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News posted on Friday, 24 June 2016

Toasting three terrific tasters
The Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) announced today the winners of the dux of three recent Advanced Wine Assessment Courses (AWACs). Oakridge Wines winemaker Tim Perrin took out dux of AWAC 36, Sons of Eden assistant winemaker Tim Bourne was named dux of AWAC 37 and Penfolds winemaker Stephanie Dutton was awarded with dux of AWAC 38.

What happens when Australian wine takes an Italian lover?
WHAT happens when Australian wine takes an Italian lover? A new beverage start-up is born. Crowdfunded by Queenslanders Tommy McLean and fifth generation wine maker Simon Gilbert, SOFI Spritz has now taken a step into the spotlight to snag investment from Channel 10’s Shark Tank judges.

Riverland Trust Mark launched
“It is said that if you stand by river long enough you will eventually see your own life and it.” This was Paul Henry’s opening remark at a simple ceremony to launch the Riverland Trust Mark on Wednesday. Pride was the keyword and there was plenty of it on show. In front of more than 60 guests, the founder and brand strategy director ofwinehero spoke of the importance of building stronger regions through the development and support of premium food, wine and tourism industries in the Riverland region.

Farewell to the MAESTRO
Jacob's Creek Chief Winemaker Bernard Hickin ponders which vintage to pour as he begins his retirement AFTER 40 YEARS of wizardry at Australia's Jacob's Creek, chief winemaker Bernard Hickin is passing the baton at the end of this month to Ben Bryant to carry on the brand's world-renowned legacy. Hickin's departure has meanwhile inspired Bryant to create an exceptional tipple, the 2010 Limited Edition Shiraz Cabernet, to honour Hickin's four decades of dedication in maintaining the trusted quality and style that has earmarked Jacob's Creek wines since 1976.

How Treasury Wine Estates fought off private equity bids
Chief executive Clarke explains his strategy and why he plans to stick with the winemaker. Two weeks after Michael Clarke landed the job of chief executive of Treasury Wine Estates, he received a phone call telling him that KKR, the private equity group, had proposed a takeover offer for the winemaker. “My wife and I were putting down an offer on a house when the chairman called,” says Mr Clarke, who had only recently travelled from the UK to Australia to take the job.

New Zealand needs to build regionality and specialist varieties
New Zealand must promote both grape varieties and its varied regionality if it is to continue its success, according to a recent debate. Speaking at a debate organized by Hatch Mansfield and New Zealand brand Villa Maria, Hatch Mansfield managing director Patrick McGrath said the country needed to look beyond Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and embrace new regions in order to grow and build on its reputation.

What will Brexit mean for fine wine?
Gary Boom, managing director of BI, said he was wary of making bold predictions given the unprecedented nature of the Brexit vote, but added: ‘We can say that the uncertainty associated with a leave vote would likely result in further volatility, which is generally unwelcome for any market. ‘[Sterling] has been weakening [against the euro] in the lead-up to the vote and it seems probable that it would continue to fall if we vote leave.’

Alibaba founder buys two more French vineyards
Chinese billionaire Jack Ma has purchased two vineyards in the famed Bordeaux winegrowing region in France – the Chateau Guerry and the Chateau Perenne – for nearly 12 million euros ($13.56 million), the Agence France-Presse reports. The news agency says the 64-hectare Chateau Perenne produces about 500,000 bottles of red and white wine annually, while the smaller, 20-hectare Chateau Guerry produces 84,000 bottles of red a year.

Virgin Wines launches wine store on Amazon
Virgin Wines has launched a wine shop for ‘boutique’ by-the-case wines on Amazon market place. The range launched with around 40 of its most popular and top pick wines, which are available as cases of six or 12-bottles. There is a particular focus on 6-bottle cases and mixed cases in order to drive trial, a spokesman said, adding that it was likely to add incremental customers rather than cannibalise its own website.

Barnes & Noble to Unveil New Stores Selling Beer and Wine
Barnes & Noble is turning to an age-old partnership to help it revive its business: literature and alcohol. The New York bookseller says it is opening four "concept" stores in the next year that will feature restaurants with an expanded menu including beer and wine. The first concept store will open in Eastchester, New York, in October, followed by locations in Edina, Minnesota; Folsom, California, and Loudon, Virginia.

Peter Yealands Honoured with 2016 Kea World Class New Zealand Award
Peter Yealands has been awarded with a 2016 Kea World Class New Zealand Award, New Zealand’s most prestigious individual achievement award. Founder of Yealands Estate Wines in Marlborough, Peter Yealands has become a trailblazer for sustainable wine production. One of his most notable achievements for the future of winemaking was the founding of the world’s first carbon zero winery.

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