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News posted on Friday, 3 July 2015

AHA wants lower excise rate for wine consumed in pubs and bars
TAX on wine and spirits sold at pubs should be cut because they provide a safer drinking environment, the hotels lobby says. The Federal Government is also being lobbied to introduce an American-style “soda tax’’ to discourage Australians from drinking too much soft drink. The Australian Hotels Association wants an excise discount on wine and spirits consumed on premises because of the “safer environments’’ licensed establishments are required to maintain.

On the right road at Murray Street
Sitting with Anthony Grundel and Craig Viney from Murray Street Vineyards, you get the feeling the pair run a very smooth operation. Grundel, the general manager, is just as comfortable talking about the importance of the winery’s mailing list as he is discussing their plans in China. Viney, who drives a VW Kombi and rides a skateboard, has a sample from the final press of the 2015 vintage on the coffee table. The pair spoke to Nathan Gogoll about making wine, selling wine and capability – rather than potential.

Fletcher wines gets best of Barbaresco and Barolo
You’d be hard pressed to find a famous wine region around the world without at least a handful of flying Australian winemakers. With the vintage done and dusted in Australia, every year thousands pack their bags for a working holiday in wineries dotted around the northern hemisphere. Vintages in great regions and chateaux guarantee hefty bragging rights plus the chance to sharpen skills working with some of the world’s top fruit. But sometimes the opportunity to make spectacular wines is just too great and our best are lost to faraway lands for good.

Wineries offer exclusive barrel tastings
A SELECTION of vineyards will this weekend offer a sneak preview of the magic happening in wine barrels across Bendigo. Eight wineries will throw open their doors for two days of exclusive barrel tasting sessions. Bendigo Winegrowers Association president Bill Blamires said the weekend was a chance for wine lovers to taste wine right from the source and enjoy some barrel alchemy. “Meet the winemakers who’ll be keen to chat about the latest vintage and taste future releases straight from the barrel,” said Mr Blamires, whose family operates the Mount Alexander Winery.

Adam Goodrum honours creative spirit of Veuve Clicquot
A colour says a lot about a brand. Any woman who has ever considered marriage knows what the little blue box means, while shoppers with discerning taste like presents that come packaged in a particular shade of orange. Like Tiffany & Co. and Hermes, champagne house Veuve Clicquot is known for the vivid streak of yellow that wraps around its bottles, and at events and venues around the world, from Bondi Icebergs to the annual polo in New York, whether in umbrellas or ice buckets or festive flutes, that shade of yellow signals a good time waiting to be had.

Sam Hunt, the wine
New Zealand’s favourite poet Sam Hunt has partnered with fine wine distributor and retailer La Cantina Wines to launch the Sam Hunt range of wines. These New Zealand wines feature poetry by Sam, with a verse from a different poem on each bottle. “A poem printed in a book often dies, I’ve noticed, from suffocation and neglect,” says Sam. “Alternatively, a poem told or sung - or printed on a wine label, say - stands a much greater chance of life, of getting it across.

New brand design for Left Field Wines
What a whimsical and inventive brand story Aaron Pollock Design has created for the New Zealand wine Left Field. Left Field is an existing brand, a part of the Te Awa Collection, that didn’t have a clear voice or any defining personality to stand out in the market. It was time for a brand refresh. A perfect project for Aaron Pollock Design, known for their amazing brand identity work for lifestyle products. “The objective was to create a brand that doesn’t take itself too seriously.”

Lix-ex Fine Wine 100 Index grows after years of decline
Fine wine market Liv-ex said its Fine Wine 100 Index rose 0.9% in June to close on 244.08, up 3.4% on a year ago. That follows a slow recovery from the nadir of July last year, when the index dropped to 234.01, its lowest level since September 2009. It rose 1.9% to the end of 2014 and has gained 2.3% in 2015 so far. Bordeaux Index MD Gary Boom said the market was experiencing ‘welcome, gentle recovery’, with the company’s own LiveTrade index up 3.02% in 2015 and rising steadily every month since last August.

Long-lost sisters break into male-dominated wine business
Breaking into the wine business isn't easy, especially if you're a woman or a minority, but two half-sisters who hadn't met for the first halves of their lives did just that after uncorking a crucial part of their past, reports CBS News correspondent Michelle Miller. Andréa and Robin McBride have a personal story as unique as their professional one. They're black women in a field dominated by white men. In 2010, they started the McBride Sisters Wine Company.

A $315 million bet on Pinot Noir
The amazing rise of Joe Wagner’s Meiomi brand surprised him as much as anyone. He developed the wine to grab hold of a wave of enthusiasm for Pinot Noir in mainstream America. But he also took full advantage of that wave, making an outstanding wine at a good price and maintaining quality as he grew by building relationships with grapegrowers across California. Wagner announced today that he has agreed to sell the fast-growing label to drinks giant Constellation Brands for $315 million. The deal is expected to close in August.

Vinitaly sets out to win over Chinese consumers in Shanghai
Seven months after announcing its return to Shanghai, on the first of July Vinitaly International took part in the official press conference for the presentation of the first edition of the Shanghai Wine & Dine Festival. Seven months after announcing its return to Shanghai, on the first of July Vinitaly International took part in the official press conference for the presentation of the first edition of the Shanghai Wine & Dine Festival.

Quadruple trophy triumph for First Creek Wines
Hunter Valley Producer First Creek Wines has scooped the pool at the highly regarded Brisbane Wine Show with their 2014 Winemakers Reserve Chardonnay. Competing against some of Australia’s best wines, the First Creek chardonnay not only won all Trophy’s in its class, but also Grand Champion – Best Wine of Show. These accolades come as chardonnay undergoes a strong renaissance. After being out of favour for many years with Australian wine consumers, this resurgence according to First Creek Chief Winemaker Liz Jackson is not simply part of a cycle.

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