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News posted on Monday, 11 April 2016

Irrigators countdown to South Australia's Riverland water allocations
After months of frustration and calls for more information, Riverland irrigators will finally learn their minimum opening water allocations by the end of this month. The irrigation community has been desperate for updates about looming water restrictions, after recent dry conditions across the region and lower than average in-flows into the Murray's South Australian stretch.

Australian wine and the art of blending
The ability of some Australian winemakers to be able to commit to memory a library of their wines’ flavours and aromas has helped the country become increasingly renowned for its blends, writes Simone Madden-Grey.n The art of blending and the ability to assess individual parts, commit them to memory and create a vast library of aromas, flavours and structures from which to draw on at a point in the future is a unique talent. It is one that helped define the modern era of winemaking in Australia.

Aussie Wine Month launches trade comp
Wine Australia is launching a trade competition for Australian wineries, cellar doors, restaurants, bars and retailers as part of its Aussie Wine Month in May. The annual celebration of Australian wine runs events throughout May and those who register an event or promotion can enter a competition to win prizes valued at up to $4000. All off-premise retailers and on-premise venues that register an Aussie Wine Month event or promotion can win a place on Wine Australia’s Trade Immersion Program, a week-long hosted trip to a number of Australian wine regions.

New website connects wineries to consumer
Australian wineries under the financial pump from large retailers are being offered the chance to fight back through a new marketing strategy. Ecommerce company Haggle‘n’Handshake is providing a marketing platform that allows wineries to promote their products on a much larger scale through a website called Wine Haggler.

China's Fullshare uncorks Red Hill Estate trophy vineyards
China's Fullshare Group has demonstrated the appetite from Asian investors for premium Australian vineyards after snapping up the trophy Red Hill Estate on the Mornington Peninsula for just over $5 million. The highly-picturesque 17.4-hectare property on Shoreham Road in Red Hill South, in the renowned cool climate wine region, was established in 1989 by the late Australian businessman and philanthropist Sir Peter Derham and Lady Derham.

NZ wines to gain duty-free access to major markets under TPP
New Zealand wines, the country's sixth biggest export product, will gain duty-free access to seven new countries under the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, Trade Minister Todd McClay said Thursday. New Zealand already sold almost 1 billion NZ dollars (681.6 million U.S. dollars) worth of wine into the 11 other TPP countries, McClay said in a published speech to exporters in the Marlborough region at the top of the South Island.

Fromm Winery, making wine with a 'sense of place'
Harvest is the busiest time of year for Marlborough winemakers, but what really goes on behind those cellar doors? Wine reporter Oliver Lewis finds out. Behind the wall of the Fromm Winery cellar door, tanks of grapes sit fermenting in their skins, a pump draws juice from the press and the winemakers and harvest interns busily check samples. Leaning against the wooden counter, general manager winemaker William Hoare tries to put into words the elusiveness of the winemaking process playing out behind him.

And now Etienne Hugel leaves us
JANCIS ROBINSON: This is no fun, especially so soon after the loss of Paul Pontallier of Château Margaux. The illustrious Hugel family of Alsace report the sudden death of Etienne Hugel yesterday. Like Paul, Etienne had not even reached 60. He was just 57 and had the energy and enthusiasm, not to say wiry good looks, of someone in their early twenties. He successfully managed to fill the shoes of his uncle Johnny Hugel as the public face of Hugel, and was similarly beloved all over the world.

Constellation Brands to buy ‘luxury’ California wine labels
Constellation Brands is set to acquire five fast-growing luxury wine labels, operating under The Prisoner Wine Company banner, for an estimated US$285m. Constellation Brands will acquire brands including The Prisoner, Saldo, Cuttings, Blindfold and Thorn, all based in California, from fine wine company Huneeus Vintners, with the deal expected to close by the end of April.

Wine tipped to earn fairer deal in 2017 Budget by WSTA
The Wine & Spirit Trade Association is positive the wheels are in motion for a better outcome for wine in the 2017 Budget, following this year’s “disappointing” news of an inflationary duty rise. WSTA chief executive Miles Beale said environment secretary Liz Truss responded positively?to the organisation’s push to support English wine at a recent roundtable event, and that?this was a good starting point?for gaining traction for overall support for the wine industry.

d'Or to Door wine delivers the goods
Wine retailers reach new standards of excellence in the quality of the wines they import from Burgundy and elsewhere. We love the name of Heidi and Jeremy Holmes's cellar to glass wine retailing business, d'Or to Door. They specialise in the wines of Burgundy, which they import and sell directly to wine lovers without any middlemen taking an extra cut.

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