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News posted on Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Wine bodies unite in call for tax reform and an extra $44 million for global marketing
Reforms to the Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) rebate and an extra $44 million for global marketing are detailed in a plan put to the Federal Government to help restore profitability to the nation’s grape and wine industry. A submission lodged by the industry’s two peak associations, the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) and Wine Grape Growers Australia (WGGA), urged the government to take action before the 2016 vintage so wine businesses can take full advantage of the more favourable Australian dollar and recent FTAs.

Accolade Wines buys Chile’s Viña Anakena
Accolade Wines announced a purchase of Chile’s Viña Anakena yesterday, a move it says has made it the first company to have a footprint in all major New World wine regions. Viña Anakena was founded in the late 1990s by two friends, Felipe Ibáñez and Jorge Gutiérrez, in Alto Cachapoal, in the cool foothills of the Andes Mountains, south of the Chilean capital Santiago. Accolade’s acquisition includes all the brands and inventory relating to Anakena labels, a 3000 tonne winery, a vineyard near the winery, cellar door and VIP tasting room.

Free trade agreement to 'level playing field'
Canberra's peak business body has publicly backed Australia's free trade agreement with China, labelling it an "important step in levelling the playing field". The Canberra Business Chamber has come out in favour of the preferential agreement with Australia's largest trading partner, which covers two-way trade worth $152 billion a year. Shaw Vineyard Estate owner Graeme Shaw has recently set up distribution for his cool-climate wines in Shanghai. He said his numbers of enquiries from China have "at least doubled" in the past 12 months.

Take incentive groups on a tour of wineries
Sipping fine wines has long been one of life’s great pleasures. Sharing it with new friends makes a charming activity for corporate groups. It is little wonder that group tours of the nation’s celebrated wineries have become a wildly popular incentive experience. Here are four well-respected firms, in different regions of Australia, where groups can enjoy one of life’s true pleasures—sampling fine wines with fine food, in good company.

Overview of the Australian beer, wine and spirit market
A fundamental understanding of the underlying market is one of the most important factors for brand owners trying to make an informed decision when developing a successful market strategy. From the increasing importance of monitoring small trend variances to the influence of international market developments, commercial success is shaped by the ability to adapt to industry fluctuation.

2013 winners: Are these the best wines from NZ's best vintage?
It's now two and a half years since the fruit of the 2013 New Zealand vintage was harvested and immediately declared a rare gift from Bacchus. I'm still tasting 2013 wines for the first time, most of these being top shelf releases that have been given more time in the bottle to polish their moves. Some of these look astonishingly good, especially the Hawke's Bay Syrahs. If I were to pick one star variety from the vintage, it would have to be Syrah, with chardonnay a close second.

Wilfred Wong joins the judging team for wine show
Entries for the 2015 Marlborough Wine Show close this Friday 18 September and judging takes place on 6 and 7 October. Guest international judges are Ralph Kyte-Powell of Melbourne and San Francisco-based Wilfred Wong, sponsored by Wine Marlborough. Wilfred is Chief Storyteller for Wine.com and is a 40+ year veteran of the wine industry. In his role at Wine.com, Wilfred concentrates his efforts on social media.

Swiss winegrowers blame fungicide for damage
The wine grape harvests of 900 growers in Switzerland have been damaged after using the Moon Privilege fungicide produced by the German chemical firm Bayer, a Swiss TV report claims. Bayer says it is investigating but rejects legal responsibility at present. According to a Swiss public television (RTS) documentary broadcast on September 13, around 2,000 hectares of crops out of a total of 15,000 have been affected after being treated with the Moon Privilege fungicide. A total of 900 wine growers are reportedly affected.

Climate change threatens European wine production
The EU is the world's biggest wine producer, but a recent publication has revealed the extent to which the sector is under threat from climate change. EurActiv France reports. The harvest is already over for many Beaujolais wine makers. Early harvests have also taken producers in many other French regions by surprise. Some wine makers were concerned by the unusually hot summer, but the resulting high sugar content in this year's grapes, which guarantees a high level of alcohol in the finished product, is seen by many as a good thing.

2015 harvest could redefine Oregon's wine industry
Changing conditions could mean a change of pace for the Pacific Northwestern state. So far, climate change is turning out just ducky for the Oregon wine industry. Last year's harvest was the biggest on record, a whopping 39 percent bigger than the year before. This year might top it. And 2015, on top of 2014, might represent a turning point for Oregon. The state historically struggled to ripen red grapes and turned that to an advantage with Pinot Noir, which now makes up 58 percent of Oregon's plantings.

Millennials are drinking enough wine to (slowly) change the market
What am I getting when I purchase this bottle of wine? The answer seems obvious on its face: a glass bottle, a cork, and 750 milliliters of wine. But millennials expect more with a purchase, and that expectation is changing the way wine is made, marketed and distributed. “A big part of this generation is that they’re using brands as an extension of who they are,” OneHope vineyard co-founder Jake Kloberdanz told LifeZette.

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