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News posted on Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Victoria, Korea both winning from KAFTA one year in
Australia is becoming a more important trading partner for South Korea, even with the KAFTA between the two countries a little more than a year old. Business Korea was able to sit down with Patrick Stringer, Commissioner for Victoria to the Republic of Korea, and speak with him about the relationship between South Korea and Australia’s most populous state. Patrick has served for 10 years representing Australian trade in Asia in Hanoi, Shanghai, and now Seoul.

Pop-ups and partnerships: an opportunity for the wine industry
The trend of street-style or pop-up eateries is now so ubiquitous that you would think the cognoscenti of the world’s major cultural capitals would be getting tired of it. But it appears not. The pop-up food genre appears to be evolving faster than an Australian Ashes innings, and new collaborations are showing that the category can still deliver originality and cleverness. So it was last week in Sydney, I bought two, what we might deem as ‘food fads’, thanks to two clever collaborations, from which wine could find inspiration.

Glass half empty on WET Rebate reform for struggling wine sector, says Xenophon
Independent Senator for South Australia, Nick Xenophon, said it was “deeply concerning” that the Government had missed its July deadline for the release of a discussion paper on reforming the Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) Rebate, given the distorting effect of the rebate and concerns it is being widely rorted. Senator Xenophon was part of negotiations in May with the Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer to reform the rebate in order to assist wine grape growers and winemakers, the overwhelming majority of whom are struggling to survive.

Half a century in wines
SIGNIFICANT anniversaries of celebrated painters and sculptors are often marked by retrospective exhibitions of their best works. On notching up his 50 years in the wine industry, 69-year-old Hunter Legend of Wine and former Mount Pleasant manager-chief winemaker Phil Ryan decided to do something similar. So last week, for a group of seven friends, he staged a retrospective exhibition of his high-wine artistry.

Relief as pipeline axed
A POTENTIALLY industry-destroying plan for a water pipeline and 100m easement through the Swan Valley has been quashed. The Water Corporation pipeline, planned to service Perth’s growing northern suburbs, was pulled out of the Environmental Protection Authority’s assessment process last month. The project stretches from Lancelin to Forrestfield. For more than a year, Swan Valley winemakers and grape growers have worried about the impact the pipeline would have on local tourism and agriculture.

Endeavour winemaker toasts his pride and joy
Right now, New Zealand's most expensive white wine happens to be a chardonnay. This doesn't surprise me because crafting great chardonnay can't be done on the cheap. First, you need to find the perfect piece of land, then you need to source the best clones you can plant, then wait for years and years before you get any fruit and when you do you need to cut off most of the bunches before they're even ripe so that the flavours in the surviving ones are as intense as possible.

Pinot Noir reigns among red grape plantings
Pinot Noir is the most widely planted red grape in New Zealand, making up 70% of our red grape vines and just over 15% of our total vineyard area. Nearly 85% of that Pinot Noir is planted in the South Island, though it is worth remembering that a significant portion of that is given over to the production of sparkling wines. Marlborough leads the way with the greatest area devoted to Pinot Noir, followed by Central Otago, Wairarapa, Waipara, Hawke's Bay and Nelson.

Heatwave shrivelling French wine production: experts
A long period of hot weather threatens to hit the wine harvest in France's famous Burgundy and Beaujolais regions, experts told AFP on Tuesday. Production could be down, although quality will remain high, they said. Output could fall by as much as a third in Beaujolais, said Florence Hertaut, wine expert at the agricultural chamber of commerce in the Rhone region. "The dryness has meant that the grapes, the fruit, are especially small," she told AFP.

Report: China consumes twice as much wine as the U.S.
Wine is as popular as ever in the United States. But consumption here pales in comparison to the world’s leading wine consuming nation: China. According to UK-based IWSR, wine consumption in China increased 36% between 2010 and 2014. That amounts to just under 12% constant annual growth rate. Canada, the second fastest growing, trailed significantly at just over 2% CAGR. In 2014, twice as much wine was consumed in China as compared to the U.S.

English winemakers hope for hat trick
Frost-free spring conditions followed by a heatwave during flowering have left English winemakers “cautiously optimistic for a great vintage.” With the harvest still around eight weeks away, producers across the southern heartland of England’s wine industry highlighted promising conditions so far this growing season as new and maturing vineyards look set to build on the record-breaking 2013 and 2014 harvests.

Vintners fear scope of suggested winery matrix
NAPA: A possible new way to address hot-button wine country growth issues is floundering amid wine industry concerns. On June 22, Napa Valley’s Agricultural Protection Advisory Committee unanimously endorsed the idea of a matrix that would apply guidelines for new winery applications. For example, perhaps a winery on 20 acres to 40 acres could cover up 20 percent of the land, have up to 150 visitors a week and produce up to 50,000 gallons of wine annually.

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