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News posted on Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Australian Women in Wine Awards finalists announced
The Fabulous Ladies’ Wine Society together with the AWIWA Advisory Board today announce the finalists of the 2016 Australian Women in Wine Awards. There were six awards on offer this year, up from four in 2015, and the number and strength of the entries received exceeded all expectation. AWIWA Advisory Board member, wine writer, and long-time advocate for women in wine Jeni Port, said she found it heartening to see such an outstanding response from across Australia in this, the second year, of the awards.

Grande Grange: big bottle with a big price
It's a big bottle at a big price. The latest luxury offering from iconic Australian winemaker Penfolds - a six-litre bottle of Penfolds Grange 2012 in a hand-crafted crystal pouring cradle - will set you back $185,000. And, they are very rare. There are just five of the imperial - or six-litre - bottles of Grange 2012 and their accompanying service vessel. If you want one of these rarities, you'll need a big place to put it and strength to lift it. The crystal pouring cradle is almost one metre high and weighs 50 kilograms.

Managing Botrytis Bunch Rot and Powdery Mildew
In what looks set to be a potentially ‘wetter than normal’ year for many wine regions, growers are likely to continue to face challenges in managing the spectrum of diseases present in Australian vineyards in the 2016/17 season. While captan has long been a cost-effective fixture in many spray programs for the management of key diseases, its future remains unclear and use in grapes that may end up in wine destined for the EU should still be avoided.

Views to love wine
THE country’s best cool climate wine producers have entered their top tipples in preparation for next week’s National Cool Climate Show. Now in its 18th year, the show attracts the best cool climate wines from some of the country’s most well-known wine producing areas. And, this year is no different with 760 entries received from vignerons in Bathurst as well as winemakers in Orange, Mornington Peninsula, Adelaide Hills, Yarra Valley and southern parts of Western Australia.

Top 10 Australian fine wines to watch
Australia is producing the best wines in its history. Grape growers are honing in on the ideal spots for specific varieties to thrive, vine age is increasing, clonal selections are improving and cool-climate regions are enjoying their moment in the sun. In the winery, vintners are becoming ever more retrained in their use of oak and alcohol levels are decreasing, resulting in elegant wines that can stand shoulder to shoulder with the best of the Old World.

Students shine at wine show
EIT students harvested a bumper crop of medals at the regional wine awards, an event in which their entries were judged using the same criteria as for commercially produced wines. Fifteen of the 20 student entries in the Hawke’s Bay A & P Bayleys Wine Awards won medals – seven silver and eight bronze. That made it the best-ever result achieved by EIT in the awards’ student wine class. Convenor of judges Warren Gibson said it was a very strong student class, with strong wines across different styles. While another good Hawke’s Bay vintage was a plus for all those entered in the awards, the students faced the challenge of working with small lots of fruit, most donated by local wineries and vineyards.

American student young vintner of the year
Just a few years ago, pretty much all Ben Jones knew about wine was that came in two colours – white and red. The American, a second-year wine science and viticulture degree student at EIT, is now being feted as the Hawke’s Bay A & P Bayleys Wine Awards’ Young Vintner of the Year. The prestigious title is a significant kick-start to any young winemaker’s career. Ben also benefits from a prize package that will see the Hawke’s Bay A & P Society, sponsor of the Young Vintner award, helping with his study fees, and he will be offered valuable work experience at Craggy Range.

Wine and climate change: 8,000 years of adaptation
These days it is almost impossible to say anything moderately optimistic about climate change. But geographers, archaeologists, historians, agronomists and biologist can show some positive effects, because they allow for the immense creativity and resilience of human societies, and of living things in general, as demonstrated throughout the ages and across the great variety of different habitats on the planet. One of those positive effects could be the evolution of wine.

Ste. Michelle Vs Treasury Wine: Corporate Stags Behaving Badly Or A Brilliantly Executed Sucker Punch?
At first glance, the violation of a 31-year-old peace accord between Napa Valley’s dueling stags appears to be a case of two big corporations behaving badly. That is what court documents, most legal sources and winery executives initially told Wine Industry Insight over the past 2 weeks for an article intended for publication last Thursday. However, a different perspective came in on Friday that points toward the possibility that this legal tit-for-tat may actually be a carefully laid trap, designed to sucker punch Ste. Michelle Wine Estates into inadvertently convicting itself of the very same violations it has accused Treasury Wine Estates of committing. All while providing Treasury a publicity boost for a new brand.

Thailand bans alcohol after King`s death
The Thai government has announced an indefinite ban on the public consumption of alcohol following the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who died last week after 70 years on the throne. The government has declared a year-long period of mourning, calling for people to avoid “joyful events” for the next 30 days and asked visitors to the country to act respectfully.

Cab is world's most-planted red wine grape
Cabernet sauvignon is the progeny of two grapes — one inky black, the other white and fabulous with food. Their child became the most successful red wine grape of all time. Cab is genetic cross between cabernet franc and sauvignon blanc. It is characterized by small berries and very thick skin, which engenders tannin and character.

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