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News posted on Friday, 18 December 2015

Sauvignon Blanc, NZ’s $1.1 billion export to be celebrated at international event
Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand’s most popular wine export, will be celebrated in style next year at the first ever International Sauvignon Blanc Celebration, held in Marlborough from 1-3 February. The sold-out event is attracting over three hundred producers, writers and wine experts from around the world. Attendees will have an opportunity to take part in tasting and discussion sessions, as well as taking a journey through diverse regional styles, and the range of winemaking techniques that are used to produce this sought-after wine.

Sauvignon Blanc, NZ’s $1.1 billion export to be celebrated at international event
Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand’s most popular wine export, will be celebrated in style next year at the first ever International Sauvignon Blanc Celebration, held in Marlborough from 1-3 February. The sold-out event is attracting over three hundred producers, writers and wine experts from around the world. Attendees will have an opportunity to take part in tasting and discussion sessions, as well as taking a journey through diverse regional styles, and the range of winemaking techniques that are used to produce this sought-after wine.

Australia releases its most expensive bottle of bubbles at $350 a pop
FORGET French fizz — Australia has just released its most expensive bottle of sparkling wine and it’s made right here in SA. The special-release bottle of bubbles, the House of Arras EJ Carr 1998 Late Disgorged 20th Anniversary sparkling maxes out the credit card at a cool $350, making it not only Australia’s top-priced fizz but also its priciest white wine.

Riverland: Where have all the leaders gone?
Most Riverland winegrowers were optimistic that this year, they could begin the long journey back to prosperity. These ‘ongoers’ were cautiously convincing themselves the decade of digging in and digging deep was about to reveal some payback; some recognition of their commitment to the industry. The recent headlines have all been positive. The key indicators have been strong. Exports are well up in both volume and value.

Don Ditter, former Chief Winemaker at Australia's Penfolds, dies at 89
Don Ditter, who stepped into the legendary Max Schubert's shoes as chief winemaker at Australia's Penfolds and improved the overall quality of the wines at a critical juncture in the company's history, died Dec. 16 in Sydney. He was 89. Raised in Barossa Valley, Ditter began as a lab assistant at Penfolds' Magill Estate in Adelaide in 1942, rising through the ranks until he took over for Schubert in 1973, overseeing production of wines ranging from popular-priced blends to Grange.

Nutritional and ingredient labelling would uncork a host of issues
Face it: calories lurk in that tasty glass of wine. Do you want the wine industry or government to tell you how many? In the mid-1980s two particular events made an impact on the American wine business: one was dubbed The French Paradox; the other was a new federally mandated government warning label. At first glance, the two may not have seemed related, but they were.

The wine stories that will shape 2016
From California doubling down on Tuesday night wines to Oregon's embrace of a new muse to the Savoie finally climbing out of the Jura's hip-cocked shadow, Jon Bonné lays out the wine stories that will make a difference in 2016. Why did this year in wine feel so off-kilter?

A chat with Accolade’s new leader
Paul Schaafsma joined the wine industry after graduating with a degree in manufacturing management from his native Australia. He was responsible for managing the UK and Irish businesses of Australian Vintage, building its McGuigan brand into one of the biggest in the UK, before taking on the same responsibilty at a recently-launched company called Accolade.

Wine Institute applauds inclusion of COOL repeal in funding bill
Wine Institute is pleased that Congress has included language which repeals country of origin labeling (COOL) for beef and pork in the Omnibus funding bill. The World Trade Organization has granted Canada and Mexico the right to retaliate against U.S. products including wine beginning as early as next week unless Congress votes to repeal the relevant COOL provisions.

‘Pernicious’ Prestige Fine Wine Ltd shut in public interest
England's High Court has ordered Prestige Fine Wine Ltd to be closed in the public interest after a hearing that also included allegations that the firm used false data to persuade people to invest in wine, including an elderly man with Alzheimer's. Prestige Fine Wine Ltd was wound up in the public interest on 16 December, at the request of the Insolvency Service.

Scutts’ appeal against kickback conviction scuttled
High-profile businessman Peter Scutts lost his appeal against his conviction for taking kickbacks last week, with the judgment only being made publicly available yesterday (see link to judgment at end of story). A former chief executive of advertising firm Young & Rubicam (Y&R), the Auckland Blues rugby franchise and – most recently – the NZ Wine Company, Scutts was found guilty in July of 17 charges brought against him by the Serious Fraud Office.

WGGA says farewell to Lawrie Stanford
Yesterday, Wine Grape Growers Australia hosted a Christmas event to say farewell to outgoing executive Director, Lawrie Stanford, who has recently retired. Daily Wine News had a chat to Lawrie about his biggest achievements over the past five years with WGGA and what his hopes are for the future of the association.

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