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News posted on Thursday, 4 August 2016

Sarah Crowe becomes first woman to win Halliday winemaker of the year award
The Qantas epiQure Halliday Wine Companion Awards for 2017 made history last night with James Halliday naming Sarah Crowe of Yarra Yering his Winemaker of the Year for 2017 – the first time a female winemaker has won the award. Crowe, 41, has carved a remarkable reputation at Yarra Yering and is at the top or her game as Australia’s best winemaker.

Wine industry surging after 'enormous' demand from China
Australia's wine industry is growing on the back of surging exports to a Chinese market that is increasingly seeking a top quality drop, wine critic James Halliday says. Australian wine exports have grown to $2.1 billion per year, and the average price paid for wine grapes has grown by 14 per cent to $526 per tonne — the highest level since 2009.

Randall’s science to winemaking
For as long as he can remember, Randall Cummins’ dream was to be an agricultural scientist. It came as a surprise even to him when he found himself in a library reading books about wine while completing work experience at the Waite Agricultural Research Institute, which was also home to the Australian Wine Research Institute.

How New Zealand’s Chardonnays are taking on Burgundy, and winning
Burgundy wines can be insanely expensive. However, for wine lovers willing to explore further afield, less pricey substitutes can be found. In May last year, a New Zealand vs Burgundy blind tasting was organised in London, testing Kumeu River chardonnays against their Burgundy equivalents. The Burgundy line-up included such highly regarded names as Comtes Lafon, Leflaive, Drouhin, Girardin, Sauzet and Fontaine-Gagnard.

Invivo and Norton toast success
It's hard work coming up with a good wine but UK talk show host Graham Norton has come up with the perfect recipe while enjoying a boozy afternoon with Kiwi winemakers. Wine company Invivo brings out its latest celebrity collaboration - Graham Norton's Own Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc - on Friday. Norton and Invivo co-founder Tim Lightbourne and winemaker Rob Cameron travelled over 20,000km to Norton's holiday home town - Bantry House in County Cork, Ireland.

‘Wine terrorists’ flood French seaside town
A small coastal town in France has been literally flooded with wine after a suspected sabotage by a so-called group of ‘wine terrorists’. The streets of Sète was submerged with wine on Tuesday evening as thousands of litres of quaff poured out five huge vats onto the Avenue Maréchal-Juin – the street that the wine merchant resides on.

Argentina’s now generation of winemakers
Meet two of Argentina’s “Now Generation” of winemakers, Sebastian Zuccardi and Santiago Mayorga. Both come from families with long legacies in the wine industry, born to winemaking fathers and grandfathers and growing up amidst vines and viticulturists. Editor Michael Schachner sat down with these two pioneering industry minds at Total Wine to taste, discuss the wine making process and take a look into the future of Argentinian wines.

Oz Clarke crowned top communicator
Wine writer and broadcaster Oz Clarke has been named English Wine Producers’ Communicator of the Year for 2016. Presenting the award at Vintners’ Hall, Simon Robinson, English Wine Producers (EWP) chairman, not only praised Clarke for his efforts to promote English wine, but also credited him with being the inspiration behind his own decision to establish the Hattingley Valley wine estate in Hampshire.

Californian winery steps up expansion with acquisition
Californian winery O’Neill Vintners & Distillers has purchased the Robert Hall Winery in Paso Robles for an undisclosed sum, as it steps up its expansion plans. The acquisition includes the winery, production facility, hospitality facility, vineyards, inventory and wine brands owned by Robert Hall, it confirmed today.

New branding for De Bortoli wines
De Bortoli Wines announced a contemporary new look as part of a refreshed brand identity. Leanne De Bortoli, Yarra Valley Estate manager said the rebranding aimed to give their range of wines an updated feel while staying true to the first and second generation’s family heritage.

Diageo welcomes progress made against the Producers' Commitments Report
As part of the global effort to tackle harmful drinking, Diageo has welcomed the release of the latest Producers' Commitments Report by the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking. Diageo is one of 12 leading producers of beer, wine, and spirits who are signatories of the Commitment to tackle alcohol-related harm. This is the third annual report following a ground-breaking agreement for the alcohol industry to collaborate in 2012, and the first since the Sustainable Development Goals were agreed by governments in 2015.

Vintessential Laboratory in NSW has achieved NATA accreditation to ISO 17025
This is an internationally recognised accreditation, which means that all Wine Export Certification can now be performed at the new laboratory in Orange. ISO17025 Accreditation is regarded as the benchmark for technical competence in a laboratory. The rigorous quality assurance programs that are independently assessed by NATA, ensure that all test results are reliable, accurate and confidential.

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