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News posted on Thursday, 5 November 2015

Natalie Fryar named as Tasmanian Viticulture Fellowship winner
The fifth recipient of the $10,000 Dr Don Martin Sustainable Viticulture Award, presented by the Alcorso Foundation, has been announced as Natalie Fryar of BTD Wine Enterprises. Fryar will undertake a three week study tour throughout Europe, the United States and New Zealand, to investigate wine varieties and grapevine clones most suitable for Tasmania in the changing climate and as the wine sector continues to grow.

TWE shareholders cranky over tight timing for entitlement issue
Some small shareholders are angry at how little time they were given by Treasury Wine Estates to respond to its retail entitlement offer to help pay for the $754 million acquisition of the Diageo wine business. They say it's typical of the arrogance shown by directors generally towards retail shareholders. The retail entitlement offer of new shares on a 2-for-15 basis closed on November 4, and allowed only eight business days for shareholders to return their paperwork after the offer booklet was mailed on October 23 to shareholders of Treasury.

Alix Hardy to take over from dad Bill
Hardys Wines' global brand ambassador Bill Hardy has announced that he will step down from the role next year, and his daughter Alix will take over. Bill has been with the Hardys company for 44 years and Alix becomes a sixth generation Hardy family member with the winery. In announcing his decision, Bill said: "Making wine for Hardys and representing the brand around the world over the past four decades has been a huge part of my life.”

Grape sunscreen and heat-resistant crops for winemakers coping with climate change
The meticulous record books of Australia's wine makers detail the minutiae of every vintage -- and they're beginning to show the disturbing effects of climate change. Heat spells, intense frosts and early vintages are becoming more frequent, but viticulturists are rising to the challenge of adaptation. In the wineries north east of Adelaide owned by Temple Bruer Wines, winemaker David Bruer said he noticed the change over the last decade.

Why Australian blends live up to the hype
For the past 10 years, The Great Australian Red competition has looked to elevate wines produced by blending Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon to the lofty heights routinely afforded blends fashioned in the manner of Bordeaux. “The Shiraz Cabernet blend is an Australian institution,” explains the mission statement published on the group’s website. “This country championed it, refined it and still does it better than anyone else on the planet.

Marlborough yachties ready for wine race
A record number of yachties will be ferrying bottles of Sauvignon Blanc across the Cook Strait on Friday as part of an annual wine race. The WineWorks Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc Yacht Race, which started in 2001, pairs Marlborough wineries with yachts in a race to deliver new season Sauvignon Blanc to the capital. The race will this year will see 39 yachts take part along with 29 wineries. Last year, the race was won by Stanley Estates Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, which was carried by skipper Brent Dewhurst aboard Gucci.

Manager for wine group
The appointment of its first general manager is the next stage in the evolution of the Central Otago Winegrowers Association, its president says. ''We've evolved to the point where we're moving away from being reliant on volunteers,'' James Dicey said. While the dedicated volunteers had done a sterling job over the years, the association was now at the stage where it needed the help of a manager to retain and enhance the strength of the brand, he said.

Challenging grape harvest reaches end in California
A feeling of optimism prevails in many California wine grape growing regions, despite a challenging year that saw a significant reduction in yields from those of the past three years. As a result of the smaller crop size, wineries find they are better able to work through large carryovers from previous years that have been sitting in their tanks for several months. Most experts say wineries have worked through the entire 2012 carryover and a part of the carryover from 2013.

Winemakers promise Alsace red 'revolution'
Long known for its top-of-the-range white wines, the northeastern French region of Alsace has begun touting its reds, which are rapidly becoming worthy rivals to the great Burgundies. "We can do just as well as Burgundy," winemaker Jean-Pierre Frick bragged as he drew a deep-red sample from a huge oak barrel in his cave at Pfaffenheim, near Colmar. "Our climate is almost more favourable than theirs, and we also have magnificent soil in Alsace," said Frick, who produces organic red wines with low yields in the chalky terroirs of Strangenberg and Rot Murle.

Fine wines sold at a loss as Chinese buyers cut their losses
Chinese wholesalers are slashing the price of imported fine wines to cut their exposure in an over-supplied market, according to a report in the South China Morning Post. Many wines from Bordeaux and other iconic regions are being sold off at below cost, sometimes for as little as one quarter of the list price. Trouble in the Chinese economy led to a drop in demand for wines last year, after several years of double-digit growth.

Uncorking the chemical potential of wine waste
Italian scientists have devised an innovative and economically feasible biorefinery that can squeeze more chemicals out of the mountains of grape waste produced during wine production. Last year around 28 billion litres of wine were produced globally – enough to fill over eleven thousand Olympic sized swimming pools. But after pressing the last of the juice from the grape, a whole lot of skins and seeds are left – around 5 million tons of the stuff.

Alix Hardy to take over from dad Bill
Hardys Wines' global brand ambassador Bill Hardy has announced that he will step down from the role next year, and his daughter Alix will take over. Bill has been with the Hardys company for 44 years and Alix becomes a sixth generation Hardy family member with the winery. In announcing his decision, Bill said: "Making wine for Hardys and representing the brand around the world over the past four decades has been a huge part of my life.”

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