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News posted on Thursday, 12 May 2016

New industry scheme to support SA wine sector
The State Government yesterday announced it will be introducing a $1.8 million a year industry development scheme to support a stronger and sustainable South Australian wine sector. The government claims the new scheme will benefit all South Australian wine regions and assist individual wine businesses of varying sizes.

Funding cut ‘will hurt wineries vital to tourism’
The stripping of up to $900,000 in support for the South Australian wine industry will hurt the wineries vital to regional tourism, says the SA Wine Industry Association. The State Government announced today that it will introduce a new wine industry development scheme worth $1.8 million a year to replace the “antiquated and inequitable” Cellar Door Liquor Subsidy Scheme (CDLSS).

Winery continues fight to scrap wine equalisation tax
A winery in northern New South Wales says it may cut jobs and ties with the domestic market if the Federal Government's wine equalisation tax (WET) reforms go ahead. The 2016 budget revealed the cap on the WET rebate will be lowered to $350,000 from July 1, 2017 and then to $290,000 from July 1, 2018. The reforms will also see tougher eligibility criteria for the rebate which has been welcomed by John Cassegrain, managing director of Cassegrain Wines.

McWilliams makes play for UK on-trade
The UK on-trade is key to helping Australia reposition its wines at higher price points, a vital step in securing the category’s long-term future in this market, believes McWilliam’s export director. Speaking to the drinks business at the London Wine Fair last week, Mark Hely, McWilliam’s export director, said a lot of Australian winemakers had “given up” on the UK market, believing it to be “too tough”.

Do consumers care where wine brands come from or how they're made?
I'm at something of a crossroads when it comes to knowing what it is that today's consumers - particularly Millennials - want to drink. On the one hand, the big spirits brands are targeting the demographic using heritage and authenticity while, on the other, Millennial wine drinkers appear to want their wine brands to keep things simple. Earlier this week, Treasury Wine Estates announced plans to launch its Californian wine brand, Blossom Hill, in Australia.

Damon Harvey: Leadership needed to brand Bay
Months have passed since amalgamation was wiped from the floor as the best option for getting our five Hawke's Bay councils together. Following the overwhelming decision, we were promised by our leaders that they would work more closely and identify initiatives that are regional. One example used was the regional economic development strategy (REDS), a plan that commenced in 2014 but it is still yet to surface.

Toast Martinborough turns 25
One of New Zealand’s premier wine, food and music festivals has grown up, reaching its dignified Silver Anniversary. Toast Martinborough celebrated its first event in 1992 and returns this year on 20 November in the heart of the Wairarapa wine growing region. Anna Nielson, General Manager, said 2016 has been a very exciting year for the region. “Back in 1992 when Toast began, the newest tipple was Nouveau Rouge and Shortland Street had just come on our TV’s,” she said.

California winery hires earthworms to clean up its wastewater
Next time you open a bottle of merlot or chardonnay, be sure to thank the vintner. And you might want to toast the worms, as well. Everyday earthworms are the latest solution to a thorny problem that most wine drinkers never consider: wastewater disposal. Producing a single glass of California wine may require as much as 14 gallons of water. Much of that water is used to clean the winery and bottling equipment after processing grapes.

Climate change leaves its stain on European wine
With warmer winters and drier summers, climate change might even be having an effect on your favourite bottle of wine. Winemakers are already witnessing changes. In France, the Burgundy region had its driest July in 66 years in 2015, while Italian producers are planting different grape varieties due to more intense summers.

Vintrigue to bring eye-catching wines into UK
Lanchester Wines, the UK wine distribution arm of the Lanchester group of companies, has launched a premium brand development business named Vintrigue. Specialising in connecting family-owned wineries with the UK market, Vintrigue’s mission is to identify premium, family-owned, wine producers and bring their wines to the UK consumer in eye-catching and relevant packaging.

French winemaker threats secure Tour de France deal
Organisers of the Tour de France 2016 have agreed a promotional deal with winemakers in southern France in order to avoid a threatened blockade of the annual cycling race. Winemakers in the Aude area of Languedoc-Roussillon had threatened to disrupt the Tour de France 2016 when it passed through their region, because the organising body had earlier signed up a Chilean wine brand as an event sponsor.

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