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News posted on Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Bream Creek Pinot Noir tops taste test at Chinese wine and spirits awards
A TASMANIAN winery has taken on some of the most famous wine brands in the world at China’s biggest wine competition and come away with gold. Bream Creek Vineyard’s 2011 Pinot Noir was awarded a gold medal at the most prestigious wine and spirits competition in China — the 2015 China Wine and Spirits Awards, in Hong Kong. After becoming the largest and fastest growing wine market in the world, the Chinese market is receiving a further boost thanks to the rising popularity of wines among younger consumers.

NZ’s wine market offers potential for overseas producers says Wine Intelligence
Per capita consumption figures on a par with northern Europe make New Zealand a market ripe with potential for wine exporters, a new report claims.UK-based Wine Intelligence said 60 per cent of the adult population of New Zealand drinks wine at least once a month, on par with the Netherlands and Sweden, and ahead of the UK. While overall consumption volumes have remained relatively stable over the past few years, some categories have shown noticeable growth.

Villa Maria to release first organic wine
Villa Maria will release its first organic wine in Australia, the 2013 Villa Maria Private Bin Organic Merlot, available from 1 October. The organic wine is the product of 16 years of work towards natural and sustainable vineyard and winemaking practices as the company edges towards its goal of having 50 per cent of its company owned vineyards organically managed by 2020. Fabian Yukich, executive director of Villa Maria, has been a passionate proponent for sustainability at Villa Maria for 18 years.

$2 billion Blue Apron startup will now deliver wine to your door
Blue Apron, a $US2 billion company that wants to make cooking easy by sending you perfect portions of ingredients in a box with a recipe, is now expanding its offerings to deliver wine too. The wine delivery service is called Blue Apron Wine. Every month you’ll get six 500-milliliter bottles of wine — about two-thirds the size of a normal bottle of wine — delivered to your door.

UK is a ‘vibrant market’ for sherry
The fifth Great Sherry Tasting took place in London this week attracting a record number of trade visitors to sample wines from more than 38 producers, represented by 23 of the UK’s leading importers. More than 300 members of the trade attended the event hosted by Beltran Domecq, president of the Consejo Regulador in Jerez, who described the market for Sherry in the UK as “vibrant”.

‘Almost impossible’ to define Rioja anymore
Rioja’s array of different wine styles means it is now practically impossible to define the character of the region’s reds according to one Master of Wine. Speaking during a historical tasting of Rioja wines made in Haro held in the Spanish town last Friday, Tim Atkin WW said: “It is almost impossible to define Rioja today as there are so many different styles. “I think the idea of traditional versus modern Rioja is old hat now – we’ve moved beyond that. Producers like Cune and Muga have both styles in their ranges.”

London’s top female sommeliers
Close your eyes and think of a sommelier. What image springs to mind? Did you picture a middle-aged Frenchman with a bunch of grapes pinned proudly to his lapel? While this stereotype has been unswervingly pervasive in the wine trade, particularly among consumers, it is one that is proving to be increasingly out of step with reality. In fact, it’s being smashed to pieces by a new tranche of fresh-faced female sommeliers.

Winery owner up for Telstra award
Laurance Wines owner and founder Dianne Laurance has been named as a finalist for the 2015 Telstra Business Women's Awards in the entrepreneur category. The announcement was made last week and Ms Laurance told the _Times _ she was "extremely excited" when judges called to tell her the news. "It has been a very tough and challenging 12 months for me on a personal side," she said.

Wine issues get heard
Murray Valley Winegrowers (MVW) will be giving evidence to a hearing of a Senate inquiry in Adelaide on Thursday. The Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee is conducting an inquiry into the Australian Grape and Wine Industry, for the second time in 10 years. Submissions to the inquiry were received until mid-May and the Senate committee is now holding public hearings in Adelaide, Launceston and Swan Valley, WA.

ANZ's Mike Smith sees future in the not-for-profit sector: vineyards to be exact
ANZ boss Mike Smith is finally coming to terms with his eventual departure from the bank and even opened up about what life would be like beyond mahogany row. Smith will be devoting his spare time to the not-for-profit sector, apparently. "I'm still losing money on the vineyard. But I've always wanted to grow wine," Smith told the South China Morning Post on his latest tour of duty in the region.

Nuffield's new crop of scholars
A GROUP of 24 of Australia’s leading young primary producers and managers have been awarded prestigious Nuffield Australia Farming Scholarships for 2016, including three from the Northern Territory for the first time. They will undertake cutting edge agricultural and fisheries research across the globe using a $30,000 bursary for a 16-week program of group and individual travel during 2016-17. Representing the wine industry is Luke Mancini from Whitton who will study vineyard management practices and grape marketing techniques for alternative wine grape varieties in warm climates and irrigated areas.

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