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News posted on Wednesday, 10 February 2016

China can halt Aussie wine export slump
Australian winemakers can expect to sell greater volumes of red wine into China but not so many whites because "white is the colour of death in China", a leading wine industry exhibitor says. Vinexpo CEO Guillaume Deglise said a growing demand for wine from the Chinese should help reverse a slump in Australian wine export volumes in recent years. Speaking in London on Tuesday, Deglise released figures from a study showing that Australia remained the world's fourth largest wine exporter behind Italy, France and Spain.

Fingers crossed, it's harvest time
Philip White makes his second vintage report of another freaky year: some of it's very good; some better forgotten. It seems like months ago that we sat around the tables of Fino Willunga for the last time. Proprietors Sharon Romeo and David Swain were off to concentrate on their new business in the Barossa; serendipitously, it was the Feast Day of St Vincent, the namesake of our bonnie Gulf, and patron of vignerons, viticulturers and, cough, vinegar makers.

How using a 'lite' business model for its overseas expansion saved Vinomofo years and millions
Before branching into a new market it’s important to have all bases covered. But what happens if you are branching into a group of markets all at the same time? This is the challenge Australian boutique wine e-retailer Vinomofo is about to tackle. With plans to expand the business, originally the wine group was going to focus on just one market – China. But soon it realised how long it would take to grow globally, taking one market at a time.

Women in wine: It’s a sexist award, it needs to be
Recently, a woman was “retrenched” from her longstanding role as a winemaker for a highly reputable business shortly after she announced she was pregnant. To her face, they said they would look for fresh talent. Behind closed doors they panicked at the thought of a second maternity leave. Similarly, a talented and well-known winemaker became pregnant and was immediately dropped from her position as contract winemaker for a large wine corporation. They offered her a role in sales. They couldn’t see how she could make wine and have children at the same time.

Winery and function centre at Tumbarumba, NSW, for sale
BENNI’S could be the first face you see when arriving at Tumbarumba Wines Escape, 10km south of Tumbarumba in the eastern Riverina’s Mannus Valley. Benni, the Jack Russell, is right at home in this cellar door and function centre, which boasts a decidedly Italian flavour. Owners Garry and Kay Wilson turned to cool-climate wine production seven years ago after a decade as world-leading wool producers.

Hawke’s Bay Wine impresses international wine VIPs
International wine celebrities and trade visitors have spent the weekend testing their knowledge of Hawke’s Bay wine as they’ve competed in The Hawke’s Bay Wine Amazing Race during the 2nd annual Hawke’s Bay Wine Celebration. Teams traveled around Hawke’s Bay sub-regions making specific pit stops, where they deciphered clues and puzzles as well as competed in a variety of fun and challenging activities.

In New Zealand: Oz Clarke's remarkable paean to Sauvignon Blanc
So, the Sauvignon Blanc conference. Two and a half days focusing on this grape, which New Zealand has made its own. Talks and tastings; dinners and parties. And welcoming Blenheim, shy at first, but then opening up to receive a few hundred guests and locals. Two establishments in particular deserve mention: Ritual, for its morning eggs and coffee; and Scotch, a lovely wine bar with excellent chips, too.

Amazon Japan hires team of pros to call you back and recommend wine
Amazon is already well established as the leading e-tailer ready, willing, and able to sell you just about anything (for next day delivery). But there are certain product categories that consumers need to do a bit of research on before choosing to buy. That can be tedious, time consuming, and delays a purchase. Amazon doesn’t want that to happen, so it’s experimenting with doing the research for you.

Star chef Benoît Violier may have been victim of wine scam
Benoît Violier, the French-Swiss chef dubbed “the best in the world” who died in an apparent suicide last week, may have been the victim of a £1 million wine fraud, Swiss media have reported. The Swiss magazine Bilan reported that Violier’s Restaurant de l’Hotel de Ville, which had three Michelin stars and topped a list last year of the world’s best 1,000 eateries, could have suffered losses of between 800,000 and 2 million Swiss francs (€725,000-€1.8 million) in the scam.

British drinks tax needs reform says Think Tank
The UK’s alcohol tax regime is in need of significant reform, a leading think-tank has said. The Institute for Fiscal studies says that the current structure of alcohol duties is “not well targeted at harmful alcohol consumption” and should be overhauled. In its “Green Budget” outlining what it hopes to see announced by the Chancellor George Osborne in the government Budget next month, the IFS said: “As heavy drinkers tend to consume stronger alcoholic drinks, reversing the long-run trend towards lower spirits duties would target the system better at them.

Trademarking wine brands: Don't find out the hard way
California Central Coast's Rabble Wine Company, producers of the Tooth & Nail, Force of Nature, Stasis and Amor Fati brands, is renaming its Force of Nature brand to the portfolio's flagship name, "Rabble". The change takes effect with the 2015 vintage wines. "Apparently, trademarks are important in this industry," Andrew Nelson, partner and vice president of sales and marketing sarcastically stated. "First to market is not enough. Changing from Force of Nature to Rabble will ensure we're able to continue our explosive growth."





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