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News posted on Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Alibaba launches Aussie wine store
Alibaba has launched a flagship Australian wine store through its Tmall platform, providing an opportunity for Aussie winemakers to tap into the lucrative Chinese market. Australian winemakers are set to benefit from Alibaba’s latest offering — a flagship business-to-consumer wine store offering Australian wines through the Tmall.com platform.

Cleanskin wine to be ineligible for tax rebate as government cracks down on rorts
The Federal Government's tax reform of the wine industry is squarely targeted at those producing bulk and unlabelled wine. Big retailers like Coles and Woolworths, which produce wine, will also lose the rebate. The government is currently meeting with the industry as part of its consultation into the changes.

The best of NSW wine promoted at inaugural First Planted event
NSW wine industry personalities including Bruce Tyrrell, Iain Riggs, Darren De Bortoli and Bill Calabria helped launch the inaugural First Planted Lunch in Sydney on Friday. The Langtons-sponsored event featured a live wine auction conducted by Andrew Caillard MW which included a number of rare and unusual items including a barrel of Tyrrell’s 2016 Vat 47 Chardonnay which sold for $12,232 and a double magnum of Lake’s Folly Cabernet which sold for $990.

The Farm Shed making the most of booming industry
Tasmania's East Coast wine region is booming, with 19 vineyards in operation. Many were started by farmers wanting to diversify and value-add to their land. Businesswomen Helen Bain and Subi Mead are capitalising on the local industry’s growth with their new business, The Farm Shed East Coast Wine Centre at Bicheno.

How to squeeze more than 100 grape varieties into one bottle of Barossa rose
THIS has got to be Australia’s craziest wine. And no — it’s not picked by naked maidens under a blue moon. It’s not even foot-stomped by unicorns. And it’s certainly not some unpronounceable grape variety imported from Outer Mongolia. In fact it is made from an astounding 108 different grape varieties, grown in the Barossa Valley and mashed together into an extraordinary rose blend that defies all winemaking conventions.

Growers back PM on NZers' poor work ethic
Orchardists and grape growers have backed up Prime Minister John Key's comments on the difficulties of getting beneficiaries into seasonal work. He said the New Zealand Seasonal Workers Scheme, which is designed to give unemployed locals a job as opposed to a separate programme which brings in people from the Pacific Islands, had issues with locals who "just can't muster what is required to actually work".

Tonnellerie de Mercurey NZ 'young winemaker 2016' announced
Congratulations to Jordan Hogg from Seresin – the Tonnellerie de Mercurey NZ Young Winemaker 2016. The National Final was held on Tuesday 23 August at MRC and the winner was announced at the Bragato Wine Awards dinner on Thursday 25 August. Congratulations also goes to Alex Roper from Mission Estate, Hawke’s Bay who was the runner up. Tom Hindmarsh and Matt Fox were the other finalists, also performing strongly throughout the competition.

Loosen: High alcohol ‘doesn’t suit Pinot Noir’
Ernie Loosen, the exuberant Mosel winemaker, has said that he believes New World Pinot Noir shouldn’t have high alcohol levels which can mask its subtle expression and upset “its balance and finesse.” Popping over to Hong Kong and Macau in what he jokingly calls a “one week Blitzkrieg”, Ernie Loosen said he forecasts steady growth in the Asia region, and is triumphant about the popularity of his Kabinett Riesling among Chinese drinkers in Hong Kong who prefer the lighter, fruitier style which can pair well with Cantonese cuisine.

Sonoma Wine County Weekend breaks record
While its more famous cousin in Napa was flat this year, the Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction raised a record $4.6 million at Chateau St. Jean Winery on Sunday. Even more impressive was the $2.7 million raised by 650 paddle-holders for “Fund the Future” – a campaign which underwrites every major literacy program in Sonoma Valley as well as several countywide.

Niagara uncorked: Selecting Ontario's best wines
The Lieutenant Governor’s Award for excellence in Ontario has earmarked for the cream of the crop. Twelve wines sit atop the 473 wines from more than 70 wineries that were entered into the Ontario Wine Awards earlier this year. “The general idea was to select a case of wine, 12 bottles, that you or the lieutenant governor of Ontario could serve to anyone that shows up for dinner that represents the pinnacle of Ontario wine,” said Brent Peachey.

Chilean winery teams up with WSET to offer education promotion
Marques de Casa Concha and the Wines and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) have partnered to offer consumers the chance to win a place on a wine course via a neck collar promotion.

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