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News posted on Thursday, 24 September 2015

In defence of the Riverland wine industry
COMMENT | Riverland grapegrowers are more water-efficient and contribute to better wines than they’re given credit for, argues Waikerie grower Henry Crawford. Last Tuesday, InDaily readers were treated to the reflections of wine writer Philip White on the change of Prime Minister and the possible ramifications for wine tax policy in this country. Philip, like all of us, is entitled to his opinion, however his comments got the heckles up of many in the industry.

Last chance to apply for Wine Australia travel bursaries
Grape and wine researchers are reminded that applications for Wine Australia’s travel and visiting scholar bursaries will close on Friday 2 October 2015. Each year, Wine Australia invests $50,000 in travel bursaries and $30,000 in visiting scholar bursaries with applications open to grape and wine researchers twice a year. Applications are currently open for travel set to commence between 1 January and 30 June 2016. Dr Liz Waters, Wine Australia RD&E portfolio manager, said the bursaries help to support local researchers to increase their knowledge and develop skills that will benefit the Australian grape and wine community.

Minister launches Hunter Valley Wine & Tourism Alliance
Minister for Regional Development John Barilaro will launch The Hunter Valley Wine & Tourism Alliance on Thursday. The alliance, a partnership between Cessnock and Singleton councils as well as the Hunter Valley Wine and Tourism Association, aims to double overnight visitor expenditure in the region by 2020. “International tourists will be encouraged to travel due to the strength of the Australian dollar, domestic tourists will be encouraged to tour within Australia and we must all ensure we pursue excellence.”

Fine wine to be recognised
For many years, fortified wines have been an intricate part of the Rutherglen Wine Show, so much so, that in 2010 the first ‘Australian Fortified Wine Show’ was launched. The home of great fortified wine, Rutherglen is hosting the premier Rutherglen Wine Show and Australian Fortified Wine Show this week. More than 1,300 entries have been sampled since Friday by a judging panel of renowned judges from across Australia.

Château Tanunda wins Australian wine of the year at China Wine and Spirits Awards
Château Tanunda claimed 17 medals at the 2015 China Wine and Spirits awards, including the trophy for Australian Wine of the Year. John Geber, Château Tanunda proprietor, said he was thrilled that the result came in the winery’s 125th anniversary year. “Our 125th anniversary year is continuing with such a comprehensive performance in a very competitive show,” he said.

Failed wine company 'unlikely' to repay debts
The receivership of Marlborough's Isabel Estate Vineyard is drawing to a close, but the wine company still owes more than $4.5 million. The latest six-month receiver's report, released on September 1, showed around $4 million was paid to secured creditor Bank of New Zealand in the year to July. But a further $4.5m remained unrecovered. Unsecured creditors, who were collectively owed $200,000, were "unlikely" to be repaid, the report said.

NZ Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc tops IWSC awards
New Zealand wines have notched up a record number of top awards at the prestigious UK-based International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC). New Zealand beat entrants from all other nations to take home both the IWSC Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc Trophies, as well as 20 gold medals across one of the widest spread of styles and varieties ever seen from New Zealand at the competition.

Economic factors key in wine’s Pacific Northwest migration
NAPA — Washington State may be overshadowed by California’s wine industry, but it is gaining prominence and will continue to do so thanks to cheap land, fewer regulations and growing recognition of the quality of the Evergreen State’s varietals. That was the message Tuesday from Ted Baseler, president and chief executive of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates of Woodinville, Wash., which has grown to be the nation’s seventh-largest wine company through the strength of its home market.

Changyu snaps up Spanish wine firm
Yantai Changyu Pioneer Wine Co Ltd, a leading Chinese wine producer, has stepped up its overseas moves with the acquisition of Marques del Atrio, a wine company in Spain. Changyu, which has more than 100 years of history, was established in 1892 by Chinese diplomat Zhang Bishi. Since then, it has made its presence felt at several international exhibitions.

Earliest start to B.C. grape harvest on record
The hot temperatures and lack of rain over the summer resulted in a record break start to the grape harvest in the Okanagan and throughout British Columbia. Wineries were able to pick different grape varieties two to three weeks ahead of schedule with Jackson-Triggs Okanagan Estate being the first to pick Sauvignon Blanc grapes for table wine on August 20th.

2015 Mosel harvest on a knife-edge
The 2015 harvest in the Mosel has the potential to be great, but inclement weather is raising slight concerns that it will fall short of expectations. As has been the case across most of Europe, summer this year in Germany has been hot and dry but early autumn has brought heavy and persistent rain showers and continued warm weather, leaving producers fearing the onset of rot.

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