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News posted on Thursday, 17 September 2015

Silkman Chardonnay wins best in Halliday challenge
Hunter Valley’s Silkman Wines impressed at the annual James Halliday Chardonnay Challenge, with their 2014 Reserve Chardonnay named as the best with a score of 98. With 600 wines from 355 producers representing more than 50 Australian wine regions, James Halliday, wine critic, together with new judge Philip Rich praised the quality of wines entered into the competition, with more than 41 receiving 95+ points. “We are continually amazed by the quality and diversity of Australian Chardonnay which only a competition like this can truly bring out,” Halliday said.

Pernod Ricard hopes low-sugar, low-alcohol will help revive alcopops sales
Global drinks giant Pernod Ricard is riding the global sugar backlash and trend to healthier foods and drinks to try to reignite sales of the much-maligned alcopops segment after years of big declines. Pernod Ricard hopes lower-alcohol and lower-sugar products will kick-start growth in the segment for the first time since Kevin Rudd introduced an "alcopops tax". "Our aim is to turn around category performance from decline to growth," Pernod Ricard managing director Julien Hemard said.

Women in wine celebrated in Perth this September
This September Perth will be the focus of The Fabulous Ladies’ Wine Society’s mission to celebrate and give profile to women behind the wine. The Perth Fabulous Ladies Wine Soiree on 24 September at The Terrace is set to showcase Western Australia’s own Joanne Bradbury and her label 3drops wine. The timing is particularly significant as this event – which is part of a successful national series - will be held just two weeks before entries close in the first ever Australian Women in Wine Awards. And entries from Western Australia are currently far outnumbered by those from the eastern states.

Hunter has top year in domestic and international tourism
Cashed-up New Zealand businesses could give Hunter tourism operators a welcome boost on top of what’s already proved a bumper year. Domestic business tourism to the Hunter increased 99 per cent in the past year Destination NSW figures reveal. To further capitalise on these gains Hunter tourism stakeholders will co-fund a targeted marketing campaign worth $230,000 to promote the region to Kiwi businesses.

Judging under way to pick SA’s Hot 100 Wines
Judging for the Hot 100 South Australian Wines competition is under way, and organisers have one simple goal: to find and celebrate the most drinkable wines in South Australia. Its goal may be simple but it’s the manner in which they judge, collate and celebrate these wines that’s captured attention and caused a stir in the traditional realms of wine shows and judging. Entries opened in June for the ninth annual Hot 100 SA Wines competition, created and hosted by The Adelaide Review.

Marlborough delegation returns from China
A Marlborough delegation has returned from a trip to an emerging winemaking province in China. Four wine industry representatives travelled to Ningxia, along with Marlborough District Council economic development officer Cathie Bell and Marlborough Research Centre chief executive Gerald Hope. The group attended the Ningxia Wine Expo, where Marlborough wine equipment company Vitis had a display. They were hosted by the Ningxia Wine Bureau, which met the cost of accommodation and transport in China.

Seven degustation dinners in five Central Otago regions
The inaugural Down to Earth Wine Celebration is proving to have a strong wine and food matching theme with 56 food and wine events including seven degustation dinners over the 12 days of the event. It all kicks off on Saturday 24 October with the Gibbston Valley Wine and Jazz Weekend degustation dinner featuring celebrity chef Simon Gault and winemaker Christopher Keys. On Tuesday there is a feast which combines the cuisine of celebrated award-winning chef James Stapley and the passion of Maude Wines winemaker Vanessa Robson at Bistro Gentil in Wanaka.

White Bordeaux demands close attention
The last 25 years in wine have been signified by the discovery or rediscovery of regions unknown, obscure or half-forgotten. Consumers, and critics for that matter, have often embraced wines from these regions. But they have occasionally rejected them, too, with no small measure of befuddlement. I heard an entire spectrum of responses to the latest subject in Wine School: white Bordeaux from Pessac-Léognan and Graves, one of those half-forgotten styles. It reminded me yet again of the subjective nature of taste.

Grapes stolen from Guigal
Around a third of the grapes destined for Guigal’s rare Condrieu wine “Luminescence” have been stolen, it has been reported. This year is destined to be the first vintage of the late harvest “Luminesence” cuvée since 2003, but will be produced in substantially reduced quantities after it was discovered that a third of the Viognier earmarked for the cuvée had already been picked. A late harvest Viognier from the “La Doriane” vineyard owned by the Guigal family in Condrieu, Luminesence has only been made twice before.

South Africa storms ahead in IWSC 2015
South African wine producers are celebrating “exceptional” results from this year’s International Wine & Spirit Competition, as the country achieved a 50% increase in Gold medals. The 2015 results were released to coincide with the start of this week’s Cape Wine event in Cape Town, where IWSC judge Dr Winifred Bowman will host a tasting of medal winners in the Speakers’ Corner zone at 4.30pm on the opening day, Tuesday 15 September. Among the themes that emerged this year was the success of single varietal wines.

How California’s wine industry is hurting the environment
Wine has been a popular beverage for thousands of years, and California is particularly famous for its fermented vintages, produced up and down the state, with Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino Counties being particularly famous for their wines. However, there’s a hidden secret behind your glass of pinot, chardonnay or merlot: The wine industry often comes with considerable environmental costs. Maintaining a vineyard can be rough on the environment, depending on where grapes are grown and how they’re handled, and oddly enough, prestigious wines are among the worst violators.

Rich red Shiraz with an undertone of gold
SANGUINE Estate is celebrating another gold medal with its latest release 2013 D’Orsa Shiraz awarded five stars in the Mainfreight World’s Greatest Syrah and Shiraz Challenge. The 2013 D’Orsa Shiraz was awarded the gold medal in the $50 to $75 category and finished as the eighth best shiraz in the world, finishing just three points behind the 2008 Penfolds Grange Shiraz, valued at $899 a bottle. The results of the challenge are featured in the September/October issue of the Winestate Magazine that will be distributed within Australia and New Zealand as well as Asia, USA and UK.

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