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News posted on Friday, 13 May 2016

NSW Wine Industry shares some concerns over WET changes
The NSW Wine Industry Association (NSWWIA) have issued a statement saying although the recently announced changes to the Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) had some good intent, certain aspects of the changes were worrying. Tom Ward, NSWWIA president, said the reduction of the cap for WET rebate from the current $500k down to $290k over the next two years was a concerning development.

Accolade Wines’ owner mulls IPO
The owner of the UK’s largest drinks company, Accolade Wines is looking at listing the global wine company on the London stock exchange as it gets ready to offload its 80% stake in the business, an Australian newspaper has claimed. The Australian Financial Review has claimed Accolade Wines’ owners, Champ PE, which bought the global wine company in 2010 for AUS $290 million, has signed up several high level investment banks to investigate its potential exit options.

Visiting sommeliers gain insights into Coonawarra
Ten high respected, nationally-based sommeliers will be visiting Coonawarra this week as part of a Wine Australia education initiative. In its fourth year, the Sommeliers Immersion Program (SIP) aims to build a deeper connection and understanding of the diversity of Australian wine and to connect sommeliers with regions and the personalities behind the wines.

Australia Wins Big at IWC 2016
Australian wines continue to succeed at international wine competitions, taking out the second highest number of awards at the International Wine Challenge and becoming its first non-Italian Gold medal winner of Montepulciano. In the results, announced yesterday, Australia was awarded 815 medals including 80 Gold, 375 Silver and 360 Bronze. Australia finished second on the leader board, beaten only by France.

American sommelier tries his hand as Marlborough vintage intern
Weinlese, vendange, szuret, and there are other examples in many other languages to say the same thing … "vintage". In a small town called Blenheim, in the South Island of New Zealand within the Marlborough wine growing region, thousands of people from all over the world come together for one thing: the systematic killing and fermentation of vitis vinifera (wine grapes).

Oyster Bay owner Delegat says NZ harvest up 33% on 2015
Delegat Group, the winemaker that retails under brands including Oyster Bay, says it has completed the 2016 harvest, with yields in New Zealand up 33 percent on a difficult 2015. The total harvest was 35,837 tonnes, with New Zealand making up 33,236 tonnes of the total. The group also owns vineyards in the Barossa Valley in South Australia, which yielded 2,601 tonnes, up 56% on a year ago.

Meet the professional wino who drank his way across the US
Dan Dunn has found a way of one-upping your wildest dreams. While many of us squares only daydream about ditching work to take a carefree road trip across America, Dunn did just that in the name of alcohol. The guy has even written a 350-page book on the whole experience. American Wino: A Tale of Reds, Whites, and One Man’s Blues is that glorious book. Of course, it isn’t too surprising.

Suppliers tap into potential for wine-based fusion drinks
Fusion drinks are set to soar as wine brands increasingly tap into their growing appeal amongst millennials, and start to target older consumers. Last week, three UK suppliers’ unveiled new wine-based low-alcohol fruit drinks at the London Wine Fair, noting huge potential in the fledgling category.

Booming wine region enticing investors as Ontario relaxes laws
Row after row of delicate young vines line the long driveway leading to Peller Estates Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake. It’s a cool spring morning and the expansive lawn in front of the winery is edged by a patio that will host parties and tastings all summer. John Peller, chief executive officer of Andrew Peller Ltd., is jovial as he surveys the vines that helped turn the company into Canada’s biggest publicly listed winery. Peller, 59, credits his Hungarian-immigrant grandfather for his foresight.

South Africa 2016 wine harvest is smallest for five years
The South Africa 2016 wine grape harvest is set to be the smallest in five years after a hot, dry growing season impacted yields – but early reports suggest that quality is still good. Stellenbosch, Paarl and Swartland were among the worst affected regions as heatwaves hit the vineyards from the end of October through to the end of January, said viticultural consultants at VinPro, the umbrella organisation for South Africa’s wine producers.

Peak industry bodies welcome WET reforms
The peak wine and grape bodies in Australia are keen to consult with the Government on proposed WET rebate reforms. In a joint statement realised today, the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) and Wine Grape Growers Australia (WGGA) said the reforms were an investment in the future of the Australian wine industry, and the definition

Waitrose wine team transforms Australian range
Waitrose has overhauled its Australian wine range in a bid to grab more attention from its shoppers and drive sales growth. Australia is the bestselling country of origin in the UK off-trade, with value sales up 2.1% in the past year (IRI, year to March 26, 2016). Waitrose has more of a reputation for championing France and the Old World, but it is keen to capitalise on growth in the Australian category.

WA wine producers getting more opportunities in Chinese market
Building an economic future with China was compiled by the Curtin Economics Centre in consultation with six industry stakeholders and 26 wine producers. Lead researcher Jeremy Galbreath said the report identified the growing market for Australian wines in China, as well as distribution, packaging, marketing and branding. “There is a perception that WA’s wine production volume is too small to make any significant penetration into the Chinese market,” Associate Professor Galbreath said.

Yalumba sponsors UK Womad festival
Australian winery Yalumba has announced it is to sponsor world music festival Womad UK this July. The estate will sponsor the festival’s ‘Taste the World’ stage, an area where musicians not only perform but also prepare food from their home countries. Festival-goers will be able to sample a range of Yalumba wines both with the food cooked up by the musicians at the ‘Taste the World’ stage and at the bars located across the site.

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