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News posted on Friday, 16 October 2015

Strong export growth for Australian wine
The value of Australian wine exports has seen a seven year spike in the past 12 months, rising eight per cent to $1.96 billion, according to a report released by Wine Australia today. Export Report September 2015 signals the need for improvement in profitability for Australian wine, with the rate of value growth currently outpacing volume which increased five per cent to 734 million litres. Andreas Clark, Wine Australia’s Chief Executive Officer, said the export results are “unambiguously good news” for the grape and wine community.

Penfolds host Grange reveal in China
Penfolds celebrated the new vintage release of The Penfolds Collection 2015, led by the flagship 2011Grange, at a gala event held in Shanghai a short time ago. The event, hosted by Penfolds Chief Winemaker Peter Gago, was attended by more than 300 international guests and featured the global premier of ‘The Story of Grange’, a short film showcasing the story of Grange and its creator, Max Schubert. Gago said the event was a celebration in every sense of the word.

Bond-style tech to protect SA wine industry
It’s technology that would make Q proud: glue that can store microscopic information. Like a scene out of a Bond movie or Minority Report, this glue – and other fluids mixed with paint or applied to surfaces – acts as a tiny gel screen that can be scanned to retrieve the product’s information and history to prove its authenticity. The process, developed by Australia’s CSIRO, is now being applied to everything from the paint on vehicles to zoo animals.

Why the deals aren't over for Treasury Wines
Treasury Wine Estates is back on song. In the past year Treasury Wine chief executive Mike Clarke has significantly cut costs, increased earnings, and now he is boldly making sizeable acquisitions, including the $754 million purchase of Diageo's wine business. The deal is expected to double revenue from US luxury wine sales and supercharge its growth in the world's biggest economy.

Winery rises to the challenge
MERBEIN winemaker Chalmers Wines has won a national award for its 2014 Montevecchio¬ Moscato at the Australian Inland Wine Show at Swan Hill. The award-winning wine produced from an imported Italian grape variety, Moscato Giallo, was made at the Chalmers family’s Heathcote vineyard. Kim and Tennille Chalmers said they were thrilled to have won the award in the National Moscato Challenge section of the wine show – held earlier this month – which attracted 50 entrants.

Kiwis bottle it but in a good way say judges
IN THE year of the Rugby World Cup the timing of New Zealand's latest international win over Australia could not be better - and some may see it as a promising omen. At the Six Nations Wine Challenge, which was staged in Sydney last week, New Zealand took out the Wine Nation of Show trophy, with Hawke's Bay wineries and vineyards among the trophy and gold medal results. Australia was runner-up.

Sampling reveals lots on offer
Wine lovers got a chance last night to pre-sample a line-up of 40 mostly unique wine blends that will be up for grabs in a month's time at the 24th annual Hawke's Bay Wine Auction. The tasting was held in the Gatsby Room at the Art Deco Masonic Hotel in Naper. This year's auction will be held at the Hawke's Bay Opera House Plaza on Saturday, November 14 and proceeds from the auction will go to Cranford Hospice.

Wine producers rising to the challenge
Challenges to the wine industry are currently putting wine producers under pressure. On the local front the South African government’s lack of commitment to the industry and political uncertainty plays a role. Internationally, producers have to contend with increased competition, inflation and volatile exchange rates. The relatively small local market, distance from the main markets and the influence of changing weather patterns adds to the risks.

The great Brettanomyces taste test
As she passed me the wine - a 2012 Croatian blend priced at €10.00 ($11.25) ex-cellars – the winemaker watched me carefully, looking for my reaction. As I sniffed, I was aware of dark berry fruit, expensive oak – and an animal character that might have been caused by reduction, but I didn’t think so. “I like it,” I said. “But something bothers me. Is there a little Brett?” Yes, she replied frankly, one of the blend’s components had indeed been affected by Brettanomyces.

French wine consumption shows signs of life – survey
French wine consumption has near enough halved overall in the last 40 years, prompting inquests into national identity and socio-economic headaches for producers. But, the latest survey from government affiliated body FranceAgriMer suggests more French people are drinking wine in 2015 than five years ago – at least occasionally. Its survey of 4,000 people deemed representative of France’s demographics shows a six percentage point rise in occasional wine drinkers.

The effects of climate change on the California wine industry
Climate change is a threat not only to viticulture but to every living system worldwide. We’ve discussed some general global trends in past issues, but today the focus will be on the effects of climate change on some of the wine regions of California. With increasing temperatures in regions that are already on the brink of being too hot for winegrape production, studies estimate that suitable vineyard area of premium wine production in the US could decrease as much as 81% by the year 2100.

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