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News posted on Friday, 18 March 2016

Irish scientist uncorks success as Canberra's founding winemaker
When John Kirk came to Canberra from Ireland in 1968 he was surprised to find there were no vineyards in the region. The biochemist considered the climate similar to that of Bordeaux and so planted the region's first vines near Murrumbateman in 1971. "As soon as we experienced the Canberra environment, I started asking, 'why aren't their vineyards here'," Dr Kirk told 666 ABC Mornings. "I was always told, 'Oh, it's too cold in Canberra; you can't grow vines there'. Well I didn't believe that."

Building better wines from the vineyard up
Whitey revisits Wirra Wirra, coming in through the top end of its McLaren Vale belfry to sing with the red Shiraz knights and Cabernet queen 'round the table way below. As the proportionate importance of really good wine increases in Australia’s export portfolio, this development is pushing more winemakers to attempt the launch of better wines domestically.

Penny’s Hill Shiraz wins best Australian red wine
Penny’s Hill winery in the McLaren Vale has won Best Australian Red Wine at the esteemed Mundus Vini international wine competition in Neustadt, Germany. The title was taken by the winery’s 2014 Footprint Shiraz, which also won the top ranking Grand Gold award. This year’s competition was as fierce as it was immense, with more than 5,000 wines from 149 different regions of the world all evaluated by a panel of 160 qualified and recognised wine experts.

Grape marc proves worth in SA
GARY, Ros and Justin Zweck, Blyth, South Australia, heard about grape marc as a feed supplement and were interested in its potential for their dairy herd’s feeding strategy. Grape marc is a by-product of winemaking with a high concentration of fat and tannins. Crimped marc is steam-distilled grape marc that has been screened to remove stalks then rolled to crush the seeds, improving digestibility and energy availability.

ABA needs to build trust: James Brindley
New industry body Alcohol Beverages Australia (ABA) has a lot of work ahead of it to build trust between its different stakeholder members, acknowledges Lion Beer Wine & Spirits Managing Director James Brindley. Lion is one of seven companies to directly join ABA, the new body that supersedes the National Alcohol Beverages Industry Council (NABIC). Also on the board are Taylor’s Wines MD Mitchell Taylor as Vice Chair, Woolworths Liquor Group executive Shane Tremble as Treasurer and ALSA CEO Terry Mott as Secretary.

Challenging conditions produce high quality wines
The world was almost denied the chance to drink Ohau Wines Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. Initially in the early 2000s the group of Horowhenua property investors who owned the land alongside the Ohau River wanted to create lifestyle subdivisions, but when they consulted viticulturist Kate Gibbs for advice on fencing plants, she pointed them in a different direction. "I said, it's too good for that, don't cover it in houses.

Geographical indications law a step closer for NZ wine and spirit makers
A proposed new law that will enable wine and spirit makers to register the geographical origins of their products is a step closer says Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Paul Goldsmith. The Geographical Indications (Wines and Spirits) Amendment Bill was debated for the first time today and will now go through the select committee process, including public submissions.

Online wine: Retailer must get creative on delivery
Fulfilling online wine orders is “the single biggest problem” for wine e-commerce and online retailers need to get more savvy and creative to solve it, industry experts have warned. The cost of fulfillment has always been a problem, according to Negociants UK md Simon Thorpe – and this has been boosted by the consumer’s expectation that products bought in different channels should cost the same.

Winemakers drop organic status to support environment
A number of winemakers, particularly in France, are dropping their organic status, partly because of regulatory restrictions, but more because of increasing concerns about sustainability and the environment. These decisions by winemakers may be souring the perception that “organic means clean” portrayed by groups promoting organic foods. In 2009, organic wine sales grew by 3.7 percent, outpacing sales of conventionally harvested wines, which grew by 2 percent.

Chinese winery Changyu hunting for more foreign purchases
China's Yantai Changyu Pioneer Wine is looking to expand its network of overseas wineries and drive up imports into its home market over the next five years after investing in a Spanish Rioja producer in 2015, a senior executive said. Changyu is in talks to buy mid-sized wine producers in Australia and Chile and is also looking to build on acquisitions in France, where it owns a cognac vineyard and a Bordeaux-based winery, general manager Sun Jian said.

ProWein 2016 racks up record visitor numbers
ProWein 2016 was officially the wine and spirit trade fair’s biggest ever show, attracting some 55,000 visitors – a 6% increase on 2015. Last year the fair, organised by Messe Düsseldorf, attracted 52,000 visitors with its director Michael Degan setting the target for 2016 at 53,000. With the fair coming to a close today, organisers have confirmed that the number of trade visitors to its 2016 fair in fact reached 55,000 – a 6% increase on the previous year.

Australian fine wine attracts high interest at ProWein 2016
Australian wine exhibitors have hailed ProWein 2016 a success after three days of consistently high traffic at the Wine Australia stand, reflecting a growing interest in Australian wine by the international wine community. Considered the world’s leading wine fair, ProWein, held in Düsseldorf, Germany, attracted more than 55,000 trade visitors from around the world.

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