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News posted on Friday, 13 January 2017

Why grenache might be a better Aussie than shiraz
Let's kick off the new year with a little heresy, shall we? I would like to suggest that Australia's most famous red wine grape, shiraz, might not in fact be the best variety for many of our most famous warmer-climate wine regions such as the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale. I would like to suggest that if you want a grape variety that most faithfully expresses terroir – that captures the unique combination of country, climate and culture in a glass – then in many cases, in many places, grenache might be a better option.

Treasury Wine wins China trademark dispute
Treasury Wine Estates has won a legal dispute in Beijing over its right to use the "Ben Fu" trademark in China, a transliteration for its flagship Penfolds brand, the company said on Thursday. The judgment, handed down by Beijing High People's Court, found that a Chinese individual who had registered the Ben Fu trademark in 2009 had "failed to demonstrate any genuine use of the trademark for wine or related business activities," Treasury Wines said in a statement. "This trademark will subsequently be cancelled, allowing for TWE to claim its right to ownership of the Ben Fu trademark registration and to freely use this trademark across China."

Agribusiness: Why We’re leading the way in SA
You’ve probably heard the saying that Australia was built by “riding on the sheep’s back”. This may have been true up to the 1950s, but roll forward to today and we in South Australia are still an agribusiness-driven economy, you just have to look at the numbers. South Australian wine makes up 70 per cent of Australia’s premium wine exports. Exports of differentiated and processed food and wine is to exceed $3.5b this year. This year, Adelaide joined the Great Wine Capitals Global Network adding to the state’s global reputation for premium food and wine tourism.

Wine, Women and Subtle Sexism
The world of wine is still a long way from being an equal-opportunities employer. "The current estimation of women in the Australian wine industry is 8-10 percent," says Fiona Donald, senior winemaker at Seppeltsfield Wines. "How can this be when, at graduation, the gender ratio is 50:50?" Such accusations of sexism are, of course, levied at many industries, particularly in areas like engineering, aviation and the armed forces. Yet, the general perception is that wine is a "nice" or softer industry, full of passionate professionals who love their craft.

Buckingham Schenk adds Kreglinger Wine Estates
Wine importer Buckingham Schenk is expanding its Antipodean portfolio by adding Kreglinger Wine Estates and its brands Pipers Brook and Norfolk Rise. Tasmanian label Pipers Brook garnered a reputation in the UK in the early nineties when its wines were distributed through a number of independents. Craig Durham, managing director at Buckingham Schenk, said: “We are really delighted to be working with Kreglinger Wine Estates who are highly respected by many in the trade. Australia has a reputation for some amazing wines and we hope these wineries from Tasmania and Mount Benson can offer a real point of difference for our customers.”

Pinot Noir looks set to steal the limelight this January
New Zealand wine producers are gearing up for a high level of interest in their Pinot Noir wines at the annual trade tasting event in London next week, following the news that tickets for the popular Pinot Noir NZ event in Wellington, New Zealand, have already sold out. Pinot Noir NZ only takes place every four years and the organisers have announced that tickets for the three-day event have sold out, more than three weeks before it takes place.

Marlborough viticulturist Ollie Davidson bound for Napa
Ollie Davidson discovered it is a difficult task to pack 30 years of living in Marlborough into 272 kilograms of air freight, destined for the United States. The viticulturist is saying goodbye to the region as he departs for a new role in the US' most famous wine region, the Napa Valley, on Friday. "It's amazing how much you accumulate after living in the same house for 10 years," he says. Following several months of planning and numerous farewell parties, he and wife Bridget said they were overwhelmed to be on the move.

Wildfires Sweep Across South Africa Wine Country
Devastating wildfires are spreading throughout South Africa’s Western Cape wine region, causing extensive vineyard and property damage. The first fires began Jan. 3, threatening wineries including Vergelegen, Morgenster and Lourensford; another fire caused massive damage to wineries in the Dal Josafat region of Paarl. Unusually high winds with gusts of up to 60 miles per hour and exceptionally dry conditions have hampered firefighters’ efforts to control the blazes, with new outbreaks now reported on the Cape Peninsula, close to the wine region of Constantia.

How Fine Is Wine?
Is it a luxury product, or a staple good? A bottle of 1946 Petrus can cost more money, gram for gram, than gold. At the other end of the spectrum, you can get a bottle of Spanish red for less than the price of the same volume of water. To Benjamin Franklin, wine was proof of divine love for humanity; to others, it's just grape juice that's gone off. Thanks to deep fragmentation among producers, massive market power among retailers, and a business model that's at the mercy of seasonal weather, there's just a handful of publicly traded winemakers worldwide.There are only four winemakers with market values of more than $1 billion.

American’s coin new name for English sparkling
While the producers of English sparkling wine have been debating about a suitable brand name for their increasingly-popular product, the Americans have already chosen a term – and it may become protected. At the UKVA’s reception and dinner in London last night, Sam Lindo, who is chairman of the association, said that he believed consumers should decide on what to call sparkling wine from England, rather than the trade selecting a name, and then trying to get others to adopt it. Continuing, he said that one New York outlet had already coined it’s own term – ‘British Fizz’ – and, he added, it’s this brand name that English wine producers should consider using.

Spain bans wine because it’s the wrong colour
When five young Spaniards came up with the idea of marketing a blue wine, it was dismissed by Spain’s traditional vintners as a gimmick that would never take off. But since launching on the market last summer, Gik has shaken up the industry and sold close to 100,000 bottles to clients in some 25 countries, becoming something of a must-have tipple among young hipsters. But now, the producers have been told they cannot market their produce as ‘wine’ because it is the wrong colour. "It is absurd because its composition is 100 percent wine," explain the entrepreneurs behind the product.





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WID 2017