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News posted on Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Substantial deals struck during trade mission to China: SA Premier
Lucrative deals have been struck between the South Australian Government and China during a trade mission overseas but details cannot yet be divulged, Premier Jay Weatherill said. Using wine as his prime example, Weatherill said: “Across China, on average, they consume a litre per person per year, whereas in Australia it's more than 20 litres. If China's (consumption) was to grow to 15 litres as they project, there's massive opportunities there."

California looks to Australia for drought guidance
SYDNEY: California's longest and sharpest drought on record has its increasingly desperate water stewards looking for solutions in Australia, the world's driest inhabited continent. The struggle to survive with little water is a constant thread in the history of Australia, whose people now view drought as an inevitable feature of the land poet Dorothea Mackellar dubbed "a sunburnt country."

ChardonnayPinot15 on track for July
Two of the Yarra Valley’s most distinguished wineries, Coldstream Hills and Toolangi, are joining forces to celebrate two varieties the region is famous for: Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. ChardonnayPinot15 will be held between 11 and 12 July at the RACV Healesville Country Club with a range of activities for both producers and consumers. According to Garry Hounsell, Toolangi Vineyards owner, ChardonnayPinot15 is the ultimate event for lovers of Burgundy-style wines. “It’s not every day that you get to indulge in a selection of the finest expressions of Chardonnay and Pinot noir from Australia, France, New Zealand and the USA, whilst being tutored by a panel of esteemed wine critics.

Schooled in the wine arts
IT all began with Russell and Dennis, two school-teacher mates who shared a taste for a good drop of red but whose financial resources didn't match their vinous aspirations. So in 1992 the pair teamed up to make a barrel of their own Barossa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, which was bottled, proudly labelled Rusden and consumed with great gusto. Russell Gehling and Dennis Canute followed up in 1994 with a home-made Rusden Shiraz, which earned considerable local appreciation and was nicknamed "Black Guts" and "alcoholic Ribena".

VIC100 returning in September
After a successful 2014 event, this year’s VIC100 Wine Awards have opened registration for all Victorian wineries. Held at Federation Square on 5 September 2015, the award show has put a call out for wines spanning across all regions and varieties. Nick Stock, head judge and curator, said he was expecting big things for this year’s event after the 2014 debut of VIC100 was deemed a success. “Whilst the numbers were terrific, it was the calibre of wines and wineries that entered that really set it apart,” Stock said. “VIC100 is not like every other wine show. It looks to build and promote the inherent connection between great wines and their origins.”

Marlborough wineries urged to cater for Chinese tourists
Marlborough wineries are being urged to cater for the needs of increasing numbers of Chinese tourists visiting the region, on top of more Marlborough wine being sold to China. Chinese visitors to Marlborough represented a small but growing market for the region compared to other countries. Destination Marlborough general manager Tracy Johnston said the wine industry was a logical introduction to enhance Chinese visitors experience here.

New Zealand "premium brand" invisible to overseas consumers: study
WELLINGTON: Many overseas consumers are unaware that their food comes from New Zealand, undermining attempts to promote the country's "premium brand" image, according to a study out Tuesday. A report from Lincoln University's Agribusiness and Economics Research Unit said food and beverage producers were missing out on significant opportunities in overseas markets because they were not communicating with consumers.

Russians say 'nyet' to imported wine
In other words, Putin wants politicians to stop spending taxpayers' hard earned rubles on expensive Burgundy and Bordeaux. Rather, he says, they should spend money on Russian-made wines. Bloomberg News Moscow correspondent Jason Corcoran wrote that the combination of a crashing ruble and US and EU embargoes make foreign produced wines too expensive and hard to get. However, when one door closes, another opens. Russians wines have been enjoying a sort of "renaissance," in part because of the country's financial woes.

Temperature plunge leaves Ontario vineyards devastated
TORONTO - Vineyard owners in parts of southern Ontario are assessing the damage from a record-breaking plunge into cold weather that some growers say has devastated their grapecrops. Both Prince Edward County and the Niagara region were hit with unseasonably low temperatures over the weekend that sent farmers scrambling to prevent frost from killing their fruit. They rented helicopters, turned on wind machines and set bales of hay aflame in the dead of night, hoping their rescue effort wasn't for naught.

Drought darkens Baja's wine region
VALLE DE GUADALUPE: The past five years have left Baja’s Valle de Guadalupe high and dry. High, in that it’s become one of the hottest wine regions in the world, with jet-setting tourists and food and travel writers fuelling an explosive growth in upscale wineries, trendy restaurants and boutique hotels. Dry, in that the semiarid Valle has fallen well below its already paltry eight to 10 inches annual average rainfall since 2010. Last year saw less than three inches of rain; even the desert that is Las Vegas gets an average of 4.2 inches a year.

South Africa confidence returning as winemakers concentrate on quality
South Africa needs to evolve its premium wines and offer wines better suited to the terroir, leading South African producer has said. Kleine Zalze's managing director Kobus Basson said both South Africa and Kleine Zalze had a lot of potential and scope to grow, and it was developing better understanding of terrior that would benefit its premium offering. As a result, confidence was returning, he said. "I am excited about what is happening in South Africa at the moment."

Fruit-fusion wines reaching "critical mass', Australian Vintage boss says
Fruit-fusion wines are reaching a tipping point that is seeing them readily accepted by consumers and able to be merchandised as a new category, a leading wine brand owner has claimed. Julian Dyer of Australian vintage said the wine industry needs to stop being squeamish and embrace lighter style fruit fusion wines as they are here to stay. "I don't think we should worry and criticise fruit flavoured wine saying it is not wine, but recognise it is innovation at the edges that is trying to broaden the spectrum of people trying to come into the wine family."

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