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News posted on Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Ross Brown named Legend of the Vine
Ross Brown, executive director of Brown Brothers, has been named the 2015 Victorian Legend of the Vine by Wine Communicators of Australia (WCA). Brown received the award in front of 150 industry peers and guests at the WCA Royal Melbourne Wine Show awards lunch. The Legend of the Vine recognises an individual who has made an outstanding and lasting contribution to the Australian wine industry and has a passion for telling its story.

Champagne Jayne wins legal battle against CIVC
The wine writer and educator Jayne Powell, known as Champagne Jayne, has won the right to keep her brand name following a court battle with the Comité Champagne (CIVC). The CIVC originally took Powell to court in December 2014, claiming that she had misled the public and infringed on its trademark by promoting sparkling wines other than Champagne while using the Champagne Jayne name. This, it claimed, had “damaged the goodwill of the Champagne sector”.

Australian wine shipments to the US show turnaround
Australian wine exports to the U.S. market registered a 12 per cent increase to A$117 million ($85m) in the three months through September, with the key California (+20%), Florida (+56%) and New York (+14%) markets all showing double-digit gains. The shipment increase represented a reversal for the Australian wine category in the US, which has struggled in recent years, surrendering nearly five million cases from 2010-2014, according to Impact Databank

Corporate raider John Spalvins says Treasury Wine overvalued
John Spalvins, one of Australia's best-known corporate raiders, has sounded a note of caution as Treasury Wine Estate shares jumped almost 17 per cent to hit a record high after coming out of a halt for the institutional part of a capital raising for the acquisition of most of Diageo's wine business. Spalvins, whose company once owned the famous Penfolds wine brand for a decade when it was part of the once-mighty Adelaide Steamship Company, which ultimately collapsed under $7 billion of debt in 1991.

Villa Maria reigns supreme at awards
For Villa Maria founder and owner Sir George Fistonich and the team last night's Hawke's Bay A&P Bayleys Wine Awards were as good as it could get. On the group's website it is noted they are "New Zealand's most awarded winery" and that was emphatically underlined at the 15th annual event, which drew about 450 guests to the Waikoko Gardens. Bayleys general manager Greg Hornblow said he was proud to be a sponsor of the awards.

Matchmaker, matchmaker
New Zealand's first and only Master Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers will attend the inaugural Down to Earth celebration of wine in Central Otago. Rebecca Fox asks Cameron Douglas for his advice on wine and food pairing. Get Cameron Douglas talking about wine and food and he can go on forever. Being a veritable gold mine of information about the dos and don'ts of wine and food pairing comes with his title of Master Sommelier.

Online wine sales on the rise
Driven by consumer demand, it is becoming abundantly clear that e-commerce will continue to grow its share of total wine retail sales. According to Rabobank's latest Global Wine Quarterly Q4 report, growth rates of online wine sales vary across markets, but they have one thing in common: By far, they consistently outpace growth in traditional retail. Online retailing is so important in many markets because of the interest it can generate from millennials.

Beaujolais head steps down over ‘unacceptable pressure’
There are more signs of rising tension between Beaujolais winemakers after Sebastien Coquard, president of the Beaujolais and Beaujolais Villages body, told producers he was stepping down. Coquard is believed to have resigned from his position as president of the ODG (trade body) for Beaujolais and Beaujolais Villages on 17 October. An email memo signed by Coquard and seen by Decanter.com says that he faced ‘threats’ to his privacy and was under ‘untolerable’ pressure.

Prosecco boom raises questions in Champagne
Opinion is mixed over whether the Italian sparkler's popularity is good news for Champagne producers. Prosecco's seemingly unstoppable rise isn't worrying Champagne producers, who remain bullish in the face of increasing competition from the more-affordable Italian bubbly, but not everyone is so confident. At the Viteff sparkling wine conference in Epernay last weekend, Pascal Ferrat, the president of the SGV, which represents Champagne producers, answered the question of whether Prosecco posed a threat to Champagne with a resounding "No".

Why it’s difficult to sell wine in China (part II)
In the previous week, LI Demei explained that historically and culturally, wine is not a necessity in China. This week the expert continues to analyse the topic from the aspect of price. Like any consumer goods, wine needs a certain scale of consumption and consumer recognition to nurture a mature market. Price is a key element to shape wine consumption in China. Our research on the key factors Beijing and other big city-based consumers would consider when purchasing wine shows that price is the primary factor for them to make a decision to buy.

Local wines on the menu in Mandurah
FOR the first time, Peel wines have been highlighted at a showcase event in Mandurah designed to promote and boost retail sales from the region’s cellar doors, restaurants and wineries. PWA president Bernie Worthington of Drakesbrook Wines said working closely with MAPTO in the lead-up to the event demonstrated how they were committed to helping PWA and the region’s local producers. “It’s important to foster a culture of local support among licensed venues in Mandurah."

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