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News posted on Friday, 6 January 2017

Australian wine benefits from further China tariff reduction
Australian wine exporters expect to receive a profit boost from this week, with a further reduction of tariffs to China now in effect. China is now Australia's biggest export market for wine — worth almost half a billion dollars. Gemtree vineyards in McLaren Vale, near Adelaide, is confident its 2016 shiraz is a good match for the Chinese market. The winery has a Chinese joint venture, and was one of the first to crack the market seven years ago. "The initial growth was extraordinary, our business essentially trebled in the space of two years," managing director Mike Brown said. Growth has since stabilised, but from this week exporting to China may be more profitable, with tariffs down to 5.6 per cent.

Snapchat for your wine business
There are plenty of options for wine brands when it comes to interaction on social media – including Snapchat. In this article, Dr Rebecca Dolan from The University of Auckland Business School Department of Marketing, works through the reasons Snapchat deserves attention. Snapchat offers a glimpse into the future of mobile marketing. On the most basic level, users (such as brands and consumers) can send image or video ‘Snaps’ directly to a recipients inbox. Snapchat has over 100 million active daily users who collectively send around 400 million Snaps per day, making Snapchat one of the fastest-growing social network platforms.

Hopes End Wine launches a brand fit for the millennial
How does the millennial cope with the dashed hopes they've faced since the Great Recession? Hopes End is a new wine launching this week that taps into a psyche intrigued by the dark and mysterious, that craves escape from the mundane and wants to live for today. Hopes End is an Australian red blend wine that exemplifies the skill of one of Australia's oldest winemaking families, the Angoves, who were among the free settlers to South Australia in the 19th century. With hopes of finding a prosperous life, instead they arrived in dismal Port Misery, South Australia. Dr. William T. Angove, a young doctor, found his livelihood mixing elixirs, and soon, wine—the perfect antidote to adversity.

O'Dwyers Creek Vineyard finds niche with kosher wines
Making kosher wine can be a logistical challenge, but one Marlborough wine company has found its niche meeting the dietary requirements of observant Jews. O'Dwyers Creek Vineyard owner Lindsay Dahlberg was the first person to start making kosher wine in the region after Jewish friends told him there was demand for kosher sauvignon blanc. The former Oyster Bay grapegrower, who owns an 8-hectare vineyard in Rapaura, teamed up with contract winery Marlborough Vintners for the first kosher vintage in 2010. To make wine kosher, every stage of the winemaking process has to be handled by a mashgiach, an observant Jew who oversees the production of kosher products.

Millennials, Women and China are Disrupting the Wine Industry
The wine industry, much like the financial services industry, is being disrupted by demographic shifts. A recent study performed by Tiburon Strategic Advisors indicates that the wine industry is set to grow steadily over the next five years, making it potentially attractive space for investors. Chip Roame, Managing Partner at Tiburon, discussed this expected growth in a recent call and noted, “I can’t find a single metric that would suggest otherwise.” The research attributes its bullish sentiment largely to many of the same key demographics that are driving changes in financial services markets as a whole. In short, Millennials, women and Asians all really like wine.

Irish tasters pick top wines for Australia Day Tasting
Wine Australia has asked eight members of the Irish wine trade to pick out the Australian wines, which have inspired them the most for the line-up of the Australia Day Tasting in Dublin on 30 January. In advance of the Australia Day Tasting, eight members of the Irish wine trade who have visited Australia over the last few years were asked to nominate two favourite Australian wines. The group includes: Liam Campbell (wine writer and educator), Martin Moran MW (wine writer and broadcaster), Gavin Ryan (owner of The Black Pig in Kinsale), Colm McCan (consultant sommelier and wine lecturer at Ballymaloe House) and Harriet Tindal (Tindal Wine Merchants) amongst others. Covering still, sparkling, sweet and fortified, the wines selected demonstrate the variety of contemporary Australian wine. The line-up will include wines from cool climate regions, alternative varieties and the line-up will also challenge the traditional assumptions of Australian wine.

India to prove troublesome in 2017 for drinks MNCs
A combination of increased taxation and alcohol sales restrictions – and the withdrawal of high-value notes – will make India a major headache for Diageo and Pernod Ricard in the year ahead. Diageo and Pernod Ricard, respectively the world’s two largest premium beverage alcohol groups, have just drawn the lines under their figures for the six months that ended on New Year’s Eve. When they announce those results in about four week’s time, both are expected by analysts to show continuing progress growing in organic sales and profits, confirming their previous guidance.

Grace Vineyard partners with ASC for China market expansion
China’s leading boutique family winery, Grace Vineyard, has officially parted ways with its long time distributor Torres and partnered with ASC Fine Wines to distribute its wines in mainland China, citing differences in “development directions” as the main reason for ending relations with Torres. “Torres had been a great partner and we really appreciate everything they have done to help build Grace Vineyard. However, our development directions no longer aligned with each other. It seems to be the time for us to go our separate ways,” Judy Chan, president and CEO of Grace Vineyard, told dbHK in an email reply. Torres first started distributing Grace Vineyard wines in 2004. “ASC Fine Wines is China’s leading wine importer and distributor. We hope the cooperation will expand our market presence in mainland China.”

Wet, wild year one for history books
The rainfall in September was unprecedented in South Australia, with more than 70 weather stations recording all-time high rainfall totals for the month. Yet winemakers were unperturbed by the heavy downpours, despite some Barossa Valley vineyards spending time underwater during the spring deluge. Elderton Wines' co-managing director Allister Ashmead said these soakings are expected occasionally and even welcomed as they refresh the vines and rejuvenate the water table.

