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News posted on Wednesday, 1 April 2015

“We have a plan and we know what must be done” WFA responds to tax review
The Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) has welcomed the federal review announced into the nation’s tax system. Paul Evans, WFA chief executive, said the review would be an opportunity to highlight the role Australian wine plays in supporting tens of thousands of regional jobs. “Industry profitability, structure, production risks and the economic footprint of Australian wine compared to spirits and beer are very different and clearly justify why wine warrants a different tax rate,” Evans said.

Smoke taint hits Adelaide Hills wineries
Some Adelaide Hills grapegrowers have been forced to abandon their entire vintage after their grapes tested positive to smoke taint from the Sampson Flat bushfire. One of the growers and winemakers, Frank Baldasso, was trapped on his property during the January blaze, and counted himself lucky to have survived as the fire roared through one of his vineyards. He had lost about a quarter of his vines, but he was safe, and optimistic that the smoke – thick enough to block out the sun, but quickly swept away by the wind – could not have ruined the rest of his precious vintage.

SA winemaker Trevor Jones accused of destroying $300,000 worth of wine
A prominent South Australian winemaker has faced court accused of destroying more than $300,000 worth of wine from a Barossa Valley winery. Trevor David Jones, 57, has been charged with serious criminal trespass and property damage. Jones previously made wine for Kellermeister Wines at Lyndoch, where it is alleged he deliberately opened taps on four wine tanks releasing nearly 25,000 litres of wine in February. He now runs his own winery, Trevor Jones Fine Wines, also based at Lyndoch.

Dogs trained to sniff out phylloxera
A university researcher is training sniffer dogs to detect pest and disease in vineyards. Dogs have traditionally been trained to sniff out drugs, explosives and even missing people, but their new target could be phylloxera - a devastating disease that feeds on the roots of vines and can eventually kill an entire vineyard. Melbourne University viticulture and animal science researcher Sonja Needs said she could train any breed to be a sniffer dog.

NZ wine industry takes huge step forward
The Government has announced it will pass legislation to set up a geographical indications registration system for wines and spirits which will operate in a similar way to trademark registration. The Geographical Indications Registration Act will identify wines as originating in a specific region and the distinct qualities or reputation it has due to that; examples in the wine world are French Champagne and Burgundy. Philip Gregan, New Zealand Winegrowers chief executive officer said the move will equip the wine industry with the tools to protect its premium brands from misappropriation or misuse.

Invivo ‘ecstatic’ at crowdfunding record
A New Zealand winery has become the country’s first business to attract the NZ$2 million (A$1.96m) maximum investment permitted via a crowdfunding campaign. Invivo Wines reached this limit less than two weeks after launching its offer on the Snowball Effect crowdfunding platform, bringing on board 439 new shareholders in exchange for 20% equity. The response raised 400% more than the Auckland-based company’s original target, which founders Tim Lightbourne and Rob Cameron were seeking in order to expand their export business.

Launch of GrapeSeed pairs wine lovers with 'Dream Team' winemakers
GrapeSeed™ Wine Fund has launched as the first company to marry consumers’ desire for choice and exclusivity with winemakers’ passion for creating distinctive, small production wines. Leveraging a crowdfunding model, GrapeSeed enables members, or “Partners,” to pay a subscription fee to fund one-of-a-kind wine projects from its growing roster of iconic winemakers. This discreet channel of distribution effectively breaks down barriers that exist between consumers and artisan winemakers, creating a unique new community of wine lovers.

Conservation efforts by wine industry lauded
CONSERVATION efforts in South Africa’s wine industry have been so successful that the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-South Africa) feels there is no longer a need to educate SA’s wine farmers on this issue, the environmental organisation said on Monday. From now on the WWF-South Africa is endorsing the industry’s "Sustainable Wines South Africa" seal, found on the neck of wine bottles, as indication enough that the wine estate is environmentally responsible, said WWF-South Africa agricultural programme manager Inge Kotze. This would make things easier for consumers.

Vinitaly 2015 booms
Nearly 150,000 wine industry professionals descended upon Vinitaly, Italy’s biggest annual trade show, held in Verona from March 22–25. While attendance fell slightly compared to last year’s 156,000 visitors, professionals from more than 140 countries came to the event, 20 more than in 2014. “The huge U.S. and Canadian markets alone accounted for 20% of international visitors, totaling 55,000 people,” says Giovanni Mantovani, CEO and director general of Veronafiere, the show’s organizer.

The reality of minerality
New research suggests that minerality in wine is not a figment of the imagination. Wine tasting notes are peppered with the ambiguous term minerality, but does it exist? And, if it does exist, what does it mean and where does it come from? Can you smell it, or is it purely a taste sensation? In a bid to close the black hole of knowledge relating to minerality, sensory scientists in New Zealand and France have collaborated on a project to understand better what the concept of minerality means in Sauvignon Blanc wines.

TWE announce major changes
Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) has announced plans to cut an unspecified number of jobs and put some of its Australian and US wineries up for sale in a series of cost cutting changes. The move comes as part of a previously stated attempt to focus on a smaller number of brands and deliver $35 million in cost savings in fiscal 2015. Treasury’s packaging and warehousing facility at Karadoc near Mildura will be shut, while its Australian wineries Ryecroft, T'Gallant and Bailey's will be put up for sale, along with California’s Asti winery.

Last chance to register for tasting of Australia’s lesser known Italian whites
Australian wineries have until the end of tomorrow (Thursday) to register their interest in the Wine & Viticulture Journal’s forthcoming tasting of lesser-known Italian whites, including Garganega, Greco, Verduzzo, Malvasia, Bianco d’Alessano and Grillo. In the last six years, the Journal has held tastings of Australian-made Arneis, Vermentino, Fiano and Pinot Grigio and today each of these Italian whites are being produced by at least 50 local wineries. We’re now throwing our spotlight on some of these varieties’ lesser-known Italian cousins

Bayer


Flavourtech


New Holland


Braud


Kauri


WID 2017