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News posted on Thursday, 15 October 2015

Treasury Wine eyes split after $754m Diageo wine buy
Treasury Wine Estates chief executive Mike Clarke has foreshadowed a likely split of the company into a luxury wine business, led by Penfolds, Wolf Blass and Wynns, and a separate one focused on lower-end commercial wines, which may be sold. Clarke raised the possibility after announcing on Wednesday the acquisition of most of alcoholic beverages giant Diageo's wine division for $754 million, with a large chunk of the funds to come from a 2-for-15 rights issue to raise $486 million.

Tasmanian sustainable viticulture scheme to strengthen sector
Tasmania's wine industry is looking to assure its future with a new framework for sustainable viticulture. Good environmental credentials are an important ingredient for the state's vineyards, which occupy some of the most picturesque parts of the island. Wine Tasmania's scheme covers financial, environmental and social sustainability measures, but is simpler than the existing Entwine Australia environmental assurance program.

What is the best way to respond to a Twitter wine review?
As a Twitter user you are aware of the unexpected joy of receiving a notification on your phone that someone has mentioned your wine and given it a little thumbs up. Feels good doesn’t? To know that the wine you have laboured hard over has been so well loved? So what’s next? How do you: make the most of the social capital, thank the Twitterer who loved your wine and not look like a nob?

Alcohol tax causes policy headache
A row over how alcohol is taxed has deepened after a report by the Parliamentary Budget Office revealed the vastly different levies applied to wine, spirits and beer. The report released on Wednesday shows the effective tax rate on the alcohol content in niche craft beers can be as low as $1.71, while the effective rate on a $40 bottle of wine is much higher at $45.55 a litre. The tax on spirits and commercially produced beer is higher still.

Survey into growing wine industry
A survey into the growth of the Marlborough wine industry and its impact on the labour market will be a "guiding document" going forward, an industry expert says. Wine Marlborough general manager Marcus Pickens said more than 60 grapegrowers, wine companies and labour contractors would be interviewed as part of the research. The survey, which started on Monday, was the most comprehensive study into the future impact of the industry to date, Pickens said.

Bayer expects charges in 2016 as winegrowers link fungicide to crop damage
ZURICH (Reuters) - Bayer expects to pay wine growers compensation starting early next year after vineyards in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and Switzerland reported 2015 crop damage possibly linked to one of the company's fungicides. European grape growers reported deformed leaves and lower yields after using Moon Privilege - called Luna Privilege in some markets - from the German company's Crop Science unit.

Pernod announces slew of appointments and promotions
Pernod Ricard has announced a number of key new appointments. In Asia, Xavier Beysecker has been appointed vice president, digital for Pernod Ricard Asia. Digital is a key area of focus for the group as it moves from a brand-focused approach to a consumer-centric strategy under the leadership of new chairman and chief executive Alexandre Ricard.

How to finance your own vineyard
Some banks are seeing a growing breed of vineyard buyer: San Francisco or Silicon Valley executives or entrepreneurs wanting to wine and dine friends with their private-label wine. In response to increasing demand from these and other buyers, Exchange Bank earlier this year formalized a vineyard-loan program and now offers 10- and 15-year, fixed-rate loans, says Steve Herron, manager of the commercial banking group for the Santa Rosa, Calif.-based bank.

August rainfall ‘saved’ Germany 2015 harvest
After an exceptionally dry summer in Germany, the grapes were were 'saved' by rain in August - but still resulted in late ripening, lower quantity and high alcohol for the German 2015 vintage. The vines protected themselves by reducing their vegetative growth, but after many consecutive days when temperatures rose above 40 degrees, they were at their limit,’ said Lorenz Neder, winemaker for Weingut Ewald Neder in Franconia. Luckily, rainfall at the beginning of August – necessary to ripen the grapes – saved the vintage.’

Voters can have a taste for wine judging with new people's choice award
WINE drinkers will be able to get expert advice at the Orange Wine Show Tasting on Saturday evening. As well as tasting entries from the Orange Region Wine Show, this year the Central Western Daily is offering participants the chance to be the judge in the People’s Choice Wine Award. By entering the people’s choice award, participants can see if they agree with the judges on the gold medal-winning wines and how their taste buds fare against other participants.

Minerality mysteries remain
Ongoing wine research by Dr Wendy Parr of Lincoln University indicates that while minerality is not a figment of tasters’ sensorial imagination, the source of the perception remains a mystery, and the description should be used with caution in formal wine tasting and judging situations. ‘Minerality’ is used by wine professionals to describe the character of certain wines, with vague references made to wet stones, crushed rock and soil.

Minerality mysteries remain
Ongoing wine research by Dr Wendy Parr of Lincoln University indicates that while minerality is not a figment of tasters’ sensorial imagination, the source of the perception remains a mystery, and the description should be used with caution in formal wine tasting and judging situations. ‘Minerality’ is used by wine professionals to describe the character of certain wines, with vague references made to wet stones, crushed rock and soil.

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