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News posted on Friday, 2 September 2016

Wine Australian launches on Alibaba’s Tmall, opens new export channel
A flagship Australian wine online store supported by Wine Australia has launched today on Alibaba Group’s business to consumer platform, Tmall.com, providing a further avenue for Chinese consumers to purchase Australian wines. Andreas Clark, Wine Australia CEO said, "the opening of the store is a landmark moment that builds on a year of strong growth for Australian wine in the Chinese export market. It opens up another commercial opportunity for Australian wineries to tap into China’s growing appreciation for our fine wines".

Survey to delve into Australian grape and wine production practices
A major survey of practices in the Australian grape and wine industry is being launched today by the Australian Wine Research Institute. This is the first time a comprehensive survey of grape and wine production practices has been conducted in Australia. It is intended that the survey will be repeated in five years’ time to allow adoption trends to be captured. All survey data submitted will be treated with strict confidentiality.

Treasury Wine CEO Mike Clarke paid $5.9m as good times flow
The good times at Penfolds maker Treasury Wine Estates have flowed through to executive pay packets, with chief executive Mike Clarke's total remuneration jumping 32 per cent to $5.9 million for 2015-16, reports The Australian Financial Review. The Treasury annual report lodged with the ASX on Thursday showed that Mr Clarke's total remuneration was up from $4.45 million a year earlier. The report outlined that 60 per cent of Mr Clarke's remuneration was performance related.

The artisans of Australian wine
On September 20 a trade tasting is taking place that may change the way the UK wine trade views modern Australian wine. The Artisans of Australia Tasting will draw together 25 of the most exciting, innovative and down-right talented winemakers in the world today. Through their experimentation with new varietals, adoption of minimalist winemaking or their dedication to site selection and expression, these winemakers are crafting wines that are a new iteration of Australian wine brilliance.

Undercover sting would have rogue labour operators running scared - expert
With rogue operators threatening the reputation of New Zealand's wine industry, the only way of catching out some labour contractors would be by conducting sting operations, a consultant says. Viticultural consultant Murray Paterson said it was too easy for contractors to manipulate timesheets and payment records, which he said labour inspectors relied on during their investigations.

Treated vineyard posts a toxic problem in Marlborough, resident says
A Marlborough resident has called for a high temperature furnace to be built so chemically treated posts used in vineyards can be disposed of without damaging the environment. Wairau Valley resident Cliff Smith said toxic waste dumps were being created around the region by stockpiling thousands of old or broken posts, some treated with copper-chrome-arsenic, or CCA.

Government releases Wine Equalisation Tax rebate paper
The Federal Government today released an implementation paper on tightened eligibility criteria for the Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) rebate. “The implementation paper sets out the Government’s proposed approach to implement the tightened eligibility criteria, giving consideration to these issues, and invites views from industry,” said Kelly O’Dwyer, the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services.

From Sonoma County and Napa Valley south: 2016 harvest a surprise after 2015's disastrous yield
When Gino Fortino of Fortino Winery walks his vineyards he can tell the berries are "nice and plump, not shrivelled up like they were last year during the drought." The Gilroy winemaker notes that El Niño rains earlier this year also increased "the hang time," resulting in more balanced and flavorful grapes. Things are also looking good at Wente Vineyards in Livermore, where the harvest began August 15 with Chardonnay grapes, followed by Sauvignon Blanc. "Right now, the quality is exceptional," says winemaker Karl Wente, "but I won't know for sure until I taste the wines come Christmas."

Winery a voice for Trans-Pacific Partnership trade
Several Washington business owners touting the benefits of potential trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the proposed free trade agreement between the U.S. and 11 Pacific Rim countries. According to the data provided, Trans-Pacific Partnership countries purchase 31 percent, or $25.5 billion worth, of Washington’s exports. That amount supports about 348,900 jobs in the state.

Wine: why it’s time to bag a bag-in-box
It was only a matter of time before the wine business took a leaf out of the booming craft beer industry’s book: not a week now passes without at least one high-profile London restaurant installing kegs to deliver wine on tap. It’s bound to catch on outside the capital, too, because it’s fresher, cheaper, more sustainable (you significantly reduce the carbon footprint by shipping wine in bulk) and, above all, fun.

Virginia wine sales hit record high
Cheers to Virginia's wine drinkers. Shoppers picked up a record 6.6 million bottles during fiscal 2016. Eli's Provisions co-owner Kim Turner says has a hard time keeping up with demand for Virginia wine at her Downtown Roanoke shop. "At any given time, we have between 20 to 30 wines represented on our shelves," Turner said. "They really do fly off the shelves."

Government releases Wine Equalisation Tax rebate paper
The Federal Government today released an implementation paper on tightened eligibility criteria for the Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) rebate. “The implementation paper sets out the Government’s proposed approach to implement the tightened eligibility criteria, giving consideration to these issues, and invites views from industry,” said Kelly O’Dwyer, the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services.

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