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News posted on Friday, 19 June 2015

Napa relaxes grape-content rule for industrial wineries in city
City planners have thrown their weight behind relaxing the rules on local grape content at wineries in industrial areas, and on Tuesday, the Napa City Council did the same. The council’s 4-1 vote, with Scott Sedgley dissenting, exempts wineries in industrially zoned lands from the city’s version of the requirement that wines made in the valley contain at least 75 percent Napa County-grown grapes.

Biodynamic wine dives into the mainstream
The sale of the Benziger brand to the makers of Franzia could give impetus to biodynamic wines. Ten years ago I went to one of the first biodynamic wine tastings in San Francisco. The mainstream wine media mocked it as a bunch of loons who bury cow horns filled with manure, and spend hours stirring potions by hand. There actually were some scruffy hippies in the room, with unusual tasting no-sulfite wines.

Sydney Wine Academy to launch new Sake course
The Sydney Wine Academy has announced the arrival of Yukino Ochiai to their academic line up. Ochiai will be teaching the new Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Level 3 Sake course which was created in collaboration with Academy director, Clive Hartley. The Sydney Wine Academy - a WSET approved program provider - is one of a few select establishments in the world offering education at this level for this niche area of hospitality.

Hong Kong star launches online wine, champagne brand
Hong Kong movie star Carina Lau yesterday launched her own online wine and champagne brand at the world's biggest wine and spirits fair Vinexpo in southern France. Going on sale in China on the Alibaba website under the name of the Chinese-born actress are six top-end Bordeaux and four other wines from the region as well as two Moutard champagnes and a sparkling wine.

Sydney wine prowler goes on morning con spree
A MYSTERIOUS woman who roams the streets of Botany, in Sydney’s southeast, in the early hours of the morning has conned dozens of residents out of their wine. Nicknamed “the wine lady” by residents on the Facebook’s Botany Bay/Mascot Notice Board, the woman tells her victims a heart-wrenching story about her mother suffering a stroke. She then requests an alcoholic beverage.

Diageo shares spike briefly on rumour of Moet Hennessy stake sale
Diageo shares spiked following a rumor that LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton would move to buy the company's 34 percent stake in Moet Hennessy. LVMH, the world's largest luxury good provider, sold a portion of its Moet Hennessy wine and spirits unit to Diageo, the world's biggest spirits groups, in the 1990s. There had been sporadic chatter over the past six years that LVMH would sell off even more of Moet Hennessy, giving Diageo majority or even full ownership, according to multiple sources

US 'phenomenally thirsty' for wine: experts
The American wine market, already the world's biggest, still has "phenomenal" potential for growth if handled with care, US wine professionals said this week at the world's leading wine fair, Vinexpo. "We are a young thirsty nation," one expert said, referring to the 370 million cases of wine guzzled in 2014 -- 25 percent of them imported -- as well as the steady growth in wine consumption in the past two decades, which is expected to see an 11 percent hike between 2014 and 2018.

OPINION: Misinformation about wine-tax reform
In case you thought the threat to the Riverland region from volumetric tax had abated, think again. While preparing this report another ‘story’ appeared in the press alleging the supposedly unfair nature of the current tax system. On the anti-alcohol website ‘The Conversation’ there is a report calling for the end of cheap wine casks. Once again, this story cherry-picks evidence to suit the cause. It quotes the cost of alcohol damage to society as “upwards of $15billion per year”; a figure from a 2008 paper that has since been discredited.

Guys are no longer ashamed to down a bottle of rosé with their bros
“I like to say that real men drink pink,” says Thomas Pastuszak, wine director of the swanky NoMad Hotel in Manhattan. “There used to be this perception that Rosé was a girly drink, but that’s just not true.” As Procrustean gender norms fall into the dustbin of history, more menfolk are succumbing to the charms of the Pink Mistress, blithely knocking back Rosés ranging in colour from onionskin to rare steak. Like his counterpart, the much-discussed female whiskey drinker, the Rosé bro is inaugurating a freer, more egalitarian world of gender-fluid beverage consumption.

Jetstar to fly New Zealand regional routes
Jetstar, which is owned by Qantas, will start flying regional routes across New Zealand to give tourists better access to popular spots including the Marlborough wine region. Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce announced the move in Auckland this morning. He commented that ‘This is the next stage of the growth of Jetstar in New Zealand…We are also pleased to see how well the New Zealand economy is going.’

New Zealand's best Syrah wine
Few New Zealand wine types promise as much as Syrah. It isn't always an easy variety to handle in the vineyard and winery in New Zealand, unlike Australia where Shiraz, as Syrah is known there, can make good wine across a broad spectrum of regions and climatic zones. But grown in the right place, and made with appropriate expertise, New Zealand Syrah is emerging as one of the world's great red wines.

Australian Sparkling on show at VITeff
Lallemand Australian has shown its support for local, Australian sparkling winemakers by helping them get to VITeff in the Champagne region later this year. This biennial fair is recognized as the place to be for sparkling wine producers from all over the world and will take place from 13th to 16th October 2015 in Epernay, France. For those winemakers selected, the Chamber of Commerce and Union des Oenologues will fly them to France, supply accommodation and event tickets.

Australian wines win at Decanter World Wine Awards
A total of five Australian wines have claimed International Trophies at this year’s Decanter World Wine Awards. International trophies are the highest accolade that a wine can achieve at the Decanter World Wine Awards. This year’s event saw 35 International Trophies awarded from a total of 15,929 wines tasted at the beginning of the judging process. The awards were judged by 240 of the world’s most refined palates including 85 Masters of Wine and 23 Master Sommeliers.





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