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News posted on Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Aussie elders outdrink under-30's in wine
If you live in Australia and you're over 30, there's a decent chance you're much more of a wine maven than your younger counterparts. According to a survey release by Roy Morgan Research, nearly 5 out of 10 Australian's 30 years or older said they'd had a drink of wine in the past four weeks. Only about 3 out of 10 drinkers aged 30 or younger could say the same. “Young people are often portrayed as binge-drinkers in the media, but our latest data shows that slightly more Australians aged 30 and older drink alcohol in an average four weeks.”

Canberra wineries donate excess Shiraz grapes to Companion House
Three regional vineyards are donating some of the exceptional 2015 harvest to Companion House in Canberra, which helps vulnerable people including refugees. Four Winds Winery, Murrumbateman, business manager Sarah Collingwood said they could not fit another berry into the winery after harvesting enough for their own label and contracted wineries. Collingwood said they hated the thought of not using the leftover grapes. "The solution presented itself, after speaking to other people in the industry.

Cheap wine brings alcohol tax loopholes to foreground
Jimmy Barnes once extolled the values of cheap wine in one of Cold Chisel's best-known tunes and alcohol vendors are reportedly beginning to catch on with strong wine-based drinks appearing on the shelves - and avoiding the high taxes that hit similarly potent spirits. The wine-based drinks are sold on the spirits shelves and contain a similar alcohol level to spirits including rum and whiskey, Fairfax Media has reported. However, the tipple carries a price tag of half to as much as a quarter of older-style strong drink.

Hardys releases regional William Hardy wines
This month, Bill Hardy has launched new packaging for his namesake brand, William "Bill" Hardy, and announced a move to regional blends. The relaunch reflects an ongoing premiumisation of the brand. The new packaging incorporates new and UK exclusive labelling techniques, which ensures the product looks notably premium and the wines have been upgraded from South Australia appellation to Limestone Coast for the Chardonnay and Langhorne Creek for the Shiraz.

Treasury Wine's Penfolds brand hit by China discounting
In a pop-up shop on the outskirts of Shanghai, the problems facing Penfolds across China are written in black marker pen and glued to the window. "Buy 1 get 1 free" says the sign promoting the offerings inside. For a wine brand that aims to sit alongside the likes of Louis Vuitton at the luxury end of the market, it's hardly the ideal image. But the sign, written on an A4 sheet of paper, tells us much about the bumpy ride for Penfolds and its parent, Treasury Wine Estates, in China over the last three years.

Alcohol ad ban threat to events
Marlborough's economy could suffer a huge financial blow if major sporting events in the region are canned as a result of proposed bans on alcohol advertising. Major events, such as the Forrest GrapeRide and Saint Clair Vineyard Half Marathon, attract thousands of visitors each year. They inject thousands of dollars into Marlborough's economy, but that could all be lost if the Government adopts the 14 recommendations put forward by a ministerial forum in relation to alcohol advertising and sponsorship.

NZ signs FTA with South Korea to eliminate tariffs on 48.3% exports
WELLINGTON: New Zealand’s Trade Minister signed the New Zealand-South Korea Free Trade Agreement with his Korean counterpart, Yoon Sang. The agreement will eliminate tariffs on 48.3 percent, or NZD793.7m (USD604m) of New Zealand’s current exports to South Korea. The agreement will progressively remove tariffs on 98 percent of New Zealand’s exports to South Korea. In addition, New Zealand will completely remove its duties on all South Korean products within seven years of the agreement coming into force.

Climate change, wine costs, tap water taste among Calif. drought's effects
SAN FRANCISCO, April 2 (UPI) -- The four-year water slump that the Golden State has not yet broken free from continues to have a tremendous impact on the 40 million people who live there. But that impact goes far beyond the precariously lean snowpack and clean water availability. California has officially been in a drought since 2011, but a lack of water for the nation's third-largest state is anything but rare.

Enjoyment of wine enhanced by music, scientist claims
An Oxford academic, behavioral psychologist professor Charles Spence, is claiming that the music we listen to when we eat specific foods and drink wine can directly be connected to how much we enjoy that meal. “Can we capture aromas or bouquet musically? Are wine writers merely filling column inches with this use of the musical metaphor or are they picking up on some underlying truth? We think they are. We have found that people can experience 15 per cent more pleasure if music matches the wine.”

Can Bordeaux woo back Americans?
Bordeaux hopes to woo back the US market, thanks, in part, to the strength of the dollar against the euro. Anthony Moses, managing director of Twins, a leading negociant for the US, selling some €15 million of Bordeaux, told Wine Searcher that the US is again buying Bordeaux with enthusiasm, in part because of the favorable exchange rate. Since May 2014, the euro's value has fallen from $1.39 to $1.07, a 23 percent fall. As a result, Moses reported that the last three months “have been our best ever, with sales in the US doubling.”

Vietnam tops Southeast Asia regarding wine consumption growth
Vietnam ranks first in Southeast Asia in terms of beer and wine consumption growth though its GDP just stands at number eight in the region, according to statistics by the Hanoi-based Health Strategy and Policy Institute. Vietnamese spend around US$3 billion a year on beer and VND16 trillion ($744.2 million) on wine produced in plants, Vu Thi Minh Hanh, deputy head of the institute, said at a conference on the prevention of the bad effects of beer and wine on Thursday.

Latest issue of the Wine & Viticulture Journal now available
The March-April issue of Australia’s Wine & Viticulture Journal has hit the streets featuring the theme of ‘Planning for Success’. Perhaps the most controversial of the articles written with this theme in mind is Richard Smart’s opinion column. Prompted by the current development of the Australian Grape and Wine Authority (AGWA) five-year strategic plan, Smart explains why he thinks Australia should look to New Zealand for some guidance on the future success of its wine industry as he believes its wine sector is in better health than ours.

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