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News posted on Monday, 23 March 2015

On-Premise Revolution
The Australian On-Premise wine market is undergoing a once in a generation change. Listings of imports have lifted from a quarter to a third of all listings. The number of brands listed has increase by 75% in just 12 months after being fairly stable at around 2000 for the last seven years. This is according to Wine Businesses Solutions’ Wine On-Premise Australia 2015 report which has just been released this week. According to WBS Principal, Peter McAtamney – “New winemakers, new winemaking, new distributors and new routes to market are meaning that what an Australian consumer sees on a wine list today is totally different to what they saw only a year or so ago.

Detecting Allergens Onsite
Winemakers routinely use a range of ingredients and processing aids during production that can be potentially allergenic including casein, milk, egg, fish, and shellfish. These ingredients, where present in detectable amounts, must be declared on product labelling. In particular, wine that is exported to places such as the EU, must declare the presence of egg and milk if over the detectable level. Allergen test kits, distributed in Australia by AMSL, are now available so you can perform your own testing onsite to test for the presence of allergens in finished product as well as on contact surfaces, that could result in cross contamination of your product.

Smart ways to tackle the challenges of vintage
Don’t let the challenging 2015 vintage catch you off-guard. Smart technology is available to help you keep on top of ferments, monitor wine development and assist with blending decisions, so that you can produce the best wine possible. The AWRI WineCloud is a web-based tool that allows grape and wine producers to upload, analyse and benchmark data in a secure online environment. Its primary use is to support measurement of colour, phenolics and tannins in red grapes, ferments and wines, but the tool can also be used for simple online storage and analysis of crucial vintage data, to support real-time winemaking decisions.

Enoltech and Radoux in Australia
ENOLTECH and TONNELLIER RADOUX have united to bring RADOUX barrels as well as the Pronektar range of oak alternatives to Australian winemakers. Enoltech has acquired the agency for the Australian market and will work closely with Radoux’s, Australian representative Nigel Catt. Nigel has developed specific barrels and toasting regimes explicitly for Australian industry, working closely with the industry over the last 12 years has created a need for a larger sales team to thoroughly cover all wine regions of Australia.

Charles Sturt University has commercial vineyards at its Orange and Wagga Wagga campuses and seeks expressions of interest for the lease of either or both vineyards. Orange Vineyard 12.5 hectares. Wagga Wagga Vineyard 5 hectares. EOI close 14 April 2015.

Growers asked to consider future in biggest NSW wine region
Find another job, leave winegrapes to rot or rip your vines out. It is the bleak reality for many grape growers in south-west New South Wales unless conditions in the wine industry dramatically improve soon. The Riverina region grows 22,000 hectares of winegrapes, which is 65 per cent of the state's production. It grows 300,000 tonnes of grapes and local wineries crush 500,000 tonnes. But the Riverina Winegrapes Marketing Board is worried that, unless prices recover, growers will not be able to produce grapes at a standard required by wineries.

Wine mashup: vineyards go back to the ‘field blend’
The “field blend” is a lovely old-fashioned approach to wine that’s making a comeback in Australian vineyards. In our modern world we’ve become obsessed with single varietal wines, where each type of grape is kept separate from the others in the vineyard and the winery — planted on its own, picked on its own, fermented on its own, bottled on its own. Once upon a time, though, many vineyards were planted with a mix of grapes — red and white — that would be harvested and fermented together; hence the term “field blend”.

Plan to sell only local wines at B.C. grocery stores upsets Australian winemakers
VANCOUVER – The province’s plan to allow local wines to be sold exclusively on grocery store shelves starting next month has prompted Australian winemakers to write to the Premier asking her to reconsider. This comes after a similar letter from winemakers in California earlier this month. Given British Columbia wines don’t have any restrictions in the land down under, Andreas Clark with the Australian Grape and Wine Authority says it is unfair local wines will have an advantage in our country.

Peter Lehmann Wines posts loss amid tough conditions
Peter Lehmann Wines, the iconic Barossa Valley winery bought out last year by Casella Wines, has blamed tough trading conditions, an oversupply of wine in the market and the dominance of retailers at home and abroad for its lurch into the red for the December half as it posted a half-year loss of $1.27 million. Nearly half of the loss however was made up of a $660,000 exit fee paid out to GE Finance after Casella, a family-owned winemaker based in Griffith, NSW, and creators of juggernaut wine Yellow Tail, decided to pay out a $15.445m loan taken by previous Peter Lehmann directors.

Pendle Hill destination for New Zealand wine expert
A New Zealand wine expert got more than he bargained for when he agreed to host a wine tasting supper at the Assheton Arms in Downham. He certainly wasn’t expecting to open a bottle of Pinot Noir at the top of Pendle Hill on a wet and blustery March afternoon! Nick Mills, one of the world’s leading biodynamic winemakers based in Otago, New Zealand, hosted a Rippon Estate wine tasting supper at the recently refurbished Assheton Arms.

