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News posted on Friday, 17 April 2015

Barossa chef and winemaker to represent Australia at US food festival
The festival celebrates food, wine, beer and spirits from local producers, as well as inviting guest chefs and wine makers from six continents to participate. Over the May weekend, Australia will be represented by chef Owen Andrews, and winemaker Warren Randall, both from the Barossa Valley in South Australia. Owen Andrews said it's a great opportunity to increase his own skills and to show how strong Australia's food culture has become.

Let’s drink more Australian wine, says US magazine
ATLANTA, US: Those people you see in the Yellowtail commercials on TV—they look like they’re having so much fun, don’t they? As far as I know, Yellowtail is the only commercial for wine on network television. They’ve certainly got the money for it: In 2005 they sold 7.5 million cases of wine globally and sold more wine to the US than all of the French producers combined. But popularity has its price, and many consumers have come to view all Australian wine as some type of cheap party fuel. Australian labelling hasn’t exactly helped.

Thousands flock to the Barossa for the Barossa Vintage Festival
Lovers of world-renowned wine and food are bring spoilt for choice at the 2015 Barossa Vintage Festival. With half of the ticketed events already sold out, the Barossa Vintage Festival is expected to attract more than 55,000 people with 10,000 people travelling from interstate and overseas. Tourism Minister Leon Bignell said the visitors would inject thousands of dollars into the local economy. “It’s a highly-anticipated festival and the focus is on the very best the region is famous for –local, fresh produce and Australia’s premium wines,” Bignell said.

Global wine supplies relatively ‘balanced’, but expect premium supplies to tighten, Rabobank says
Global wine inventories appear to be balanced, according to the latest wine report from Rabobank - but the report warns of variations in supply between the premium and generic ends. Premium wine grapes appear to be slightly tighter, Raobank's Wine Quarterly Q2 2015 report said. but generic and commodity varieties have "much broader availability".

Sinking euro and rising dollar make waves in the wine industry
If you’ve ever been tempted to hop on a plane and take an impromptu trip to Europe, now is the time. With the dollar at a 12-year high, currently at $1.07 against the euro, Americans have the opportunity to book a 5-star Italian hotel or overindulge at a French bistro without the financial regret that would have accompanied such splurges just a few months ago. Changing exchange rates are also impacting the wine industry, albeit slowly

Climate change threatens wine production
Buenos Aires: The country's world famous wine industry is under threat from climate change. The Andean region — where the wine is mainly produced — is set to become one of the most affected by global warming, according to a report by the Energy Secretariat that was released yesterday. The region, which includes Mendoza, San Juan, La Rioja, Catamarca, Salta and Jujuy, is on track to experience higher temperatures, more frequent and longer heat waves and dry periods, less rain and changes to the flow of the rivers, all phenomena that will affect wine production and force producers to implement measures to adapt to a shifting climate.

Premiumisation: Are wine drinkers really trading up?
That’s the top trend in wine this year, that we’re feeling better about the economy and trading up: Buying more expensive wine than the wine we bought during the recession, moving from $4 bottles to $8, from $8 to $12, from $10 to $15, and from $15 to $20. The wine business calls this trend premiumisation, and the salivating at the prospect has reached epic proportions. That’s because the wine business doesn’t necessarily want to sell cheap wine — it’s not as profitable and it doesn’t carry the prestige that selling more expensive wine does (a much more important reason than consumers can possibly imagine).

Opportunities for NZ in revival of Japanese wine demand
Signs of a revival in demand in the important, high-income Japanese wine market present opportunities for New Zealand wine producers, according to Rabobank’s latest Wine Quarterly report. After a nearly two decade-long hiatus, beginning after the Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s, the Japanese wine market has now ‘come of age’ with the country’s wine drinkers increasingly open to new consumption occasions, wine styles and innovations, the report says.

Report on wine production in Australia updated
Volatile demand from key export markets, a soaring Australian dollar for much of the period and rising competition from low-cost overseas wine producers have all hurt wine exports. For this reason, industry research firm IBISWorld has updated its report on the Wine Production industry in Australia. Difficult trading conditions have plagued the Wine Production industry over the past five years. Volatile demand from key export markets, a soaring Australian dollar for much of the period and rising competition from low-cost overseas wine producers have all hurt wine exports.

Marlborough Wine Weekend cancelled
The fifth biennial Marlborough Wine Weekend has been cancelled. The three-day event, organised by Wine Marlborough, originally pencilled in for October will not be held this year. In a monthly newsletter, Wine Marlborough said they decided not to run the event because they wanted to focus more on other events, which were planned within months of the wine weekend. They wanted to focus on the WineWorks Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc Race, which is held in November, the inaugural International Sauvignon Blanc Celebration (ISBC) and the Marlborough Wine & Food Festival, both held in February, the newsletter said.

Treasury Wine refinances debt
Treasury Wine Estates has refinanced its $300 million syndicated debt facility, splitting the loan into two tranches. The winemaker's debt facility was due to mature in April 2016. However, it has successfully renegotiated the terms of the facility, splitting it into two $150m tranches, which will mature in April 2018 and April 2020 respectively. Treasury Wine's chief financial officer Tony Reeves said the refinancing was consistent with the group's strategy of maintaining future financial flexibility through diverse funding sources.

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