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News posted on Friday, 12 August 2016

CHAMP pulls trigger on $1b Accolade Wines IPO
Australia's second-largest wine company, Accolade Wines, which owns brands including Hardys, Leasingham, Grant Burge and Banrock Station, is set to return to the stock exchange in a $1 billion-plus listing in the first half of 2017 as private equity firm CHAMP exits after six years of ownership.

High hopes for organic vineyards in SA's Riverland
South Australia is often synonymous with producing world-class wine, and the peak body representing the Riverland's wine industry believes the region has all the ingredients to become a world leader in growing organically. Winemakers and grape growers in the region were out in force last week to learn more about bringing organic practices and soil health to their vineyards.

Wine scientist reveals how food, music and temperature can affect its taste
When Dr Jacqui McRae reveals what she does for a living, most people are overcome with professional envy. As a research scientist at the Australian Wine Research Institute, Dr McRae spends her days studying the finite qualities of some of Australia's best drops. So does she ever get to taste what's in the beaker? "Ah no," she said. "That would be nice, but no."

Winter wet delays pruning
YES, it has been a wet windy winter. In combination with months of soaking rain it has meant many big old trees have succumbed – I have days on the chainsaw to show for it. The wet weather has put many gaps in the pruning schedule for vineyards around the region. The risk of disease means you can’t prune in the rain. It has also restricted machinery movement. Taking a heavy machine onto waterlogged ground will have you bogged to the axles in no time at all.

Rutherglen's venerable Morris winery saved to age with grace
For many including your correspondent, the news in June that Pernod-Ricard, owners of Jacob's Creek, was to close and sell off the stocks of Morris of Rutherglen hurt more than the announcement from Treasury Wine Estates late last year that it was shutting the doors of Seppelt Great Western. The venerable wine producer, established in 1859, is of considerable cultural and vinicultural significance to both its region and the country.

Family of Twelve appoints new chair
In an extended family group every member brings a different and distinct set of experiences and skills to the family table. To this end The Family of Twelve rotate the role of chair to ensure it benefits from the full range of talent and experience available to it. On July the 19th, the chairship passes from Mr. William Hoare of Fromm Winery in Marlborough to Mrs. Judy Finn of Neudorf Vineyards in Nelson, the first woman to be elected to the position.

Can a once-hip wine region be cool again?
California’s Carneros region may have been overshadowed by other appellations, but a small group of vineyard owners and vintners are looking to restore youth and excitement. One time, not so long ago, the most famous and sought-after place to grow Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in California was Carneros. The region, which lies partly in Napa and partly in Sonoma, showed so much promise that big-name sparkling-wine producers from France and Spain opened Carneros outposts. Today, the former hot spot has been overshadowed by newer, cooler appellations.

Hot, dry summer making for a very good wine year, say grapegrowers
When grapegrowers look back on the hot, dry summer of 2016, they may raise a glass to toast one of the best growing seasons they've had in a while. The sun has baked much of the land in southern Ontario this summer to the point where most farmers are crying for mercy. But for those looking to harvest grapes to produce wine, the sun is a grape grower's best friend.

Wellington Wine Country set to wow world with Wairarapa vino
Wairarapa winemakers are leveraging on the success of the Wellington brand to showcase their wines to the world. They have formed Wellington Wine Country Limited (WWCL) to streamline marketing for all wine producers in the Greater Wellington region. WWCL chairwoman Nicola Belsham, from Murdoch James Estate Wines, said internationally, few understood where Wairarapa was situated, and that it was made up of three sub-regions - Martinborough, Gladstone and Masterton.

Bordeaux’s oldest vines
The weather in Bordeaux on Wednesday 23 September 2015 was radiantly warm and sunny, one of a crop of perfect autumn days that marked out a month with just 35.4mm of rainfall in the city centre, a full 52% less than the 10-year average. The crowd in Place de la Victoire was taking advantage of the heat. Besides the iconic archway leading to rue Ste-Catherine, the longest pedestrianised street in Europe, place de la Victoire is also the site of a bronze and red marble column designed to honour viticulture and winemaking.

A new generation of winemakers
In my conversations with winemakers throughout the state, I’ve discovered that the next generation is less inclined to feel a need to imitate the formidable California style of wine (In fact, California’s sweeter, more high-alcohol wines are often referred to as “flabby”). These winemakers are generally more open-minded, and they seem to fall loosely into one of two camps: “The Champions” and “The Experimenters.” For this article, I spoke to three winemakers who champion a distinctly Colorado style.

Sarah Crowe talks breaking the wine glass ceiling
Sarah Crowe became the first woman to be named Winemaker of the Year at the QANTAS epiQure Halliday Wine Companion Awards 2017 earlier this month. She's hoping the honour will inspire more women to enter the wine industry. While Sarah pointed out in her acceptance speech that she doesn't "like to focus on my gender as being important to my role" as chief winemaker at Yarra Yering, she noted "there are not that many of us."

Villa Maria celebrates Wilderness Festival success
New Zealand’s Villa Maria has hailed the success of its ‘Open Another World’ Summer promotional campaign following its partnership with the sixth Wilderness Festival. Attracting 30,000 visitors each day from August 4-7, the multi award-winning festival in Oxfordshire combines live music, contemporary arts and an array of theatre, craftsmanship and dining experiences in the stunning lake and woodland surroundings of Cornbury Park near Charlbury.





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WID 2017