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News posted on Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Australia set for most "exciting period" says Neil McGuigan
Critics of Australian wine need to “stand back” and prepare themselves for what Neil McGuigan of Australian Vintage believes could be the most “exciting period” in the country’s history driven by the best quality wines it has ever produced. The outspoken chief executive of Australian Vintage told Harpers.co.uk at ProWein this weekend that all the talk in the trade of the problems facing the Australian wine industry are so wide off the mark.

Wine retail survey reveals 'key challenges'
A global survey into wine retailing trends has identified three key challenges – the rise of convenience purchasing, online sales and store consolidation. The survey, undertaken by Wine Intelligence, was commissioned by the organisers of the world’s largest wine and spirits trade fair – ProWein – which is taking place in Düsseldorf this week. The survey represents data from eight separate markets accounting for half of the wine consumed globally.

Australia taps into the booming California wine industry
In February, Australian wine company Jacob’s Creek announced that it had joined hands with a California winemaker to produce a new lineup of wines, branded “Two Lands,” to be sold exclusively in the US. The collaborative project saw Jacob’s Creek’s head winemaker, Bernard Hickin, pair with Ehren Jordan, a renowned winemaker from the Napa Valley. The joint project comes mainly as an Australian effort to boost wine sales in the US. A once-booming industry, Australian wine sales in the US saw a decline of over 20% from 2008 to 2013.

Australian wine trade invited to ‘Unbottle Tasmania’
Australia’s most influential wine traders are invited to head to Tasmania for a two day wine-focused visit in June. Selected trade representatives will taste their way around the Apple Isle, induling in the regions finest wine, cider, whisky and food. Sheralee Davies, Wine Tasmania chief executive officer, said visiting Tasmania was the best way to experience the island’s diverse wine. “We’ll be showing (and tasting) as much of Tasmania as we can squeeze into two days,” Davies said.

Bringing back a centuries-old method of winemaking to Canberra
Winemaking goes back hundreds of years. However in Australia its success has at times been attributed to a willingness to embrace new ideas, as opposed to Europe where some methods have changed little over the centuries. For one vigneron near Murrumbateman, NSW, who has tasted success both in sales and in awards, he is using a method for this year's vintage that many would think is no longer in vogue. Alex McKay from Collector Wines has a winery between Hall and Murrumbateman, 40 kilometres north of Canberra.

Discerning drinkers lower Lion's profits
The trend of more and more New Zealanders drinking quality over quantity has seen drinks giant Lion's profits drop more than 20 per cent. Drinks giant Lion, which has 46 per cent of the New Zealand market, is making less money in the domestic market as alcohol drinkers opt for quality over quantity. Accounts for Lion filed to the Companies Office add to the picture of a declining booze industry, partly offset by a move to "premiumisation" and a push into new, healthy non-alcoholic drinks that was highlighted when its Japanese owner Kirin reported annual results last month.

Matua crowned winemaker of year and champion wine of show
Chief Winemaker Nikolai St George added some impressive bling to the Matua awards cabinet on Saturday night at the 2015 New Zealand Royal Easter Show Wine Awards, triumphing over all to take home the Royal Easter Show Trophy for Champion Wine of the Show in addition to the Pullman Hotels Trophy for Champion Syrah for the 2013 Matua Single Vineyard Matheson Syrah. With an additional two gold medals, 10 silver and two bronze, St George then took to the stage again to claim the Royal Agricultural Society Gold Medal for Wine Maker of the Year.

Huge wine industry trade show comes to Syracuse
SYRACUSE, NY - You may notice a slight air of fruity Pinot Noir, oaky Chardonnay or sprightly Riesling about downtown Syracuse this week. The largest wine industry event ever held in New York State will take over the Oncenter Tuesday through Thursday. More than 1,500 winemakers, grapegrowers, equipment suppliers and more are attending the annual Eastern Wine Expo, a trade show and conference making its first stop in Syracuse. It's been held in Lancaster, Pa for the past three years.

Migrant workers duped by ‘wine factory’ promise
The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has shut down an employment agency that illegally hired over 100 people who applied to work at a “wine factory” in Japan. Reported by Kyodo News earlier this month, a bogus firm called Jomhadz International Corp, based in Antipolo in Rizal province had charged over 100 would-be migrant workers 150,000 Philippine pesos (US$3,400) each to work in Japan. POEA investigated Jomhadz after applicants complained that after paying they were still waiting to leave.

Climate change forecast to benefit Okanagan wine industry
Okanagan winery owners are warily watching the fruits of an unseasonably warm February as grape vines blossom early and the area’s mountains front a visibly low snowpack. Their biggest fear is that a late winter cold snap will kill fragile young buds, resulting in a lower yield. Underlying their concerns about how climate change could damage operations, however, is optimism and a pragmatic determination to make the situation work in their favour.

Prowein 2015 off to a strong start, says director
Prowein 2015 is off to strong start with visitor numbers up an estimated 10 per cent for the first day compared to last year according to Prowein’s executive director Michael Degen. "It's a very good start. We saw the start had a good frequency in visitors," said Degen. But more importantly, Degan wanted to see if the new location concept was going to work with visitors and exhibitors. Prowein changed locations this year to accommodate a 14 per cent increase in exhibitor space.

Aussie wine celebrated in Seoul
Wine Australia and Austrade Seoul have celebrated the Australia-Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with an Australia red wine masterclass in Seoul. Some of Australia’s most highly regarded red wines were on show at the Discovery of Iconic Australian Reds Masterclass and Tasting event held last week. More than 100 VIP guests, including local Korean importers, retail buyers and sommeliers, learned about ten iconic Australian red wines at the masterclass.





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