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News posted on Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Warm welcome to China free trade deal
The end of negotiations on a China-Australia Free Trade Agreement was marked with a ceremony at Parliament House and the signing of a Declaration of Intent by Andrew Robb, the Australian Trade and Investment Minister, and Gao Hucheng, the Chinese Commerce Minister. This formalised the conclusion of the negotiations and cemented the intent of both Australia and China to take the necessary steps towards bringing the Agreement into force. The news has been warmly welcomed across the wine industry.

Angove Family Winemakers launches Vintage House Wine and Spirits
Angove Family Winemakers has announced that as of February, the distribution operation of its integrated wine business will be rebranded as Vintage House Wine and Spirits. The newly branded entity will take over from Angove Family Winemakers’ long established distribution operation. The 129-year-old family business has been distributing other brands for more than 50 years, with the family embracing Vintage House Wine and Spirits to drive this part of their business into the future.

Environmental innovation honoured at ASVO awards
An advocate for new wine styles and the man behind the innovative “insectarium” have taken top honours at this year’s Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology (ASVO) awards held in Adelaide last night. Sue Bell from Bellwether Wine in Coonawarra was named 'winemaker of the year' and Matthew Bailey from Taltarni in Pyrenees was crowned 'viticulturist of the year'.

Wolf Blass launches Foundation Masters by Research Scholarship
The Wolf Blass Foundation Masters by Research Scholarship was launched yesterday at a VIP cocktail event held at the University of South Australia. Blass, together with industry leaders, university personnel and Winetitles staff gathered to welcome the scholarship, which will provide the opportunity to guide marketing innovation and transform the wine industry in Australia.

New guidelines help identify winery wastewater solutions
New research from the CSIRO has identified a series of guidelines to help wineries find better ways to reuse their wastewater, in particular fit-for-purpose irrigation. Co-funded by the Australian Grape and Wine Authority (AGWA) and conducted in collaboration with the University of Adelaide, the three-year project was led by Dr Anu Kumar, CSIRO Group Leader – Land and Water Flagship.

UK independent wine sector ‘thriving’
Despite significant challenges, the future of the UK’s independent wine retail sector looks bright, according to a recent report by Wine Intelligence that described it as “thriving”. Consumers have never had more choice when it comes to purchasing wine with the number of independent UK retailers increasing by 50 per cent since 2007.

Aussie Shiraz shift is 'not critic-driven', says expert
Producers rather than critics are driving the stylistic shift in Australia’s flagship Shiraz, maintains one expert on the country’s wines. Hosting a Shiraz masterclass in London last week, Mark Davidson, Wine Australia's global education manager, considered the move in recent years by an increasing number of producers towards a “fresher” expression of this variety.

Blenheim winery excels with Pinot Noir
Blenheim-based winery Lawson’s Dry Hills has received a raft of gold medals and trophies at a number of wine shows over the past couple of months. The list of recent accolades includes six gold medals for the Reserve Pinot Noir 2012 awarded at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards, Marlborough Wine Show, New Zealand International Wine Competition, Spiegelau International Wine Competition and the Easter Wine Show.

South African producer ditches sulfur for Rooibos
South African producer KWV has launched a ‘natural’ Pinotage using Rooibos and Honeybush wood in place of the wine industry’s standard preservative: sulfur dioxide. Called Earth’s Essence, the new brand boasts no added sulfur but uses a patented process which sees the wine exposed to the wood of the Cape’s native Rooibos and Honeybush plants during various stages in the winemaking process.

UK wine trade mourns loss of pioneer
Mike Roberts MBE, a pioneer of English wine and co-founder of one of the country's best-known estates, Ridgeview, has died. Roberts' death was announced by his family on Friday, prompting a series of tributes from across the UK wine industry.

Sonoma wineries keep close eye on trade negotiations
International trade is again at the forefront of Washington policy-making as it is one of the few issues the Obama administration and the incoming GOP-controlled Congress are believed to be able to agree upon in the next two years. The issue has enormous implications locally, especially for the North Coast’s multibillion-dollar wine industry.

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