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News posted on Monday, 16 October 2017

How will the California fires impact wine?
Napa and Sonoma’s wine industry has lost its postcard image, replaced for now by scenes of char and death. How the region recovers depends heavily on the area’s largest industry, which contributes US$57 billion to the state economy, by some estimates. Source, Los Angeles Times

Disastrous harvest means wine prices could rise
Europe's worst harvest in decades, combined with lackluster production in the southern hemisphere and wildfires in California's wine region, has left analysts fearing shortages and higher prices. "We still foresee a dramatic decline in wine availability going into 2018," said Stephen Rannekleiv, a global beverages strategist at Rabobank. Source, CNN

Swedish wine tasters crowned world's best
Wine tasters from Sweden toasted victory on Saturday after winning the fifth edition of an international blind tasting contest in Burgundy in France's famed Cote d'Or wine-growing region, leaving last year's top contenders China and France in the dust. Source, The Jakarta Post

Inside the Napa Valley wineries gutted by wildfires
It was late on Sunday evening when Ray Signorello realized something was wrong. His wife Tanya, had spotted flames coming down the hillside towards their Napa Valley wine estate. Less than an hour later, the winery building containing the family home was on fire and the Signorellos had fled. By Monday morning, nothing was left of the winery building but a blackened heap of rubble. Source, the Daily Mail

A fine vintage uncorked at Orange wine festival
Orange turned on the fine weather for the opening of the 2017 Orange Wine Festival. Local wineries holding events across the weekend recorded good crowds. Orange Region Vignerons Association president Justin Jarrett held a unique event at his winery, with patrons comparing wines grown at different elevations. Source, Central Western Daily

Canberra wine wins international Riesling challenge
Out of more than 500 rieslings from seven countries, a wine from Canberra has been crowned the best. The 2017 Riesling from Gallagher Wines has taken out four prizes, including the top trophy, at the 18th Canberra International Riesling Challenge. Source, The Canberra Times

New Zealand’s dash of Spanish
Hugh Crichton gave up a successful career in the London financial markets to return home to New Zealand to pursue his first love – wine. But Crichton is not obsessed with Sauvignon Blanc. In fact he doesn’t think about it much at all, because he’s too busy striving to make some of the world’s most drinkable Chardonnay. Source, The Courier-Mail

Wine workforce will need to grow by a quarter
Wine growers in Marlborough say their workforce will have to increase by 24 percent in the next three years to support projected growth in the industry. The figures are based on a 25 percent growth in vineyard plantings over the next five years. Source, Radio New Zealand

Turning weed into wine in Lebanon
Sitting among the vines of Sauvignon Blanc and Tempranillo growing on his spectacular farm in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley, Michel Emad remembers the not-so-distant time when he opted to cultivate cannabis. Now he and the 220 farmers from the Coteaux Heliopolis cooperative are growing grapes for winemaking. Source, Yahoo!7 News

Chemical-free veterans prefer homemade wine
Queensland farmers Bruno and Trish Gabbana are walking advertisements for the benefits of hard work and a healthy life. Their abundant fields include a long established vineyard. Gabbana has never been a fan of store bought wines that include preservatives and makes his own to share with family and friends. "Homemade stuff is the best," he said. Source, The ABC

A 'great' vintage is looming in Tasmania
The Tasmanian wine industry has a good story to tell about this year’s vintage: despite a wet and cool start to the growing season, grapes slowly ripened during a dry, coolish summer and autumn to deliver a crop of 13,197 tonnes, with the quality across the state rated good to excellent. Source, Brand Tasmania

Raise a glass to skin-contact wines
Here’s a hot tip for looking clever when you’re next browsing a wine list – forego the usual whites or reds and ask instead to see the “skin-contact” wines. Made using an ancient winemaking technique that originated in Georgia, skin-contact wines have undergone a revival in Australia. Source, The Weekly Review

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WID 2017