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News posted on Monday, 16 March 2015

Growers exit industry as many grapple with economic squeeze
Harvesting is in full swing in almost every vineyard across eastern Australia and this year, more than ever, it is a race to get ripened grapes picked in time. An early spring and erratic summer weather meant harvesting in some regions began a month earlier than usual. In most wine regions it is likely to be finished weeks earlier than normal. But in the inland wine producing regions some growers will not bother to harvest their grapes as Australia's wine industry faces a period of rationalisation. Growers who do not have contracts to sell their harvest to wineries face the prospect of unwanted fruit — another year of financial loss.

Record Australian presence at ProWein
With 39 producers from 30 regions, across six states, this year's Australian wine contingent will be the largest and most diverse that ProWein has seen. The Wine Australia stand will also neighbour fellow Australian exhibitors to collectively showcase more than 60 wineries. The centrepiece for Wine Australia will be a masterclass hosted by Australian wine expert, Mark Davidson, which will explore the theme ‘History, Evolution, Revolution’.

San Miguel acquires Australian wine packaging supplier
SAN MIGUEL Corp. (SMC) has expanded its packaging business in the Australasian region with the acquisition of an Australian supplier of wine bottle closures and customized bottles. In a statement, the country’s most diversified conglomerate said San Miguel Yamamura Packaging International Ltd. (SMYPIL) -- through its new Australian unit, SMYV Pty. Ltd. -- has completed the purchase of Vinocor Worldwide Direct Pty. Ltd. The Adelaide-based Vinocor makes cork, screw caps, customized glass bottles and champagne hoods and capsules.

SA growers summit to tackle grape prices
The real impact of fluctuating currencies on South Australia’s winegrape growers will be presented at the second annual SA Winegrape Growers Summit being held on July 17. The Wine Grape Council of South Australia (WGCSA) said while the falling dollar is a positive factor for the wine industry the level of benefit is still to be determined. Peter Hackworth, WGCSA executive officer, said new free trade agreements with countries like China and South Korea were good signs for Australia’s wine industry, but our competitors in other exporting countries like Chile and South Africa are also benefiting from similar rates of depreciation.

Adelaide Uni launch new online wine course
The University of Adelaide’s School of Agriculture, Food and Wine is taking its wine education free to the world with its first open online course on wine. Offered under the banner AdelaideX, Wine101x is a free online course covering wine tasting, how grapes are grown and wine is made and how science benefits the wine industry. Although entirely online, participants will make their own ‘virtual wine’ and have their process judged - with medals awarded to the best of the bunch.

New Zealand vines doubled
Since the early 2000s, the amount of land planted in wine grapes throughout New Zealand has increased by a whopping 100 per cent. In the last 12 years, according to Statistics New Zealand, between the years 2002 and 2014, the area of land planted in grapes has leapt from 17,300 hectares to 34,130 hectares. Statistics have also been released for areas planted in apples, cherries, blackcurrants, avocados and kiwifruit over the same period.

Yealands locks in NT distribution deal
New Zealand’s Yealands Family Wines has secured a new distribution agreement for its portfolio in the Northern Territory. NT Agencies has signed on as the distributor of Yealands in the top end, effective this week. Yealands Wine Group national sales manager in Australia, Andrew Thiele said the new agreement was another step in the right direction for the brand, which experienced significant growth in global markets during 2014.

Ontario: Large grocers will get wine, beer under Liberals’ plan
Coming soon to a supermarket near you: Beer and wine. Three decades after politicians first promised beer and wine in corner stores, the Liberal government now plans to go further — by liberalizing sales in hundreds of large supermarkets across the province. The government wants to significantly loosen the quasi-monopoly held by the foreign-owned chain ever since prohibition ended nine decades ago. Potentially hundreds of Ontario’s larger supermarkets — from among the roughly 1,500 located across the province — would initially be permitted to sell beer and wine.

Israeli wine industry leaving France and Italy in the dust
Jerusalem Wine Club CEO Eli Poch says Israel has advantages that are allowing for unparalleled growth. In 1987, the Golan Heights Winery won Israeli wines their first major international award in competition with the 1986 Yarden Cabernet Sauvignon 1984 at the International Wines & Spirits Competition in London. Eli Poch, the Founder and CEO of the Jerusalem Wine Club and proprietor of the Club's full-service wine shop in Efrat, says the industry has never looked back.

Profits fizz at Accolade Wines
Pre-tax profits have grown by more than £4m (A$7.75m) at the owner of wine brands Hardys and Echo Falls. Accolade Wines, which claims to be the UK's largest wine company, has posted sales of £625.6m in its latest financial year, an increase from £621.7m the year before. UK revenues for the year ended 30 June 2014 rose from £553.9m to £562.4m while turnover from mainland Europe fell from £67.8m to £63.3m. Operating profits for the year grew from £16.7m to £21.8m while pre-tax profits increased by more than £4m – rising from £14.3m to £15.8m.

Priorat wineries facing 'shortage of grapes'
A shortage of grapes in the Spanish wine regions of Priorat and Mallorca has led to a surge in prices and is causing concern among some producers. Rising demand for grapes in Priorat - already the source of some of Spain's most expensive wines - has caused a spike in grape prices, said Valenti Llagostera, from Mas Doix, one of the area's leading red wine producers. Producers were paying 3 euros ($3.1) per kilo, and in some cases as much as 6 euros per kilo, for red grape varieties, he said.

At Kauri we are well ahead of the researchers and already have commercial MLF strains on the market that we know how & why they influence wine aroma, colour and flavour! MaloBacti CN1 – citric acid negative strain, preserves primary fruit aromas. MaloBacti HF2 – colour protective strain, promotes red berry characters in red wines. MaloBacti AF3 – Australian isolated strain, promotes dark berry characters in red wines.

California no longer copying Europe
Californian winemakers may be attempting to emulate the quality of Europe’s great wines, but not the flavours, stressed Mark de Vere MW at a tasting in London this week. Speaking on Monday during a seminar called “Then & Now” at London’s “Go West” tasting of Oregon, Washington and Californian wines, de Vere told attendees that California was not looking to copy Burgundy or Bordeaux with its top end wines made using Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon, despite the urge among professionals to draw comparisons between them and alternatives from the classic wine regions of Europe.

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