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News posted on Friday, 10 April 2015

Winemakers' Federation pushes for more marketing of Australian wine, instead of 25 cent levy
The Winemakers' Federation of Australia says a proposed 25 cent temporary levy to be added to all bottles of wine is a good discussion starter, but suggests better marketing overseas would bring more benefits. The levy is an idea put forward today by Senator Nick Xenophon who has sounded a dire warning about the health of Australia's wine and grape growing industry. According to a report released by the Winemakers' Federation of Australia, less than 15 per cent of Australia's wine grape growers made a profit last year.

Henschke family wants Hill of Grace Shiraz to sell at higher price than Penfolds Grange
AUSTRALIA might witness a very unusual price war before long — a tussle to be the nation’s most expensive wine. The Barossa Valley’s Henschke family have decided they want their iconic Hill of Grace Shiraz, generally regarded as the second best Australian wine, to sell at a higher price point than Treasury Wine Estate’s Penfolds Grange, and thus become seen as Australia’s best. There’s not much doubt that it’s a two-way contest between these two 60-year-old reds. Grange currently sells for $785 while the 2009 Hill of Grace is listed at $595.

Riverland Wine respond to “wine bailout” headline
RIVERLAND WINE: The dramatic headline on Thursday’s Advertiser, Wine Bailout was very misleading. The truth of it, is that the entire industry is being challenged and to imply it’s a Riverland issue is far from the reality. Riverland Wine has a long and a successful record of working with Senator Nick Xenophon to bring about major reforms that have improved conditions for winegrowers over many years. Xenophon lobbied hard on the behalf of Riverland Wine and provided excellent access to some of his Federal parliamentary colleagues to bring about the Exit Packages.

SA wine history unfolds in film on Hamilton Family
'Wine Line – the Hamilton Story' is a dramatised documentary film that highlights the success of the Hamilton family’s wine ventures – and their impact on the Australian wine industry. The film takes viewers on a journey through the history, life and times of early South Australian settlers – the Hamilton Family – one of whom arrived on the first ship to reach the new colony in 1836. The family became founders of Hamilton’s Wines that eventually grew to become Leconfield - Home of Richard Hamilton Wines.

Marlborough truck operators slam grape spill complaints
Marlborough truck operators are hitting back at complaints of grape spillages saying it is not always the truck driver at fault. Fourteen trucks have spilled grapes on Marlborough roads in the last three weeks, after police called for a spillage-free harvest. Sergeant Michael Moloney, of the South Island Commercial Vehicle Investigation Unit, believed it could be a combination of inappropriate vehicles and out-of-town drivers who were unfamiliar with the roads.

Pinot pigment mutations tell scientists a colourful story
That cool Pinot Gris you enjoy after a tough day at the office is really just a mutant spin-out of Pinot Noir - or so scientists have found. Researchers have pin-pointed the genetic process that determines whether Pinot grapes become red or white. Pinot Noir, predominantly grown in the cooler regions, makes up about 9 per cent of wine production in New Zealand, while Pinot Gris, our third most popular white variety, accounts for around 6 per cent.

EU expands wine growing areas to meet rising Chinese, US demand
Brussels (dpa) - European vintners can increase their harvest from next year under EU rules published Thursday, aimed at helping the bloc retain its share of the wine market and cater for a rise in international demand. Traditional wine growing regions in Spain, France and Italy have long faced competition from countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Argentina or the United States. But strict rules in the European Union have limited their production volumes.

Top 10 wine brands 2015
The wine industry as we know it today owes an inestimable debt to European knowhow and culture, but in commercial terms today’s axis leans in a very different direction. As consumers in France, Spain and Italy cut back their wine consumption, often in favour of other drinks categories altogether, global sales are being propelled forward by countries whose embrace of wine is a relatively recent phenomenon. Last year marked a watershed moment as the US overtook France for the first time to become the world’s biggest wine consumer by volume with annual consumption reaching 29.1 million hectolitres.

Water or wine? California drought and water competition
“California Puts Mandatory Curbs on Water Use” reports the April 2 New York Times long article at the top of the front-page. “Steps to Confront Record-Setting Drought,” the sub-headline reads. The article describes Gov. Jerry Brown’s executive order—California’s first time restricting water use. A 25 per cent reduction of water use over the next year is required of residents, golf courses, cemeteries, and many businesses. But wait. “Owners of large farms…will not fall under the 25 per cent guideline.”

Science has spoken: Big wine doesn’t mean more flavour
It appears that haughty Euro-centric wine connoisseurs were right all along: Lower-alcohol wines are more interesting than the big, fat ethanol bombs coming out of California, Australia and Chile. No more arguments, please. Science has spoken. At least that’s what we’re left to conclude from a fascinating study conducted at the Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and Language in San Sebastian, Spain. Researchers used magnetic-resonance machines to peer inside the brains of drinkers as they (the study participants, not the researchers) sipped various wines.

A message from Big Bob McLean
The time seems right to release a statement to confirm that these rumours of my death are true. That dyin’ business was killin me anyway. Wilma, Adam and Sarah were with me through the last slide, which in the end was a bigger deal for them than it was for me, the wonders of modern medicine being what they are. Thanks to all the crew at the Angaston Hopital. You were great. The vet told me this was happening months ago when my liver wore out, so we’ve all had plenty of time to get used to it. It was a good 67 years.

A message from Big Bob McLean
The time seems right to release a statement to confirm that these rumours of my death are true. That dyin’ business was fuckin killin me anyway. Wilma, Adam and Sarah were with me through the last slide, which in the end was a bigger deal for them than it was for me, the wonders of modern medicine being what they are. Thanks to all the crew at the Angaston Hopital. You were great. The vet told me this was happening months ago when my liver wore out, so we’ve all had plenty of time to get used to it. It was a good 67 years.

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