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News posted on Monday, 1 June 2015

Accolade Wines opposes Treasury, Pernod Ricard on price rises
Four out of five bottles and casks of wine will increase in price if the federal government imposes a volumetric tax on the industry, the chief executive of Australia's second largest wine company, Accolade Wines, has warned. John Ratcliffe, head of Accolade, which is 80 per cent owned by private equity firm CHAMP, is firmly rejecting a push by his two big rivals Treasury Wine Estates and Pernod Ricard, who've broken ranks to advocate for a flat tax for wine. The move has angered most of the remaining 2500 wine companies in Australia, who are annoyed at the duo's surprise stance.

Australia pressuring Canada in TPP for greater wine access
Australia is pressuring a reluctant Canada to lower trade barriers on its wine industry, pushing for similar concessions that were won by the European Union, The Canadian Press has learned. An internal memo from the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development says Australia is pushing for greater market access for its wine in Canada as part of the ongoing negotiations of the Trans Pacific Partnership. Australia is citing gains made by the EU in its comprehensive agreement in principle with Canada -- known by the acronym CETA -- which was announced in late 2013, but is still being finalised.

India-Australia FTA to discuss wine sector
CANBERRA: A free trade pact between India and Australia could be initiated by the year end with the mineral-rich island nation showing willingness to take into consideration New Delhi's sensitivities in sectors like dairy and wine. The two sides are keen to build on the political will that emerged after a positive engagement between the leaders of the two nations and Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Australia tour in November last year. The eight rounds of talks are expected to begin in New Delhi in the first week of July.

Refugees to benefit from bumper harvest in Canberra
Refugees are to benefit from the exceptionally good wine harvest being experienced by growers in the Canberra district cool climate region. With harvest complete and crushing underway, a surplus of Shiraz grapes produced by one winery has inspired a number of vignerons to combine their talents and infrastructure to raise money for refugees that have settled in the area. This is being done by producing a Shiraz from this year's vintage, with the proceeds going to the Canberra-based Companion House which was founded in 1989.

Spirit distilleries sceptical about proposed tax reform
Unlike the wine, craft beer and cider industries, spirit distilleries receive no tax break for their products. Co-owner of Kangaroo Island Spirits and Australian Distillers Association committee member Jon Lark said excise tax cuts are necessary for industry growth. "What we are seeing done well in Australia with other beverage industries such as wine, beer and cider is that the Government is giving excise relief, particularly for small boutique producers to enable them to compete and develop in the market," he said.

Wine soars to new heights
New Zealand wine continues to advance rapidly in the U.S. market, delivering impressive growth in both volume and value. In 2014, New Zealand table wine imports jumped by 19.3% to 5.67 million cases, concluding a three-year period which showed an increase of 55%, according to Impact Databank. While rival imports are sharpening their focus on premiumisation, New Zealand is already very much a premium proposition.

Maling to leave Villa Maria
Leading New Zealand winery, Villa Maria, has announced that Alastair Maling is leaving after more than 12 years. A master of wine and general manager winemaking, he will will remain until the end of June to ensure a smooth transition. CEO Villa Maria, Sir George Fistonich said: “Alastair has played an important role in the development of Villa Maria and has ensured that deep rooted foundations have been laid to maintain the quality of our winemaking portfolio as the business has grown.

Lidl voted best supermarket for value for money wine
Lidl offers the best value for money wine of all the UK supermarkets, a panel of experts has concluded. Lidl was praised for 65 per cent of its wines offering good value for money, closely followed by discounter rival Aldi with 64 per cent. At the other end of the scale, a whopping 74 per cent of bottles sold by Marks & Spencer offer poor value for money, the panel judged. The experts included sommeliers, winemakers and Masters of Wines.

The Prosecco panic: A case of market manipulation
If you thought the Greek crisis was the biggest disaster facing the world, or the Ukraine standoff, or the Chinese property crash – think again. Something really dreadful is about to hit. There is going to be a global shortage of Prosecco. So said Robert Cremonese, export manager of the Prosecco brand Bisol. Sales of the Italian sparkling wine have shot up in recent years as people have discovered that the Italians can make bubbly just as well as the French, and for much less money.

California wine industry fights to stay alive during drought
As the central valley struggles to conserve water during the fourth year of this historic drought, researchers at UC Davis are now looking at ways to keep the wine industry from reaching the end of the vine. Educators are trying to make the drought's damage less severe by testing out new watering techniques without compromising the quality of grapes. It takes about 4-6 gallons of water to produce one gallon of wine, but researchers here at UC Davis are now trying to reduce that to a one-to-one ratio.

Calls for a united body to promote UK wine producers
English wine producers are calling for a new promotional body to represent producers and growers amid swelling consumer interest. Sam Lindo, United Kingdom Vineyards Association chairman, wants the organisation to merge with the English Wine Producers to create a new group charged with issues including lobbying, taxation, funding and exports. “A professional organisation is required to deal with the huge growth in production in the UK,” he told Harpers.

Cassegrain: success in Asia
Cassegrain needed additional working capital to keep up with growing demand from buyers in Japan and China. Efic’s Export Contract Loan helped Cassegrain increase its manufacturing capacity, with Cassegrain anticipating its exports will double over the next two years. How could Efic help your export business grow?

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