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News posted on Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Wine of the year in the 17th WA Wine Guide
While the battle for wine of the year in the 17th annual West Australian Wine Guide was appropriately a head-to-head showdown between two vintages from Margaret River in a year when the region celebrates its 50th as a commercial wine region, it was a quiet achiever that took out winemaker of the year title. Source, The West Australian

Instagram is making wine snobbier
"Like anyone with an Instagram account, scrolling through my morning feed is equal parts mindless diversion and masochism. No matter how much I’m enjoying my week, someone else is living harder — sabering a Champagne magnum with a beer glass, say, or attending a wine dinner featuring bottles of eternally sold-out Clos Rougeard," writes Courtney Schiessl for VinePair.

Wine should move freely interstate, but doesn't
Unless you live in one of the 14 states in America that allow direct out-of-state shipments, you won’t be able to make an online purchase of wine. The rest of the states forbid such shipments as a political favour to a potent special interest group – wine and liquor wholesalers. Source, Forbes.

A growing market for disease-free wine
Pierce's Disease is a grapevine strangler. Once bacteria that cause it get into a plant — via insects — it clogs the plant's vascular system and deprives it of water. There's no treatment. Andy Walker, a plant geneticist at UC Davis, is developing new grape varietals that resist the disease. Source, Axios.

'Natural' wine-making in Western New York
"Natural" might make for a better marketing campaign. But in his heart, Zack Klug prefers the less catchy phrase "low intervention." Liten Buffel is one of western New York's newest wineries and among the few in the state that plans to produce all of its wine in the manner that can be called either "natural" or "low intervention." Source, New York Upstate.

Vineyard posts found dumped in quarry
A pile of old tyres and vineyard posts have been dug up at a quarry in Marlborough. The buried stockpile was unearthed as council officers investigated allegations of unauthorised waste dumping at the site east of Blenheim on Monday. Source, Stuff.

Martinborough winery opens new cellar door
Wellington businessman Charlie Zheng has replanted and rebranded his Martinborough wine businesses, as part of a plan to supply rising demand in the Asian market. Zheng bought Murdoch James and Alana Estate in Martinborough in 2011 and 2014 respectively. Source, Stuff.

Inside Mitolo's new tasting room
McLaren Vale’s newest cellar door and restaurant features a striking industrial design incorporating shipping containers and a name inspired by the wolves of the Italian region from which the owner’s family hails. Source, InDaily.

Barossa Valley's newest cellar door
Cameron and Allister Ashmead, co-directors of acclaimed family-owned winery Elderton Wines, have opened a stunning new cellar door on in their Nuriootpa vineyard, gifting the Barossa a warm and inviting addition to the region’s dynamic hospitality scene. Source, The AU Review.

Barossa scores top dollar for tourism
A $48,000 state government grant represented a commitment to seeing the region grow and be exposed to new global markets, according to Tourism Barossa regional tourism manager Cathy Wills. The funds were provided under the latest round of the Export Partnership Program, where maximum grants were capped at $50,000. Source, The Barossa Herald.

A sudden loss for Coonawarra
The Coonawarra wine region is in mourning following the sudden death last Sunday of respected senior winemaker Wayne Stehbens, 62, of Katnook Estate. He was described as an ‘institution’ on the Coonawarra winemaking scene having had more than 38 years’ local experience, making him one of Australia’s longest serving winemakers. Source, Winetitles.

Truck full of bottles rolls in Birdwood
A truck driver is in hospital after rolling his vehicle loaded with glass bottles in the Adelaide Hills. The accident occurred at Birdwood just before 1pm Nov 8 as the truck drove along Warren Rd. The truck was filled with empty wine bottles that were on their way to be filled. Source, The Advertiser.

Japanese wineries grow to meet domestic demand
Mercian Corp, which owns Château Mercian in Koshu, has announced it is building two new wineries in Nagano prefecture, with one in Shiojiri and another in Ueda. The former is expected to open in September next year, while the latter is planned for autumn in 2019. Source, The Drinks Business

Sensory workshop - only a few spots left
There are still a few places left for the upcoming sensory evaluation seminar and workshop held in Adelaide. This is an advanced seminar for professionals who need to maximise the power of sensory assessment.


Funding boost for Eyre Peninsula vineyard
Facilities to attract and keep visitors in the lower Eyre Peninsula in SA will be built at the Glen-Forest Tourist Park and Vineyard with the support of a $193,750 Regional Development Fund grant. The family-operated tourist park will expand and improve their current facilities, adding a new reception, kiosk and shop, along with a cellar door. Source, Winetitles

A drop for Walking Dead fans
Television network AMC has launched 'The Walking Dead' wines in partnership with Lot18 in what now appears an established path in the world of brand extensions. While customised wine is not new, some research groups have pin-pointed it as a rising trend. Source, Decanter.

San Miguel buys Australian company Best Bottlers
Philippines-based San Miguel Corporation is boosting its presence in the Australian bottling and packaging industry, after it bought another firm, Best Bottlers Pty Ltd, at an undisclosed cost. Earlier this year, the conglomerate acquired Barossa Bottling and Portavin. Best Bottlers is SMC's 5th acquisition in the Australasian region serving the wine industry. Source, Rappler

Oregon winemaker dies suddenly
Patricia "Patty" Green 62, died Nov. 6 in an apparent accident inside her rural cabin retreat near Roseburg, Oregon. "The apparent cause was a fall," Jim Anderson, her business and winemaking partner, told Wine Spectator. "Unfortunately, even I have very little information." Source, Wine Spectator.

Queenstown vintners' dispute finally resolved
A four-year court dispute between high profile veterans of Central Otago's wine industry has ended after a ruling from the Court of Appeal over the value of a payout by one shareholder to another. Greg Hay, who won the argument said he was relieved it was over and had moved onto another wine venture. Source, Stuff

Lion and Taylor's form Deliveroo partnership
Lion and Taylors have partnered with on-demand food delivery app, Deliveroo, for the launch of Bottle Butler in Melbourne. The new Deliveroo function will streamline the ordering process for multiple alcohol purchases, bringing them together under one new tile marked as ‘Bottle Butler. Source, The Shout.

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WID 2017