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News posted on Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Wine Communicator Award winners named
Wine Communicators of Australia (WCA) announced the nine winners of its Wine Communicator Awards at an event held last night. Richard Smart, long-time contributor to the Wine & Viticulture Journal and The Australian and New Zealand Grapegrower & Winemaker magazine, took out the award for best trade or technical wine writer while Tyson Stelzer was awarded both the wine communicator of the year and digital communicator of the year awards.

Wine Grenade bad fit for Marlborough
A new invention is set to revolutionise the wine industry, but it is unlikely to cause much of an explosion in Marlborough. The handheld device, dubbed the Wine Grenade, is designed to accelerate the ageing process of wine by adding oxygen so that vintages can reach the table faster. It promises to cut back the two-year ageing wait to just six months and will also save tens of thousands of dollars by eliminating the cost of shipping barrels from overseas and other production costs.

Pair match wines to your tastes
WineFriend is New Zealand's first and only online wine retailer to deliver curated cases of wine matched to individual 'personalities'. The brainchild of NZME wine columnist and Thirsty Work presenter Yvonne Lorkin and wine industry veteran Debbie Sutton, WineFriend takes the hassle and guesswork out of enjoying a great bottle at a reasonable price. Colleen Thorpe asks them some questions and tries some wine ...

One winemaker’s quixotic quest to save California’s wine industry from climate change
Other winemakers respect him. Wine drinkers of all levels know his brands. Journalists love him. But winemaker Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon Vineyard doesn’t need any of it. After more than 40 years in the industry, Graham has maintained his reputation for breaking the mould. He talks like a philosopher with the soul of a scientist, but it’s just as likely that we’ve got the two mixed up.

California 2015 wines ‘scarce but promising’
A warm, early spring set the clock ticking to make California 2015 the earliest harvest of the new millennium. In many areas, inclement weather during flowering resulted in shattered grape clusters, making small quantities inevitable from the very beginning. Vines fatigued by three years of drought and three consecutive generous vintages (2012-2014) also tended to produce smaller berries than usual.

Vintner tests water-wise waste-to-energy innovation
Sonoma State University researchers are testing a new microbial treatment system that could allow greater reuse of winery wastewater for vineyard irrigation plus make electricity without methane combustion. A pilot system was installed at D’Argenzio Winery in the Vintners Square commercial development on Cleveland Avenue in Santa Rosa in October.

Trade reacts to wine trends report
Wine trends show economic positivity in the UK, according to the latest Wine Intelligence UK Landscapes 2015 Report. Findings released today showed that drinkers are drinking wine in formal restaurants more often, but also in bars and pubs – where they’re spending 21% more on a bottle than they did two years ago. Sparkling wine is also shown to be a category in growth – prosecco in particular. The Italian sparkler has gained four million consumers since 2013.

Macedon Ranges wineries escape unscathed after Lancefield bushfires
WINERIES in the Macedon Ranges have escaped unscathed from the bushfire that tore through their region last month. The blaze came close to the edge of some vineyards, but there was no damage or smoke taint in grapes, giving Macedon’s biggest wine festival the go ahead. Llew Knight from Granite Hills Winery at Baynton said the Lancefield fire was near his vineyard but his grapes were not affected.

Australian Prosecco selling like hotcakes
A “Prosecco” from Western Australia that aims to go head-to-head with the Italian sparkler has just been released and is already selling well, its maker has reported. een to capitalise on the runaway success of Italian sparkler Prosecco, sales of which are booming all over the world, WA winemaker Larry Cherubino has launched his own Australian “Prosecco”.

2015 AAVWS award results
The Grapegrower & Winemaker were media sponsors of this year’s Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show (AAVWS). This year’s winners have been announced after a series of events held in Mildura over the weekend. Aiming to provide an alternative to the mainstream wine shows, the AAVWS stands as a dedicated forum for emerging wine varieties and attracts more than 700 entries from across Australia and New Zealand. More than 500 medals were handed out through the event, with 82 Golds, 146 Silver and 298 Bronze.

WFA announces new leadership team
The Winemakers’ Federation of Australia held its 26th annual general meeting this week and appointed its Board for the 2015-16 year. Tony D’Aloisio AM continues as President of the Federation and says the organisation has been relentless in its work with government this year to help market Australian wine to the world. “We can grow market share and reform the Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) rebate so it can continue to support our wine communities,” Mr D’Aloisio said.

Joanna Andrew appointed as WGGA chair
Wine Grape Growers Australia (WGGA) announced Joanna Andrew as its new chair at an AGM held yesterday. Taking over from Vic Patrick, who served in the position for the past five years, Andrews is set to commence the role this month when Patrick retires. Brian Walsh, Chair of Wine Australia, congratulated Vic Patrick on his outstanding contribution to the Australian grape and wine community over the years.

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