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News posted on Wednesday, 11 May 2016

China’s thirst for Australian wine continues to grow
Wine Australia celebrated a strong and positive reception from guests who attended the recent Wine Australia Roadshow in China. The Roadshow followed ‘Australia Week’ in China and highlighted the history and evolution of Australian wine to more than 1500 guests. Rui Liao, a journalist from Wine in China, said Andrew Caillard’s masterclass presented a very clear picture of the history and development of Australian wine.

Wine Australia invests $8.5 million in 12 new projects
Wine Australia announced it will invest $8.5 million over the next four years in 12 new research and development (R&D) projects. The new projects will be aimed at helping increase demand and the premium paid for Australian wine and increase the grape and wine sector’s competitiveness. Brian Walsh, Wine Australia chair, said he was delighted with the quality of the research projects that Wine Australia planned to fund through this round.

SA wine industry confused by funding cut
South Australian winemakers are confused and disappointed by a decision to strip nearly $1 million annually from an industry recognised as critical to the State’s economic future, according to the SA Wine Industry Association (SAWIA). The State Government today announced it would replace the Cellar Door Liquor Subsidy Scheme (CDLSS) that returned around $2.7 million a year to eligible businesses with an ongoing Wine Industry Development Scheme worth $1.8 million.

Seppelt Cellar Door: Local businessman offers iconic winery in Great Western last-minute reprieve
Ararat businessman Danial Ahchow has offered a lifeline to the historic Seppelt's winery in the tiny Victorian town of Great Western, just months before the cellar door was due to close. His Great Western Enterprises is set to sign a lease with Treasury Wine Estates, the conglomerate which owns the 150-year-old site. "I grew up in Ararat and I always had a passion for this beautiful set-up here in Seppelt," Ahchow said.

Demand drop behind 3Oceans cuts
Western Australia’s eighth biggest winemaker, 3 Oceans Wine Company has laid-off non-essential staff as it reconsiders its strategic direction in the face of falling demand from its key market in China. Owned by Hebei Qianjin Steel Group, which is controlled by Xibo Ma, 3Oceans has retained its winemaking team to see it through the 2016 vintage and keep the cellar door open at its Bussell Highway headquarters near Margaret River.

Seresin joins Louis Latour agencies
Biodynamic Marlborough estate Seresin Estate has signed up with Louis Latour Agencies as it seeks to grow its distribution with independent retailers and the on-trade. Seresin, which is owned by New Zealand-born cinematographer Michael Seresin, becomes the second biodynamic estate in Louis Latour’s portfolio alongside McHenry Hohnen of Margaret River, Australia.

Taking the plunge in a pigeage vat
A few weeks ago I found myself waist-deep (at times, alarmingly, a little deeper) in a vat of fermenting pinot noir. This is 'pigeage', the traditional Burgundian method of giving a ferment a healthy churn. You jump in and thresh about to extract more colour, tannin, and other goodies from the stems and skins. I was no pigeage virgin. Whenever I visit a winery over vintage I take my togs in case I get the call.

UK vineyards close to amber warning over pesticides
Britain’s burgeoning wine industry is facing a new “catastrophic” scenario over a failure to replace pesticide products whose approval has been revoked, the UK Vineyards Association (UKVA) as warned. “The toolbox is rapidly diminishing and at the same time resistance to the ones in use [mainly herbicides and fungicides] is growing; we are heading towards a catastrophically high risk scenario,” Chris Cooper, the UKVA’s pesticides expert said.

Women in wine: The Grand Dames of Champagne
Mother’s Day has come and gone but I like to celebrate all month—as the mother of three kids I think a month-long celebration is absolutely reasonable. Yet, in truth we should celebrate all women (mothers or not), especially ones who’ve faced down the odds and achieved great success. The wine and spirits business is full of such enterprising, dynamic and fierce females.

1400 bottles of DRC on sale in Geneva
Baghera Wines will auction over 1,400 bottles of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti in Geneva this month, at an auction its founder says will “go down in history”. The sale, taking place on 22 May, is just the second from new kid on the block, Baghera Wines (named after Dionysus’ panther companion), which was founded last year by former Christie’s employees, Michael Ganne, Julie Carpentier and Emmanuel Mercé.

Emily O’Hare launches Tuscan wine retreat
Emily O’Hare, former wine buyer and head sommelier at The River Café, has launched a service offering wine courses and yoga in a medieval Tuscan castle. The first “Wine Sense Retreat” will take place between 30 June and 4 July, with a second scheduled for 13-17 October at Castello di Potentino in Tuscany. During the five-day stay, attendees will be taught the WSET Level 1 introduction to wine with a focus on Italian wine and have the option of morning yoga classes with teacher Nadia Steward.

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