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News posted on Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Shiraz style celebration
With Shiraz now the dominant wine for our largest export market, China, the dark-skinned variety was celebrated at recent NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) industry events which highlighted the versatility of new Shiraz clones. DPI viticultural development officer, Darren Fahey, said 75 select wine industry members took part in special tasting events in Canberra and the Hunter Valley to explore wine style and the Shiraz clones which are best suited to local wine regions.

89% of Aussies say they prefer to buy local
A new study has found that Aussie shoppers remain a patriotic bunch with a whopping 89 per cent of respondents agreeing they’d more likely buy an Australian made product. The study by research firm Roy Morgan pitted shoppers views of locally made goods over their cheaper Chinese alternatives. It found 30 per cent of us are likely to buy Chinese made goods based on price, while 48 per cent of respondents were less likely to buy the Chinese variant. Only 3 per cent say they’d be more likely to buy wine if it came from China, while 73 per cent are more likely to buy wine if it’s Australian.

Pikes’ $1.5 Million Clare Valley Destination
One of the Clare Valley’s premier wine brands, the family–owned Pikes Wines, is about to embark on a project that will turn the base of the 33–year–old wine and beer company into a Mid North destination for food, wine and tourism. Famous for its quality Clare wines and striking fish logo, for more than 30 years Pikes Wines has been one of Clare Valley’s most renowned wineries. Started in 1984 by Andrew Pike and his brother Neil, the winery has evolved over the years to include a range of beers in 1996 (Pikes Beer Company), Pikes & Joyce (for their Adelaide Hills wines), while a brewery for their beer range opened in 2014. The next step: a Pikes visitors’ centre.

A contemporary tribute to a wine legacy
Penfolds is paying tribute to their most influential wine maker, Max Schubert, with a new collection of wines that are aimed at millennials who want good and affordable wine that they can drink straight away. “The wines have between 5 percent and 10 percent oak with really low tannings; they feature fresher fruity flavors,” said Southeast Asian Penfolds ambassador Patrick Dowling during the luncheon at the Ritz-Carlton Jakarta recently. The luncheon revolved around the innovations by its former chief winemaker Schubert who was the creator of the iconic Australian red, Grange. The low tannins and oak contrast with Penfold’s usual deep red wines.

Moët Hennessy selects Havas as digital & social agency
Leading global luxury wine and spirit business Moët Hennessy Australia has picked Havas creative group as its digital and social agency of record following a competitive pitch that took place at the end of 2016. The win comes off the back of the successful work Havas owned PR, experiential and social agency, Red Agency, has been doing over the past year for Moët Hennessy. Havas and Red Agency will work together to deliver on a number of the brand briefs.

Dare to Pink this summer and #sipnzrose
Wine & lifestyle company Sip NZ is collaborating with New Zealand wine producers again this February to create another successful Dare to Pink #sipnzrose campaign. “The aim of the initiative is to celebrate the pink lifestyle and the great diversity when it comes to New Zealand Rosé wines. That’s why we’re launching New Zealand’s first Rosé directory on sipnzrose.com to help wine lovers find their perfect pink drink and introduce them to producers around the country,” says Caro, co-founder of Sip NZ. With over 60 pink wines on board, the collaborative campaign has more than doubled in size from last year.

Two in East Coast Ballance Farm Environment Awards
A GISBORNE winery, and a sheep and beef farm have been named among five finalists for the 2017 East Coast Ballance Farm Environment Awards. The awards will be presented in Gisborne at the Bushmere Arms on March 1, where the regional supreme winner will be announced. Eugene and Pania King from Kiriroa Station at Matawai, a 347ha sheep breeding and beef finishing property have become finalists along with Wrights Vineyard and Winery, operated by Geoff and Nicola Wright.

Ireland now officially wine country thanks to Dublin farm
Ireland is synonymous with Guinness and whiskey, but now Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon can be added to the list of native drinks. Vineyards are traditionally associated with the south of France or the Napa Valley in California, but a farm in Lusk in North County Dublin has resulted in Ireland being officially classed as a wine-growing nation. This corner of Leinster is a 21st century addition to the world’s vine growers thanks to global warming. RTE’s Eco Eye series is set to shine the spotlight on how the temperature rise across the planet could see Ireland becoming an unlikely wine region, while the potato could fail due to drought.

Why a £4.37 wine became one of the world’s best-rated
Last year, an Asda wine clinched an unusual victory after it beat 16,000 rivals in a blind taste test, winning the prestigious Decanter World Wine Awards competition. The budget bottle of La Moneda Reserva Malbec from the supermarket giant costed a wallet-friendly £4.37 on a rollback deal and emerged as the surprise winner in the ‘single-variety red costing under 15 pounds’ category in Decanter’s annual World Wine Awards. Consumer demand crashed the website of Asda supermarkets following the win, leading its parent company Walmart to start selling the wine at $6.96 a bottle in the United States.

How innovation can disrupt a traditional market like wine
The wine market is steeped in centuries of tradition – both in terms of how it is sold, and how it is drunk. Wine consumption, especially in mature wine markets, has generally been associated with food. However in recent years, we’ve seen an increase in occasional consumption linked to festivities, social gatherings and special occasions. Nowadays, consumers opt for wine as a drink of pleasure, capable of enhancing the sensorial aspects of a good lunch or dining event with family or friends (70% of regular and 60% of occasional consumers), rather than as an everyday drink.

Panel looks at women’s roles in Okanagan wine industry
An awkward silence followed moderator and wine author John Schreiner’s question. He even prefaced his query with: “I hope this isn’t a misogynistic question.” Then he asked the panel of three at the Women of Wine luncheon: “Is it different being a woman in the wine industry?” “Yes, it’s a misogynistic question,” said an only half-joking Ann Sperling, winemaker at Kelowna’s Sperling Vineyards. “I’m a woman winemaker, so I don’t know what it’s like to be a male winemaker.”


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WID 2017