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News posted on Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Coles defends its private label wines
Lucy Clements is a kind of poacher turned gamekeeper of the wine industry. From the Barossa and steeped in the traditions of classical winemaking, Ms Clements made good use of her Bachelor of Oenology from the University of Adelaide to land plum roles at some of the nation’s top vineyards such as Grant Burge, Domaine Chandon, St Hallett and a stint overseas with France’s iconic Taittinger champagne.

Australia's winemakers look to an uncertain future
The gap between perception and reality must be bridged, James Lawrence says, if Australian wine is to flourish. Over the past eight years, Australia's numerous problems have been well documented by journalists worldwide, much to the chagrin of the nation's proud winemakers. The global financial crisis, grape oversupply and the unprecedented surge of the Australian dollar combined to form the perfect storm.

Vinnovate uncorks fresh Vino Cap success
BAROSSA Valley brothers Joshua and Simon Schmidt’s screw cap closure which allows wine drinkers to dictate their own tastes when enjoying a tipple has been judged as the top start-up idea across the Australian and NZ wine industry. The Vinnovate co-founders last week won the Brancott Estate Win-explorer innovation challenge, taking home the $35,000 cash prize.

South Coast wineries are trying to keep up with demand
Wineries in the Gerringong and Shoalhaven Heads area are already attracting plenty of interest from Sydneysiders wanting to attend the Shoalhaven Coast Winter Wine Festival on the June long weekend. Wine producers are well advanced in plans to open their cellar doors from June 11 in a three-day extravaganza of wine tasting, local produce and entertainment.

Mitchell Harris wine: a partnership written in the stars
The Mitchell Harris partnership was written in the stars, but the crucible was Ballarat, where four people of roughly similar age grew up to follow pursuits other than wine. Craig Mitchell became an anaesthetist, and his wife Alicia a physiotherapist, just like Craig’s sister Shannyn, who was to marry John Harris. John began to study immunology and pathology, but decided to abandon that career and enrol in the oenology degree course at Charles Sturt University

Rabobank tips export growth for kiwi wines
Rising global demand for New Zealand wine points to further export growth for the industry this year, rural lending specialist Rabobank said. The bank, in its latest quarterly report on the wine sector, said demand growth for New Zealand wine was expected to continue with the country's cool-climate wine styles and premium positioning remaining in favour in most major export markets.

Vintage optimism, but issues seen
The New Zealand wine sector looks set for a bountiful 2016 vintage and growing exports to the US, but the country's reliance on Sauvignon Blanc production and lack of investment in other grape varieties must be addressed. While the 2016 harvest is expected to better last year's, analysts are picking the larger export companies will benefit more than smaller businesses struggling with cost pressures and distribution issues.

Wine industry toasts production, consumption rise
The global wine trade turns in a healthy performance as wine lovers increase consumption. The global wine trade improved last year, with the US and China driving consumption, and New Zealand the star performer on the production side, according to a just-released report. The report, from Dutch-based Rabobank, showed that while the generic end of the market was struggling with oversupply and lower demand, the upper levels of the trade were booming, following on from a light vintage in 2015.

How Norman Hardie is blurring the line between old and new world wines
“Napoleon said that, ‘An army marches on its stomach.’ He forgot that in Russia, and he lost.” Wine-maker Norman Hardie is pointing to the well-worn stove that has fed untold numbers of staff, wine-makers, restaurateurs, food writers, and friends. “We eat very well here, and we’ve had over 10,000 meals around this stove,” Hardie ponders. “How do you communicate? Around food. When we eat well and we’re around the table, we communicate, we learn, and we make it better. That’s what that stove is.”

Warm Up: Tannins
Aging wines to perfection is a mix of cold science and subjective art. Finding that "sweet spot" to open a special bottle can be a very personal decision, and when we nail it, a truly magical wine experience can unfold. But what exactly are we calibrating our palates to be tasting as wines age? What exactly is going on inside the bottle? If we focus in on tannins, we find that our perception of tannins greatly affect how we perceive the texture of wine.

United Kingdom Vineyards Association appoints first CEO
The United Kingdom Vineyards Association has named Barry Lewis as its first chief executive officer. Lewis - owner of the English Wine Shop and Amber Valley wine maker – assumed his new role in February. His responsibilities include building the UKVA into an efficient central industry body and delivering services to the growers and producers in the UK. He will be working directly with the UKVA Council to co-ordinate the management committee.

Masters of Wine to promote safe drinking
The Institute of Masters of Wine has announced it is joining the Wine in Moderation Programme as a partner, with a focus on social responsibility and education. Wine in Moderation, which campaigns for safe drinking, and wine education body the Institute of Masters of Wine will work together to “encourage responsibility in the serving, selling, communication and consumption of wine”, a joint statement announcing the partnership said.

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