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News posted on Thursday, 27 October 2016

Morrison backs single Australian export brand for China
Australian products sold to China could soon come under a “one brand, one logo” labelling strategy as exporting deals ramp up following the recent free trade agreement. The new campaign — led by Australian mining and agriculture magnate Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest — would see all Australian food products — including beef, vegetables, cheese, wine and high-end condiments — sold to China marketed as “Australian” as opposed to their individual branding. Along with umbrella marketing, the labels are designed to be counterfeit-proof so that quality-conscious Chinese consumers know where they’re product is sourced from.

New era of winemaking at Kirrihill Wines
Kirrihill Wines in South Australia’s Clare Valley has appointed Will Shields as Senior Winemaker. Shields comes to Kirrihill with a wealth of experience from a vine and wine career spanning a Hunter Valley vineyard upbringing and more than two decades of winemaking across Australia and New Zealand. CEO Matthew Lawson says the appointment comes at an exciting time for Kirrihill and places Shields at the helm of an inspiring new era for the business and the brand. “We are delighted Will has crossed the Pacific to make Kirrihill and Clare his new home, bringing with him the essential knowledge and perspective we value and strive for.

Behind the rise in Australian wine grape prices
Australia takes the pulse of wine grape markets, while the Northern Hemisphere harvest appears set to fall on the short side, and China headlines developments in global wine trade, according to Rabobank’s Global Wine Quarterly for Q4 2016. The Australian wine grape industry has experienced a ‘red dawn’, with prices rising from their 2011 lows, particularly for red wine grape varieties sourced from more premium growing regions. “Life has returned to Australian wine grape prices, with China driving much of the recovery in market conditions,” said Rabobank senior analyst Marc Soccio.

Australia 39th most expensive country to buy wine
Australia ranked as the 39th most expensive country to buy wine in the latest Wine Price Index. New Zealand, by comparison, was ranked as the 10th least expensive country to buy wine with an average cost of $14.43. The index, released today, is a comprehensive study comparing the cost of wine in 65 countries worldwide, averaging and comparing local and imported wine prices in each country. The least expensive country to buy wine was Paraguay, which offered wine at an average of $9.90, while at the other end of the ranking United Arab Emirates calculated at a cost over 5 times higher, at $51.15 per 750ml bottle.

The Wine & Viticulture Journal finalist for Best Wine Publication
The Wine & Viticulture Journal has been named one of three finalists for Best Wine Publication (technical, trade or consumer) in the 2016 Wine Communicator Awards. Now in its fourth year, the Wine Communicator Awards recognise outstanding contributions to, and excellence in, wine communication in all its forms and is presented by Wine Communicators of Australia (WCA). The Wine & Viticulture Journal has previously been represented in the awards, with long-time contributor Richard Smart winning Best Trade or Technical Wine Writer last year, with regular writer and winemaker Cathy Howard presented the same award in 2014. Wine & Viticulture Journal editor Sonya Logan and regular writer and viticulturist Tony Hoare were also shortlisted for this award in 2014.

Regional research institute for New Zealand wine industry
Marlborough is the driving force of New Zealand wine, and a new funding announcement has ensured it will be the base for research that drives the industry forward. A proposal by industry body New Zealand Winegrowers to create a new wine research institute in the region has been given the nod of approval by Government. Steven Joyce, minister of science and innovation, made the announcement at Nautilus Estate, near Renwick, on Wednesday to delighted members of the New Zealand wine industry.

Winning student has wine making in DNA
EIT students harvested a bumper crop of medals at the regional wine awards, an event in which their entries were judged using the same criteria as for commercially produced wines. Fifteen of the 20 student entries in the Hawke's Bay A&P Bayleys Wine Awards won medals - seven silver and eight bronze. That made it the best-ever result achieved by EIT in the awards' student wine class

Gusbourne makes three senior appointments
English wine producer Gusbourne has promoted its chief winemaker to chief executive officer in a raft of senior board appointments. Charlie Holland, who has been head winemaker at the Kent-based estate since 2013 after four years heading up winemaking at rival producer Ridgeview, will take on the CEO role in addition to his new role as chief winemaker. An alumnus of Plumpton College, Holland has also worked as winemaker in vineyards in France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand and California. Holland will manage the day to day running of the business in conjunction with newly promoted chief operating officer Jon Pollard, who has also been promoted to chief vineyard manager in what the company describes as a “highly collaborative and relatively flat organization”.

‘Get a grip’, Virgin wine boss warns industry
Virgin Wine’s boss Jay Wright has warned the UK drinks trade against running down the UK wine market in the wake of the volatile exchange rate and Brexit. Wright was speaking to db following the online specialist’s announcement that it would not be putting up prices despite a move to do so by a number of high profile wine retailers and suppliers including Naked Wines and Bidendum. His argument was the industry was “not doing itself any favours” with talk of price rises and trade tariffs. “I think people talk themselves into it and think it’s all doom and gloom, but if you look at all the technical advances, analysis of data, personal and relevant ways to attract people with the new marketing, that all gets chucked out,” he said.

Red Wine Compound Reduces Inflammation in COPD Patients
A mechanism used by a compound found in grapes and red wine may help alleviate inflammation in chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD) patients. Resveratrol is a part of a group of compounds called polyphenols, and is believed to act like antioxidants that protect the human body against damage. Furthermore, it has been long considered as a therapeutic agent for a variety of diseases. In a new study published in Scientific Reports, researchers found that resveratrol was effective against inflammation caused by the bacterial pathogen Haemophilus influenza (NTHi).

Price of wine set to rise as value of pound plummets
The price of wine and gin is set to rise because of the falling value of the pound, industry experts warn. Current government policy dictates alcohol duty increases are pegged to inflation, which mean the price of your next drink could cost more, according to the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA). Many experts are forecasting inflation to increase by three per cent this month, which means a bottle of gin, along with all other spirits, will go up by an extra 34p a litre.

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