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News posted on Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Wine industry reinforces support for TPP
The wine industry has welcomed the announcement by Trade Minister Steve Ciobo that the Federal Government will this year go ahead with the ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Winemakers Federation of Australia chief executive Tony Battaglene today commended the efforts of the Government in pursuing its “ambitious program of trade liberalisation”. “The TPP offers tremendous opportunities for our sector and the promise of wealth creation in regional Australia as well as to the national economy,” Mr Battaglene said.

Clare Valley wine producers predict bumper crop
One of South Australia's biggest wine-producing regions is experiencing a delayed harvest, but despite the slow start winemakers are predicting a bumper crop this season. Winemakers across the Clare Valley have seen the harvest season fall about three weeks behind schedule because of a wetter than average summer across the valley. Taylors Wines senior brand ambassador Cherry Stowman, who is based in the Clare Valley, said high rainfall and cooler temperatures during September and October had also contributed to the grapes' slow development throughout the region.

Australian Sommeliers en route for trip of a lifetime
Following the success of 2016’s inaugural Sommit Scholarship, New Zealand Winegrowers will host ten of Australia’s top sommeliers across the ditch over the next fortnight. Joined by 20 of their peers from around the world, the Australian scholars will embark on one of two intensive wine itineraries between 24 January and 9 February 2017. Each itinerary will include a one and a half day “Sommit” hosted by New Zealand based Master Sommelier Cameron Douglas and Master of Wine Stephen Wong, targeted exclusively at the interests of sommeliers, and include a deep dive into the little-known, unique aspects of New Zealand wine.

14 Degrees quenches thirst for growth
Manhattan Associates, Inc. today announced that 14 Degrees, the distributor arm of Rathbone Wine Group, one of Australia’s leading producers of premium quality wines, has completed a successful implementation of Manhattan’s warehouse and distribution management solution Manhattan SCALE™. Within just a few months of the solution’s deployment at its Port Melbourne distribution center in Victoria, Australia, 14 Degrees has reported accelerated goods flows, improved on-shelf availability for customers’ products, a 99.9 percent inventory accuracy level and a 25 percent gain in productivity.

Yealands appoints Adrian Garforth MW as CEO
Garforth replaces Jason Judkins, who had led the company for the previous nine years. Commenting on his appointment, company founder Peter Yealand said: “It was always going to be a challenge replacing someone of Jason’s calibre, however Adrian brings with him a wealth of international business development experience in addition to his globally recognised wine qualifications.” Garforth has previously worked with Yealands in Europe on a consultancy basis, in addition to working in global wine importation and distribution, consulting to UK restaurants and developing wine education programmes.

NZ showcased as a world-class wine producer
New Zealand is under the spotlight as a world-class wine producer over the next two weeks with an influx of international media and wine trade arriving to attend a series of events that will showcase the country’s diverse regions and wine styles. New Zealand Winegrowers are hosting over 90 international wine experts from around 20 countries at several events across the country including the Aromatics Symposium in Nelson, Pinot Noir NZ 2017 in Wellington, and Classic Reds in Hawke’s Bay. “Our guests are here to discover what makes New Zealand such a unique place to grow grapes and explore the evolution in our wine styles” said Philip Gregan, CEO of New Zealand Winegrowers.

WSTA’s Brexit advice to wine & spirit companies
As the UK looks to Brexit, the UK's Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) wants to see trade deals that minimize disruption and create new opportunities. It says the industry needs to get involved to help prepare the ground, and collaboration can also help individual businesses prepare. Theresa May delivered her highly-anticipated Brexit speech on Tuesday (Jan 17), setting out a 12-point Brexit plan and stating that the UK will have to leave the single market. In response, the WSTA has welcomed the aim to achieve tariff-free access to the single market.

'Space wine' grape seeds launched near Adelaide
Thirty-six students from 12 nations have successfully launched monitoring equipment — and grape seeds — into the stratosphere. An array of monitoring and filming equipment was tethered to the balloons, as well as a packet of local grape seeds. "When [the grape seeds] come back down we are going to get our resident biologist to do some experiments on them and see if the seeds are still viable after they have gone into space," student Jessica Todd said. "We are hoping that, following this, we can plant them and grow some space wine."

New research on wine fermentation could lead to better bouquet
The taste of wine arises from a symphony of compounds that are assembled as yeast ferment the must from grapes. But much of what happens in this process remains obscure. Now a team of researchers from France, a country that is synonymous with good wine, has begun to unveil the outlines of how yeast manage nitrogen, an essential element that comprises about 16 percent of proteins, and four percent of all organic matter. The research is published January 23rd in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Producers of banned ‘blue wine’ appeal for law change
A company that launched 'blue wine' in Spain has started a petition after European Union officials said that its drink wasn't technically a wine.EU and Spanish wine officials banned Gïk from using the word ‘wine’ on labels for its recently launched ‘blue wine’. The company’s original marketing suggests that it was aware of a potential backlash, describing its brightly coloured liquid as ‘revolutionising the world of wine with a blasphemous drink’. Gïk Blue includes red and white wine grapes from Spain’s Castilla La Mancha and Rioja regions, and the company infuses these with a plant-based dye plus sweeteners.

California Emerges from Drought, but Winegrowers Cautious
Powerful storms deluge wine country and refill reservoirs, but the state's water woes are far from over. After more than five years of unrelenting drought, a series of winter storms has drenched Northern California in recent weeks. That's welcome news for the wine industry, as heavy rain and snow put a dent in the state's water deficit. But no one's cheering too loudly yet. Large parts of the state remain in a drought. "We are off to an incredible start, basically 15 inches of rain since September and another 3 [inches] expected this week," said Eric Jensen of Booker in Paso Robles.

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WID 2017