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News posted on Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Just one day left for wineries to register for trans-Tasman $20+ Sauvignon Blanc tasting
Australian and New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc producers have until tomorrow to register their interest in a trans-Tasman tasting of the varietal being held shortly by the Wine & Viticulture Journal. Open to wines made on both sides of The Ditch with recommended retail prices of A$20 plus, the tasting has been inspired by the inaugural May 1986 issue of the Journal which featured a special report on Sauvignon Blanc.

Bill English visits Babich Wines to toast success
Deputy Prime Minister Bill English visited Babich Wines in Henderson recently to find out what it takes to keep a family owned New Zealand wine brand going successfully for 100 years. Together with Alfred Ngaro, National Party List MP for Te Atatu, English met with David Babich (General Manager), Joe Babich (Managing Director), and Peter Babich (Chairman) who took him on a tour of the winery, vineyard and bottling line.

Brown Brothers announces purchase of Innocent Bystander
Family owned wine company Brown Brothers today announced it has entered an agreement to purchase the Innocent Bystander brand from Giant Steps. Based in Victoria’s Yarra Valley, Innocent Bystander has grown in popularity since its inception in 2004. Suzanne Tyzack, Giant Steps general manager, said the time was right to pass on the baton to a company who could maximise Innocent Bystander’s potential.

What are you doing to celebrate International Sauvignon Blanc Day?
Festivities celebrating the seventh annual International Sauvignon Blanc Day will kick off on Friday May 6 in New Zealand, home to some of the world’s most coveted Sauvignon Blanc wines, before continuing around the globe, following the sun. Wine brands, restaurants, bars, retailers and Sauvignon Blanc fanatics are encouraged to post video clips, photographs and messages on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram showing their passion for New Zealand’s most popular drop by using the “hashtags”: #SauvBlanc and #nzwine.

Red wine balancing act
Mudgee and Hunter vignerons will soon hear the first results from an industry-driven NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) trial to investigate how vineyard management can help maintain the balance of freshness and fruit character in the districts’ red wines. Free industry updates from the National Wine and Grape Industry Centre, an alliance between DPI, Charles Sturt University (CSU) and the NSW Wine Industry Association will be held in the Australian Rural Education Centre, Mudgee on Tuesday April 19 and at Tuscany Wine Estate Resort, Pokolbin on Wednesday April 20 from 8.30 am until 1 pm.

Growers urged to take advantage of rebate to investigate insurance options
Australian growers are being encouraged to take advantage of the Federal Government’s Managing Farm Risk Program which will provide one-off rebates up to $2,500 to help eligible farm businesses with the cost of independent professional advice on insurance options to protect them from the perils of drought, frost, hail and fire. Darryl McCrae, SureSeason managing director, said the offer was a once in a lifetime opportunity for growers to thoroughly investigate what insurance options could mitigate their financial risk from catastrophic events.

Vinomofo secures record $25m raising from Blue Sky Ventures
Online wine seller Vinomofo has received a record-breaking tech start-up funding round, securing a $25 million investment from Blue Sky Venture Capital to help it accelerate its growth plans. Blue Sky is the sole investor in the funding round, which is the largest raised by a local tech start-up without the assistance of US or other overseas investors. It is also first time that co-founders Andre Eikmeier and Justin Dry have taken venture capital investment, and is the largest venture funding round committed by Blue Sky.

Bob Campbell to host NZ Cellar Wine course
To be held at New Zealand House in Haymarket, London, on Saturday 23 April, from 10am-4pm, the event is being billed as a celebration of the finest food and drink from New Zealand. The all-day course is to be catered for by Anna Hansen’s The Modern Pantry. The subjects that will be covered on the day include New Zealand wine-making history; the implementation of sustainable viticulture and pathway toward organic winemaking; and the closure revolution that lead to the widespread adoption of screw caps and the country’s rapid growth in wine production.

Italian creates R2 D2 style robot fermenter
An Italian scientist has created a robot wine fermenter that wouldn’t look out of place in Star Wars, whose sensors can measure the amount of wine it creates. The Genesis wine robot is the brainchild of Dr. Donato Lanati, head of Italian wine research company Enosis Meraviglia based in Piedmont. The robot, which bares a striking resemblance to Star Wars character R2-D2, is able to house 200 kilograms of grapes and can produce 100 litres of wine.

Social microbes and Schizosaccharomyces pombe
If there’s been a theme to the wine microbiology research of the past few years, it’s been microbial communities. Don’t just study one yeast or bacteria at once; look at an environment’s microbial population. And if there’s been a supporting theme, it’s been non-Saccharomyces yeast. Don’t just look atSaccharomyces cerevisiae; pay attention to at least some of the other, marginalized members of the microbial community, and ask what they can do for you.

How Will Wage Hike Affect Wine Industry?
Sacramento, Calif.—All businesses in California will be required to increase minimum wages, capping out at $15 per hour in 2022. On March 31, the California State Assembly approved SB3, already passed by the state Senate; if (as expected) the bill is signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, the new law will gradually raise the state’s minimum wage during a six-year period; small businesses with fewer than 25 employees may receive postponements.

How young is too young to teach kids about wine?
Italy is considering implementing "wine lessons" for kids as young as six. The lessons would teach kids how wine should be drunk responsibly, with a meal, with friends and family. But Michael Moore, CEO of the Public Health Association, told Tom Elliott he isn't sure it's as relevant to Australian culture. He said if the education focused on protective behaviour, it'd be worth a look.

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