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News posted on Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Chinese wine dealer smashes fake Lafite
At a highly publicised media event, staff smashed over 200 bottles of Lafite and second wine Carruades de Lafite that had been identified as fake. The unidentified dealer had apparently bought 13,069 bottles of the Bordeaux first growth for more than seven million yuan (A$1.3m) at an auction but later found many bottles were not the real thing.

Melbourne's first 'interactive, urban' winery opens
When Cam Nicol moved into a rental property in Melbourne's north last year, he didn't expect to find a wine fermenter in the basement. The surprise led to a creative experiment, involving two of his best friends – who both happened to be winemakers.

Wine Spectator's top 100 still a powerful guide
What a difference a week makes. Before Wine Spectator announced its top 100 wines of the year last week, the awarded wines were hardly setting Wine Searcher's database on fire. But interest has exploded as each of the top 10 wines was announced, showing there's no doubt that wine lovers are swift to act on authoritative lists of recommended wines.

Wine industry should take initiative on calorie labelling
The wine industry needs to prepare itself for adding calorie labels to wine bottles, as the battle against obesity continues, warned Miles Beale, Wine & Spirit Trade Association chief. Speaking at the Wine Vision conference in London last week, Beale said "it would behove the industry to come up with a proposal that doesn't compromise the industry" but would show it to be proactive.

Natural botrytis-killing pesticide licenced
Eden Research announced this week that it had signed an exclusive agreement with SIPCAM, a chemical manufacturing company based in Milan, to sell 3AEY, an all-natural pesticide that kills the grape fungus botrytis and protects grapes from pests. Not only is 3AEY totally natural, made from tea tree oil and lemon juice, but is harmless to the honey bee whose population is currently under significant threat.

Six of Aldi’s cheap wines judged best in Sydney
Australia’s biggest wine snobs have sniffed, sipped and spat their way through more than 2000 wines- only to judge six bottles from Aldi as among the best the country has to offer. The Sydney International Wine Competition found a $6.99 Cabernet Sauvignon from south-eastern Australia and a $9.99 Semillon, blended specifically for the Aldi discount supermarket chain, to be in its top 100.

Role of the Supplier Seminar well received by industry
A seminar discussing the supplier’s role in the future of the wine industry, hosted by Wine Industry Suppliers Australia (WISA), the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) and Accolade Wines, was well attended at Hardys’ Tintara in McLaren Vale earlier this month. Attendees were guided through collaborative work between the organisations in regards to a product information disclosure form aimed at becoming an industry standard.

Fruit growers assess the damage after hail storms in Sunraysia
Growers are assessing the damage after hail storms wiped out crops in parts of Sunraysia. Growers are hoping to meet with local politicians today to ask for disaster assistance, after the local wine industry estimated a loss of 20,000 tonnes from this year's vintage.

Liquor ban imposed on Waiheke Countdown
Countdown Waiheke is facing a ban on selling booze for five days next month after being caught selling to someone under age earlier this year. The store's off-licence liquor section is being forced to close between December 7 and December 12. This follows Waiheke Wine Centre’s four-day off-licence suspension, which occurred in October this year.

The 2014 SBN Awards: the big winners
It's the most important recognition of forward-thinking businesses and individuals in the country. The NZI National Sustainable Business Network Awards, now in its 12th year, recognises and celebrates innovation and positive impact in renewable energy, community work, business efficiency and models that restore our environment.

Wine Grape Growers Australia AGM looks to future
The Wine Grape Growers Australia annual general meeting (AGM) and seminar was well attended and provided insight to the grapegrowing sector of the industry earlier this month. Brian Walsh, Australian Grape & Wine Authority (AGWA) chair, said the organisation’s three key objectives were increasing demand, competitiveness and capability.

Sun sets on coalition for free trade
The Coalition for Free Trade, established by vintners in 1995 as a non-profit organization seeking judicial relief from laws prohibiting direct-to-consumer shipments, has ended all activities after achieving significant victories for wineries and wine lovers alike. “We can celebrate a rare occasion- an industry association opened its doors for business, raised money, got the job done, then turned the lights out,” said W. Reed Foster, Coalition for Free Trade president and Ravenswood Winery chief executive officer.

Climate change a boon for Nordic grapegrowers
On one of the world’s northern-most frontiers, grapevines are growing on hillsides and talk among some farmers is about terroir and aroma as global warming and new technology push the boundaries of winegrowing. "Maybe a touch of raspberry?" opined Wenche Hvattum, one of two farmers at the Lerkekasa vineyard west of Oslo- on the same latitude as Siberia, southern Greenland or Alaska- debating aromas in the ruby-red juice from their freshly pressed grapes.

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