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News posted on Monday, 23 February 2015

TRENTHAM turns it up – Testing out new cutting-edge technology
Trentham Estate recently participated in a trial using a new device that ultimately improves the quality of wine. The Pinot Noir fruit from Trentham’s 2015 vintage played guinea pig to the invention, being the first time it has been trialled in a winery, and the results are promising! Angela Sparrow, a postgraduate from the University of Tasmania, approached Trentham’s chief winemaker and director Anthony Murphy with the idea late last year. Excited by it all and never afraid of a little innovation, the Trentham founder was more than willing to test it out.

Test Your Wine Onsite for Microbial Growth
For wines with a long maturing life, or wines that have been sterile filtered, the absence of live yeast or bacteria can be confirmed before the wine is allowed to spoil. The early detection of microorganisms can reduce logistic costs and provides information to monitor the process of bottling and storage. This saves money and protects the quality and reputation of the brand. The Promicol Wine Kit, distributed in Australia by AMSL, can provide; results in as little as 24 hours, minimal hands-on time, and various instrument options to semi or fully automate the test procedure. Please visit us at www.amsl.com.au for further information.

North American wine drinkers to 'savour' Australia's best drops at the Vancouver International Wine Festival
Up to 30,000 North American wine lovers are set to sample Australia's best drops at the Vancouver International Wine Festival. The 10-day festival, one of North America's biggest food and wine events, has selected Australia as this year's feature country. Around 55 Australian wineries from regions including the Barossa Valley and McClaren Vale will be represented as part of the 'Savour Australia' campaign. Wine Australia's regional director for North America Angela Slade said it was a huge opportunity to boost Australia's presence in the Canadian market. "For imports into Canada, Australia is number four in volume, just behind Italy, the US and France," she said.

Harvest season kicks off on Mornington Peninsula
The 2015 harvest has started with the region’s first grapes of the season being hand-picked at Yabby Lake Vineyard. Up to 40 people began picking Pinot Gris grapes at the Tuerong winery last Wednesday (February 18). The vineyard’s group viticulturalist Keith Harris said the harvest would last about three weeks with pickers moving on to chardonnay grapes and then Pinot Noir grapes. Harris said Yabby Lake usually kicked off the harvest for the Mornington Peninsula. “We’re a little further north and we get slightly warmer temperatures here so the grapes are ready sooner,” he said. The results of the 2015 harvest will be closely watched by wine aficionados with the winery’s 2013 Block 2 Pinot Noir taking out six trophies at the Sydney Royal Wine Show earlier this month.

Sale time for 2,000 megs in the Swan River irrigation scheme on Tasmania's East Coast
Next month is crunch time for the Swan Valley irrigation scheme on Tasmania's East Coast. Having passed its business case, farmers now have from the 2nd to the 29th of March to commit to buying 2,000 megalitres, if the scheme is to be built. Tim Lyne from Spring Vale vineyard at Cranbrook is the farmer representative for the scheme. He said more than 20 title holders expressed an early interest in investing in the $17 million scheme, with water offered at $1,500 a megalitre. Lyne is confident they will go ahead and sign on the dotted line. "I think everyone is very positive about the strong economic value it can add to the region" he said. "The biggest benefit out of this water is the surety.”

Australia’s first Cognac-style aged spirit release
Bass & Flinders will release Australia’s first aged grape spirit, Ochre at the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival. This rare first vintage spirit is double distilled in an Alembic still on the Mornington Peninsula from Chardonnay grapes. The resulting deep golden colour of the spirit reflects not only the name of the product, Ochre but also the rich red soil that is prevalent in the Red Hill wine growing region. Ochre is the product of a long labour of love by Bass & Flinders distillers Bob Laing and Wayne Klintworth. They have followed French methodology whilst pioneering certain techniques in the process to ensure this spirit has a unique Australian twist which is, beyond doubt, revolutionary.

Harvest hopes for vintage crop
The first berries of the season are coming off the vines and hopes are high among the region’s winemakers that 2015 will be a top vintage. Last few weeks saw the start of the grape harvest, with the whites starting to come off the vines. And by all accounts the season has been kind to growers, with no extreme weather events to contend with. Moppity Vineyards’ Jason Brown said he thinks this year could be among their best. “We started last week with the Chardonnay grapes and reds for the Rose... and we’re just getting ready to start out Shiraz,” he said. “It’s shaping up to be a really good vintage.

