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News posted on Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Organic and biodynamic wine claims questioned
Organic grape growers and winemakers are upset at the abuse of the words 'organic' and 'biodynamic' in relation to wine. They are concerned that wine producers are using these descriptions as a tool to sell wine in a market that is increasingly congested and favouring sustainably produced wines over the more conventional. A group of Western Australian winemakers has approached the state's wine industry association with its concerns and asked if anything can be done to stop it.

Drinks with the girls: Australian women and wine
Beer may be central to Australia’s sense of national identity, but it’s the not the country’s most popular alcoholic beverage: that honour goes to wine. While 37.6% of Australian adults drank beer in any given four-week period last year, 45.1% drank wine. And the primary reason for wine’s dominance over beer? The number of Aussie women who drink it.

Smoke taint fear from WA burn-offs
An online burning-off register has been introduced in the Shire of Cranbrook in Western Australia's Great Southern to try and alleviate ongoing tension between local grape growers and farmers. March 1 marked the beginning of the restricted burning period in the Cranbrook Shire and many surrounding shires. This burning-off period coincides with grape harvest.

Young innovators driving the next generation of ag productivity
Barnaby Joyce, the Minister for Agriculture, has announced 12 young Australians will receive a share of $260,000 in grants to further research that will drive the ongoing success of Australia’s farming future. Among them was South Australia’s Jake Dunlevy, who received the Australian Grape and Wine Authority award.

Yields are up for South Australia’s wine grape growers
The news is all good from around South Australia for vintage 2016, now progressing from the early harvests of white wine grapes into the state’s more famous Shiraz variety and other reds soon to follow. Yields are reportedly higher than expected after a prolonged dry season leading into harvest, with good rains in late January and early February helping both quality and quantity in most areas, according to industry experts in the regions.

Hawke's Bay wine 'fortifies its fine wine pedigree'
Hawke’s Bay is cementing itself as the fine wine region of New Zealand, with its latest success in a high-calibre competition. The region’s powerful line-up of champion trophies was bolstered this week with another supreme award - the Royal Easter Show’s coveted Champion Wine of the Show going to Villa Maria Reserve Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2014. The trophy is the latest in a string of highly-coveted accolades.

Babich Wines celebrate a century of family winemaking
Babich Wines, one of New Zealand’s oldest and most respected family-owned wine brands, is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. To mark the milestone, the Babich family has dusted off the archives and is sharing 100 never-before-heard stories from its history. "We are throwing the doors open and sharing the most intimate parts of our history," said Joe Babich, the managing director and second-generation winemaker.

Crémant production rises in Bordeaux
The 2015 harvest in Bordeaux included a substantial rise in the amount of wine destined for crémant production and a fall in that for rosé. Production figures from the ‘Syndicat Viticole des AOC Bordeaux et Bordeaux Supérieur’ showed a 2% increase in volume over 2014 to 2.9 million hectolitres. According to Vitisphere, the union’s president, Hervé Grandeau, was quick to point out that, “it is a great vintage in terms of quality and in fact normal in quantity. There is no lack of wine but no is there a glut.”

Oregon wine’s US sales poised to cross 3 million cases
According to Impact Databank, Oregon wine sales hit 2.9 million cases on 6% growth in 2015, led by the state’s two signature varietals, Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris, which respectively account for 55% and 25% of volume. With 90% of its sales above $11 a bottle, Oregon is now a force in premium Pinot Noir, with younger consumers driving exploration of the category.

DRC tops Sotheby’s Wine Ranking for third year
Burgundy estate Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (DRC) topped the annual Sotheby’s Wine Ranking for the third year in a row, with more than US$10m-worth of wine sold during the year. Sotheby’s auction receipts totalled $60.4m in 2015, down 7.5% on the year before despite a number of high-profile, single owner auctions and direct from the winery sales.

Creating content to encourage wine sales
Even the most well-crafted wine won't draw sales if no one knows where to buy it. Wineries should create engaging content to draw in wine enthusiasts shopping online. Landing pages, basic blog posts, introductory videos and social media content are perfect for this initial stage.

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