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News posted on Friday, 8 May 2015

Winemaker Joe Babich celebrates Royal honour
Veteran winemaker Joe Babich, who has played a vital part in the establishment of Babich Wines in Marlborough, has been presented his New Year's Honour. Babich attended a ceremony at Government House in Auckland on Wednesday where he was formerly appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the wine industry. He was presented it by Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae.

EIT Hawke's Bays winemaking program attracts overseas graduates
New Zealand is gaining a reputation as a leading educator with overseas graduates seeking further study opportunities as a springboard into employment in the wine industry. Offering an on-campus option for its graduate diplomas in oenology and viticulture for the first time this year, EIT enrolled some 18 postgraduates in the inaugural one-year winemaking program, and two-thirds are overseas graduates.

US gives farmers approval to spray crops from drones
A drone large enough to carry tanks of fertilizers and pesticides has won rare approval from federal authorities to spray crops in the United States, officials said Tuesday. The drone, called the RMAX, is a remotely piloted helicopter that weighs 207 pounds (94 kilograms), said Steve Markofski, a spokesman for Yamaha Corp. U.S.A., which developed the aircraft. Smaller drones weighing a few pounds had already been approved for limited use to take pictures that help farmers identify unhealthy crops.

Cultural shift in Indian wine drinking
A growing and more affluent middle class is driving India’s fascination with wine which has been improving in quality and recently has been winning several international awards and recognitions, writes our guest writer Dan Traucki who suggests it would be very interesting to see how some of the Iberian, Greek or southern Italian native varieties would thrive and perform there, especially the whites. India, the second most populous nation on earth consumes a mere 0.012 litres of wine per person – roughly six tablespoons – per annum.

2014 Bordeaux moving – If the price is right
Mouton Rothschild and Lynch-Bages snapped up but Angelus and Palmer failing to attract buyers. Well-priced wines from Bordeaux's 2014 vintage are making a splash, but merchants are ignoring some big-name wines whose prices are a turn-off for buyers. Heavyweight châteaux Haut-Brion and Cos d'Estournel, as well as the highly respected Tertre Rôteboeuf released their en primeur wines on Tuesday, following last week's releases of Angelus, Palmer, Lynch-Bages and others.

The world’s biggest wine producers
South Africa is one of the biggest wine producers and exporters in the world – but the relative affordability of our offerings means the country does not benefit as much financially as some of its counterparts. This is according the latest data from the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV), detailing reported and estimated data on the global wine industry in 2014. Global wine production, excluding juice and musts, is expected to hit 279 million hectolitres (mhl) in 2014 – a decrease of 4.1 per cent compared with 2013, according to the OIV.

Big bikkies for Aus brands in China
AN Adelaide entrepreneur has secured a distribution agreement with China's biggest hypermarket chain, RT-Mart, which is set to deliver more than $500 million in annual sales to Australian food and beverage brands. The deal, to be signed in Shanghai on Thursday, will see the establishment of a designated aisle selling "famous Australian brands" including milk powder, vitamins, wine and biscuits. It was negotiated by Randal Tomich, an Adelaide winemaker who came to China looking to secure a distribution agreement for his family label.

Lion signs China wine deal
Lion has signed a long-term deal with Jebsen Fine Wines to have its Fine Wine Partners portfolio distributed across China. The deal will see Jebsen distribute Australian and American wine brands across many of China's provinces. The wine brands soon to reach Chinese adult consumers include St. Hallett, Petaluma, Stonier, Knappstein and Argyle. Bill Webb, managing director of Lion's Fine Wine Partners, said that China is a key focus for the business' global strategy.

Chinese wine demand set to outstrip supply by 2018
Wine industry researchers have announced China's net wine imports could rise by up to 790 million litres by 2018. Research from the University of Adelaide reported China's wine consumption could grow by 60 per cent over the next few years. The Red Dragon has become the fifth largest producer of wine grapes in the world but the University of Adelaide's Wine Economics Research Centre believes domestic demand will quickly outstrip supply.

Winemakers call for extra funds to boost overseas marketing
The Australian wine industry has a "fleeting window" of opportunity to boost exports, and needs extra funding to make it happen, according to the Winemakers Federation of Australia. The WFA has called on the Federal Government to provide $25 million over four years to the statutory marketing body Wine Australia. It says that, with the Australian dollar sitting below 80 US cents, an uptick in demand for wine in North America and the recent signing of free trade deals with Asian nations, now is the time for a strong promotional push into export markets.

Tasmanian wine list award launched
Wine Tasmania and the Tasmanian Hospitality Association (THA) have partnered again to recognise and reward Tasmanian venues that support the local wine sector. Now in its second year, the Tasmanian Wine List of the Year Award was launched recently as part of the THA’s 2015 TasTAFE Awards for Excellence. Sheralee Davies, Wine Tasmania chief executive officer, said the Tasmanian Wine List of the Year Award aimed to both recognise and encourage licensed premises to feature the island’s outstanding wines as part of their overall offering.

The Portuguese influence: Simon becomes Simão
Simon Killeen says he’s occasionally mistaken for league legend Billy Slater. But with his growing list of accolades, it’s surely only a matter of time before Slater gets mistaken for the wine superstar. The 28-year-old, seventh generation winemaker has created his own wine label, sits as a judge at one of Australia’s most prestigious wine shows and has been recognised nationally for his commitment to the industry. Emilie Reynolds filed this report for the May edition of the Grapegrower & Winemaker magazine.

The Wine Wankers top 16 things to do during #AussieWineMonth
Do you like wine? Do you like Australia? Do you like eating the animals featured on Australia’s Coat of Arms? If the answer to all three questions is YES, then Aussie Wine Month, which is being held right throughout May, has a special event just for you. We all know the answer to the Trivial Pursuit question: Australia is the only country in the world that eats the animals on its Coat of Arms! If you want to find out what wine is a perfect match with emu, get yourself to the Australian Heritage Hotel in the Rocks! And hop to it!

The new faces of Australian wine
Have you ever thought about a wine variety (where it’s from, how it grows in the vineyard and what type of wine it makes) and said ‘that reminds me of someone I know?’. The organisers of 21st Century Vino have, in fact they’ve matched a range of ‘alternative’ varieties to diverse and colourful personalities. Here’s one example: Nero d’aVola, “the original nice guy”. “Your would-be boyfriend or the helpful neighbour who’s always mowing your lawn or who will come give your car a jump start when the battery dies on the side of the road.





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