Janet in viticulture.

Why there's more to Australian wine than Chardonnay
Australia changed the way we drink way back in the Nineties, when its golden Chardonnay and life-affirmingly lusty Shiraz brought wine hedonism to our sun-starved shores. But, like maiden aunts constantly surprised that the niece we remember as a toddler smearing chocolate cake over her face is now managing the national debt, we’re still reluctant to allow that it has grown up.

Marlborough vineyard workers encouraged to report employment breaches
It is "disappointing" that some companies within the Marlborough wine industry continue to use non-compliant contracting businesses, a Labour Inspectorate spokesman says. The comments follow a Blenheim woman's claims that 13 workers were left more than $10,000 out of pocket after an agreement with a contractor fell through. Some of the workers were struggling to pay for food and rent after a contractor defaulted on a payment for 50.5 hours of work in January, the woman said.

Food and wine go hand-in-hand at Sauvignon Celebration
Crisp consumer favourite: Sauvignon Blanc, will be paired alongside a gourmet selection of New Zealand produce at the up-coming International Sauvignon Blanc Celebration in Marlborough. The sold-out event runs from February 1-3, and has attracted over 350 guests, from 18 countries, who will have the opportunity to taste through over 400 Sauvignon Blanc wines, from 8 different countries.

Diageo delivers 30 months of continuous growth
Diageo GB saw sales rise 3% in the in the six months to 31 December, marking thirty months of continuous growth, it revealed today during its interim results. Andrew Cowan, country director for Diageo Great Britain, said the growth was down to its continued focus on four key strategic areas: maintaining the momentum behind Guinness, growing the Reserve business, excellent execution of the premium core portfolio, and developing strong innovation.

Chile overtakes France as top imported wine in Japan
Imports of Chilean wine have surpassed those from France in Japan for the first time, with Chile now the country’s top imported wine by origin. Imports of Chilean wine jumped 18.1% in 2015 to 51.59 million litres, while French wine imports fell 2.8% to 51.51 million litres, according to data released by the Finance Ministry, as reported by The Japan Times.

Hansen: Building a world-class wine research program
Washington’s wine industry has started the process of building a world-class research program. The industry has invested in a new wine science facility, developed a strategic plan and recently hired me, theWashington Wine Commission’s first-ever research program manager. The state’s growers and wineries took a major step to support research when they pledged $7.4 million for construction of Washington State University’s Ste. Michelle Estates Wine Science Center at the Tri-Cities campus.

Wine-on-tap sales surge as restaurateurs seek efficiency, freshness, sustainability
Many Vancouver restaurateurs are swapping corkscrews for spigots as they adopt new technologies to serve wine in an effort to reduce costs, improve freshness and boost environmental sustainability. Not only are more restaurants starting to use wine-on-tap technology, but there are also an increase in total volume served, a rise in the number of competing technologies that package wine for this purpose and more wineries that allow their wines to be sold in this fashion.

Exploring the Diversity of American Oak: Heinrich Cooperage
American oak has a long tradition in the wine industry, yet not all winemakers may realise the diversity of aromas and flavours this wood type can impart. Heinrich Cooperage has become a specialist in American oak, crafting premium barrels focused on this wood type for wineries throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Free Financial Health Check for Wineries
For the first time ever, wineries can benchmark their financial performance against others in their region, country, and internationally and compare with wineries of similar production output. Unlike other benchmarking exercises, Wine Business Solutions’ international financial benchmark is designed using as few questions as possible in order that a minimum of management time be required to participate.

Improve your Cash Flow in 2016
Strong competition from retail sales, changing demand from export markets and fluctuating wine production are major issues in managing revenue movements. Together with fluctuations of exchange rates, losing bargaining power to major retailers and change in consumer tastes, cash flow can receive a battering.

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