First NZ conference to highlight link between alcohol and cancer
Research published in the New Zealand Medical Journal recently shows that although injury is the biggest cause of alcohol-related deaths overall, the leading cause of death in women, both Maori and non-Maori women, is breast cancer. In fact, Maori women have the highest rate of breast cancer in the world. Further, the research highlights the influence of alcohol in other common cancers, in particular bowel cancer which affects both men and women. Alcohol Action NZ is partnering with the Cancer Society of New Zealand in running New Zealand’s first conference on Alcohol and Cancer, at Te Papa, Wellington on Wednesday 17th June.

NZ and England tie in sparkling match
Rivalry is always hot between New Zealand and England in the sporting area, but competition stretched past the cricket pitch this week and the two nations vied for a different kind of glory. In a tasty twist on the 'battle of the hemispheres' New Zealand sparkling wine and English sparkling wine went head-to-head before the Cricket World Cup game last night in a cricket-themed blind tasting. After some rigorous judging lead by Oz Clarke and Jane Skilton MW, the ‘dream team’ of top 12 wines turned out to be a perfect split from England and New Zealand with each nation claiming six places each. English wine, Wyfold Brut 2010, was crowned “player of the match”.

Bordeaux Fine Wines Ltd director banned for 15 years
Kenneth Gundlach, director of collapsed Bordeaux Fine Wines Ltd in the UK, has been banned from company boardrooms until 2030, after failing to deliver millions of pounds-worth of wine and spending buyers' money on fast cars, race horses and private jets. The UK Insolvency Service said that its ban on Kenneth Jean Pierre Gundlach was for the maximum time possible and encompassed managing, directing or promoting any limited company. It said its reason was that Gundlach failed to purchase at least £9.3m (A$18.2) of fine wine that was sold to consumers. At least 1,750 cases of wine were never delivered to buyers.

English wine producer claims first with skin contact white wine
English winery Chapel Down is producing what it believes is the country's first skin contact white wine. Bacchus grapes from the 'excellent' 2014 vintage were destemmed and crushed with no sulphur dioxide, no enzymes, no fining and no cultured yeast, Chapel Down winemaker Josh Donaghay-Spire told Decanter.com. The English wine was fermented using wild yeast on skins for seven days, before the free run was put into seven-year-old barrels, where it will remain for nine months until July of this year. The winery has made about 1,000 litres. 'Our fruit quality in 2014 was excellent, there was zero rot, so I thought I’d give it a go. To my knowledge the skin contact Bacchus is the first in England,' said Donaghay-Spire.

Canada's growing wine thirst could help trade tiff
As Canada's wine market grows, Californian producers are trying to make sure they secure access. Canada's love of imported wine could hold the key to a fermenting dispute over liquor regulation in British Columbia. A new Vinexpo report into wine consumption showed that demand for wine in Canada far outstrips what the local industry can provide and consumption is growing at twice the rate of the rest of the world. Canada is one of the world's top consumers of imported wine – drinking 32.7 million cases of foreign brands last year – and has catapulted to sixth place overall, said Xavier de Eizaguirre, Vinexpo chairman, after releasing the report this week in Toronto.

Wine industry needs to rethink the way it uses video hears Google social media seminar
Wine businesses need to rethink use of online video to engage with consumers, a leading wine academic has said. Speaking at a seminar on the use of video by wine businesses hosted by Google last night, Dr Damien Wilson of the School of Wine Business at Dijon University in Burgundy, said there was greater impetus than ever before to use online videos for marketing, but few examples of wine producers using video successfully. “Video in the wine sector sucks,” he claimed. “What the wine industry believes is important and valuable to communicate just isn’t resonating with the consumer – and it isn’t getting traction.”

Looking To Grow Your Distribution In 2015? Become an Exhibitor at 2015 Australia Trade Tasting Now
Australia Trade Tasting (AuTT) is an annual adult beverage trade tasting and business conference being launched in order to promote sustainable growth in the independent Australian beverage industry by helping wineries, breweries, distilleries, importers, wholesalers, retailers and beverage media companies learn, source and grow. Exhibit your brand at Australia Trade Tasting and get in front of Australia's leading importers, important distributors, high-profile retail merchants, and influential media executives.

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