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News posted on Monday, 18 May 2015

New Wine Business Workshop for South Australia
This year, the focus of Wine Business Solutions’ workshop is improving sales and sales profitability. They’ll be a strong focus on direct to customer including what it is that the 20% of companies who are responsible for 88% of direct to customer wine sales are doing right. We’ll highlight all of the best emerging opportunities. Leading edge tools tips and technology to make your sales efforts more effective will be discussed. We’ll also look at managing distributors for best results.

TWE and Pernod team up to fight for tax change
The Australian Financial Review can reveal that the country's biggest wine company, Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) and its rival, French drinks giant Pernod Ricard Winemakers - whose brands include Wyndham Estate, Jacob's Creek and Orlando Wines - have unusually joined forces to campaign for radical changes to wine tax. TWE and Pernod have employed Newgate Communications to lobby for changes to the tax system, including replacing it with a category-based volumetric tax and outright removal of the WET rebate, which was introduced in 2004.

WA farm lobby groups slam budget
The head of Western Australia's peak wine body says industry was not consulted before it had millions of dollars of subsidies slashed in the state budget. The State Government has committed to abolish a cellar door subsidy for wine producers from July 1 this year, which will save $11 million. The subsidy applies only to wine sold at the cellar door and is generally used by larger producers who exceed their $500,000 wine equilisation tax rebate claim.

Dan Murphy’s puts focus on ‘local heroes’ in month-long campaign from Red Jelly
Dan Murphy’s is turning its focus on Australia’s ‘local wine heroes’ in a campaign from Red Jelly to coincide with Aussie Wine Month. The Woolworths-owned retailer has teamed up with Wine Australia for the month-long push which includes a TV ad focusing on its monthly buyer’s guide. Central to the campaign will be wine tastings across its stores nationwide which the brand said will provide customers with greater knowledge of the country’s wine regions, varieties and local brands.

Winemakers forced to recruit overseas workers
GRAPEGROWERS and winemakers say they are being forced to hire foreign workers because people from Adelaide’s high-unemployment areas seem unwilling to move even temporarily to the country. More than 105,000 temporary work visas were granted by the Department of Immigration to foreign nationals in 2013-14. The South Australian Wine Industry Association has told a Senate committee inquiry into temporary work visas that many of its members experience difficulty recruiting skilled and unskilled workers.

Accolade sets sights on further expansion
Accolade Wines is upping spend on its flagship Hardys brand and setting its sights on further expansion to strengthen its global coverage. Paul Schaafsma, general manager for UK, Ireland and global partners, said: “Retailers tell us Hardys is by far the strongest wine brand, because no one is spending or doing as much to back anything else. “The Australian category started to take itself a bit too seriously so we needed to inject some fun. The fact an Australian brand is sponsoring the England team gave us the perfect ammunition.

Domestic NZ wine sales up 18 per cent
Domestic New Zealand wine sales soared 18 per cent in the year to March following a bumper 2014 vintage. New Zealand Winegrowers figures show nearly 60 million litres of New Zealand wine was sold domestically. New Zealand Winegrowers has about 850 grower members and 700 winery members. Its chief executive Philip Gregan said domestic New Zealand wine sales experienced such high growth because 2014 was a big vintage for New Zealand wineries.

New coordinator for NZ young viticulturist comp
Nicky Grandorge has been appointed as the new National Coordinator for NZ Young Viticulturist of the Year, taking over from Emma Taylor, a previous winner of the title. Grandorge brings with her a wealth of experience from many years in the wine industry and plans to grow the competition even further. She is a WSET Certified Educator and says she is delighted to be involved in such a positive event, which helps encourage and develop young professionals within the industry.

French winegrower risks jail to protect grapes
One of France’s most venerated winemakers, whose vineyards supply leading restaurants, including those owned by Heston Blumenthal and Gordon Ramsay, will this week risk a six-month prison sentence or a large fine for the sake of both his grapes and, he says, future generations who will want to enjoy the fruit of his soil. Thibault Liger-Belair, an organic wine producer, is defying orders to spray a pesticide on his vines because of an outbreak 40km from his Burgundy and Beaujolais vineyards of flavescence dorée.

Wine cull as Tesco decides it has too much variety on offer
Tesco has apparently admitted it has too many types of wine on sale – and plans to cull 300 of them. Off Licence News says it follows competition from discount chains Aldi and Lidl, and has seen its wine sales fall by 3.3 per cent. A Tesco spokesman said: ‘The wine team is taking a fresh look at the wines available in stores to reduce product duplications and to simplify the range for customers. ‘The idea is not to cut the range to a certain size, but to ensure Tesco has the right selection of wines for customers, in the right stores and at the right price.

South Africa dips as New World wine rivals surge
South Africa’s golden run of consecutive growth in the off-trade has come to an end as sales dropped 3% in volume and 1% in value (Nielsen, year to February 2015). The rainbow nation has been a star performer in recent years, regularly posting double-digit growth due to the weakness of the rand and a resonance with consumers at various price points. But the run has ended, leaving Australia, Chile, New Zealand and Argentina as the only countries in growth in the top 10 countries of origin chart.

Uncorked: Buying wine at Costco
Over the years, there has been some controversy regarding buying wines at Costco. Many wine buyers feel as if Costco doesn’t have a true appreciation for the wine business and the products they sell. Annette Alvarez-Peters, leading wine buyer for Costco, received a lot of heat for her comments on CNN in 2012 that "wine is no different than toilet paper." Wine lovers were outraged by this remark. However, as the largest importer of French wine in the world, Costco is about moving product.

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