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News posted on Thursday, 6 April 2017

Holm Oak's 2017 vintage vastly different
“We’re lucky that March was warm. Harvest is fairly late, but the warm weather kicked it along,” Ms Duffy said. “We’ve picked all our pinot gris, sauvignon blanc, resiling and some chardonnay. We’ll be picking pinot noir up until Easter." The weather is not the only reason for a lower yield, with overworked and waterlogged vines coming into play.

Calabria to open Barossa cellar door in 2019
Calabria Family Wines has reinforced its commitment to the Barossa by announcing it will open a new cellar door following the 2019 vintage. “The recent Barossa advertising campaign has changed the tone – it is no longer about dads drinking big old reds. The food scene is now incredibly vibrant and as a result the wine styles are changing and making the dynamics more interesting," says Andrew Calabria.

Emilia Wines concerned over smoke taint
Marcus Burns from Emilia Wines, Spreyton, started harvesting pinot grigio on Tuesday morning, but was concerned about his grapes. Vineyards and Wine Australia work with the Tasmanian Fire Service to manage controlled burns during harvest time, but this of course doesn't apply to private properties like Burns' neighbors. “There’s no control over what they want to do in their backyard,” Mr Burns said.

Draft legislation revealed to reform WET rebate
The Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) has welcomed the release of the exposure draft legislation to reform the Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) rebate. “The Australian wine industry, a significant contributor to the Australian economy, employing thousands of Australians in regional and rural communities, has fought long and hard for reform of the WET rebate eligibility criteria,” , said Tony Battaglene, WFA chief executive.

Marlborough producers protecting quality
If you make wines grown from 100% Marlborough grapes and are committed to making high-quality wines, you may be interested in joining the "Pure Marlborough Wine" brand. The umbrella aims to retain authenticity for Marlborough wines by offering quality-regulating rules and use of a trademark logo.

Marlborough grape harvest worst since 1995
Data from the Blenheim meteorological station showed between January and April 1995 there was 416 millimetres of rain, well above the long-term average of 176.8mm. It was widely proclaimed as the worst season they ever had. But the stakes are much higher this time around. In 1995, 24,609 tonnes of grapes were taken for wine in Marlborough, a pittance of the 323,290 tonnes harvested in the region last year.

Liquor licenses canned on Nashik highways
Nashik is known to locals as the wine capital of India. But with a new supreme court ruling, all liquor licensed outlets have been forced to close along its highways. The wine sale in the district is expected to go down by up to 40% and around 70% of the licensed outlets have already been affected in Nashik district. Bad news for exporters looking to India.

Drinking wine like doing maths for your brain
Drinking wine is the ideal workout for your brain, engaging more parts of our grey matter than any other human behaviour, according to a leading neuroscientist. Dr Gordon Shepherd, from the Yale School of Medicine, said sniffing and analysing a wine before drinking it requires “exquisite control of one of the biggest muscles in the body”.

Martha Stewart launches wine business
Martha Stewart already has a meal kit service. Now, she's got plans to sell wines that could potentially pair nicely with those home-cooked meals. The lifestyle guru on Wednesday has announced the launch of Martha Stewart Wine Co., which aims to sell wine lovers a collection of wines that are personally curated by Stewart.

Independent wine supplier boosts range
Vindependents, the wine supplier set up by a group of independent wine merchants to exclusively supply the independent market, has boosted its wine range by nearly a third to 300 wines, as well as almost doubling the number of its suppliers. Australian wines have sold very well, largely because of the difficulty independents have in sourcing more unusual wines direct from suppliers, because of the problem of needing smaller and more frequent shipments.

Supermarkets still dominate wine sales
Supermarket chains have increased their share of the retail alcohol market while independent stores continue to decline. That’s according to the latest Alcohol Retail Currency report from Roy Morgan Research. It found supermarket-owned chains now account for 72.3% of the total Australian off-premise (take-away) alcohol retail market. This is up from 69.1% in 2015.

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WID 2017