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News posted on Monday, 13 April 2015

Australian winemakers and Chinese importers work together to create a premium wine for the Asian palate
A Chinese company is working closely with Australian wineries to create a new premium wine range suited to the Chinese palate. Keith Leung and Keith Lu run K-Wine, an import company based in Hong Kong. Leung and Lu are working in partnership with wineries in Western Australia's Margaret River and the Barossa Valley in South Australia, to create wine under their own brand. K-Wine has created “CEO”, a wine created in Australia, with the businessmen working alongside wineries to develop a unique product.

Pop-up wineries give cities a taste of the craft
Fun. This is the word that keeps spilling from the lips of every urban winemaker with whom I’ve spoken; the people who have spent the past few weeks crushing, fermenting and pressing grapes in inner-city locations across the country. In February, Margaret River winemaker Nic Peterkin took over a corner of the Mantle Restaurant in Fremantle and filled a collection of glass demijohns with verdelho and pinot noir juice he’d pressed with the help of the restaurant patrons.

Tourism award winners announced in Adelaide
SOUTH Australia’s reputation for superb wines and beaches has again been recognised, with two of our leading tourism experiences crowned the best in the nation. Pindarie Cellar Door in the Barossa Valley was last night named Australia’s Best Tourism Winery for the second consecutive year. It is now one win away from entering the national Tourism Hall of Fame. The announcements were made at a gala dinner for 800 guests at the Adelaide Convention Centre to celebrate the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards.

Workers flock to harvest
THE annual vintage brings lots of anxiety and hard labour to Hunter vineyards and wineries and also attracts a ‘‘foreign legion’’ of workers. As vignerons battled against the rain that threatened the 2015 harvest and restricted the use of mechanical harvesters, they relied on an all-nations army that included Australian regulars and hand-pickers from Germany, France, Denmark, Italy, England, Wales, Canada, New Zealand and the United States.

Get behind Aussie Wine Month
Wine Australia is encouraging Australian sommeliers, venue managers and restaurateurs to support Aussie Wine Month in May. Venues can get behind the initiative, described as the country's biggest celebration of wine, by creating an all Australian wines-by-the-glass list throughout May. In a statement, Wine Australia said: "We're calling on sommeliers, venue managers and restaurateurs across Australia to get behind our local wines and winemakers.”

NZ winemakers chart growth beyond Australia
WELLINGTON - New Zealand's wine industry is looking beyond its biggest export market Australia as the "kiwi" dollar's unprecedented strength against its Australian counterpart dents export earnings from the island nation's closest trading partner. Australia sources more than half of its foreign wine from New Zealand. The popular Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc dominates around 70 percent of Australia's Sauvignon Blanc market.

Aussie dollar parity bad news for wine exporters
The New Zealand dollar's rise to near parity with the Australian dollar may impact wine sales across this ditch, Marlborough wine exporters say. With the Kiwi dollar closing in on A$1, after reaching a record post-float high of A99.78c on Monday, some Marlborough exporters are becoming concerned about their sales in one of New Zealand's main wine export markets. Saint Clair Family Estate director Neal Ibbotson said if the New Zealand dollar broke even with the Australian dollar it could cause problems.

Majestic Wine reveals US ambitions with Naked purchase
British wine retail chain makes major acquisition. UK retailer Majestic Wine has bought internet retailer Naked Wines with a clear ambition to exploit new markets in the US and Australia. The deal, which is worth £70m (A$133m), “opens up attractive international growth in the USA and Australia,” Majestic said today. Majestic was the darling of the financial sector for a decade, showing seemingly unstoppable year on year growth and – with the demise of Oddbins – dominance of the UK independent wine retail landscape.

Drop in demand sours Bordeaux wine trade
Purse the lips and pass the spittoon. It is that time of year when global vintners descend on France's Bordeaux region to whet palates and prep clients on the latest cellar must-haves. The only problem: no one is buying. "The last five vintages, the collector, the end-user, the person the chateaux ultimately wants to buy the wine, they are out of pocket. They would be better off having not bought en primeur," said Justin Gibbs, the co-founder of Liv-Ex, an online wine trading and market analysis firm.

Celebrity wines: how good are they really?
Several A-list stars own vineyards and wine estates solely for personal use including Hollywood couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, French actor Gerard Depardieu and British musician Sting. But how good are they, really? Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's wine from their French vineyard has gone on sale in a UK supermarket for the first time after winning rave reviews from critics. Marks and Spencer is stocking a limited supply of the 2014 Miraval Rose and has urged those seeking a taste of Hollywood via a Provence vineyard to "get in quick".

Urban wineries thrive without bucolic scenery
A grape likely doesn't care if it's turned into wine in a bucolic Napa Valley vineyard setting or in a gritty industrial park. These days many visitors to wine country don't care either. Adventurers are finding their way to a growing number of wineries located near auto body shops and plumbing supply businesses - neighbourhoods where vineyard vistas are not to be found. The 10 or so urban wineries inside the Napa city limits can be found within walking distance of downtown and in far-flung business parks. Start-up costs are much less, government regulations on tours and tastings fewer, so here they come.

Climate change focus in clonal trials
A major AGWA-funded project assessing clonal variability in Chardonnay and Shiraz aims to improve the wine industry’s understanding of how clones can contribute to wine style as well as their best possible location. Dr Michael McCarthy, principal scientist viticulture with the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI), said a lack of such knowledge is a major reason why industry uptake of different clones has been slow.

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