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News posted on Friday, 8 April 2016

Bulk Wine exporters abusing WET: Neil McGuigan
The abuse of the Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) rebate by bulk wine traders must be addressed by the Federal Government, according to Australian Vintage CEO Neil McGuigan. The eligibility of New Zealand wine producers has attracted much of the air time in discussions over the WET rebate, but McGuigan told drinks bulletin this is something of an “emotional” issue, in terms of what it actually costs the Federal Government.

Riverina growers given the message
In what has been described as an extraordinary move the Riverina based Wine Grapes Marketing Board has written to all of its growers advising them to seriously consider whether it is worth remaining in the wine industry. After discussions with eight wineries, Board Chair Bruno Brombal has told the ABC the board has no confidence that growers’ returns will improve over the next two to three years.

Treasury Wine takes edge off Arrium’s woes
South Australia was left reeling yesterday with doubts over the future of its Whyalla steel plant, but elsewhere the news from the grape regions was nothing but good, with a boost to Treasury Wine Estates’ long term estimates. Arrium, as expected, went into voluntary administration, with industry minnow Grant Thornton appointed administrator.

China takes WA’s drop to invest in the wine industry future
A new report released by the Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre at Curtin University outlines major considerations for wine producers when exporting Western Australian wines to China. The report, titled WA Wine Exports: Building an economic future with China, was completed in consultation with six key industry stakeholders and 26 wine producers across all WA wine regions to gain insight into expert issues and the Chinese market.

Convenience retail is key for individual wine brands
The convenience channels could prove the best route to market for more individual wine producers, The Co-op’s BWS boss has claimed. Simon Cairns, head of beers wines and spirits at The Co-op said convenience had advantages over other types of retailers as it tapped into the twin trends for impulse buying and top-up shopping, which had been fuelling changing shopper behaviour.

Aotearoa Nouveau Hits $10,000 on Kickstarter
Drinks writer and restaurateur Jules van Cruysen's project Aotearoa Nouveau has just passed $10,000 in funding on the crowd funding platform Kickstarter, halfway to the $20,000 goal. Aotearoa Nouveau is van Cruysen's second book project to be funded by Kickstarter. Readers will be able to discover the most exciting, cutting-edge wine producers in New Zealand and van Cruysen says "it is an exploration of where the New Zealand wine industry has come from, where we are at now and where we are going".

NZ wine goes duty-free into seven new markets
New Zealand’s 1.5 billion-dollar wine industry will gain duty-free access into seven new countries under the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Trade Minister Todd McClay, on a visit to Marlborough to discuss TPP, told exporters that the region’s 140 wineries would be significant winners under the agreement. “We already sell almost a billion dollars’ worth of wine into TPP countries. The United States is New Zealand’s biggest wine exporting destination and it, alone, is worth almost half a billion dollars each year."

French wine ‘must avoid’ haute-couture image
French wines must resist the temptation to become “like haute-couture”, a leading French marketing agency has warned. As French entry- level wines have been replaced by entry-level wines from other countries, consumers seem to be increasingly worrying they are “knowledgeable” enough to buy French wine, Anne Burchett, of wine marketing agency Sopexa, argues. The marketing company which represents French wine supplier Les Grands Chais de France, described it as “worrying”.

Aldi launches 13 variety du Pape wine brand
Low-price retailer Aldi has released a Châteauneuf du Pape to the UK market made using all 13 of the traditional grape varieties that the region is allowed to grow. Certain styles of Châteauneuf du Pape, one of the most popular regional wine brands in the UK, can sell for up to £60 in the country’s upmarket merchants. However, this version of the French wine, which is being produced exclusively for Aldi, will be on sale for £16.99 as part of the supermarket’s premium range.

Plaimont makes major wine tourism bid
South-West France wine co-op Plaimont Producteurs is aiming to become a wine tourism hotspot after buying Saint-Mont Monastery in Gascony. Now listed as a monument historique – a French national heritage site – Saint-Mont Monastery dates back to the 11th century, when it was occupied by Benedictine monks who tended the vineyards and produced wine for the sacrament. The monastery was converted into a château in 1788.

Wine yeast genomes lack diversity
Sequencing the genomes of hundreds of strains of the wine yeast S. cerevisiae has revealed little genetic diversity and high levels of inbreeding. In many cases, yeast strains sold by different companies were almost genetically identical. The results, published in the April issue of G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics, a publication of the Genetics Society of America, suggest that winemakers attempting to develop improved wine yeasts will need to look to creating hybrids with more exotic strains.


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