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News posted on Friday, 20 March 2015

Australian wine a stand-out performer at ProWein
Wine Australia’s ProWein stand in Germany this week was a continuous hub of activity with more than 400 wines on show, food and wine matches, and an in-depth exploration of the past, present and future of Australian wine. During the three-day Fair, held from 15–17 March, ProWein attracted more than 52,000 international trade visitors to the Messe Hall in Düsseldorf. A total of 5,970 exhibitors from 50 nations were on show in the Fair’s nine exhibition halls, including 39 dynamic producers on the Wine Australia stand.

North America ‘savours’ Australian wine at VIWF
Australian wine has made a lasting impression on wine palates in North America with an impressive showing as the theme country at the 36th Vancouver International Wine Festival (VIWF), Canada’s preeminent trade and consumer wine event. It’s estimated that 25,000 wine drinkers (encompassing media, wine trade and consumers) enjoyed Savour Australia, Wine Australia’s packed program of epicurean events and experiences. Guests sipped their way through Australian wine regions, discovering the ‘history, evolution and revolution’ of our wines along the way.

Casella Family Brands capitalise on distribution to drive double digit growth
Casella Family Brans, owner of Yellow Tail and the recently acquired Peter Lehmann Wines, is capitalising on its strong distribution partnerships helping to drive double digit growth in most of its key markets. Matt Tallentire, senior export manager of CFB told Hapers.co.uk at ProWein that there is a lot of opportunity for Yellowtail, but also other Casella brands as well. “It is really about how we capitalise on that in the future and use out distribution network to continue growth.”

Days of wine end at Charles Sturt vineyard
Grapes grown at Charles Sturt University (CSU) Orange campus vineyard will no longer be used in the university’s wines, as CSU shuts down its commercial winery operations. A university spokesman announced yesterday it would instead focus on its experimental winery at the national wine and grape industry centre in Wagga Wagga, in response to market pressures and uncertainty around higher education reforms. Professor of food engineering at CSU Wagga Wagga John Mawson said cellar doors would remain open for the foreseeable future.

Hangover-free wine could Soon be a reality *takes giant swig from bottle*
If you love wine, but hate hangovers then prepare to get the next round in... because hangover-free wine could soon be on the menu. Scientists believe they may have discovered the key to reducing that awful morning-after feeling, by removing toxic byproducts found in fermented goods, such as beer and wine, using a "genome knife". And the breakthrough may not just ease hangovers, but could boost the health benefits of wine and even make it smoother to the taste. Got your attention? Thought so.

Martin Moodie looks back on an epic Wine Journey
My Wine Journey features leading buyers and other travel retail executives discussing their love of wine and its presentation and prospects in travel retail. This week we present an in-house view of the category from The Moodie Report Founder & Chairman (and Kiwi wine-lover) Martin Moodie. "Story of my life – a woman was to blame... I was working in a bar and what we called a ‘bottle store’ (off licence) at a hotel opposite Christchurch Cathedral (sadly both now gone, the latter destroyed by the February 2011 earthquake) and was smitten by the receptionist."

Sweet success for Brancott Estate at Easter Show Wine Awards
Brancott Estate Letter Series ‘B’ Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc 2013 was awarded the Trophy for Champion Sweet Wine at the Easter Show Wine Awards dinner on Saturday 14th March, held at the ASB Showgrounds in Auckland. This is the second vintage for the Brancott Estate Letter Series ‘B’ Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc, with its inaugural 2011 vintage winning five trophies at international competitions as well as a slew of Gold medals.

Racism ruled out of Barolo Vineyard sale
Roberto Conterno's successful purchase of a neighbour’s Barolo vineyard was down to local law, not anti-American sentiment. The Italian wine world was gripped last week by rumours of a mysterious American financial group attempting to buy historic vineyards in Barolo. A series of sensationalist articles by some of the country's leading newspapers followed, including a piece published by Il Sole 24 Ore, one of Italy's most respected media outlets.

UK budget: Chancellor courts wine drinkers with tax freeze
UK chancellor George Osborne has extended a pre-election charm offensive to wine drinkers by announcing a freeze on duty tax in 2015 - but the chart below shows half of the cost of a bottle still goes to the government. Osborne announced the freeze to Parliament in his Budget speech today (18 March), the final one prior to the UK General Election. Wine has not received a tax cut since 1984, according to the trade's Drop the Duty campaign, but news of the duty freeze has still gone down well.

Research reveals more people reach for wine over spouse or smartphone after a long day
A great glass of wine also trumps sex and social media among global travellers, according to new wine survey. Sheraton Hotels & Resorts revealed the results of a newly commissioned survey on global wine and travel trends as part of the brand’s signature premium wine program. The survey found that after a long day, one out of every two people would reach for a glass of wine (48 per cent), rather than their smartphone/tablet (15 per cent) or even their spouse (15 per cent).

The changing face of wine
Wine is both a work of art and a commercial product. It’s born out of craftsmanship, inspiration and a desire to express something to the world. Then, like any good or service, it’s marketed, shipped and, with luck, sold. It’s odd, then, that many of these pourable pieces of art—whose raison d’être is to attract consumers—carry labels that are earnest, overly formal and often as creative as a mile marker on the freeway. It’s no wonder so many people are spooked when staring down a wall of wine at the shop.

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