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News posted on Friday, 12 June 2015

An underground wine cellar in Tasmania is for sale, for $3 million
On the mainland, $3 million can buy you a fair bit – a six-bedroom home in Manly, or even Port Melbourne penthouse. However if neither of those ideas takes your fancy, you could also spend that money on a wine cellar in Tasmania. The clifftop property is a 20-minute drive from Hobart, and includes 8 hectares of land, a 300-square-metre shed, and the most unusual wine cellar in Australia. The wine cellar is housed in a tunnel that is a staggering nine stories deep. Like something out of a Bond film, it took mining experts six-and-a-half months to build.

Riverland: More wine tax chatter
Riverland: Recent media coverage has helped to establish this particular tax issue as a serious concern for our regional economy and community, not merely wine grape growers and winemakers. National newspapers are keeping the issue alive with various editorial and opinion articles. Up until now the term volumetric tax has been used. In recent days this has been replaced by the term ‘flat tax’ rated at $2.20 per litre or approximately $1.65 per bottle.

The Duck's new Puddlers
LAST September, 240 people around Australia received a surprise gift of a $100 bottle of Shiraz in a handsome red gum presentation box, with a note informing them that they were "Puddlers". The $30,000 exercise was the brainwave of David Anderson of Wild Duck Creek Wines at Heathcote, 120 kilometres north-north-west of Melbourne. The gift bottle of Wild Duck Creek 2012 Shiraz Reserve was David's way of thanking people who had been buying his wines for the past 10 to 23 years.

Aussie wine soars at Chinese Roadshow
Wine Australia’s China Roadshow 2015 on 22–29 May saw more than 50 Australian wineries and brands in partnership with 35 exhibitors engage directly with influential decision makers in the Chinese trade. Passing through Xi’an, Dalian, Nanjing and Guangzhou, the event showcased more than 300 wines from numerous regions to influential wine trade and media in the country. Willa Yang, Wine Australia regional manager, said the China Roadshow was critical in supporting Australian wine in China.

Air New Zealand appoints world renowned wine consultants
Air New Zealand has appointed two of the world’s leading wine judges and commentators to its wine selection program. Linda Murphy is based in Sonoma County in the United States and is one of the world’s most sought after wine judges. Linda is co-author, with Jancis Robinson MW, of American Wine: The Ultimate Companion to the Wines and Wineries of United States. She is also Contributing Editor to Food and Wine magazine’s Wine Guide and is a regular contributor to leading wine publications, such as Decanter and WineReviewOnline.

Global recognition for wines produced from organic Clayvin Vineyard
The prized organic Clayvin Vineyard in Marlborough, owned by Giesen Wines, is growing its reputation on the global stage for producing ultra premium, award winning wines. Giesen purchased the coveted 13.4ha vineyard earlier this year, after sourcing its grapes from 2011 and leasing it since 2013. Developed in 1991, Clayvin was Marlborough’s first commercial hillside vineyard. Wholly organic, the block comprises 7.8ha of Pinot Noir vines, 3.36ha of Chardonnay, 1ha of Syrah, and another hectare of younger Sauvignon Blanc vines.

France plans to lure more tourists with wine tours
France wants to develop wine tours in its countryside as part of a series of measures aimed at boosting tourism and retaining the country's position as the top destination in the world. France's foreign affairs minister, Laurent Fabius, set Thursday a target of 100 million foreign tourists per year by 2020, up from 84 million now. "Tourism is a national treasure," he told a news conference. "Wine is an important sector to attract foreign customers in our beautiful wine-growing regions that are still under-visited: Bordeaux, Bourgogne, Languedoc, Rhone, Champagne, etc."

New Corkscrew app makes wine lists searchable and considers wine preferences
A new wine app called Corkscrew collects wine lists from restaurants, makes them searchable and, whenever you choose a wine, garners enough information over time to predict which wines you might like on the next list you open. At launch this week, the app allows users to navigate wine lists at more than 8,000 restaurants in over 50 cities. The free iOS app doesn’t have every Los Angeles restaurant wine list in its sights yet, but it has enough to be useful.

French Parliament backs controversial Evin Law change
France's Parliament has voted to make the country's controversial Evin Law, which governs wine and alcohol publicity, more flexible - only a few days before French president François Hollande is due to open the Vinexpo wine fair in Bordeaux. The amendment to the law, proposed by Republican senator Gerard César, will now permit a greater distinction between advertising and education. If passed into legislation, the Evin Law would still ban advertising on wine and other alcohol, but educational articles and wine tourism ventures will not be at risk of breaking the law.

Australian wine producer puts faith in ‘cigar’ barrels
Fraser Gallop has become one of the first Australian wine producers in Margaret River to use 'cigar' shaped oak barrels, in an effort to make the winery's Sauvignon Blanc more distinctive. Fraser Gallop has begun trialling the barrels to try to create a more complex style of Australian Sauvignon Blanc. Winemaker Clive Otto said the cigar barrels were intended to maximise lees contact and enhance thiol characteristics in the wine. These 265-litre barrels are longer and narrower than traditional barrels and were initially designed for use in Didier Dagueneau’s renowned Silex wines.

‘Unfair’ levy a barrier to raising wine exports bar
Australia’s “unfair” tax system on wine will handicap the industry’s efforts to increase exports to China and other Asian destinations, and encourage an unsustainable oversupply of lower-quality grapes and wine, Jacob’s Creek owner Pernod Ricard says. In a submission to the federal government’s tax white paper, the company calls for a fixed $2.20-a-litre tax rate on wine. This flat rate would replace the complex ad valorem tax which has damaged overseas promotion of premium brands.

Drinking wine every night hasn't done me any harm
OPINION: As yet another piece of research warns the elderly – and especially women – of the dangers of daily drinking, I wonder whether any of us takes the slightest bit of notice? I know I don’t. For me, my nightly glass or two of wine is one of the few things that makes life worth living. However ghastly my day has been, however worrying the latest bill, I know that I can consign my worries to instant oblivion with that first wonderful sip of chilled white wine out of the fridge. And if I’ve had a fantastic day, that same sip of wine at six o’clock on the dot can only enhance it.

AB Mauri



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