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News posted on Friday, 27 March 2015

New on-trade campaign to highlight Aussie premium wines
A series of Australian themed wine events will be held in ten of London’s top restaurants next month, as part of Wine Australia’s new on-trade campaign. The ‘Wonderful Wines of Aus’ campaign, which is being run tandem with D&D London, is on throughout April, and aims to highlight some of the premium wines available from Down Under. Three of London’s D&D wine shops will showcase Australian wine via in-store tastings and special offers on Aussie wine purchases.

AGL rejects call for extended Hunter Valley buffer zones
Energy company AGL has rejected a call by the Hunter Valley's wine, tourism and thoroughbred industries for a 10-kilometre buffer, arguing decisions should be made based on impacts and science. AGL has been challenged by the wine and tourism industries for a number of years over its coal seam gas (CSG) exploration in the Broke Fordwich wine region, south of Singleton. The company's exploration licences cover areas in the vicinity of the viticulture critical industry cluster.

Booze news: Australians’ alcohol habits by age
Last year, 68% of Australian adults drank alcohol in any given four-week period, with the average volume consumed over this time being 23.6 glasses per person. The most popular place for partaking was at home and, contrary to popular stereotypes, Australians aged under 30 were slightly less likely to drink than those aged 30 and older. The latest findings from Roy Morgan Research show that 66% of Aussies aged between 18 and 29 drink alcohol in any given weeks, compared with 69% of those aged 30 and older.

Entries close soon for Champagne and sparkling wine comp
With less than three weeks to go until the deadline of 10th April, entries are pouring in for the 2015 Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships (CSWWC). With over 650 entries in its first year, including some of the most iconic fizz in the world, the CSWWC is already being heralded the ‘Oscars’ of all things bubbly. Producers from over 15 different countries have registered their wines for this year’s competition, representing both traditional and New World sparkling wine regions across the globe.

Calls to ban powdered alcohol
The Australian liquor sector has called on the Federal and State governments to ban the sale of "powdered alcohol" in Australia. "Palcohol", which is a pouch of powder to which water is added to make a standard drink, has recently been approved in the US and the ABC reports that its manufacturer is interested in the Australian market. The Australian Hoteliers Association (AHA) has raised its concerns over the product, which it says is "inconsistent with the responsible use of alcohol within Australian society and the Responsible Service of Alcohol codes that apply in every state."

New Zealand wine region honoured with its own Riedel glass
A world leading glassware giant has honoured New Zealand wine this week, with the launch of a Central Otago Pinot Noir glass. Riedel Crystal, a 300-year-old leader in varietal-specific glassware, created the “perfect glass” to enjoy Central Otago Pinot Noir after learning of the region’s reputation. Rudi Bauer, Central Otago Winegrowers Association spokesperson, said 10th generation family member Georg J. Riedel ran a sensory workshop in the region in 2013 to discover the perfect glass for Central Otago Pinot Noir.

Wineries offer Chinese visitors tips on wine tourism
Marlborough winemakers played the part of host and helper this week as the region welcomed a delegation of 17 representatives from the Ningxia bureau of development of grape and floral industry. The purpose of the trip, according to an article Wednesday by Marlborough Express, was to learn the finer points of wine tourism. “The group of government representatives and industry leaders from Ningxia are visiting New Zealand and Australia to learn how leading wine regions approach wine tourism,” the article said.

‘Chinese market hit bottom’, say trade at CFDF
The slide in the Chinese wine market has bottomed out, said trade leaders at the 92nd China Food and Drinks Fair (CFDF, also known as Tangjiuhui) which opened today. As the largest alcoholic drinks trade fair in China, the three-day fair has gathered some 3,000 exhibitors from more than 30 countries and regions including France, Spain, New Zealand, Chile, Australia, Hong Kong Taiwan. ‘The China Food and Drinks Fair has great value in China,’ LI Shiyi, general manager of Import Wine Business Department of COFCO, told DecanterChina.com, ‘as [it provides] opportunities for our brand to meet the clients.’

Legislative panel OKs $1 billion water plan amid drought
SACRAMENTO — Lawmakers in the Senate budget committee approved a $1 billion proposal on Wednesday to speed spending on water projects in drought-stricken California. But the legislation contained few details about where most of the money would go. The committee unanimously approved the legislation for immediate drought relief and expedited infrastructure spending, with two Republicans abstaining. A companion measure authorizing fines for illegal diversions passed over Republican objections.

Vancouver wine store owner mad as hell over liquor changes
The owner of the Marquis Wine Cellars is not happy at all about the liquor changes coming next month, changes he says will mean a punch to the gut for private wine stores. John Clerides says despite what Justice Minister Suzanne Anton says the wholesale pricing model does not level the playing field. Clerides says he spoke to Anton last November. “She told me we were going to a wholesale price I said great do I get to carry beer? No. Do we get to carry spirits? No."

Why some people can't resist alcohol
New York: Researchers from the Virginia Commonwealth University have discovered a biological clue that could help explain why some drinkers develop a dependence on alcohol while others do not. The findings move researchers closer to identifying those at risk for addiction early and designing better drug treatments to help people stop drinking. "If we can better understand the molecular effects of alcohol, we can design more rational treatments and even warn people who are more susceptible to developing a dependence."

Another Senate probe into wine industry
Murray Valley winegrowers have welcomed the Senate’s inquiry into the wine industry, stating the issues affecting the industry a decade ago are still present. The Senate’s Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee is expected to conduct a wide-ranging inquiry that tackles issues of grower profitability, the impact on industry performance of the wine equalisation tax rebate scheme, the power and influence of wine retailers, and the effectiveness of market information and wine grape pricing.

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