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News posted on Monday, 25 May 2015

Top sommeliers toast Wrattonbully’s appeal
The Wrattonbully wine region has been praised for its quality wines and unique sense of place after last week’s visit of highly influential Australian sommeliers. Ten guests representing some of the country’s best restaurants gained a unique view of the region’s geology by delving deep beneath a vineyard during an underground tour of Schultz Cave. Members of the SIP (Sommelier Immersion Program) Tour organised by Wine Australia were also given a comprehensive insight into the importance of the soils of Wrattonbully by geologist and Peppertree Wines owner John Davis, with a structured tasting at Pavy Wines and dinner at Struan House capping off the day.

Wine Peloton announce 2015 Tour of Tassie
After a successful 2014 #7peaks7Days, The Wine Peloton are at it again, announcing a 2015 #TourofTassie. The group will cycle around Tasmania between 22-28 November to raise funds for wine writer Tyson Stelzer’s Teen Rescue Foundation. While the group can’t replicate the mountain climbing feats of the 7 peaks Alpine Ascent Challenge, the Tour of Tasmania will cross Hobart’s Mt Wellington and the Peak of Cradle Mountain as they cover more than 1,000km in seven days.

Grape and wine Future Leaders revealed
Following a record number of entries, the 2015 Future Leaders program has singled out 15 individuals from the Australian grape and wine community to become the industry’s ‘next’ thought leaders. An initiative of the Australian Grape and Wine Authority (AGWA) in partnership with Wine and Grape Growers Australia (WGGA) and Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA), the program is designed to develop participants’ leadership capabilities and encourage innovation and thoughtful debate on the future of the sector.

Home-grown Chinese wines jockey with Australian exports for the dollars of domestic wine consumers
Chinese vineyards might be young but the local investment in them is further confirmation from those on the ground, which an emerging middle class is ready to splurge on a quality drop of wine. The crowded domestic market in Australia has prompted many wineries to look north, with hopes to target a new Chinese consumer base. Others see opportunities in production, utilising a much cheaper workforce. In the northwest region of Ningxia a major facelift is underway. Quiet villages are experiencing double-digit growth as they work to establish modern cities.

National workplace relations laws need to change, SAWIA chief
A submission from the wine industry to the Productivity Commission’s national workplace relations review has highlighted the need for comprehensive reforms to the federal workplace relations laws, according to the South Australian Wine Industry Association (SAWIA). The detailed submission prepared by SAWIA in collaboration with the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) contains 22 recommendations. “We have identified a range of changes that need to be made to get flexibility and balance back into the system, lift productivity and cut red-tape and compliance costs, particularly for many of the small businesses in the wine industry,” Brian Smedley, SAWIA chief executive, said.

Marlborough 2015 harvest worsens Sauvignon Blanc 'squeeze'
The reduced 2015 crop in New Zealand has exacerbated the on-going squeeze of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc grapes, says Cloudy Bay Estate Director Ian Morden. "The Wairau valley is changing and Marlborough is not infinite. So it’s more important than ever for us to secure good grapes because there are only certain places that are suited to our classic cool climate style such as Renwick, Fairhall, Brancott and Rapaura," he told Decanter.com in London.

Huge tanks destined for Blenheim winery
Four large wine blending tanks are being built in Blenheim and transported to a winery in three sections because they are too big to be trucked as a finished product. Crown Sheet Metals is building the 500,000 litre tanks for Drylands Winery, in Blenheim, over the next two months. Crown Sheet Metals site manager Crichton Purdie said the 11-metre high by 9-metre wide stainless steel tanks were too big to fit on a truck in one piece so were being trucked in three sections before being assembled on site at Drylands.

Prosecco shortage: What’s behind the wine shortage in Italy?
A Prosecco shortage is expected as a result of high demand and exceeding rainy conditions in Italy. Robert Cremonese is the export manager for Prosecutor manufacturer Bisol, and talks about the wine failing to meet demand in 2015, USA Today reports. “Last year’s harvest was very poor, and down by up to 50% in some parts, so there is a very real possibility of a global shortage,” Cremonese said in an interview with The Drinks Business.

Chinese wine and wine culture
Drinking habits are changing in China. Once the preserve of men, particularly in the cooler north of the country, alcohol consumption for women is now relatively accepted as they enter the workforce and gain a degree of independence. While it is now mainstream culture, no longer reserved for family functions and formal dinners, it is also relatively uncommon to drink during the day although post work drinks are gaining popularity among Chinese urban professionals.

English drink 12 million bottles of wine a week more than estimated
The amount of alcohol people in England drink has been underestimated by the equivalent of 12 million bottles of wine a week, according to new research. In England, surveys measuring typical drinking habits account for only around 60% of alcohol sold, the medical journal BMC Medicine report said. Report author Dr Mark Bellis said this was because many studies do not include drinking on special occasions. More than 6,000 people in England were interviewed for the study.

Wine from wastewater: It's not a joke, and it may be the future
The drought in California is so severe, no solution is considered too far-fetched. Not even using recycled toilet water to irrigate the nation's most prestigious wine grapes in Napa Valley. Call it effluent for the affluent. "California has a lot of growing up to do on how to use water well," said Will Nord, a long time Napa wine grape grower who has been using recycled wastewater for years to irrigate his vines. As for concerns that the water might affect the flavor of the grape's juice? "No impact at all," he said.

Gemtree Wines: US growth
Gemtree Wines has an arrangement with a US wine company to supply around 900,000 litres of South Australian wine each year for a popular US brand. Efic’s export working capital guarantee helped Gemtree to continue building its international reputation by delivering on this important export contract. How could Efic help your export business grow?

Enter Your Wines Now (Only Few Days Left)
Submissions to the Melbourne International Wine Competition will end soon. MIWC is the ONLY Competition that is also focused on Export and Trade benefits for producers in Australia and is judged by real buyers. Melbourne International Wine and Spirits Competition is the first major international competition in the Pacific with TRADE ONLY judges from top to bottom that consist of people who are buyers from the top retail stores, restaurant owners, sommeliers, hotel beverage directors, distributors and importers.

What goes into wine-label design?
Does blue on a bottle turn off buyers? Will a fussy label hamper the sale of a cheap wine? Some graphic artists have been designing wine labels for decades, and they know what works. Lettie Teague investigates. Ask someone the kind of wine they prefer and they may or may not be able to describe it; ask someone what kind of wine label they like and you’re guaranteed to get a reply. From occasional imbibers to serious oenophiles, just about every wine drinker I know cares about labels—and even employs them as a buying guide.

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