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News posted on Thursday, 7 April 2016

ALSA president says state of the industry report is a 'must-read' for retailers
The Australian Liquor Stores Association (ALSA) and IRI held a joint networking event in Sydney yesterday to present the findings of the inaugural 2016 Australian Retail Liquor - State of the Industry Report, following its launch in Canberra last month. Building on from last year’s Australian Retail Liquor Market Insights report published by ALSA, the State of the Industry Report provides details on the overall size, health and trends within Australia’s liquor retailing industry.

Capes rainfall on the wane
A landmark study has revealed the Capes region has the fastest declining rainfall levels in Australia, with "immediate consequences" for the local wine and tourism industries. Margaret River Wine Association chief executive Nick Power said the industry was aware of “changing rainfall patterns both in seasonal variation and volume reduction. Insofar as the AEGIC paper, this presents an update of scientific findings that supports the overarching premise of climate change going forward,” he said.

New blood needed for Cairns wine and food society
A GROUP devoted to fine wine and food is in danger of folding unless membership is boosted. The Cairns Wine and Food Society was established about 25 years ago, mainly as a social group for newcomers to the city. But membership has halved, and president Lorne Clarke is devoting his time to attracting new people to the group, which meets four to five times a year.

Radiographer finds his feet as a winemaker
MICHAEL Kerrigan exhibited a penchant for new challenges when he switched from a career as a radiographer to winemaking. That spirit shows in a batch of new-release Margaret River nebbiolo, sangiovese, tempranillo, grenache, merlot and malbec wines bearing the Hay Shed Hill White Label brand.

Successful SA group ready to make inroads into China
A FOURTH generation member of the family behind one of South Australia’s most successful businesses is among the state’s largest trade delegation in China this week to explore new export pathways to fortune. Philippa Crawford, daughter of Paul Crawford, joint managing director of CMV Group, is visiting sister-state Shandong, assessing export opportunities for CMV Farms.

Kiwis take to organics as the sector goes mainstream
New Zealanders are eating and growing more organic produce than ever before, with a rise of 127 per cent sold through supermarkets since 2012. The total value of the organics industry, both domestic and exported, is estimated at between $457-467 million, according to the 2016 New Zealand organic market report. That compares to $350m in 2012, a 30 per cent increase.

New Zealand wineries Rippon and Te Mata hit the mark
Max Allen caught up recently with a couple of great Kiwi winemakers from opposite ends of the country, both making some utterly delicious wines. Nick Mills is the winemaker at his family’s 40-year-old Rippon vineyard, spectacularly sited on the shores of Lake Wanaka in Central Otago in the South Island. It’s always fascinating to hear Mills’s thoughts on growing grapes according to biodynamic farming principles.

Spain summons French ambassador over wine lorry attack
The foreign ministry in Madrid has summoned France's ambassador after French farmers seized Spanish lorries and drained their cargo of wine. Spain said the attack by the French protesters was a "flagrant violation of various basic principles" of the EU. On Monday, farmers protesting against unfair competition attacked the lorries at a border crossing. The farmers blame falling food prices on foreign rivalry, supermarkets and distributors.

No Bling-Bling for Heidsieck's Bubbles
The Champagne house plans to rely on the quality of the wine, rather than fancy packaging. In a business that can stretch back centuries in a land that is known for hewing to tradition, there's been a bit of tornado whirling through the caves that house the Champagnes of Piper and Charles Heidsieck.

Barefoot Cellars’ winemaker listens to consumers
On Wednesday evening, with the standard workweek more than half over, we might want to party, but mildly, with an inexpensive wine, the sort picked up at the corner grocery store on the way home from the job. Chances are pretty good that the wine is going to bear the simple, playful label of Barefoot Cellars. Barefoot wines are everywhere, they customarily cost about $7, and they come in more than 30 styles, including 17 table wines and 11 sparkling wines.

Rating wines remains a subjective exercise
Many years ago we were asked by wine festival promoters to participate in a judging of Maryland and Virginia wines. The group of tasters — winemakers, retailers and consumers — were assembled in a room that would be our bomb shelter for a gruelling half-day event. Tasting wine was never so unenjoyable.





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