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News posted on Friday, 18 November 2016

ASVO announces wine industry Awards for excellence
At a celebratory dinner at the Adelaide Botanic gardens restaurant, President Dr Mardi Longbottom announced the winners of the Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology (ASVO) annual Awards for Excellence. The Awards program recognises professional excellence in viticulture, winemaking and research. The Award recipients have made outstanding contributions to the Australian wine industry through the implementation and promotion of innovative practices and processes to enhance Australian grape and wine production. The ASVO Viticulturist of the year, was awarded to Colin Hinze, of Taylors Wines in the Clare Valley, South Australia.

Winemaker wines fourth International Winemaker of the Year
The world’s best winemaker has been named at the 2016 International Wine & Spirits Competition (IWSC) in London, with Australian winery McGuigan Wines being crowned International Winemaker of the Year – and in doing so became the only winery in the Competition’s history to win the title four times. Having won the title in 2009, 2011 and 2012, McGuigan Wines saw off competition from the world’s wine producing nations including France, Spain, Italy, Germany and the USA to become the first winemaker in the world to receive the award four times.

Women in Wine Awards finalist encourages sisterhood
Despite many Australian women enjoying in the occasional glass of wine, fewer dabble in a career within the industry, and viticulturist Sarah Collingwood wants to change that. Her parents have had a vineyard for the past 18 years, but she did not start working full-time in the wine industry until seven years ago. "Now John [my husband] and I haven't left, and we hope we're doing this for the rest of our lives," she said. Ms Collingwood said women only made up roughly 10 per cent of viticulturists and wine makers in Australia.

ASVO fellows honoured
Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology (ASVO) President Dr Mardi Longbottom today announced two new fellows. Brian Croser AO and Di Davidson AM have been honoured for their particularly outstanding and meritorious contribution to the grape and wine industry and to the Society by being admitted as fellows of the ASVO. “Selection was particularly difficult this year because of the extremely high calibre of individuals nominated for our Fellows program said Dr Longbottom and for the first time more than one member was recommended by the selection committee.

Winegrape powdery mildew app goes global
Grape growers and winemakers around the world will be able to easily assess powdery mildew in the field with the help of a mobile application just released globally. PMapp, which supports decisions about grape quality, has been developed by the University of Adelaide in close collaboration with the Australian grape and wine sector, and supported by Wine Australia. “Powdery mildew is a serious disease that affects grapevines worldwide and can cause off flavours and aromas in wine if it is not controlled,” says project leader Eileen Scott, Professor of Plant Pathology at the University of Adelaide’s School of Agriculture, Food and Wine.

Matua named New Zealand Wine Producer of Year at IWSC
Competition (IWSC), winning the trophy for New Zealand Wine Producer of the Year, announced last night in London. The winery, which produced New Zealand’s first Sauvignon Blanc in 1974, had a medal tally which incorporated the Trophy alongside 12 medals, including Gold Outstanding for the 2013 Matua Single Vineyard Pinot Noir, five Silver Outstanding medals, four Silvers and a Bronze. This now means that Matua has received the title of NZ Wine Producer or Winemaker of the Year at a major international wine competition four years consecutively.

Marlborough wine companies count losses following earthquake
Wine industry experts in Marlborough are saying the 7.8 magnitude earthquake on Monday was more damaging than the last event to shake the region. The 2013 Seddon earthquake caused an estimated $100 million worth of damage to wine companies and grape growers, who are putting a brave face on the latest tremors. Wine Marlborough general manager Marcus Pickens said he had been out to inspect more than 20 wineries, and was impressed at the resilience shown by staff. "There has been damage, and it's fair to say it's bigger than the last event across the board, most wine companies have had some impact in terms of wine loss or tank movement," he said.

Research establishes the Chinese Lexicon Project
Most western wine drinkers probably wouldn't use terms like dried hawthorn or Chinese sausage to describe the taste of certain wines. But Australian researchers say those terms are a useful part of a world-first project aimed at better-informing Chinese consumers, and increasing Aussie wine exports. Armando Corsi and Larry Lockshin could probably spend all day talking about and describing the taste of wine. Which is a good thing, because much of their academic focus at the University of South Australia has been on the popular fermented beverage. In particular, solving the problem that certain western flavour descriptions can pose for Chinese consumers.

Tibetan winery plans IPO in Australia
Tibet’s first organic winery, Mo Er Duo, is planning to go public in Australia next year, reports local Chinese wine media Jiuye Times. Its wines, made from China’s secluded Tibetan plateau, the same area where LVMH group’s ‘Ao Yun’ wines are produced, are expected to fill a void for Chinese produced high-altitude wines, says a local official from Lhasa Committee of Industry and Commerce at the winery’s press conference on 13 November. Ao Yun’s release price on Liv-ex was between £1,410 and £1,600 per six bottles. No details have yet been revealed regarding Mo Er Duo’s wine prices or the amount to be raised through the initial public offering.

Complaint over TWE's use of "Stag" name in the US is dismissed
The on-going legal battle between two leading wine companies over the use of ‘The Stag’ name and imagery has reached another benchmark as the complaint was dismissed temporarily by a judge. A court has dismissed the complaint from Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars (SLWC) and its parent company Ste. Michelle Wine Estates (SMWE), in a lawsuit against Australian wine company TWE – which also owns a Californian winery - for its use of the brand name ‘The Stag’ in the US.

Majestic Wine toasts sales growth
Majestic Wine said it was on track for higher growth as it fell into the red for the six months to September. The retailer posted a pre-tax loss of £4.4m, compared with a profit of £4.5m for the same period last year, and said it had been focusing on boosting sales rather than the bottom line. Majestic said the loss was largely due to a failed marketing campaign for its Naked Wine business. Like-for-like sales rose 5.7% in the 26-week period.

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