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News posted on Friday, 18 September 2015

Alternative options to captan are needed
Recent changes to the maximum residue level (MRL) and residue definition for captan in wine by the European Union may require many wine grape growers to reconsider their fungicide options for the 2015/16 growing season. Captan is a proven option in fungicide spray programs for the management of key grapevine diseases including Phomopsis Cane and Leaf Blight, Black Spot, Botrytis Bunch Rot and Downy Mildew.

Red Hot Tips participant lights up vineyard for fuel reduction
Falling embers from a bushfire in the summer of 2013 were a wakeup call for vineyard owner, Lindy Bull. "I was made aware two years ago just how long it took for us to get everyone out of the vineyard," she said. "How upset were the tourists, as it closed the area down. "There's so much damage with an uncontrolled fire, particularly in the height of the tourist season." Bull owns Freycinet Vineyard on Tasmania's east coast not far from the popular Freycinet National Park.

Food and Wine Fest head says allegation false
THE director of the failed Noosa International Food and Wine Festival, Jim Berardo, has denied claims by the company liquidator that he was trading insolvent, and that money problems should have been obvious from as early as June, 2012. Berardo said his company was "absolutely not trading insolvent", as the liquidator charged with getting the best deal for creditors considers further action.

Graduates in wine with honours
Bangkok aficionados hone their knowledge with an evening at the "Wolf Blass Academy". Wolf Blass has had a presence in Thailand for four years, but only last week did the Australian winery treat local connoisseurs to a "Wolf Blass Academy" - an evening of tastings and tips that was, by all accounts, well worth the wait. The firm's head winemaker, Stuart Rusted, led the appreciative crowd at the Dusit Thani Bangkok through a course on its labels, pointers on how to taste wine, what to look for when buying wine and, most interestingly, how to actually describe wine.

Meet the winemaker – Steve James, Voyager Estate
Steve James, Manager of Winemaking and Viticulture at Voyager Estate in Margaret River, is currently touring the US, visiting vineyards and comparing notes with his American counterparts. Whether overseas or at home in Margaret River, he is dedicated to making wine that exemplifies its origins. He took some time out to talk us through his passion for winemaking.

Mixing Grape and Grain in Marlborough
Josh Scott talks beer snobs, supermarket wine, and reaching "peak hop". If you need something done, ask a busy person, they say. If that's the case, feel free to pass on any important tasks to New Zealander Josh Scott. The son of well-known Marlborough wine figure Allan Scott, Josh not only looks after the winemaking for the family winery but he is also the founder and brewer of Moa Beers, one of the biggest craft breweries in New Zealand.

New tools to measure sustainability
Consumers and retailers are increasingly demanding more information about the broader impacts of the food they purchase, including a wider range of issues such as food safety, environmental impact, human ethics and overall sustainability. Organic certification already accounts for these demands. It ensures and verifies that organic products have been produced, stored, transported and handled in accordance with precise technical specifications. It ensures that the "chain of custody" between producers and consumers is secure.

Chilean earthquake hits wine regions
The devastating earthquake that hit Chile last night, causing the evacuation of around one million people, had its epicentre in the country’s Coquimbo wine region. At least 5 people have died as a result of the 8.3-magnitude earthquake, which struck off the coast of Coquimbo at around 8pm local time (11pm GMT). According to reports, the resulting tsunamis have been battering the coast of the country with waves up to 4.5m high, threatening the country’s coastal vineyards.

Organic wine that’s worth a detour
Might I be doing anything about organic wine for Organic September, a reader asked the other day. Hmmm, well, possibly, but to be honest, I’m not totally convinced. Too many wines labelled organic taste no different from conventional wines, which shouldn’t really come as a surprise, because the certification relates only to what goes on in the vineyard.

The awkwardness of being a wine snob
The biggest fib in the wine industry: "There is no such thing as good or bad wine, it only matters whether you like it." It's a fib not because it's a false statement but because the people saying it often don't quite believe it. Consciously or not, it implies that the person to whom it is being said is too unaware of what good wine is for the speaker to be bothered debating the topic with them. The mirror image phrase, often used by people who find themselves in conversation with a wine professional, is: "I don't know anything about wine, but I know what I like."

Growers weigh options as labour gets tighter
CORNING, Calif. — Bob Steinacher has grown organic figs in the northern Sacramento Valley for 34 years. Like many West Coast growers, he has had difficulty finding enough labour for his annual harvest, but he’s always managed to find enough workers who could tell the ripeness of his fig crop to get it picked, sorted and packed. While Steinacher has long given up on the thought of expanding his orchards, he never considered switching his orchards to other crops because of the shortage of workers.

WISA: Celebrating value chain contribution to wine quality and value
The wine industry is not unlike other industries that rely on various players and influences across the value chain to drive innovation resulting in greater efficiencies, industry capability and ultimately contributing to profitability for stakeholders. The national body representing suppliers across the grape and wine value chain, Wine Industry Suppliers Australia Inc (WISA), will be hosting their 9th Annual Supplier of the Year Awards in Adelaide on the 22nd October.





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