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News posted on Thursday, 7 January 2016

Refugee farm workers from Bhutan a winning asset for Tasmanian vineyard
Tasmania is now home to about 2,000 refugees from Bhutan, a tiny country between India and China with a population just twice that of Tasmania. In the 1990s, Bhutan forced most of its ethnic Lhotshampa population to leave and the exodus saw more than 100,000 Bhutanese refugees living in Nepalese camps seeking asylum. After 19 long years living in one of these refugee camps, Khadga Thapa was one of the first to migrate, in 2010.

Heavy rain disappointing for some, ahead of harvest
The annual wine grape harvest is expected to be delayed at Great Lakes Winery at Wootton following the heavy rain. Vigneron Steve Attkins said picking would be pushed back two to three weeks after nearly 200 millimetres of rain fell on the vineyard. "We had the highest level we've probably seen in 16 years so four of our paddocks went under; one of them went under completely [and] we've never seen that before," Mr Attkins said.

Bumper wine harvest predicted in Bathurst region
THE coming wine harvest will be a bumper one, according to Winburndale winemaker Mike Burleigh. The vigneron’s first vintage was in 2002, and Winburndale Wines has since won 18 trophies and more than 100 medals. Mr Burleigh said good spring rain, followed by a mix of hot and wet weather in summer, had put the winery on course for another bumper vintage.

New app to assess powdery mildew on grapes
Visual assessment of the grape and wine sector’s most costly disease, powdery mildew, will be easier with a new, free smart-phone app developed by University of Adelaide researchers and collaborators. The recently released iPhone/iPad and Android app, PMapp, will help grapegrowers and wineries make informed decisions about the quality and price of grapes.

Mollydooker brand on sustaining power
Nearly a decade ago Mollydooker became a household word among American wine enthusiasts. The Australia brand hit shelves with a flourish, in large part due to the personality of its Australian creators, Sparky and Sarah Marquis. But the attention it got was also due to its controversial style: heady, extracted and, well, delicious.

Store more water, or face the consequences, says Marlborough winegrower
Water storage is set to become the rallying call for Marlborough farmers and grape growers in the near future. Waihopai Valley grape grower Michael Ponder said water storage could not be avoided if dry summers continued. "We need to store more water, or face the consequences," he said. He said dams did not just need to be holes in the ground for storing water.

Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc celebration 'long overdue'
Winemakers, researchers, journalists and sommeliers will descend on Marlborough in February to celebrate the wine variety that put the region on the map. The inaugural International Sauvignon Blanc Celebration, which was first floated in 2014, was organised by New Zealand Winegrowers to demonstrate the complexity and importance of the variety.

Ukraine orders name change of Soviet ‘Champagne’
The introduction of a decommunisation law in Ukraine has forced a sparkling wine producer known for its “Soviet Champagne” to change its name. First bottled in 1928, during Russian communist leader Joseph Stalin’s reign of power, Sovetskoye Shampanskoye, or Soviet Champagne, is a brand of sparkling wine produced in the Soviet Union and successor states.

Ice wine harvest shows winter's sweet side
The arrival of frigid winter weather this week has made folks bundle up and boost the thermostat, but for a handful of Finger Lakes wineries, it was a long-awaited and welcome change. Across the region, winemakers have scrambled to take advantage of a narrow window of opportunity offered by sub-freezing temperatures.

Retail sales of wine to shrink, only to swell from 2017
Price cuts that kept China's wine market low in recent years will continue this year, and the retail market value will shrink, only to rebound from next year, according to an industry survey. According to the latest issue of the China Wine Report by Mintel Group Ltd, prices will rise from next year, so too will retail sales value, with the market growing at a healthy 5 percent or more till 2020.

Napa Valley Vintners first wine group in US to receive certification mark registration
Earlier this month, Napa Valley Vintners (NVV), the nonprofit trade association that works to “promote, protect and enhance the Napa Valley appellation,” became the first wine group in the U.S. to be granted a certification mark registration. So-called certification marks are a unique species within the trademark law, functioning to “certify” the nature or origin of goods or services, rather than merely convey the producer of those goods or services.

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