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News posted on Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Major changes to Riverina Wine Show
The release of revised guidelines for the conduct of wine shows in Australia has prompted the Riverina Winemakers Association to review the structure of its regional wine show. The event will now be spilt into two wine shows, with one limited to wines from the Riverina Geographical Indication (GI) and the other open to entries throughout Australia. Les Worland, Riverina Wine Show president, said the new Riverina Wine Show has been designed to throw the spotlight on the provenance of wine produced in the Riverina.

Wolf Blass announces English Premier League sponsorship deal
Treasury Wine Estate’s iconic brand Wolf Blass yesterday announced a multi-year marketing partnership with Manchester City Football Club, making Wolf Blass the Official Wine Partner of the English Premier League team for Asia, Middle East and Africa (MEA), and Mexico. The partnership will see Wolf Blass further expand the brand’s sports sponsorship footprint in the region

Wanted: Australian GSMs
Producers of Australian-made blends of Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvedre are being invited to register their interest in an upcoming tasting of these wines by the Wine & Viticulture Journal. It has been 12 years since the Journal last tasted GSMs, when wine industry consultant Nick Bulleid said in his introduction to the results, “To date, [GSMs have] established themselves well at high price-points, a good place to be."

St Vincent's Health Australia proposes higher alcohol taxes
Adopt higher alcohol taxes, ban alcohol sponsorship in sport, and introduce nation-wide lockout laws to reduce the harm caused by excessive drinking, Australia's major political parties are being urged. Australia's largest not-for-profit provider of health and aged care services, St Vincent's Health Australia, proposed the measures as part of a plan to reduce alcohol-related harm by 20 per cent by 2025.

Treasury Wines has changed its business to manage the risks of climate change
TREASURY Wine Estates is changing the way it does business to manage the risks stemming from climate change. At the Agribusiness Outlook Australia conference in Sydney last week Treasury Wine’s general manager of sustainability, Gioia Small, said climate change was “changing the way we are responding as a business”.

Marlborough end game now in play
Land for vineyards in Marlborough is now becoming so scarce that an “end game” is in play to acquire the best remaining sites, believes the estate director of Cloudy Bay. “We have reached the zenith and there’s an end game going on in terms of acquiring the best sites,” said Ian Morden speaking the drinks business at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show last week, where Cloudy Bay has a garden.

Greystone wins New Zealand Organic Vineyard of the Year
The New Zealand Organic Wine Awards have just revealed their 2016 results and Greystone Wines from North Canterbury has come away with the overall trophy for Vineyard of the Year. This follows gold medal awards this year for their Pinot Gris, Riesling, and Gewürztraminer wines. After a successful debut in 2014, the New Zealand Organic Wine Awards are now in their third year with 123 entrants in 2016 from across the length of New Zealand.

‘Catastrophic’ hail in Chablis, Beaujolais and Cognac
Fierce hailstorms have damaged vineyards in parts of Chablis in Burgundy, plus Beaujolais and Cognac, leading the country's farming federation to declare a 'state of catastrophe' in the worst-hit areas. Hail in Chablis is expected to have severely damaged vineyards in the southern part of the famous Chardonnay region in Burgundy. There have also been reports of serious hail damage.

Rabobank: Global wine supply in flux as drinkers trade up
The global wine supply is in flux depending which end of the market producers play in, with wines on the premium end being considerably higher in demand compared to wines on the lower end of the market according to Rabobank’s Wine Quarterly Q2 2016 report.

Moët Hennessy creates ‘Grange’ from China
Head of Moët Hennessy Estates & Wines, Jean-Guillaume Prats, believes he may have created a new Grange Hermitage – but from China. Speaking to the drinks business at last week’s Vinexpo Hong Kong, where Prats officially launched a Cabernet blend from China called Ao Yun, the head of Moët Hennessy’s wine division said, “My dream is that it’s a new Grange Hermitage… a wine that’s been created with no rules or boundaries.”

English sparkling wine ‘undervalued’, says Master of Wine
Many English sparkling wines are undervalued compared to their Champagne equivalents, Stephen Skelton MW has told an international audience of 600 wine producers, buyers, marketers and media. The renowned English wine industry consultant and Regional Chair for the UK at the Decanter World Wine Awards made the comment during a tasting of English sparkling wines at the ninth International Cool Climate Wine Symposium, this year held in Brighton.

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