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News posted on Friday, 27 January 2017

Australia’s finest wines achieve record value in 2016
Australian wine export value grew by 7 per cent to $2.22 billion in 2016 and average value grew by 6 per cent to $2.96 per litre free-on-board (FOB), the highest average value since 2009, according to the Wine Australia Export Report December 2016 released today. This value growth was driven by bottled exports, particularly those at higher price points. Bottled exports grew by 10 per cent to $1.8 billion. The average value of bottled exports hit a calendar year record, up by 5 per cent to $5.48 per litre FOB.

WET reforms increase value of Australian trade marks
Owning a registered trade mark conveys many benefits for any business - the exclusive right to use a brand, legal protection against imitation, and an intangible asset for licencing or sale among others. However, a recent announcement by the Australian government will confer a new benefit on holders of one class of Australian trade marks - an exclusive tax rebate. The Wine Equalisation Tax rebate is a measure enforced by the Australian Government to support local wine makers in regional Australia. A tax of 29% is imposed on wholesale wine sales in Australia, but up until now, all 'producers' of wine have been eligible for a rebate.

ADT 2017: Spain and Italy strong for their 1%
A quick glance around at London’s very well attended Australia Day Tasting on Tuesday (January 24) showed that very few producers were without Italian and Spanish varieties such as Tempranillo, Fiano and Vermentino - one of Austria’s fastest growing grapes. While these Italian and Spanish varieties (along with Prosecco, Durif, Malbec, Montepulciano, Tempranillo among others) make up less than 1% of Oz’s total vineyard area, it is clear that their collective influence continues to far exceed this percentage when it comes to appearances on shelves and Australian wine lists.

NZ wine exports face blow after US TPP withdrawal
New Zealand wine exports could face a major blow after newly elected US president Donald Trump upended the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) that would otherwise see the removal of tariff on Kiwi wines into the US market. The 12-nation trade pact was designed to enhance economic ties among the participating countries by scrapping tariffs on most goods. It was expected to give a further boost to New Zealand’s wine exports to the US, its biggest wine destination.

Wine festival one for the calendar
After three years the annual Bridge Pa Wine Festival has enjoyed continuous success; becoming a much-loved event on the Hawke's Bay calendar since it started in 2015. Saturday's festival, which involved eight wineries in the Bridge Pa Triangle Wine District, went off without a hitch despite poor weather forecasts. Bridge Pa Triangle Wine District Association spokesman Paul Ham said the crowd numbers reached more than 1800 and included festival-goers from Palmerston North, Wellington and even Auckland.

Yalumba signs off Trade Mark battle
Yalumba has decided not to pursue an appeal to the Full Bench of the Federal Court after losing a Trade Mark decision late in 2016. Today (January 27) was the final day for an appeal to be lodged. Yalumba lost a Federal Court trademark case it hoped would prevent Jacob’s Creek from using the word ‘signature’ to describe a range of Barossa wines. The case was dismissed on December 14, 2016, but in making the determination Judge Natalie Charlesworth acknowledged Yalumba’s rights in its Trade Mark for “The Signature” and found Trade Mark usage by Pernod Ricard.

China now Australia’s great wine hope
Value sales are up by an impressive 40% in mainland Chine, while year on year volume sales are up even further – by 45%. While the UK remains Australia’s number on market by volume sales, it is no longer top for value sales, having been overtaken by China. However, exports to the UK suffered their biggest hit at the bulk end of the market, while premium wine sales enjoyed growth. Australian wine exports to the UK at AU$10/litre and above grew by 25% to $28 million, while exports below $5/litre dipped by 10% to 287 million.

Wine shipments, sales increase in 2016
Continuing an expansion that has lasted more than 20 years, U.S. wine shipments grew 2.8 percent in volume last year even as competition increased from cheaper-priced imports, according to industry figures released Wednesday. Revenue from domestic wine sales jumped 4 percent last year as Americans continued to trade up for higher-priced wines, according to data published by BW 166, a Santa Rosa consulting firm. The price for the average bottle of wine sold in the U.S. surpassed $10 for the first time, a reflection of consumers’ willingness to pay more for better wines.

English sparkling has overtaken Cava
England has overtaken Spain to become the third most-listed sparkling wine producer after Champagne and Italy, according to research carried out by wine merchant Jascots. Sales jumped 24 per cent in the last year, and restaurant listings increased by 27 per cent in 60 restaurants that were surveyed in 2015 and 2016, Adam Porter, Jascots’ head of buying and marketing said at a press conference in London today. ‘English wine has reached a critical point. Its high quality has been widely recognised by critics worldwide and consumers are catching on. Combine this with the recent trend toward “local food” and “craft drinks” and it’s not hard to see why demand is on the rise,’ Porter said.

Soil, Not Grapes, Is the Latest Must-Know
OK, you know the names of dozens of grape varietals and wine regions and all (well, almost all) the Bordeaux crus classes. You can name with ease the best Burgundy chateaux and famous vineyards such as Napa’s To Kalon. But you’re not done yet. Now it’s time to bone up on the latest must-know: the “dirty” side of wine. Not the geographic region, grape, or vineyard, but what’s below the surface of the land, where vine roots sink deep into the earth that (supposedly) gives a wine its true character and quality. Soil type is the latest way to classify wines.

Corsican reds, a case study in wine terroir
What a difference a place makes. A single type of grape, planted in one region, may yield insipid, uninteresting wines. Grown somewhere else, however, the grapes can become wines that astonish and inspire. Could this be that thing called terroir? It is fashionable in some quarters to assail the notion of terroir as a myth, promoted by the wine industry as a handy and attractive marketing tool. Yet, to anybody who drinks a lot of different wines, as writer Matt Kramer has pointed out, the existence and influence of terroir on wine is absolutely clear.





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WID 2017