South Korea Free Trade Agreement boost for NZ exporters
Trade Minister Tim Groser will today seal a free trade deal with South Korea that will essentially steer New Zealand towards a level playing field with its competitors in the fast-growing market. It is sometimes called the "catch-up trade deal" although it will take 10 to 15 years for many products to become tariff-free. New Zealand has almost been the last cab of developed countries off the rank to conclude a free trade agreement with Korea, and the deals with about 50 other countries (EU representing 28) were putting New Zealand exporters at a disadvantage.

Special Report: Thailand’s wine industry at crossroads
Though many foreigners, and some Thais, often succumb to strong cravings for fermented grape juice, Thailand’s wine industry is metaphorically, and literally, in ferment. The Kingdom produces a limited amount of premium wine, not nearly enough to satisfy demand. In addition, the import business is riddled with taxes, making fine wines all-the-more expensive. In steps Thai ingenuity – and the popular, fruity boxed wines. Patrick Campbell investigates for Phuket Gazette.

Valley wine producers dispute arsenic claim
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) - Valley wine producers said there is no need to question the safety of a glass of California wine. A class action lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court claimed high levels of arsenic were found in some samples of low cost wine. 28 California wineries and 83 wines were named in the lawsuit - including popular labels like Sutter Home, Beringer and Charles Shaw. Peterangelo Vallis of the San Joaquin Valley Winegrowers Association said there was no need to throw out any bottles.

Chinese corruption crackdown, bad harvest leads to Bordeaux wine sales fall
Sales of Bordeaux wines fell sharply last year, winemakers said on Thursday, blaming a poor harvest in 2013 and rapidly slowing demand in China, its main export market. A total of 685m bottles of Bordeaux were sold in 2014 – an eight-percent drop on the previous year, according to the CIVB association of Bordeaux winemakers. The total value of the wine sold came to 3.74bn euros (A$5bn), a decline of 13 per cent compared to 2013, the association added. “This drop was expected due to the poor harvest in 2013,” said Bernard Farges, head of the CIVB. “We can’t sell wine we haven’t produced.”

Aldi launches fine wine range...with four per customer limit
Its slogan is ‘spend a little, live a lot’ and Aldi is certainly taking its message seriously after banning customers from buying more than four bottles of fine wine. The cut-price supermarket claims its new tipples are so exclusive that they need to be individually numbered, and rationed. Priced at £9.99 (A$19.20) the range is aimed at the increasing number of middle class shoppers now visiting the budget food giant. And the new wines should certainly stand out on the shelves as they will cost 140 per cent more than the retailer's average bottle.

Tyson Stelzer wins communicator of the year
Tyson Stelzer, award-winning wine writer and author of 14 wine books, has been announced as a joint winner of The International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC) communicator of the year, together with wine author and American restaurateur, Joseph Bastianich. For the first time in the history of the competition; the judges couldn’t separate the two nominees, so the decision was taken to award the communicator trophy to both candidates.

Analysing wine's cash harvest
OPINION: Last week I drew attention to the New Zealand Government's goal of doubling agri-food exports between 2012 and 2025. I pointed out that our success over the last fifteen years has been fuelled by product price increases, and that we cannot rely on the next decade being so fortunate. So how are we going to make the quantum leap we need? In recent days I have been in Marlborough, supporting my colleague Marvin Pangborn as he led a group of Lincoln University students studying land use. Inevitably, our field tour included a focus on the Marlborough wine industry.

Buenos Aires wine sector under pressure
Buenos Aires: Producers point to lack of competitiveness, gov’t says devaluation isn’t the answer. Lower consumption, fewer exports, higher production costs and an excess supply have led the wine sector to go through a harsh period in the last year, depriving producers of reasons to fill their glasses for a celebratory toast. While the government claims devaluation isn’t the answer and has unveiled a set of measures to aid producers, the sector is sounding the alarm over a steep crisis and a loss of competitiveness. Wine sales dropped 7.3 percent last year, according to the Argentine Wine Institute (INV).

Wolf Blass named official wine partner for AFL
The AFL yesterday announced Wolf Blass had been named as the official wine of the AFL. Following existing relationships with the Brisbane and Essendon Football Clubs, the move will see Wolf Blass further expand the brand’s AFL footprint. Darren Birch, AFL general manager commercial operations, said Wolf Blass was another high calibre addition to the AFL’s stable of partners. “The AFL has enjoyed a successful relationship with Treasury Wine Estates over the past three seasons."

Australian named Master of Wine
The Institute of Masters of Wine has named five new Masters of Wine, including Australian Miles Corish MW. Corish joins just 20 other Australians to have been named MW, and this group of five brings the total number of MWs to 323, based in 24 countries. Sarah Jane Evans MW, Chairman of the Masters of Wine, said she was delighted to welcome the new members into the community. “Today is a memorable day for them - each one of us can remember that special moment when we received the news that we had become MWs.”





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