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News posted on Monday, 1 December 2014

China loves red wine, but white is gaining
China adores red wine. It's not surprising, since anywhere from 80 to 90 per cent of what is in the market is red. But what is surprising is the widespread belief that this is set in stone. Nothing underscores this attitude more than claims that Chinese favour red wine because the colour is lucky.

Drones could be the answer for vineyards
Hot-air balloons drifting in multicolored splashes against a blue heaven are a common sight in Napa Valley. But lately, more than balloons have been taking to the wine-country skies. A few pioneers are experimenting with unmanned aerial vehicles, better known as drones, exploring their potential for agricultural chores such as monitoring, irrigation and crop spraying.

Wine merchants warn of skyrocketing costs under new pricing scheme
A US$40 (A$47) bottle of wine in British Columbia will cost as much as US$56 (A$66) next year if the province goes ahead with a new wholesale pricing system. That was the warning from Mark Hicken, Vancouver wine industry lawyer, who feels the wholesale price model that takes effect on April 1, 2015 has serious flaws.

Australian wine uncorked for Korean market opening
Australia’s scorching sun and mineral-rich soil provide excellent conditions for growing grapes. The innovativeness and adventurism of Australian's has led to the production of some of the finest wines in the world. In an effort to get more of this wine flowing in Korea, the event 'Discover New Australian Wines 2014' was held at Westin Chosun Hotel in Seoul on November 24, introducing 170 premium wines from 21 wineries in Australia to Korean importers, retailers and journalists.

Low-alcohol wine logical step
Once thought of as watered-down, tasteless and a waste of time, lower-alcohol wine might be about to take its place in the sun. With the new drink-drive limits about to come into effect, some winegrowers are touting lower-alcohol as the way of the future.

Casella puts a cork in profit speculation
Casella Wines has refused to provide profit or revenue forecasts for the merged entity if its $57 million takeover of Peter Lehmann Wines is successful because of extreme volatility in the sector, but says it will strip out some head office jobs from the Barossa Valley group. Casella, the maker of Australia's biggest-selling wine, Yellow Tail, has told shareholders in Peter Lehmann Wines in a bidder's statement for its proposed $1.50-per-share buyout the inclusion of financial forecasts "would be unduly speculative and potentially misleading for shareholders".

Huge wine investment potential in Tasmania demonstrated
The report identifies large land areas of tens of thousands of hectares suitable for viticulture in 20 regions, which includes 15 "new” regions with few or no vineyards. Climate was intensively studied and mapped along with frost incidence in several of these regions. Tasmania offers a climate covering a range of temperature from less than 900 to 1,500 heat degree-day units, and is comparable to New Zealand and other cool climate wine regions.

Competition might heat up in China
Kiwi businesses exporting to China may need to adjust their prices after Australia reached a free trade agreement with Asia's economic powerhouse, a former trade director says. A new free trade agreement (FTA) between Australia and China is planned to take effect next year, seven years after New Zealand agreed its FTA with China. New Zealand's agreement eliminates tariffs on 96 per cent of current exports to China.

Hobart invites the world to dinner and counts the cost of influence
Brisbane had its G20; Hobart had its I86. That’s the number of prominent 'influencers', from all corners of the globe, who woke up in Hobart a fortnight ago with varying degrees of hangover reflecting the largesse of Tourism Australia and its campaign to promote our food and wine assets.

Power prices skyrocket by 62 per cent in South Australia's Riverland
Electricity bills have jumped by 62 per cent in South Australia's Riverland, according to an irrigator who says he is facing increased costs. Sam Albanese, a grower at Pike River near Renmark, said high electricity bills were the latest challenge for a region that was already suffering from the impacts of low commodity prices and drought in recent years.

SA accountant who stole $600k was not motivated by greed
An accountant was not motivated by greed when he stole more than $600,000 from a group of Barossa wine companies, the South Australian district court has heard. James Stanley George Martin, 53, pleaded guilty to 45 counts of theft relating to $638,596.25 he obtained by stealing the tax refunds of the Dural Wines Group. Dural Wines own Kaesler, in the Barossa; Nashwauk, McLaren Vale; and the Clare Wine Co. and also has financial interest in Yarra Yering and Warramate Wines.

Cadalpe cross flow filtration and stabilisation equipment
In 2014 ABEVE were appointed the distributor for cadalpe in Australian wine industry. Cadalpe are regarded as the leading Italian manufacturer of filters for the wine industry and have been a long time supplier of Australia for over 20 years.

Yeast strains – ViniFerm
Natural “wild type” Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast strains. ViniFerm yeasts are the first active dry yeast strains in the world that combine the flavour diversity of Non-Saccharomyces yeast with the fermentation security of Saccharomyces yeasts. ViniFerm yeasts give a broad flavour spectrum and emphasise the varietal and terroir character in all wines.

Australia Trade Tasting announces Export Focus Day: USA Market
Australia Trade Tasting (AuTT) has announced that they will be hosting some of the USA's top market makers as speakers at their educational 'US Focus Day' business conference on September 2, 2015, in Melbourne, Australia. The 'US Focus Day' will highlight sales, distribution and marketing strategies being used by leading market experts in the USA.

A tale of three continents
The Hess Group's recent sale of Barossa-based Peter Lehmann Wines to Casella was shocking: over half of the value of the company, it would seem, had been axed away in little more than a decade. Lehmann is a respected leader from the nation's best-known wine-producing region. To see a company like that discounted from high-end international ownership to a domestic giant whose growth has been built on 'value' wine does not look like a happy regional omen.

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