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News posted on Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Sour grapes as wine loses $1m support
The state government is introducing a $1.8 million a year wine industry development scheme to support a stronger and sustainable South Australian wine sector. But local MP Stephan Knoll has labelled the scheme – which replaces the Cellar Door Liquor Subsidy – an “unripened mess”, citing a cut of nearly $1m worth of industry support. The new scheme, which comes into effect from July 1, replaces the Cellar Door Liquor Subsidy which returned around $2.7m a year to eligible businesses.

Simon Killeen of Simao and Co a spit of his ancestors
SIMON Killeen was destined to be a winemaker. “Dad was one, grandpa was one, great-grandpa was one and great-great-grandpa was one,” says the 30-year-old from Rutherglen in Victoria’s North East who, for the second year in a row, has been named one of Australia’s best young winemakers. This year, Simon, who runs Simao and Co winery, is one of 12 young winemakers vying for the prestigious Young Gun of Wine award, to be announced on July 1.

Marc Scalzo named as finalist in Winemaker of the Year Awards
Rutherglen Estates announced yesterday that Marc Scalzo, chief winemaker, has been named amongst the finalists in this years’ Gourmet Traveller WINE ‘Australian Winemaker of the Year’ awards. Scalzo joined Rutherglen Estates in 2008, after spending seven years at Brown Brothers, where he was responsible for a very diverse portfolio. Prior to that, Scalzo has experienced busy vintages in New Zealand with family-owned Delegat and Seresin Estates, and also worked with Rick Kinzbrunner at Giaconda in Beechworth.

How Treasury Wine defied the cynics
Treasury Wine Estate’s stock price is edging towards double the value it was when it rejected the $3.4 billion, or $5.20 a share, offer from KKR back in September 2014. The stock was trading around the $4.80 a share market and all the talk was KKR actually wanted to lower its price when the board formally rejected the bid. The company has more than delivered on expectations since then, helped in part by the falling Australian dollar which has boosted the value of exports of its top brands like Penfolds.

Two of a kind
Steve Lubiana has been growing and making wine in Tasmania since 1989, also establishing the state’s first biodynamic vineyard in the process. In 2011, he spent vintage at Weingut Gerhard and Brigitte Pittnauer to learn about Austria’s indigenous grapes, including Gruner Veltliner and Blaufrankisch. About 65km southeast of Vienna in Austria’s famed Burgenland red wine region, Gerhard Pittnauer also farms according to biodynamic principles. He’s long championed the fickle and unfashionable variety of St Laurent, and makes beautifully detailed Blaufrankisch and Pinot Noir.

Wine pro’s taste buds insured for $1m
How much do you think your taste buds are worth? For Yvonne Lorkin, they’re a sweet $1 million. Lorkin is one of New Zealand’s most high profile wine critics, a respected wine competition judge and, since its launch in October 2015, she’s been the Chief Tasting Officer for wine subscription service WineFriend.

Four trophies for Matua Syrah at International Wine Challenge
Matua has been awarded four trophies at the 2016 International Wine Challenge (IWC) based in London. Matua’s flagship Syrah, the Matua Single Vineyard Hawkes Bay Syrah 2014, pipped all other Syrah wines at the show to take home the International Syrah Trophy, New Zealand Red Trophy, Hawke’s Bay Syrah Trophy, and New Zealand Syrah Trophy.

Bayer bids $62 billion for Monsanto
Bayer AG offered $62 billion to buy Monsanto Co., deepening investor concern that it’s stretching its finances to become the world’s biggest seller of seeds and farm chemicals. The May 10 written proposal to Monsanto offered $122 a share in cash, the Leverkusen, Germany-based company said in a statement on Monday. Bayer’s stock dropped as much as 4.1%, extending losses since the potential deal was first revealed.

Wines of Argentina to launch certificate program in Hong Kong
A new educational wine programme will launch in July in Hong Kong, hosted by Wines of Argentina and the Open University of Hong Kong. The comprehensive 30-hour programme will expose students to specialist knowledge regarding Argentine wines, including the geographical characteristics of Argentina, its styles and varieties of wines and commercial activities of its key wine estates.

Hong Kong wine comp open for entries
The Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition is now open for entries. The competition launched yesterday at Vinexpo, along with the announcement of Patrick Materman, Chief Winemaker at Brancott Estate, as guest wine judge. Each year the competition appoints influential industry figures as International guest judges, one for wine and one for spirits.

Unexpected twist in California’s wine culture wars
Since 2011, In Pursuit of Balance (IPOB) represented one side of a philosophical debate over what California wine should, and could, be. Now, with the sudden announcement that the group will dissolve later this year, Jon Bonné reflects on its brief history and asks: Did IPOB achieve its goals? Few wine events have drawn as much attention, and controversy, as In Pursuit of Balance.

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