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News posted on Thursday, 22 January 2015

Stellar line up in tastings of Sydney International Wine Competition’s Top 1OO
The Sydney International Wine Competition (SIWC) will hold its annual Public Tastings of Award Winners on Saturday 7 February, at The Menzies Hotel in Sydney. Attendees will have the opportunity to taste more than 250 of the 2015 SIWC award winners, including the prestigious TOP 1OO. The 34th year of the competition offers a stellar line up of award winning wines, judged triple-blind, and presented in consumer friendly style categories for easy food matching, making this Australia’s most relevant exhibitions for discerning wine consumers.

Value of Australian wine exports rises
Australian wine imports recorded growth for the first time since the 2007 global recession, according to the latest Wine Export Approval Report released by the Australian Grape and Wine Authority (AGWA) yesterday. Total Australian wine export volume increased by 1.9 per cent to 700 million litres and total value increased by the same rate to $1.82 billion. Over the past year, Australian wine has been exported to 121 destinations by 1,329 exporters and in contrast to 2013, the majority recorded volume growth.

Entries invited for $20-$40 Cabernet Merlot tasting
The Wine & Viticulture Journal is calling for entries to its forthcoming tasting of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot blends with recommended retails prices of between $20-$40. It is the first time the Journal has targeted the Bordeaux blend for its regular tastings, with the results to be published in its March/April issue. Entry to the tasting is free and will focus on those wines made up of at least 50% Cabernet.

Inside Hunter's largest organic vineyard
It’s a long way from working in the Arctic to running a highly successful organic vineyard in the Hunter Valley but Barbara and Geoff Brown are enjoying life’s new challenges in a much warmer climate. Their Ascella Estate at Milbrodale is certainly the Hunter’s largest organic vineyard. With 32 hectares under vine, it may well be the country’s largest family-run organic vineyard. They bought the property in December 2007 and have turned the estate into a sustainable organic farm that produces high quality, award-winning wines.

Winemakers forced to innovate to chase premium wine market says Rabobank study
A new Rabobank study on the premium wine market has found that many producers are struggling to take advantage of the growing demand for top quality wine. The report, Premium Wine - It's A Long Way to the Top, found that consumers in both Australian and overseas markets have a higher awareness of wine and quality than any generation before them. But with so many producers seeking to capture the premium market, winemakers must rely on regional identity and their ability to tell the story of their wine, in order to stand out.

Proposed fee hike a blow to wine firms
Marlborough's wine industry will be the worst-affected wine region if a proposal to increase regulation fees by $2.9 million (A$2.7m) goes ahead, New Zealand Winegrowers chairman says. The Ministry of Primary Industries announced on Monday it was proposing a $12.8m increase in fees for all of New Zealand's primary industries to maintain food safety and protect New Zealand from biosecurity risks. Almost $3m would fall on the wine industry. Steve Green, New Zealand Winegrowers chairman, said making New Zealand's wine industry fork out another $2.9m a year was "manifestly unfair".

Bay winery making it big in Japan
Hawke's Bay wines are well known and regarded in Japan, which along with China has become an important market for the region. And one of the wineries now serving up fine wines to the expanding Japanese market is a recent addition to the Bay's vineyard landscape - in fact its first grapes were not arriving from the vines until 2008. Its name tells you it is a crucial part of the Japanese market as well as the Hawke's Bay economy and the region's export business: Osawa Wines.

Drink wine, make money? The new trend
WINE TASTING PARTY: Out of the way Avon and Pampered Chef. Wine is the newest excuse to throw a party, sell things to your friends and neighbours — and make a little money. “I tried selling cosmetics and nutritional products, but couldn’t make a go of it,” said Diane Nozik, a 35-year-old mother of two married to an active-duty sailor in the US Navy. Then Nozik had a flash of inspiration after her husband took her to a number of wine tastings “and I really enjoyed them.” Since she had wanted to make a little extra money, without the hassle of storing boxes of goods, Nozik had found the perfect solution… reports BBC.com.

Fine wine prices expected to rise
Customers are likely to pay more for a bottle of fine wine this year as wine prices rise, the result of an improved economy and strong demand, according to a new survey by Silicon Valley Bank. The survey, based on responses from almost 600 West Coast wineries and ongoing research, found that fine wine sales should grow between 14 to 18 per cent in 2015. The fine-wine business is defined by bottles that cost $20 or more. “My expectation is we’re going to have absolute breakout year of sales growth,” said Rob McMillan, founder of Silicon Valley Bank’s wine division and author of the report.

Britons to spend more on wine than French
British wine lovers are set to outspend their French counterparts as they develop a taste for more expensive bottles. Although people drank less after the financial crisis, between 2008 and 2014, the value of the UK wine market rose 15 per cent to $16.1bn. Research by Vinexpo, a wine exhibition and forum, and the International Wine and Spirits Record forecasts it will reach $17.1bn by 2018, overtaking France as the world’s second-largest still wine market by value behind the US. Much of the growth has been driven by the rise in popularity of “premium” wines that cost from £7 to £14.

Counterfeit wine investigator's idea on fighting fakes
Nick Bartman, intellectual property lawyer, has worked undercover in China for 25 years, tracking down sources of counterfeit goods and the people making them. Now, Bartman has an idea on how to fight fake wine and argues that the most effective identifier of authenticity is already on the bottom of every bottle. "Look at the base of a bottle and you'll see small insignias, numbers and an odd sequence of dots, moulded into the glass during manufacturing. If there were a system to record which wines are placed in which bottles, the combination of insignia, numbers and dots that was always changing..." Reports Wine Spectator.

Value of Australian wine exports rises
Growing demand for Australia's best wines has helped boost the total value of wine exports to its highest level since the global financial crisis, according the Australian Grape and Wine Authority. AGWA's annual Wine Export Approvals Report showed both the amount and value of exports grew by almost 2 per cent in 2014, a big improvement on the previous year's figures. The report revealed exports of wines valued at over $50 a litre, the so called 'ultra premium' category, grew by almost 75 per cent last year, to 114 million litres.

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