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News posted on Thursday, 1 December 2016

Support for South Australia after hail storm havoc
The local industry wine body Riverland Wine is offering support to wine growers in South Australia’s Riverland after a devastating hail storm wreaked havoc throughout the region, “shredding” the vines of many producers. The organisation has posted an updated list of support available on its website for winemakers to seek assistance following the storm on 11 November. Wineries in the region lost up up to 80% of their crop as many were anticipating a good vintage in Riverland, reports ABC news. The storm left a trail of destruction from Cadell through Barmera, Berri and Monash to Yamba.

Tasmanian Pinot Noirs at Royal Hobart Wine Show
Tasmanian Pinot Noirs have won nine gold medals at this year’s Royal Hobart International Wine Show. New Zealand Pinot Noirs scored three gold medals, and one gold medal went to an Australian mainland Pinot Noir. The Chair of the Show’s organising committee, John Ellis of Hanging Rock Vineyard in Victoria, described the outcome as a statement of strength by Tasmanian Pinot Noir producers. More than three days of judging have now wrapped up in Hobart, and an Awards dinner brought together wine judges, wine industry identities and the wine consuming public to hear the results.

Fine wine in China
Several wineries from northern Victoria put their best drop forward at the 2016 ProWine China event in Shanghai earlier this month. About 200 wines from 19 exhibitors were showcased under the Wine Australia Pavilion, including products from Wahring’s Trifon Estate Wines, Heathcote’s Whitebox and Wild Duck Creek Estate and Nagambie’s Four Sisters, McPherson and Tahbilk wineries. McPherson Wines owner Andrew McPherson said ProWine was one of the biggest, most networked wine trade shows in the world and was held at various locations throughout the year.

Wine exporter adds Adelaide Hills vineyard to stable
One of the Adelaide Hills' oldest vineyards, Blackford Stables, has sold for $1.5 million after being on the market for more than a year-and-a-half. The 46.12-hectare property near Charleston was snapped up by an unnamed local industry participant with an export business targeting the Chinese market. It includes a residence, heritage-listed stables and 14 hectares of vineyards planted to sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, pinot gris, sangiovese and pinot noir.

Australia's newest Master Sommelier Ben Hasko
Anyone can tell a Shiraz from a Riesling but it takes a bit more than that to earn the title of Master Sommelier. Many of us like to think we know our fruity tipples but so far only three Australians have passed the rigorous testing needed to gain the prestigious title. The newest member of that club is Ben Hasko.

Video: Epicentre of NZ earthquake
New Zealand's recent Kaikoura earthquake ruined enough wine to fill more than five million bottles, according to new industry estimates. Click through to see an up to date report, alongside a video of cracks in the landscape caused by the quake. Marlborough lost just over 2% of its annual production in the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck New Zealand two weeks ago, according to trade body New Zealand Winegrowers. Marlborough produces ‘well over’ 200 million litres of wine annually, it said. A fifth of the region’s tank capacity was damaged to varying degrees, NZ Winegrowers said.

Treble success for boutique Bay winery Alpha Domus
Two trophies and a gold for its premium 2015 Alpha Domus AD Noble Selection has left the winery's managing director Paul Ham and winemaker Barry Riwai with plenty of reasons to smile. The latest success of the dessert wine, which came with a trophy at the 2017 Winestate Magazine Wine of the Year Awards, came in the wake of the Bridge Pa Triangle-sited winery celebrating another treble of success with its 2015 Barnstormer Syrah taking gold medals at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards, the Sydney International Wine Competitions and the Hawke's Bay A&P Wine Awards.

Dogs vs Chromatography — Who is the Winner?
Man’s best friend helps us in all kinds of ways. Assistance dogs for people with sight problems; dogs who can help to detect explosives; and search and rescue dogs who help us to find people who are lost. Now a researcher at the University of Melbourne in Australia has found another way that our canine friends can help us — in vineyards to help keep one of Australia’s best exports in top shape. Vineyards are susceptible to many pests and diseases and keeping vines healthy is an important task — and this is where Sonja Needs and her faithful dog Keely help to preserve the vineyards of Australia. -

Ridgeview CEO named ‘business woman of the year’
Tamara Roberts, CEO of English winery Ridgeview, has been named ‘Sussex Businesswoman of the Year’. Roberts was recognised for her work at the winery, which she took over in 2014, at the Business Women Excellence Awards ceremony in Brighton last Friday. The awards are designed to “celebrate and recognise” successful businesswomen in the southern English county. Having taken over in 2014, Roberts has overseen Ridgeview’s growth to 300,000 bottles and has plans to double production further over the next five years.

Romanian wine to grow in UK
Romanian wine in the UK is expected to grow by around 10% after production in the Eastern European country grew by more than a third, producer Cramele Recas has claimed. Patrick Cox, CEO of Romanian’s largest wine producer, Cramele Recas, said there was strong potential in the UK market for Romanian wine, following a good year in 2015. “The UK has been the fastest growing export market for Romania in the last five years, and Romania has become the fastest growing supply country for the UK market. In 2016 we estimate a 10% growth over 2015 in the UK – and 2015 was a record year,” he said.

Expert says restaurants should be creative with drinks menu
There may be many big name professionals and critics at wine businesses based in Asia, but not many have enjoyed as much attention as wine critic and expert Jeannie Cho Lee has, the first Asian to be recognized as a wine master by the dignified Institute of Masters of Wine based in the United Kingdom. Lee, after she received the honor of becoming a Master of Wine in 2008, has been building up her name as wine critic, professor, television host, consultant and many others, to encourage others in Asia to step up and get their feet into the industry while showing the wine-making regions how important the Asian market is for them for the future.

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