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News posted on Thursday, 10 September 2015

Adelaide agricultural park to supply China
A $70 million agricultural park will be built in Adelaide to supply Chinese shops with food and wine after an agreement between South Australian and Chinese governments. The industrial food park in Adelaide’s north will produce hundreds of containers of food and wine for China’s Shandong province, SA exporter Tony Royal says. “China’s expanding middle class has an insatiable appetite for high-quality wine and food. However, high tariffs and logistic barrier have constrained the opportunity for export growth,” he said on Wednesday.

Phylloxera detection on display in Yarra Valley
Researchers will tour vineyards in the Yarra Valley today to see a new phylloxera detection system in action. The Board of the Plant Biosecurity Cooperative Research Centre is making the visit as part of a regular program of visits with CRC Participants. Phylloxera is an aphid-like insect that destroys grapevines by feeding on vine roots. Phylloxera and Grape Industry Board of South Australia chief executive Alan Nankivell said phylloxera (Daktulosphaira vitifoliae) was the only regulated pest in the wine industry and a major concern for grapegrowers.

Howcroft Estate Vineyard set to catch eyes of investors, wine industry
Howcroft Estate Vineyard in South Australia is set to attract keen attention from a range of prospective purchasers. Colliers International’s Tim Altschwager and Nick Dean have been appointed by Sandhurst Trustees Ltd to sell Howcroft Estate Vineyard in South Australia’s Bordertown wine region. Altschwager said the $9 million price tag represented excellent value at approximately $22,000 per ha of vines planted.

Wellington deal brings NZ produce to six Chinese supermarkets
An agreement earlier this year by a Wellington delegation to China led by Mayor Celia Wade-Brown has borne fruit with the launch of the Seashine Supermarket group’s first ‘New Zealand corner’. New Zealand products will be promoted in the supermarket chain across Xiamen and Fujian Province, occupying a prime position of 100 square metres in six stores to begin with. There is an expectation of more to come. Seashine Group is a major player in the economy of Xiamen, a sister city of Wellington.

Chance for getting hands-on at winery event
Students of Central Otago wines and wine lovers in general will be rubbing their hands with glee at the launch of the inaugural Down to Earth wine event starting at Labour weekend. Running from October 24 to November 4, this 12-day event spans a range of unique and ''hands-on'' activities that will get you up close with the wineries and winemakers. More than 30 winegrowers are participating and the opportunity to taste not only current releases, but also museum release wines will be tantalising for many.

U.S. wine consumption increases lead over France
The U.S. leveraged an improving economy to maintain the title of world's largest wine market last year. Larger discretionary income levels for consumers contributed to Americans purchasing more wine, marking a 1% growth rate to 328.6 million 9-liter cases, according to the Beverage Information and Insights Group's 2015 Wine Handbook. The U.S. continued to lead the wine market in 2014 after surpassing France in 2013.

Alcohol... Is the pendulum swinging?
Until recently (over the last 30 or so years) no one felt it necessary to discuss the level of alcohol (abv) in a wine. It was always assumed the abv was correct and in balance depending on the normal winegrowing and winemaking conditions of the vintage and growing area. But that all changed with the advent of the 100-point scale and the evolving market importance of wine critics such as Robert Parker and others in the late 1970s and 1980s.

Ningxia wine producers go beyond Cabernet Sauvignon
Silver Heights winery recently launched its first white wine, a 2014 vintage Chardonnay, while Helan Qingxue winery released a Chardonnay as well as a rosé Cabernet Franc under the brand ‘Jia Bei Lan’ to celebrate the winery’s 10th anniversary. Non-Bordeaux varieties such as Syrah and Marselan are also gaining ground in Ningxia. It is widely believed that Helan Qingxue winery’s Jia Bei Lan winning the International Trophy for Red Bordeaux Varietal over £10 in the 2011 Decanter World Wine Awards helped significantly to put Ningxia on the international wine map.

New Moet Champagne that took 15 years to create
The new Moet Champagne, MCIII Brut 001.14, may not be the most catchy of Champagne names, but wine critic Tyson Stelzer believes that ‘Moet & Chandon has contrived what might rank as the most complex recipe for a prestige cuvee yet’. Its move comes at a time of heightened consumer interest in prestige cuvee Champagne, as reported by companies such as Pernod Ricard and Moet’s owner, LVMH. Moet has spent the past 15 years trialling its new Champagne, and several experimental bottlings have fallen by the wayside, writes Stelzer in an upcoming feature for Decanter magazine.

Yangarra Estate winemaker Peter Fraser is James Halliday’s pick of the bunch
FOR Peter Fraser, being crowned winemaker of the year — by the godfather of oenology, James Halliday — felt like winemaking itself. It took time to get to maturity. “It’s taken us 14 years to gradually get recognised,” said Peter, who in July was awarded the top wine gong for his work at Yangarra Estate in South Australia’s McLaren Vale. “Up until recently, a lot of people hadn’t heard of us. Wine writers around Australia are starting to talk about us and consider us reasonably successful.”

Four new directors join AGWA
Barnaby Joyce, Minister for Agriculture, yesterday announced four new faces will join three current directors and the Chair of the Australian Grape and Wine Authority (AGWA) from 1 October 2015 for a three-year tenure. “I want to thank outgoing directors— John Casella, John Forrest, Ian Henderson and Janice McDonald—for their work in establishing AGWA and providing strong leadership and clear strategic direction during the stand-up phase,” Joyce said.

Q&A: Penfolds Winemaker Kym Schroeter
The Penfolds veteran tells Adam Lechmere why making whites beats making reds any day. “This is my 29th year. I was 17 when I joined, straight out of high school. I started in the laboratory, then went into wine show preparation, putting samples together and so on, and traditionally that leads into red winemaking. Then I became assistant red winemaker under [then chief winemaker] John Duval. I was red winemaker for 10 years and then, from 2003 onwards, I've been on the whites.”

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