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News posted on Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Murray Valley winegrape prices rise while production falls
The prices of most winegrape varieties in the Murray-Darling and Swan Hill wine regions increased this year while production dropped marginally. Data provided by wineries to Wine Australia for the 2016 Murray-Darling / Swan Hill Wine Grape Crush Report revealed a 27% increase in the average price of Chardonnay, up from $223/tonne to $283/tonne.

Is ‘brand Australia’ dead?
Australia’s largest wine company, Treasury Wine Estates, recently announced an initiative to put a spotlight on the regionality of their wines. The message was clear. Australia’s biggest wine company was moving away from ‘brand Australia’. Should other wine brands follow? Emilie Reynolds reports.

Angove all in on organics
Angove Family Winemakers is zeroing in on going completely organic as the movement gains ever greater ground in Australia. Speaking to the drinks business, John Angove, explained that with 270 acres already certified organic and another 19-20 acres set to follow next year, “ultimately we’re looking at the option of the entire 400 acre vineyard being organic. We need to see what the demand will be but we’re seeing a lot of interest and other big companies doing likewise.”

Karl Roberts, of Capella Vineyards on the Mornington Peninsula, has a glass half-full approach
FIRST Karl Roberts noticed early season stress on leaves in a block of pinot noir vines at Capella Vineyard, on the Mornington Peninsula. “We had a few days of excessive heat in the December of 2014 and the leaves were colouring and falling off in one block of pinot,” he said. Next, Karl — the vineyard manager for Capella Vineyard, owned by Handpicked Wines — attended a seminar run by Landcare about regional trials of compost under vines.

Strong 2016 vintage confirms positive outlook for NZ wine
As demand for New Zealand wine continues to grow in the key markets of the USA, the United Kingdom and Australia, the industry is rising to the challenge. That’s according to Alistair King, Crowe Horwath’s viticulture specialist, who says the outlook is positive, particularly with a plentiful grape harvest for the 2016 vintage.

NZ startup reinvents calculator to source wine
New Zealand entrepreneurs Roy Zane and Steven Male are launching a world first: a calculator which helps users work out how much wine to buy for their wedding or upcoming event. The free Wedding Wines calculator works on a simple four step process in which users are asked a few details about their event including the main type of food being served and the drinking habits (from tea-totaller to heavy) of the average attendee.

California wine industry asks feds to tighten labelling standards
At the behest of the local wine industry, a new proposal would toughen federal labelling standards on a bottle of wine, controlling more tightly wineries’ claims of vintage dates, varietals and geographic region where the grapes are grown. Local vintners have complained that exemptions currently allowed by the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau are misleading consumers and hurting the reputation of their local wine regions.

The Rebel Winemaker Of Bordeaux
From a quiet region of Bordeaux where the high side of wine costs a few dozen dollars per bottle—one winemaker who shucked tradition now sells a portion of his precious liquid for close to two thousand dollars per bottle. To learn more I visited the eight-acre château (and home) of Dominique Léandre-Chevalier in the tiny village of Anglade, an hour northeast of Bordeaux city.

Bag-in-box wine in line for strong comeback
Bag-in-box wine is set to make a big return to prominence, only this time it’s boutique rather than shabby-chic. While most would feel that this rather ramshackle way of consuming wine, and that its resurgence is coming off the back of possible recession, but it is actually in so-called ‘progressive bars’ where the bag-in-box style is truly taking hold.

Historic Barolo winery Vietti sold to US investor
The 143-year-old Vietti winery in Piedmont has been sold to the Krause family, self-confessed Barolo lovers and owners of convenience stores in the US, for an undisclosed fee. Vietti is the Krause family’s second winery acquisition in Piedmont in the past year, after buying Enrico Serafino from Gruppo Campari in June 2015.

Australian Sweet Wine Challenge open for entries
Now in its 11th year, the Australian Sweet Wine Challenge is conducted by the Riverina Winemakers Association to highlight the variety and quality of Australian sweet wines. The Riverina region is widely acknowledged to be one of Australia’s premier sweet wine producing regions. The Challenge is open to any non-fortified sweet or semi-sweet wine that is commercially available, with a minimum stock of 50 dozen lots held at the time of entry.

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