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News posted on Monday, 24 August 2015

Shiraz shines at Hunter Valley Wine Show
The judges of the CCL Label Clear Image Hunter Valley Wine Show have agreed that the 2014 Hunter Shiraz vintage is one of the region’s best. “The Shiraz classes of entry were tremendous and have set new levels of benchmark for the Hunter," said PJ Charteris, the chairman of judges. More than 50% of the 2014 Hunter Shiraz wines entered into the 2015 show were awarded medals.

China growth just the start says Treasury Wine Estates
Six months ago Treasury Wine Estates had barely made a sale into Chinese supermarket chain, Yonghui. Now the maker of Penfold's, Wolf Blass and Wynns counts the Fuzhou-based retailer as its largest single customer on the mainland. Such examples made China the stand-out performer in TWE's full year results on Wednesday, as volumes in Greater China rose 36 per cent and profits across the region were up 52 per cent.

Wine waste could become biofuel
Each year global wine production creates an estimated 13 million tonnes of waste known as grape marc, or mar as the French say. It's made up of grape skin, stems and seeds, but it doesn't have to be waste. Researchers from the University of Adelaide say it could become a competitive biofuel.

Kiwi winemakers quaff $70,000 of our money each day
Australian taxpayers are giving their Kiwi cousins a whopping $70,000 a day to help them make wine. The Federal Government has raised questions about the viability of the scheme and has established a panel of wine industry luminaries to decide the fate of the wine equalisation tax (WET) by the end of the year.

John Forrest: Low-alcohol wine is going to 'kick ass'
The owner of New Zealand-based Forrest Wines explains why low-alcohol New World vintages are 'kicking ass'. John Forrest says "there's a huge market for products [that let] you still enjoy the fat, sugar and alcohol, but with less negative health implications. We have dropped the alcohol content in our wines from 14 per cent to 9 per cent, which means 40 per cent less alcohol and 40 per cent fewer calories".

New Zealand Wineries report promising wines but not much volume
Spring frosts reduced yields on both islands, but a warm, dry summer helped quality. MaryAnn Worobiec, reporting for Wine Spectator, reports on the 2015 vintage in New Zealand. Overall, vintners are pleased with the quality of the 2015 vintage, but there is going to be less wine to go around.

France seeks to add more fizz to its wine tourism industry
Bubbly brought fame and fortune to Champagne, and now, since being named a Unesco world heritage site in July, the region hopes more tourists will make it a holiday destination. Same for Burgundy, whose vineyards are already a big draw – it, too, is now on Unesco’s roll of honour. The double good news marks a major gain for France, which is trying hard to make wine a pillar of its tourist economy.

Year after quake, Napa’s wine industry healthy
In the immediate aftermath of last August’s earthquake in Napa, photographs quickly circulated of shattered wine racks, toppled barrels and what looked like an endless river of spilled red wine. Many worried that the 6.0-magnitude quake would render irreversible damage to Napa Valley’s wine industry. One year later, the local wine community as a whole is as healthy as ever.

Beyond the beach: Exploring Sicily's emerging wine scene
Though wine has been produced in Sicily for millennia, it hasn’t always been good — until the 1990s, Sicilian wine was cheap, mass-produced, and primarily sold off in vats for blending. But then the island underwent a viticultural renaissance: Industrial vineyards were ripped out and replaced with low-yield vines, and a new generation of producers emerged, passionate about highlighting the island’s little-known indigenous grapes.

How much Generation Y will pay for a bottle of wine?
Australian Vintage wants to sell more wine to 18-to-34 year olds, and in doing so has uncovered some fascinating data about what ‘generation Y’ wants from its alcohol, and the amount they’re prepared to pay for it. The listed wine group employed two generational pyschologists for the 15-month process of developing YOU Wines, which general manager Cameron Ferguson claims is the first attempt by an Australian company to reach 18-34s with a “pure wine” product.

Planning for possibility of El Nino's severe frosts
It could not have been a better start to the season for wine producers in the central west of New South Wales. There have been decent snowfalls to set fruit, dams are full of water for irrigation and the soil moisture profile is full. But this could all come undone very quickly if the threat of El Nino eventuates late this year. Local producers have grown increasingly nervous about the severe frosts predicted by the weather bureau and are already starting to prepare.

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