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News posted on Monday, 23 November 2015

Peter Barry, Corrina Wright, the Pizzini family, Mark Walpole, the Chalmers: Australia’s grape pioneers
More than 5000 varieties of grape vines are grown around the world. According to Jancis Robinson, co-author of the authoritative book Wine Grapes, 1368 of these are used in commercial wine production, from the household names of Chardonnay and Shiraz to the deliciously obscure Charbono and Scuppernong. It’s an incredibly diverse array of options for the winemaker – so many flavours and characteristics to choose from.

Award-winning Tasmanian sparkling wine makes history
A Tasmanian sparkling wine has made history by being named Champion Wine at the National Wine Show of Australia. It is the first time a sparkling wine has won the overall champion title, taking out the Len Evans Memorial Trophy for Champion Wine of Show. The winning drop, a 2006 House of Arras Blanc de Blanc, is a 100 per cent Chardonnay wine.

Data drought has wine grapegrowers 'flying blind' on water decisions
Wine grape growers say a lack of basic business data is putting them at a disadvantage in the highly competitive water market. Growers, real estate agents and irrigation trust representatives met in South Australia's Riverland region this week, to discuss issues surrounding water availability, pricing and property values.

Halliday’s Top 100 wines: the future looks bright
One abiding problem of the Australian wine market is the dearth of 30- to 40-year-old wines on restaurant wine lists or in fine wine retailers. They come up in auctions but disappear into cellars, leaving no trace. It is easier to buy a French wine of this age for birthday celebrations, but you need to have very deep pockets wherever you look. The law of supply and demand can result in Australian wines being even more expensive than their French counterparts.

'Natural wine' celebration branches out
"WHO wants some of this?!" yells a guy wearing blue denim jeans and a ripped, red flannelette. He passes a long skinny bottle of white wine with a strange-looking label over a seething mass of partiers' heads. A hand reaches up from the mob, grasping desperately for the vessel. It finally finds its way into the clutching paw and disappears.

MediaWorks staff urged to boycott CEO Mark Weldon's Central Otago wine
Staff at MediaWorks have been urged to boycott the wine business of chief executive Mark Weldon, according to a leaked malicious email. An email sent to MediaWorks' and TVNZ staff, and forwarded to other companies urged people to contact Weldon and "say no" to his award-winning wine. Sources confirmed the email was widely circulated on Friday afternoon. The email said: "Do not support Mark Weldon because he doesn't support journalism."

Sound science point of difference for Waipara winemakers
More than two decades of soil science work in the Waipara area has been brought together in a document launched at a Vineyard Soils Day at Black Estate Vineyard this week. The document was received with enthusiasm as an invaluable resource by local winegrowers, who acknowledged the potential for far greater collaboration in research initiatives between wine growers and Lincoln University.

Chinese wine market becoming ‘normal’
Three years after its crackdown on corruption, China is beginning to behave like any other major wine market – a change that many believe is for the better. Speaking at ProWine Shanghai last week, Richard Halstead, CEO at Wine Intelligence, said that China was morphing into a more “normal” drinks market, without the distorting influence of state-funded banqueting or the “gifting” of fine wine.

The importance of dormant pruning
Dormant pruning is important for ensuring balanced crop load in the Lake Erie Grape Belt. Terry Bates, director of the Cornell Lake Erie Research and Extension Lab in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, says healthy Concord vines at standard spacing (9 feet between rows and 8 feet between vines) will grow 500 to 600 cold-hardy fruiting buds. “If left alone (unpruned), the 500 fruiting buds would produce far too much crop that could get ripe by the roots and shoots working in the 72 square feet,” Bates says.

How genetics are changing grapevines
Sometimes it seems as if a new pest or disease threatens California grapevines every week, but many tools are available to fight them. Three experts discussed some of the most promising approaches for fighting vineyard pests at the Napa Valley Grapegrowers’ Rootstock conference held Nov. 12 The title of the panel discussion was “The Future of Genomics and Genetic Tools for Grapevines.”

Burgundy winemakers report great wines, but low quantities
Across the Northern Hemisphere, winemakers in many regions have finished one of the earlier grape harvests they've seen. They scrambled to pick fruit and find tank space, but now they are enjoying tasting the results and getting an idea of what nature provided. Wine Spectator will be providing snapshot looks at harvest in major wine regions, providing an early preview of what wine drinkers can expect.

Are your wine additives the real thing?
Are you taking advantage of the inexpensive wine additives such as DAP or tartaric acid available this vintage? Not sure whether what you’re getting is the real deal? AWRI Commercial Services can give you confidence by testing wine additives for compliance with either the Food Chemicals Codex (FCC) or the product’s Certificate of Analysis.

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