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News posted on Thursday, 21 May 2015

New survey to combine pricing and crush data collection
Australian wine producers are set to save valuable time this year with the introduction of a combined Wine Sector Survey to streamline the annual collection of data across the wine community. In a first for the Australian wine community, the Wine Sector Survey 2015 will combine the annual data collected by the Australian Grape and Wine Authority (AGWA) Price Dispersion Survey, the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia Vintage Survey, the South Australian Crush Survey and the Murray-Darling / Swan Hill Wine Grape Crush Report. Andreas Clark, AGWA chief executive officer, said the move should help lighten to load on wineries this year.

Yellow Tail reaches milestone in UK
Yellow Tail is the fastest growing wine in the UK, according to Casella Family Brands, after selling 12 million 750ml bottles during the past fiscal year. John Casella, Casella Family Brands managing director, said the UK was the second largest market for Yellow Tail by volume. “We are grateful to our distributor partner, Percy Fox & Co, and our customers, for all their effort and commitment in helping us reach this milestone and we are very excited about what the future holds for the brand,” Casella said.

National workplace relations laws need to change, SAWIA chief
A submission from the wine industry to the Productivity Commission’s national workplace relations review has highlighted the need for comprehensive reforms to the federal workplace relations laws. The detailed submission prepared by the South Australian Wine Industry Association (SAWIA) in collaboration with the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) contains 22 recommendations. “We have identified a range of changes that need to be made to get flexibility and balance back into the system, lift productivity and cut red-tape and compliance costs, particularly for many of the small businesses in the wine industry,” Brian Smedley, SAWIA chief executive, said.

Adelaide University launch new wine centre
A new centre launched at the University of Adelaide’s Waite campus will help the wine industry address key challenges while producing the wines that consumers want and the market demands. Supported by the Australian Research Council (ARC) and 12 partner organisations, the ARC Training Centre for Innovative Wine Production aims to build knowledge and technologies that will help the wine industry face the challenges of climate warming, water limitations, changing consumer preferences and increasing production costs.

Extra motivation to attend WineTech2015
Recently announced tax breaks for small businesses are expected to attract more interaction and investment at WineTech2015. Matthew Moate, Wine Industry Suppliers Association (WISA) executive officer, said the tax incentive could be “a major new driver of investment in plant and equipment supporting the wine sector and it is a very welcome development in the lead-up to WineTech2015.” Businesses with a turnover of less than $2 million can now claim a tax deduction on capital purchases for business assets of up to $20,000.

Boutique winery gets Hobbit-style spin
A new boutique winery outside Renwick designed by The Hobbit's art director has been granted resource consent by the Marlborough District Council. Jackson Estate, one of the oldest wineries in Marlborough, is behind the winery on vineyard land at Jacksons Rd. It will be capable of producing 250 tonnes of grapes per year. A council resource hearing committee heard the application in April and has granted the application a five-year consent. The Hobbit trilogy's art director Brian Massey is designing the hosting centre which will look like a 1850s settlers' hut.

2015 NZ Organic Wine Awards results
After a successful debut in 2014, the New Zealand Organic Wine Awards has enjoyed large growth in terms of both participating vineyards and media interest for the 2015 awards. We believe that the increased participation is due to both a successful debut season, but also an increase in organic certifications and conversions from both existing and new wineries. Organic wine is a fast market growth area, with consumer demand and interest growing exponentially.

Canada’s beef with American wine
Canada has a beef with the US. They’re pawing the ground and seeing red. Red wine, that is. Such a dispute is rare for the two NAFTA countries that share the longest undefended border in the world. The meat of the matter is, well, meat. Canada–and Mexico–complained last year to the World Trade Organization that US regulations were burdensome and discriminatory. The regs require that certain cuts of meat state on the label where the meat was raised (they are known as “country of origin labeling,” or COOL in the language of trade negotiators).

California farms added workers in 2014, even amid drought
Despite the drought, the number of workers employed in California’s agricultural industry rose to its highest level in at least 24 years, as many farmers shifted toward labor-intensive, permanent crops, according to the latest state and federal statistics. The employment figures paint a more complicated picture than the message from some state officials and agricultural employers who publicly lament the drought’s impact on farmworkers. For example, Gov. Jerry Brown last month told a national television audience that “farmworkers who are at the very low end of the economic scale here are out of work.”

Kingsland invests in plans to launch fruit flavoured wines
Kingsland Wine & Spirits is investing further in its Irlam site as it plans to roll out new fruit-flavoured wines. The company is redeveloping its onsite winery, which was mothballed in 2004, back into use to develop blended and fusion products and British-made wines, the Winery is being upgraded and will be operational from October. Anderson said the new capabilities combined with its new carbonation line would open up a new stream of innovation and npd.

UK wine market is ‘toxic’
The trend for deep discounting in the race to the bottom has created a “toxic” UK wine market, according to one key merchant. Speaking at a seminar during the London Wine Fair this week, Emma Shaw, head of commercial operations for Oddbins, said: “The UK market has been built around the race to the bottom with deep discounting. Before 2011, Oddbins was known for its special offers, which we sold at not fantastic margins. It’s a toxic approach.

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