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News posted on Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Cider industry concerned about WET reforms
While Cider Australia has welcomed the moves to tighten eligibility for the Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) rebate, the industry body said it is disappointed the rebate cap will be reduced. In his first Federal Budget this week, Treasurer Scott Morrison announced changes to the WET rebate. The Government announced that from 1 July 2019 eligibility criteria will be tightened to require claimants to own a winery or have a long term lease over a winery and sell packaged, branded wine domestically.

Small winemakers assured wine tax reforms won't shut them out
Changes mooted for eligibility to the wine industry's generous tax rebate scheme have caused concern among smaller winemakers, but the Federal Government says the reforms are not yet set in stone. The federal budget revealed the Government intended to reduce the rebate amount and tighten eligibility to the scheme, in an effort to stamp out rorting and return the rebate to its original focus of boosting regional employment.

The return of Champagne Jayne
In the first official interview since winning her case and the right to keep her brand, Champagne Jayne appears true to her name – full of vitality and depth – her account of her Kafka-esque experience is interwoven with fascinating tales of Champagne and its history. “I am just as excited as I have ever been about Champagne – I still love it, but I can’t understand why the CIVC pursued me for years and wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal costs.”

Fire in Tony’s belly sees Flame Hill vineyard grow
THE Sunshine Coast hinterland is the “uncut diamond” of Queensland’s tourism industry, and should be known nationally and internationally. That’s according to farmer, viticulturist and successful business owner Tony Thompson, of Flame Hill Vineyard and Restaurant. “It’d just be wonderful to get Queenslanders more parochial about Queensland food and wine,” he said. “We’ve got some fantastic food and wines.”

Federal government support for conference and exhibition
Organisers of the 2016 Irrigation Australia International Conference and Exhibition have announced an increase in support from the federal government. The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources will be hosting workshops during the exhibition on 'Commonwealth on Farm Irrigation Efficiency and Infrastructure Programs', after the government announced plans to increase funding for irrigation projects across the country.

Marlborough wine companies make big calls after remarkably 'relaxed' harvest
Instead of the usual frantic rush, Marlborough wine companies have labelled this year's harvest 'relaxing'. Just two rainfall events between early March and late April meant companies could take their time bringing in the crop. Giesen Wines Marlborough general manager Rhyan Wardman said there was usually a 30-day window for harvest, however this year was the exception to the rule. "We were in this luxurious position, which is unusual in Marlborough, where we could take our time," he said.

Revolutionary Young Winemakers
Siobhan Thompson, the CEO of Wines of South Africa began her opening address at Cape Wine 2015 by describing South Africa’s wine industry as one that “has a nervy energy that comes from walking a tight-rope of contradictions.” The spirit of revolution has perfumed the air. The waters of radical change are licking at the roots of our vines and are bearing the first fruits of dynamic change.

Napa locals take back a winery
It seems that we are always hearing about small wineries being bought by larger wineries or companies. Whether it be the financial challenges to run a small business or the “American dream” to make a profit, many family wineries cease to be family-owned when they are acquired. Rarely do we hear the converse but Jamieson Ranch is a story of locals taking back the winery from a private equity firm and putting it back in family hands.

English sparkling wine ripe for Japan success?
Japanese wine importer Mottox has taken on four English sparkling wine producers for the first time, believing the category, which its chief buyer describes as “the brother of Champagne”, to have the potential to blossom. “After having sampled English sparkling wines for seven years, I became convinced about the quality last year,” said Kayo Kono, chief buyer and brand manager for Mottox Inc.

Georgian wine exports increase in 2016
More than 11.5 million bottles of Georgian wine have been exported to 30 countries across the globe in the first four months of 2016. This was a 45 percent increase in wine exports in January-April (Q1) 2016 than in the same months of 2015, reported the Georgian National Wine Agency. The value of the exported wine amounted to almost $27 million USD, which was 15 percent more than in the same period of last year.

New Zealand’s leading wine company welcomes new managing director
Constellation Brands New Zealand, the country’s leading wine exporter, is pleased to announce that Simon Towns will take the reins as President and Managing Director. Current President Sam Glaetzer has been promoted to Senior Vice President of Winemaking and Production in the US, where he will oversee wine and spirits production, vineyard operations, spirits operations and winemaking.

Taxing times: The ghosts of wineboxes past
ANALYSIS: The ghosts of the infamous winebox tax dodging controversies could be heard stirring on the weekend after John Doe the self-proclaimed leaker of the Panama papers had a crack at Prime Minister John Key and the Cook Islands. Doe's 1800-word statement singled out Mr Key for being "curiously quiet" about New Zealand's role in enabling the "financial fraud Mecca" of the Cook Islands, while calling on Britain, the United States and the European Community to take "swift action" against tax havens, without naming their leaders.

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