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News posted on Thursday, 1 September 2016

China could top US for Aust wine exports
China could overtake the US as Australia's biggest wine export market thanks to the growing Chinese middle class' thirst for Aussie wines. Growing demand from Asian markets, particularly China, has driven strong growth in Australian wine exports. IBISWorld analyst Andrew Ledovskikh expects China, which now accounts for about a quarter of Australian wine exports, to become an increasingly important market.

Elite Granite Belt wines gain valuable Japanese exposure
THE Granite Belt’s growing international reputation as an elite wine destination has been further enhanced following a visit by a Japanese wine industry delegation. The nearly week-long tour encompassed visits to Sirromet’s Seven Scenes, St Judes and Night Sky Vineyards, along with Sirromet’s flagship winery at Mount Cotton.

Private equity pursues Accolade Wines
A private equity firm based in Britain is believed to be circling Accolade Wines, according to The Australian newspaper, with some pointing to Permira or the 3i Group. Permira is a European firm with €200 million of committed capital for investments in the consumer, financial services, healthcare, industrial, media and technology sectors, while 3i Group is London-listed and invests in the business services, consumer and industrial space.

Dan Murphy’s returns to its spiritual home in Prahran
Australia’s leading drinks retailer is returning to its roots with the opening of Dan Murphy’s Cellar right where it all began in the 1950s in the iconic Prahran Arcade at 282 Chapel Street. Originally built in 1890, it was here that Daniel Francis Murphy realised his dream of running his own wine and liquor store.

Craft beer to be spring’s big seller: poll
As winter comes to an end a poll on The Shout has revealed that craft beer is tipped to be the big seller this spring. While a lot of industry talk at the moment is about the rise and rise of dry, pale rosé, that Provencal-style of wine has been edged out in the poll by the craft beer juggernaut. The State of the Industry Report released earlier this year by the Australian Liquor Stores Association and IRI highlighted that the craft beer market is “flourishing against the backdrop of declining beer consumption”.

Airport pledges $50k to boost NZ wine tourism
New Zealand’s Auckland Airport has awarded a NZ$50,000 grant to the New Zealand Wine Pure Discovery project to help boost wine tourism. The New Zealand Wine Pure Discovery Project is a collaboration between New Zealand Winegrowers and Auckland Airport and aims to improve the presence of wine and winery experiences in key tourism channels throughout the country. New Zealand Winegrowers said the grant signalled a “broadening of support for wine tourism, and an increased interest in product development within the sector”.

Winemaker moving out of the valley
Queenstown wine pioneer Alan Brady is uprooting himself from the Wakatipu, 40 years after shifting there. Mr Brady, who famously planted the first grapes in Queenstown's Gibbston Valley, is moving only an hour's drive away to Clyde, however - still within the Central Otago region he helped put on the world wine map.

Burgundy 2016: Bad weather, Brexit and beyond
In Burgundy, the year 2016 is proving an annus horribilis of ruthless proportions. Crushed between the Scylla and Charybdis of catastrophic hail and frost damage in April and May, followed by humidity and passage of Brexit (the British exit from the European Union), Burgundians strain to retain their trademark composure amidst the carnage. "Everyone is very anxious… It's really very difficult to know [the impact] right now, but we will know at time of harvest," admits Pierre-Henry Gagey, President of Maison Louis Latour.

Napa harvest report: Slow, steady ripening continues
Cool temperatures continue to contribute to the slow, steady ripening of Napa Valley grapes. "Ripening has slowed down, allowing time for judicious crop and canopy adjustments to be made," reports Bill Nancarrow of Goosecross Cellars. "While in the wineries pre-harvest sanitation and intern acclimation can continue."

‘Brexit boom’ as fine wine buyers seek lesser vintages
The fine wine market has enjoyed a ‘Brexit boom’ in the weeks following the UK vote to leave the European Union – and the so-called ‘lesser’ vintages are leading the charge. Geraint Carter, of BI, told Decanter.com that the fine wine market was experiencing a broader recovery. "The encouraging thing about the current situation is that demand is not restricted to the usual suspects – not just Lafite, not just first growths – but covers a much broader set of wines," he said.

Strong exhibitor registration for ProWine China 2016
ProWine China 2016, International Trade Fair for Wines and Spirits, is experiencing strong exhibitor registration – both for country group pavilions and individual exhibits. The event will be held from November 7 – 9, 2016 at the Shanghai New International Expo Center - alongside FHC China, the country’s leading trade fair for imported food. Reflecting the stability in the market and growing demand for import wines, many country group pavilions have enlarged their exhibit space compared to the 2015 staging. Australia booked 20% more space at ProWine China 2016 – due to the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA).

Important notice for WGGA members
The upcoming Special General Meeting is the most important issue that Australian Grape growers have faced in the 10 years of WGGA’s existence. The purpose of this work, which will be the subject of the vote at the special general meeting, is to re-focus the national grower body to make it more sustainable and effective as a national voice for winegrowers.

Elite Granite Belt wines gain gain valuable Japanese exposure
THE Granite Belt’s growing international reputation as an elite wine destination has been further enhanced following a visit by a Japanese wine industry delegation. The nearly week-long tour encompassed visits to Sirromet’s Seven Scenes, St Judes and Night Sky Vineyards, along with Sirromet’s flagship winery at Mount Cotton.

Private equity pursues Accolade Wines
A private equity firm based in Britain is believed to be circling Accolade Wines, according to The Australian newspapaer, with some pointing to Permira or the 3i Group. Permira is a European firm with €200 million of committed capital for investments in the consumer, financial services, healthcare, industrial, media and technology sectors, while 3i Group is London-listed and invests in the business services, consumer and industrial space.

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