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News posted on Friday, 2 December 2016

WA winemakers celebrate wine equalisation tax win
WA winegrowers are celebrating after pressuring the Federal Government into backing away from a divisive Budget measure, winning a rewrite of tax changes that threatened to cripple the State’s fine wine industry. The Coalition will dump plans to reduce the $500,000 tax rebate cap on the wine equalisation tax to $290,000. The measure was announced in the May Budget as part of a $250 million savings measure. The Government will reduce the rebate cap to $350,000 and grant “top-ups” of up to $100,000 for producers who sell wine from the cellar door.

Accolade holds roadshow for potential investors
Accolade Wines is holding a roadshow for potential investors across Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong next week as it gears up for its IPO listing next year. A spokesman for the wine giant’s parent company this morning confirmed to db a report in the Australian Financial Review that it was holding a “non-deal” roadshow, which the AFR said would give it greater visibility and “make the company more attractive to potential investors” ahead of its listing. The Roadshow, which starts next Tuesday (6 December), is set to take in New Zealand, Melbourne and Sydney before heading to Hong Kong.

Heritage listed Brisbane icon bought back to life
111 Constance St Fortitude Valley has been a fine wine destination for many years, and now, the 112 year old Defiance Flour Mill building is home to Baedeker. For travel buffs, the name Karl Baedeker is synonymous with the romance of globetrotting, as a travel author before his time. His famous mid 1800’s guides are highly collectable. The venture, a partnership between Grape Therapy’s Darren Davis & Wine ‘n Dine ‘m Catering’s Craig Fox, brings together the industry veterans in a project 15 years in the making. These two mates have always talked about collaborating, and Baedeker combines both their strengths.

Australia’s answer to ‘sauvalanche’
Sauvignon blanc is among Australia’s most popular whites but the market has been dominated by New Zealand labels in a phenomenon labelled the “Marlborough tsunami” by wine writer James Halliday. “It’s called the ‘sauvalanche’ and it’s been happening for the past eight years,” Howard Park Wines director Natalie Burch said. “It’s not something we could replicate, so producers like ourselves who have sauvignon blanc planted have looked at how to set apart our wines and make them more interesting to drink.

World’s best sommeliers to visit Australia
Wine Australia will invite the best sommeliers in the world to discover Australia’s incredible wine offering as part of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017, being held in Melbourne in April. The World’s 50 Best Restaurants have partnered with Tourism Australia to bring the renowned event to Australian shores, where world-leading chefs, restaurateurs, media and influencers will gather to celebrate the very best in global gastronomy. The overall event program and awards will showcase Australia’s outstanding food and wine culture to an international audience of industry professionals and food lovers.

Pinot Noir NZ announces impressive culinary programme
With just 60 days until New Zealand’s most significant wine event - Pinot Noir NZ 2017, the lid has been lifted on an all-star line-up of kiwi chefs putting food on the table alongside world class New Zealand wines. Al Brown, Graham Brown and Josh Emett will join Pinot Noir NZ’s culinary director - Wellington food legend Ruth Pretty MNZM in delivering a three day exposé on the local food scene. Al Brown - the restaurateur behind Auckland eateries Depot and Federal Delicatessen, as well as the Montreal-style bagel factories Best Ugly Bagels, is guest chef on day one.

20% of wine storage tanks in Marlborough damaged by quake
An estimated 20 percent of wine storage tanks in the Marlborough region, the country’s largest wine producing area, have been damaged by the impact of the recent Kaikoura earthquake. New Zealand Winegrowers has just completed a survey of the earthquake impact on its members and chief executive Philip Gregan said the wine loss experienced accounts for only a little over 2 percent of Marlborough’s total annual production. “While this is frustrating, this is not a major concern as vintage 2016 was a near record one,” he said. “This means there is plenty of wine available to continue our market growth.”

China reports strong imported alcohol growth
China’s total alcoholic beverage imports including wines, beers and spirits registered strong growth in both volume and value terms in the first 10 months of the year, according to the latest figures released by China Association for Imports and Export of Wine & Spirits. From January to October, the country imported over 1.8 billion litres of alcoholic beverages, worth about US$3.5 billion, an increase of 35.07% in volume and 13.89% increase in value over the same period last year. Its total wine imports grew by 18.01% year on year to about US$1.9 billion, while volumes jumped 15.51% to about 505 million litres. Bottled wine imports dominated the majority of the market and were measured at US$1.79 billion, a 19.3% increase compared with the same period in 2015.

Could climate change lead to British malbec?
While many wine regions are working to battle the impact of climate change, British producers are expected to benefit, according to a study commissioned by Laithwaites Wine which claims that Britain could not only become a major exporter of wine by 2100, but by then be producing Malbec. While English sparkling wine production is already flourishing in the South of England, Professor Mark Maslin and Lucien Georgeson from University College London, who led the study, believe that continued changes in temperature and rainfall will allow more grape varieties to be cultivated in as yet unfamiliar wine growing regions.

US winery deploys wine Grenade's Wine maturation process
Californian winery AuburnJames has bottled 6,000 cases of Cabernet Sauvignon using Wine Grenade’s membrane-based maturation process, the first US winery to apply the innovative technology. This allowed the St Helena, California, winery to augment its premium wine business and compete in a new price tier without incurring the costs of upgrading facilities or storage capacity. Wine Grenade’s technology, developed in New Zealand, replicates oak barrel maturation inside of steel tanks by slowly and precisely dispersing tiny amounts of oxygen through a moving permeable membrane.

Climate Change Sends Wine Growing North
The United Kingdom could become one of the world's most important grape-growing countries, due to climate change. Pinot Grigio and Pinot Noir will be made as far north as the Scottish city of Edinburgh by the end of the century, according to a survey carried out by one of the UK's leading universities. Climate change scientists at University College London combined climate predictions through to the year 2100 with data about the required temperature range for different grape varieties.

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