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News posted on Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Economists predict 'rosy' year for Marlborough
The Marlborough economy is well placed to weather most economic challenges during the next 12 months, economists say. Export growth from the wine industry, as well as growing international tourism trends, especially from China, is expected to help insulate the region from economic issues, such as the low dairy payout, facing larger regions. Infometrics senior economist Benje Patterson and ANZ chief economist Cameron Bagrie each spelled out a positive outlook for Marlborough over the next year at separate meetings in Blenheim.

Mike Insley talks Kiwi wine in China
Expat Kiwi viticulturist Mike Insley shares key insights with Kea regarding the production of wine in Yinchuan, China. “The Wine industry in this part of China reminds me a lot of the Marlborough industry when I first started there in the late 1980’s. At that stage, Muller Thurgau (remember those wines?) was the largest variety, Marlborough was just starting to get some international wine recognition and total NZ wine exports were around NZ$50 million p.a. They’re now NZ$1.4 Billion.”

Explosive wildfire devastates Lake County
Northern Californians are again finding themselves at Mother Nature's mercy. Yetanother wildfire erupted in dry, drought-stricken Lake County on the afternoon of Saturday, Sept. 12. It's the county’s fourth this year, by far the most destructive to date. Dozens of wineries and vineyards are inaccessible due to the fire, and more than 5,000 buildings are without power, bringing harvest to a halt in the emerging wine region due north of Napa, where Howell Mountain and its prized Cabernet vineyards have already been evacuated.

French winemakers hunt for climate change-resistant grape
French wine growers are hunting for a climate change-resistant grape that can cope with scorching summers and unstable conditions. Producers realised the threat of climate change during a 2003 heatwave, when grapes in some areas melted on vines. The summer of 2015 has been exceptionally dry, with France recording its third-hottest July since 1900 and receiving less than half the amount of rain than usual.

Beaujolais 'has a big role to play in China'
China’s dwindling economy could help stabilise its wine market and see it being a new devotee of Beaujolais and white Burgundy according to Louis Latour’s export director, Mark Allen. Since Maison Latour acquired Brouilly-based Henry Fessy in 2008, the négociant has concentrated on making Beaujolais wines more recognizable in China as well as bolstering its portfolio of white Burgundy in the country renowned for its love of red, reported export director, Mark Allen.

Wine prices fall as supermarkets take on the discounters
Wine prices are sliding as multiple grocers take on the discounters in a price war, the latest Nielsen figures have revealed. In the past quarter, just two countries – the US and France – saw the average price for a 75cl bottle grow by 1% in the 12 weeks to June 20, according to Nielsen figures in the WSTA Market Report. South Africa and Germany held their price – and the rest of the countries saw it fall.

September 2015 Grapegrower & Winemaker magazine out now
The September 2015 issue of the Grapegrower & Winemaker magazine is out now – and is available online for all subscribers. This month features an in-depth look at how biosecurity is being tackled by the wine industry with Stuart Pettigrew describing his role in WGGA’s two new projects set to benefit wine grape growers across Australia. We also bring you the latest on Treasury Wine Estates’ profit turnaround and the newest sparkling trend taking over in Australia and Europe.

Taltarni Taché awarded Australia’s best sparkling Rosé
Taltarni Taché was awarded Australia’s Best Sparkling Rosé at The Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships 2015 held on 2 September. Competition founder Tom Stevenson and fellow judge Essi Avellan MW announced the award at Vintners’ Hall in London, in front of over 100 international winemakers, producers and journalists. Adam Torpy, Taltarni chief executive officer, was extremely excited to receive news of the award back in Australia.

Yalumba scores new distribution partnership in Japan
The Yalumba Wine Company announced a new deal with Suntory Wine International in early September which will see the distribution of both Yalumba and Oxford Landing Estates brands across Japan next month. Nick Waterman, Yalumba chief executive officer, said he was “very excited” to work with a company of the strength and size of Suntory. “A big consideration for us was the fact that Suntory, like Yalumba which was founded in 1849, remains under family ownership,” Waterman said.

What will Turnbull do about wine tax?
PHILIP WHITE OPINION | While the Australian wine industry is never particularly polished in its politics, we saw one sad encapsulation of its beggarly state in the midst of yesterday’s treachery in the national capital. The Abbott feathers were still wafting about the party room as the gubmnt members filed out. It was worth enduring that wild and bloody day just to watch the faces of those with connections to the big wine industry, Senators Ruston, Birmingham and Edwards, as they slunk back into the public view.

McLaren Vale to produce first sustainable wine show in Australia
McLaren Vale Grape Wine & Tourism Association (MVGWTA) announced plans for a phased introduction of a sustainability prerequisite into the region’s annual wine show. From 2016, the McLaren Vale Wine Show will be the first wine show of its kind in Australia to recognise the sustainability as a condition of entry – strengthening the region’s long term strategy and sustainability vision. John Hill, recently appointed MVGWTA chair, believes the phased introduction is a step in the right direction to further enhance the McLaren Vale Wine Show while appealing to sustainable- conscious consumers.

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