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News posted on Thursday, 16 February 2017

Pinot Searches Hit All-Time High
While France dominates the search numbers, interest in New World Pinot Noir is showing healthy growth. Interest in Pinot Noir is at an all-time high, according to a presentation made by Wine-Searcher's David Allen MW at the Pinot Noir NZ conference in Wellington, New Zealand, this month. In 2016, more than 13 million searches were made for wines produced from Pinot Noir on Wine-Searcher, from Richebourg to Santa Barbara to Central Otago. The vast majority of these searches – around 71 percent – were for wines from France, and overwhelmingly for wines from Burgundy.

Tourism map leaves out Gisborne
A Gisborne man has been left asking why this region has missed out “again” after the city, the East Coast and the entire eastern corner of the island were left off a wall map erected at a hostel at Christchurch Airport. During a sales trip to Christchurch, earlier this week, Wright’s Winery grower Geoff Wright saw a wall map, described as “at least 10 feet tall” in the shared common room of the Jucysnooze backpackers hostel. “Gisborne is a significant historical site as the first landing site for Captain Cook, Europeans, the chardonnay capital of New Zealand, best surfing beaches and it feeds New Zealanders from our fertile soil.”

Why tempranillo is star grape of Spain
This is one of those big-fish-in-a-big-pond situations. The pond is Spain, the place with more vineyard acreage than any other country on earth, and the fish is tempranillo, Spain's big red grape variety. It's actually not Spain's most widely planted wine grape; that honor belongs to the white grape variety airen. But as anglers and wine buffs know, big ponds often have more than one kind of big fish, and all big fishes are not equally rewarding to catch.

Wineries to take demise of TPP in stride
After the United States' withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the trade boons is was expected to bring for Oregon wine, the owners of local wineries are saying 'c'est la vie' and do not expect much of an impact. While some said it was short-sighted, at least from an agricultural standpoint, to pull out of the deal, which would have removed obstacles and duties on wines heading to important importers like Canada and Japan, they plan to forge on without it as they have been. "Oregon makes the best pinot noir in the new world, by far," asserted Alex Sokol Blosser, winemaker and co-president of Sokol Blosser Winery in the Dundee Hills.

California Wine Exports Reach $1.62 Billion
U.S. wine exports, 90% from California, reached $1.62 billion in winery revenues in 2016, a new record. Despite challenges from a strong dollar, winery revenues were up 1% from 2015. Volume was 412.7 million liters or 45.9 million cases. "California wine exports continue to reflect the trend toward premiumization with the dollar value of our wine sales outpacing volume shipments. California wines are well positioned for this trend—our vintners are offering quality, value, diverse styles and environmental stewardship in their winemaking.

JC winery to sell country's only hemp-infused wine
During a trip to the Netherlands in the mid '90s, Binghamton resident James Castetter met a Dutchman in a cafe who talked about hemp-infused wine that he created. Interested in the idea, Castetter reproduced the same beverage when he came back home and sold it. Later, new laws would prohibit the sale of hemp-infused alcohol, creating a real buzzkill. Now, as views toward hemp have changed, his son, Kaelan Castetter, a student at Binghamton University, persuaded him to team up with him to run another hemp-infused wine venture. Together, they operate Innovative Bottling Inc., a winery at 116 Brown St., Johnson City that produces their wine: Sovereign Vines.

London calling Women in Wine
The Australian Women in Wine Awards will partner with Wine Australia to take the 2017 awards to a new ‘Women in Wine’ event set to be held in London in September. The advisory board of the Australian Women in Wine Awards (AWIWA) has confirmed the partnership will result in an exciting new direction for the awards this year. A tasting event at Australia House London will take place on Tuesday 26 September to demonstrate the quality and diversity of Australian wines made by female winemakers and wine brands owned by women.

Disaster zone for Swan Valley
Swan Valley grape growers are continuing to count the cost of unseasonal wet weather. As water levels along the Swan River subsided yesterday, growers said the excess moisture could cause the fruit to split and rot, even in cases where crops had not gone under water. Sittella Wines senior winemaker Colby Quirk said they had tried to pick as much fruit as they could before the rain hit but had not been able to save any shiraz grapes. “We've got $100,000-$300,000 worth of fruit that can’t be turned into wine,” he said.

Is 12-1 Possible?
Two significant and recent developments indicate that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) could survive the US withdrawal. First, it was recently reported that in March 2017, the remaining 11 TPP members will meet in Chile to discuss the status of the TPP and the possibility of making minor changes to the text of the agreement to allow it to move forward. Specifically, Article 30.5 could be altered so that the agreement may enter into force without the United States.

Finding her feet after the storm
When Rachel Steer arrived at Chapel Hill as the viticulturist it was like she entered the industry from a hole in the clouds; coming down from the clam and clear sky right before the storm. “I came into the wine industry when it was really booming and rode the wave right to the bottom… Which wasn’t really the way I planned it,” Steer said. “When I was completing high school the wine industry was really booming. Living in the Adelaide Hills it was easy to get caught up in the enthusiasm.”

Writing about Australian wines
Although I’m completely aware that what I do for a living isn’t exactly breaking rocks under the sun, there are, indeed, days that can be quite exhausting. The times I find most draining—yet get the least sympathy for (not that I’m looking for any, really)—are when I’m travelling for work. As an example, when I was on a trip with Wine Australia a few weeks back—visiting dozens of wineries and attending many events over nine days—it proved quite challenging.

NZ explores ‘acoustic’ style of Sauvignon

High tunnels extend vineyard growing season
Mari Vineyards typically begins setting up the high tunnels over its vines in late April, as soon as vineyard manager Sean Noell thinks the last “really cold night” has passed. With the heavy plastic sheeting of the sidewalls extended fully to the ground, and the end doors open, the high-tunnel temperature can be 20 degrees warmer than the outdoor temperature. The tunnel plastic stays up until about the beginning of November and is then removed so the vines can go into hibernation.





New Holland


WID 2017