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News posted on Friday, 11 September 2015

OPINION: Wine Equalisation Tax disadvantaging Australia's wine industry
Submissions to the Federal Government's Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) Rebate Discussion Paper close this Friday - let's hope this inquiry will bring some equity and simplification, asked Des Caulfield, director at accounting firm MGI Adelaide. "The Australian wine industry is one of the nation's most competitive industries globally, yet Australia is one of the highest taxed wine nations in the world."

But, where are we going to sell our wine?
Problems in China have spooked the wine industry in recent months. Chris Losh takes a look at what has gone wrong in the country, and where else wine producers could look to sell their wares. Have you heard of the ‘Peak Wine Theory’? It’s the idea that wine consumption has reached its maximum level, and that, volume-wise, it’s all downhill from here. It’s been discussed for much of the last ten years.

Australian named global CMO of Armand de Brignac
Luxury champagne brand, Armand de Brignac, has poached Moet Hennessy director and Australian native, Bernadette Knight, as its new global chief marketing officer as it sets out a new brand course and international growth plans. Knight has spent more than a decade in the luxury wine and spirits industry, and was most recently the US director for Hennessy Cognac. She has also worked with champagne brands such as Veuve Clicquot, Krug, Ruinart and Taittinger.

Month long celebration of food and wine to bring thousands to Mudgee
September is one busy month for Mudgee, thanks to the Wine and Food Festival’s four weeks of tastings, events, celebrations, and evenings out. President of Mudgee Wine Grape Growers, Ted Cox, said there was a huge number of activities and events on during September that were expected to draw in quite a crowd. “We’re certainly doing a lot of different things this year,” Mr Cox said. Things have certainly changed since Mr Cox first began involved with wine in Mudgee.

Alcohol warning labels a bit blurry says new study
Australia’s current alcohol warning labels are failing to effectively convey health messages to the public, according to a new study from Deakin University. Researchers with Deakin’s School of Psychology examined awareness of the voluntary warning labels and the ‘Get the facts’ logo that directs consumers to the industry-led informational website DrinkWise, and whether alcohol consumers visited this site.

Why some winemakers don’t just put a cork in it
In New Zealand, virtually every wine in the country is bottled under screwcap, while in Spain, cork is mandated. Bottle closures can be real corks, synthetic corks, screwcaps, glass stoppers—but is one better than the others? A few weeks ago I was sitting on a suburban commuter train bound for New York when a group of men who looked to be in their late 30s entered the car.

Craggy Range tells 2013 success story
Craggy Range has officially launched its top-end wines from the 2013 harvest, which the New Zealand producer hailed “the vintage of a generation”. “There’s always been a huge amount of belief about what we’re doing at Craggy Range and a huge amount of ambition,” remarked chief winemaker Matt Stafford as he introduced the winery’s Prestige Collection at an event in London this week. “We’ve always set out to get the best from the land and 2013 was the culmination of that for us.”

Has Champagne lost its pop?
THE AVENUE DE CHAMPAGNE in Épernay, France, is the most famous address in the world of sparkling wine. Beginning at the Place de la République, the road stretches east through Champagne country—a straight line of villas and mansions housing some of the biggest names in fizzy wine: Perrier-Jouët, Pol Roger and Möet & Chandon. For three centuries, Champagne, an area of 30,000 hectares, was the only name that counted when it came to sparkling wine.

Wine counterfeiter appeals conviction
Rudy Kurniawan is fighting an uphill battle to have his conviction for counterfeiting wine tossed out. Lawyers for the 38-year-old Indonesian submitted their final brief to a New York federal appeals court last week. A panel of appellate judges is expected to hear oral arguments on the case in December. Much of Kurniawan's appeal has centered on tossing out the extensive evidence FBI agents found when they searched his Arcadia, Calif., home on the day of his arrest in March 2012.

US wine packaging market
Demand for wine packaging in the US is projected to reach $2.9 billion in 2019. Growth will benefit from continued favourable gains in domestic wine consumption and production and increases in disposable personal income. In the US, wine is becoming more prevalent as an accompaniment to meals at home rather than a beverage consumed at restaurants or special events. Opportunities for related packaging will benefit from the importance of packaging both as a marketing tool and for its ability to enhance the perception of wine quality.

The next great Bordeaux wine scientist
Wine scientist Axel Marchal has been tipped by heavyweights such as Roederer’s Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon as a rising star of Bordeaux wine, but his natural habitat is the laboratory not the cellar. The science of oenology is surely due a rebrand. Just as the best computer programmers are now coding superstars with their own agents, the profile of those working to uncover the DNA of wine is rising.


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