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News posted on Monday, 18 July 2016

West Australian overseas wine prices surge, with export value jumping 13 per cent
The price of Western Australian wine overseas has gone up, with the export market seeing a 13 per cent increase in value in the last financial year. While overall production increased five per cent, the value of WA wines increased by more than $4.6 million to just under $42 million in the 12 months to the end of June 2016, according to Wine Australia's export report.

Conte family sells McLaren Vale vineyards
South Australian winemakers the Conte family have sold their long-held premium vineyards in McLaren Vale. The three Conte Estate Wines vineyards on California Road and Bayliss Road near Aldinga, planted by the family in 1965, were put up for sale last year with a $2.5 million price tag. They cover 53 undulating hectares, of which 35 hectares are planted to Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Gewurztraminer and Chardonnay varietals.

New era for winery
TWENTY years ago, a 55-acre expanse of land at Glenlyon lay barren, with nothing more than blackberry weeds and the odd piece of floating tumbleweed. But a Melbourne couple saw more than simply dormant land when they gazed over the site at Green Gully Road. They had a vision, and for the coming two decades, put in the backbreaking work of cleaning, planting and building.

Peter Fraser: a year in review
No one could accuse Peter Fraser of resting on his laurels. Since being named James Halliday’s Winemaker of the Year for 2016, the laidback McLaren Vale winemaker has been busier than ever, representing Yangarra Estate at events across the world and guiding the winery through a “fast and furious vintage”. When the Halliday team caught up with Pete recently, we asked if being named Australia’s best winemaker last July altered the trajectory of the 12 months that followed. “Well, I’ve done a lot more dinners,” Pete quipped.

Innovation in sparkling wine production: Trust the yeast
Numerous recent studies have been playing with how yeast can work above and beyond the usual call of duty in sparkling wine production. The Australian Wine Research Institute’s (AWRI) superb yeast biologist Jenny Bellon continues to convince yeast to reshape itself to our needs by breeding across the usual species lines.

Historic winery Auldstone Cellars for sale through Ruralco
A HISTORIC 125-year-old brick and stone building is the centrepiece of a ready-to-roll winery business for sale at Taminick in North East Victoria. Auldstone Cellars dates back to the 1880s with the cellar built in 1891, which has been extensively restored and includes a dining and tasting room and fully functioning winemaking equipment.

Wine companies and Marlborough iwi Rangitane partner to protect waahi tapu sites
Protecting historically important sites does not need to come at the expense of commercial development, members of a Marlborough iwi say. Last week two Rangitane o Wairau members, wine company owner Haysley MacDonald and his father Phillip MacDonald, reached an out-of-court settlement with Heritage New Zealand after facing charges for clearing scrub and constructing a fence near a historic pa site without permission.

New Zealand ups its game in white wines
The grape arrived in New Zealand in the 1830's, brought by Roman Catholic Missionaries. Wine production began but it was mostly for religious use or family consumption. It wasn't until the 1960s when people were in a position to travel more and more easily (why? Passenger jet airplanes!), that some Kiwis began to contemplate a self-produced wine that would pair with local cuisine rather than importing from Europe.

Owner Speaks Out on Controversial Barolo Sale
The sale of a historic winery to a convenience store owner is not the disaster some reports are claiming. Earlier this week, Italian newspaper and American wine publications broke the news that the Vietti winery of Castiglione Falletto, in the heart of the Barolo production zone had been sold.

The skills that future wine leaders need
Dr Marc Dressler doesn’t look like an ex-banker. For a start, he’s not wearing a suit. He’s affable and open, and casually dressed, sipping a coffee in the pretty Baroque town of Neustadt-an-der-Weinstrasse. “I worked in Deutsche Bank, then at Dresdner Bank,” he says, when asked about his qualifications. He ticks off a list of accomplishments: an MBA from Vermont, a PhD in material organization theory, then a career in business consulting along the way. He’s taught in European business schools, and in the USA.

UBC researchers determine vineyards adversely affect soil quality
Biologists from UBC’s Okanagan campus are digging under vineyards to see if the Okanagan’s grape industry is affecting soil quality. The team of researchers spent the better part of three years studying soil samples from more than 15 vineyards throughout the valley. Associate Professor Miranda Hart, PhD candidate Taylor Holland and Agriculture Canada research scientist Pat Bowen looked at soils in vineyards and neighbouring natural—or uncultivated—habitats.

Croatian Malvasia: Young winemakers start fresh
In northern Croatia, a younger generation of wine growers is pushing the boundaries with innovative interpretations of their indigenous variety of Malvasia, a versatile and diverse wine. Malvasia is a highly original grape variety, but also a very confusing one, as it is also the synonym for numerous other quite unrelated grape varieties.

Making Wine, Not War, in Lebanon
In a country that is perpetually described as “on the brink,” passionate entrepreneurs have chosen to turn away from conflict, and toward the ancient craft of winemaking. Joseph G. Bitar of Kfifane in northern Lebanon was a general in the Lebanese Army when he was assigned the job of military attaché at the Lebanese embassy in Rome. This was back in the 1970s, and it was then that the general embraced the Italian tradition of drinking wine.

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