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News posted on Tuesday, 14 June 2016

‘Farming water’ helps wine grape growers stay afloat
THEY’RE the farmers trading orange juice for water — crop growers who have been forced to find an alternative source of income, quite literally, to survive life on the land. Fruit growers in the Riverina district are turning their sights to “farming water”, rather than toiling on the land, to help them put food on the table as farmgate prices are slashed. As the dairy industry faces milk price cuts, so too are wine grape and citrus growers, which is crippling the industry.

Wine tax change to cost industry jobs
WA’s wine industry is facing a period of “extreme rationalisation” and significant job losses as a result of Federal Government tax changes. Independent analysis by RSM Australia found the wine equalisation tax (WET) changes would result in “a perfect storm of unintended consequences” for WA and warned the rationalisation would be generational.

Improving Australia’s winegrape profitability through digital technologies
Wine Australia has welcomed today’s announcement by Deputy Prime Minister the Hon. Barnaby Joyce of a project to develop innovative processes for grape and cotton growers using advanced technology. The four-year project – a collaboration between Wine Australia, Cotton Research and Development Corporation and Horticulture Innovation Australia – will integrate systems capable of simultaneous measurement and data provision to assist cross-sectoral holistic decision making for the management of yield, disease and stress.

More than 240 SA grapegrowers to attend summit week
Wine grape growers from around South Australia will meet at the Adelaide Oval this week to share ideas and learn about innovative practices to meet the challenges of a changing climate and volatile markets. Already more than 240 people have booked for the Summit to be held on Friday June 17 at Adelaide Oval. The Summit will focus on providing early season market outlook information and the sharing of ideas for reducing costs and building vineyard profitability

Sevenhill Cellars wine producer recognised in Queen's Birthday honours list
Sevenhill Cellars winemaker Brother John May has been recognised on the Queen's Birthday honours list, being made a member of the Order of Australia. Brother John has dedicated much of his life to producing wine and promoting tourism in the Clare Valley. He said he had become a winemaker overnight at Sevenhill in 1972, after a string of unfortunate illnesses and bereavements.

Winegrower of Ara agrees to sell Ara brand to Giesen
Giesen Wines has reached agreement with Winegrowers of Ara to purchase from it the Ara Brand and associated business to complement its own brand portfolio. Alex Giesen says Ara’s focus on premium single estate wines fits well with the company. “We have invested increasing resources into our global growth and the growth experienced by Ara in recent years positions the brand well within the Giesen portfolio. It will enable us to become even more relevant to our global customers.

First ever Bayer Auckland/Northern Young Viticulturist of the Year announced
Tim Adams from Mudbrick has become the Bayer Auckland/Northern Young Viticulturist of the Year 2016. Although the national competition is now in its 11th year, this is the first year Auckland has been added as a region to feed into the national final. Congratulations also goes to Jake Dromgool from The Landing in Kerikeri who came second and to Mohit Sharma from Man O War who came third.

Wine is still an ‘old boys club’ with women under-represented in key roles
Harpers columnist Guy Woodward used his column in this month’s magazine to challenge the wine industry to be more inclusive and encouraging of female career development in all areas of the wine trade because ultimately it is good for business. The wine trads will has the image of being predominately a “man’s world”.

U.S. vintners fracture over TTIP wine debate
The divide sets up a major showdown as U.S. and EU negotiators work furiously to wrap up the trade talks before President Barack Obama leaves office. European winemakers have gained useful allies in the push to protect regional names, such as Chianti and Champagne, in trade talks with the United States: vintners from California’s most-prized wine country.

Pinot Grigio to take Sauvignon Blanc's 'great white' mantle
Great whites The past few years have seen a huge rise in popularity for New Zealand sauvignon blanc. Riding the crest of this wave is Cloudy Bay, located in Marlborough, on the northern tip of the South Island, which has been filling our glasses with the white wine since 1985. Before that, Sauvignon Blanc was considered a poor cousin to the chardonnay-based white wines of Burgundy.

From Blood to Wine – Innovation in technology aimed to assist winemakers
“That’s how we passed from blood, to spirits, to wine.” Were a wine lover to hear this out of context, they might recoil in horror at the merest association between the two. For Luv Valecha and his two friends and colleagues, Aurore Ceyrolle and Hugo Gradel, the link is critical. The three students from the Institut d’Optique Graduate School, part of the Université Paris-Saclay in France, have created a unique, portable device, adapted from existing blood analysis technology invented by biotech start-up Archimej Technology, which allows for the real-time control of wine quality.

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