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News posted on Monday, 5 January 2015

Aussie wine cheaper than water
It depends what wine you're looking at and where you get your bottled water, but on some big retailers' shelves in Australia it's not too hard today to find water that is more expensive than wine. You may be considering a little-known bottle of red that's sitting in a bargain bucket selling for one dollar. Or you could be about to purchase a well-known white going for $2.99. That's all before you spot your favourite four-litre box of cask wine selling for less than $17.

Tasmania's premium sparkling wine sales sparkle
Australia's sparkling wine industry is being challenged to capture a greater share of the market over and above imports. Ed Carr, group sparkling winemaker with Accolade Wines, is one of the guest speakers at this year's Taste of Tasmania in Hobart. He says the premium sparkling wine sector is showing the most growth.

What drives our wine choice - taste, or the price tag?
Can a wine drinker judge the quality of a bottle by its price? The nature of this relationship has always been contested. We expect that consumers are willing to pay more for higher quality wines, while higher quality wines typically cost much more to produce. Some studies have identified that better quality wines do in fact sell for higher prices, others have not. Fundamentally, it is the subjective nature of wine quality assessment and the lack of quality information held by consumers which potentially drives a wedge between price and its quality.

National Restaurant Australia campaign paying dividends for Tasmanian producers
Last month Hobart hosted 80 of the world's most influential chefs and food writers at the launch of the national 'Restaurant Australia' tourism campaign. The Tourism Australia campaign is designed to showcase Australian produce and sell Australia as a food and wine destination. Some Tasmanian producers who were part of the Restaurant Australia launch say they're already noticing a flow-on effect less than two months after the event launch.

Return doubtful for Vine 2 Wine creditors
It is likely creditors of Blenheim vineyard contracting company Vine 2 Wine, which was forced into liquidation in 2013, will see little or no return, say liquidators. Craig Melhuish and Michael Keyse of HFK in Christchurch, released their six-monthly report at the end of December. It showed the company was put into liquidation on May 27, after it fell behind in its payments to Inland Revenue due to "possible reckless trading action against the director".

Craggy Range has 'wow' factor
If anyone needs an explanation of the term "stunning backdrop" they could well be advised to detour off the Waimarama Rd and drive up to the equally stunning structures of Craggy Range. Stand and take it in - that range of Te Mata is craggy indeed, and closer to where you stand you also sort of go "wow" as the still lake, with its croaking frogs and gently circling birds, spreads around. This is what is termed a "new world" winery.

Discerning thieves take French Laundry to the cleaners, steal $300,000 of wine on Christmas Day
It’s a restaurant so exclusive and so extravagant that even the scofflaws who broke in and robbed it have discerning, sophisticated palates. The French Laundry, the oh-so chichi Napa Valley landmark with three Michelin stars and extensive wine list, is suffering from bottle shock after its wine cellar was raided on Christmas Day. 76 bottles, with a total worth of about $300,000 (A$371,000), were stolen from the Yountville restaurant.

Global warming changing taste of wine
The taste of some of the world's finest wines is changing as global warming alters the way grapes mature, scientists have found. Grapes such as Pinot Noir, Merlot and Chardonnay are now growing more quickly, subtly changing the compounds produced as they ripen and the synchronisation between maximum flavour and the ratio of sugar to acid, scientists said. An increasing number of vineyards are thus struggling to identify the perfect moment for picking the grapes to ensure their wines retain their characteristic flavours.

British sparkling wine industry is fizzing as sales set to hit £100m
Sparkling Champagne-style wine now makes up 66 per cent of the UK’s wine production and it is being exported to more than 13 countries. Among the vineyards producing sparkling wine is Halfpenny Green Vineyards at Upper Whittimere Farm, Bobbington, near Bridgnorth. Led by owner Martin Vickers, it produces Halfpenny Green Sparkling, Pink Fizz and Red Sparkling bottles and has won awards from the Mercian Vineyard Association and the UKVA.

Wineries hold new appeal for China's wealthy
China's super rich have found a tempting new way of spending their vast wealth: vineyard ownership, according to a property consultancy survey. Knight Frank said in a report Tuesday that 45 per cent of Chinese "ultra high net worth individuals" are interested in vineyard ownership, the most of any country surveyed. Ultra high net worth individuals are those with US$30 million or more in net assets.

Hangers-on eye a fine-wine rally
AFTER more than a decade in the doldrums, the wine industry is entering a fine wine-led recovery, says pioneer Brian Croser. The first to plant vineyards in the Adelaide Hills in 1979 and founder of the premium Petaluma brand before selling to Lion Nathan for $230 million at the height of the wine boom in 2001, Croser is “really excited” about the industry’s future. “Things are turning around. It’s been longer than I thought,’’ the Australian Grape and Wine Authority director said.

Looking To Grow Your Distribution In 2015? Become an Exhibitor at 2015 Australia Trade Tasting Now
Australia Trade Tasting (AuTT) is an annual adult beverage trade tasting and business conference being launched in order to promote sustainable growth in the independent Australian beverage industry by helping wineries, breweries, distilleries, importers, wholesalers, retailers and beverage media companies learn, source and grow.

Natural ferments, what makes them tick?
Natural, spontaneous, wild and uninoculated are several terms used to describe a wine fermentation that has not been inoculated with a commercial yeast strain. The population of yeast species is dynamic throughout an uninoculated fermentation due to the range of initial microflora present and changing conditions as the fermentation progresses.

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