Treasury Wine Estate CEO may have trick up his sleeve
Treasury Wine Estates chief executive Mike Clarke heads towards his third anniversary at the helm of the company as one of the golden boys of the Australian sharemarket. He has mused in the past about whether Treasury might be an even better business without its lower-end commercial wines, leaving Treasury with a wine business focused at the middle to top end of the market, which is where Clarke sees the best growth around the world. Simon Evans reports for the Australian Financial Review.

La Crema promotion for Craig McAllister
Acclaimed artisan winery La Crema today announced the promotion of Craig McAllister to the position of Head Winemaker. McAllister, who first joined La Crema as the harvest enologist in 2007, has been a passionate steward of La Crema's Monterey program and played a vital role in elevating the winery's Sonoma Coast portfolio throughout his tenure. In addition, he has helped to further develop La Crema's esteemed collection of single vineyard Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines. In his new role, McAllister, who has most recently served as associate winemaker, will gain increased responsibility for the oversight of all winemaking operations.

Jancis Robinson donates personal papers to UC Davis
British author Jancis Robinson, called “the most respected wine critic and journalist in the world” by Decanter magazine, has donated her archive from over four decades of wine writing to the library at the University of California, Davis. “I feel extremely honored that all my papers, notebooks, tasting notes and professional photographs have found a home in a part of the world that has been so important to me and my life’s work in wine,” Robinson said. “It is a particular pleasure to be in the company of such towering figures in the world of wine as Hugh Johnson, Robert Mondavi and Maynard Amerine in the famous UC Davis Library.”

Wine grape industry continues hot growth
September U.S. wine sales rose from $3.3 billion to $3.7 billion, helping set an annual pace to boost the industry’s overall retail value for the 11th consecutive year, Yakima Valley College agriculture professor Trent Ball said at the annual meeting of the Washington Grape Society in mid-November in Grandview, Washington. Red blends led the surge with 18 percent growth in off-site sales, he said, while Cabernet Sauvignon increased in sales across nearly all price points.

The secret history of blending wines
Unlike much of what goes on in today’s wine industry, blends weren’t the result of a fad, a catchy PR campaign, a TV show, or a Top 40 song. The tradition of blending dates back millennia, to times when mixed vineyards served as an insurance policy against Mother Nature’s wrath, and a reliable harvest trumped flavor nuances. Like a band of superheroes bonded together for the common good of mankind, a good blend can bring out the extraordinary qualities of ordinary grape varieties.

Australian wine benefits from further China tariff reduction
Australian wine exporters expect to receive a profit boost from this week, with a further reduction of tariffs to China now in effect. China is now Australia's biggest export market for wine — worth almost half a billion dollars. Gemtree vineyards in McLaren Vale, near Adelaide, is confident its 2016 shiraz is a good match for the Chinese market. The winery has a Chinese joint venture, and was one of the first to crack the market seven years ago. "The initial growth was extraordinary, our business essentially trebled in the space of two years," managing director Mike Brown said. Growth has since stabilised, but from this week exporting to China may be more profitable, with tariffs down to 5.6 per cent. The free trade agreement has led to a staged tariff reduction from 14 per cent, hitting zero in 2019.

Treasury Wines may have another trick up their sleeve
Treasury Wine Estates chief executive Mike Clarke heads towards his third anniversary at the helm of the company as one of the golden boys of the Australian sharemarket. He'll hit the three-year mark as boss in late March this year, after having presided over an extraordinary transformation which has delivered the group's 62,000 shareholders welcome riches as the share price more than doubled from mid-2015 to more than $10. Treasury, the owner of big wine brands including Penfolds, Wolf Blass and Wynns now has a market capitalisation of close to $8 billion.

Australia Day to put sparkling red trend to the test
The predicted trend towards sparkling red wine in 2017 will be put to the test this month at the annual Australia Day Tasting. After Bibendum predicted that red would be the next chapter in the ‘alternative sparkling’ story in December through analysis of its Mode data analysis tool, Wine Australia is set to present a selection of Aussie sparkling Shiraz from producers such as Dowie Doole, Gatt Wines, Peter Lehmann, Taltarni and Turkey Flat. The marketing body will invite attendees to share their thoughts on the wines and trend predictions via Twitter using the hashtag #ADTwine. As many as 1,100 wines will be available to taste at the Australia Day Tasting at Victoria House in London on 24 January, giving trade members the chance to assess not just the likelihood of a sparkling red trend, but also to explore other hot topics such as alternative grape varieties and the growing demand for premium wines.

The helicopter in the vineyard
Frank Nicholls, from O’Connor Vineyard Services, based at Sevenhill in the Clare Valley, remembered an old image on the wall of one of the local ag supply stores of a helicopter in action on Christmas Day 1992. And when he couldn’t get his usual spray units into the vineyards after heavy September rain, he started connecting the dots. “I’m also the vice president of the local flying group, so I knew we were lucky enough to have a helicopter based in the region,” Nicholls said.“Ashley Dickson from County Helicopters was already set up to do some spraying of vegetables around Virginia, so it was just a matter of a phone call to see if he was available and work out the details.”

Buckingham Schenk adds to New Zealand line-up
UK wine supplier Buckingham Schenk is unveiling a new brand from New Zealand producer Rod McDonald Wines at its first New Zealand Winegrowers tasting later this month. The new ‘Mister’ brand from family-owned Rod McDonald Wine comprises six wines – a Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Rosé and Syrah – from Hawkes Bay which the company claims to be “left of centre” and “modern to the core”. Retailing at around £12-13, it is set to target New Zealand wine consumers who want something a bit different and quirkier, a spokesman from Buckingham Schenk said, and is aiming squarely at the the multiple and specialist retail channel.

Bayer


Flavourtech


New Holland


Braud


Kauri


WID 2017