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News posted on Friday, 23 October 2015

App to help manage grapevines
A new, free phone app developed by University of Adelaide researchers will help grapegrowers and viticulturists manage their vines by giving a quick measure of vine canopy size and density. The iPad and iPhone app uses the devices' camera and GPS capability to calculate the size and density of the vine canopy and its location in the vineyard. The aim is to help users monitor their vines and manage the required balance between vegetative growth and fruit production.

McWilliam’s moves to champion emerging cool-climate wine regions
One of Australia’s First Families of Wine, McWilliam’s has welcomed a Chardonnay and Shiraz to its flagship range, both of which champion two of NSW’s emerging cool-climate wine regions, Hilltops and Tumbarumba. Hospitality recently caught up with McWilliam’s winemaker manager, Bryan Currie to discuss the release of the new drops and the excitement that surrounds some of Australia’s most promising (and relatively) new wine regions.

Melanie is the toast of wine world
Chief winemaker at Sutton Grange Winery in Heathcote, Melanie was announced the winner at the Gourmet Wine Traveller awards night on October 1, which Sutton Grange marketing and events manager Jacqui Sidwell described as a magnificent personal achievement. “Melanie only recently took over the reins at Sutton Grange Winery having previously worked with the Seppelt team at Great Western,” Ms Sidwell said.

Scarborough Wine Co. hosts winery InstaMeet
Australia’s very first Winery InstaMeet attracted more than 60 influencers at Scarborough Wine Co. in the Hunter Valley last weekend. A growing phenomenon across Australia, an InstaMeet sees a group of Instagrammers join forces at a pre-organised location to take photos and videos to post on their social media accounts. Instagram is one of the fastest-growing social platforms in Australia with more than five million monthly users and boasts growth of over 30% in the last year. Scarborough Wine Co. took up the opportunity to connect with a distinct group of enthusiasts and share its Hunter secrets.

Central Otago ‘on same journey as Burgundy’
Central Otago is progressing ever closer towards a Burgundian model of wine production, according to one of the region’s most respected viticulturists. James Dicey, viticulturist for Mt Difficulty Wines and his own family Ceres Wines, said the region was on the “same journey of discovery” as Burgundy, with an increasing focus on individual vineyard parcels and vine clones for its Pinot Noir wines. Speaking to the drinks business at New Zealand Wines’ Central Otago tasting in London, Dicey emphasised the importance of soil age on varietal expression in the region.

Pioneer of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc Partners with Visionary Designer
The pioneer of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, Brancott Estate, today announced its first-ever design collaboration with Dror Benshetrit, founder of Studio Dror. The partnership will translate the winery's innovation-driven spirit and winemaking process through design. Benshetrit's vision, informed by an immersive visit to New Zealand with Brancott Estate Chief Winemaker Patrick Materman, will come to life as a permanent, site-specific installation entitled Under/standing, as well as a small-scale interpretation in the form of a wine rack, Present.

Skalli sells St. Supery Estate to Chanel fashion house
Languedoc-based producer Skalli has sold its Napa Valley winery St. Supéry Estate to fashion house Chanel for an undisclosed sum. “I am delighted to hand over St. Supery to such a well-regarded company that understands luxury brands and will continue to enhance this special property,” Robert Skalli said in a statement. “I’m confident that they will continue my vision of a Napa Valley Château, crafting world class wines, and will build on that foundation, ever improving quality,” he added.

Sustainability practices lead to sales
There’s mounting evidence that supports the notion that a commitment to corporate sustainability practices is a basic cost of entry for companies that hope to succeed in the marketplace. In just two years, we’ve seen significant increases in the number of consumers who say that they want products from sustainable companies, and they are willing to spend more to get them.

New method turns tons of wine waste into useful chemicals
Italian scientists have devised an innovative and economically feasible biorefinery that can squeeze more chemicals out of the mountains of grape waste produced during wine production. Last year around 28 billion litres of wine were produced globally—enough to fill over eleven thousand Olympic sized swimming pools. But after pressing the last of the juice from the grape, a whole lot of skins and seeds are left—around 5 million tons of the stuff.

B.C. scientists research yeast to boost wine
While B.C. wine is already successful — $254 million in 2014 sales — one research project is looking into the indigenous yeast population to make local wine stand out even more internationally. Major wine regions across the world distinguish themselves with what’s known as the “terroir” of their region — crediting the unique character as a marketable quality that starts with growing yeast on the grapes before they reach the winery, according to Dr. Vivien Measday, associate professor at the Wine Research Centre/Michael Smith Labs at the University of B.C.

Wine group goes into ­receivership
Geelong-owned business Littore Wine Group is in ­receivership, with its winery in the Moorabool Valley and other assets across the country on the market. Ferrier Hodgson has been appointed as the receiver for the company, which was only last month recognised on the national stage at a Coles awards ceremony. Idyll Vineyards and Littore Family Wines, companies owned by the Littores, are also under external administration.

Cold Logic wins supplier of the year at WISA awards
Wine Industry Suppliers Australia (WISA) hosted its 9th annual Supplier of the Year awards at the Adelaide Festival Centre last night, with more than 150 guests in attendance to toast the success of its supply sector. South Australian based national refrigeration specialist Cold Logic scored the top prize, winning the DW Fox Tucker Lawyers Supplier of the Year Award with judges crediting the company for showing strength across a number of award categories.

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