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News posted on Friday, 7 August 2015

Bernard Hickin to retire after 40 years with Jacob’s Creek
Bernard Hickin has announced his intention to retire as chief winemaker for the Australian branch of Pernod Ricard Winemakers, handing the reins over to Ben Bryant in June 2016. Joining the business in 1976, Hickin has made many significant contributions to the business and its brands throughout his 40 years in winemaking. Brett McKinnon, Pernod Ricard global operations director said the company were extremely grateful for the contribution Hickin made towards their success.

Cheers to snow for helping make this year's drops just tops
THERE were some excellent snowfalls around the Orange district in July. Snow is great - it looks pretty, it fills dams and snow puts moisture deep into the subsoil. With over 150mm of precipitation, half of which was snow, the soil moisture profile is close to saturation. This is very good for vine growth as we head into spring. The only downside is that these classic Orange winter conditions mean that pruning is challenging.

Washington wines could be making the journey to Australia
Washington State is known for its greenery, apples and wine. In fact, Washington wines could be sitting at Australian dinner tables one day soon. Right now, Australia only imports about $3 million of its $600 million dollar wine market, from the U.S. Representative Dan Newhouse met with winery owners and a member from the U.S. Embassy in Australia to talk about the possibly of more exports. Doug Hartley, with the Department of Commerce in Australia told NBC Right Now starting with local wineries in the state is important, because we can all reap the benefits.

Mudgee wineries among the very best
Three Mudgee wineries have been named among the best in Australia by the 2016 James Halliday Wine Companion. Huntington Estate, Robert Oatley Vineyard and Robert Stein Winery all received red five star status for the 2015\16 season, joining 279 other wineries from across the various wine regions at the top of the list. Red five star status was awarded to only 10 per cent of wineries in Australia this year for an “outstanding winery regularly producing wines of quality and typicity”.

Inaugural Wine Island Festival to launch this November
Clark Island in Sydney Harbour will be turned into mecca for all things wine and food this November as part of the inaugural Wine Island Festival. Spanning over three days, the festival will boast an impressive line-up of winemakers, sommeliers and chefs who will showcase some of the best food and wine that the nation has to offer through wine cellar door experiences, gourmet food huts, a VIP Island Bar and complimentary master classes hosted by Wine Australia.

New vintage wines bring the WOW factor
New Zealand wine and design combine to celebrate the perfect partnership once again this year as Brancott Estate release the new vintages of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir in limited edition bottles ahead of the 2015 World of Wearable Art (WOW) Awards Show season. Having supported WOW since 1998 and released limited edition bottles annually since 2012, this year’s Brancott Estate WOW Series includes the Brancott Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2015 and Brancott Estate South Island Pinot Noir 2014.

Lauren is Bay's best young winemaker
There were raised glasses at Ash Ridge Wines at Bridge Pa this week as the crew toasted Lauren Swift who has taken out the inaugural Hawke's Bay Young Winemaker of the Year title - although she was pretty relaxed about what was coming next. By taking the title, from five other young winemakers she described as "really top people", she will now take part in the New Zealand Young Winemaker of the Year competition set to be staged as part of the 2015 Romeo Bragato conference being held at the Pettigrew Green Arena later this month.

Wines of Chile launch Asia ‘Academy’
Meeting Asia’s increased interest in Chilean wine, Wines of Chile has established the first WoC Academy in China and Hong Kong. The Academy will offer structured courses for wine professionals and enthusiasts to discover the history of Chilean wine, regions, grape varieties and styles and WoC hopes to tap into the market potential of Asia – especially China.

Majestic Wine names James Crawford of Naked Wines as new CFO
LONDON - Majestic Wine PLC said Chief Financial Officer Nigel Alldritt will step down from the board at Thursday's annual general meeting and will leave the business on November 5. The London-listed wine specialist, which also trades in the USA, Australia and France, said Alldritt will be replaced from Friday by James Crawford, currently finance director of Naked Wines International Ltd, the online international wine specialist recently acquired by Majestic Wine.

Portuguese wines need to ‘crack’ China
Despite good sales in many Asian countries, Portuguese wines have yet to make a big mark on China, however this looks set to change, according to the export director of the Bacalhôa group, António Mendonça. Speaking to the drinks business, António Mendonça, the export director of the Bacalhôa group of wineries, said that business was booming in Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and unsurprisingly, Macau but “more work” needed to be done in terms of conquering China.

Summer weather spells excellence for B.C. vintage
CANADA: The prolonged hot and dry weather this summer bodes well for a great B.C. wine vintage if conditions persist until harvest time, wine industry officials said Tuesday. “It means we could be in for a fantastic vintage because it really allows the grapes to mature and get to their full capacity,” B.C. Wine Institute president Miles Prodan said in an interview. “It also looks like a bumper crop.”

Will Greenwood teams with Wolf Blass to find world's greatest ever rugby players
Australian wine brand Wolf Blass has teamed up with Will Greenwood, a key player in England’s 2003 Rugby World Cup-winning team, to launch a rugby-themed UK promotion. The #WinningLineUp campaign aims to identify the members of the greatest rugby union team the world has ever seen. The campaign is based around the Yellow Label Limited Edition rugby bottles and will run for 12 weeks from 10 August to 25 October.

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