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News posted on Friday, 27 November 2015

Riverina wine board gives back
The Riverina Wine Grapes Marketing Board (WGMB) is handing back more than $450,000 to wine grape growers across the region after a bumper 2015 harvest saw the organisation in a surplus. Brian Simpson, Riverina WGMB chief executive officer, said under legislation growers are required to fund the activities of the board by paying a levy of $3.90 per tonne. “This will effectively reduce the levy back to $1.90 for the 2015 vintage,” he said.

Carbon dioxide causes winegrapes to ripen earlier, decreases flavour compounds
A study into the impact of climate change on wine grape production has found increased levels of carbon dioxide cause wine grapes to ripen earlier. The wine industry is investigating how climate change will impact grape production by exposing vines in north-west Victoria to the temperature and carbon dioxide levels predicted by 2050.

Treasury Wine confirms distribution shake-up
Treasury Wine Estates is midway through implementing a new distribution model under which customers will no longer be able to order wines directly from the company. Orders will now be fulfilled through wholesalers, which a company spokesperson told drinks bulletin is “part of a broader strategy to continually drive improvements in business performance”. We can confirm that this new model will not impact the level of service our sales team provide to our customers,” she said.

Removing the blindfold
Riverland Wine has been invited by Wine Australia to participate in a project to improve the quality, the availability and timeliness of grape and wine industry information. As Riverland Wine members will attest, the mantra ‘know your numbers – know your risks’ has been chanted at industry meetings for years. To their credit, many have improved their knowledge and understanding of gross margins, input costs, overheads and returns.

Philip Rich's top 20 wines of 2015
Australia's wine industry has some cause for celebration. After a tough decade for producers, exports rose in value in 2014/15 for the first time in eight years. Sales to the United States and Britain were up, due largely to the weaker Australian dollar. And while 95 per cent of wine exported to the US is priced below $A5 a litre, the strongest sales growth last year was to the UK, our largest market. Significantly, that was for wines priced above $10 a litre.

Vineyard owner sued by Vegas execs
A South Island vineyard owner, patron of the arts, and former casino boss is being sued for $3.5 million by two wealthy Las Vegas executives. Glenn Schaeffer owns Nelson's Mahana Estates and earlier this month hosted Prince Charles and his wife Camilla at the winery. The day before the royal visit, Schaeffer failed to dismiss a lawsuit brought against him in the Nelson High Court by James Murren and Daniel Lee.

New Zealand strengthens hold on premium price points in the UK
New Zealand wines continue to dominate sales at premium price points in the UK market, according to data from Nielsen. Volume and value are both up 10 per cent overall year on year, against a UK market that has contracted by two per cent. New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is the UK’s leading grape variety with an 11 per cent share. The varietal will be showcased at New Zealand’s annual trade tasting in January.

Terlato Wine merging spirits division with South African company
Terlato Wine Group is merging its artisan spirits division with the U.S. division of South Africa's Distell Group, forming a new joint venture based and operated out of Lake Bluff. Terlato Wine Chief Executive Bill Terlato will be CEO of the equally owned joint venture, which will be operated as a separate division of Terlato Wines called Artisan Spirits. The deal is expected to be finalized in the first quarter of 2016. Both companies are contributing an equal amount of capital to form the business, Terlato said.

San Joaquin Valley grapegrowers feel the pain, change
Wine grape growers in California's San Joaquin Valley are learning a tough economics lesson the hard way, causing them to pull out vines, turn to other crops, sell out, or retire. They are learning that the wines their grapes have produced for years are now in low demand, and the price wineries pay, if they buy their grapes at all, doesn’t cover their cost of production.

India: Support promised for grapegrowers
Efforts will be made to support grape growers in the district, Deputy Commissioner Anurag Tewari said in Bidar on Tuesday. After a meeting with the officials of the Karnataka State Wine Board, Horticulture and Agriculture Departments, he said the government would provide technical know-how and logistical support to grape growers in collaboration with the Board. Currently, a small area in Basava Kalyan and Humnabad is under grape cultivation.

Rosemount Launches crowdsourced wine blend
Rosemount launched a new white wine blend, available exclusively at Morrisons stores across the United Kingdom. This unique Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Vermentino and Moscato blend was created through a nationwide competition that saw ten lucky foodies treated to a gourmet weekend away, culminating with the all-important blending competition. Winners were invited to attend an exclusive weekend in the Wiltshire countryside that included foraging adventures through the surrounding wilderness.

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