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News posted on Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Low value could force growers out of the industry
THE average prices of major red grape varieties harvested this year in the Murray-Darling and Swan Hill wine regions were the lowest in a decade, falling to under $300/tonne, according to the Murray Valley Winegrowers Inc. Data provided by wineries to Wine Australia for the Murray-Darling and Swan Hill Wine Grape Crush Report revealed average prices for Cabernet Sauvignon of $295/tonne (-10%), Merlot $293/tonne (-5%) and Shiraz $289/tonne (-8%).

National wine industry conferences join forces
The Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) and the Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference Inc. (AWITC) announced they will be joining forces to deliver a combined business and technical conference for the Australian wine industry in 2016. The 16th Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference and WFA’s Outlook Conference will be held together in Adelaide from July 23-28 2016. This alliance will bring together comprehensive industry policy, business and marketing content in grapegrowing and winemaking with both conferences complemented by the Australian Wine Industry Trade Exhibition (AWITE).

Don't be timid about overseas co-investment in food and wine industries, says Rob Kerin
The Australian food and wine industry must grasp opportunities for co-investment by potential overseas trading partners to open up huge, long-term markets, according to Rob Kerin, Primary Producers SA executive chairman. Kerin said the advent of free trade agreements with countries including China, and the easing of the Australian dollar, can result in win-win situations for growers, producers and overseas investors.

SA wine industry sceptical of Government proposal to cut investment by $900K
The South Australian wine industry is sceptical of a Government proposal to replace an "unfair" subsidy scheme with an industry fund, which would inevitably cut investment by $900,000. Under the proposal being presented to wine businesses, the $2.7 million 'cellar door liquor subsidy scheme' would be scrapped and a $1.8 million industry fund created instead. As it stands, wine businesses that sell at least $1 million of product into the domestic market can receive a rebate of up to $50,000 on wine or brandy sold from the cellar door.

Multicultural success story
A CHINESE proprietor and a winemaking duo from Chile and South Africa – it’s a combination that is producing some impressive wines from Western Australia’s remote Frankland River area. Along with Mount Barker and Albany, Frankland River is a sub-region of Western Australia’s Great Southern Wine Region. The Ferngrove vineyard’s proximity to the Southern and Indian oceans produces cool-climate grapes that bring forth wines under the Stirlings, Orchid, Frankland River symbols and Leaping Lizard labels and is owned by Chinese national Xingfa Ma.

Pioneering organic vineyard for sale
A pioneering organic vineyard in Waihopai Valley is on the market. Owners Sam and Mandy Weaver have closely followed biodynamic planting principles since they established the 22-hectare hillside vineyard in 2000 to supply grapes to their Churton Estate wine label. The vineyard is renowned for growing high quality Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir grapes on its contoured north-east facing slopes. The Weavers also planted smaller amounts of Petit Manseng and Viognier.

Gibbston organic wine trial proves a success
A three-year trial has shown it's reasonably simple to convert to organic wine production in Central Otago, provided there's the desire to do so and the financial backing, Gibbston Valley Wines (GVW) vineyard manager Grant Rolston says. GVW, with Wither Hills in Marlborough and Mission Estate in Hawkes Bay took part in the national organic grape-growing trial. The results will be presented at New Zealand's first national Organic and Biodynamic Winegrowing Conference, in Blenheim next week.

This guy put an entire winery in his 500-square foot NYC apartment
Next time you want to complain about your spatially ¬challenged NYC apartment, just remember the name Matt Baldassano. Because that’s the name of a guy who lives in a 550sqft apartment in the East Village with a dog and, oh right, a fully functioning winery. We’re talking ginormous barrels of fermenting grape juice sitting in what is potentially his dining area for about a year at a time.

Western grapeleaf skeletonizer pest found in Napa County vineyard trap
Napa County Agricultural Commissioner Greg Clark asks grape growers and gardeners to keep their eyes peeled for all larval (caterpillar) stages of the western grapeleaf skeletonizer pest, or WGS. This follows the June 24 discovery of an adult WGS in a vineyard pheromone-baited trap on Tubbs Lane in Calistoga. “This is a destructive and serious pest,” Clark said. He explained, “All larval life stages are voracious feeders that cause extensive damage to grape leaves, including partial or complete defoliation of grapevines.”

Laroche launches first single-vineyard village Chablis
The Vieille Voye 2014 is from a seven-hectare vineyard beneath the Vaillons premier cru on the left bank of the Serein River, which cuts through this northern Burgundian appellation. Grands crus and premiers crus are single-vineyards in their own right, but village-level Chablis are usually blends of grapes from many sites. Laroche winemaker Grégory Viennois, said the Vieille Voye vineyard was planted before the 16th century by the Pontigny abbots.

Vancouver's Quini launches API platform for crowdsourced wine reviews
The Vancouver-based company behind a wine-tasting app has released a platform that can be used to add wine reviews and ratings to e-commerce websites and other apps. Quini has an iPhone app and a web app, and a beta version on Android. The Quini app allows users to "capture the five different aspects of wine", get personalized wine recommendations, and more, according its iTunes Store listing.

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