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News posted on Thursday, 16 July 2015

Poor wine grape prices making retirement for growers impossible
Low wine grape prices are continuing to plague growers and a free financial counselling service is urging people in trouble to reach out. Rural Business Support Financial Counsellor, Rita Perre, said some grape growers have never recovered from the millennium drought and now the price of grapes is preventing growers from servicing debts. She said some growers do not have the cash flow to continue production and cannot sell their properties at a sustainable price, but there is help available.

Making cellar door experiences memorable
The “wow factor” is increasingly extending way beyond the quality of the wine in presenting the most memorable cellar door impressions, according to a recent seminar held at WineTech 2015. Wineries that offer regional food and wine experiences and share insights about the artisans that produce them enjoy the greatest success in terms of immediate and follow up sales. Over three days, WineTech 2015 is addressing national and global influences on demand, capability and competitiveness for the Australian wine industry and it is featuring a vast trade floor of new products and technologies.

Australian wine exports rise in value and volume
In the 12 months to 30 June 2015, the value of Australian wine exports rose five per cent to A$1.89 billion according to the Wine Export Approval Report June 2015 released today by Wine Australia. This is the first time the value of wine exports has increased on a financial year basis since 2006–07. Andreas Clark, Wine Australia’s Chief Executive Officer, said growth in value was driven by the strength of Australian exports in the Asian market. “The value of wine exports to Northeast Asia was up 29 per cent and Southeast Asia was up 18 per cent."

QLD college changes Australia's wine landscape with 'strange bird' varieties
Queensland's only wine college is leading the way in wine production by adopting unique varieties that are suited for the southern Queensland climate. The Queensland College of Wine and Tourism opened in Stanthorpe in 2007 as a joint venture between the State Government, Stanthorpe High School and the University of Southern Queensland (USQ). The development of the industry by the college and local region has put Queensland wine makers on the map.

Australian wine exports rise in value and volume in 2014–15

Wine scientist thinks he has the best job in the world
Learning what makes a great bottle of wine is about more than just the taste test. What are the qualities that separate a cheap bottle of plonk from the finest wines Australia has to offer? What is the best way to keep a bottle of wine fresh? And why are screw caps superior to traditional cork tops? These are just some of the questions that Dr Markus Herderich has spent a career investigating. As the group manager of research at the Australian Wine Research Institute, he is lucky enough to follow his "passion about wine and science" during his day job.

New Zealand wine recalled due to glass scare
A New Zealand winemaker is recalling three of its products due to possible glass fragments in its Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc. 3 Stones wines initiated the recall yesterday after a packaging fault was found which meant glass fragments could be dislodged from the bottles upon opening. The products affected are 3 Stones Sauvignon Blanc 2014 (batch code L5148), 3 Stones Pinot Gris 2015 (batch code L5148 and Clearwater Cove Pinot Gris 2015 (batch code L5148).

Wine auction set to be fast and furious
The tastings have been completed, the scores tallied, now let the bidding war begin. Wine drinkers with an eye for a bargain will have the chance to lap up the range of wine varieties when almost 4000 bottles go under the hammer at the annual Spiegelau International Wine Competition auction on Thursday night. The auction at the Marlborough Convention Centre is the traditional closing of the three-day judging competition which has seen 1300 wines from the world's major grape growing regions scored on their merits.

Bordeaux winemaker death inquiry to focus on pesticides
A potentially groundbreaking criminal investigation is set to be launched in France over claims that the death of a Bordeaux winemaker was caused by exposure to pesticides. The first steps towards a criminal prosecution came after Valerie Murat filed legal action over the the death of her father, claiming ‘involuntary homicide’. James-Bernard Murat, a winemaker in Pujols in the Entre deux Mers region of Bordeaux, died of lung cancer in 2012.

How France dominates oak barrel trade for fine wines
Crafted by artisans using high quality oak, "Made in France" wine barrels, in which age some of the world's most expensive wines, are selling like hot cakes abroad, with exports making up 70 percent of the market. The barrels house an elite club of wines, with only two to four percent fermenting in these prized oak containers. Other wines usually age in concrete or steel tanks. While the barrel market dipped slightly in 2014 after 20 years of solid growth, the industry is still going strong.

English wine makes British Airways first class list
English still wines have often struggled to generate the same excitement as their sparkling wine counterparts in recent years, but British Airways has gone some way to redressing the balance. The 2014 vintage of Bolney Estate‘s Pinot Gris, priced at £16 to £17 per bottle in retailers, will be served to first class passengers on all BA flights to and from the US throughout August. It is the first English still wine to be listed by the airline, the winery said. ‘It demonstrates the quality reputation that British wines are now receiving,’ said Bolney’s managing director, Sam Linter.

Big brand wine opportunity greater than ever in China
The opportunity for branded inexpensive New World wines in China is bigger than ever before, according to Wine Intelligence. Following the release yesterday of its China Wine Market Landscape Report, Richard Halstead, who is co-founder and COO at Wine Intelligence, told the drinks businessthat it wouldn’t be long before a major international wine brand made significant headway in the country. “It is only a matter of time before there is a big brand breakthrough,” he stated. Continuing, he explained, “The market for a proper, sensibly-price, brand-led offer is probably more open now in China than it has ever been.”

Poor wine grape prices making retirement impossible
Low wine grape prices are continuing to plague growers and a free financial counselling service is urging people in trouble to reach out. Rural Business Support Financial Counsellor, Rita Perre, said some grape growers have never recovered from the millennium drought and now the price of grapes is preventing growers from servicing debts.

Researchers looking to make more alcohol out of wine waste product
Improving the processing of wine waste to produce more alcohol is the focus of new research at South Australia's University of Adelaide. Researchers are looking at ways to make the processing of grape marc; the solid waste left after crushing the juice from grapes, more sustainable.

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