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News posted on Monday, 12 January 2015

Treasures from the late Barossa legend Peter Lehmann’s wine cellar are going up for sale
A vast collection of wines considered to be a national treasure has been unlocked from the Barossa legend Peter Lehmann’s private cellar to be sold to collectors, history buffs and wine lovers. The first lots of thousands of wines ranging in vintages from 1945 to 1976 have been released by Peter Lehmann’s wife Margaret and sons David and Phil after being catalogued and many tasted by Jeremy Holmes, Barossa-based vintage wine expert. The cellar, which Peter Lehmann thought of as a “museum” or “library” was always considered more than just a collection for old wines’ sake.

Hunter vignerons urged to rethink using wastewater for irrigation
Hunter Valley vignerons are being urged to consider better ways to re-use wastewater, using new guidelines developed by the CSIRO. A three-year trial has looked at options for the use of wastewater on vineyards - including irrigation, evaporation and disposal. Anu Kumar, project leader, said it found irrigation was the most sustainable. "For the wineries, they're in this business of growing wine, so the best option is to irrigate with this water on wine," she said.

Canberra region fine wines increase in popularity
Canberra district fine wines have been labelled the "flavour of the month" with many vignerons experiencing an increased demand for their boutique-labelled beverages. The growing market for Canberra's fine wine has been occurring steadily for a few years, however in the last six months wine producers have been feeling the pressure. Bill Crowe, Four Winds co-owner, previously worked as a winemaker in the Napa Valley. Four years ago he started at the family-run vineyard near Murrumbateman, and the winery has been doubling production every year.

Strong and stoic: surviving the devastation
The five-hectare expanse of Frank Baldasso’s destroyed Viognier vines looks, from any distance, as green as the rest. Come closer and you notice that the fruit is withered, and the undersides of the vines are brown. The grapes taste like smoke. Frank was alone on Saturday morning, defending his shed on the western side of the property, when the Sampson Flat fire came roaring over the hill in front of him. Country Fire Service volunteers managed to keep the flames from jumping the road separating his Kenton Valley property from his neighbour’s. But the wind was erratic, and the fire was approaching the property, at pace, from every direction.

Future Leaders returns in 2015: Be Next
People with the skills to ‘be next’ and contribute to the future success of the Australian wine community are invited to apply for Future Leaders, the grape and wine sector’s leadership development program. Funded by the sector and coordinated by the Australian Grape and Wine Authority (AGWA), Future Leaders will be offered to 15 applicants with open, creative, inquisitive minds who are early- to mid-career and already demonstrating leadership potential. Anne Duncan, AGWA Program Manager, said that Future Leaders is for committed wine people who want to develop leadership skills, extend their knowledge of the sector and foster collaborative partnerships.

Summer heat good for grape quality
Marlborough vineyard owners are happy that warmer conditions experienced in recent weeks point towards quality grapes for the 2015 vintage. The hotter weather has helped growth following on from cooler patches last year that slowed vine and grape development. The owners are now trimming their vines to make the most of the developing grapes. Jane Hunter, owner of Hunters Wine, was reluctant to make predictions this far out from the 2015 harvest, which would take place around late March, early April. But she was encouraged by the warmer conditions for her Rapaura Road, Wairau Valley operation outside Blenheim.

Waiheke Island's fine time for wine
Glorious weather is boosting the chances of a vintage to remember for winegrowers on Waiheke Island. The tourist hotspot in the Hauraki Gulf, just 35 minutes by boat from Auckland, has been building a reputation for its wines since its first boutique vineyards became established in the 1980s. Since then, more than 30 now pepper the island between Oneroa in the west and eastern Man O'War Bay. The island's second-oldest vineyard is Stonyridge in Onetangi and David Jackson, business manager, said grapegrowing conditions were currently excellent.

USA: Wine trends for 2015
Although sales of wine have recovered strongly from the depths of the recession, Impact Databank reports that the total U.S. wine market only grew 0.3 per cent in 2014 to a volume of 322 million nine-litre cases. The tepid sales result largely from weak on-premise sales in restaurants and bars. The report is from the current edition of The U.S. Wine Market: Impact Databank Review and Forecast. The report said that the sparkling wine segment drove what growth there was, with an estimated increase in volume of 3 per cent to 16 million cases.

Future of French wine may reside in the Rhone region known for its reds
In the face of astronomic price hikes in Bordeaux over the past few years, and with prices also rising in Burgundy, smart consumers seeking French wine should be looking to the Rhone region. Like Bordeaux it makes a small amount of great white wine, but very much concentrates on reds. How does one get to get to grips with the Rhone? It is broken into two distinct sub-regions, the Northern and Southern. Each has its own identity. The north, with its mild summers and harsh winters, starts with the sharp inclines of the Cote Rotie where only Syrah and a little Viognier are grown.

Terlato Wines acquires Juliana Vineyard in California
Terlato Wines International has increased its vineyard holdings with the acquisition of Juliana Vineyard in Pope Valley, California. The Juliana Vineyard offers Merlot and Cabernet Franc, which is used in the making of Rutherford Hill Merlot and select Rutherford Hill Bordeaux-style blends. Terlato family previously had a long-term lease on the Juliana Vineyard and developed the vineyard in 1998. Commenting on the acquisition, Terlato Wines CEO William A. Terlato said, "This was a strategic acquisition for us."

Wine heists highlight value of luxury vino
Thieves with a nose for some of the world’s most sought-after wines found what they were looking for twice in 2014 inside two exclusive Wine Country restaurants only blocks apart. The heists were timed perfectly, when the restaurants were closed for winter remodelling and security alarms were not set. The thieves apparently knew exactly what they wanted, including bottles of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, or DRC, which can command up to $10,000 a bottle and often are compared to works of art.

Wine heists highlight value of luxury vino
Thieves with a nose for some of the world’s most sought-after wines found what they were looking for twice in 2014 inside two exclusive Wine Country restaurants only blocks apart. The heists were timed perfectly, when the restaurants were closed for winter remodelling and security alarms were not set. The thieves apparently knew exactly what they wanted, including bottles of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, or DRC, which can command up to $10,000 a bottle and often are compared to works of art.

Yeast Nutrition – FermControl & FermControl BIO
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