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News posted on Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Natural wine is a runaway train
There is no official Natural Wine Movement. I think that’s why so many people struggle with it. Natural wines are not as codified as, for example, biodynamic farming, where in order to use the term you need to undergo rigorous certification. There are no rules for what constitutes “natural.” Source, VinePair.

Wildfire recovery benefit raises over $3.4m
Chefs and leading members of the Napa and Sonoma county wine community helped power a dinner and charity auction on the night of Dec. 2 that raised more than $3.4 million to benefit recovery efforts in the wake of October’s devastating wildfires in California’s North Bay counties. Source, Wine Spectator.

No Château de Fieuzal 2017 wine due to frost
Château de Fieuzal, the Pessac-Léognan cru classé château owned by the Irish Quinn family, has announced that it won’t release any wine from the Bordeaux 2017 harvest because severe frost damaged too much of its crop. Source, Decanter.

"Britons will starve" without EU fruit pickers
The chief executive of Chapel Down, an official wine supplier to 10 Downing Street, has warned that Britons will "starve" if the door is closed to foreign fruit pickers after Brexit. England's biggest winemaker, based in Kent, relies on EU workers to pick grapes for its drinks, which also include beer, cider and gin. Source, The Telegraph.

Future uncertain in face of water order
Although Hawke's Bay's wine industry "can live with" some form of water conservation order (WCO) on the upper Ngaruroro River, it may not survive in future if this extends to the lower part. This is what the special tribunal considering the WCO application was told yesterday, when the hearing reconvened after a week's break. Source, The New Zealand Herald.

Claiming the WET rebate for NZ exporters
New Zealand's tax agency, the Inland Revenue Department, recently released guidance on how to claim the wine equalization tax rebate for winemakers. The WET is a value-based tax paid on certain dealings with wine sold in Australia. Source, Tax News.

Tas winery rebrands after Italian legal action
In a story reminiscent of the legal action taken by French wine producers against use of the word “Champagne”, Spreyton vineyard Emilia Wines has been forced to rebrand after coming up against the pointy end of the law. Source, The Illawarra Mercury.

McLaren Vale enters its cubist period
Some locals’ feathers have been ruffled, with grumbles that the Cube sits too far outside the region’s genteel rural demeanour, yet it keeps garnering widespread attention in the long lead up to its eventual opening. A burning question remains: will it have the galvanising effect as a wine tourism drawcard that McLaren Vale hungers for? Source, The Adelaide Review.

Hunter Valley present to Tourism Australia
The HVWTA had never presented to Tourism Australia, so this was an important step in increasing international visitation, as part of their strategic marketing plan. The HVWTA hope to continue to strengthen ties with Tourism Australia, as international visitation makes up a significant portion of visitation to the Hunter Valley. Source, The Cessnock Advertiser.

Some regional success for NBN
Ten successful regional businesses are in Sydney for a masterclass with global internet giant Google, but their stories show just how hard it can be to make money in the bush. But success depends largely on internet speed and connection. Source, The ABC.

Brand Australia "lacks direction"
Are Australia’s exporters failing in Asia because of a lack of a good advertising slogan? When ad agency M&C Saatchi came up with their 100% Pure campaign for the New Zealand tourism industry almost two decades ago, it set the bar for how a small country could successfully brand itself in international markets. Source, The Courier Mail.

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