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News posted on Thursday, 8 October 2015

Stanford announces WGGA resignation
After five years at the helm of Wine Grape Growers Australia, Executive Director Lawrie Stanford has decided it’s time to hand over the reins. “This is the right decision for me and for the organisation,” Stanford said. “Renewal is important for any organisation and it’s time for me to pursue some of my own personal challenges.” Stanford’s association with the Australian wine sector spans 20 years, commencing in 1994 at the Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics, where he worked in wine.

Michael Glover: Wine philosopher back on home soil
A free spirit, rebellious, eccentric. Michael Glover has been described in many ways. Perhaps the most fitting would be passionate. Early this year, the New Zealand born winemaker completed a 10-year stint at Bannockburn in Victoria and returned to his roots in Nelson. Emilie Reynolds caught up with him to find out why, after two decades in Australia, he decided to go home.

Global 'wine masters' impressed with Hunter drops
Despite fears of a looming grape glut, the Hunter Valley's wine sector is hoping for an export boost, with a group of international industry experts singing the region's praises. Delegates from the Institute of the Masters of Wine have sampled several local wines, noting the variety and quality. Local winemaker Bruce Tyrrell said the changed perspective will make a big difference in the market place.

Bill Hardy named 2015 South Australian Legend of the Vine
Bill Hardy, Hardys Global Brand Ambassador and a fifth generation Hardy winemaking family member, has been named the 2015 South Australian Legend of the Vine by Wine Communicators Australia (WCA). In addition to the award, Hardy also becomes a life member of WCA. The award was designed to recognize an individual who made an outstanding and lasting contribution to the Australian wine industry. Fellow recipients of the award include: James Halliday, Rob Hirst, Patrick Iland, David Lowe, Phil Laffer, Chris Anstee and Lyndey Milan.

Barossa Shiraz named best in the world
A TINY vineyard in the back blocks between Truro and Kapunda in the northern Barossa districts has blitzed the rest of the wine world with a red wine judged to be the best Shiraz on the planet. The St Kitts Vineyard, owned by Angaston based Thorn-Clarke, was the exclusive source for the winery’s flagship red, the Ron Thorn 2012 Shiraz ($95), which this week was voted the world’s top shiraz by judges at the prestigious London-based International Wine and Spirit Competition.

Marlborough wines go head-to-head
THE Marlborough Wine Show, now in its fifth year, is being held at the Marlborough Convention Centre, in Blenheim, on Tuesday and Wednesday. Featuring exclusively Marlborough wines, which are judged by a panel of international and domestic critics, the event aims to showcase diversity of wine in the region. Awards will be presented at a dinner on Thursday, October 22.

Vineyard gone but wine lives on
On the evening of October 20 there will be glasses raised to a special wine. It will be the wine adjudged to be the Champion Wine of Show; the best of the Bay; the top drop, as declared by the judges of the 15th Hawke's Bay A&P Bayleys Wine Awards. The event is now an established part of the region's world-class wine industry and the nod as the Bay's best wine is eagerly sought after by winemakers, viticulturists, winery management - everyone on deck, so to speak.

Torres revives ‘ancestral’ varieties
Torres has revived two more “ancestral” varieties as part of its long-running project to bring back forgotten grapes. Two red varieties, Moneu and Gonfaus join the 40 other Catalan varieties that have been bought back from the brink of extinction in the past 30 years. So far only seven of these varieties look as though they would be suitable for winemaking and the two most recently revived are among them.

The art of talking tannins
Tannins are an integral part of the wine language, but just how do you talk about tannins? It depends on who’s doing the talking and who you’re talking to, says a panel of wine industry representatives. Washington State’s renowned Canoe Ridge Estate Vineyard near Paterson, with its views of the Columbia River, draws visitors from around the world. “I talk tannins every time I give a vineyard tour to visitors,” said Mimi Nye, vineyard manager at Canoe Ridge Estate, which is owned by Ste. Michelle Wine Estates.

Champagne benefits from on-trade boom
According to an interim on-trade report from Liberty Wines called Looking forward to Christmas, wine sales (including sparkling) increased by 17.9% in volume and 10.2% in value in the premium on-trade during 2014, which contrasts with the overall on-trade, which is still suffering a slight decline. The report defines ‘premium’ on-trade as wine bars, restaurants, gastropubs and pubs that have a wide range of drinks and a minimum wine bottle price of £20, according to Liberty Wines MD, David Gleave MW.

Europe’s 2015 wine harvest: On the verge of greatness?
If even half of the excitement around the 2015 wine harvest in some of Europe's best known regions, such as Bordeaux, Rioja and Burgundy, is reflected in the final wines, then the vintage could be one to savour. Many winemakers in regions such as Bordeaux, Champagne, Burgundy, Rhone, Rioja and Tuscany must be close to running out of positive adjectives to bestow on the 2015 wine harvest.

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