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News posted on Monday, 8 December 2014

Organic vineyard trial shows mixed results
Does organic matter? The answer is a bit more complicated than Organic Winegrowers New Zealand was hoping for from the Organic Focus Project, which tested organic management side-by-side with conventional practices in three New Zealand vineyards. Final results of the three-year project were presented last week at events held close to the participating vineyards. The consensus from growers was that organics mostly doesn't hurt, sometimes makes more interesting wines, and does show obvious benefits for soil health. But the financial caveats are, in some cases, the deciding factor.

Aussie wine firm leases council land
The Australian wine company that owns Matua Marlborough has leased 24 hectares of council-owned land. An Overseas Investment Office decision summary shows Treasury Wine Estates signed the 30-year lease with the Marlborough District Council for land on Giffords Rd at a cost of almost $19 million (A$17.6m). Dean Heiford, council support services manager, said the value of the lease was nothing like the amount shown on the decision summary, but refused to be exact because it was commercially sensitive information.

Hail storm wreaks havoc on Lake George wineries
Wet weather and hail has hit the region's vineyards causing havoc for some wineries across the region but ideal conditions for others. A hail storm destroyed more than one third of the crops at Lerida Estate vineyard near Lake George, and continued wet weather could ruin the rest. Jim Lumbers, Lerida Estate owner, said about two feet of hail dumped down on his prized grapes on Saturday night, causing irreversible damage.

Australia to substantially increase Japanese grape exports
The grape harvest has already started in Queensland, Australia. Mid November saw the start of the early season grape harvest and harvesting will progress through the different regions as the season progresses. By the end of December, beginning of January, Sunraysia, the main grape growing region in Australia will be harvesting. This is where the majority of export grapes come from.

Wine cork makers seek to put a stop to declining sales
The world's wine cork producers want you to know they're sorry. 250 years of market dominance may have left a whiff of complacency. They didn't always listen to your gripes about cork taint — that awkward moment when you pop open your prized Cabernet and it smells like wet dog.

Wine M&A pace may slow in 2015
After a relatively active string of sales of California vineyard, winery and brands in the past few years, the thirst for new deals likely will subside in the new year, thanks to back-to-back bumper crops and increasingly attractive alternatives in the Pacific Northwest, according to industry mergers-and-acquisitions experts at the North Coast Wine Industry Expo on Thursday.

Top 30 suppliers control 90% of wine lists in UK on-trade
The top 30 wine distributors in the UK are responsible for supplying 89% of all on-trade wine lists in the UK, according to new research released this week from Wine Business Solutions. The Wine On-Premise UK 2014 report is based on the analysis of around 1,000 wine lists, featuring 20,000 different wines.

India acquires a taste for wine
Although whiskey remains the top choice for most Indians when they reach for an alcoholic drink, the country is gradually acquiring a taste for wine. India's first vineyard began operations 15 years ago, and since then the domestic wine industry has grown rapidly. With middle-class incomes growing and aspirational lifestyles spreading beyond the big cities, the wine industry hopes the market will grow exponentially in a country where total annual wine consumption measures less than a teaspoon per person.

Grants needed for tornado damage
Nearly two weeks on from the tornado that destroyed vineyards in south-west New South Wales, many growers still confront the mammoth task of repairs and clean-up. Damage inflicted on around 100 properties in the path of the tornado ranged from minor to total destruction of horticultural crops and associated infrastructure, stretching from Yelta on the Victorian side of the border to Gol Gol North in NSW.

Wine Australia steps up foodie focus
Food matching and regionality will provide the major focuses for next month’s annual Australia Day Tasting in London. Taking place at Lindley Hall on 27 January, the trade event will feature over 1,000 Australian wines from 213 wineries and 53 exhibitors. There will also be a number of wineries seeking distribution in the UK market. As an extension of the “Restaurant Australia” campaign run by Tourism Australia earlier this year, the tasting will feature four pop-up food and wine matching stalls.

In praise of the avant-garde
The natural-wine movement is so important in Australia because of the often constrictive value placed on technical rectitude by the Australian winemaking establishment. In France, by contrast, where the lessons of limpidity and difference were learned long ago, the most useful questions tend to be asked by those at the quality apex, looking for the next quarter-per-cent of expressive grace.

So what can you expect in 2015 Australia Trade Tasting?
Australia Trade Tasting is an annual trade event and conference showcasing exciting wines, beers and spirits from all over the world to Australian importers, distributors, retailers and press. Australia Trade Tasting will attract VIP buyers from leading importers, distributors and retail merchants of Australia. Brands will be able to showcase their brands, and expand their distribution. Along with the trade buyers, the event will also attract press and leading bloggers.




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