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News posted on Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Budget 2016: Wine Equalisation Tax to stop flood of cheap wine
The wine industry will benefit from changes to the Wine Equalisation Tax and funding for the promotion of Australian wine here and overseas, with spirit producers also gaining from an extension of the excise refund scheme. The changes to the WET, details of which were leaked to The Australian last week, are expected to reform a system which has incentivised large producers, including the big supermarket chains, to flood the market with poor-quality wine

Marlborough District Council moves to monitor vineyard spray drift
Efforts to track vineyard spray drift are still in the pipeline nine years after a report highlighted gaps in the data collected by the Marlborough District Council. A 2007 report was commissioned by the council in the wake of concerns about the impact of vineyard spraying on air quality in Marlborough. The Envi-ronet report made a series of recommendations aimed at boosting base line data on the impact of vineyard sprays in the region.

Wine industry forecasts growth in plantings
Gregan said the forecasts in the just released Vineyard Register Report 2015-18 were a minimum, and he expected the actual plantings to be above predictions. "We know there have been some land pur-chases [for vineyards] that are not included in this data, so the numbers will lift further," Gregan said. "The industry is expanding, reflecting the demand for our products in international markets."

Swirling wine export currents: China, Australia, Portugal, Angola, USA, Brazil
International wine trade patterns are changing rapidly and in surprising ways for Portugal and other wine-producing nations. I have many friends who still are not convinced that China is now or ever will be an important factor in global wine trade beyond high end Burgundy and Bordeaux, for example. They just can’t imagine China as a wine power.

Britain central to global wine trade, say figures
Britain’s wine trade has more than doubled in the last decade, making it one of the most important countries in the world for wine, new figures released on the opening day of the London Wine Fair re-veal. The UK is now the world’s second largest importer of wine by volume behind Germany, and the second largest by value, behind only the US. It means Britain imports more wine per head than any other of the world’s top markets.

As Chilean Wines Struggle To Rebrand, Consumers Find Excellent Value
The indefatigable Aurelio Montes looks a bit worn out and admits to me, “It is exhausting, I am getting tired. We [Chile] are on the shady side of the street and we need to get some sun!” Montes is talking about the increasing competition from countries like Argentina, Australia and New Zealand and falling price points.

California winery uses solar power and energy storage
The Stone Edge Farm and winery in Sonoma, California has a 32 kW solar array, 14 of Aquion’s 25 kWh M-Line battery modules, and an Ideal Power 30 kW multi-port power conversion system. The solar PV array provides electricity to the primary residence, workshops, and offices. The renewable electricity system is generating so much power that some can be sold back to the local utility.

Wine tax 'gaming' ended by changes
The federal government has moved to end 'gaming' of wine industry assistance with cuts to rebates and tightening of eligibility for the Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) rebate. The rebate will be cut from its current $500,000 to $350,000 by July 1, 2017 and further to $290,000 a year later. Wine producers want-ing to claim the rebate will also have to own a winery or have a long-term lease on one, and sell packaged, branded wine domestically under new eligibility criteria.

Federal budget reveals suite of changes for winemakers
Wine glasses will be clinking at some cellar doors around the country with much lobbied for tax re-forms on the way. The 2016 budget delivers wine tax reforms to clamp down on rorts that have plagued the industry for years. The Federal Government says its wine equalisation tax (WET) reforms will save $300 million over four years, and it will give $50 million of that to the Australian Grape and Wine Authority to promote Australian wine overseas.

Boost for international wine marketing the trade highlight for budget 2016
A new consulate will be opened in China to help Australian food, tech and education businesses make the most of the recently ratified China free trade agreement. In a statement, Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop announced $39.4 million to open two new consulates, in China and in Papua New Guinea. The new China consulate-general "will assist Australian businesses to expand commercial opportuni-ties in the food, agriculture, clean technology and education sectors," the minister said.

Federal Budget 2016: Aussie wine the only winner in tourism industry Budget snub
A WINDFALL for wine tourism has been coupled with a money-making plan designed to curb excessive grape production and lift the standard of Aussie drops. In one of the few “wins” for tourism, the Aus-tralian Grape and Wine Authority will score $50 million over four years to promote the country’s wine overseas. Funding will be available from July 1, “to make the most of new opportunities made availa-ble through free trade agreements and build current wine exports”.

DWN BUDGET REPORT: WET rebate reform
THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT believes changes to Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) will help the wine industry transition to a stronger, long-term position. Changes to eligibility and reductions in the rebate cap, announced with the 2016 Budget, will reduce the amount of money being returned directly to wine producers and some of these savings will be directed straight to Wine Australia, Nathan Gogoll reports.

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