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News posted on Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Wine industry welcomes Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement
New Zealand Winegrowers has welcomed the news that Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiators have reached a final agreement. “This is an excellent outcome for the New Zealand wine industry,” said Philip Gregan, New Zealand Winegrowers CEO. “Finalising the TPP is strategically very important for our export future as the TPP countries already account for over 60% of New Zealand wine exports.”

Hopes new weather stations for Canberra's wine region will reduce disease
Canberra's winemakers are hoping new weather stations will provide more reliable data for the region. Two weather stations costing $10,000 each have been installed just outside Canberra, one at Four Winds Vineyard in Murrumbateman, and another at Brindabella Hills near Hall. They are capable of measuring basic conditions, such as rainfall, humidity and wind speed, along with agricultural conditions such as leaf wetness and soil temperature.

Chinese appetite for the Barossa cools, but new players emerge in SA
Chinese appetite for Barossa Valley vineyards and wineries has cooled. But the lower dollar is attracting new overseas players to South Australia's premier wine-growing region alongside local winemakers looking to shore up their fruit supply, as drier El Niño conditions loom. "Asian interest has cooled a little bit, possibly because of the new government restrictions on money coming out of the country and because of the slowdown in the Chinese economy," said Toby Langley, managing director of advisers Gaetjens Langley. "Buyers are a little more cautious."

Treasury Wine Estates to consider Diageo's Sterling Vineyards division
Treasury Wine Estates, owner of Penfolds, Wolf Blass and Rosemount, may look closely at buying the Sterling Vineyards wine brand in California but is likely to steer clear of other lower-end brands that British alcoholic drinks giant Diageo is putting up for sale. Diageo, which has a market capitalisation of $43 billion, makes most of its profits from its spirits portfolio which is led by Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff Vodka, Captain Morgan rum and Tanqueray gin, while in the beer category it also sells the Guinness brand.

Lindeman’s woos Gen Y men with its Gentleman’s Collection
Lindeman’s is the latest wine brand to embrace millennial drinkers, especially males, who are under-represented in wine sales compared to beer or cider, with the launch of a new product called the Gentleman’s Collection that will hopefully introduce the 172-year-old brand to a new generation of drinkers. It follows on the footsteps of McGuigan, which recently pitched its own generation Y brand called You, with other winemakers set to follow as they attempt to pick up new drinkers and tempt younger consumers away from rival drinks.

Marketing boost to benefit Riverland wine
Primary producers in South Australia's Riverland are set to benefit from a new regional food, wine and tourism branding project. Regional Development Australia has secured a $40,000 grant to develop a collaborative marketing strategy and brand identity, to help promote local premium products and experiences.

China's wine producers make overseas acquisitions as market shifts
China's wine imports in August surged 28.9% year on year to 44.6 million litres in volume and rose 12.7% to US$154 million in value, but the average import price declined from both a month and a year earlier to only US$3.45 per liter, prompting the nation's leading wine companies to acquire upstream wineries or related enterprises abroad, reports the Shanghai-based National Business Daily, citing statistics compiled by GrandView, a private think tank in China.

More California winemakers using less water to grow grapes
The grape vines that grower Frank Leeds tends in Napa Valley stand among the unheralded heroes of California's drought, producing decade after decade of respected Cabernets and other wines without a drop of added water. In a state where farms and dairies take the biggest gulp of the water supply, Leeds and the owners of his Frog's Leap Winery are among a minority — but a growing minority — of California growers and winemakers who believe that when it comes to wine grapes, the less irrigation, the better.

Greece’s 2015 Wine Harvest: Smaller Is Better
There is an ancient saying in Greek, Theros, Trygos, Polemos, meaning “wheat harvest, wine harvest and war”: all three are situations that need immediate attention and cannot be postponed until later. Hopefully there will be no war, but having completed the wheat harvest, we are nearing the finish line of the wine harvest. All indications show that 2015 will be a great vintage for Greek wine. Although the weather has been rather on the strange side, there will be low yields all over Greece, which is always great for quality.

Small wineries worry about their bottom line
Some small and medium sized winery operators are concerned about a plan meant to put their product on more shelves in more stores. The BC Government now allows the sale of wine in grocery stores, although at the moment, few stores have made the switch. Small and medium sized producers are concerned about being wiped off the shelves all together by large producers.

Marlborough winegrowers prepare for El Nino
Marlborough winegrowers are preparing for the strongest El Nino summer since the extreme 1997/98 event, which cost New Zealand hundreds of millions of dollars in drought-destroyed crops. In New Zealand, the ocean-driven system typically brings colder, wetter conditions and prevailing westerly winds. Regions that normally receive higher rainfall become wetter, while dry areas of the country, including Marlborough, are often subject to drought.

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