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News posted on Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Could a succession plan protect your region?
Succession planning for vineyard businesses and the future integrity of South Australia’s wine regions will be hot topics at the annual SA Wine Grape Growers Summit on 28 July in Barossa. When the Barossa Grape & Wine Association (BGWA) surveyed grapegrowers toward the end of 2015 there was an eyebrow-raising number of respondents who indicated they were planning to leave the industry. About 30% of the local growers said they planned an exit in the next five to 10 years. “It was a bit of a wake-up call,” said Nicki Robins, BGWA’s viticultural development officer. Source, Grapegrower & Winemaker.

Hunter farewells Murray Robson
Few people have matched the passion, persistence, panache and pursuit of perfection of Murray Robson in his 47 years in Hunter wine. Murray, who died aged 85 on June 26, was ever the innovator, renowned for his exemplary wines with their hand-signatured labels. He was a three-time “founding father” of what are now the prestigious Davis family Briar Ridge and Pepper Tree operations and the Agnew group’s Audrey Wilkinson brand. Source, Newcastle Herald.

Odour may be key to pest insect control
Disrupting insects’ sense of smell may save crops and human lives, according to a recent study. The study conducted by the Australian National University and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) was done to determine how an odorant-degrading enzyme, thought to be present in insect antennae, affects processing of odorants in sensory neurons of an insect’s brain. Source, Riverine Herald.

Engaging with the source of the drift
One of the wine industry’s favourite sprays is Monsanto’s glyphosate-based Roundup. You can see who uses it: any stripes of bare ground beneath a vine row is the work of this highly-efficient herbicide. Monsanto’s up in arms as country after country bars the unregulated sale of the stuff. As of July 7 that glowing fruit basket, California, has dared to list it as a poison. This follows the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifying glyphosate as a “probable carcinogen”. Source, InDaily.

Australian wines win best at Catad'Or Awards
Taylors Wines from South Australia's Clare Valley have picked up two Great Gold medals and two Silver medals at the prestigious Catad'Or Wine Awards in Chile. Third generation winemaker and managing director Mitchell Taylor says the win in Santiago is a great achievement and will boost the winery's exports to China. Source, Sky News.

‘Tornado’ of hail hits Beaujolais vineyards
A fierce hailstorm hit the Beaujolais region at 4:45pm on 10 July. It’s a case of déjà-vu for some producers after the same corridor of Beaujolais vineyards suffered from hail in June 2016, said Mélina Condy from region wine body InterBeaujolais. "But this is on a on a bigger and wider scale," she told Decanter.com.

How important are tasting notes?
Lisa Perrotti-Brown has seen a lot of tasting note hate lately: people questioning the validity, worth and relevance of tasting notes. As someone who has a good portion of a garage devoted to storing cherished notebooks filled with hand-scrawled tasting notes going right back to the beginning of her wine career, and Perrotti-Brown finds this as tragic as the demise of book stores. Source, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate.

Identifying nutrient deficiencies
Leaf discolouration from solid green at any time other than autumn is a sign the leaves are under severe stress. In many cases a severe nutrient deficiency is the cause. The discolouration can have a characteristic shape and colour that indicates which nutrient is deficient. This article explores some of the examples. Source, Lodigrowers.com.

Spain: Beyond a price-based discussion
A recent Harpers Spain round table with leading buyers from across the trade agreeing that a mixture of necessity and opportunity has shifted the UK focus onto quality over quantity with Spanish wines. With Spain losing bottom end market share, down 10% in volume across 2016 (Nielsen, off-trade to 31.12.16), but reporting only a 7% loss of off-trade value, while growing its value share of the on-trade by 2% over the same period, the consensus was that the concept of quality Spanish wines has reached a critical point with UK buyers. Source, Harpers.co.uk

Your next lesson: NZ Sauvignon Blanc
Sauvignon blanc put New Zealand on the map as a wine-producing country, and its brash, herbaceous style proved highly popular with consumers. The classic New Zealand style has remained influential as producers from South America to the United States to South Africa to France itself have emulated it. When good, the wines can be energetic, vivacious and brisk. Source, New York Times.

New horticultural officer appointed
Grower concerns about the need for a coordinated approach to labour in the horticulture and viticulture industries in Gisborne have borne fruit with the appointment of a person to do that work. The Tairawhiti Labour Governance Group made up of local horticultural industry leaders, the Ministry of Social Development and Horticulture NZ, has launched a project to that end. It will promote careers and align jobseekers with the growing opportunities in the horticultural sector. Source, The Gisborne Herald.

Top 100 Wines open for entry
The 38th Sydney International Wine Competition – the only international wine show that judges all its finalists in combination with appropriate food – has opened for entry. Wineries have till 15 September to enter. Source, Winetitles.

2017 Melbourne International Wine Competition results
Results are in for the fourth year of the Melbourne International Wine Competition.

2017 Winewise Small Vigneron Awards
Entries for the 2017 Winewise Small Vigneron Awards are now open.





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