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News posted on Friday, 18 August 2017

NZ wine directors accused of fraud
New Zealand authorities have charged three directors of a wine company in Waipara with fraud. Southern Boundary Wines Ltd.'s vineyard manager and winemaker Scott Berry, winemaker Rebecca Cope and operations and export manager Andrew Moore stand accused of allegedly mislabelling thousands of bottles and then exporting the wines. Source, Wine Spectator.

Skills shortage for Marlborough
Despite the lifestyle on offer, many sectors including construction, healthcare, education and the wine industry are struggling to fill their quota of skilled workers. A New Zealand Institute of Economic Research report showed the wine industry employed 2350 people in Marlborough, with another 2500 jobs supporting the industry. However, companies were still struggling to find skilled machinery operators and applicants to fill desk jobs in the sales, marketing and financial side of their businesses. Source, Stuff.

Persistence rewarded in Tassie
Peter Dredge and James Broinowski may run different wineries, but both understand the intricacies and hardships of starting out from scratch. Now the pair are reaping the rewards after being recognised in Australian wine connoisseur James Halliday’s top 10 newest wineries as part of his 2018 Wine Companion awards. Source, Weekly Times Now.

Family stories used to sell top drops
An increasing number of independent wineries are focusing on their family stories as they target a market keen to learn more about the origins of premium drops. Peter Barry of Jim Barry Wines believed the winery stayed competitive by telling its story during the past 40 years about being a smaller, high-quality, family-owned business in an increasingly corporate and global market. Source, Adelaide Now.

New Chairman of advisory board for HoFW
House of Fine Wine (HoFW), the Australian distribution company for three of the world’s most accomplished and admired wine brands - Société Jacques Bollinger (SJB), Henschke and Villa Maria - have announced the appointment of Rob Hirst as the new Chairman of the advisory board. Source, Winetitles.

Will weed farms ruin the taste of wine?
Winemakers worry about anything that could negatively affect the quality of their grapes. That usually includes less than optimal seasonal conditions, wildfires, insects, fungi, and animals. However, Robert Patrick, the CEO of the chamber of commerce of Lodi, California winemaking region, is worried about another possible culprit: large-scale marijuana production. Source, VinePair.

Wine.com raises $15m
Wine.com, the nation’s leading online wine retailer, has raised $15M from existing investors to capitalise on accelerating growth. The company has recently released a new website and mobile app with features including detailed information on varietals, live chat with wine experts and extensive ecommerce. Source, PEHub.

Can we trust celebrity wine?
"Can we trust celebrity-linked wine? Just about everybody who’s anybody is involved in the wine game, and we’re bound to stumble across a wine linked to a celebrity sooner or later. I’m holding out for Pitbull Cellars, myself," writes Connie Ogle for the Miami Herald.

China's wine export grows
Changyu and Great Wall dominate domestic consumption in China, and the companies are making inroads into the international market. Great Wall owns brands in Chile and France, while Changyu exports to several major European markets, including the UK. Source, China Daily.

Treasury to boost white wine focus for Penfolds
Treasury Wine Estates chief executive officer Michael Clarke has revealed the company plans to focus on increasing white wine production under its Penfolds banner. Clarke said under “an exciting white wine strategy” for the iconic Penfolds label, moves will be made to boost interest in white wines, concentrating on Chardonnay and Riesling. Source, Winetitles

WET reforms passed through parliament
The Winemakers’ Federation of Australia has welcomed this week’s passage through Parliament of critical Federal Government reforms to the Wine Equalisation Tax (WET). Legislation passed yesterday reforming the WET Rebate which will tighten eligibility. Source, Winetitles.

Whitey marvels at Hills semillon
"This is personal. After Tuesday’s hissy about common or garden/grassy Sauvignon Blanc being a tad too mindlessly garden/grassy and offering very straightforward ethanol while lacking wine-like character and enjoyable gastronomic comfort, I found an antidote right under my nose," writes Philip White for InDaily.

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WID 2017