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News posted on Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Winemaker's Federation rejects volumetric tax proposal
The wine industry remains divided over the future taxation system for alcohol, with the winemakers’ membership body refusing to support a system based on volume. Paul Evans, the Winemakers Federation of Australia chief executive, said producers did not have a unified position on tax reform for the industry, with interests divided by the volume and price of alcohol being made by winemakers across the nation.

Senator’s letter shocks the Australian wine industry
How could such a strongly-united wine industry position be turned down by the Federal Government? Nathan Gogoll unpacks how the campaign for Wine Equalisation Tax rebate reform was set to be rolled out as part of the Federal Budget; cast aside at the 11th hour; and then reintroduced into an upcoming taxation review.

Call for research to develop the Australian grape and wine community
Wine Australia is inviting research, development and extension (RD&E) project applications in five key areas identified in its recently released five-year Strategic Plan. The call for collaborative multi-disciplinary proposals will be held in two separate rounds in 2015, with the first round opening today for the priority areas of customer insights and digital viticulture. Andreas Clark, Wine Australia chief executive officer, said the five research areas will help achieve Wine Australia’s goal of a prosperous Australian grape and wine community.

Accolade launches new fine wine business
Accolade Wines has launched a new fine wine business, Distinction Wines, representing brands from Australia, New Zealand and Italy in the on-premise market nationally, from this month. Distinction Wines comprises a portfolio of wines from key premium regions across the three countries, including South Australian Hardys and Grant Burge Wines; Tasmania’s House of Arras and Bay of Fires; Leasingham from the Clare Valley; and Western Australian brands, Houghton and Brookland Valley.

Thousands of bottles of wine stolen: Clare, South Australia
Thieves have taken about 160 cases of wine from a shed at Clare, north of Adelaide. Police have released CCTV of the theft hoping someone will be able to identify the suspects. They said three men broke into the shed in Kimber Road about 3:00am last Wednesday and took about 2,000 bottles, loading the cartons of red and white wine onto a tandem-axle trailer.

Central Otago 'young viticulturist of the year'
Congratulations to Mike Winter from Amisfield who has just become the Bayer Central Otago Young Viticulturist of the Year 2015 and now goes through to the National Final. After a challenging day of activities on Friday at the Central Otago Polytechnic, the contestants’ final task was to deliver a speech at the Annual Winemakers Feraud dinner on Saturday night at Northburn. It was a very close competition with Annabel Bulk taking 2nd place and Cliff Wickham coming 3rd, both from Felton Road Vineyard.

Hunter’s Wines team up with Breakers basketball team
Hunter’s Wines have become the official wine sponsor to the New Zealand Breakers for the upcoming NBL season. The sponsorship deal reinforces Hunter’s on-going support of basketball in New Zealand. Hunter’s have been gold sponsors of the Nelson Giants for many years and are supporters of Marlborough Basketball. Hunter’s Wines Managing Director and New Zealand wine icon, Jane Hunter said “we are very pleased to grow our association with basketball in New Zealand”. Pic: Hunters Cap: Jeremy Adsett – Marketing Manager, Jane Hunter – Managing Director, Peter Macdonald – General Manager.

Has sweet red wine taken over the U.S. wine market?
Is it possible that sweet red wine sales totalled one-third of all the Chardonnay sold in the U.S. across the past year? And did slightly better against Cabernet Sauvignon? Or that sweet red wine outsold Syrah, Zinfandel, and Malbec over that time period, and almost overtook Merlot? Hard to believe, but apparently true. A leading wine industry analyst, working with proprietary data, has estimated sweet red wine sales in the 52 weeks ending April 25 were about $534 million. Pic: sweet red Cap: Sweet red wine is leading the way in popularity in the US.

International wine ambassador
Guillaume Deglise has been chief executive of Vinexpo, a wine fair, since 2013. The fair, which alternates each year between Bordeaux and Hong Kong, wrapped up its latest French edition in June, having drawn 2300 exhibitors and 48,000 visitors from more than 150 countries. “I was born in Nancy in northeast France, quite close to Germany. It’s not wine country. It was when I went to Dijon to study business and marketing at the age of 18 that I caught the wine virus.”

Shanxi develops a taste for wine business
China is one of the biggest consumers of wine in the world. According to the International Organization of Vine and Wine, it now boasts the second largest amount of vineyards after Spain, pushing France into the third place. And in north China’s Shanxi Province, energy companies are putting more capital into the wine industry. They believe the special climate and soil there will help create a lucrative red wine business.

