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News posted on Thursday, 7 May 2015

City Cellar Door launches in Sydney for Aussie Wine Month
Last night Wine Australia’s City Cellar Door popped up in Sydney’s CBD for the first of a two night run to celebrate the fourth annual Aussie Wine Month. Winemakers from regions across Australia poured a selection of their wines to Sydneysiders while Oysters Australia served freshly shucked oysters and Salumi Australia offered charcuterie. After a couple of weeks of wild and wet weather conditions, Sydney played its part and provided blue skies and sunshine for the event.

WET Rebate reform delayed
The Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) Rebate will not be changed through the 2015-16 Federal Budget reform will remain on the agenda according to Josh Frydenberg, the Assistant Treasurer. Eligibility for New Zealand wine producers will remain, while bulk and unbranded wine will not be phased out through the budget process, despite calls from the Winemaker’s Federation of Australia (WFA) to adjust both these areas.

Aussie alcohol consumption at 50-year low, ABS says
Australians appear to be drinking less alcohol now than at any time in the past 50 years, according to figures released on Wednesday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The ABS found there were 9.7 litres of pure alcohol available for consumption for every Australian aged 15 years and over in 2013-14 - the equivalent of 2.1 standard drinks per person per day. ABS spokeswoman Louise Gates said this was the lowest level of alcohol consumption since the early 1960s.

China to change global wine markets “dramatically’ this decade
CHINA will be “by far the most dominant player in Asia, and ... change global markets for wines dramatically’’ in coming years, a new study from the University of Adelaide’s Wine Economics Research Centre says. The working paper, Asia’s Evolving Role in Global Wine Markets, by Kym Anderson and Glyn Wittwer, forecasts China’s wine consumption to increase by 40-60 per cent between 2011 and 2018.

Agriculture could be the next boom for Australia
Iron ore has been Australia’s largest export, but as minerals prices plunge, Australia’s economy is under pressure to pivot away from mining and toward the next big boom. With the exception of Rio Tinto and BHP, the whole Australian iron ore industry is now digging dirt for a loss. The fourth largest iron ore producer, Atlas Iron, will suspend its entire production by the end of this month. Chinese demand for Australian minerals may be slowing but demand for Australian food and agricultural products is predicted to grow.

Wine meets beer in crafty twist
A Marlborough wine company has put a brewer's twist on the region's flagship wine variety by blending grapes and hops. Green Hopped Gooseberry Bomb Sauvignon Blanc, made from Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc grapes and green Sauvin hops from Nelson, is one of the first "craft wines" to come out of Allan Scott Family Winemakers, near Blenheim. Winemaking director Josh Scott said craft wines were a twist on conventional winemaking.

Delegat group buys Hawke's Bay farm for $29m
Winemaker, Delegat Group has bought an 838 hectare farm in Hawke's Bay's Crownthorpe region from Hopkins Farming Group for $29.3 million. The purchase will support the group's long term growth strategy, Delegat said. The agreement will settle in May 2016 and be funded within the group's long term bank facilities. Managing director of Delegat Group Graeme Lord said the Crownthorpe region offered prime wine grape growing conditions.

UK online wine market: the facts
New research has highlighted the unique nature of online wine buyers in the UK, as well as the best-selling source countries. Commissioned by Inter Rhône and compiled by the Wilson Drinks Report, the pioneering piece of research shows a web-based wine market performing very differently from high-street retailing, which is dominated by the supermarkets.

Feds worry about contamination in bottles
It seemed like a worthwhile experiment to a small winery: Submerge bottles of wine in sea water to see how they age. But a federal agency is concerned that ocean water could contaminate the wine. For two years, Napa Valley, California-based Mira Winery has been submerging bottles of wine in the harbour in Charleston, South Carolina, where its president lives, to determine the effects of water, motion, light and temperature on aging.

Smaller, high quality South Africa harvest
The South African wine industry will remember the 2015 season as one of the driest and earliest in years, with a somewhat smaller wine grape harvest promising exceptional wines. According to regional viticulturists of VinPro – the representative organisation for close to 3,500 winegrape producers and cellars – this year’s harvest kicked off two weeks earlier than usual. Francois Viljoen, manager of VinPro’s Consultation Service said the dry weather led to one of the healthiest seasons in years, with almost no losses due to disease or rot.

Wine pours millions into Idaho economy
SNAKE RIVER VALLEY, Idaho - It is Idaho's fastest-growing agricultural industry, bringing millions and millions of dollars into the state every single year, and it is not potatoes. It's wine. Also, the changing climate elsewhere could drive more winemakers to Idaho. Right now, at Koenig Vineyards along the Snake River near Marsing, workers are busy, and cramped. "We're just constantly trying to make room for more wines," says owner Greg Koenig. Koenig built their current facility a few years ago.

6 Reasons To Attend Australia Trade Tasting Conference
Whether you are a craft distillery, craft brewery or a boutique winery that’s just starting out, or work in sales at an importer/distributor or at an established beverage company, or simply wish to expand your skill set and gain new perspective, AuTT Melbourne is a must attend event. Join hundreds of fellow wine makers, brew masters, distillers, sales people and marketers at Australia Trade Tasting Conference which is designed to inspire and empower you with sales and marketing ideas—brought to you by Beverage Trade Network Academy.

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