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News posted on Friday, 22 May 2015

Wine industry leaders’ meeting to focus on action
A wine industry leaders’ forum held in August will unite industry bodies to discuss key issues and offer solutions. With two main objectives, ‘Grape and Wine 2015 - A Focus for Action’, will call on representatives to decide on ways to accelerate return to profitability and reach agreement on an optimal future representative industry structure that presents a united industry voice on key issues and maximises industry’s resources and influence and at the same time values state and regional representation.

Greek winemakers head to Australia
The largest contingent of Greek winemakers ever to visit Australia will arrive at the end of June to showcase the newest and most innovative wines from the world’s oldest winegrowing region. More than 20 winemakers, educators and grape-growers will visit Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide for a series of tastings, dinners and masterclasses that have previously only ever been held in the USA and Canada.

Tassie Pinot Noir wins best in UK
The Tolpuddle Vineyard Pinot Noir 2013 has just been awarded Best Australian Red Wine at the International Wine Challenge in the UK. The Tolpuddle Vineyard is located in the Coal River Valley just 20 minutes outside of Hobart and is recognised as one of the finest vineyards in the island state. Michael Hill Smith, Tolpuddle managing director, said the winery's aim was to establish Tolpuddle as one of Australia's great single vineyard wines. "This vineyard produces wines of amazing aromatic intensity and flavour. It's a wonderful result."

Hunter historic homestead pays tribute to wine industry founders
One of the Hunter's historic homesteads will be recognised today for its strong tie to the region's wine industry. Marthaville is the oldest sawn timber home in Cessnock and was awarded the Hunter Valley heritage award in 2014. It was built in 1885 by George Brown, who was one of the first vignerons in the region. A stone cairn will be unveiled on the property this afternoon. Bob Pynsent, Cessnock mayor said it is a significant gesture.

Agnew looks to the south
HUNTER Valley-based Agnew Wines Pty Ltd has taken a significant stake in South Australia's McLaren Vale region, with the purchase of a 21-hectare vineyard in the Blewitt Springs subregion. The acquisition was set in train by the company's founder and chairman, Brian Agnew, before his death at the age of 69 on February 24 after a 2½-year battle with pancreatic cancer. Brian was a major figure in the law and horse racing, as well as wine.

Former wine boss guilty of corruption
Former chief executive officer of the New Zealand Wine Company (NZWC) has been found guilty on 17 fraud charges in the Auckland High Court today. Three years ago Peter John Scutts agreed to take a commission from an Australian wholesaler for advising his company to enter into a supply contract. During his tenure with NZWC from July 2011 to September 2012, Scutts pocketed $64,000. Following an eight week investigation by the Serious Fraud Office in 2013, the 59-year-old was found guilty today of dishonesty and corruption.

Giesen Wines appoints general manager in Marlborough
Rhyan Wardman has been appointed General Manager – Marlborough for Giesen Wines. Wardman has worked in the wine industry for more than 20 years. He started his winemaking career at Seresin Estate in Marlborough in the mid-90s and has held a variety of winemaking positions. In 2010 Wardman returned from the UK, where he was wine director at Constellation Europe, to join Indevin partners as chief winemaker and latterly chief operating officer. He is a board member of Wine Marlborough.

Millennials are drinking wine instead of beer and the industry is freaking out
Millennials are increasingly moving away from beer in favour of wine and spirits. This trend is scaring major companies like Anheuser-Busch, MillerCoors, and Heineken, according to a recent report by Morgan Stanley. “Overall beer consumption trends remain weak, and it appears millennials are increasingly turning to other alcoholic beverages,” the analysts write. And many millennials who do drink beer prefer craft varieties to traditional pale lagers like Budweiser.

Bulk Wine growth may slow, but it is not going away, debate hears
The growth of the bulk wine market may slow, but it is here to stay, according to expert panellist in a recent debate. The debate on bulk wine looked at bulk sourcing as a means to grow profit but asked if the impact on jobs in the country of origin outweighed commercial gains. Sue Birch, former Wines of South Africa chief executive, argued that the market was stripping value out of the country of origin and eroding profits.

Accolade Wines appoints GM North America
Accolade Wines has appointed MJ Loza, currently head of its New Zealand operations, as its new General Manager for North America. Accolade Wines is a global wine company with some of the world’s best-known brands including Geyser Peak, Atlas Peak and XYZin from California, Australian brands Hardys, Houghton and Banrock Station, New Zealand’s Mud House and Waipara Hills and Kumala and Flagstone Wines from South Africa. The company is known as the world’s leading supplier of New World premium commercial and value wines.

Vivino, world's largest wine community, grows to 10 million
Vivino announced that the company's user community has grown to 10 million worldwide. Wine lovers have been using Vivino's application to discover and share new styles and labels via crowd-sourced reviews and ratings since it launched in 2011. The company also announced several updates including a new e-commerce capability for users to snap or search for a particular wine, then seamlessly purchase that wine from a third party merchant via mobile device.

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