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News posted on Friday, 24 March 2017

Winemakers struggle with rising power costs
South Australian winemaker David O'Leary thought he was doing the right thing when he bought roof-top solar panels two years ago to try to bring down his winery's escalating power bills. But since O'Leary Walker Wines put the 30-kilowatt unit on top of one of its buildings in the Clare Valley, the winery has found its annual power bill has increased by 50 per cent to $50,000 a year.

Growers need dry weather
Orange's grapegrowers are hoping to see the sun by the weekend, so they can finish their harvest. The region has been drenched with 94.6 millimetres of rain so far this month, more than 20 millimetres more than the March average. “It’s not likely to impact the vintage negatively, if we had a tough season and had this finish, it would be a different story,” said Justin Jarrett, Orange Region Vignerons’ Association (ORVA) president.

Speculation: Casella has acquired another winery
Word along the grapevine suggests Casella has acquired Shaw Family Vintners (Ballast Stone), situated in Currency Creek, South Australia. If true, Casella will pick up a winery with a capacity to crush more than 5000 tonnes, plus 1200 acres of vines in Currency Creek and McLaren Vale. This update from The Key Report, by Tony Keys.

Aussies win big at label awards
The L9 World Label Awards saw five Australian label makers receive the top prize in their field. Among the winners was Mildura-based James Print Australia, which topped its category for combination wine/spirits with a Wingara La Land label. A number of Australian businesses also received honourable mentions, including the SA branch of Multicolour.

Wine exports growing strongly
In its Agribusiness Monthly report for March 2017, Rabobank included reviews of both the New Zealand wine and horticulture sectors. In what marks quite a milestone for the New Zealand wine industry, recently released data summarising US wine imports for the 2016 year show that the value of bottled and bulk wine imported from New Zealand now exceed that imported from Australia.

Marlborough winery takes stand against tiny invaders
A Marlborough winery is helping protect the future of New Zealand's vineyards. Tohu Wines, which is an entrant in the Cawthron Marlborough Environment Awards wine industry innovation category, is at the forefront of pioneering research into the control of vine-eating grass grubs. The Maori-owned company, owned by Kono Beverages, has joined forces with a PhD student from Lincoln University to carry out a study into organic control options for the grass grub.

India: Reading between the wines
With Indians rapidly turning to bottles of red, white and rosé, the way the country perceives and consumes wine is rapidly changing. And it was to gauge this wine drinking habit that Sonal Holland, master wine expert and founder of SoHo Wine Club, led a survey of the urban Indian wine consumer.

"The greatest scientific breakthrough of our time"
Over the course of three years, through some of the most enjoyable research he’s probably ever conducted, Brandeis University biophysicist Daniel Perlman studied the flow of liquid as it leaves the lip of a wine bottle.

California vineyards: Back from the brink of disaster
It’s hard to imagine what might have happened to the region without this season’s rains. Record low rainfall levels, coupled with record average temperatures in an age of global warming, had left viticulture from Monterey to Ventura in a low-grade peril. The five-year drought had been so inexorable in its effects, so disruptive to seasonal cycles, that growers were having a hard time imagining what a return to normal would look like.

Proposed change for Canadian wine labels
Upcoming changes to wine labels are going to make it easier for customers to know when they’re buying 100 per cent domestic wine. The changes pertain to cellared wines, which are wines bottled in Canada, but don’t use 100 per cent Canadian grown grapes. Labels will say 'international blend from imported and domestic wines,' instead of the current wording, ‘cellared in Canada.'

Casella restructures to ensure family ownership
The Australian Business Review (ABR) has reported that the family owned winery – one of the largest in Australia – has passed control of the company to the three sons of founders Fillippo Casella. The move is the result of a share buyback agreement, the ABR said, which valued the business at AUS$1.5 billion.

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WID 2017