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News posted on Monday, 14 November 2016

SA storm devastates crops in Riverland, MPs view losses
Crop losses from severe weather late last week are being assessed by growers in the South Australian Riverland, as state politicians head to the region to consider what can be done to support hard-hit primary producers. Agriculture Minister Leon Bignell flew to the area near the state's eastern border for talks with primary industries officials and Opposition Leader Steven Marshall also headed there to discuss crop damage with regional MP Tim Whetstone and growers. The industry body representing grape growers said some had lost up to 80 per cent of their crop as severe winds and hail lashed the region on Friday.

Bonterra, Treasury Wine Estates win Wine Star Awards
Two North Coast wine businesses made this year’s list of Wine Star Awards-winners from Wine Enthusiast magazine. Hopland-based Bonterra Organic Vineyards was named American Winery of the Year. Also, Michael Clarke, managing director and CEO of Australia-based Treasury Wine Estates, was named Winery Executive of the Year. In Treasury’s global portfolio are North Coast brands Beringer, Beaulieu Vineyard, Acacia, Stags’ Leap, Sterling Vineyard and Chateau St. Jean.

Australian winery bets big on rosé and online in China
New varietals marketed through Chinese online service providers and retailers including WeChat and Tmall are the next frontier for Australians entering our largest export market, one local winery believes. Blue Pyrenees chief winemakers and CEO, Andrew Koerner, told TheShout he has developed a plan which specifically targets younger Chinese consumers which he sees as the next key platform for Australia’s largest export market. According to Koerner, the first part of the plan is to introduce rosé to China, which he announced at this week’s ProWine China exhibition in Shanghai.

Australia’s wine business on the rise
The inside story of Australian wine is a heartbreaking tale of boom and bust. Veterans still shake their heads over “The Great Vine Pull of 1987.” After five years of uncontrolled surpluses, the government actually paid growers to remove Shiraz vines and leave their land barren. The result was the loss of thousands of acres of the best old-vine Shiraz. The industry recovered and another boom ensued, only to come crashing down in the recession of 2007-2008. Then a strong surge in the value of the Aussie dollar made entry-level wines such as Yellow Tail no longer seem like appealing bargains.

Innovative ideas from the grapevine
Wine Australia is inviting Heathcote’s grape and wine community to submit new, bold, exciting and engaging ideas to help increase wine exports and inbound tourism to the region. Submissions are sought from the wine sector and wine-region tourism operators to contribute to Wine Australia’s activities under the Australian Government’s $50 million export and regional wine support package. Wine Australia chief executive Andreas Clark said the consultation would help shape how the support package would benefit regional wine producers and assist export-focused businesses to continue to grow.

Central Otago Pinot Noir takes top spot at Air NZ wine awards
A Central Otago Pinot Noir won the top prize at the 30th Air New Zealand Wine Awards at Auckland’s Viaduct Events Centre last night. The Lowburn Ferry Home Block Pinot Noir Central Otago 2014 won the prestigious Air New Zealand Champion Wine of the Show Trophy, as well as the JF Hillebrand New Zealand Champion Pinot Noir. Chair of Judges and Master of Wine Michael Brajkovich said the Lowburn Ferry Home Block Pinot Noir Central Otago 2014 was one of the more complex Pinot Noir wines in this year’s competition.

Overwhelming Cranford fundraisers in HB
Fine wine, fine art, fine gardens and fine homes - all accompanied by fine weather meant plenty of fine smiles for the organisers of three major Cranford Hospice fundraising events over the past five days. For the organiser of the 25th annual Hawke's Bay Wine Auction, Annabel Tapley-Smith, the generosity displayed by guests at the event which was staged at the Hawke's Bay Opera House Plaza in Hastings on Saturday was "overwhelming".

Chile's cold south makes wine in warming climate
A decade ago, no one would have thought of making wine in Chile's windswept southern Patagonia region. But now it is warming, and winemakers are seeking their fortune here while the country's production falls overall. Traditionally cold and wet, the region now has enough sunshine to grow high-quality Pinot Noir grapes. "We have managed to make the grape mature," says Sergio Subiabre, head of sales for Villasenor Wines.

Innovation Showcase at VINITECH-SIFEL 2016, Bordeaux
From November 29 to December 1, the 20th edition of VINITECH-SIFEL, the international show dedicated to the wine, arboriculture and fruit & vegetable industries, will host 850 exhibitors across 65,000m² of the expansive Bordeaux-Lac exhibition centre. The show will shine the spotlight on the latest innovations in equipment, processes and techniques that best illustrate the latest advances in these industries and the enterprising philosophy of manufacturers. The Scientific and Technical Committee has awarded 21 prizes in all to companies which show commitment to sustainable agriculture, particularly with the development of innovations relying on agroecology, precision techniques and competitiveness.

Vinomofo to launch in Singapore and California
Vinomofo is knocking off the second country on its hit list for global domination with launch celebrations to commence in Singapore next month. After closing a $25 million investment deal with Blue Sky Venture Capital, Vinomofo jumped straight into its international expansion plans, starting with New Zealand in June this year. The next markets Vinomofo expands to will be in the world’s biggest economies.

Rudy Associate Busted Over Unlicensed Wine
A man who brokered wine sales for notorious fraudster Rudy Kurniawan has fallen foul of the law again. Marc Lazar, a former wine broker for convicted wine counterfeiter Rudy Kurniawan, was arrested in St. Louis last week on felony charges of selling wine without a license. Lazar, who turns 40 in December, had bond set at $25,000.

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