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News posted on Wednesday, 18 January 2017

New data reveals Australia’s beverage trends
Beverage purchase data from pubs and bars across major Australian cities has revealed beer is Australia’s favourite beverage and is mainly consumed at lunchtime and in the afternoons. Spirits are our second favourite – and is the number one category among women, surpassing wine purchases – mostly consumed late at night. The data, from mobile-payment and deals app Clipp, compares beverage purchases across four categories: beer, wine, spirits and non-alcoholic drinks.

Liquor is quicker. Pot is not
“Alcohol and marijuana, if used in moderation, plus loud, usually low-class music, make stress and boredom infinitely more bearable,” Kurt Vonnegut. So quotes the top of the page of the California-based Wine Industry Network’s (WIN) announcement that it will host an intensive one-day Wine and Weed Symposium in August at Santa Rosa in Sonoma. The meeting is “dedicated to the legalisation of cannabis and the impact on the wine industry”. California’s a touch ahead of South Australia in the cannabis business, but we’re wending, as they say, our way along.

Putting the focus back on Australian Sauvignon Blanc
For almost eight years, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc has dominated the Australian white wine market, leaving local winemakers searching for a way to dethrone the top-selling Kiwi brands. For Burch Family Wines, this means adjusting the production techniques used on their Margaret River and Great Southern vineyards. Natalie Burch, Operations Manager and Director for Howard Park Wines, says that the key to creating a worthy opponent to our rival across the Tasman isn’t in imitation, but distinction.

Enduring innovative spirit
Notable by still being in the hands of its founding family, the 163-year-old Drayton’s wine operation has a history of novel projects – the latest being its blue wine. The Draytons were Hunter trail blazers in producing the bulk tank-fermented Hunter Pearl bubbly and they still make the high-octane Dr Jurd’s Jungle Juice fortified. In aid of the Hunter Prostate Cancer Alliance, their Pokolbin winery has produced red and white wines labelled “Have You Had Your Little Prick?”

Fortifieds surge in popularity as local estate awarded
Margaret River winery Gralyn Estate has long been a stalwart of the South West wine industry since creating the area’s first vintage port in 1978. Owners Merilyn and Graham Hutton planted a small vineyard in 1975 to diversify their Wilyabrup beef farm, with wine sales limited to cellar door and online sales. Today, son Bradley is vineyard manager and winemaker and has inherited his parents’ love of fortified wines, which has been rewarded with the latest win at the Winestate Wine of the Year Awards in Adelaide. Mr and Mrs Hutton attended the gala awards ceremony, where their Museum Muscat won the Fortified Wine of the Year Trophy.

Marlborough wine companies prepared for average harvest
Marlborough wine companies look set to be able to handle harvest, which grape growers are describing as average or slightly below average in size. The industry suffered extensive damage in the November earthquake, which damaged tanks accounting for 20 per cent of overall storage capacity in the region. Since then, wine companies have been busy repairing and replacing tanks, as well as bringing in temporary storage and bottling early to free up space in time for harvest, in March. Wine Marlborough chairman Rhyan Wardman said the fact growers were saying it was likely to be an average-sized crop meant the industry was on track heading into harvest.

The Pour Man: Kim Crawford and Nobilo
For more than three decades, New Zealand winemakers have been known for producing some of the best Sauvignon Blanc in the world. Until recently, however, the Kiwi producers haven’t been bringing home international accolades for their Pinot Noir. The country’s Burgundy-style wines are only just starting to receive high praise for having the complex qualities of their French cousins with a price tag that’s modest in comparison. The wines sold under the Kim Crawford and Nobilo labels are good examples of exceptional Pinot Noirs that are remarkable values.

Life Is Unfair
When we start out with wine we all go through the same evolutionary stages. First, it's bewildering, what with these many terms such as tannins, fruitiness, finish, nose and so on. Then, as in learning a language, you begin to correlate words with experiences. Got it, you say. In our exploratory wine-buying, we all initially believe that expensive wines are better than cheap ones. After all it's largely true, up to a certain point. But true enough to seem like a pretty solid fact. But then comes a revelation of another sort: The seeming fact that expensive is always better than cheaper isn't as rock-solid as you once thought. We all arrive at this revelation only after having tasted a broad array of expensive wines, which gives us a baseline.

Vinexpo Explorer targets world’s top 100 buyers
A Vinexpo initiative aimed at connecting leading buyers with wine and spirit producers is to have its first outing in Austria this September. Designed to give buyers access to producers on their home turf, Vinexpo Explorer will draw on the exhibition company’s global database to tailor trips to bring what it describes as the “buyers most appropriate to the export development objectives of the hosting wine region”. Taking in up-and-coming wine regions, with plans to roll out the initiative to include spirits producing regions, the initiative will focus on those countries and areas of production that can deliver volume, but are under-represented in the chosen buyers’ markets.

Kazzit highest quarterly usership growth to date
Kazzit, the wine industry’s most all-inclusive online community, has announced a bullish end of the year in terms of company growth. The fourth quarter of 2016 showed a 30 percent increase in unique visitors over Q3, and a 400 percent increase over the previous year. These results were fueled by a recently refreshed design, enhanced content and search capabilities, the launch of the Kazzit mobile app, and international expansion into 17 new countries.

Pop or twist?
The sound that stimulates associations – togetherness, distraction, pleasure, refreshment – that go far beyond just a gulp of alcohol. Thought to have originated in the 17th century, the cork and glass bottle have become synonymous with wines since then. In decades gone by, however, Australia and New Zealand have been the trendsetters for the now popular, and mostly polarising screw cap. In 2015, 93 percent of wines alone in New Zealand were sealed by screw cap. However, in Europe and the US, cork is still king.





New Holland


WID 2017