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News posted on Friday, 14 August 2015

Kersbrook winery transplants entire vineyard from the Barossa after fires
Kersbrook winery in the Adelaide Hills has come up with a creative response to recovering from the devastation of fires that swept through the Hills earlier this year. The vineyard was so badly burnt and the grapes suffered such severe smoke damage that the winery has not produced a 2015 vintage. While some winemakers would call it quits, others, like Kersbrook winery have persevered.

WGGA urging growers to state their view on industry organisational restructure
Wine Grape Growers Australia (WGGA) are urging growers to have their say on priority issues in the industry and how industry representative structures can be re-organised to represent these issues. These views will be fed into the wine industry forum at the end of August – Grape and Wine 2015. Issues to be covered include profitability, the effectiveness of industry bodies and the importance of a unified voice.

ChAFTA delays could cost Australian winemakers over $50m
The Winemakers’ Federation of Australian (WFA) has urged decision-makers to ratify the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) immediately, with the cost of delays significant at a time when industry is “doing it tough” domestically. Paul Evans, WFA Chief Executive explained a delay in ratification beyond 2015 could delay important tariff cuts to Australian wine exporters. “We estimate delays in implementation could cost the Australian wine industry over $50 million,” Evans said. “We urge all sides of politics to support ratification of the Free Trade Agreement before the end of the year.”

Oz wine fighting off US hangover
Big, loud, cheap and too many critters: Australian wine has an image problem. Not in Australia - we love the stuff here. The problem is in the United States, where Aussie wine has some perception issues. Australia is seen, quite unfairly, as a bit daggy: a producer of hefty, high-alcohol, lower-priced wines and not the lighter styles finding favour today. "A lot of people are quite surprised when I tell them how hard it's been," Andreas Clark, chief executive of industry body Wine Australia, says.

Wine for a good cause: The Archibald Project
Archibald is the nickname given to Archie Fragos by his parents Michael and Marianne. Of Greek heritage, the name delighted all of the relatives as they expected Archie must have been inspired by Achilles, the Greek hero from the Trojan War. “No,” laughs Marianne, “Archie was named after Archibald, a character from Monarch of the Glen, a daggy English TV series.” In February 2015, Michael and Marianne received the terrible news that Archie had been diagnosed with Desmoplastic Small-Round-Cell Tumor. The shock had barely sunk in when the Fragos family galvanized behind Archie and went about seeking the best treatment possible.

Strong recent vintages bring promise for 20th NSW Wine Awards
Since its inception in 1996, the NSW Wine Awards has been highlighting the best local wines and helping NSW winemakers to perfect and promote their wines. To celebrate the show’s 20th consecutive year two new trophies will be presented; the best dry white wine of show and the best dry red wine of show. These two wines will join the winners of the ‘Best Sparkling Wine’ and ‘Best Sweet Wine’ trophies, to find out who will claim the ultimate title of ‘2015 NSW Wine of the Year’.

NZ husband and wife pioneers in biodynamic winemaking
Around the globe, New Zealand wine lovers might be hoarding bottles with the news that the country's 2015 grape harvest is 27 per cent lower than last year's. One of the worst hit is Sauvignon Blanc from the famed southern region of Marlborough, according to the industry's national organisation, New Zealand Wine. Wine is big business – it is New Zealand's sixth-largest export. The shortage is prompting some wineries to advertise for tonnes of grapes to meet quotas.

Viticulturist encourages others to enter Farm Environment Awards
Winning a category award in the East Coast Ballance Farm Environment Awards was a nice little pat on the back for viticulturist Steve Wheeler and his employer, Mission Estate Winery. Steve manages 33ha of vines for Mission Estate, one of New Zealand’s oldest and most well-known wine producers. Based near Napier and owned by Marist Holdings Ltd, the winery prides itself on "delivering excellent wine to consumers in a way that enables the natural environment to thrive”.

Wine industry growth slows as competition heats up, finds Technomic
Following strong volume growth earlier in the decade, the wine industry's upward trajectory continues, but the rate of growth has decelerated. In 2014, total wine volume rose 1.0 percent, and projections for 2015 and beyond call for a similar pace of industry expansion, according to the recently released 2015 WineTAB report from Technomic Inc. "Primary factors influencing the industry's performance include slowed per capita consumption growth and the proliferation of brands and styles.”

Summer heat could mean limited French wine supply
Hot weather in France could mean bad news for the country’s wine harvest. This is France’s third-hottest July since the 90s and they have received about half the rain that they usually do during the summer, the Local reports. This has caused the grapes to grow much less than normal. The smaller size of the grapes will not affect the quality of the wine, but it will affect how much can be produced.

The rise of female sommeliers
IF YOU WALKED INTO an upscale restaurant a decade ago and asked to speak to the sommelier, the individual arriving at your table would have likely conformed to a familiar stereotype: an older gentleman with a big knotted tie, a pin on his lapel and a tastevin around his neck, pontificating about which pricey Margaux vintage to pair with your filet. Enter that same restaurant today, however, and chances are the person bearing the wine list will be in his 20s or 30s.

Sonoma State survey finds wide support for North Coast wine industry
North Coast residents have a mostly positive view on how the wine industry affects their quality of life, though a large number believe it contributes to traffic congestion on roadways, according to a Sonoma State University survey. The survey, which was conducted for the university’s School of Business and Economics, found that 88 percent of respondents said wineries have either a very positive (46 percent) or positive (42 percent) impact on the quality of life in their county.

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