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News posted on Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Chinese taste for Valley wines
The Hunter Valley exported 407,000 litres of wine worth $A3.62million in 2016 and 231,000 litres of it, worth $A1.72million, was sold to China. These Wine Australia Export Report figures mirror last year’s total Australian wine exports to China that rose 40 per cent to a record value of $A520million. China accounted for 23 per cent of the value of Australian wine exports, the US 21 per cent and Britain 21 per cent, but the UK topped the volume of exports with 31 per cent followed by the US (21 per cent) and China (13 per cent).

Man dead at Barossa wine packing centre
A man has died at a wine packing centre in South Australia's Barossa Valley during an arrest on Tuesday night. Patrols were called to an area on Breakneck Hill Road, Penrice, about 10pm after reports of property damage at winemaking facility Vinpac International. A 35-year-old Barossa Valley man was found in the Angaston area where he was arrested. "After the man was arrested he suffered a medical episode and subsequently died," police said in a statement. Police officers are at the scene investigating the incident this morning.

Unexpected 'sensory thunderbolt' French wine
It seems nothing will stand in the way of a producer looking for the best wine to complement his food. For oyster grower Steve Feletti that has meant introducing a new grape variety to Australian soil. He described bottling the first of his piquepoul blanc as a "bit of a very personal milestone" after an eight-year quest to first procure the vines from France and finally convince a winery to emulate the glass he first tried at a fish market. "It's been a fantastic journey," the Moonlight Flats Oysters owner said.

Old Noarlunga barn into a boutique winery
WINEMAKER Alan Varney is looking to make his business mark with an Old Noarlunga barn he’s been eyeing off for years. Mr Varney, 36, has driven past the old barn at 62 Victor Harbor Rd twice a day on his travel to d’Arenberg Winery. “I’ve always had a look at it and to me it is the gateway to McLaren Vale,” Mr Varney said. “You catch the first glimpse of the grapevines on the horizon and you sort of feel like you are leaving it behind and entering the rural McLaren Vale scene.” Under plans lodged to Onkaparinga Council, Mr Varney wants to convert the 1870s barn into a “boutique” winery, kitchen, brewery and cellar door called Victor’s Place.

2017 Top Italian wines roadshow by Gambero Rosso
Now celebrating 30 years of success, Gambero Rosso’s best-known tour, the Top Italian Wines Roadshow, is in its tenth edition. Over 60 wineries come together annually bringing knowledge of Italy’s unmatchable grape patrimony to new generations of consumers. From 2007 (the year of the tours first edition) to 2015, exports of Italian wine have grown from 3.45 to 5.4 billion euros. The Sydney event is the last on the Asian tour, which includes Taipei, Osaka, Cape Town, Hanoi and Singapore.

South Island good for wine, not dairy
A London wine expert is "appalled" with the dairy industry's impact on New Zealand's wine industry. However the head of New Zealand's main farming group says the expert's opinion is "uninformed" and "naive". Master of wine Peter McCombie? says he is shocked with the state of the environment as a result of dairy farming. "I am appalled at the degradation of the environment that dairy in the wrong place is causing New Zealand. I have no problem with Waikato and Taranaki, but Canterbury? Dairy doesn't belong."

Diversity of New Zealand pinot noir
The diversity of New Zealand’s Pinot Noir came on centre stage at a SPIT workshop with Liam Steevenson MW, organized by Meiburg Wine Media. A flight of 12 Pinots from world-famous Central Otago and Sauvignon Blanc-dominated Marlborough, to rising Pinot stars including North Island’s Auckland, and South Island’s Nelson and Waipara were closely examined for their distinctive regional and terroir-driven styles at a SPIT workshop titled “Exploring New Zealand’s Pinot Noir: Latest Trends & Diversity of Terroir”. Although dwarfed by Sauvignon Blanc in terms of production and exports, New Zealand’s Pinot Noir could be the most exciting wine outside of Burgundy for its diversity and competitive retail price points.

IGIS to buy Accolade Park warehouse in Bristol
South Korea’s IGIS Asset Management Co. is working on to buy Europe’s largest wine warehouse and distribution center in Bristol, U.K., from Australia-based global winery Accolade Wines in the U.K. for about 100 billion won ($87.6 million). According to the investment banking industry Monday, IGIS Asset Management has been courting local institutional investors to launch a real estate fund designed to a invest in Accolade Park, Europe’s largest wine warehouse and distribution center in Bristol commanding a space of 80,000 square meters.

Working women in Japan drinking more wine
Japan’s swelling ranks of working women have grape growers 10,000 miles away cheering. Chilean vintners have emerged as the biggest beneficiary of Japan’s booming wine market. Their low-priced, fruit-driven product has found a receptive niche among women in their 40s and 50s, who have helped boost wine consumption to a new record every year since 2012. “Women drink more as their participation in the labor market is increasing, and their disposable incomes are expanding,” said Naoko Kuga, an analyst who tracks lifestyle changes at NLI Research Institute in Tokyo. “This trend works positively for wine consumption.”

A wine fight brews here
On the same day I read about a wine trade war brewing between the United States and neighboring British Columbia , I also discovered the inclusivity of LaWinetech. Formed by a group of start-ups in the French wine world, LaWinetech’s website explains its mission this way: “Whether through mobile applications, web and other technology websites, our goal is to offer new solutions for discovery, choice, consumption or purchase.” They are not kidding. Another of LaWinetech’s three or four mission statements is: “ La Winetech is not only a French movement. Start-ups of all nationalities join us to create the first global coordination of digital wine companies .”

US wineries see big jump in direct sales
More premium wine lovers in the US are going straight to the winery to buy their top bottles than ever before, says a new report showing record-breaking direct shipments in 2016. US wineries sent 17% more wine direct to drinkers in 2016 versus 2015, topping the five million-case barrier for the first time. Shipment value rose faster, by 18.5%, to $2.33 billion. It’s the first time direct-to-consumer sales have exceeded $2bn, said the report, compiled by trade publication Wines & Vines together with Sovos ShipCompliant.

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WID 2018