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News posted on Wednesday, 23 November 2016

SA wine industry embraces solar energy
Yalumba Wine Company is just weeks away from completing one of the largest commercial solar system installations in South Australia and the largest to date by any Australian winery. It will have taken more than three months to put the 5384 individual panels in place at three sites in the Barossa: Yalumba Angaston Winery, Yalumba Nursery, and the separate Oxford Landing Winery. When fully operational, the 1.4 MW PV system will produce enough renewable energy to reduce Yalumba’s energy costs by about 20% and cut its annual CO2 emissions by more than 1200 tonnes, equivalent to taking 340+ cars off the road.

Wolf Blass launches ‘Blass’ wines for Hong Kong & Macau
Wolf Blass has debuted its terroir-driven ‘Blass’ range of wines in Hong Kong and Macau, with chief winemaker, Chris Hatcher, calling the Chardonnay the “star” of the Wolf Blass portfolio. The range is comprised of three wines – a Shiraz, a Chardonnay and a Cabernet. At the Wolf Blass Hong Kong masterclass today, chief winemaker Chris Hatcher presented only the latest 2014 Blass Shiraz and 2015 Blass Chardonnay to Hong Kong trade members at Café Deco in Tsim Sha Tsui. The 2015 Blass Chardonnay is “a jump in quality” from the winery’s lower range whites, such as the White Label Uncorked Chardonnay, said Hatcher.

Back to the future with SC Pannell
Since Stephen Pannell graduated from Roseworthy in 1989, he has made wine at Seppelt, Andrew Garrett, Wirra Wirra, and Knappstein. He usually heads north between Australian vintages. He’s made wine at numerous great houses in Bordeaux and Burgundy. He loves working in Barolo in Italy and has done three vintages in Spain. Pannell worked at Hardy’s Tintara from 1995 to 2003, becoming Hardy’s chief red wine maker before leaving to begin the S.C. Pannell line with his wife and partner, the former prosecuting lawyer Fiona Lindquist.

Aldi brands beat big brand competitors in blind taste test
With three champagnes on the table, Aldi quickly fell from its pedestal, ranking third out of the three. Unbeknownst to the testers at the time, the three products were Moet at $55, Duperrey at $35 and Aldi's own Monsigny at $29.99. Moet ranked number one, followed by Duperrey and Aldi's own champagne came in in last place, which Aldi said was a surprise based on previous blind taste test results. 'Typically Aldi comes in first or in even with the others,' a spokesman said.

Broadsheet Masterclass Series at Rootstock Sydney
When Rootstock Sydney kicks off this Saturday it will bring you some of the most appealing natural wines around. But unlike other food and wine festivals, this won’t just be a round of sip and spit with a few food stalls on the side: Rootstock is also a chance to meet some of the world’s most interesting producers. In partnership with Broadsheet, the two-day festival will be hosting six interactive masterclasses. Each one will be an open discussion with a corresponding tasting session.


Church Road Winery picks up Australian wine awards treble
Church Road Winery's winemaker Chris Scott has picked up a leading Australian magazine's New Zealand Winemaker of the Year title for the second time in four years - but he was more delighted with the magazines' second nod to Church Road. "It is nice to get but what is more satisfying is that we took the Winestate Syrah/Shiraz of the Year Trophy," Mr Scott said. "It is the first time that title has gone to a New Zealand wine." Syrah/Shiraz had previously been the domain of Australian producers until the magazine's judges tasted and lauded the Church Road McDonald Series Syrah 2014 which they decreed was "stunning".

New Zealand exports to S.Korea up after FTA
In the first nine months since entry into force of the New Zealand-Korea Free Trade Agreement, food and beverage exports to South Korea rose 16 percent to 449 million NZ dollars (317.17 million U.S. dollars) compared to the same period a year earlier, McClay said in a statement ahead of the first anniversary of the agreement. “Those products where tariffs have been eliminated immediately have fared extremely well,” said McClay.

Huneeus Vintners Buys St. Clement from Treasury Wine
Treasury Wine Estates has sold Napa Valley’s St. Clement Vineyards to Napa-based Huneeus Vintners LLC, according to public records and company representatives. The sale includes the historic house, winery and estate vineyard but not the St. Clement wine brand, inventory or intellectual property, according to representatives for Huneeus Vintners and Treasury Wine Estates. Both parties declined to disclose the sale price. St Clement Vineyards’ tasting room closed Sept. 25, according to Treasury Wine Estates. spokeswoman Megghen Driscol.

Vineyards losing labor to marijuana growers
California’s marijuana and grape growers are at odds over more than water. They also are vying for the same labor pool at harvest time. Travis Foote, general manager of Vineyard Logistics, said his Mendocino County vineyard-management company started this year’s harvest in mid-August with 22 pickers. Less than six weeks later, he was down to eight. “The marijuana pay is much better, and the work is much easier,” Foote said. “They pay cash, and people can do the work from home a lot of the time. Marijuana doesn’t require a lot of labor the rest of the year, but when we need workers the most, they need workers the most.”

Sussex wine step closer to PDO
Sussex wine is a step closer to achieving PDO status after its application was submitted to the EU by Defra – but it could take several years for the formal certification to be agreed, the English wine industry has warned. It follows reports in the Times, Telegraph and Daily Mail this week regarding the region gaining protected regional status within the UK and that this could take only six months to push through. Defra this morning clarified that it had now formally submitted the application to Brussels, and as such it was a step in the process that could take several years to be agreed and finalised, but added that there was “no timeframe in mind” for how long the PDO process would take, now that it was “out of Defra’s hands”.

American's attitude to wine seems to be changing
America’s voters have opted for a very different future. Their attitude to wine seems to be changing too. As much of the world focused its attention on the US in 2016, the Wine Intelligence team have also been focusing on the world’s number one wine market – one that, if you’ll excuse the pun, trumps all others in terms of volume and value. The US has been showing a steady annual volume growth rate of 1% for the past 5 years. With a consumption rate of just over 12 liters per adult per year and 60% of US adults currently abstaining from wine, it has long been thought of as a market with significant growth potential.

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