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News posted on Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Hungry ducks to replace snail baits on WA vineyard
Inspired by a YouTube video of some 800 ducks lining a vineyard in South Africa, a Great Southern winery has decided to try their hand using ducks instead of pesticides and baits for problem snails. Apricus Hill in Denmark is one of just a handful of wineries in Western Australia using the animals as natural pesticides, just recently completing their first trial of the Indian Runner and Muscovy ducks.

Awards lift lid on Bay's best wines
Tonight is the night for the region's winemakers who are testing themselves against their peers at the 16th annual Hawke's Bay A & P Bayleys Wine Awards. Nearly 400 entries encompassing a wide range of grape varieties and wine styles were presented for an 11-strong judging panel this year at the country's oldest regional wine awards competition. The line-up of leading New Zealand and international wine writers and winemakers spent three days at the EIT's wine and viticulture centre late last month judging the entries to select the recipients among nine major awards, 15 category awards, and the Doug Wiser Memorial Trophy.

Yealands completes New Zealand’s largest solar panel installation
The Yealands Wine Group has put up New Zealand’s largest solar panel installation at its vineyard in Marlborough as it reinforces its claim to be the most sustainable winery in the world. The new investment in renewable energy means that Yealands is now capable of generating 411.12 kiloWatts of solar power, which is equivalent to powering 86 New Zealand homes, and will offset 82 tonnes of CO2 emissions. Nevertheless, the installation – which comprises a total of 1,314 photovoltaic panels on its winery roof – does not mean that Yealands is self-sufficient: the solar panels will generate 30% of the power necessary for winemaking.

Over 19,000 bottles of smuggled wine to go under hammer
Investigators discovered the company had smuggled wine from Australia totaling 1.77 million yuan ($263,000) in value since 2015, possibly evading taxes worth about 420,000 yuan by declaring lower prices, it was added. The suspect, company general manager Chen Liping, had fled to Australia a year ago and was persuaded only recently to return to China and surrender to law enforcement authorities, the paper said. Chen was under compulsory measure pending further investigations. The wine will go under the hammer on JD.com as a whole, and only those who have been granted wine or food business operation permits are eligible to bid on them.

PAFA Bacchanal Wine Gala Toasts Land Down Under
The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) will host its 18th Annual Bacchanal Wine Gala and Auction “Celebrating the Wines of Australia” next month on Saturday, November 12. The flagship fall soiree raises funds to support the next generation of artists through student scholarships and education programs. This year, the prestigious Australian winery Hentley Farm will receive the Thomas Jefferson Award, a Bacchanal tradition honoring exceptional members of the wine industry.

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan buys Constellation Brands’ Canadian wine business for $1.03 billion
The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan has agreed to pay $1.03 billion for the Canadian wine business of Constellation Brands, one of the country’s top wine sellers, with seven of market’s Top 20 brands and a network of retail outlets in Ontario. The deal comes less than two weeks before new rules governing alcohol sales in Ontario — which will make wine available in selected grocery stores — begin to take effect. Constellation’s Canadian brands include Inniskillin and Jackson-Triggs; Teachers’ will also continue to distribute the company’s international brands, such as California’s Robert Mondavi and New Zealand’s Kim Crawford, according spokeswoman Deborah Allan.

Wine Australia scholarships open for wine's next generation
This year’s Wine Australia scholarships for wine-focused PhD and Masters by Research students are now open for application. Each year, Wine Australia provides scholarships to postgraduate students studying in the fields of wine, viticulture and wine business to assist new researchers in the sector. Wine Australia General Manager Research, Development and Extension Dr Liz Waters said the scholarships are one of the ways that Wine Australia invests in the development of the next generation of leaders in the grape and wine sector.

Constellation Brands sells Canada arm, buys Millennial wines
Constellation Brands has sold its wine business in Canada, including award-winning Inniskillin estate, to a teachers' pension fund for one billion Canadian dollars, and will buy a collection of new wave wine brands from Washington State. The move to sell up is part of Constellation’s plan to re-focus around premium and high end US wine brands aimed at millennials, alongside a burgeoning beer arm and small-scale spirits division.

Naked Wines to raise prices amid Brexit fallout
Naked Wines has warned its investor-consumers that prices will rise in the aftermath of Brexit, amid a weak sterling and growing unease Britain's EU exit strategy. Naked Wines, which is owned by Majestic Wine, has said that it will raise prices by 5% on half of its range from next month. It blamed the weak sterling currency in the aftermath of the Brexit vote. Wines at Majestic will not be affected. ‘We have increased prices as little as possible,’ said CEO Rowan Gormley. He said the rise is ‘around 50p on some of our most popular wines’.

Russia may increase wine imports tax: Views from Georgia
Georgian wine exports to the Russian Federation may decline. Higher taxes will create problems to distributors and producers. It is not known when exactly the new rate will come into force, but the working process was intensified in this direction. Russia plans to double excise tax on wines. Ministry of Finance of Russia has already submitted due initiative to the government.

There's such a thing as condoms for wine bottles and it's kind of genius
When you open a bottle of wine and don’t finish it (rare, we know) there’s always that annoying issue about the cork not fitting back in. Well, someone’s come up with a solution: The Wine Condom. The hilarious disposable bottle stoppers – made of rolled up rubber – create a water-tight seal so the bottle can be stored sideways or upright. Genius right?

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