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News posted on Friday, 10 March 2017

NSW tourism body returns serve
The NSW tourism body has defended itself after heavy public criticism from a Hunter Valley wine region leader. Hunter Valley Wine and Tourism Association vice president Andrew Margan slammed Destination NSW for a perceived lack of support for the Hunter’s wine tourism industry. But Destination NSW says it “actively supports” the state’s food and wine sector.

Vintage of the century
Orange wine region: All of the fruit for sparkling wine has been picked and early whites are starting to come in – at 750 metres and below Pinot Gris, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc have been picked and Chardonnay is starting to come in. The verdict? Definitely an excellent growing season. Perhaps the vintage of the century? Only time will tell.

Research Incubator to fund regionally-focused projects
Wine Australia is inviting researchers who are just starting their careers to apply for funding through the Incubator Initiative, a new program that will fund a series of regionally focused research projects. The Incubator Initiative connects researchers who are still early in their careers with Australia’s wine regions to lead a co-funded locally-focused research project from priorities identified by Wine Australia’s Regional Program Partners.

Hopping mad or stroke of genius?
A dude in a yellow suit, a stuffed kangaroo, a barbecue, a beach, and Ellie Gonsalves in a white bikini. That’s Yellow Tail’s US Super Bowl ad. The campaign was a roaring success, boosting sales by 26% in January. It’s apparently the first time in 12 years the Yellow Tail brand has experienced a sales spike of more than 20% in one month.

Vision for food and wine hub
An historic old barn that sits at the start of Victor Harbor Road in Old Noarlunga will be renovated into a new food, beer and wine hub, as the owners aim to create a “gateway” to the Fleurieu Peninsula’s wine region. Alan Varney has eyed off the heritage listed barn at the start of Victor Harbor Road and joined forces with a few good mates to bring the brewery/winery/kitchen called ‘Victor’s Place’ to life.

NZ wine now top three US import by value
New Zealand has edged out Australia in the import value of its wine in the United States, now worth $579 million. But it will be some time before it can compete with Italy whose wine import value to the US is worth $2.83 billion, or France ($2.3b).

Gewürztraminer is “the best” of New Zealand’s whites
Gewürztraminer is “the best” of New Zealand’s white varieties with its ability to age comparable to Riesling, but its potential is largely overlooked, believes winemaker Nick Nobilo. A vocal supporter of Gewürztraminer, Nobilo founded his Ormond vineyard in Gisborne in 2000 under the Vinoptima name, specialising in the variety.

Treasury Wine Estates announces French portfolio
Treasury Wine Estates has announced the introduction of a French wine portfolio to disrupt the traditional ‘old world’ mould of the French category and drive growth for the Company globally, with an initial focus on North Asia. The new French proposition, to be launched in the first half of F18, will build on Treasury's existing portfolios from Australia, New Zealand, California and Italy.

International bulk wine insight
The Grapegrower & Winemaker recently caught up with Denys Hornabrook, the co-founder of VINEX, the bulk wine trading exchange to discuss its development and gain an update on the current market outlook. Hornabrook believes we are entering a really interesting phase where the pendulum is moving toward demand and applying price pressure.

Decision not to unite Vinisud and Millésime Bio
Efforts to unite two international trade shows have been thwarted after there was a disagreement over whether they should both take place under one roof. Jo Gilbert reports for Harpers.

California: Total crush and winegrape prices climb
With a bigger crop than in 2015, wine grapes from the 2016 harvest sold for higher prices, even reaching record levels in areas of North Coast. “It was a bit of a sleeper crop. It just didn’t seem all that big on the vine in the Central Valley.”


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WID 2017