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News posted on Thursday, 19 March 2015

Australia’s First Families of Wine to launch in USA this May
Australia’s First Families of Wine Chairman, Robert Hill-Smith will lead family member representatives from Australia’s 12 foremost family-owned wineries on a US tour with trade and consumer launch events in San Francisco, May 18, 2015 and New York, May 20, 2015. Founded in 2009, Australia’s First Families of Wine (AFFW) came together to work collectively to raise the profile and provenance of quality Australian wine, at home and around the world, through fine wine and heritage tastings, consumer and trade education and industry leadership.

On-premise revolution
The Australian On-Premise wine market is undergoing a once in a generation change. Listings of imports have lifted from a quarter to a third of all listings. The number of brands listed has increase by 75% in just 12 months after being fairly stable at around 2000 for the last seven years. This is according to Wine Businesses Solutions’ Wine On-Premise Australia 2015 report which has just been released this week.

AGL rejects call to hand over CSG licence for Hunter vineyards
AGL Energy has rejected a call from a community group to hand-in its coal seam gas exploration licences in the Hunter Valley. The Hunter Valley Protection Alliance challenged AGL to dispose of two exploration licences covering the Broke Fordwich winegrowing region. It argues having already handed two neighbouring licences back to the state government that the company should exit the area altogether. AGL said while there are some surface restrictions, it considers there is still exploration potential for the Broke Fordwich licences.

Australian wine producers complain about liquor reforms that favour British Columbia products
CANADA: The British Columbia (B.C.) government faces another trade concern over its liquor reforms. Brian Walsh, chair of the Australian Grape and Wine Authority has written to B.C. Premier Christy Clark raising objections to reforms that favour B.C. wines. Walsh stated in his March 5 letter that B.C. VQA wines had a 20.9 per cent market share last year in B.C., generating gross sales of $217 million. He noted that this was 12 per cent up from the previous year. Australia, had a 7.9 per cent market share in B.C. wine sales last year, according to his letter.

Cowra Wine Show to host national single vineyard competition
The Cowra Wine Show Committee has announced the 2015 show will incorporate the inaugural Australian National Single Vineyard Wine Show. As well as recognising the top wines, the viticulturists or grapegrowers of the best white and the best red single vineyard table wines will be rewarded with trophies. Russell Cody, chief judge, supported the initiative and said he was confident producers would see it as an opportunity to showcase their wonderful single vineyard wines. Schedules inviting entries to the two shows will be emailed to producers on Friday 1 May.

FTA with China bring about more trade, more transparency for NZ goods
WELLINGTON, March 18 (Xinhua) As a sales manager and marketing director of a famous New Zealand winery, Martin Tutty had never thought that he would need to come to China so many times a year. Martin's story, however, has also become a common experience of his Kiwi peers. Since China and New Zealand signed Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) in 2008, the Chinese market is regarded by the former as an important business engine. As such, Martin currently spends three or four months a year in China, dealing with local distributors in numerous Chinese cities.

Invivo halfway to its $2m funding target
Fast-growing wine company Invivo Wines raised more than $1 million in the space of a few hours after its equity crowdfunding campaign opened yesterday. Auckland-based Invivo's capital raising began on the Snowball Effect platform at midday and had secured more than double the $500,000 minimum funding target by 5.30pm. The company is looking to raise up to $2 million, the maximum allowed through a crowdfunding campaign, and has said it will use the capital to ramp up its expansion in international markets.

Chinese rivalling French to buy Bordeaux vineyards
Bordeaux (AFP) - Chinese investors now rival the French in buying vineyards in Bordeaux: a sign both of the region's global prestige and China's seemingly unquenchable thirst for wine, according to local property agencies and industry associations. More than 100 properties in France's southwest wine-producing area are today owned by Chinese tycoons looking to diversify fortunes built upon real estate, jewellery, industry or tourism holdings.

Cohen leads diverse, evolving Lede wineries
Remi Cohen didn’t realize how big the gender divide was at the highest levels of the wine industry. The general manager for Napa Valley-based Lede Family Wines suspects she may have gravitated to companies that were gender-blind meritocracies. Asked to speak more often on the subject, she found that while slightly less than half the enrolees in the wine program at University of California at Davis are women, they fill fewer than 10 per cent of the top winemaking positions at wineries.

Heavy grape damage after extreme cold won't kill wine supply
Devastating winter weather that caused heavy damage to grape buds won't immediately cripple local wine production, according to members of the Windsor-Essex wine industry. While some varieties of grapes won't be produced this year, the industry is designed to weather these disruptions, according to Tom O'Brien, the founder of Cooper's Hawk Vineyards in Harrow. "When you're in the wine business, you know you're going to get one year out of 10, or two years out of 10, where the winter's going to be hard and you can't get wine," O'Brien said.

California's vintage variation debate
Does vintage or vineyard have the greater say in Californian wines? Everyone accepts that French wines have vintage variation: it's not a bug, it's a feature. But what about California wines? The Golden State is famous for consistency. What happens when that's not true? "The French are more successful at saying: 'We're going to lower the price on this vintage to move it,'" Failla proprietor Ehren Jordan told Wine Searcher. "In California, the price is non-elastic. The assumption is that it's going to be good."

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