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News posted on Monday, 19 December 2016

Wine businessman Ivan Selak dies aged 67
Wine millionaire Ivan Selak has died, aged 67. Selak, whose West Auckland family company has been at the forefront of the New Zealand wine industry for 80 years, died on Tuesday after a battle with poor health. In a touching family notice placed in tribute to her husband, Liz Selak said she is devastated by the loss. "My darling, I am heartbroken that you have been taken from me. You were the best husband and friend, and my life without you will be so hard. You were everything to me," she wrote.

Alpha Box & Dice goes global
The SA wine is now being drunk by Princesses in Thailand and at Halloween parties in Canada. While news about Alpha Box & Dice has recently dwelt on the fire at the winery’s McLaren Vale property, the people behind the brand are busily getting on with running the business. The McLaren Vale cellar door is once more fully operational, allowing the eyes of winery owner Dylan Fairweather and his brother Justin to refocus back beyond Australia’s borders – a marketplace Justin has been putting considerable effort into over the past year. “This year AB&D has been to more than 20 countries – we’ve physically visited more than 20 countries,” he says.

Alpha Box & Dice goes global
The SA wine is now being drunk by Princesses in Thailand and at Halloween parties in Canada. While news about Alpha Box & Dice has recently dwelt on the fire at the winery’s McLaren Vale property, the people behind the brand are busily getting on with running the business. The McLaren Vale cellar door is once more fully operational, allowing the eyes of winery owner Dylan Fairweather and his brother Justin to refocus back beyond Australia’s borders – a marketplace Justin has been putting considerable effort into over the past year. “This year AB&D has been to more than 20 countries – we’ve physically visited more than 20 countries,” he says.

A visit to The Grange, home of the first Penfolds
Penfolds Magill Estate has been able to toast success as an urban vineyard for 172 years, writes Sulyn Chong. It seems that although Dr Rawson has been recorded as the founder of Penfolds, it was actually his entrepreneurial wife Mary who predominantly managed the vineyard, made the wine and established the wine business. Historically, she was one of Australia’s first and most successful business women, and could be said to be the first “winemaker” under the Penfolds house, despite not being officially recognised as so.

FTA with China not bearing fruit for Aussie farmers
Non-tariff barriers like food safety, labelling rules hold up exports to world's biggest buyer. Australia's farmers have long coveted free access to the world's biggest market, especially as Chinese consumers have been growing a taste in recent years for Australian dairy, wine and high-quality beef. Australia exported about A$9.9 billion of agricultural goods last year to China, its biggest buyer and its largest overall trading partner. But these agricultural exports were up by just A$48 million - or 0.5 per cent - from the previous year, when the free trade deal was not yet in effect.

Our sparkling Adelaide Hills
When it comes to champagne, there’s a useful rule of thumb: the smaller the bubbles, the better the bubbly. But you don’t have to go all the way to France to raise a flute of top-quality champers. The fact is some of the world’s best producers of méthode traditionnelle sparkling wine are just 20 minutes from the centre of Adelaide. And, since this is the season of celebrations from Christmas to New Year, a drive through the Hills to sample and select some local bubbles could be a perfect daytrip or even a weekend away, combining the charm of the local towns and retsaurants with some wine tasting.

Refreshing the look of Renwick
A makeover for the Renwick village centre is underway to better reflect the township’s identity as ‘Heart of Wine Country’ and make it more pedestrian- friendly and inviting for locals and visitors. Contractors have installed turf circles, new street banners are going up today and planter boxes, wine barrels and seating will be in place this week. The revamp is the work of the Renwick Smart and Connected group working with the Council’s Small Township Programme with the wine barrels and planter boxes donated by the community.

Cohelix to make employment easy for viticulture
Kiwi startup Cohelix to make employment easy for horticulture and viticulture industries. Having built an innovative platform that makes it easy to bring new employees into a business, Kiwi startup Cohelix have set their sights on helping the horticulture and viticulture industries lead the pack as good employers. “During peak seasons the number of employees in the horticulture and wine industry increases 200-900 per cent, with an annual employee turnover of 82 per cent,” says Cohelix CEO Nicole McCallum.

Tax on Christmas alcohol shop is over 50%, industry says
British consumers pay more alcohol tax than most Europeans, says the Wine and Spirit Trade Association. Tax accounts for more than half of the total cost of the average family’s Christmas alcohol shop, a study by the wine and spirits industry has found. While alcohol duties are typically higher per head in Finland, Ireland and Germany, British consumers pay more alcohol tax than the citizens of most other European Union member states.

China's Wine Imports Grow Dramatically Without U.S.
China imported US$ 1.77 billion worth of wines during the first nine months of 2016, representing a 19.1% year-on-year increase. China’s total volume of wine imports also jumped 14.42% to over 464 million liters from January to September, according to the China Association for Imports & Export of Wines & Spirits, the nation’s official trade association. China’s bottled wine imports totaled about US$ 1.66 billion, a year-on-year increase of 20.64%, and accounted for 93.4% of all imported wines. In volume terms, the country imported more than 354 million liters of wines, a 19.06% increase compared with the same period last year.

Wine culture takes root in Philippines
The Philippines slowly but steadily developed a wine culture in the past decade. I still remember the ’90s when wine menus indicated grape varieties instead of wine labels and you would order either a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Merlot. And the gauge for good wine was price, not vintage or region. Today, we know better. We know that a bottle of red Bordeaux may have a combination of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot; and that aside from Bordeaux, we can look to Italy and Spain for quality wines.

Two more fake alcohol rings busted in china
China recently uncovered two more fake alcohol rings in two separate provinces ahead of Chinese New Year holiday in late January when consumers tend to stock up wine and spirits for the traditional Chinese festival. In China’s eastern Anhui province, police busted a ring operating a sophisticated distribution network of fake wines and spirits worth about RMB 30 million (US$4.3 million). “The wines we confiscated at the workshop were only worth about RMB 500,000, and that’s just a tip of the iceberg.

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