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News posted on Thursday, 15 December 2016

Vive la rosé revolution
I'd stumbled into a rosé tasting by mistake. All around the room – the main floor of the Prince Wine Store in South Melbourne – winemakers, importers and distributors had just begun to pour their latest offerings of rosés, rosados, rosats and rosatos from near and far: Bandol, Barossa, Burgenland, Bordeaux, Bendigo, Provence, Montsant, Rioja, Yarra Valley, McLaren Vale. Winemaker Adam Foster of Foster e Rocco and Syrahmi (Heathcote), asked if I'd come to town for the tasting. My look conveyed enough, Foster's rejoinder? "Maybe it's also about time you joined the revolution then, Tim!" It's the #roserevolution that Foster is referring to here; just so you know if, like me, you've not yet enlisted.

Exploring export opportunity
The Federal Government is encouraging producers to jump aboard the export bandwagon for the economic benefit of the country, as well as individual business profitability. Hosted by the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the North Asia Free Trade Agreements Seminar gave Goulburn Valley business owners the chance to learn more about the opportunities created by Australia’s free-trade agreements with South Korea, Japan and China. Nagambie’s McPherson Wines owner Andrew McPherson shared his free-trade agreement experience by highlighting how his business activity had grown with export.

When life hands you Syrah ...
Years ago, winemaker Jed Steele noticed that many gatherings in the heart of Australian wine country began with a flute of bubbling red wine. The toasts and laughter inspired by the wine caused Steele to seek something similar from his own stock. Thus was the origin of the winery’s popular Black Bubbles, a non vintage line from the Shooting Star label. Of course, enthusiasm for an idea means little without a handy store of grapes. Fortunately, harvest almost always leaves the crush pad at Steele Wines lined with tubs and tubs overflowing with Syrah.

Chinese open arms to Australian wine
China's wine market is emerging from its recent state of flux, bolstering wine markets that had banked on its growth. According to a new Rabobank report, businesses that were increasingly invested in “what is now one of the world’s largest wine import markets”, will see some upswing. The report — launched last week at international wine conference Wine Vision in Sonoma, California — said the Chinese wine market had shifted away from the business and government entertainment sector toward younger retail consumers.

Nurturing vineyards for the future
Granite Belt wine professionals and volunteers have bolstered the region's Vineyards for the Future program. A group took part in a vineyard planting at the Queensland College of Wine Tourism on Tuesday morning. Symphony Hill winemaker and USQ adjunct professor Mike Hayes said the 34 varieties planted on Tuesday would bring the total number in the QCWT vineyard to 75. "We'll have 90 (varieties) here eventually,” Mr Hayes said. He said this would be part of the college's efforts to safeguard the Queensland wine industry into the future.

Marlborough Council issues grape marc prosecutions
The founder of a wine company with the goal of being the most sustainable in the world is being prosecuted for the discharge of grape marc, a winemaking byproduct. Peter Yealands, the founder of Yealands Family Wines, is one of five parties being charged by the Marlborough District Council for alleged offences under the Resource Management Act. All of the charges relate to the discharge of grape marc and grape marc leachate, made up of the skins, stems and pulp left over after grapes are crushed to make wine, onto land or water.

Cricket: Ex-skipper promotes vintage quality
A Marlborough man through and through, Jarrod Englefield could have gone on to play for the Black Caps but regrettably the top-order batsman retired too soon. But that doesn't mean Englefield has lost his passion for the country's No 1 summer sport since assuming the mantle of global sales manager of Misty Cove Wines this year. The former Central Districts Stags captain from Blenheim, who turns 37 this Sunday, is instrumental in sponsoring the return of Sri Lanka batting maestro Mahela Jayawardene who will begin his campaign this summer in Napier on Friday.

New focus on organic wines and bar trends at prowein
ProWein has unveiled details of its 2017 programme, which includes a new focus on organic wines, greater emphasis on bars and food, and introducing wines from less well-known regions. Returning to the Dusseldorf Exhibition Centre for its 23rd year on 19-21 March, the world’s largest trade wine show is set to host around 6,300 exhibitors from around 60 nations worldwide. New for 2017 is Organic World, a showcase of 30 international organic wine producers in a designated areas. New exhibitors this year also include Ecuadoran winery Dos Hemisferios, Pico Wines from the Azores and Polish winery Turnau and the Asian Wine Producers Association (AWP), an organization formed to promote recognition of both Asian Wines, and also Asia as a respected wine region.

Fine wine investment: fundamental narratives
At Amphora Portfolio Management we spend a lot of time reading what other commentators write by way of fine wine investment advice. A lot of articles tend to leave the reader hanging. Conclusions such as: “has the easy money been made?”; “can the market maintain its direction?”; and “can the market press on, or are the Dollar and Euro cellars now full?” populate most market updates. For those who think there is no such thing as a bad decision this isn’t particularly helpful.

2016 ‘not a disaster’ for burgundy
Despite a challenging year the president of the Bureau Interprofessionnel des Vins de Bourgogne has said the situation is more stable now the harvest is in. In terms of both the size of the vintage and its quality, Louis-Fabrice Latour (pictured), president of the BIVB, told the drinks business there was a great deal of relief in many parts of Burgundy now that the wine was in tanks and being evaluated. He explained that the final figures on the size of the harvest were not yet in – and wouldn’t be until early spring next year in all likelihood – but overall the figures were probably going to be down 20% on 2015.

Monks making vast bucks
Buckfast monks tonic wine sales have hit a record high. Sales of the controversial caffeine-fuelled tipple reached £8.8million in 2014-15. Sales of the caffeine-fuelled wine that’s a smash hit with Scots has raked in huge sums for its makers at Buckfast Abbey, Devon – with most of the income to its charitable trust. Figures from the Charity Commission showed Buckfast Abbey Trust’s income was £8.8m in 2014-15, the latest year for which figures are available.





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