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News posted on Thursday, 12 November 2015

Treasury Wine names Noel Meehan as new CFO
Treasury Wine Estates has appointed former Orica finance chief Noel Meehan as its chief financial officer. Meehan will take up the position on January 1, replacing outgoing chief financial officer Tony Reeves. The position involves leading TWE’s global finance and information technology functions as the company next year integrates its acquisition of Diageo’s US and UK wine businesses, Treasury Wine (TWE) said.

Myth busted – how China trade deal will really affect Australian agriculture
Agriculture has been touted as a big winner in the China Australia Free Trade Agreement but a closer look at the deal shows it is unlikely to have much influence on the national economy. The Commonwealth Bank of Australia's head of industrials, food, beverage and agriculture, Peter McGregor, said there was plenty of reasons to get excited about the prospects for dairy, beef and wine industries. The tariffs for these products will be slashed from 20 to 25 per cent to zero in coming years. But Agriculture makes up about 8 per cent of Australia's total exports to China, he said. Of that 8 per cent, about 20 per cent is dairy, beef and wine.

Winemakers show off labels inspired by chickens, vegetarianism
TWO WINE MAKERS from the same region in Australia swung into town early in November, both showing off a fondness for agriculture, and first-generation know-how. The pair showed off their wares at a lunch in Makati’s Wine Depot with seven wines from Adam Mark’s Bress winery, and Mark Matthew’s Mount Macleod and Caledonia Australis Wines, all made in the region of Victoria.

Seppetlsfield launches new wine experiences on royal visit
Seppeltsfield unveiled a new suite of tourism experiences within its renowned 1878 Centennial Cellar, following a Royal visit Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall. The Royals visited Seppeltsfield as part of a single day visit to the Barossa and Adelaide, stopping at the 164 year old winery for a taste of South Australian regional wine, food and art culture. Their Royal Highnesses were welcomed to the Barossa as the first official destination of their Australian visit.

WINE101x: Innovative online course wins two national awards
A groundbreaking course offered by the University of Adelaide has recently taken out the Government, Education and Non-profit category of the 2015 South Australian Interactive Media Excellence awards as well as the Best Wine Educator award from Wine Communicators of Australia. The massive online open course (MOOC) called World of Wine: From Grape to Glass was developed by Kerry Wilkinson, Paul Grbin, Cassandra Collins and David Jeffery.

Royal couple pay visit to organic winery
New Zealand organic winery Mahana Estates played host to Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, this weekend during a 12-day tour of the country. The Royal couple timed their visit to coincide with the Mahana Estate’s ‘From Source to Serve’ food and wine event, which showcased Nelson’s local produce, including wines, craft beers and cider, cheese and seafood. Food and wine matching on serve included the 2015 Mahana Pinot Noir Rosé with miso and nori ora king salmon and lemongrass Mayonnaise, prepared by the chefs in the Mahana Kitchen.

Trade Minister welcomes dramatic growth in exports
Trade Minister Tim Groser today released new statistics showing spectacular growth in New Zealand’s exports to Chinese Taipei since the Economic Cooperation Agreement between New Zealand and the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, and Matsu (ANZTEC) entered into force in December 2013. “New Zealand exporters are reaping the benefits of preferential tariff access to Chinese Taipei,” says Groser. “Exports of New Zealand wine to Chinese Taipei have grown 56 percent to $1.3 million. The 10 percent tariff on non-sparkling wine and 20 percent tariff on sparkling wine were eliminated on entry-into-force."

Wine business: The Bordeaux model, with a Napa twist
There are three ways to make wine in Bordeaux. The best way is to buy a first-growth vineyard. (This requires an extraordinary amount of money.) Or you can buy a winery and execute financially in the long-established business of wine in Bordeaux. (This requires an extraordinary amount of time and on-site presence.) Or you can work with a negoçiant to buy vinified wine, at which point “making wine” becomes mostly a marketing play, typically at the lower end of the scale.

Corks are out, screw caps are in
I’ve been asked several times recently about the relative advantages of screw caps and corks for sealing wine bottles. I remember when I first started writing this column about 15 years ago, screw caps were just starting to appear and there was a lot of push-back from consumers. When I wrote that screw caps were a better way of sealing bottles of wine meant for early drinking (within three or four years of the vintage date), I was inundated with objections from readers who complained about losing the “romance” and the “ritual” of pulling a cork from a bottle.

Vinadeis and Origin seal global strategic partnership
French wine producer Vinadeis and South Africa’s Origin Wines have unveiled a formal strategic partnership. Aimed initially at the bulk wine market, the partnership will take advantage of the two companies’ complementary global strengths to offer customers an end-to-end service across key national markets in Europe and the southern hemisphere. Vinadeis and Origin will distribute each other’s wines in their major markets.

Millennials aren’t changing wine – access to information is
If you read Lettie Teague’s recent WSJ column entry, titled How Millennials Are Changing Wine, you will find some interesting data suggesting that Millennials are not, in fact, changing wine nearly as much as many of us think that they are. First, you’ll have to wade through polemics such as the opening quote from New York sommelier Jason Jacobeit, who decries his generation’s focus on feeling connected to a brand when it comes to purchasing wine: “A lot of mediocre wine is being sold on the basis of a story.”

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