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News posted on Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Technology to fight Chinese knockoffs
As China's middle class develops a taste for imported food and drink, produce suppliers in Australia and New Zealand are looking to anti-counterfeiting technology to protect their growing business from counterfeit foods. Fruit and vegetable growers, wine producers and lamb farmers are teaming up with makers of tracking systems, codes and powders to combat fakes which cost the global food industry billions of dollars each year.

A rundown of the final draft for WET changes
The WET rebate scheme allows winemakers to claim a rebate of up to $500,000 on the tax they have paid, but that is all set to change now the Government's final draft of reforms has been released for a final review. Assistant Agriculture Minister Anne Ruston said the current scheme was being widely rorted and eligibility requirements needed to be tightened.

Lychee wine wins gold
It was a nervous wait but Childers winemakers Zoe Young and Josh Phillips have snared their first gold medal. The couple, who run Ohana Winery, took home a gold for their lychee wine at the 2017 Australian Fruit Wine Show, held in Tasmania. "It's fantastic - we thought (the wine) was pretty good so it's nice to have recognition from someone else," Ms Young said.

Jacob's Creek adds white to their signature range
Jacob’s Creek has added white wines to its Barossa Signature range, with the release of a Chardonnay and Riesling. These add to the Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon which were part of the initial Barossa Signature range in 2015. “These are wines from our home – made with great pride and reflecting our long history in the Barossa," says Jacob's Creek chief winemaker Ben Bryant.

The man who put BC on the wine map
This year marks Harry McWatters’s 50th vintage in the Canadian wine industry, and at 71, he’s opening another winery. “Harry McWatters has been the face and the heart of the British Columbia wine industry for 50 years,” wine expert Tony Aspler says. “His contribution to the Canadian wine scene is as large as his physical presence. He’s Canada’s Robert Mondavi.”

Jay Z releases new Champagne
Rapper Jay Z's champagne goes on sale on April 18, but only 2,333 bottles will be available in the U.S., and at a price: $850. Armand de Brignac, known as "Ace of Spades" because of the logo on the bottle, has launched Blanc de Noirs second assemblage – or blend – known as A2. Jay Z, real name Shawn Carter, bought the champagne from Sovereign Brands for an undisclosed amount back in 2014.

Asian wines gaining respect in Hong Kong
Thanks to advanced viticulture techniques and a growing appetite for wine in Asia, it is now possible to buy high-quality wines from across Asia. “Russian roulette is not my style and, in the past, that was the case with a lot of Asian wines,” says Eddie McDougall, owner of wine store and travel show The Flying Winemaker. That has changed in recent years. “It is not a gimmick anymore. I think ‘eat local, drink local’ sits well with a lot of people.”

Grapevine shoots and arm positioning
There is an interesting variability in the vineyard associated with arm positioning along the cordon. On the same spur-pruned cordon, different arm positions may exhibit variable characteristics and develop at different rates. At his talk at the Napa Vintage Report, Dr. Peterson of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, emphasized the importance of catching this variability early on and on a yearly basis to continually improve the fruit and wine quality.

Pinot improves in Australia and New Zealand
Pinot noir in Australia and New Zealand just gets better and better. Winemakers are building more experience and skill at handling the fruit; vineyard managers are producing better grapes and vineyards are maturing. Vineyards are located in more suitable sites than ever before.

Villa Maria voted most admired
Winemaker Villa Maria has been rated the world's fourth most respected wine brand, alongside the likes of Torres, Penfolds and Chateau Margaux. Five New Zealand brands made it into the top 50 of the Drinks International list. Founder and CEO of Villa Maria Estate Sir George Fistonich said it was very significant recognition for the local wine industry.

Flavour and varietal preference in NZ
Wine Intelligence's latest report, Flavour and varietal preference in the New Zealand wine market 2017, builds on our recent findings in Australia, and reveals which varietals and wine styles New Zealand regular wine drinkers truly prefer.


London to host bottled in market conference
The prestigious International Bulk Wine and Spirits show is to hold its two-day 2018 conference in London in January. Sid Patel, chief executive of event organiser, Beverage Trade Network, explains why it is bringing the show to London and why bottled in market wine has such a big role to play in the on-trade.

#V17 Biosecurity Tips
#V17 tip #11: Provide a wash down facility to enable cleaning of machinery and equipment before it leaves your property. #Vinehealth

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WID 2017