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News posted on Friday, 2 October 2015

South African wine board approves reforms
The South African Wine and Spirit Board (WSB) made amendments to its wine regulations last month following extensive lobbying from the Swartland Independent group of winemakers. WSB certification sets the quality standard for all wines being exported from the country, as well as providing comprehensive data on a wine’s origin, content and age through its Wine of Origin scheme. The regulatory amendments include the introduction of six new classes of wine.

Diageo presses ahead with wine sale
Diageo, the company behind Captain Morgan rum and Smirnoff vodka, is believed to be pressing ahead with a sale of its wine brands, including Blossom Hill, as its under-pressure boss Ivan Menezes continues his sell-off of the group's peripheral businesses. Australian firm Treasury Wine Estates was named as a leading suitor for the FTSE 100 company’s wine business, which also encompasses the Piat d’Or and Rosenblum brands.

280,000 litres of wasted wine at the centre of million dollar Supreme Court dispute
HOW 280,000 litres of wine – the equivalent of 373,333 bottles – ended up on the ground and in the drainage system of a Riverland storage facility is at the centre of a million-dollar claim by an SA-based international wine company. In Supreme Court civil proceedings, Accolade Wines is seeking $789,669 plus costs from family-owned SA winemaker Kingston Estate and Berri engineering company Monash Property. The claim is not for the value of the wine, but for damage caused to its property by the wine’s escape on August 16 or 17, 2013.

England white wins 'wine-off' against Australia
An England versus Australia “wine-off” held by the WSTA saw a “shock” win for an English Bacchus against its Aussie Chardonnay counterpart. Hosted by the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) and former England rugby star Andrew Sheridan, the head-to-head blind tasting pitted three English wines from Bolney Wine Estate against three Australian counterparts from Wolf Blass. he wines were tasted by four English and four Australian rugby fans.

Asahi Buys Mountain Goat Brewery
Asahi Holdings (Australia) has bought Melbourne-based craft brewer, Mountain Goat Beer. Owners, Cam and Dave said on Monday night: “We’ve been contract partners with Asahi for three years now, and with their expert help, our beer has grown in demand, expanded nationally, and found a special place with beer lovers. We are confident with Asahi on board, we will be able to convert many more people to craft beer than we could do on our own.”

International Sauvignon Blanc Celebration adds WOW Factor
New Zealand’s first ever International Sauvignon Blanc Celebration, from 1 to 3 February next year, promises to WOW attendees with a unique line up of activities. Media, winemakers, marketers and trade representatives from around the globe will converge on Marlborough to celebrate a wine variety that has captivated consumers world-wide. The popular variety will be explored by international guest speakers, as they dissect what has made Sauvignon Blanc one of the most loved white wines in the world.

Phylloxera Board changes to Vinehealth Australia
The Board responsible for protecting South Australian vineyards from pests and diseases since 1899, has unveiled a new name and identity. The Phylloxera and Grape Industry Board of South Australia will now be known as Vinehealth Australia a move which comes as part of the board’s five-year strategic plan. Vinehealth Australia will continue collaborate nationally to safeguard South Australia’s $1.79 billion wine industry from diseases, pests and other conditions that may affect vine health and, importantly, to help maintain South Australia’s phylloxera-free status.

Wine Australia welcomes 45 Masters of Wine
For the first time in 30 years, a group of 45 Masters of Wine will visit Australia on an action packed visit to 10 wine regions across the country. Hosted by Wine Australia in collaboration with Tourism Australia, the group will kick off their tour with a breakfast and tasting of local fine wines at Bennelong Restaurant in the Sydney Opera House this Sunday. Guests will enjoy breakfast canapés such as shaved culatello with barley toast and truffle butter, and mud crab congee, matched to some of Australia’s finest sparkling wines.

Ancient Winemaking Style on the Rise
Naturally sparkling wines have been made for centuries, and now one of the oldest methods of producing them has made a resurgence. Pétillant-naturel (natural sparkling) is a catch-all term for practically any sparkling wine made in the méthode ancestrale, meaning the wine is bottled before primary fermentation is finished, without the addition of secondary yeasts or sugars.

Americans love New Zealand wine
Americans like New Zealand wines more than anybody else in the world, even their next-door neighbors. The U.S. market has overtaken Australia, and is now valued at $372.2 million (around one quarter of wine exports), up 13 percent from last year, according to the 2015 Annual Report of New Zealand Winegrowers. Australia slipped to second place at $362.2 million, down 5 percent, while the United Kingdom was the third biggest export market for Kiwi wines, with exports growing 11 percent to $353.9 million.

Hasty harvest in Southern Oregon
Southern Oregon's wine grape harvest might best be described as fast and furious. The region's hot, dry summer meant an early start for many vintners. Yields are up in some vineyards that were hit by the late 2013 frost and saw smaller production in 2014. For others, the yield is more typical. One thing's for certain, just about everyone will be through harvesting by the third weekend in October, a far cry from 2011, when growers were scrambling to gather in grapes before late-November frost got to them.

Exceptional Australian wines delight at Premium Australia Tasting
Wine Australia’s inaugural Premium Australia Tasting, held this week at Australia House in London, provided an excellent opportunity for attendees to experience the diversity and quality of Australian wines priced above £10. The large-scale tasting featured more than 500 Australian wines, many poured by the people who created them, with 31 Australian winemakers and principals in London for the event.




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