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News posted on Thursday, 18 August 2016

Treasury Wine Estates continues turn around posting strong financial results
The acquisition of a new wine distribution business and strong growth in export markets has seen ASX-listed Treasury Wine Estates more than double its profits compared with the same time last year. The annual financial report from the owner of a host of wine labels including Penfolds, Wolf Blass and Lindeman's shows the company continuing its turnaround under the leadership of CEO Michael Clarke.

Small exporters adopting new Efic loan scheme
The importance of the Efic Small Business Export Loan scheme comes sharply into focus when considering the stretched cash flow of many exporters. Zonte's Footstep, a winery in South Australia, uses Efics export loans. The company may not produce the massive volumes of the major wine makers but still sells more than 50,000 cases per year. "We're on a sustainable growth rate of 20 per cent per year right now," says managing director, Anna Fisher. "But we need finance to support the growth, especially since the largest growing part of our business is exporting."

Accolade wines moves closer to listing
The owner of Accolade Wines has confirmed its intent to offload its majority interest in the wine giant as it moves towards an initial public offering on the Stock Exchange. In May, an Australian newspaper claimed private equity firm Champ PE was mulling launching an IPO for the Australian drinks company, a move confirmed last week then the company formally appointed Reunion Capital Partners as corporate advisors to investigate its options.

Extreme vintage
This year, the Hunter Valley in New South Wales had its wettest January on record followed by its driest February ever. So what does this mean for the region’s 2016 wines? Every vintage throws up its own set of challenges. Growing grapes ain’t easy, especially when you factor in the seemingly high number of extreme weather events that come the vigneron’s way, perhaps thanks to the impact of human beings on our fragile planet.

Thousands sign up for free online wine course
More than 11,000 people have signed up to a new version of a free online wine course run by the University of Adelaide in Australia. Around 11,300 students signed up to the latest University of Adelaide online wine course, starting 7 July. More than 50,000 people from almost 160 countries have signed up since the programme began – mostly from the US, UK and Australia.

Marlborough wine industry expansion means more waste, but where does it go?
With more vines comes more waste, raising questions about what is being done with the thousands of tonnes of grape marc being produced every year in Marlborough. Grape marc, the skins and seeds left over after grapes are pressed for winemaking, has a variety of uses, including compost, nutraceutical products and stock feed. It typically makes up around a fifth of the overall harvest tonnage and with more vineyard hectares being planted, the pressure is on the industry to find ways to deal with its waste.

New Zealand wine ‘at top of on-trade ladder’
After a brief blip last decade created by a glut of cheap, poor quality Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc flooding the UK market, New Zealand wine appears to have firmly reclaimed its place at the top of the on-trade wine ladder from the prospective of premium price positioning, writes Mark Newton of CGA Strategy. The average price per glass of New Zealand wine at UK restaurants and bars is above its nearest Old World competitors, having edged over the £5 barrier earlier this year.

CA: Wineries wait, worry of possible smoke taint
Red wine aficionados love flowery descriptions for what swirls in their globed glasses. When sniffing and swishing they may detect “delicate, balanced tannins,” a “hint of leather” or a “bouquet of ripe currants.” Unfortunately, the 2016 vintage from grapes grown in Cachagua Valley high above Carmel Valley may bring less palatable tasting notes such as “smoked meat, “campfire” or “dirty ashtray.” Not good.

South African vineyard's duck parade doubles as pest control
STELLENBOSCH, South Africa (AP) — The quacking is soft at first amid the vineyards that roll for miles in this South African wine-making town. But then the duck handlers whistle and wave their white flags, and the noise reaches a crescendo. All 1,071 ducks huddle at the gate that separates them from the vineyards. It's time to go to work, and the daily duck parade is about to start.

Would you pop a can of Pinot?
When you're looking at replacements for packaging invented in the 17th century, it makes sense to offer something that feels novel but looks familiar. Nicholas Johnston, a research assistant for the Texas Wine Marketing Institute, completed his doctoral studies this year by asking young consumers for their reactions to alternative wine packaging—wine without the bottle. His two-part study included a small focus group of wine drinkers, followed by a national survey of 1,151 respondents, ages 21 to 39.

2016: The year for new world wines
In every wine country, vintners anxiously scan the skies all year, hoping weather challenges will still let them make great, or at least good, wine. French wine makers in Chablis lit fires earlier this year to protect their vineyards from irreparable frost damage. So far, 2016 has been a very rough year for Europe's vintners, with one weather catastrophe after another. Hailstorms in Barolo.





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