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News posted on Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Crackdown ordered against toxic wine sellers
Karachi Commissioner Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui on Monday directed the excise and other relevant departments to launch crackdown against production and sale of unprocessed wine in the city. “Police, excise and relevant departments of anti-narcotics should monitor the production and sale of prohibited wine in the city. They should spread their patrolling and take strict action against the people involved in selling such wine as it has taken many lives during previous Eid,” he said in a letter sent to the excise department.

Australian wine firms announce merger
Australian producers Wine Insights and Cumulus Wines have merged to “capitalise on changing market and sector conditions and emerging market opportunities.” The merger brings together brands including Rolling and Climbing from New South Wales, Moss Bros from Margaret River, The Riddoch Run from Coonawarra and multi-regional brands Beelgara Estate and The Habitat. It creates a combined gross revenue of AUD$20 million (£9.6m) with sales of over 400,000 cases of wine across 27 markets.

Another early harvest: Climate change?
California has had so many “early harvests” lately that we’re going to have to redefine what the word “early” means. Maybe “early” is the new “normal.” It seems like the last two years, 2013-2014, were mind-blowingly early. The 2013 vintage was “Early [with] exceptional quality vintage throughout the state,” said the Wine Institute. Then, in 2014, Wine Spectator said that, in 2014, “Everything was ready to go in early- to mid-August, even Cabernet Sauvignon, which usually ripens much later.”

High-profile references for guilty wine boss
A former All Blacks coach, an ex-Olympic rower and rich-lister, and a high-profile chairman went in to bat for former wine boss Peter Scutts who was sentenced to eight months' home detention yesterday. Scutts, 59, a former chief executive of the Auckland Blues rugby franchise, will serve that sentence at an undisclosed address. He had references when appearing in the High Court at Auckland yesterday from former All Blacks coach Sir Graham Henry, broadcaster Murray Deaker, former Olympic rower Peter Masfen and high-profile businessman Michael Stiassny.

The Chinese stock meltdown and NZ
The dramatic rise and fall of the Chinese stock market does not augur well in the short term for New Zealand exports to the world's second largest economy according to local economists. New Zealanders woke today to news of a downward spiral in the Chinese stock market. The Shanghai Composite index fell 5.9 percent, taking the value of shares to 32 percent below their peak in June. But lying beneath that headline number the story is about a stock market which has seen a large correction over a short period of time.

Scotland's first home grown wine is branded 'undrinkable'
Wine connoisseurs have waited years to taste Scotland's first to be grown from the grape. But, unfortunately a vineyard owner's plans appear not to be ripe enough for their delicate palate after they described the wine as undrinkable. Christopher Trotter, from Aberdeen, hoped to defy the climate and set up his own vineyard in Fife three years ago. There has been international interest in his bid to make wine in one of Europe's wettest countries, and the first bottles of "Chateau Largo" have been keenly awaited.

Queensland growers welcome cold snap as the Sunshine State shivers
Fruit and vegetable growers across Queensland say this week's cold weather has been a double-edged sword for farmers. Grape growers on the Granite Belt in Southern Queensland said the cold snap was good for wine producers, helping set vines for next summer's harvest. Winemaker Peter McGlashan said the cold conditions would result in consistent fruit growth. "The cold weather is really good for vines. It puts them to sleep for the winter period and, when spring comes, it means that we have a nice even budburst, which means even growth and good fruit set," he said.

Organics is about working smarter, Baileys of Glenrowan says
GOING organic doesn’t have to be hard work, it’s just about working smarter. That’s what Baileys of Glenrowan, owned by Treasury Wine Estates, has found after recently announcing all of its 2015 estate-grown table wines would be made under Aust­ralian Certified Organic standards. The winery’s fortified wines and also its durif variety aren’t yet organic, but should be converted and fully organic in 18 months.

Coonawarra’s Balnaves riding high in this year’s Top 100 Wines
THEY’VE been in the wine business for 25 years and seen boom and bust cycles come and go, but right now the Balnaves of Coonawarra are riding high. Despite all the challenges the wine industry faces, Kirsty Balnaves says it’s been a long and slow build for her family and luck’s been on their side. Exports are up as the dollar has dropped recently, Ms Balnaves reports, and the Balnaves cellar door has seen a rise in domestic visitors.

Bordeaux trade falls away
Trade in the recently upgraded Bordeaux 2005 vintage is already slowing on the Liv-ex platform after an explosive, initial burst. Robert Parker’s rescore at the end of last month did much to push the vintage back into the spotlight and a number of the wines have seen substantial increases in value. Nonetheless, actual trade in the vintage has fallen away sharply with Liv-ex reporting that having hit a 37% share of trade by value in the week finishing 2 July, its share the following week (3-9 July) was a mere 2.6%.

WineTech 2015 underway in Adelaide
Winetitles had a chat to Matthew Moate, WISA executive officer, about the first day of WineTech 2015 and what's in store for the rest of the week! WineTech is the flagship Wine Industry Supplier Trade Show. It is an initiative of Wine Industry Suppliers Australia Inc (WISA). Members and wider supply sector provide products and services to grapegrowers, winemakers and other businesses that operate along the full wine industry value chain. WineTech is managed by prominent South Australian owned and operated Kym Jones Exhibitions.

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