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News posted on Wednesday, 11 January 2017

First wine grapes picked in Swan Valley
Western Australia's oldest wine producing region is experiencing a later start to harvest this year, but winemakers are anticipating an exceptional vintage. Duncan Harris, from Harris Organic Wines in the Swan Valley, has picked his first grapes of the season, harvesting an early variety called Madeleine, also known as Sweetwater. Mr Harris said the grapes will be turned into a Flor Fino sherry, "which these days is called Apera". His next pick will be for Chardonnay, but like the rest of the region, Mr Harris will have to wait, as the fruit continues to slowly ripen.

Small winemakers see strong growth
Small winemaking businesses generated $1 billion in wine sales revenue in 2015–16, an average increase of 12 per cent, according to the Small Winemaker Production and Sales Survey 2016 results released today by Wine Australia. While retailers and wholesalers generated 47 per cent of income, cellar doors have become increasingly important sales channels, accounting for 27 per cent of revenue. With food and wine tourism on the rise, many small wineries are now also attracting consumers to their region via on-site restaurants, cafes, tours and boutique accommodation, in addition to the traditional cellar door.

Shopping at Algorithm Cellars
There's no escaping algorithms, whether you're a Centrelink client, a social media user or a target of the fast-moving consumer goods sector. Some ghoulish god somewhere must know which algorithm wrote the algorithm for Centrelink. Or indeed just how many past generations of algorithms we’d have to traverse before we hit a human. Like a living being, made out of meat. The sort of thinking creature that would be driven to drink by the very notion of the algotime which Centrelink’s algorithms have conjured and imposed.

Better coverage key in vine sprayer
Tasmanian vineyard, Goaty Hill has invested in new technology adding a Silvan Turbo SCRAM vineyard sprayer to its fleet. Turbo SCRAM technology delivers a range of benefits including better leaf coverage and a reduction in chemical use, according to Silvan. The company has patented the Silvan Centrifugal Remote Air Model (SCRAM) technology which was developed in conjunction with some of Australia’s major vineyards. Silvan said SCRAM provided unparalleled vine coverage with water and chemical savings and delivered high velocity air for optimum penetration and even spray coverage into the canopy.

Celebrating the best in local wine with music
This year, Music SA joined forces with the Hot 100 Wines as the not-for-profit company paired local wine with music from South Australia’s wine regions through curated playlists that were played during the tastings. To do this, the team from Music SA chose music that reflected the cultural and aesthetic attributes for each region, so the Adelaide Hills’ playlist evoked folky forests and winter-like emotions while the music from the Fleurieu Peninsula featured beachy and upbeat music. The seven playlists are available to listen to on Spotify.

From peak to peak – New Zealand’s pinot pioneer
Escaping Cold War tensions in his homeland of Switzerland in the early 1980s, Hätsch Kalberer of Marlborough’s Fromm Winery, was one of the revolutionaries responsible for making one of New Zealand’s first commercial Pinot Noirs. As the story goes, Hätsch got a job as a hose dragger at Matawhero Wines, on his arrival to the wild and woolly Southern land, where he slowly learnt the art of winemaking. As the story goes, Hätsch got a job as a hose dragger at Matawhero Wines, on his arrival to the wild and woolly Southern land, where he slowly learnt the art of winemaking.

Peter Stevens: Traceability key for China trade
Food quality and food safety are huge concerns in China. New Zealand businesses must share those concerns if they are to continue growing the volume and value of their food and beverages sold to the increasingly affluent Chinese public. We might think New Zealand milk products, meat, wine, honey and so on are world-leading on quality and safety. But what actually matters is our capacity for maintaining and protecting the quality and safety of every shipment to China – and our capacity to answer the questions of consumers in that market. In short, New Zealand producers and exporters need to get really serious about the "T" word.

California wine country is hit hard by storms
Wine country in Sonoma County was hit hard by recent storms, which have brought up to 13 inches of rain since Friday. Rolling hills and vineyards along the scenic route known as River Road were submerged Monday with just the tips of vines visible in completely flooded fields. The Russian River in Sonoma rose to its highest level since 2006, spilling over its banks and forcing the closure of schools and roads.

'Port sales are not in decline’ says Fells MD
Port sales are not in decline, says Steve Moody, MD at Fells – the UK importer for Symington Family Estates – in response to WSTA figures published last month recording a drop in Port sales over the past 10 years in the UK. Following a story on thedrinksbusiness.com which stated that fortified wine sales in the UK have more than halved in the past 10 years, Moody put up a strong defence of the Port market, noting that it was a “dynamic and value-generating sector” that was “not in decline”.

Stellenbosch: home of cape cabernet
Stellenbosch has the wine, the people and the natural beauty to rival any wine tourism region on earth. If the district leads with any variety in particular, then it leads with Cabernet Sauvignon but are global wine drinkers really aware of it and its wines? For one thing, Stellenbosch hasn’t been making benchmark Cabernet Sauvignon for very long, not when compared to Bordeaux, the traditional home of the variety. Kevin Arnold of Waterford situated on one of Stellenbosch’s most significant mountains called the Helderberg suggests that the 1960s and 1970s were a pivotal time in the establishment of the variety in the area.

Prosecco fuels Aldi’s Christmas
Sales of Prosecco fueled a record Christmas for discounter Aldi in the UK, as it revealed it sold more than 13.5m bottles of wine during December. The discounter reported overall sales up 15% across its branches during the Christmas period, but highlighted in particular the strength of its BWS category, although no like-for-like sales have been released. More than 2 million bottles of the Italian sparkler were sold by the discounter during December – estimated at 69,000 each day across the month, with 13.5m bottles of sparkling and still wine over the month.





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WID 2017