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News posted on Friday, 22 April 2016

Caution urged over winegrape industry recovery
Signs of better times ahead for the Australian wine industry should be celebrated but not taken as an indicator of recovery. Mike Stone, Murray Valley Winegrowers (MVW) executive officer, said increasing wine exports and a report from Australia’s largest bulk wine broker, Austwine, which suggested a potential shortage of some varieties point to the start of a turnaround in industry fortunes.

SA: A new regional hub for wine, grains and fisheries
Adelaide is now a hub of agricultural research, with the grains and fish research and development corporations increasing their presence in South Australia by opening a joint office at the Adelaide Wine Centre. Senator Anne Ruston, Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, will today officially open the ‘collaborative cluster’ at the Adelaide Wine Centre at 3:30 PM. “It is fantastic to see these research organisations co-locating where they can better share resources, skills and information,” Ruston said.

Riverina growers ripping out vines in favour of other crops: report
RIVERINA grapegrowers are ripping up vines in search of new crops as the industry continues to suffer a crippling grape glut. Last month, growers in the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area received a letter from the Wine Grapes Marketing Board (WGMB) warning them of “limited opportunities” in domestic mar-kets. The board wrote: “it is the opinion of the board and a number of wineries that grape growers are not likely to receive any increase in their returns in the foreseeable future.”

Chinese firm buys $29m Balgownie Estate winery
Listed Chinese investor Interactive China Cultural Technology Investments has plunged further into Australia’s tourism sector, splashing out almost $29 million on the Balgownie Estate luxury resort, spa and winery across Yarra Valley and Bendigo. The transaction represents the group’s third investment in the sector after spending more than $17m in late 2015 acquiring two granges, Lancefield Estate and Hepburn Springs, near Daylesford, with winery accommodation, conference centres and land for development.

Hipster vs classics
There’s been a lot of noise in the wine world about the merits of new wave, hipster winemaking versus the long-standing classics. In an exclusive tasting, our expert panel puts top examples from each camp to the test… and the results might surprise you. Some call them hipster or new wave Aussie wines, recog-nisable by their murky colours that range from cloudy whites and orange to wishy-washy crimson and turbid red.

Thirst strong for NZ wines
Export growth is on the cards for the Kiwi wine industry this year amid rising global demand, says rural lending specialist Rabobank. The bank, in its latest quarterly report on the wine sector, said demand growth for New Zealand wine was expected to continue with the country's cool-climate wine styles and premium positioning remaining in favour in most major export markets.

Wine harvest predicted to surpass 2015 vintage
New Zealand's strong export market should be able to let wine producers cope with the 2016 vintage, which is shaping up to be larger than last year's. Michael Cooper said a just released Rabobank report on the size of the vintage was supported by anecdotal evidence from growers he had been speaking with. However Wine New Zealand said it was not in a position to release any official figures for another month. Rabobank described this year's vintage as providing volumes which would be "just right".

Bordeaux wines take on disruptors with biodynamic, organic, sustainable moves
Two thousand years of war, politics, passion and sometimes painful progress have given the wines of Bordeaux a reputation that terrifies most wine drinkers. But when you get good Bordeaux, there is nothing like it. Powerful, rich, lean and long, breathtaking wines that are about concentration, texture and tannin. There are few wines able to transmit so much about a region and vineyard so thoroughly into a glass and have those characteristics age gracefully over time.

Brits love of online wine buying continues
Online sales of wine in the UK in 2015 topped £800 million, which represents nearly 11% of the overall British wine market, new figures reveal. The stats, based on a survey conducted by Wine Intelligence, show that 25% (7.4 million) of the UK’s 29.6 million regular wine drinkers ordered wine on the internet last year, spending £7 per bottle on average. Market researchers are predicting that British online wine sales will continue to grow in the next three years to 14% of the country’s overall market.

Napa grape yields down significantly in 2015
Napa’s Valley’s famed wine region produced significantly fewer grapes in 2015, dragging with it the gross value of all grapes produced in the county by 24 percent to less than $550 million. That compares to the previous year’s record value of $718.9 million on over 174,000 tons produced, also a record. Av-erage grape yields fell 30-32 percent compared to the previous year.

A Global Vineyard
Alejandro Bulgheroni, 72, came to wine late in life. But he’s making up for lost time. Beginning with a partnership in a winery in his native Argentina in 2009, he now owns ventures on four con-tinents. “Some projects we’re starting from scratch,” he told me. “Others have centuries behind them. But my total aim is to make the best product possible.”





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