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News posted on Monday, 10 April 2017

Handheld device to maximise crop production
A handheld device that can provide an instant chemical analysis of crops, allowing farmers to maximise production, has been developed by a company based in the NSW Hunter Valley. Co-producer Mr Antony Martin said by connecting to the cloud, it could be used in the field to work out optimal harvest times, irrigation and fertiliser requirements, and crop performance.

Peter Seppelt winery faces legal action
Owner, Mr Peter Seppelt said he believed that “pressure from the neighbours” had led the council to reject its application to expand its wedding functions from 15 to 40. The council has now questioned whether the estate’s 15 functions were legal and will pursue the matter in the Liquor Licensing Court in a three-day trial starting on May 1.

A tourism boost for Margret River
The finishing touches have been put on world-class mountain-biking trails in Margaret River, with 150 riders a day using pedal power to explore the South West forests. “It’s a big addition to the wine and the surfing in Margaret River, and it’s also a year-round tourism stream," says bike rider John Dingey.

Opportunity for wholesale with Dominoes
Domino's Pizza will trial a dine-in store that aims to offer alcohol alongside gourmet pizzas in Brisbane's CBD. Following rival Crust Gourmet Pizza Bar's move in September to offer home-delivered pizza with beer, wine or cider at some of its outlets in Melbourne, Domino's has applied for a liquor licence at its latest venture.

Tasmanian grape harvest a mixed bag
Many Tasmanian vineyards are expecting below-average yields following unfavourable weather during the growing season. Last year, a record 15,000 tonnes of wine grapes were harvested in Tasmania. This year's vintage is expected to drop to about 10,000 tonnes. Harvest is in full swing at Moores Hill in the Tamar Valley, but co-owner Fiona Weller described the season as "tough".

Is your wine kosher for Passover?
Passover begins today and will continue until the 18th of April. The ritual includes restrictions on many food and drink items, including wine. The kosher wine industry has significance in the international market and can be used as a handy tool for your label, which we will explore further in the coming week. Here's a good start on disecting what kosher wine is.

Making wine without grapes
Getting your hands on an original bottle of 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay (which won the white category in the 1976 wine competition the Judgement of Paris), will cost you tens of thousands of dollars. In 2010 a bottle of that wine sold for $11,325 at auction. But what if you could buy an exact replica, precisely recreated molecule by molecule, for less money than you likely have in your wallet right now?

Possible hope for Chilean wine industry
Climate change is contributing to record droughts, heat and wildfires in Chile (the world's number four exporter of wine by volume and the biggest among New World producers), threatening crops and spurring growers to move south to cooler climes. A torrid summer and devastating fires across central Chile's wine belt have forced an earlier harvest this year, but there are no signs that volume or flavor will be affected, local industry experts said on Thursday.

Constellation Brands sees wine growth
Constellation Brands, which owns brands such as Paul Masson, Modelo and Svedka vodka, has seen net sales in its wine and spirits business rise by 6% in full year 2016/17, according to results published by the firm. “Fiscal 2017 has been a year marked by operational excellence and record financial performance,” said Rob Sands, president and chief executive officer, Constellation Brands.

Charles Banks to face removal from Trinity Hill
United States wine fund manager Charles Banks could be removed as an owner of New Zealand’s Trinity Hill winery if he is found not to be of "good character", the Overseas Investment Office says. It noted Banks has pleaded guilty to a charge of fraud in the US. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Banks — former financial adviser to NBA player Tim Duncan — pleaded guilty on Monday to federal wire fraud.

Women taking reigns in NZ wine
Anna Robbie, owner of Central Otago winery Mount Michael is one of a growing number of young women carving out a niche in the New Zealand wine industry. The industry, with about 700 wineries, employs roughly 7600 people nationwide. This year, the New Zealand Winegrowers Association has two women on its board for the first time – Katherine Jacobs from Big Sky Wines and Rachel Tauleli, of Kono NZ.

Making wine without grapes
Getting your hands on an original bottle of 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay (which won the white category in the 1976 wine competition the Judgement of Paris), will cost you tens of thousands of dollars. In 2010 a bottle of that wine sold for $11,325 at auction. But what if you could buy an exact replica, precisely recreated molecule by molecule, for less money than you likely have in your wallet right now?

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