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News posted on Monday, 25 January 2016

Disease risk for Murray Valley grapes ahead of vintage
RAINFALL across many parts of the Murray-Darling wine region has created conditions for botrytis bunch rot and delayed the harvesting of early-ripening white varieties. But Industry Development Officer for Murray Valley Winegrowers (MVW), David Coombes, says growers are restricted in their choice of preventative treatments at harvest time.

Treasury Wine shares are going nuts on strong Asian sales
Treasury Wine is turning things around. The company’s shares are up 15% in ASX trade after it delivered significantly upgraded profit guidance. Treasury says earnings for the first half of the financial year will be around $20-30 million higher than analyst consensus. The company, which sells some famous wine brands including Penfolds, Wynns Coonawarra Estate, Wolf Blass, Lindeman’s, and Yellowglen, increased its presence in the US market with the acquisition of Diageo Wine last October for $US600 million.

Unico Zelo vignerons branch out into spirits
Adelaide Hills couple Brendan and Laura Carter have just released a couple of bitter orange liqueurs in the style of Aperol and the more bitter imported Campari, developed and distilled right here in Gumeracha under the name Applewood Distillery, the drinks called Okar and Red Okar for the stronger version. “We wanted to showcase Australian food and cultural tastes, and we realised we are well positioned here to create a unique beverage,” Brendan says.

Vigneron in Orange taps into growing prosecco popularity
Move over Moscato — a vigneron in Orange is counting on the trend towards drinking prosecco continuing. See Saw wines owner Justin Jarrett is weeks away from harvesting the first grapes grown in Orange, in the central west of New South Wales, to produce prosecco. Mr Jarrett grafted prosecco grapes on to chardonnay vines to speed up the process of transitioning to the sparkling wine variety.

Grape expectations for India’s wine class
If you love bargain plonk, you’ll be disappointed if you wander into Drops Total Spirits, wine and spirit wallahs of New Bel Road, Bengaluru; in fact you’re unlikely to find much joy anywhere in India, no matter how well you haggle. A bottle of Yellow Tail Shiraz, which sells at Dan Murphy’s for $7, was yesterday on the shelves at Drops for 1425 rupees, a whopping $29.99, while a 750ml bottle of Yalumba Unwooded Chardonnay sells for $38.50 a bottle — it’s available in Australia for $12.99 in a two-litre cask.

NZ wine exports up 8.5% in volume, 13.1% in value on light harvest
Continued strong growth in export demand for New Zealand wine is rapidly depleting inventories after a light 2015 harvest. Rabobank's latest wine quarterly showed export volumes increased 8.5% in volume and 13.1% in value over the 10 months to October 2015. Average export prices have edged up in all major markets since the harvest, despite growth in bulk wine export volumes (up 13% year on year) outpacing that of bottled wine exports (up 6.6%) over the period.

Bridge Pa Wine Festival 'huge success'
The "huge success" of Saturday's second Bridge Pa Wine Festival which saw more than 1500 people enjoy the hospitality of seven wineries in that region meant it would become an annual summer event "on the Hawke's Bay map for years to come," event co-ordinator Paul Ham said. "It was overwhelmingly successful and we have been getting a lot of very good feedback about it."

Harvesting Light: New technologies in winemaking
Modern winemakers have a vast array of new tools to help improve wine quality at nearly every level, from optimizing grapevine hydration to mechanical harvesters and DNA fingerprinting. More than ever, winemakers must be a blend of artist, farmer, scientist and computer geek to keep up with the latest technologies. “Producing the highest quality wine starts with healthy grapes,” said Garrett Buckland, a winemaker and partner at Premiere Viticultural Services in Napa.

France to build new "Louvre of the grape vine" to safeguard world wine gene pool
France to plant huge genetic bank of half the world's grape varieties in soil 30 metres above sea level to avoid risk of destruction from rising sea levels. France is to build a new “Louvre of the grape vine” to house over half of the world’s grape varieties in a bid to safeguard wine diversity for future generations. The country first started trying to safely store the world’s grape vines in the mid-19th century in the wake of the Phylloxera plague of aphids that wiped out many of the country’s grape-growing plants.

Millennials are ruining the American wine industry
Wine consumption in the US is expected to drop this year after more than two consecutive decades of growth. With baby boomers aging — and more and more millennials choosing to pass on the Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio — the Silicon Valley Bank predicts the industry will see a decline across the board for the first time since 1993.

Could bad vibrations thwart sex lives of vine-threatening leafhoppers?
European scientists have revealed a method for thwarting the reproduction of American grapevine leafhoppers (Scaphoideus titanus) by using vibration to disrupt the insects’ mating rituals. The American grapevine leafhopper arrived in Europe in the 19th century, hitching a ride on American rootstock, on which it feeds and spreads a bacterium that has caused an epidemic of the deadly, incurable vine disease flavescence dorée.

Enoplastic Founder All Class Until the End
Sadly Mr Piero Macchi, the founder of Enoplastic passed away in June 2015. The employees at the factory based in the north of Italy were still mourning the loss of their beloved leader when they received an unexpected Christmas bonus. The capsule mogul had bequeathed to the 280 Italian employees of the business a total of euro1.5million, the only criteria being length of service, not position within the business determining the amount received.

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