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News posted on Thursday, 4 June 2015

Inspired Tasting success in Japan
Wine Australia hosted its first Inspired Tasting in Tokyo on Monday, with more than 100 wines on show personally chosen by local Japanese A+ Australian wine specialists. Providing education and training to the Japanese wine market, Wine Australia’s 37 Japanese-based wine specialists chose special wines with significant meanings for the event. More than 100 media and trade guests had the opportunity to taste 107 wines at the Inspired Tasting. Hiro Tejima, Wine Australia regional manager, said he saw an overwhelming response from guests reflecting a wider interest in Australian fine wine.

Report says wine community should increase activity on Facebook
Mastermind Consulting, a Sydney-based marketing consultancy that specialises in digital and social media, has today released a comprehensive white paper titled The State of the Australian and New Zealand Wine Industry on Facebook. This is the first known paper of its kind, focusing specifically on the Australian and New Zealand wine industries to provide general trends and insights for wineries to consider as part of their broader marketing plan.

Adelaide Uni to tackle smoke taint at seminar
The University of Adelaide will host a free lecture to help grapegrowers and winemakers deal with the devastating consequences of smoke taint next week. Part of the university’s ‘Research Tuesdays’ initiative, the ‘smoke in the barrel’ seminar will discuss how science is helping grape and wine producers overcome the effects of bushfire smoke taint. In recent years, the destructive impact of bushfires has been felt worldwide, and their frequency and ferocity is only expected to increase with climate change.

Coonawarra winemakers promote sipping, not shotting, Australian wine in China
Nurturing China's growing wine consumption is more about introducing a new food culture than selling a quality drop, according to a senior winemaker. Katnook Estate's Wayne Stehbens has been selling wine into China for 15 years and said the biggest challenge was finding a time and place for it to be enjoyed. "Their idea of eating food is more a function of their life, rather than a social occasion," he said. "If you go to a restaurant you order the meal, the meal is put on the table and it's eaten very quickly; there's hardly time to even enjoy a bottle of wine."

China taps foreign expertise to build its own premium wine industry
China is now the Australian wine industry's third largest overseas market by value, with exports worth $242 million last year. But increasingly the premium wine being served at the banquet tables of the rising Chinese middle classes is not imported - but made in China. China now has the second largest amount of land given over to wine growing in the world, and foreign winemakers are gaining a piece of the action.

Lower harvest 'could affect UK sales'
Quality, not quantity, might be the byword for wine producers and exporters this season. Chris Stroud, of New Zealand Wine Growers, said the 2015 vintage was expected to be down about 25 per cent on 2014, a record year, but there was little cause for concern. Wine Growers chief executive Philip Gregan said, in March, that the warm, dry summer of 2015 was perfect for ripening grapes, and the prospects were for a high quality vintage. Although the the 2015 vintage would be significantly smaller than last year, sales in the year ahead will be supported by stocks from 2014.

Honour a 'tribute to the Nobilo family'
If each new vintage is like a newborn baby, then Nick Nobilo has a lot of children to keep track of. The 71-year-old, who today is appointed an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit, has 54 behind him after leaving school at 17 to join the family business. That business was House of Nobilo, set up in 1944 by his father, Nikola Nobilo - a man credited with guiding New Zealand palates away from sherry and port to the delicate taste of table wine. Winemaking, it seems, is in the blood - Nobilo's brothers Steve and Mark were also heavily involved in developing the business.

Massive wine fraud sting nets prominent Canadian figures
Montréal police arrested 12 individuals—many in the wine industry—last month in what authorities are calling “one of the most [significant] tax-evasion schemes referring to alcohol contraband in Quebec.” Authorities allege that 20 different labels being sold by the First Nations Winery were actually just Italian bulk wine doctored with different flavor adulterants, and now several Canadian winemakers and other prominent industry members are behind bars. Some 23,500 gallons of wine—the equivalent of 9,900 cases—were seized in warehouses and private residences over the course of 32 raids, the culmination of a sting operation dubbed “Project Malbec.”

Protect grape clusters from all major grape diseases during early fruit development
Young fruit clusters are highly susceptible to all major diseases, including downy mildew, powdery mildew, black rot, Phomopsis and anthracnose. If prolonged cool, wet weather prevails during bloom, Botrytis can also gain a foothold in clusters of susceptible cultivars by promoting fungal growth on senescent flower parts. However, if conditions are dry and warm during bloom, it is unlikely bloom will be an important time for Botrytis infection.

Future for real growth in UK wine sector and is no longer a joke
For many years British wine has been the butt of many a joke, but now it appears the tables are starting to turn. Forget about the French vintages or the New World classics, the Brits are coming and many of the new breed of English winemakers are starting to make their mark. Such has been the interest in the new wave that a special event was held in Bristol to showcase the produce of the West's vineyards. And somewhat ironically it was held at a restaurant bearing the name of France's most celebrated wine region – the Bordeaux Quay restaurant on the Harbourside.

Wine Vision 2015 travels to Bilbao, the ‘land of 1,000 wines’
Wine Vision, the must attend event for business leaders across the global wine industry, is set to go global when it returns in November. The event, organised by William Reed Business Media, has been held in London for the past two years, but from 2015 onwards, it will take wine industry leaders to the heart of the world's most prestigious wine regions. Each year Wine Vision will be held in a different world class 'wine hot spot' in order to bring the debate about the wine industry's future to centres of production.

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