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News posted on Thursday, 3 November 2016

Early wine grape market signals promising for 2017 vintage
Prices offered in a number of major wine regions this year were not enough to cover the cost of growing the crop and vines have since been removed. The Riverina Winegrapes Marketing Board in (RWGMB) southern New South Wales represents more than 300 growers in the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area and surrounding districts. RWMG CEO Brian Simpson said many of its members were stretched financially from years of low prices. However, he is encouraged by early price signals. "The domestic focused wineries, once one moves, they're all going to jump and they're all going to push to increase," he said.

Australian women grow the wine business and save the planet
Well, not exactly, but according to Wine Economics Report Number 205, titled, Regions, Wine, and Women In Leadership: A Test of Environmental Sustainability, a direct link joins environmental sustainability with women holding leadership roles in the Australian wine industry. The researcher, Jeremy Galbraith of the Curtin School of Technology in Western Australia studied 646 wine firms across Australia’s five regions—Western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia and New South Wales. Galbraith found that environmental sustainability not only helps Australia and the planet, it builds greater demand for wine exports.

2016: A sensational vintage for Australian fine wine
The wine industry has experienced significant volatility over the last decade and, at times, widespread hardship and poor profitability. The emergence of certain recent macro-economic structural changes has finally created positive signs for Australian wine producers. The key structural drivers behind these shifts include the weakening Australian dollar, the emergence of new export markets (or improved access to existing markets) underpinned by Free Trade Agreements, strengthening consumer demand in some key market segments (particularly the premium wines segment) and a re balancing of supply and demand towards the equilibrium. Overall, the near-term industry outlook has improved which is reflected in the findings of Wine Australia’s 2016 Vintage Report.

Orange Region is Awarded Six Trophies at The NSW Wine Awards
For the first time the ultimate title of ‘2016 Pier One Sydney Harbour NSW Wine of the Year’ will go to a wine made by a Cowra based winery. Tom Ward, President of the NSW Wine Industry Association, says, “The NSW Wine Awards never cease to delight me; showcasing the finest wines from our well-known, legendary local winemakers and also unveiling and highlighting some true hidden gems from some of our smaller wine regions in terms of production – but not quality! The 2016 Awards also really proved that quality is being backed up by variety. I have not seen such a diverse range of wines from styles to regions be awarded and it gives me great pleasure. NSW Wine is really starting to lead across many areas and it is an exciting time to be a part of.”

The glory goes to Galli
Galli Estate’s Camelback Heathcote vineyard swept the pool at the newest wine show on the Australian circuit. The inaugural Australian Italian Varieties Wine Awards saw Galli Estate take out the champion wine of the show – and collect best red as a bonus. Its big award was for the 2015 Camelback Montepulciano — and that wine also took out the best red. The launch of a new wine show has highlighted the increasing quality and popularity of wines produced from Italian grape varieties grown in Australia.


New Zealand post growth but wine sales dip in UK,
Argentina, Chile and New Zealand have bucked the downward trend in wine sales in the UK for the major producing nations, according to figures quoted by Concha y Toro this week. The wine company, which is Chile's largest, cited IRI figures that show wine from the country increased its sales in the 12 months to 8 October by 4.5% on the corresponding period a year earlier. The rise, to GBP441.3m (US$538.2m), pushed Chile ahead of South Africa into fifth position. Overall, UK sales from the top ten producing nations were down in the 12-month period by 2.6% year-on-year, coming in at GBP4.8bn.

Winning wines on display at Canterbury A&P Show
A former New Zealand Young Winemaker of the Year has won the title of NZ Winemaker of the Year. Four international wine judges picked Patrick Newton of Mudbrick Vineyard as the inaugural winner on October 15. The competition replaces the New Zealand Young Winemaker of the Year as part of the New Zealand Aromatic Wine Competition, administered by the Canterbury A&P Show. The Waiheke Island winemaker describes the award as “quite an honour”.

Bordeaux exports to China ‘at highest level’
Exports of Bordeaux wine to China reached the highest level this year, with a growth of 22% from 2015, according to the CIVB. Speaking at Hong Kong’s eighth Wine & Dine Festival, CIVB’s president, Allan Sichel, also outlined that exports to Hong Kong fell 11% by volume to 74,000 hectolitres of Bordeaux wines but increased by 24% to a value of €278 million, reflecting Hong Kong’s maturing consumer market who are looking to spend more per bottle. Hong Kong is now the second highest destination in terms of value and accounts for 16% of total export value of Bordeaux wine. “But China still dominates,” said Sichel. “It has returned to the highest level, with 502,000 hectoliters exported to a value of €300 million which affirms its leadership in volume and value.”

How to get the wine you really want
A new oenological contraption comes with a palette for your palate. It's enough to make sommeliers splutter into their spittoons: a wine-blending machine that lets drinkers craft a glass specifically to their personal palate, rather than having to pick a tipple, possibly as a result of guesswork, from the range a restaurant or bar chooses to keep in its cellar. Vinfusion, as the machine in question is called, was launched this week by Cambridge Consultants, a technology company based in that British city.

Pennsylvania's wine region lacks identity
Richard Wooly planted his Lehigh County, wine roots three years ago, with the opening of Weathered Vineyards in Weisenberg Township. While his barrels may be full of Cab Franc, Wooly said Pennsylvania's wine region lacks an identity. "Most of our wineries are first-generation family wineries. We can't afford multi-million dollar marketing campaigns to promote Pennsylvania wineries," he said. Despite being the fifth-largest grape producer in the country, Pennsylvania's wine industry receives significantly less state funding for research and promotion than New York, Virginia, Ohio and North Carolina, according to a recent study.

Tunisia could be the next ‘great wine destination’
Wine is nothing new to Tunisia, but wine tourism is, according to Vine Pair. With over 3,000 years of winemaking history, Tunisia’s ready to grapple with grapes and show everyone what its winemaking culture is all about,” says Vicki Denig. Winemaking has been done since ancient times but consumption is mostly domestic. “Although Muslims came to power in the 800s, winemaking never entirely left. Fast forward 1,200 years. There are still over 75,000 acres of land under vines in this sunny, Mediterranean nation, though only half are dedicated to winemaking,” she says.

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