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News posted on Tuesday, 19 May 2015

An open letter from Huon Hooke and Bob Campbell
Dear Colleague, We’d like to share some news with you which we feel is very important to your business and the wine industry. As many of you will know, independent opinion in wine has come under pressure from several fronts: 1. Excessively high scores by some critics, which undermines the credibility of wine ratings for the consumer; 2. Wine writers being paid directly by retailers, or entering into revenue share arrangements, for reviewing wines; 3. Advertorials masquerading as independent opinion...

TWE launches Global Volunteering Week
Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) employees from across the world are banding together to lend a helping hand in their local communities. From making hot meals to collecting litter and planting trees, employees will be out in force this week to support charities and not-for-profit organisations across the world as part of the company’s inaugural Global Volunteering Week, running from 18-22 May 2015. While TWE employees have been involved in volunteering activities in previous years, this is the first time all activities are focused on a single week across the globe.

Wine smoke taint is on the rise
Since 2003 smoke taint in wines has been on the rise and the Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) says it expects the problem will worsen. Grapes exposed to smoke from bushfires and controlled burns can leave more than just an ashy taste in the mouth, with some smoke compounds causing wine to smell and taste like plastic, band aids or even faecal matter. Recently 25 Adelaide Hills vineyards tested positive for smoke taint from bushfires earlier this year and in 2009 40 per cent of Victoria's wine production was affected.

Texas being targeted to increase South Australian wine exports
THERE’S nothing better than teaming a prime cut of beef with a bold South Australian read. It’s part of the reason why Texas — heartland of the United State’s cattle country — is the target of a State Government strategy to reignite Americans’ hankering for South Australia’s premium wines after years of underperforming exports. Agriculture Minister Leon Bignell said Australian wines have been out of favour in the US after cheap labels flooded the market damaging the brand of our top shelf ranges.

What's in a wine label?
Going on a journey is a bit of a buzz concept today's culture and it's no different with wine where customers want to engage with the story, colour and life behind what's in their glass. Simon Forsythe runs a wine bar and cellar door offering only wines from Orange in central west New South Wales and he's well aware of how customers choose their drop. With a background in marketing and having worked to change the image of several well-known international food brands, he believes the colour, life and story of the wine as portrayed in the label is key.

Whale of an opportunity for wine company
A boutique Marlborough winemaker has signed up as a sponsor of the National Whale Centre in Picton. Johanneshof Cellars founder and winemaker Edel Everling said when she was contacted about sponsoring the centre she was keen to help out. "We try to stay local with our support because that's where we live and where we want to help." The Whale Centre was an amazing initiative, Everling said. "Even though it's local it reaches far. It's quite a global thing."

Wine flights ready to take off
A special visitor touched down on the tarmac at Hawke's Bay Airport yesterday - and the high-flying plane will soon be connecting the country's biggest wine-producing regions. A group of wine-industry representatives was given a test flight in the nine-seater Pilatus PC12 plane, which is set to fly direct between Hawke's Bay and Marlborough. Sounds Air managing director Andrew Crawford said his company was in the "final stages" of sealing the deal with Hawke's Bay Airport, with the service proposed to start in early August.

Wine institute urges US congress to act now
Today's announcement by the World Trade Organization (WTO) that the United States continues to violate WTO rules could pave the way for Canada and Mexico to immediately seek billions of dollars' worth of retaliatory tariffs against U.S. products including wine. This is the third time that the WTO has ruled that U.S. country of origin labeling (COOL) of certain meat products is discriminatory and violates WTO rules.

Recyclable wine cork is world’s first carbon-free cork
As concern over the damage humankind is doing to the environment grows, more and more companies and individuals try to find new ways to make their habits more in tune with the planet for a sustainable way to live - and now, that includes the new recyclable wine cork. According to The Independent, the new recyclable wine cork comes from US-based company Normacorc, which has named its product Select Bio as it's about to go on sale in the United Kingdom; and it doesn't really feel different from a regular one.

Once in decline, wine sales rise in China
What a difference a year makes. Earlier this month, CNN Money’s London office reported that, after seeing a five per cent drop in wine sales in 2013, the Chinese uncorked in 2014 a year in which they saw wine sales grow 4.5 per cent. “The Chinese are enjoying a tipple once again after the government’s crackdown on extravagance gave high-end wine sales a knock,” the story said. “Sales of wine, excluding sparkling, in China rose by 4.5% in 2014, reversing a 5% fall the previous year.”

Why women are becoming the key in making and marketing wine
Making wines that appeal to women is changing the way the industry thinks, from marketing campaigns to all-female tasting sessions. "I would say there isn't specifically a female palate, but there are trends," says Lynne Whitaker, managing Director of Winebrand, a branding and market research consultancy for the wine industry. "Most women we speak to prefer white or rosé, and upfront, juicy wines." She adds that New World wines tend to do well – partly because they tend to be labelled with the grape variety, which makes choosing easier.

Technical Sales Representative
Kauri Australia is a sales company promoting a range of quality products including oak barrels and alternatives, yeast nutrition, bacteria and tannins along with a range of equipment including micro oxygenation, turbo-steamers, cellar humidification, and stainless steel tanks for winery and brewery use. Based in our Port Melbourne office, this role is for a winemaker with both winemaking and sales experience to promote and sell technical products to wineries and breweries, and to provide after sales service.

Australia triumphant at IWC
Australian wines have taken home hundreds of medals from the International Wine Challenge (IWC), with the country winning the second highest number of medals, with only France ahead. The incredible haul of medals for Australian wines included over 90 gold medals. The IWC is known as one of the world’s largest, and most prestigious, blind tasting competitions. Wines are tasted and assessed by a panel of industry experts with the winery name, grape variety and country of origin not revealed.

How much is oxygen affecting your wine?
Too much oxygen in bottled wine can seriously affect its shelf-life. This can be seen as a loss of fresh and fruity characters, lower levels of preservatives and an increased risk of spoilage. Audits of bottling lines carried out by the AWRI have shown that over 60% of the oxygen introduced into wine at bottling is present in the headspace and not detected by conventional quality control checks.

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