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News posted on Monday, 7 November 2016

Australian wineries capitalising on Chinese export boom
Mainland China is now Australia’s largest wine export market and a record number of local wineries will be attending the country’s leading trade exhibition in Shanghai next week to capitalise on this growing demand. Over 30 Australian wineries will exhibiting at the fourth annual ProWine China exhibition in Shanghai to help grow sales across Mainland China. In the 12 months to 30 September Australian wine sales to Mainland China grew by 51 per cent to $474 million – a substantial increase from a decade earlier when the export value was only $27 million. Over the last year the US market grew by four per cent to $448 million, and the Hong Kong market grew by seven per cent to $126 million and is now the fifth largest export market for Australian wine.

Treasury Wine Resurrects Wine for Women Drinkers
Treasury Wine Estates Ltd. plans to turn a discarded label from the U.S. into one of the group’s top worldwide brands as it focuses on female drinkers. Truvee, rolled out in Australia on Friday, will go on sale in Europe, Asia and the U.S. and be a global brand within 18 months, Chief Executive Officer Michael Clarke said in an interview. The brand could then overtake popular Treasury labels such as Coldstream Hills, Seppelt and Devil’s Lair, he said. Treasury, the maker of Penfolds Grange, acquired Truvee when it bought most of Diageo Plc’s U.S. and U.K. wine assets for $600 million in January. It was set to be discarded.

South Australian trade delegation to spruik state to Asia
A trade delegation to promote South Australia's food production, health and defence capabilities will head off to key north Asian countries. The business and government delegation of about 30 people will visit Japan, South Korea and Taiwan this week. South Australian Investment and Trade Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith said the trade agenda's aim was to create jobs. "There's about 65,000 jobs in South Australia that relate directly to selling our goods and services overseas," Mr Hamilton-Smith said. "Food and wine are very big, particularly in Japan and Korea. We used to be the number one wine country in Korea, we have slipped from that mantel and we need to get it back."

The Royal Agricultural Society of NSW is becoming a wine brand
Head of digital and content on unlocking the organisation's vast knowledge to transform public perceptions from just being the Easter Show hosts to a go-to on fine food, wine and beer. Mention the Royal Agricultural Society (RAS) to a resident of NSW and they will most likely tell you about livestock, dagwood dogs and showbags. But if Cale Maxwell and his team prove successful, that association will soon include fine food, wine and beer.

Robinsons expands Australian range with new partnerships
Robinsons Brewery has teamed up with two wine producers from Western Australian, expanding its portfolio of “quality” antipodean wines. As of December, the Stockpot brewery will be the sole distributor for Ashbrook Estate and West Cape Howe. Selected wines from both producers will be available across the 3400 pubs it supplies across the North West, Wales and Cumbria and to the off trade via the brewery. Based in the Margaret River area, Ashbrook Estate is a premium producer of varietal wines with a focus on sustainability.

Innovation drives growth at Villa Maria
Quality, innovation and sustainability are not the first words that come to mind when you’re relaxing with a crisp glass of pinot gris. But for wine producers Villa Maria, New Zealand’s most awarded winery, these three tenets are at the core of everything it does. Sustainability is a concept that every business ought to be focused on, and that some businesses are truly committed to. Take involvement in initiatives like Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand (SWNZ), for instance. Villa Maria has been a member for more than 20 years, since SWNZ’s inception in 1995. More recently it joined CEMARS, an internationally recognised carbon reduction program, and 27 percent of its vineyards are certified organic.

Pioneering Marlborough winemaker Allan Scott
Driving across the manicured grass between rows of gnarled grapevines that have slept soundly through a mild, damp Marlborough winter, Allan Scott suddenly brakes his shiny new ute. Then he breaks into a knowing smile. Scott points towards his discovery; indiscernible to the ordinary human eye. With some focusing, they become obvious – tiny balls of fuzz on the gewurztraminer canes, about to break open with the first soft leaves of spring. This is budburst – one of the most exhilarating times in a vintner's year. "Budburst brings an air of excitement, because it's the beginning of another round of anticipation that this may be a better season than the last," Scott explains. "Or could it be the beginning of the season that determines the vintage of the century. "We're off on the seasonal merry-go-round."

