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News posted on Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Industry agrees on tackling wine sector downturn
The wine industry came together in Adelaide on Friday, August 28, to discuss the urgency for industry reform and agreed on next steps for how representative organisations can contribute to a return to profitability. More than 40 wine industry leaders from across Australia met at Grape & Wine 2015, an initiative that was established after a meeting of state and national chairs of various wine organisations held in November 2014. Grape and Wine 15 included representatives from all states and many regional associations, growers, winemakers and service providers.

Here's why this brand spent six years working out how to get Gen Y to drink its wine
Gen Y is the most studied demographic in history. It’s a unique generation not just as individuals, but also as consumers. They are the first group of people to have grown up with, and captured the power of the internet and technologies such as smartphones and social media. With this in mind, Love & Wine directors Brian and Evan Mitchell made a conscious effort to study what Gen Y looks for and needs from a brand when creating YOU Wines.

Tourism spend on wine rises
Tourism Australia has released figures showing that one dollar in every five now spent by international visitors in Australia is on food and wine. Since December 2013, Australia has seen a 12.6 per cent increase (an additional $531 million) in tourism dollars spent on food and wine. The increased figures have hit the campaign target for the Restaurant Australia campaign of which Wine Australia is a supporting partner.

Beresford Estate to open new wine tasting pavilion
BERESFORD Estate will open later this month to offer a premium event and accommodation venue in McLaren Flat following a “multi-million” investment. The winery, owned by the Bickford’s Group, has also undergone major works over the past year to build a new tasting pavilion on its Ingoldby Rd site. Bickford’s Group marketing manager Chris Illman said the company was excited to soon offer a base for its wine tastings and an event option.

Marlborough wine leaders visit China
A visit to an emerging winemaking province in China could pave the way to a sister city relationship with the region, the Marlborough mayor says. A group of six wine industry leaders and a Marlborough District Council representative left Marlborough for Ningxia, China on Saturday. The group will attend a wine conference in the region and be hosted by the Ningxia Wine Bureau, which is meeting the cost of accommodation and transport in China.

Blackenbrook Vineyard scores impressive industry accolade
Multi-award winning Tasman winemaker Daniel Schwarzenbach of Blackenbrook Vineyard has scored another impressive industry accolade by winning a gold medal and the trophy for Best Gewürztraminer at the prestigious annual Bragato Wine Awards held in Napier on 27 August. This is the fifth ‘best wine in class’ award at a national competition for the family owned and run vineyard and it cements Blackenbrook’s reputation for producing outstanding aromatic wines.

Bayer issues fungicide warning for wine grape growers, pending crop investigation
ZURICH (Reuters) - Germany's Bayer has advised wine grape growers not to use its Moon Privilege fungicide until its CropScience arm has investigated whether there is a connection between the product's use and reported crop damage. Growers have reported deformed leaves and lower yields from their crops this year. Referring to "atypical symptoms" in vines where Moon Privilege -- known as Luna Privilege in some markets -- had been deployed in 2014.

Minority winemakers look to change industry’s stereotypes
NORTH PLAINS, Ore. (AP) — Bertony Faustin didn’t set out to be Oregon’s first black winemaker. He just wanted to make good wine. But the disbelief that often comes when customers realize a black man owns the winery has worn on him. “People are always surprised. Everybody assumes that … I am not the winemaker,” said the 43-year-old, who four years ago opened Abbey Creek Winery about 20 miles northwest of Portland. “The image of the winemaker is an old white guy. To see that it’s a black man, it takes people aback.”

A record number of 19 new Masters of Wine announced
LONDON, 7 SEPTEMBER 2015 – The Institute of Masters of Wine announced today that a record number of 19 candidates has passed the Institute’s Examination and earned the title Master of Wine (MW). The new MWs, 11 women and eight men, hail from 10 countries, including Australia, Canada, Finland, Germany, Greece, Japan, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. The Institute of Masters of Wine is also delighted to welcome its first Singaporean Member.

Jancis Robinson on wine experts versus amateurs
In the age of the smartphone the role of the critic has never been more complex, writes the FT’s wine columnist Jancis Robinson. Only once in my life did I ever think I knew everything there was to be known about wine. It was in 1978, after finishing two years’ worth of courses run by the Wine & Spirit Education Trust. By dint of luck, and a dose of grammar school diligence, I was the top student of my year, and reckoned that with a WSET diploma under my belt, I was now a fully fledged wine expert.

What we're drinking: Alcohol trends of 2015
Gin's stocks are rising, beer is waning and Shiraz and Sauvignon Blanc are stronger than ever. Huon Hooke casts an eye over the year's drink trends. The big news this year is that we are drinking less alcohol overall. At the same time we're drinking more wine but less beer, according to the Australia Bureau of Statistics. On the white spirit scene, gin is rising, vodka is steady and white rum is falling, according to Roy Morgan research. Anecdotal evidence says malt whisky sales are up and brandy is down. Craft beer continues to boom – just check the fridges at your nearest bottle shop.

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