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News posted on Thursday, 18 June 2015

$10,000 Tasmanian fellowship supports sustainable winegrowing
The 2015 program of the Dr Don Martin Sustainable Viticulture Fellowship was launched at the Wine Tasmania conference on Tuesday 16 June 2015. In launching the 2015 Fellowship, inaugural recipient Paul Smart announced expanded project criteria to include seed funding for on-the-ground research projects, in addition to study-based travel. Sheralee Davies, Wine Tasmania chief executive officer, commended the Alcorso Foundation for its proactivity and support in initiating the $10,000 Fellowship.

Hopes new wine country alliance will end to 'backyard politics'
Key stakeholders have agreed to unite for the development of Hunter Valley wine country after years of turbulence. The Hunter Valley Wine and Tourism Alliance will bring together Cessnock and Singleton councils, as well as the Hunter Valley Wine and Tourism Association. Both councils have this week agreed in principle to the formation of the alliance, that aims to promote a "more holistic and harmonic collaboration" between members.

Fifty years on, time to call it a day for cheap wine casks
In 1965 Sir Robert Menzies was Prime Minister of Australia, Charles Perkins led the Freedom Ride protesting against racial discrimination against Aboriginal people, and on April 20, a patent was issued to winemaker Thomas Angove’s company for the first wine cask. Since then, as the wine industry’s “Ask for Cask” promotion campaign tells us, casks have been “part of our lifestyle”.

Turn of the screw a fine way to stop a wine
The screwcap has permeated Australian wine culture since the first concerted effort was made at widespread adoption back in 2001. And with good reason. It's 15 minutes into the first episode of the wine show spoof Plonk (series one screening on Stan with series 2 to debut soon) before the subject of wine closures is discussed. Plonk's trio of viniculturally challenged protagonists have ventured to the Hunter to interview Bruce Tyrrell, only to discover that Stuart McGill has got there ahead of them.

Focus on link between cancer and drink
Pressure group Alcohol Action is hosting a conference on alcohol and cancer today at Te Papa in Wellington, in partnership with the Cancer Society of New Zealand. According to Alcohol Action, more than 800 New Zealanders under 80 years of age die every year of alcohol-related causes - and nearly a third of them die from a cancer linked to drink. The most common type of cancer in that category is breast cancer. The audience at the conference was told that physicians have known about the carcinogenic connection for years but say the public knows little about it.

Chinese MW student hired by Air New Zealand
Alongside Linda Murphy from the US, Cambridge-graduate Fongyee Walker has been chosen to join Air New Zealand’s resident wine judges, Jim Harre and John Belsham, in helping to select the one million bottles of wine served annually to its passengers. Walker has been instrumental in offering advice for international wine companies looking to tackle the Chinese market and co-runs Beijing-based Dragon Phoenix Fine Wine Consulting, China’s most successful WSET provider.

Aus, China sign free trade deal
Australia and China have signed the long-awaited free trade deal, an agreement that will supply China's wealthy and growing middle class with quality beef and wine, enriching Australian producers. The Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) have welcomed the agreement, which will draw down existing wine tariffs to zero over four years. With the potential to add tens of millions of dollars to the Australian wine industry’s export earnings, the free trade deal has prompted WFA to reinforce the need for increased Government funding to promote Australian wine overseas.

Fine wine market grows 234% in 10 years
A new report has revealed the increasing popularity of fine wine over the past decade, highlighting growth of 234 per cent. Commissioned by Cult Wines, a specialist in the acquisition, management and valuation of rare wines, the report by Intelligent Partnership also predicted a shortfall in production as demand for fine wine increases from wealthy buyers, particularly from China and India. Citing research from Morgan Stanley the report places current global demand at around 3 billion cases, compared to total production of around 2.8 billion.

Los Angeles County bans new vineyards due to drought
New Los Angeles County wine is not on the horizon since the Board of Supervisors have imposed a temporary ban on new or expanded vineyards in a large area of the northern Santa Monica Mountains to help manage the severe drought in the region. City News Service reports that Supervisor Sheila Kuehl says the ban is a temporary step designed to give county planners time to review water issues as they relate to vineyards.

Younger wine drinkers ready to try something new
While some consumers like to stick with what they know, others are more adventurous—even in the alcoholic beverage aisle. In February 2015, Nielsen fielded an English-only survey of more than two thousand adults in an attempt to determine which alcoholic beverage drinkers are the most open to trying new brands—beer, wine or spirit drinkers. It appears that those who drink wine are the most brand adventurous—19 per cent have bought 10 or more wine brands in the past year.

The emerging wine culture in Fiji
Fiji has developed a successful tourism industry over decades of investment and promotion that has built on the beauty of our islands and the warmth and hospitality of our people. In the past few months since the election, we have seen a new wave of investment in the tourism and hospitality sector, promising an even greater future for the country's major industry and revenue earner.

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