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News posted on Wednesday, 19 August 2015

New Direct to Customer Research
Wine Business Solutions’ 2015 Direct to Customer benchmarking is now underway. This is your opportunity to add to the pool of knowledge in relation to the most profitable part of your wine business. Just follow this link to take the survey It’s also your chance to get the finished survey for half price or $A200 off. All you will need is your revenue and case sales numbers for the last two years as well as your Direct to Customer sales.

Entries open for 2015 Air New Zealand Wine Awards
Entries are open for the 2015 Air New Zealand Wine Awards, a competition which celebrates excellence in New Zealand winemaking and is widely considered to be the country’s most prestigious wine competition. “This is the 40th year New Zealand Winegrowers have managed the Awards”, said Chris Yorke, New Zealand Winegrowers’ global marketing director.

Stoneleigh: keeping it natural
Stoneleigh launched its Wild Valley range at the end of last week, a line-up of wild-fermented New Zealand wines comprising a 2015 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and a 2014 Marlborough Pinot Noir. The Stoneleigh Wild Valley wines get their complexity from nature, fermented by indigenous yeasts that are naturally present in the Rapaura, Marlborough vineyards. By allowing nature to take its course, the wines have an added texture to the fruity, citrus flavours that earlier Stoneleigh wines are known for.

A dire threat to Grapevines
Nearly every month, David Gramaje gives a seminar lecture on the same topic. But the plant pathologist at the Research Centre of the Vine and Wine in Rioja never lacks for an audience of worried Spanish winegrowers. They’ve come to hear about combating esca and other vine-trunk diseases, a threat they fear will be the defining vine blight of the 21st century—a scourge on the scale of phylloxera, the pest that nearly destroyed winemaking in 19th-century Europe.

A new way of life for Washington grapegrower
Derek Way is leaving his dream job as vineyard manager at Sagemoor Farms in Pasco, Washington, to pursue other dreams in China. In September, Way, his wife, Lindsey, and their three young children will pack up and leave their quiet home at the vineyard to go live in an apartment in Nanjing, China, a city of more than 6 million people. Way first visited China six years ago during an international study tour while he was in Class 30 of the Washington Agriculture and Forestry Education Foundation’s leadership program.

Leading premium-plus wine players drive U.S. growth
Benefiting from robust premiumisation trends, the U.S. market’s leading wine brands priced at $10-and-above are posting solid growth and outperforming the overall category. The total domestic and imported premium-plus wine segments each rose roughly 4% in 2014, and the top 15 domestic players were up 5.7%, to around 27 million nine-litre cases, according to Impact Databank. Growth was even more pronounced for the market’s top five premium-plus imports, which collectively rose 11.2% to 4.3 million cases last year.

Rioja heading for early 2015 wine harvest
Hopes are rising in Rioja for a successful 2015 wine harvest, and pickers are facing an early start. At Bodegas Sierra Cantabria, Alberto Saldon told Decanter.com that their vines at Vinedos de Paganos have nearly completed veraison (colour change), and should be picked one month early. Rain over the past week means yields are expected to be average across the region. ‘July saw an unusually high number of days over 40 degrees centigrade,’ Saldon said.

Treasury Wine bounces into the black
Treasury Wine Estates has bounced back into the black, after an overhaul of the wine company stripped out more costs than the firm had forecast. The wine company today posted a net profit of $77.6 million in the year ended June 30, compared with a loss of $100.9m in the previous corresponding period. The firm's earnings before interest, tax, material items and other accounting adjustments rose 22 per cent compared to the previous year, reaching $225.1m.

Wine industry expert expects falling dollar will attract foreign investors
Wine industry experts expect foreign investment in South Australian vineyards will increase as growers exit the industry after a tough decade. Prolonged dry weather and poor prices have conspired against growers in recent years. Winemaker and lawyer with Finlaysons, Will Taylor, said depreciations in the Australian dollar offered further encouragement for foreign investors looking to buy agricultural land.

August 2015 Grapegrower & Winemaker magazine out now
The August 2015 issue of the Grapegrower & Winemaker magazine is out now – and is available online for all subscribers. This month features an in-depth look at post frost management strategies, drawing on a case study by Amanda Mader of Gumpara Vineyards in the Barossa Valley. We also take a peek inside Nigel Blieschke’s diary from the first few Future Leaders sessions during which participants focused on team building and physical activities.

More time to have your say on wine industry organisational restructure
Grape and Wine 2015 – a Focus for Action will be held in Adelaide later this month with some 40 regional, state and national wine organisation representatives gathering together. To help inform the delegates at this forum, industry participants are urged to submit their feedback via a national survey. There is just one week remaining to submit your feedback.

WISA declares WineTech2015 a success
A month after WineTech2015 hit Adelaide for its first solo show, Matthew Moate, executive officer of Wine Industry Suppliers Australia (WISA) has declared it a success. “I can hardly believe that it has been four weeks since WISA successfully delivered WineTech 2015,” Moate said. “Feedback is still being collated but the majority of initial commentary is that the event delivered on its priority of creating an environment for genuine buyers to engage with the grape and wine supply sector.”

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