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News posted on Wednesday, 4 November 2015

De Bortoli Wines records $4.5m loss
De Bortoli Wines, one of Australia’s largest family-owned wine groups, has sunk to a $4.526 million loss for fiscal 2015 after poor investments in mining and resources stocks dragged it into the red despite stronger earnings from its core wine business as the lower dollar improved export margins. The winery, led by managing director Darren De Bortoli, rode a bullish sharemarket a year earlier that helped it post a profit of $11.4m in 2014, bolstering the family business at a time when the wine sector was suffering from a high dollar.

Why it's time for wine w**kers and the industry to get over themselves
Barnyardy. Herbacious. Unctuous. Chewy. Hedonistic. Ponderous. Shallow. Backward. The wine industry has been using evocative descriptors to characterise the taste and aroma of its products for generations. But how does the industry justify such precise language to describe such a subjective experience? Especially given empirical research, which has demonstrated that the average consumer struggles to recognise descriptions of the wine that experts identify on the label, it is likely the wine industry alienates consumers more than it attracts them.

Wine fees dissuading Margaret River tour operators
The introduction of tasting fees at some Margaret River cellar doors has forced tourism operators to rethink which wineries to include on their tours. The region is home to about 187 wineries with close to 40 operators offering visits to them as part of their tours. Following the removal of a cellar door subsidy as part of the WA State Government's 2015 budget, some wineries now charge between $2 and $16 for tastings.

Premier Estates Wine’s #TasteTheBush ad slapped with ban
Premier Estates Wine’s ad campaign, released in August, showed a woman with a glass of red wine placed in front of her crotch as she utters the line: ‘Australia practically jumps out of the glass – in fact, some say you can almost taste the bush.’ That was the strapline by the way: #TasteTheBush. And, after several complaints, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled in agreement, banning the ad. There were eight complaints in total, including one from Wine Australia.

Funding the views shared by few
PHILIP WHITE OPINION: Whitey finds the Weatherill Government's Regional Development Grants are unpopular among all those who haven't applied for one. Two famous wine companies have set neighbours and rivals seething after successfully securing $2 million each from the South Australian Government’s Regional Development Fund. It should surprise nobody that one of the key presumptions of free enterprise is that governments should always strive to provide better entry to the prize money by making its prisement easier.

Air New Zealand Wine Awards tasting event kicks off
Twenty-six judges will look, swirl, sniff, sip, gargle and spit more than 1400 wines for this year's Air New Zealand Wine Awards. The prestigious three-day tasting event, now in its 40th year, is being held at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland. A total of 1424 wines across 16 classes were entered into this year's competition. Marlborough wines topped entries this year with 588 wines, followed by Hawke's Bay with 323 entries, Otago with 184 entries and Nelson with 101 entries.

Wine industry welcomes registration system for wine regions
Introduction of a Bill by Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Paul Goldsmith enabling geographical indications (GIs) for wines and spirits to be registered in New Zealand has been warmly welcomed by New Zealand Winegrowers. “The Geographical Indications (Wine and Spirits) Registration Amendment Bill will be a significant advance for the New Zealand wine industry,” said Philip Gregan New Zealand Winegrowers CEO.

Five considerations before selling a vineyard or winery
Whether to sell a vineyard or winery is one of the most significant decisions an owner will make. There are financial, career, lifestyle, and other factors that go into the choice, and the calculation is different for each person and each situation. Advanced planning and presale activities can make the process smoother and maximize the ultimate sale proceeds.

How to improve the competitiveness of EU wine
A couple of weeks ago I participated as speaker in a conference on the ‘Competitiveness of EU wine’, organised by the European Commission at Expo Milano 2015. One of the issues which I found myself tackling while preparing my speech was about definition: what do we actually mean when we say ‘EU wine’? Can there really be a shared set of characteristics which define and differentiate EU wines from those of any other continent?

Southern hemisphere’s wine increasingly popular
Wine from Chile, Australia, New Zealand and other “emerging” wine-producing countries is becoming increasingly popular due to reasonable prices and high quality. Further expansion of the market for these countries’ wines is expected to result from the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact. It is likely that a number of new brands and products will be introduced to the Japanese market in the future.

Romania is in top 13 biggest wine producers
Romania’s wine production grew by 9% in 2015 to 4.069 million hl, from 3.750 million hl in 2014, and ranked 13th in the top of the biggest world wine producers, according to preliminary data published on Wednesday by the International Organization of vine and wine (OIV). At present, Romania is in top 5 in Europe in point of area cultivated with vine - 200,000 ha, and 6th in EU in point of production, said Cornel Dinu, a director in the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.





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