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News posted on Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Owners desperate to reopen Boronia’s Old Orchard Winery after lease expiry
COUNCIL red tape has left a once-thriving Boronia winery rundown and overgrown after a lease on the land expired a year ago, its former owners say. Wantirna South couple David and Pat Smith said they were “desperate” to reopen their award-winning Old Orchard Winery in Scoresby Rd after their nine-year lease to manage it expired last year. Smith said Knox Council, which manages the 8ha site on Crown land, had only offered him a month-by-month lease, forcing him to vacate on July 31 last year.

HUON HOOKE: The WET rebate puzzle
The Federal Budget’s changes to the WET rebate are mystifying. While it’s nice to get a few extra million for marketing, and tightening up the eligibility for the WET rebate is a good thing, the change to the WET rebate ceiling is puzzling. It will hurt a lot of medium-small wineries – and for what purpose? It’s hard to see a purpose.

Public tasting for Cool Climate Wine Show
THE International Cool Climate Wine Show is again proud to share a rare opportunity to assess the styles, characteristics and latest trends of inspirational cool climate wines entered in the 2016 show, with everyone. You will be able to taste wines from many classes including sparkling wines, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Pinot Noir, Merlot and Shiraz from vintages from 2012 to 2015 and older.

The wine industry is set to move into a stronger, long-term position
The wine industry is set to move into a stronger, long-term position after the Federal Budget announcements regarding the Wine Equalisation Tax rebate. Central to the package is the Government’s announcement that it will invest $50 million over the next four years to promote Australian wine overseas and wine tourism within Australia. Tony Pasin, Member for Barker, has welcomed the Coalition Government’s decisions to tighten the eligibility criteria and to return the WET rebate to its original policy intent.

Wine awards deliver tangible commercial benefits
Entries are now open for the 2016 New World Wine Awards, a wine show that provides winemakers with the opportunity to enjoy direct, tangible commercial benefits from their award-winning wines. In addition to the distinction of an award that judges quality on the same basis as all other wine competitions, winning wines are guaranteed national distribution and extensive promotion, driving sustained sales.

Marlborough wine company sacked worker who helped others prune vines
A man fired for helping other employees at a Marlborough vineyard has received more than $10,000 in compensation. Mount Riley Wines and Estates Limited dismissed the man in 2015 on the grounds he was pruning vines for other workers for personal gain. A written determination from the Employment Relations Authority was released earlier this month, finding the man was unjustifiably dismissed.

Wit of wine worlds to clash at great grape debate
For the region's winegrowers, winemakers and wine lovers it will be the war of the wine worlds. It will be the battle of the barrels brigade, where not a verbal vine will be left standing. Hawke's Bay versus Marlborough - although the real winner at the end of the night will be the Lowe Corporation Rescue Helicopter Trust.

Synthetic wine made without grapes claims to mimic fine vintages
“We can turn water into wine in 15 minutes.” So claims the Ava Winery, a San Francisco start-up that is making synthetic wine without grapes – simply by combining flavour compounds and ethanol. Mardonn Chua and Alec Lee came up with the idea while visiting a winery in California’s Napa Valley in 2015. There, they were shown the bottle of an iconic wine, Chateau Montelena, which is famous for being the first Californian chardonnay to beat French contenders at the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976.

Legendary Languedoc winemaker Aimé Guibert dies
Renowned Languedoc winemaker Aimé Guibert, the founder of Mas de Daumas Gassac, has died at the age of 91. Born in Millau in 1924, Aimé was a successful glovemaker working in Paris before deciding to purchase land, previous owned by the Daumas family, in the Gassac Valley. It was here, in the Languedoc’s Aniane commune, that Aimé, along with his wife Veronica, planted Mas de Daumas Gassac’s first vineyard in 1974.

Wine market shrugs off slump as consumers raise their glasses
When Rob Bevis launched Roque Fine Wine, an importer and wholesaler of fine wine, in China three years ago, he was told the country's wine market was nearing a tipping point. The government crackdown on corruption had led to curbs on officials' extravagant, taxpayer-funded banquets. The clean-up heralded long-term benefits for the society, but had an immediate adverse impact on wine consumption in the country.

Cold temperatures impact on NY vineyards
Despite summer being just a month away snow and cold are in the forecast. Although this year’s crops are safe, grapes are at risk for damage in the upcoming days. Co-owner of Arrowhead Spring Vineyards, Robin Ross says it could be destructive, however they have a plan to help keep their business protected. Ross says, “We worry about when our bud break is and then when the last frost of the year is. Once the leaves are open on the end of the bud, they are sensitive. They could be prone to damage if we had a cold weather situation.”

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WID 2017