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News posted on Wednesday, 21 January 2015

The China wine market – your questions answered
Wine & Viticulture Journal editor Sonya Logan will be hosting a live webcast on the China wine market on 3 February – and you have her ear. Titled ‘Road to China: Trade + Business + Culture’, the webcast is aimed at small to medium Australian wineries that are either currently in the market or actively working towards doing so.

Adelaide Hills winemakers seek advice on potential smoke taint
About 100 winemakers met in the Adelaide Hills yesterday to discuss potential smoke damage to their grapes. The forum was held in response to the Sampson Flat bushfire this month, which burnt 12,500 hectares of land. At least 35 hectares of vineyards were damaged directly by the fire, across seven wineries. However, it's not yet clear how many crops might be affected by smoke. Dense plumes of smoke surrounding vines and grapes have the potential to reduce the quality of wine. Mark Krstic, from the Australian Wine Research Institute, said smoke taint could severely effect wine taste and smell.

Australia Business Week in India identifies emerging opportunities for wine
Australia Business Week in India (ABWI), Australia’s largest ever trade mission to India, has been an important opportunity for Australian wine representatives to meet with Indian trade and media to showcase their wine through tasting events as well as explore emerging market opportunities. In 2014, Australia exported approximately one million litres of wine to India valued at $A3.7 million. While this is a relatively small component of Australia’s total exports, this was an increase of 27 per cent by volume and 24 per cent by value year-on-year, demonstrating the tremendous potential of the Indian wine market.

Wet weather in 2013 haunting 2015 Grampians wine vintage
Cold and wet weather from 2013 is likely to reduce wine grape yields throughout the Grampians this year. Western Victorian winemakers say poor conditions more than a year ago have reduced the flowering potential of Shiraz and Pinot Noir grape varieties. Leigh Clarnette, chairman of Grampians Winemakers, said later than usual frosts in November 2013 will contribute to low yields for this season. "It told the plant there was really no need to produce bunches for the following season, so that means in 2014, the appearance of bunches on the young canes, the young shoots in September, October, we could see this season that we were very short of bunches, which is an extraordinary event," he said.

Future could be uncorked for Charles Sturt University winery
Charles Sturt University (CSU) Orange could face a future without a vineyard, as the university hierarchy reviews its commercial winery operations in light of proposed changes to higher education and a highly competitive Australian wine market. Paul Dowler, CSU executive director of finance, said the university has two wineries, a commercial winery and a separate experimental winery in the National Wine and Grape Industry Centre at CSU Wagga Wagga.

Marlborough wine brands lose out in Air NZ shake-up
Air New Zealand's decision to drastically cut its wine selection for economy and premium economy classes and move to just one supplier is disappointing for Marlborough wine brands, says the head of the regional industry body. New Zealand Winegrowers confirmed yesterday that New Zealand's national carrier had selected Villa Maria as its sole wine supplier. This followed a similar move last week when Air New Zealand cancelled its contract with Marlborough brewer Moa to supply its Koru Lounge and international flights only a year into a three-year contract.

New Zealand wine producers ‘excited’ about 'rebalanced' UK market
Sauvignon Blanc continues to be the most popular variety in the UK and no other region is more synonymous with the aromatic grape variety than New Zealand, which continues to make inroads in the UK market. New Zealand Winegrowers chief executive Philip Greegan, speaking at the 34th annual trade taste in London, told Harpers.co.uk the country’s wines are performing strongly in this market, with average bottle prices bolstered by the exchange rate.

Oregon wine industry worth $3.35B to the state economy
The Oregon wine juggernaut shows no sign of slowing in the latest tally of the industry's economic impact. There were 18 per cent more vineyard acres planted in 2013 than in 2011, the number of wineries grew 45 per cent to 605 and the number of cases sold grew 39 per cent to 2.8 million, according to an industry review released Tuesday by Full Glass Research, a Berkeley, California firm that specializes in the wine and food industries. The Oregon Wine Board, responsible for promoting the industry, has commissioned the semi-annual study since 2005. The collective impact grew to $3.35 billion, Full Glass reports.

Wine industry by-products create stable delivery system for resveratrol
Combining oil and extracts from grape seeds, two by-products from the wine industry, can form stable nanoemulsions for delivering resveratrol, and protect the ingredient for use in functional food applications. Scientists from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, report that that nanoemulsions remained physically stable during storage at different temperatures, as well as protecting resveratrol against UV-light isomerization and degradation.

Premium wine growth hampered by big grocers, warns Rabobank
The growth of premium wines is being restricted by major grocers and tough economic conditions, despite more adventurous consumers seeking them out. A new report from Rabobank into premium wine entitled “It’s a long way to the top”, warned that pricing growth in the UK has been deceptive, given “steady rises in government excise taxes”. The report adds that the increasing prices has had the “unwelcome effect of dampening demand in the face of considerable economic headwinds”... Reports Harpers.

Champagne sales hit second highest total on record
Around 308 million bottles of Champagne were sold around the world in 2014, according to provisional figures, while the new head of regional body Comite Champagne expects exports to overtake domestic sales this year. The Comite Champagne, formerly known as the CIVC, also estimated that worldwide Champagne sales reached 4.5 billion euros in value terms, up from 4.3bn euros in 2013 and the second highest annual total on record, behind 2007. That suggests consumers have traded up to higher priced Champagne, despite fierce discounting in several markets over the key Christmas selling period.

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