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News posted on Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Climate change study points to lower yields and early ripening of grape crops
The impacts of climate change on agricultural communities, such as the Upper Hunter, have been highlighted in a new study examining pressures on the food supply chain. The research from the Climate Council of Australia indicates hotter weather is affecting the quality and availability of many foods, adding pressure to the export market.

Winners of the inaugural Australian Women in Wine Awards announced
The four winners of the inaugural Australian Women in Wine Awards were announced last night via a web broadcast that was streamed to live events taking place all over Australia. Rose Kentish from Ulithorne Wines in McLaren Vale took out the winemaker of the year award at the event while Irina Santiago-Brown from McLaren Vale's Inkwell Wines was named as viticulturist of the year. Rebecca Duffy from Holm Oak Vineyard in Tasmania was awarded with owner/ operator of the year and Dianne Laurance from WA’s Laurance Wines was honoured with the workplace champion of change award.

Asia-Pacific wine regulators meet to develop wine trade
More than 80 wine regulators and wine industry representatives from 17 Pacific Rim economies met in Adelaide, Australia, to work toward streamlining import-export requirements for wine. The two-day Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Wine Regulatory Forum’s 2015 technical meeting focused on eliminating duplicative regulations to reduce the costs of cross-border wine trade, stimulate demand and increase wine exports to the region.

Aust Vintage underlying profit to rise
Profits are on the rise at the wine maker behind the McGuigan and Tempus Two labels thanks to stronger sales both within Australia and overseas. Australian Vintage is forecasting net profit this financial year to come in about 10 per cent above the $7.1 million, before one off items, it made in 2013/14. The wine maker's chairman, Richard Davis, told shareholders that in the four months to October 2015, sales to both domestic and export markets were stronger.

Tasmanian Rieslings to line up against Eden and Clare Valleys’ finest
The Wine & Viticulture Journal is inviting Tasmanian wineries making Riesling to enter its forthcoming tasting and pit their Rieslings against the top wines from the publication’s recent Clare and Eden Valley Riesling tasting. Producers have until close of business next Wednesday (25 November) to contact Wine & Viticulture Journal editor Sonya Logan expressing their interest in submitting a wine to the tasting ([email protected]), which was prompted by Tasmanian winemaker Paul Smart, aka Vineyard Paul, who threw down the gauntlet in a tweet.

Wine Industry Sales Education academy set to launch in Central Otago
Kiwi cellar door staff need to be more forward and less reliant on the "pour and hope" model when selling wine, a leading Central Otago businessman says. Bruce McGechan, who has a background in wine and tourism, says cellar doors are not as profitable as many people think and more needs to be done to make the visitor experience top quality. As a result, McGechan has teamed up with Lesley Berglund, a leading direct-to-consumer expert in the US wine industry, to offer wine sales training courses.

New winery takes shape
One of Hawkes Bay's largest construction projects is nearing completion. NZ Strong is building a new winery for Delegat's on a greenfields site near Hastings, in a contract worth about $40 million. The construction includes tank cellar, barrel cellar, plant room, process room, press gallery, cellar door, offices, laboratory and amenities. NZ Strong managing director Chris Hunter said the work was to be completed ready for early next year.

Appreciating endangered ancient vines during National Zinfandel week
Who thinks of these days anyway? International Tempranillo Day was just last week (November 12), right on the heels of International Merlot Day. We’re drinking as fast as we can, folks! Of course, it is Zinfandel Advocates & Producers (a.k.a. ZAP) thas has been behind the annual observation of National Zinfandel Day. No organization has done more to expand appreciation of Zinfandel than ZAP.

Grape seed colour not helpful in assessing wine tannins
ROSSER, Wash. – For decades, if not centuries, the changing color of a grape’s seed has played a role in determining when winemakers harvest grapes. After some complex experiments, though, researchers at Washington State University have determined that seed colors don’t have the long-held impact, contrary to wine mythology. “Grape growers and winemakers have looked at the coloration of grape seeds, believing it can tell the amount of tannins the grape will impart into wine,” said Jim Harbertson, a professor in WSU’s viticulture and enology program.

East meets wild west
China remains the main frontier in the wine industry’s quest to build new markets and attract another generation of consumers. Like frontiers throughout history, it is not for the faint of heart. Just getting around Shanghai at rush hour is a challenge which at times seems worthy of the early settlers crossing the American West, as we found out last week when we visited ProWine Shanghai to deliver a seminar on our latest thinking on the Chinese wine market.

Majestic Wine cuts new store plan as profits sink
Majestic has said it will cut its store expansion plans after net profits slid by more than two-thirds in the first six months of its financial year. Majestic Wine, which bought Naked Wines for £70m in April and installed its founder, Rowan Gormley, as its new CEO, said it will now aim to increase its store base to 230 from its current total of 211 – some 100 stores shy of its previous 330-outlet target. Pre-tax profits at the wine retailer fell by 50% in the first half of its financial year, versus the same period of last year, to £4.3m.

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