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News posted on Wednesday, 5 August 2015

This winemaker has discovered the secret to getting Gen Y to drink its wine
For more than a year Australian Vintage Limited (AVL), Australia’s fourth largest wine producer, worked with psychologists to create a wine brand that would entice Gen Y, specifically based on their wants and needs. The product of the collaboration? YOU Wines. With 18-34 year olds representing 17 per cent of total wine consumers, an industry that is worth $4.1 billion annually, AVL sought to seize a market that before now has “failed to take advantage of its natural fit with Gen Y consumers,” according to AVL general manager Cameron Ferguson.

Riverland business confidence drops with wine industry downturn
Agricultural service providers in South Australia's Riverland are urging farmers to diversify, in a bid to halt economic decline across the region. Survey results released by Bank SA this week show business and consumer confidence levels have dropped in the region since February, and are now the lowest in the state. Member for Chaffey, Tim Whetstone, told ABC News the figures are a worrying reflection of the Riverland's struggling wine industry.

Wineries in major merger
THE Beelgara Estate and the Orange-based Cumulus Wines companies are merging to create a venture marketing more than 400,000 cases of wine a year and with gross revenue of $20million. Beelgara, which trades as Wine Insights, owns the former Rossetto winery in the NSW Riverina and has a portfolio that includes the Beelgara brands and the Margaret River Moss Bros, the Coonawarra Riddoch Run and the multi-regional Beelgara Estate and The Habitat labels.

Queensland mango farmer turns tropical wine merchant
When far north Queensland mango farmer Robert de Brueys' fruit crops began losing money he turned to the bottle, using his love of wine to secure his future. On the outskirts of Mareeba, on the Atherton Tablelands west of Cairns, Robert de Brueys once ran a small but successful mango farm. But when trade agreements between Australia and China chipped away at his profit margin he found a new way to use the iconic fruit; he began to make wine out of it. "I'd had this little thought in the back of my mind for some time," de Brueys said.

Final chance to enter 10th Annual International Sweet Wine Challenge
Celebrating 10 years of success, the International Sweet Wine Challenge (ISWC) is inviting winemakers who want to ‘experience the sweet taste of success’ to enter their sweet and semi- sweet wines before Friday 7th August 2015. One of the only wine shows in the world dedicated to sweet and semi-sweet wines from all over the globe; the ISWC aims to highlight the quality and diversity of the best dessert wines available while promoting a greater understanding and awareness of these wine styles.

Wine boss apologises for 'perplexing' remark
New Zealand Winegrowers have apologised for a remark made by chief executive Phillip Gregan at an organic wine conference in Blenheim. New Zealand Winegrowers chairman Steve Green said in a statement that Gregan's comments made during the conference "were poorly chosen and could have been framed better". Gregan's comments were made in a panel discussion following a speech he made to open the conference which was attended by New Zealand and international organic and biodynamic winegrowers.

Scott's well prepared for viticulture battle
Featherston man Scott Lanceley will be representing Wairarapa when he competes to be 2015's Young Viticulturist of the Year this month. Lanceley, who works at Craggy Range as a vineyard operations worker, is "excited but apprehensive" about the competition and is studying in preparation. "It's a big step up but the experience will be worth it." The 26-year-old came up just short from winning the Wairarapa sector of the competition that was held at Te Kairanga Estate last week, placing second to Mark Langlands.

The Rocky fire could cause grape smoke taint
As the Rocky fire rages, vintner Ryan Zepaltas is tracking its every move; he wants to make sure the Lake County vineyard he sources fruit from is not in its path. So far the 20-acre vineyard of Sauvignon Blanc grapes hasn’t gone up in flames. But the vines could still be affected by the smoky skies overhead. “We’ll pull cluster samples and send them to the lab to see if we detect smoke taint,” Zepaltas said. “It’s way worse on red wines because they ferment on the skins.”

Natural cocktail used to prevent, treat disease of wine grapes
It's happy hour at a lab in College Station. The cocktail of choice, developed by scientists with Texas A&M AgriLife Research, is one that stops or prevents the deadly Pierce's disease on wine grapes. The discovery could turn a new leaf on the multimillion-dollar U.S. wine industry. The study, published in the academic journal PLOS ONE, describes the use of four bacteriophages that were identified for their ability to attack the bacteria that causes the devastating disease in grapes and several other plants.

Victoria Wines adds to ‘premium’ Fiji International experience
Fiji's leading wine distributor, Victoria Wines, has committed its support to the Fiji International in 2015. The family-run business, with four outlets in Port Denarau, Nadi, Nasau and Suva, is dedicated to importing and distributing fine wines from all over the world – from Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, Italy, North America, New Zealand, Spain and Portugal – through to Fiji's many boutique island resorts and top restaurants.

Exclusive: Sonoma Coast's Platt Vineyard Purchased by Vineyard Investment Fund
Russian River Partners, a vineyard investment fund run by Eric Flanagan of Flanagan Vineyards, has purchased the Platt Vineyard, located in the Sonoma Coast wine region near the town of Freestone. The 31-acre vineyard is planted to Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Riesling and is a source of grapes for several Sonoma wineries, including Ramey, Radio-Coteau, Littorai, Scherrer and Red Car. The price was not disclosed, but the vineyard was part of a larger package of a 500-acre estate and a house that was on the market for $19.5 million.

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