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News posted on Wednesday, 13 January 2016

WA fires hit Geographe wine region
A number of wine producers in the Geographe Wine region were directly threatened by fire caused when lightning struck Dwellingup to the north east of the region, on Wednesday 6th January. Fire quickly spread due to high winds and high temperatures in a south westerly direction, towards the towns of Waroona, Yarloop, Cookernup and Harvey.

Littore Family Wines sold to privately owned company
Costa Asset Management (CAM), a privately owned Australian company, has announced its acquisition of Victorian winery Littore Family Wines. Once the transaction is complete the winery will operate as Idyll Wine Co. Pty. Ltd. The business takes its name from the Sefton’s Idyll Vineyard located in the Moorabool Valley near Geelong, which was established in 1966 by Daryl and Nini Sefton and on which the winery is sited.

Public tasting of Top 100 wines from Sydney International Wine Competition
A stellar line up of wines from the 2016 Sydney International Wine Competition (SIWC) will be available for two public tastings on Saturday 6 February at the Menzies Hotel Sydney. The public tastings from the 36th Sydney International Wine Competition feature a record diversity of wine regions and wine varieties, with 100 different grape varieties and blends represented in this year’s Competition.

Wine: Baptism of Fire Winemaking Competition is back
Never made wine? No problem. Here’s your chance to become a champion at it. If you’ve ever thought you might have what it takes to make wine – now’s your chance. Returning for its third year, Wine: Baptism of Fire is a winemaking competition for amateurs from MOJO Wine. The only condition of entry is that contestants must never have been professionally employed in winemaking. Those who have worked in wine sales and other areas of wine, or in general hospitality, are still eligible.

Prosecco corks keep popping in Australia
Australians are increasingly turning to sparkling wine, as statistics from Wine Intelligence indicate a spike in popularity for Prosecco throughout the past few years. The percentage of Australians drinking Prosecco has increased from 5 per cent in 2011 to 14 per cent in 2014, and the industry is expecting another rise for 2015. According to Zonin Vice President Francesco Zonin, Prosecco has established its place on bottle shop shelves as an accessible sparkling wine in the Australian drinks market.

Celebrating the area’s food and wine
Central Otago food and wine is the focus of a new celebration in Wanaka. The Feast Wanaka food and wine pop-up celebration began on Sunday and ends today. Feast Wanaka director Nicola McConnell said while Wanaka was recognised for beautiful scenery, the celebration aimed to showcase the productive farming and horticultural side to the region.

Will a mislabelled wine distort your blood alcohol content?
Wine bottle labels routinely misrepresent the alcohol concentration of their contents. Thanks to a recent article in the Journal of Wine Economics, you may have already seen this news in the popular press. Julian Alston and the other four authors of Splendide Mendax (the splendid title of that splendid article) crunched a bunch of statistics and found, A) that climate change alone doesn’t seem to explain rising wine alcohol levels, and B) rising wine alcohol levels are actually more dramatic than wine labels indicate.

Dates for 2016 Chinese Wine Summit announced
Chinese wines will be under the spotlight next month in as wine critic heavyweights, Jancis Robinson MW, Bernard Burtschy of France’s Association de la Presse du Vin (APV) and Ian D’Agata of Vinitaly will judge a total of 100 hopefuls before nominating their top 10. Organised and co-hosted by Chinese wine educator, TasteSpirit and the Shanghai Morning Post, the Chinese Wine Summit aims to promote Chinese wine nationally and also outside of the Mainland.

To Napa’s wine critics: Shame on you!
Ever the observant reporter, Blake Gray has written at Wine Searcher about the move afoot among some in Napa Valley to punish the wine industry for its success; to attempt to roll back the current impact that visitors to Napa are having on the quality of life for locals. Blake’s article deals primarily with recommendations of a special “growth” commission and whether any of its recommendations limiting winery growth ought to apply retroactively to wineries with existing privileges based on their permits.

Whatever Happened to Argentina’s Wine Boom?
Argentina is an important player in world wine. Recent OIV statistics tell us that Argentina is the fifth largest wine producer in the world (behind the USA and ahead of Australia) and the eighth largest consumer country. Just a few years ago it seemed like Argentina was poised to become the next New Zealand in terms of its export growth, especially in the U.S.

Price wars & excessive mass production threatens Chile's hold on the wine industry
Chile may very well lose its hold on the wine industry, thanks to persistent price wars and excessive mass production. Should Chile's hold on the British wine industry slip, this would further add to the country's economic and political woes. According to The Drinks Business, Mario Pablo Silva, director of Viña Casa Silva, said that "competitive price wars and excessive mass production have threatened the potential of the Chilean wine industry" in the United Kingdom. The UK is Chile's largest export market.

McLaren Vale Grapes Available
Shiraz, Mataro, Viognier, Marsanne & Cabernet Sauvignon All enquiries welcome email: [email protected] or phone: 04110 78332

Australian Wine Marketing Conference – 16 February, Adelaide
Join 20 wine marketing thought leaders and practitioners for a one-day conference on the latest in wine marketing at the University of South Australia’s City West Campus in Adelaide. The topics include: direct marketing, on-premise and off premise success, brand development and special sessions on marketing to the US, the UK, and China. Each topic is a mixture of research and practitioner experience with an overall focus on digital marketing. Cost is only $195 + GST for the full day.

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WID 2017