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News posted on Thursday, 2 July 2015

Orange winemaker penalised $35,000 for dumping toxic chemicals in drain
AN Orange winemaker has been fined $35,000 in penalties and court costs after he was found guilty of emptying toxic chemicals into a drain. Rex Nunzio D’Aquino pleaded guilty in Orange Local Court to a charge of polluting waters after he instructed an employee to empty 21 1000-litre drums into a drain leading from the helipad at Highland Heritage Estate to Summer Hill Creek. The drums contained remnants of chlorpyrifos, a pesticide used on cotton crops, which is harmful to wildlife.

Local innovations offer winegrape growers better returns
The finalists in the inaugural Vinnovation Awards for South Australia have all produced outstanding solutions to improve vineyard returns with great ingenuity, reports the Wine Grape Council of South Australia. Bill and Phil Longbottom from Padthaway, Ben Blows from Macclesfield, Kim Anderson from Charleston and Hans Lodder from Coonawarra are all in the running for the award, which could see them walking away with a trophy, $2,000 cash and a Pellenc Lixion battery powered pruner valued at over $2,000 and donated by Pellenc Australia.

Cassegrain Wines picks Japan's bullet trains over Woolworths, Coles
The high-speed Japanese bullet trains have been a much better bet for Cassegrain Wines managing director John Cassegrain than Australia's liquor giants Woolworths and Coles. The NSW-based wine producer supplies about 700,000 small bottles of red and white wine each year to the operator of the Shinkansen bullet trains, JR Tokai, which hurtle around Japan at speeds of up to 320km/h.

Sommeliers to host Tassie dinner
Sommeliers Australia are inviting people to join them for a "Great Tasmanian Wine Dinner" at Sydney's Quay restaurant in August. The four-course dinner will also feature a rare slection of some of Tasmania's most exciting and revered vineyards and cellars. Each table will have its own dedictaed sommelier for the evening, and a selection of wines offered exclusively to that table. Sommeliers Australia told TheShout: "Given the intimate nature of the evening most wines will be available in very small quantities only.”

Wine events company expands to growing communications arena
Since launching her wine events company in 2010, Anna Hill has fashioned an exclusive sphere in the Australian wine landscape. As well as providing event management to some of the industry’s best-known names and luxury brands, Anna Hill Events has created tailored packages for the country’s leading boutique labels and specialist publications. With services including concept and development strategy, operations and delivery, public relations and media management for wine producers, distribution companies, new publications and hospitality clients, Anna Hill Events recognises the need for expansion.

Gisborne to host first Chardonnay and sparkling wine symposium
A feast of Gisborne’s finest cultural, historical and gastronomical attributes will be on show at New Zealand’s first Chardonnay and sparkling wine symposium early next year. Gisborne is to host Past, Present and Beyond... the Tale of New Zealand Chardonnay and Sparkling from February 4 to 5, on the back of the inaugural International Sauvignon Blanc Celebration in Marlborough (February 1 -3). Chris Yorke, New Zealand Winegrowers’ global marketing director, said Gisborne is the perfect venue for the symposium.

Marlborough Lines buys 80% stake in Yealands Wine Group
Marlborough wine grower Peter Yealands has sold a majority share of his company - Yealands Wine Group - to local electricity supply company, Marlborough Lines. The lines company paid $89 million for an 80 per cent share of the total shareholding for one of the country's biggest wine companies and exporters. Yealands said the sale was a "marriage made in heaven". There were very few wholly locally owned wineries in Marlborough, he said.

Making biodynamic wine in Bordeaux
THE first time I saw a draft horse in a Bordeaux vineyard I thought it was a PR stunt. Call me a cynic, but I was convinced that when the journalists left, the horses would be sent straight back to whichever farm they came from. I hate to admit it, but in the case of Château Pontet-Canet I was wrong. Every April I visit this small corner of Pauillac, just south of Château Mouton-Rothschild, to taste the latest vintage.

Buying wine and liquor online is about to get more personal
Soon, shopping online for wine and liquor will be as individualized as shopping for books on Amazon.com and choosing movies on Netflix. Drizly, maker of a mobile and Web app that allows users to shop for alcohol and get it delivered, is paying marketing software startup BlueConic to collect information on Drizly users in an effort to bolster marketing efforts and make the experience more individualised.

Constellation buys Napa wine brand for $315m
Constellation Brands, one of the world's biggest wine and spirits companies, has agreed to buy the fast-growing Meiomi wine brand for a reported $315 million. The Victor, N.Y.-based wine giant said it's agreed to purchase Meiomi from Copper Cane LLC, a Napa Valley company controlled by Joe Wagner. The deal is expected to close by early August, Constellation said, noting that the Meiomi brand "has quickly established itself as a leader in the U.S. wine industry" as a high-growth luxury brand.

Bancroft sets out expansion strategy
Agency company Bancroft Wines is aiming to build its business in on-trade national accounts and expand its footprint in independent wine merchants as it enters its second quarter of a century. The company, founded by Adam Brancroft MW as Adam Adam Bancroft Associates celebrates its 25th anniversary at an event in London this week. Neil McAndrew, managing director, said he hoped to become a more significant player while remaining focused on the model of small and medium sized family wine producers.

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