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News posted on Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Rick Burge releases ‘hipster’ wine
Poking fun at hipster culture, Australian wine producer Burge Family Winemakers has launched a red blend called “The Hipster” in a bid to stay on-trend. As reported by Winsor Dobbin in his blog Gourmet on the Road, the wine is the brainchild of Barossa Valley-based winemaker Rick Burge. Shunning the usual hipster cues of a cloudy appearance, minimalist label and a crazy mash-up of grapes, “The Hipster 2013” is a blend of 42% Garnacha, 31% Monastrell and 27% Tempranillo.

Vasse Felix replaces Heytesbury with new icon
Margaret River estate, Vasse Felix, has announced it is to replace its top red wine ‘Heytesbury’ with a new ‘icon’ using vines planted by its founder. The ‘Tom Cullity’ – named after the winery’s founder Dr Tom Cullity – is a Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec blend, with the fruit coming from the estate’s “home” vineyard which includes the first vines planted by Cullity in 1967.

April 2016 Grapegrower & Winemaker magazine out now
The April 2016 issue of the Grapegrower & Winemaker magazine is out now – and is available online for all subscribers. This month we take a look at the upcoming Irrigation Australia Conference, with a massive feature dedicated to the event including a breakdown of key note speakers and workshops. We also assess the impacts of copper on fermentation and bring you the latest research on the right time to use copper in winemaking.

Getting better with time
Meerea Park winemaker Rhys Eather is a man who likes to make you wait. It’s not discourteous, he just wants to give his flagship Alexander Munro wines bottle age, besides not producing them in years when they don’t pass tough quality tests. That philosophy shows in four wines which have just arrived on my tasting bench. We have two first-release Munro wines from the 2011 vintage, which Rhys rates almost as highly as 2014.

Bosch backs Tasmanian agricultural technology business The Yield
ONE of Europe’s largest conglomerates is venturing into agricultural technology for the first time by investing $2.5 million in an innovative Tasmanian start-up business. In a world first, the Bosch Group — one of the world’s leading technology suppliers — will invest in Tasmanian business The Yield in a partnership that includes a global licensing deal. Several Tasmanian farmers are already reaping the benefits through their participation in the development of The Yield.

Sentry Hill put into liquidation with $130k worth of debt
A Taranaki fruit winery has been placed into liquidation. In the High Court at New Plymouth on Tuesday, an order was made to liquidate Sentry Hill Winery (2006) Ltd due to an unpaid debt of $130,000 owed to New Zealand Customs. According to the statement of claim, Sentry Hill owed Customs $140,741.30 for four instalments of unpaid tax since December 2013.

NZ Sauvignon tasting aims to prove diversity
Producers of New Zealand’s most popular wine variety, Sauvignon Blanc, are aiming to show off the diversity of their produce at a London tasting in May. The New Zealand Sauvignon: Re-discovery and New Directions tasting while take attendees through Sauvignon wines from different regions and sub-regions in an attempt to show the range of differences possible in the eponymous variety.

Herbicide resistance a growing concern
Grapegrowers tend to base weed control choices on what they used successfully in the year of their best yields. They may vary those choices somewhat to account for specific problems their scouts turn up, but usually there are two or three compounds they use year after year. Instead of finding contin-ued success and high yields, those “tried-and-true” weed control compounds are bringing two other things to vineyards: herbicide-resistant and herbicide-tolerant weeds.

Jordan Wine Estate takes action against Global warming
Gary & Kathy Jordan are one of the most proactive and forward-thinking wine producers in South Africa. Their 24 years on Jordan have taught them to harness what they have effectively. They recently acquired a neighbouring portion of land on the north-facing slope on the sea side of the winery, and have spent invested hugely in the preparation of the land.

New proposal would slash taxes for California's winemakers
A representative in California is coming through big for the wine industry after introducing a bill that would provide a number of tax breaks to help spur innovation, according to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. Mike Thompson, a Democrat, teamed up with fellow representative Dave Reichert from Washington to push the bill through.

Halleck Vineyard: Expert strategies for creating a luxury brand
I met brand strategist Ross Halleck, owner of Halleck Vineyard in California’s Sonoma valley, a year ago in Orange County. Then I met him again at the Digital Footprint event in Philadelphia last week. It turns out we had much in common. Halleck has a deep background in tech, having served as CMO and consulted for multiple technology firms.

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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