Sales fizz at Matthew Clark
High end Prosecco and English sparkling wine have helped to drive a 40 per cent year-on year uplift in fizz sales at Matthew Clark, one of the UK’s largest on-trade suppliers. Building on its buoyant sparkling wine sales over the Christmas period, this latest surge is underpinned by a 57 per cent rise in Prosecco volumes and 145 per cent boost for English sparkling wine. “People are willing to spend more when they’re out; they want a top restaurant experience,” explained Emmy Webster, marketing communications manager for Matthew Clark.

Treasury Wine books loss on sale of US winery
One of the Californian wineries and brands which came into the Foster's Group stable after it shelled out a whopping $2.9 billion to buy the broader Beringer Wine Estates business in 2000 has been sold by Treasury Wine Estates at a loss of US$7.5 million, as chief executive Mike Clarke moves to re-shape the operations

Weighty returns for growers from award winning ‘Vinnovation’
The brothers responsible for an innovative trailer have been awarded the inaugural ‘Vinnovation’ award for winegrape growers in South Australia. Bill and Phil Longbottom, independent winegrape growers from Padthaway in the South East, were selected ahead of the other finalists for the trailer's potential for adoption across all growing regions, its ability to directly improve profits and its relatively inexpensive cost.

Predicting fashion and no discounting: Keys to profitability
Maintaining premium wine prices and reacting to trends similar to the latest "handbag", are some of the ways the wine industry can recover from struggling production profitability, according to some New South Wales wine makers. Canberra winemaker Ken Helm is adamant that it is fatal to be price driven.

Move aside for cider - global beverage markets make room
Impressive growth in the demand for cider in the global markets has put it squarely back on the beverage alcohol map, attracting a younger, more affluent consumer, says agribanking specialist, Rabobank. In its latest report on the international beverage sector, Rabobank’s Wine Quarterly highlights the relative appeal of cider to younger, more well-heeled, both male and female consumers.

A new advertisement for McLaren Vale
We’re in a vineyard with Mark Lloyd, who’s pretending to prune. A biplane flies over low; he looks at his tank watch, drops everything and heads off to lunch, which explains why he’s pruning in his dinner jacket at the wrong time of year with a watch you could swap for a house. Because movie.

NZ wine dominates at Boutique Wine Awards
New Zealand’s Mount Brown Estates was the big winner at this year’s Boutique Wine Awards, claiming the Red Wine of Show, Estate Grown and Produced, and Wine of the Show gongs. The awards were in recognition of the winery’s Grand Reserve Pinot Noir 2013.

More than 80 gold medals at 2015 Spiegelau International Wine Competition
More than six per cent of all wines entered were awarded a gold medal at last week’s Spiegelau International Wine Competition, resulting in 83 wines receiving a score of 18.5 or more out of 20. Commenting on the results, Chair of Judges, Mike DeGaris concluded, “the terrific 2013 vintage really shone through – especially for Hawkes Bay Syrah, while the Pinot Noirs offered ripe fruit and good structure. The Chardonnays were really well put together and overall, were better balanced.”

World’s first blue wine goes on sale
Keen to push beyond the realms of red, white and rosé, a group of young Spaniards have broken the mould with the launch of the world’s first blue wine. As reported by Olive Press, six entrepreneurs in their ‘20s have invented Gik, a bright blue wine from Bierzo in northwest Spain made with red and white grapes.

World Bank invests to enhance Georgia’s unique Qvevri winemaking method
The World Bank has spent 2.3 million Gel ($1,017,700) to enhance Georgia’s ancient Qvevri wine-making methods by establishing a Qvevri Workshop in the eastern part of the country. The Qvevri Workshop facilities are being set up in the small village of Ikalto, about 110 km from the capital Tbilisi, with a museum and cultural center equipped with state-of-the-art technologies, and a workshop where visitors can learn ancient wine-making methods, according to Georgia Today.

Morrisons and Tesco win wine awards
Morrisons has been named the best UK supermarket for wine at the International Wine Challenge Awards (IWC), taking home the accolade for 2015 Supermarket of the Year. Meanwhile, Tesco was named best Own Label Range of the Year, with 98% of the wines entered on Tesco’s behalf awarded a medal.

Winemaker debuts crowdfunded rooftop vineyard in Brooklyn
A Navy Yard might not be exactly what comes to mind when envisioning a terroir that is suitable for viticulture. But with the help of Finger Lakes industry leaders and Cornell University, a first-of-its-kind urban planter system has been developed - on a Brooklyn rooftop.

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