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News posted on Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Penfolds’ legal battle in China
Less than six weeks after Treasury Wine Estates won a landmark legal battle over the Chinese name for Penfolds, it is once again under siege from a local company looking to leverage off its brand. The latest challenge comes from Ben Fu International Trade, which last week listed on the Shanghai Equity Exchange, an over-the-counter stock market. Ben Fu roughly translates as "chasing prosperity" and is the Chinese name, under which Treasury distributes Penfolds, including its prestigious Grange.

Clare producer strikes gold at China awards
Taylors Wines has taken out a record number of awards for the winery at the 2017 China Wine and Spirits Best Value Awards. This is the fourth year running Taylors has received a trophy at the awards, bringing home the Clare Valley Wine of Year for its 2016 Taylors Estate Chardonnay. The trophy was accompanied by 10 double gold medals and 10 gold medals awarded across the winery’s portfolio.

Winetitles Media to launch App and digital editions
Australia’s major wine industry publisher Winetitles Media has partnered with PressReader, a world leading digital magazine and newspaper content distributor, and will soon launch complete digital editions of the Australian and New Zealand Grapegrower and Winemaker and Wine and Viticulture Journal. This new service will enable grapegrowers and winemakers to access the journals in a format they are familiar with – via smartphone, tablet or desktop device.

Stand out like a purple cow
There are a number of reasons why grapegrowers, businesses and people in general want to be part of the brown herd. Basically a herd provides comfort and safety, but the trade-off is that it is difficult to stand out and be noticed when part of a herd. The essential ingredient behind building a meaningful brand is to stand out and be noticed, meaning comfort and safety needs to be risked… so being part of a herd is not the best place to be to establish a successful and lasting brand.

Beef town could become wine country
Wingham, north of Newcastle in NSW, is well known for being a beef town but within a few months it could also be known as wine country. Wingham’s new vineyard, Jacaranda Estate has just harvested 2.5 tonnes of grapes for a yield of 1300 litres of wine. The fruit was hand basket pressed on site using 100-year-old presses and delivered to wine maker Will Rickard-Bell at Chill Wine Co in Orange. Business owners Mark and Belinda Smith will harvest a total of around eight tonnes this month which will produce more than 7000 bottles.

#V17 tip #4
#V17 tip #4: Restrict access to your property with fences and gates. #Vinehealth

Young Viti Leadership Week kicks off
Every two years, the previous winners of the Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year competition embark on an amazing week meeting some of New Zealand’s top wine industry leaders as well as those from other industry sectors. It is a fantastic opportunity to learn from pioneers, CEO’s, Board members and this year also from a highly-acclaimed conductor.

Vineyard accredited as butterfly paradise
Staff at a Marlborough winery are all a flutter after it became the first official butterfly friendly company in the country. Yealands Family Wines has been formally recognised by the Moths and Butterflies Trust of New Zealand for their efforts to protect the colourful insects. Over the last few years, gardeners at the company's Seaview Vineyard in Marlborough have created a haven known as Butterfly Gully. Complete with 200 swan plants to attract Monarch butterflies, the sunny gully also features stinging nettle plants which are to home caterpillars destined to become Admiral butterflies.

Myth busted: Low yield wines aren’t always better
Wine is like art: Opinions on what is best abound, and are often entirely (or almost entirely) subjective. Like Breitbart versus The New York Times, or Duck Dynasty versus Modern Family, beliefs about wine depend largely on where you live, who you talk to, and what you taste. One of the most popular ideas in wine is that low-yielding vines — those that produce a tiny amount of grapes instead of a bumper crop — make better wines. For centuries, this myth has slowly permeated the industry, infiltrating tasting rooms and Wine Spectator, and even wine labels.

UC Davis to sell wine made by students
California’s top winemaking school has previously been legally constrained to dispose of huge amounts of wine made from top Napa Valley vineyards. But the recent implementation of the Senate Bill 683 law late last year means that the students’ finished product can now be to be sold to local producers, and served by the bottle at special occasions. As the university sources grapes from key Napa Valley vineyards in Oakville, many of the bottles are expected to sell for $80 to $100 each.

Winemakers to celebrate International Women's Day
International Women's Day has been celebrated worldwide since 1909 with a focus on working women's achievements and issues. Santa Barbara County has a higher percentage of winemakers who are female than just about any other winemaking region. The work is physically strenuous, and requires keen sensory skills, a knowledge of chemistry and salesmanship skills. More than a dozen wineries with female winemakers are participating in the dinner.

Winery owner urges long-term thinking
Steve Ledson, an ambitious developer and fifth-generation winemaker, has long proposed to build a new winery on family property off Highway 12 on Frey Road. He sees himself as both a protector of Sonoma Valley’s culture and history and as a visionary influence on its future. “I drive down the highway and some of the recent projects that have been built don’t look like the Sonoma Valley that I’m used to. They’re not in keeping with our heritage.”

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WID 2017