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News posted on Friday, 8 January 2016

Darling River irrigators begin to pull out winegrapes to save water
For the third time in 12 years the Darling River in south western New South Wales has run dry. Block banks have been placed across the river to hold up water for irrigators with permanent plantings and high security licenses. But now irrigators around Pooncarie are being forced to turn off water to citrus trees and wine grape vines to save the precious water that is left in the river for other crops.

New generation winemakers rejuvenating Canberra district
A new generation of winemakers is hoping to strengthen the reputation of the Canberra wine district with a newfound confidence. One of the district's more established wine makers, Nick Spencer of Eden Road, believes the recent success of the region has encouraged many younger winemakers to launch their own ventures. "I have noticed a change with people becoming more engaged with the Canberra district and willing to do more research about the wine," he said.

Wynns to host Australia’s biggest ever Cabernet vertical
The historic Wynns estate in Coonawarra is to host Australia’s biggest ever vertical tasting of Cabernet Sauvignon, according to its head winemaker Sue Hodder. Scheduled to take place at the winery in “around 18 months’ time”, the tasting will line up all 60 vintages of Wynns’ celebrated Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon – from 1954 to 2016 (no Black Label was produced in 1961 or 1963) – Hodder told the drinks business.

New World wines thrive in challenging Chinese market
The market for wine is rebounding strongly for New World wines, according to reports in the Chinese news media. In particular sales of wines from Australia and New Zealand are booming as Chinese consumers turn to more affordable imports which are perceived to offer better value for money. The market for high-value fine wines in China has collapsed over the last couple of years.

RIVERLAND: Grape harvester operators – speak up
Riverland Grape Harvester operators are encouraged to join the chorus of primary producers having a say on possible changes to machinery movement on roads at night. The Winegrape Council of SA (WGCSA) is a member of Primary Producers SA (PPSA). These two organisations are working in conjunction with the Ag Bureau of South Australia, seeking feedback via an online survey on three options for night travel exemptions

A new generation to take over the reins at Hunter’s
One of the leading ladies of New Zealand wine, Jane Hunter says her Hunter’s winery is seeing a new generation of winemakers step up and take on key roles as Hunter’s approaches 30 years. She says Hunter’s produces about 100,000 cases and export to 23 countries and this is her 29th year in the role of owner and managing director of Hunter’s. “Things have certainly changed in Marlborough since I arrived here in 1983 to take up the role of Viticulturist for Montana Wines.

Chinese spend per bottle on NZ wine beats other countries
Chinese buyers pay much more per litre for New Zealand wine than other leading global consumers. They spend $14.57 compared with Canadians ($10), Americans ($7) Australians ($6.50) and British ($5.92). New Zealand Winegrowers chief executive Philip Gregan said the difference was explained by two factors: in the UK in particular, but also in other markets, a lot of wine was sent in bulk and repackaged.

How El Niño is impacting California’s wine industry
In 1998, heavy rains hit California mid-winter in what was described as one of the strongest El Niños to date. It caused flooding, abnormally high waters, and multiple storms that led to substantial damage. That year, the wine was different, too. Winemakers at the time prepared for what they knew was going to be a rough year. Vineyards, indeed, do need rain.

New UK drink guidelines to target wine
The supposed health benefits of drinking red wine are expected to be rebuffed in major new drinking guidelines being published by the British chief medical officer tomorrow. Past research has shown that red wine consumption may help with everything from preventing cancer to aiding weight loss. But tomorrow’s report by Dame Sally Davies aims to present “competing evidence” against such claims, according to an article in The Sun.

Women of the Vine Global Symposium opens registration
The Women of the Vine Alliance has opened online registration for its second annual Women of the Vine Global Symposium to be held April 4-6, 2016 at The Meritage Resort and Spa, Napa, CA. The benchmark event will bring together the alcohol beverage industry’s top professionals and influencers.

Bees threatened by common grape pesticide, EPA finds
An insecticide widely used on grains, vegetables, fruit and other crops nationwide threatens honeybees, federal environmental regulators said in a decision that could lend impetus to efforts to ban the chemical. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Wednesday that imidacloprid, a nicotine-imitating chemical found in at least 188 farm and household products in California, “potentially poses risk to hives when the pesticide comes in contact with certain crops that attract pollinators.”

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