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News posted on Friday, 4 March 2016

Labour hire inquiry hears claims of backpackers' poor living conditions and wage mismanagement
A South Australian Government inquiry into the labour hire industry has heard stories of poor living conditions and wage mismanagement surrounding backpackers and visa-holders working in the state's Riverland district. Barmera backpacker accommodation provider Thomas Towle told the inquiry that he knew of cases where backpackers had tax deducted from their pay and never passed over to the Tax Office.

Vineyards to reap reward of dry season
THE hot, dry hot summer has been brutal for many Tasmanian farmers but a blessing for those growing grapes with some yields up 50 per cent this year. The state’s 2015 vintage was moderate, yielding the equivalent of about 620,000 cases realising a farmgate value of more than $65 million. However, Paul Williams from Wobbly Boot vineyard in the Coal River Valley told theMercury that this season his grapes were in weighty bunches.

How Vinomofo became one of the coolest Australian companies to work for
How do you grow a startup from two blokes with a passion for wine, working from a garage, into a booming business with a team of 100 hard-working, loyal employees? For Vinomofo founders Justin Dry and Andre Eikmeier the answer is multi-faceted, but it has a lot to do with confident communication, choosing people who embrace your vision and rescue dogs.

The Southern Highlands oldest winery sold
Joadja Winery, the oldest in the Southern Highlands region of New South Wales has been sold for $2 million. Last year TheShout revealed that the historic winery was up for sale and now winemaker Kim Moginie and his wife Frances have sold the winery they have worked on for 30 years. The winery comprises 21 acres in total, with 15 acres of grapes including the cool climate wine varieties of Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio, plus red varieties of Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec.

Sidewood Estate’s $3.5m expansion under way
Sidewood Estate has commenced an expansion of its winery business in the Adelaide Hills with plans to increase cider and wine production capabilities. A South Australian State Government Regional Development Fund grant is covering $856,319 of the $3.5 million expansion, which will see Sidewood Estate’s wine production increase from 500 to 2,000 tonnes per annum. The expansion also includes new bottling and canning facilities expected to produce more than 400,000 bottles of wine and cider each year by 2017.

Grape harvest kicks off with wine industry predicting bumper crop
Picking has begun in the country's largest grape-growing regions amidst wine industry predictions that 2016 will produce a bumper harvest. Some early grapes have already come off the vines in Gisborne, Hawke's Bay and Marlborough, although most winemakers will not begin harvesting their first fruit for at least another fortnight.

TWE to release new NZ Sauvignon Blanc to on-premise only
Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) is set to release the 821 South Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc exclusively to the on premise mid-March, 2016. Named after a vast mountain range in the Southern Alps of Marlborough, 821 South is a crisp wine that is ripe with citrus and tropical fruits. “It’s no secret that Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is a must have varietal on premise, accounting for one in every five glasses sold,” Angus McPherson, TWE’s Managing Director for Australia and New Zealand.

Facing down the wine industry's elephant in the room
There’s an elephant in the room when it comes to most consumer research in the wine industry, and here it is: massive amounts of data are generated, by-products of smart technologies like mobile apps and CRMs (Customer Relationship Management systems), but go untapped and un-analyzed in favour of more traditional methods of research like surveys and polls.

Overcoming the stigma of biodynamic wines, taste and practices
Shrouded in mysticism, doubts, and a bad reputation, describing a wine using the “B” word typically leaves a consumer with a skeptically raised eyebrow and a lot of questions about what is involved in the process and why a company would operate this way. So, let’s start from the beginning and try to discover what is it about the “B” word, a.k.a. biodynamics, that leaves people with such a bad taste in their mouth — sometimes quite literally.

English sparkling wine
England’s army of vignerons is bullish at the moment. The total area of Britain under vine has doubled in the past seven years.’ Champagne sales are going to decline here, and English sparkling wine will eventually take half of champagne’s share.” So predicts Ian Kellett, once managing director at the investment bank Dresdner Kleinwort Benson and now owner of Hambledon Vineyard in Hampshire.

Tour de France solve Chilean wine boycott threat
Tour de France organisers have invited local wine producers to showcase their products during the race, after they had threatened to disrupt the 2016 edition in protest at a Chilean wine being an official partner. Race supremo Christian Prudhomme told AFP on Thursday that he and five-time Tour winner Bernard Hinault met the producers for talks at the annual Paris Agriculture Fair this week. Upset to discover that a Chilean wine, 'Bicicleta' was the Tour's official wine, the two sides met in an effort to strike a deal.

Wine tourism needs a boost
The concept of wine tourism is yet to catch up in the State as it is not getting the push it deserves to boost it as an alternative tourism. Despite the State having many wineries, including a few located near the State capital Bengaluru, the concept has not attracted visitors. Most wineries are privately-owned and some of them are promoting wine tour in a small way.

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