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News posted on Monday, 7 September 2015

Wine exports increase to Korea and Japan
Australia's free trade deals with Japan and Korea have been in force for half a year, but agricultural exports are already up. Beef, grapes, wine and mangoes have shown the biggest rises in the first six months of 2015. The reports, from industry and government sources, come as Labor is under pressure to clarify its position on the China Free Trade deal.

Australia Trade Tasting dived deep into the Australian wine, beer and spirit industry
The highly-anticipated Australia Trade Tasting (AuTT) took place in Melbourne last week. Trade professionals from across the Australian adult beverage industry came together to taste trending beer, wine and spirits and attend a series of seminars on the state of the US and Australian markets. Three days of events took place in Melbourne, followed by a final day of trade only tastings in Sydney today, September 7.

2015 Perth Royal Wine Show: WA at the top of the barrel
Western Australia has continued its supremacy over the eastern states in the wine stakes battle. Wineries from the Swan Valley, Great Southern, Dunsborough and Margaret River took home the major gongs at the heavily-contested 2015 Perth Royal Wine Show. With almost 2100 wines poured and judged at this year's show, competition was hot.

Strong vintages drive excellent NSW Small Winemaker Show results
NSW Small Winemakers Show celebrated its 24th year of competition this year. 568 entries were received from 90 small producers that crush a maximum of 500-tonnes annually. More than 45 per cent of wines entered received a medal, the highest-ever percentage recorded at the show. Gold medal wines came from a broad spread of regions, including the Hunter Valley, Canberra District, Hilltops, South Coast, Mudgee, Orange, Southern Highlands and Riverina.

A “little sweetie” shines at 2015 International Sweet Wine Challenge
The 10th annual International Sweet Wine Challenge (ISWC) highlighted the diversity on offer in this category, with the top trophy presented to a Viognier for the first time. Previous winning wines have included Semillon, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Gewurztraminer, but this year it was time for Viognier to shine. The 2013 Freeman Dolcino (meaning “little sweetie”) is made from Viognier grapes harvested at very high sugar levels and fermented by wild yeasts in a combination of old and new oak barrels.

Viticulture land sales 'rising'
PGG Wrightson Real Estate Nelson/Marlborough sales manager Joe Blakiston said the market appeared ready to take off. He said larger Marlborough wine companies were seeking land for development and investors from beyond the region were also paying close attention.

Winegrowers launch consumer education program in China
The New Zealand Wine Intermediate Certificate was launched in Shanghai last week, giving Chinese wine consumers the chance to learn about New Zealand’s diverse wine styles. The education program was developed by New Zealand Winegrowers and New Zealand Trade & Enterprise in response to a growing demand for information about New Zealand wine from consumers across China.

Barossa star hails Chile’s ‘exciting’ Syrah scope
Chile is “only just scratching the surface” with Syrah, suggests former Penfolds Grange winemaker John Duval, as he outlined some potential routes forward for the country with this variety. While Chile’s main calling card, especially at the top end, remains Cabernet Sauvignon – the backbone of Duval’s Enclave project with Ventisquero and a flagship explored in September’s issue of the drinks business – Duval confessed that his main passion lay elsewhere.

Wildfires raise fears of grape smoke taint
The current wildfires in Washington have left many growers wondering if smoke taint could impact the flavor of their winegrapes. According to James Harbertson, associate professor of enology at Washington State University, smoke residue contains high concentrations of volatile phenols that have smoky or chemical aromas or flavors. This residue can accumulate in the grape skin and pulp in glycosylated form or, in other words, bound to sugar.

2015 French harvest kicks off in earnest
After a hot and dry summer, vintners across France are embarking on a harvest that many are hoping will equal some of the best of the century – and all have their fingers firmly crossed. In Champagne in particular there is huge optimism. The growing season, from flowering to harvest, was ideal – very hot and dry but with rain in August to hasten maturation. “It is far too early to say, but we have the green light for high expectations,” Thibault le Mailloux, communications director for trade organisation Comité Champagne told Wine-Searcher.

Host a social media wine pairing competition
Social media wine pairing competitions are a great way to increase customer loyalty and sales, and improve brand awareness. Online wine stores are constantly searching for new ways to encourage customers to have a greater relationship with their products. Social media wine pairing competitions are a great way to increase customer loyalty, sales and improve brand awareness. According to TAMBA, a social media marketing agency based in the U.K., three out of four people are more likely to recommend a brand that offers competitions and giveaways.

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