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News posted on Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Well-known winemaker allegedly using rival company’s trademark to sell wine to UK
FEATHERS are flying between two South Australian wineries over accusations a well-known winemaker is using a rival’s trademark name, Peacock’s Fan, to sell bottles overseas. A legal battle has erupted in the Supreme Court between Zonte’s Footstep and Dandelion Vineyards over who owns the controversial plonk label. McLaren Flat-based winemakers Zonte’s Footstep used the title on its pinot noir and claims its former winemaker is now using it at Dandelion Vineyards.

SA heatwave jangles vigneron nerves
Welcome back. While you were away drinking – I trust it was good – something very interesting occurred. In Australia, the 2016 vintage has come very close to starting in 2015. For some in the warmest regions, it probably did. They’ll stay schtum. While harvest has well and truly commenced in some parts of the irrigated Murray-Darling Basin, the usual vintage rains in the sub-tropical Hunter have slowed its ripening and picking.

Skill and tenacity
Five generations of skilled coopers. Five eras of Australian winemaking. 125 years of the John family cooperage and 170 years since the family arrived in the Barossa. Peter John reflects on his journey in the family business and the wine industry in this interview with Nathan Gogoll.

Where's the excitement right now?
A new year, like the first day of school, has a freshly scrubbed, all-is-possible glow of expectation. The empty bottles behind us, literally and figuratively, are yesterday's news. What lies ahead? What's on the jump in 2016? In Australia and New Zealand if you're in the wine-importing business, the action in 2016 surely lies in renewed market possibilities with Australia and New Zealand wines.

Aussie's drop fully savoured by vineyard as hedges more favourable
The Australian dollar has completed its third year of declines yet John Casella, whose family exports Yellow Tail wine around the world, is only now starting to fully savour its benefits. Casella expects improved earnings as unfavourable currency hedges wind down and his company can lock in the weaker exchange rate with new contracts.

Winegrowers announce new format Waiheke Wine and Food Festival for 2016
Winegrowers on Waiheke Island will be celebrating the annual harvest with a new format festival in the New Year. The Waiheke Vintage Festival is being changed to the Waiheke Wine and Food Festival to mark the next step in how the island's boutique wines are showcased to the public. The event will be on April 2 on the land known as the old Onetangi airstrip, owned by Te Motu Vineyard.

Air New Zealand brings the cheer with seatback home wine delivery
Ordering a beverage from the seatback isn’t novel, but ordering a case of wine to be delivered to your home is the new normal for passengers flying with Air New Zealand’s latest entertainment systems. Alongside the more usual TV, movie and audio options on offer on the IFE is the chance to purchase bottles — or, indeed, cases — of wine for home delivery. It’s intuitive, fun and an excellent opportunity to while away a few minutes on board an aircraft.

A UK wine startup worth £70 million explains how it nearly ran out of wine - and what it did next
Naked Wines — a UK wine retailer that launched in Norwich in 2011 and was acquired by Majestic Wine for £70 million last April — told Business Insider that it grew so fast that almost ran out of wine. Naked Wines operates a crowdfunded business involving around 300,000 subscribers who provide funding for more than 100 independent winemakers in over 14 countries.

ASC Wine Residence in Shanghai to close
China-based importer ASC Fine Wines plans to close its Wine Residence private members’ club in Shanghai, following weaker consumer demand for luxury wines and as part of efforts to shift investment to e-commerce and market expansion. The move comes 15 months after its decision to close the Beijing Wine Residence, as reported by DecanterChina.com.

Cautious optimism for 2016’s fine wine market
Last year saw the fine wine market stabilise after four years of decline, according to Liv-ex, which operates the global marketplace for the prestigious product. Its report for 2015 found that Bordeaux’s market share dropped back to 2004 levels, “before the China-led bull market and the sharp boom, and then bust” while the Burgundy 150 Index and Rest of World 50 Index both hit record highs.

Will France's new wine regions threaten Champagne tradition?
A mini-liberalisation of the French wine sector is raising fears among some traditional growers that their protected vintages will be lost in a sea of homogenised plonk. Champagne producers are among the most vociferous opponents of a rule that comes into force on New Year's Day, and which should open up new French wine regions for the first time in nearly a century.

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