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News posted on Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Hunter vignerons remain optimistic despite wet harvest
An unusually wet January has proved challenging for wine grape growers in the New South Wales Hunter Valley, who are now well and truly into the annual grape harvest or vintage. Rain has the potential to split fruit and ruin its flavour. It is also critical the fruit be picked at the right time which is no mean feat when the vineyard is full of mud.

QLD winegrowers look forward to harvest after wild weather last year
Stanthorpe wine growers are in good spirits as the picking season begins for white wine grapes. Growers on the Southern Darling Downs were smashed last year by severe storms and hail, with90 per cent of some crops damaged. This year, however, things are looking up. Growers Sam Costanzo and Angelo Puglisi are neighbours who were hit by the storms, and both are optimistic about the season ahead.

Super premium with a twist
The winery team at Printhie Wines in the Orange region of New South Wales had a nickname for the new premium wine they were working on. The ambition was to create a ‘super duper’ Chardonnay, they succeeded in more ways than one. Nathan Gogoll reports.

Chinese wine drinkers drive Australian export growth
AN increase in the number of Chinese wine drinkers buying imported wine “off-premise” and consuming it at home is helping to drive the sale of Australian wine in China. A three-year study by the University of South Australia’s Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science funded by Wine Australia is nearing completion and has found the number of people buying imported wine in China and their frequency of consumption was on the rise.

Marlborough rakes in lion's share of record wine exports
The Marlborough wine industry is gaining prominence as a key player in New Zealand's export economy, with latest industry figures showing continued record growth. Statistics released by New Zealand Winegrowers last week showed total New Zealand wine exports for 2015 had reached a record $1.54 billion. New Zealand Winegrowers chief executive Philip Gregan said there was no regional breakdown available but estimated 80 per cent of the total export value would have come from Marlborough.

Editorial: Raise a glass to success of Bay wineries
For the Hawke's Bay wine industry, 2015 was a good year. In fact the industry has had a few good years, indeed great years, of late. The 2013 and 2014 vintages were superb and hopefully, without putting the mockers on it, the current upcoming vintage is lining up to be another little red and white cracker. Last year the exports of wine from New Zealand hit a record high of $15 billion, with the industry looking at trends and predicting that by 2020 it will likely hit the $2 billion mark.

Wine here! A football bud gets competition
Beer and football may go together like wine and cheese. But lately more and more people seem be favouring a Bordeaux over a Bud Light. Wine has made inroads into football stadiums and living rooms across the United States on Sundays. Americans still buy far more beer than wine over all, so there is no end coming to the beer commercials.

Wine prices could go up after California wildfires leave tons of grapes unusable
California vineyards have been forced to throw away tons of grapes after they became unusable following wildfires that swept through the state last summer. “The smoke was the main concern, because wine is not supposed to have a smoky flavour to it” says José Enríquez, of Rutherford Hill Winery, who has worked at wineries in Napa and Sonoma counties for more than 20 years. He admitted that prices will likely go up this year as a result.

China wine imports rise strongly in 2015
China’s bottled wine imports in 2015 jumped by a third in both volume and value compared to 2014, the biggest increase since 2011 and emphasising signs of a recovery in the market, show customs figures. After showing growth in the first nine months of 2015, bottled wine imports in China continued to rebound in the last three months of 2015, reaching a total of 395m litres by the end of the year, a 37% increase versus 2014.

Pemberton winery Salitage Estate sells for $2.85m
A Western Australian investor has secured a footprint in the state’s esteemed wine industry, after acquiring the award-winning winery Salitage Estate for $2.85 million. Located in the cool climate region of Pemberton, the winery and vineyard is set across an approximate 51 hectare landholding and has a 22.86 hectare vineyard comprising of Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Napa wineries ship $1 billion in wine to consumers in 2015
To remain competitive and relevant, wineries are becoming far more proficient at wooing customers directly with wine clubs, creating memorable experiences and emotional connections to the wineries. It seems to be paying off. Napa wineries reached an all-time-high shipping record in 2015: More than $1 billion worth of Napa Valley wine was shipped directly to consumers.

ASVO announces new wine show ‘best practice’ recommendations
A COMPREHENSIVE UPDATE and extension of ‘wine show best practice recommendations’ is expected to become a key reference for wine shows of all shapes and sizes across Australia. The first update to the recommendations in more than 10 years represents a substantial extension from the Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology (ASVO) and comes on the back of an industry-wide review process. There are now more than 200 recommendations for best practice in conducting a wine show.

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