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News posted on Friday, 4 December 2015

Lindeman’s wants to 'bring out the gentlemen' in Aussie guys
Treasury Wine Estate’s brand Lindeman’s has launched its latest campaign for its new wine collection, and it wants Australian men to up their gentlemen-ness. The 15 second ad, complete with an open fire, a bearded man and a glass of red is encouraging Australian men to “bring out the gentleman”. And buy its wine, of course. The campaign, developed by J. Walter Thompson, is aiming to tap into the trend of ‘gentlemanliness’ in young Australian men and positions the new wine range for a ‘gentleman who is, and the gentleman who wishes to be’.

A fresh new look for Trentham’s Italian range
The Family is the new name for Trentham’s Italian range of wines and it has a fresh new look to match. Previously known as La Famiglia, the packaging has been refreshed for the first time since the range’s release 10 years ago in 2005. The quirky illustration featured on the original packaging has had a slight makeover; making it a more prominent feature to give the label a more contemporary feel.

Hunter Smith: Southern son
Hunter Smith grew up and still lives in a remote farming region in the Great Southern, WA. Frankland Estate’s Isolation Ridge was established by his parents Barrie Smith and Judi Cullam, and is renowned for its pristine Rieslings. For Hunter, making and enjoying wine has always been a family affair. Growing up on the farm was wonderful and we didn’t feel isolated at all. It was home. There was no curfew. You could roam freely.

French Australian Chamber of Commerce give Ian Watson a gold medal for his 2014 Pinot Noir
Black Hill winemaker Ian Watson has wowed a panel of French judges to win a gold medal for his 2014 Pinot Noir The Tomboy. He won the prize in the young Pinot Noir category at the French Australian Chamber of Commerce’s wine awards last week. Mr Watson said the award was recognition from a hard-to-please group.

Winehouse onscreen in winery
There would not be too many places better than a Hawke's Bay hillside to watch a great movie or two on a summer's evening. "Hawke's Bay is climatically perfectly suited for movies under the stars," is how Doris Blum puts it, as she and partner Urs put the final planning stages to the 12th OpenAir Cinema season which kicks off at Black Barn Vineyards in Havelock North on December 27.

Mystery Creek Winery up for sale
One of Waikato's two wineries is on the market as its owners head into retirement. Garry and Vicki Major started Mystery Creek Wines 16 years ago, after planting a vineyard on a block of land they bought in 1987. The Waikato couple took out a gold award for their chardonnay in the winery's first year, and daughter Sam Ward said from there "it just took off".

California vineyards taking steps to prevent loss of topsoil during El Nino
Jason Haas' plan for El Nino involves oats, sweet peas, vetch, clover, sheep, alpacas, a llama and a couple of donkeys. It's not for everyone, the organic viticulturist admits. But it works for his family's vineyard in this Central California city, where dormant vines have laid bare acre after acre of precious topsoil on steep hillsides.

Chinese wine culture goes mainstream
The death knell for expensive wine gifts is clanging loudly and clearly during Beijing’s age of austerity. But China’s wine market is riding a wave of positive (although perhaps unintended) consequences. Gone are the days of seeking guanxi (business connections) with a bottle of Hennessy XO. Wine culture has gone mainstream and a new generation of Chinese drinkers are enjoying more wine with greater frequency.

Bordeaux invites wannabe winemakers to learn the trade
Wine enthusiasts are being given the chance to visit Bordeaux to learn the tricks of the trade from some of the region’s top winemakers. The Bordeaux Wine Council (CIVB) is offering wine lovers in the UK “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to experience the life of a winemaker through a new social media campaign. Six Bordelais winemakers have effectively put themselves up for auction via a social media competition entitledExperience Life as a Bordeaux Winemaker.

The top wine stories of 2015
It has been an interesting year in wine. No single story dominated the wine news. There was no economic disaster. There was nothing that had an overwhelming impact on the wine world. Still, a diverse set of very interesting stories emerged from the U.S. wine world. Below are those stories from 2015 I thought most important, particularly for members of the wine trade. They are in no particular order. However, I can say that the story listed as #1 will have the most long term impact on the wine business and it is a story that has barely been covered.

Hunter vignerons call for controls on pesticide sprays
Vignerons in the Denman area suspect spray drift from the noxious herbicide 24D may be affecting local grape yields. The substance, which is mainly used to control broad-leaf weeds in grain and grass crops, can travel up to 70 kilometres in the air after application. Jeff Oldman from Norlana Vineyard said the herbicide causes grape leaves to become distorted. "I've spoken to a number of people in the district and also Department of Primary Industries, and they all seem to be pretty convinced that it is 24D," he said.

Mislabelled Wine Costs Exporter its Licence
An exporter of Australian wine labelled as Pinot Grigio that was in fact three other grape varieties, has been stripped of its export licence by the Australian Grape and Wine Authority (AGWA). Dal Broi Wines (DBW), parent company of Griffith-based Southern Estate Wines, failed to win a stay application against the licence cancellation, which the company said had already cost it a contract with US drinks giant Constellation Brands. Dal Broi had exported two parcels of wine, one to Canada in mid to late March 2015 and one to the USA in October 2014, which it described as 2014 Pinot Grigio.

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