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News posted on Monday, 3 August 2015

Vignerons celebrate AGL's exit from wine country
Hunter Valley vignerons say they are looking forward to getting on with their lives now they have won the war against coal seam gas development in the region. A Goodbye AGL party was held in Broke on Saturday night, with about 100 community members turning out to celebrate the gas giant's exit from wine country. Last month, AGL announced it was selling several exploration licences back to the New South Wales Government, including two covering a large part of the Hunter.

Canberra wine district reaps the fruits of labour
The Canberra wine district was one of few regions in Australia to enjoy a bumper 2015 vintage with the fruits of winemakers' labour beginning to pay dividends. According to a national industry report, favourable weather conditions led to a crush of 21 tonnes with vineyards in Murrumbateman searching for new ways to store and distribute surplus fruit. For Nick Spencer, the winemaker at Eden Road vineyard north of Canberra, the 2015 season was "just perfect" with the local Shiraz likely to be an award-winner.

Australian women in wine awards launched
The Fabulous Ladies' Wine Society has launched the Australian Women in Wine Awards, which aim to acknowledge and reward the work of women in the Australian wine industry. The awards also recognise industry leaders who champion equality and fairness for all sexes in the workplace. Jane Thomson, founder and managing director of The Fabulous Ladies' Wine Society, said: "For decades we’ve been wishing and hoping to see a significant rise in gender diversity in the Australian wine industry.

Roll out the barrel – latest issue of the Wine & Viticulture Journal out now
The many arguments surrounding Australia’s Wine Equalisation Tax, the oxygen transfer rate in oak barrels and whether manipulating vine balance directly affects fruit composition are among the highlights of the just-released July-August issue of the Wine & Viticulture Journal. Regular contributor and wine industry commentator Tony Keys explores the various opinions surrounding the Wine Equalisation Tax, highlighting how it benefits the industry as well as the views of those calling for its removal.

Who's afraid of the big bad world? A look at the TPP and FTAs
OPINION: There has been political controversy over the free trade agreements (FTAs), especially with China, and the mooted regional Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). Dry economists on the right don't like "trade distorting" bilateral agreements (they don't even like calling them 'free trade' agreements), whilst many on the left are concerned about trade agreements going too far, beyond reducing tariffs and quotas, and getting involved in social policy, labour standards and the provision of public goods.

Good signs for wine industry
Key markets are strong for the New Zealand wine industry, especially in the affluent United States and Canada region. A smaller grape harvest this season meant world demand for kiwi wines was likely to exceed supply, New Zealand Winegrowers chief executive Philip Gregan said. That was positive for pricing and the sharp fall in the kiwi dollar, notable against the US dollar, sterling, and Aussie dollar, would boost returns.

Clicquot in the Snow festival returned to Queenstown
An international event held at luxury ski resorts around the world has kicked off in Queenstown. The four-day Clicquot in the Snow celebration ran until August 2. Locals and visitors alike celebrated all things winter with fine champagne in New Zealand's adventure capital. It was the fifth year Queenstown played host to the luxury event. Restaurant Association of New Zealand Queenstown vice president Cameron Mitchell said the festivities helped boost visitor numbers to the resort town.

INDIA: Grapegrowers ask government to provide financial aid within a week
Grape farmers of 22 districts, piqued by the government’s failure to give them financial relief, have resolved to give a week to the Siddaramaiah government to address the issue. The decision was announced at a press conference by Abhaykumar Nandrekar, president, Karnataka State Grape Growers’ Association, here on Friday. “Ever since the Congress came to power, we have been asking them to waive off interest on loans borrowed from banks. The government, except rendering lip service, has not done anything so far,” he remarked.

Wine sales to Russia slump
EU wine sales to Russia dropped dramatically in the first six months of this year because of the devaluation of the ruble, and the subsequent decline of local purchasing power. According to data from the Russian Federal Customs Service (FCS), overall wine imports to Russia in the first half of 2015 fell to 68m L, or by 38.5% compared to the same period of 2014. In the case of wines from the EU, the decline was even greater, at 50%.

Hong Kong’s rise as Asia’s wine cellar
After you’ve bought a case of 1990 Château Le Pin for about $50,000, where do you put it? As any collector knows, a bottle of fine wine must be stored under exacting conditions to retain value. The temperature can’t vary much beyond 13 degrees Celsius (55 degrees Fahrenheit), and the humidity must hover around 70%. Collectors throughout much of Asia can hardly bring their dearly won auction wine home and relegate it to a cupboard where it will suffer from humidity and heat.

Sparkling wine slowly bubbles over on beer's turf
While U.S. beer sales are flat, more glasses are filling up with another type of fizzy beverage. Sparkling wine sales are bubbling, with Moscato and Prosecco becoming popular among millennials. The hot demographic helped boost U.S. sparkling wine shipments by more than 8 percent in 2014, according to the Wine Institute. But not just for weddings and other special occasions, an estimated 40 percent of adults are wine drinkers and are popping fizz-filled bottles for everyday moments.

AgroThermal Systems Introduces Thermaculture™ to New Zealand
AgroThermal Systems announced its introduction to New Zealand wineries and wine grape growers. This innovative crop management process utilizes heat treatments directly to crops from a tractor pulled machine. Benefits include improved fruit set, greater harvest yields, sustainable pest control and improved wine quality. The company will be exhibiting at the Romeo Bragato 2015 Conference in Napier, New Zealand on August 26-28.

Melbourne International Wine Competition Announces Winners for 2015
Melbourne, Australia. July 20, 2015 — The Melbourne International Wine Competition (MIWC) is pleased to officially announce the winners of the second annual MIWC competition. Recognizing the stamp of truly remarkable value, the double gold and gold medals were given out to wines which demonstrated the most exceptional taste against the competition in their price category.





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