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News posted on Monday, 14 September 2015

Leaders coordinate on wine crisis
A WORKING group has begun the task of bringing together two national peak bodies in a bid to tackle the downturn crippling the wine industry. More than 40 wine industry leaders from across Australia met at a forum in Adelaide late last month, where they agreed on a national response from across the industry was essential to bring it back to good health. The leaders identified a need to tackle supply and demand-related issues and the capabilities of businesses, organisations and individuals across the industry.

Australian wine excites at trade tastings in Japan and South Korea
Australian wine impressed influential members of the wine trade and media in both Japan and South Korea at large-scale tastings held by Wine Australia together with Austrade in early September. The annual Australian Wine Grand Tasting in Tokyo, Japan saw enthusiastic participation throughout the day, a significant increase in the number of exhibitors and more than 500 guests, the most ever for a Wine Australia event in Japan. Feedback from guests demonstrated positive sentiment about how Australian wine had evolved to produce more balanced and delicate flavours while still exhibiting distinctively Australian qualities.

FTA to boost Australia's Chinese wine sales
Australia's Victorian state government believes that China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) will provide a massive boost in the region's wine sales. Victoria produces some of Australia's most acclaimed wine, and is currently showcasing its product as part of the three-day International Sparkling Wine Festival in China. Agricultural Minister for Victoria Jaala Pulford is also in China on Friday on a related mission that aims to connect winemakers from Victoria with Chinese wine connoisseurs.

Oz remaking wine image in Canada
There was a time when a wine such as Penfold’s Grange had the capacity to change the entire perception of the quality of Australian wine. Don’t get me wrong, Grange remains a beacon of Australian wine quality but at $800 a bottle, it’s no longer capable of stirring the pocketbooks of the casual wine drinkers who are the heavy lifters of any successful wine category. Australia’s not alone in this pursuit.

Nuffield scholar returns with a global outlook
A jam-packed 42-day overseas trip across Asia, North America and Ireland has provided Nuffield scholar and viticulturist Andrew Clarke with a ‘big picture’ view of agriculture. Yering Station’s chief viticulturist has just returned from the Nuffield Scholarship ‘Global Focus’ tour, which took in Singapore, Philippines, Hong Kong, mainland China, Canada, United States and Ireland.

Investigation into unpaid vineyard workers
A Marlborough vineyard contracting business is under investigation by the Labour Inspectorate after allegations workers were under paid for three months. A former employee, who prompted the investigation when he made a formal complaint through Wine Marlborough, claims he is owed up to $1000 for unpaid hours over four weeks. He said up to nine others had not been paid the full amount for their hours worked.

New Zealand Spring means food & wine
Spring in New Zealand is a season inspired with vibrant colours and unfurling new life, brimming with the flavours of early produce and new vintage releases, and a feast of imaginative festivals celebrating everything from seafood to wine. Below are three of the most popular spring events. The Food and Wine Classic (F.A.W.C!) is a series of out-of-the-box food and wine events set in stunning locations throughout Hawke’s Bay each year.

Chile’s wine export to China in post-tariff-free era
Since China started to dwindle down significantly its tariffs on imported wine in 2005, the country had also begun gradually cutting the import duty on Chilean wine from 14% to 0. Chilean wine quickly became a representation of good value with low price in China and not long before it flocked into the market in bulk. In 2015, Chile became yet another country whose wine enjoy tariff-free into China.

Canada's wine industry has made great progress
Last June, I spent a week at a Niagara Falls hotel with 17 other wine critics and sommeliers as a judge for the National Wine Awards of Canada. We were there to taste, argue and, ultimately, decide which among the 1,408 Canadian wines entered in the competition were the cream of the country’s crop. Organized by Chacun Son Vin and Wine Align, the 15th version of these awards was the eighth that I have participated in as a judge.

Prosecco on track for ‘fabulous’ 2015 harvest
With continued demand pushing Prosecco stocks to their limits, producers in the region will be keen to get the 2015 harvest underway, with one key producer predicting it to be “one of the best”. Following fears of a Prosecco shortage earlier this year, we confirmed last week that Prosecco stocks have now dried up and won’t be replenished until the 2015 vintage hits the market in October. As producers prepare for this year’s harvest, keen to replenish their stocks as demand continues to boom, Follador has proclaimed this year’s harvest to be “one of the best”.

Could China fall in love with Napa Valley wine?
China’s love of wine is growing, with major wine growing regions aggressively targeting the Asian market. While the more traditional regions of France, Australia and Chile have so far dominated the market, the US - especially Napa Valley - is aiming for a slice of the pie. China’s wine consumption is growing fast. Chinese consumed 15.8 hectolitres of wine in 2014, which is a 45% increase from consumption levels in 2000.

Invitation to Field Demonstration in the Barossa Valley
Meet the Next Generation Inter-Row to Undervine Mower from Fischer Australis Fischer BV2 + HDS-2T-600, featuring unique expandable-deck technology, hydraulically powered 600mm swivel-arm disc mowers, fast reacting, hydraulic fine-sensor technology, hydraulic self supply with in-cabin remote control. Join us for a Field Demonstration in the Barossa Valley mid September!

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