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News posted on Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Women in Horticulture group says situation dire for Riverland growers
In the South Australian Riverland a group of women in agriculture say there is a crisis looming. They say years of poor wine grape prices are crippling local farmers and threatening the future of the family farm in the region. The Riverland produces over half of South Australia's wine grapes and much of this goes into bulk wine production. Women in Horticulture group member and wine grape grower Margaret Duggin said they had serious concerns about farm viability as wineries increasingly grew their own grapes.

Wine row leaves sour taste
One of the Barnett Government's most senior MPs has lashed out at the decision to axe a rebate scheme for WA winemakers, saying it had "sideswiped" the industry and should be reversed. Barry House, the Legislative Council President who is also South West Liberal MP, criticised the decision to scrap the so-called cellar door subsidy to save $11 million over four years. The subsidy is paid as a top-up to wine producers once they have exhausted their maximum entitlement of $500,000 under a Federal rebate scheme.

Australian Vintage appoints new chairman
The board of Australian Vintage Limited (AVL) has announced the appointment of Richard Davis as its chairman of the board, effective from today. In an announcement to the Australian Stock Exchange, AVL confirmed the appointment following the retirement of current chairman Ian Ferrier. Non-executive director Brian McGuigan has also confirmed his retirement. Davis, who joined the AVL board as a non-executive director in May 2009, said he was very pleased to have been asked to serve as AVL's chairman and that it was an "honour" to succeed Ferrier.

Businesses pledge support for Noosa food and wine festival
THE loss of the Noosa International Food and Wine Festival would send the local economy reeling, and local businesses have vowed not to let the festival die. Noosa Boathouse managing director Phil Bradford told the Daily Noosa businesses would rally behind the festival vision after its parent company, Noosa Food and Wine Events, went into administration on Friday. This year the festival was lauded as a huge success, attracting 30,000 visitors to the region.

Hardys: Making wines people want
Perhaps the best word to describe the main philosophical difference between Old World and New World wines is “tradition.” Old World winemakers in Europe, where wines has been made for more than 2,000 years, embrace tradition with a sense of reverence and pride. Although in recent years some European winemakers have started producing more modern-styled wines, most make wines the way they’ve been made for centuries.

'NZ wine boom' in the United States
Constellation Brands NZ has hailed the figures from North American wine industry media sources over the weekend that show soaring growth in New Zealand wine sales to the US in 2014 and early 2015. Two of the three top wine brands are made by Constellation Brands NZ and New Zealand wine is reported to be advancing rapidly in the U.S. ‘delivering impressive growth in both volume and value. Described as a ‘New Zealand wine boom’, Impact Databank, a North American wine industry analyst, has reported a 55% increase in growth over three years.

Giesen treads late harvest wine
A Marlborough winery is counting on the feet of their staff to again produce an award winning sweet wine. Giesen Wines began treading up to three tonnes of late harvest Sauvignon Blanc grapes by foot this week at its Riverlands plant, near Blenheim. Giesen Wines winemaker Hamish Kempthorne said the grapes picked from the company's Alma St vineyard in Renwick would be bottled as sweet late harvest sauvignon blanc dessert wine. The foot treading method had become an annual event for staff with the wine recognised at major wine awards for the past three years

IRELAND: More than half price of bottle of wine goes to Government in tax
IRELAND: Over €5 (A$7.17) from a typical €10 (A$13.35) bottle goes in excise duty and tax and this has soared by 35pc over the last four years. Off-licences are now demanding a reduction in the tax on wine, which they say is 624 per cent higher than the average in the EU. Evelyn Jones, who owns The Vintry off-licence in Rathgar, Dublin 6, said that high excise is squeezing the quality out of wine. "It's extremely difficult to source quality wine that can sell for €10 a bottle, which is a price-point many people seek," she said.

Step toward making Michigan a world-class wine producer
TRAVERSE CITY – A benchmarking program focused on Michigan wineries and vineyards could help managers hone in on higher profits. Traverse City-based North Coast Ag Advisors, Farm Credit East and Greenstone Farm Credit Services this month combined forces to launch the Michigan Winery & Vineyard Benchmark Program of Michigan. It is modeled on an existing benchmarking program that serves winemakers in the northeast U.S. "The West Coast has long had industry benchmark programs like this. Now is Michigan's time," said Jim Casler, president of North Coast Ag Advisors.

Decanter World Wine Awards to announce winners at Vinexpo
Winners of the world’s largest wine competition will be announced at Vinexpo in Bordeaux, France next month, the first time two of the most important events on the oenophile’s calendar have been brought together. The Decanter World Wine Awards, which crowns the best wines around the world and is traditionally held in London, will move to Bordeaux next month in a tie-up that will make Vinexpo a powerhouse event this year.

The next big thing for the wine trade
Innovation, economic recovery and education have beaten lower duty to become the top tips from suppliers looking at what could bring the UK wine market back into growth. 62 per cent of wine suppliers polled for OLN's Wine Report said product innovation was the key, up from 44 per cent last year, and another 31 per cent tipped packaging innovation. Suppliers insist that communication about wine must move away from price. Mark Wilson, business development manager for De Bortoli, says: “It’s about making wine interesting and engaging the consumer. If we tell them wine is cheap, they will buy cheap.





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