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News posted on Monday, 4 April 2016

After the harvest: Vineyard values still in the doldrums
Small and medium-sized wine grape growers face the prospect of another bleak post-harvest selling season with vineyard values still in the doldrums. Between the end of the harvest and the pruning of the vines is when many growers weigh up whether to go round another year or sell out. While the lower dollar has helped big wine companies like Treasury Wine Estates report bumper profits, the price of wine grapes has remained flat, putting a damper on vineyard values.

Yellow Tail owner Casella’s profit up after acquisition spree
The Griffith-based winemaker Casella Family Brands, owner of success story Yellow Tail with its distinctive image of a yellow kangaroo on the bottle, has boosted its full-year profit by nearly 10 per cent to $41 million following an acquisition spree that included Barossa’s Peter Lehmann Wines. The family-owned Casella bought out Peter Lehmann for $57m in late 2014 as it sought to ratchet up its exposure to the premium end of the wine market to complement its stranglehold on the commercial space, which is dominated by its Yellow Tail brand.

Ballast Stone wine estate near Adelaide put up for sale
South Australian winemakers the Shaw family have tipped their Ballast Stone Estate Wines onto the market after failing to find an equity partner. The vertically integrated wine business with 430 hectares of vineyards is in Currency Creek in the Fleurieu region, about 80 kilometres south of Adelaide. With vineyard values understood to be about $25,000 a hectare in Currency Creek, the vineyards alone could be worth more than $10 million.

De Bortoli adds Yarra Valley vineyard to portfolio
One of the country's biggest privately owned winemakers De Bortoli has bought the Lusatia Park vineyard at Woori Yallock in the Yarra Valley from wine industry veteran Stephen Shelmerdine. The 18-hectare premium mature vineyard will be handed over to De Bortoli after the 2016 harvest. The De Bortoli family declined to reveal the price they paid. Lusatia Park was acquired by the Shelmerdine family for $300,000 in 1989.

Blue skies for wine industry, but dark clouds on the horizon
Not a drop of rain fell on Hunter Valley vineyards for most of the summer and the grapes so overdosed on sun winemaker Rodney Kempe is convinced this will be one of the better harvest in his 16 years at Pokolbin's Lake's Vineyard. "Textbook stuff," Kempe says. "Not a cloud, very dry, nice and warm. It's been ideal." The 2016 harvest has just been picked and the Hunter had its best Easter ever, with tourists flooding in, but across the world the wine industry is undergoing massive upheaval.

Wine challenge seeks to revolutionise the way we drink wine
Once considered the scourge of the wine industry, is the lowly screw cap about to change the way we enjoy our favourite drop? Brothers Joshua and Simon Schmidt have invented a new generation screw cap that, with the push of a button, introduces flavours or gets rid of preservatives in wine. They are convinced the idea could become the next industry standard, giving consumers the ability to change their wine to suit personal tastes or match a specific dish.

Marlborough wine companies switch to generators after power outage
A powercut at a Blenheim industrial estate has caused disruptions to Marlborough wine companies busy with harvest. The power outage at the Riverlands Industrial Estate on Monday morning happened around 9.45am and stopped bottling at contract bottlers WineWorks. Giesen Wines was one of several wine companies based at the estate.

Kroger proposal would change how beer and wine are marketed
Even the most determined shopper, with grocery list in hand, will occasionally spot something interesting on a shelf and make an impulse purchase. Few would argue that the placement of retail items in stores is not important. Which is why some eyebrows have been raised at a recent proposal by Kroger Co., the nation’s largest grocer and the dominant chain in the Roanoke and New River valleys, for a private distributor called Southern Wine & Spirits to oversee how much shelf space alcohol brands get in the aisles of its stores.

Women making inroads in the wine industry
In case you haven’t noticed, women are taking the world of wine by storm. Recent data suggest that today women across the country are the largest consumers of wine and their numbers continue to grow. One study indicates that the makeup of U.S. wine consumption is approximately 56 percent female and 44 percent male. What’s more, research has shown that many women tend to drink wine on a regular basis and prefer doing so in a social setting whereby they can share with friends and family.

Researchers develop ‘first device’ to monitor wine as it matures
The first portable device to monitor wine as it matures has been developed by a team of students from Université Paris-Saclay in France. The students adapted blood analysis technology invented by biotech start-up Archimej Technology into a unique device that allows real-time control of wine quality, eliminating the huge financial costs and vast quantities of wine that are lost from biological phenomena.

Emirates ups investment in wine as part of long-term strategy
Emirates continues to invest heavily in its world-class wine programme. In 2015, the airline purchased a record of over 13 million bottles of wine worth US$140 million - more than twice the value of wine purchases in the previous year. The wines are for customers across all three cabins, and most will only be served on board in seven to 10 years. The increasing investment is in response to the airline's expanding network, and reflects its commitment to offering customers the best possible product.

TICKETS FOR THE INTERNATIONAL COOL CLIMATE WINE SYMPOSIUM 2016 LIKELY TO SELL OUT
As the number of tickets sold for the ICCWS 2016 tops 400, overtaking the total number of attendees at the last Symposium in Tasmania, organisers have advised potential delegates to buy tickets now or risk missing out! Set to be the biggest international wine conference ever staged in the UK, the ICCWS 2016 takes place in Brighton, on 26th to 28th May. Full details are available on the website www.iccws2016.com.

Cooperages 1912 Australia to Offer Burgundian Barrels Crafted by Tonnellerie Tremeaux as Part of Synergistic New Partnership
ADELAIDE, Australia – Cooperages 1912 Australia is pleased to announce its decision to begin selling barrels crafted by Tonnellerie Tremeaux, an artisan Burgundian cooperage nestled in the heart of Beaune. Recently a sister company to Cooperages 1912 Australia purchased shared ownership of the boutique cooperage, allowing the group to now offer Tonnellerie Tremeaux barrels in Australia through a dynamic partnership.

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