French and New World wine prices soar over English vintages
British drinkers stocking up on their favourite wine for Christmas may find they need a stiff drink at the checkout. The plunge in the value of the pound has meant the cost of buying wine from the big wine-producing regions – including the Continent, Americas, Australia and South Africa – has shot up dramatically. But this may prove a boon to Britain’s fast-growing wine producers, making their vintages more price competitive than foreign rivals.

California Wine Institute announces UK trade ‘dream team’
Justin Knock MW and Damien Jackman have just been announced as the heads of the California Wine Institute’s new UK representative office. The objective for Golden State Wines UK will be to expand and strengthen the position of California wines in the UK market. ‘We are so excited to have this ‘dream team’ come together,’ said Linsey Gallagher, Vice President of International Marketing at the California Wine Institute. ‘We have a strong California Wines brand in the UK with positive trends, and we have ambitious plans to accelerate our sales to the UK in the future.’ In 2015, California wine sales in the UK reached $284 million, according to the California Wine Institute. With its new UK trade team in place, it plans to boost figures to $400 million by 2020.

More Ontario wine drinkers
The problem in Ontario is that choice is not always local, so much so that we barely reach over 40 per cent of total wine sales using Ontario grown grapes. The story gets sadder; only 10 per cent of those sales are 100 per cent VQA wines. The majority of wine regions around the world have a local consumption in the 70 per cent and up range with some regions over 90 per cent. A visit to Bordeaux a few years ago brought me to a massive wine selection in a local market store. I made the classic tourist mistake of asking where in the store I would find something from Alsace. Soon after I was greeted with an incredible look of disgust from the store owner and made to feel like I had scorned his beloved child. I was asked, “Why on earth would you want to drink Alsatian wine when you are in the heart of Bordeaux?” I would like to attach the same logic to drinking Ontario wines.

Weather devastates 2016 wine harvest
For thousands of French winemakers, 2016 will go down as an annus horribilis, with vines destroyed by frost, heavy rain, hailstones "as big as ping pong balls", mildew and drought near the Mediterranean. This isn't so much a harvest, as a hunt for grapes," said French winemaker Jean-Jacques Robert, with a rueful laugh as he unloaded grapes still warm from his vineyards around Fuisse in Burgundy. "It's a catastrophe, the worst harvest for 30 or 40 years," said the normally cheery 64-year-old owner of Domaine Robert-Denogent. The organic winemaker lost between two-thirds and three-quarters of his harvest in one hailstorm in April. He is not alone.

Wet Weather Hasn’t Dampened Demand For Toro’s New Hippo Clamps
Australia may have experienced one of its wettest years on record, but that hasn’t stopped irrigation experts across the nation lining up to get their hands on Toro’s new Hippo Clamps. These innovative stainless steel irrigation clamps provide a quick and secure fastening solution for LD poly pipe and drip tube systems. David Busnello of Agri Australis (a subsidiary of the Ferrero Group) is one of the many professionals who is eager to test his Hippo Clamps out. While it’s only early days on his hazelnut farm, he’s already impressed by the unique locking mechanism. “The latching device is very intuitive, which is something other clamps lack. The positive lock means we can hear when the clamp is locked into place, and once it’s locked in, it’s locked tight,” says David. To learn more about Toro’s new Hippo Clamps or request a free sample, visit hippoclamps.com.au or see your local Toro dealer.

When buying or selling a winery or vineyard, seek expert help.
When selling or buying a vineyard or winery it’s crucial that you engage a solicitor with substantial wine industry experience. This ensures critical issues and details aren’t overlooked – which may not be apparent to clients or solicitors without deep industry knowledge. Pre-contract advice should also be sought and a due diligence list prepared and satisfied, while contracts inevitably need to be subject to conditions. Mark Hamilton from Grope Hamilton Lawyers has 30 years experience in wine sector law and his advice would be “cheap at twice the cost” given the significant financial implications of getting the transaction wrong. Call Mark on 0412 842 359 [email protected]





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