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News posted on Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Australia's wine industry must adapt to earlier vintages says Australian Wine Research Institute
The Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) says grapegrowers need to adapt to earlier vintages, which are likely to become more common in the future. Viticulturalist Dr Mardi Longbottom said growers had contacted the AWRI for advice throughout this year's vintage, which was one of the earliest in memory across many Australian wine regions. But she said there was very little advice to give. "It's more about managing the logistics around what's happening with the intake," she said.

Wine Australia UK boss Laura Jewell MW to put focus back on consumers
Wine Australia’s new UK head Laura Jewell MW claims the country is on the brink of a renaissance as it “bounces back” with new wines and an increasingly favourable currency for export. Talking to OLN at Germany’s Prowein Show this week, she said her vision for the job, which she took up last month after moving from Tesco, was to put a focus on consumers. “There is a revolution going on in Australia, and the people and personalities are coming over to Europe in their numbers to help create real passion for their products,” Jewell said.

Wine producers branch out to launch first AU frozen berries
A Mornington Peninsula couple has today launched Australia’s first commercial frozen berry brand. The move comes in the wake of the health scare from imported frozen berries from China, which were linked to 27 cases of hepatitis A in Australia. Wine and cider producers, and third-generation berry growers, Matt and Ruth Gallace have founded Matilda’s Frozen Fruit. It will initially produce frozen strawberries, with plans to expand into frozen mixed berries.

Organic winemakers begin exporting to China
Angove Family Winemakers have received the first official order from their Chinese distributor, making them the largest Australian winemaker to export Organic wine to China. The order for Angove Organic Cabernet Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot will soon set sail following years of work and collaboration between Australian Certified Organic, Angove Family Winemakers and their distributor partner in China.

Climate Change may drive up beer, wine prices
A new report reveals that the prices of popular consumer goods in Australia, including beer, wine and chocolates, will increase due to the severe climate change being experienced in the country. The report, entitled Appetite for Change, was prepared by Richard Eckard and David Karoly, both of which are climate scientists from the University of Melbourne. The report looked to explain the effects of the climate change that Australia is currently experiencing.

Growers assess cyclone damage
The cyclone brought with it heavy seas, high winds and significant rain for many parts of the region, but especially to Tologa Bay and the coastal communities north of Gisborne. Gisborne Produce Growers Association chair Ron Prebble said growers and contractors were in the midst of harvesting tomatoes, sweet corn and squash but stopped as the cyclone arrived. He said it was too early to tell the scale of the damage, but he was expecting crops up the coast from Gisborne to be hit the hardest.

Chinese team learns about wine tourism
Seventeen Chinese visitors, from the province of Ningxia, are in Marlborough on a two-day visit to learn about wine tourism. The delegation, led by Ningxia bureau of development of grape and floral industry director Kailong Cao, arrived in Blenheim on Tuesday morning. The group of government representatives and industry leaders from Ningxia are visiting New Zealand and Australia to learn how leading wine regions approach wine tourism. They hope to learn a lot from their visit to Marlborough and take the knowledge back to Ningxia, in the north of China, where China's wine industry is based.

Money and wine at centre of Napa County murder-suicide
NAPA, Calif. – A dispute over a $1.2 million business loan may have triggered a murder-suicide that has sent shock waves through Northern California's idyllic Wine Country. According to investigators, vintner Robert Dahl shot and killed investor Emad Tawfilis among the grapevines of Dahl's vineyard and then led police on a chase that ended with Dahl's suicide on a tree-covered country road. Earlier in the day, Dahl had met with Tawfilis to work out an agreement on the dispute over the $1.2 million loan.

Sour grapes in ‘Wine Country’: Intense challenges to wineries erupt
(Sebastopol, California) Sonoma County’s premium wine industry in the San Francisco North Bay has become a magnet that attracts developers from around the country, across oceans, and nearby. They move heavy industrial operations into rural areas and expand them to become event centres and commercial bottling operations. Under the pretence that they are merely agriculture, rather than alcohol-producing factories, large wineries seek to avoid Environmental Impact Reports (EIR) and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

Texas farmers turn to grapes as wine industry grows
TERRY COUNTY, Texas—This remote swath of West Texas, dotted with bobbing oil-pump jacks and Angus steers, is never going to be confused with California’s Napa Valley or Bordeaux. But among the rows of white-tufted cotton plants that have long been the area’s cash crop, farmers are increasingly cultivating a new product: winegrapes. “I’m a West Texas boy who drinks beer,” said Brent Hogue, whose family is now growing Merlot and Albariño grapes alongside cotton.

Tuscany faces ban on new plantings
Proposed laws could stop new vineyards in Italian wine's spiritual home. Tuscan winemakers are bracing for a vote that could effectively halt the construction of any new buildings and stop them from planting vines – even in currently authorized vineyard sites. The proposed legislation before the Tuscan Regional Council on Tuesday is known as the PIT: Piano di indirizzo territoriale or "plan for territorial oversight". When it was first made public in August 2014, it was met with widespread protest and public outcry by Tuscan grapegrowers and winemakers.

AB Mauri



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