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News posted on Friday, 9 October 2015

The Business of Wine. Moving beyond Excel.
Wine production sounds more glamorous than it really is. The day to day functions, logistics, monitoring and maintenance are constant and intensive at times. Harvest, especially, is not for the faint of heart. Therefore a great system for handling the ‘business of wine’ is paramount to maintain sanity and keep the business functioning. You can then focus on the ‘wine business’: the wine making and sales passion that compels us vintage after vintage.

Co-operative to sell wine made from Aus and NZ grapes
The Co-operative is to list a wine made with grapes from both Australia and New Zealand among a number of new additions to its range. Parallel Vines combines 70% Australian Chardonnay and 30% New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc in a blend created by buyer Ed Robinson and supplier Andrew Peace of Andrew Peace Wines.

Vintage savings for SA vintners
A Government funding program is offering SA wineries the chance to reduce their running costs and increase efficiency. The South Australian Wine Industry Association (SAWIA) has been awarded $50,000 by the Office of Green Industries SA to deliver the Lean Production for Wineries Program 2015–16. Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, Ian Hunter said the Program would offer participating wineries expert support to find ways of improving work practices and resource efficiency, reduce wastage, improve productivity and reduce production costs.

Bendigo Uncorked wine festival cancelled amid protest fears
Anti-mosque protesters have sparked the abandonment of a major food and wine festival in Bendigo after police told organisers that community safety could not be guaranteed. The business community in the central Victorian town is livid, after the threat of violent protest over a proposed mosque forced them to abandon the festival planned for this weekend.

$20m upgrades to help Hunter’s wine gateway
Significant upgrades to Broke Road at Pokolbin, considered the gateway to the Hunter Valley's wine country, will be officially opened this morning. The project is part of the New South Wales Government's $20 million commitment to upgrade local roads via the Hunter Infrastructure Fund. In February, it was announced the other end of Broke Road would also get a massive facelift, including improvements at intersections, new tourist signage and lighting.

New look board for Wine Marlborough
The Wine Marlborough board has four new members after they were voted in by wineries and grapegrowers earlier this month. Elections for the board, which is charged with marketing and protecting Marlborough's reputation as a premium wine growing region, ended on October 1. There were three grapegrowing candidates and four winemakers, with two from each side of the industry being voted onto the board.

Lonely Planet names Central Otago as top global wine region
Lonely Planet has named Central Otago one of the world's top wine regions to visit. Lonely Planet's new book Wine Trails plots a course through 52 of the world's greatest wine regions, with Central Otago named in the top 10 intriguing places to drink wine alongside The Jura in France, Rioja in Spain and Columbia Valley in the United States. Rutherglen in Australia also made the list for its butterscotch-flavoured, raisin-rich dessert wines from grapes harvested in a "mad rush" before they cooked into a jam.

Italy beats France to become world largest wine producer
Italy has surpassed France to take to crown of world largest wine producer in 2015, according to European Union data. This year's benign weather conditions have resulted in an abundant grape harvest across the Mediterranean peninsula, as opposed to that reaped on the other side of the Alps. Italy's projected wine production is up 13% on the previous year and 5% on the average for the past five years, for a total output of 48.8 million hectolitres, figures submitted by member states to the EU Commission in mid-September show.

Beaujolais prices: Winemakers agree uneasy truce
Following winemaker protests over Beaujolais prices in September, the region’s négociants have reached an unofficial agreement to buy bulk wine for both Beaujolais Villages and Beaujolais primeurs 2015 at a price of no less than €200 per 100 litres – equivalent to around €1.5 per bottle. Organic wine will be sold at no less than €300 per 100 litres. More than 500 Beaujolais winemakers protested in Villefranche-sue-Saone, claiming they were being offered 25% less money for what appears to be a very good 2015 vintage versus prices paid for 2014.

The ‘wine and ‘value’ discrepancy
Wine and value are not words that are often juxtaposed in the same sentence. The moment you migrate from “easy-drinking wine” to something more serious, the discrepancy between what you pay and the added value which comes from the incremental cost becomes glaringly obvious. There are a number of reasons for this – beginning with the fact that the R30–R60 bottle of decent supermarket wine is probably under-priced, while the cost of improving on it is disproportionate to the benefit obtained.

US National Grape & Wine Initiative announces $6 Million research grant
The National Grape & Wine Initiative (NGWI) announced today it helped secure $6 million over four years in federal funding for research to develop and apply new technologies to transform the way grapes are grown throughout the United States. Funding comes from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s (NIFA) Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI), which just released the first continuation grant instalment of $2,357,674.

US National Grape & Wine Initiative announces $6 Million research grant
The National Grape & Wine Initiative (NGWI) announced today it helped secure $6 million over four years in federal funding for research to develop and apply new technologies to transform the way grapes are grown throughout the United States. Funding comes from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s (NIFA) Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI), which just released the first continuation grant instalment of $2,357,674.

South Australian Wine Industry Association turns 175
Past and present members of the South Australian wine industry gathered at the National Wine Centre of Australia in Adelaide last night to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the South Australian Wine Industry Association (SAWIA). SAWIA is the nation’s oldest wine industry body, although it has undergone various name changes since its formation in 1840. Last night’s dinner was emceed by South Australian broadcaster Keith Conlon who welcomed guests before Brother John May of Sevenhill Cellars in the Clare Valley gave a blessing.

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