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News posted on Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Honour for Halliday, Hancock and Horgan
The outstanding achievements of three ‘greats’ of the Australian wine industry have been honoured at a special awards presentation held by the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) in Adelaide last night. James Halliday AM, Chris Hancock MW and Denis Horgan AM were named Life Members of the Australian Wine Industry.

Vintage will be worth the wait
Many wine growers across Victoria's North East are still to begin harvest but those picking are reporting all signs point to an exceptional 2017 vintage. Growers have also welcomed a drop in humidity which has helped maintain fruit quality at the key development stages. “We were all a bit concerned with the humidity that was experienced over the recent growing season but, really, the past couple of weeks have been splendid,” said Damien Cofield, winemaker at Cofield Wines, Wahgunyah.

Southern Tasmanian wineries gear up for vintage
Tasmania's Coal River Valley is preparing for harvest and vintage. Grape picking for this year's vintage in the southern Tasmania wine region is getting underway, albeit a little later in some vineyards than last season. Pooley Wines viticulturist Matthew Pooley expected picking to start soon after a wetter than average winter and spring last year.

Future Leaders 17 applications closing soon
If you want to ‘be next’ in leading Australia’s grape and wine community to future prosperity then you’ll need to be quick because applications for Future Leaders 17 close on Thursday 9 March. And if you know someone who is ready to be challenged, ready to step up and ready to help shape the future of Australia’s grape and wine community, let them know they should get their application ready.

Turning the corner after decade of hardship
Riverland growers should enjoy some much-needed relief this season thanks to small increases in the price of both red and white wine grapes. Heightened demand for Australian grapes due to a range of domestic and international factors has seen prices improve by 17 per cent for red grapes and 7 per cent for white grapes. It comes after years of hardship for growers who have struggled to stay afloat amid oversupply and poor grape prices.

Post-quake insurance costs
The current insured losses estimate of around $200-$250m to the wine industry, is a reserve, based on immediate and apparent damage to tank farm infrastructure and barrelled/finished stock both at wineries and contract warehouse facilities. The insured losses for an inability to process the 2017 vintage are also hard to quantify at this stage due to vintage size being an unknown and policy wordings that differ greatly in terms of how they trigger, and the basis of settlement. These costs will become more apparent in the coming months.

Australian Vintage takes NZ wine to UK
Australian Vintage has launched its first New Zealand wine into the UK market to tap into the continuing growth of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. The new wine, which is called Little Pebble, is already available in the Australia market but the company’s UK and Europe general manager Julian Dyer said it made “perfect sense” to bring the brand to the UK.

Legislation threatens to close wineries
The Maryland Wineries Association (MWA) has been scrambling for the past couple weeks to have a proposed bill rewritten to prevent as many as one-third of its wineries from being closed immediately. House Bill 742, introduced by Delegate Warren Miller from Howard County on behalf of the Maryland State Licensed Beverage Association (MSLBA), states that a farm winery license may only be issued to "a location that has as its principal purpose the production of wine".

South African bulk wine takes a tumble
New data shows that bulk wine diminishing in volume and value dogged the success of South African wine in the UK in 2016. Jo Gilbert reports for Harpers.

Waitrose trials video tech on booze shelves
Waitrose is trialling a “new generation” of in-store tech with the launch of video shelf-edge technology on its booze aisle. The new shelf edge video technology has digitalized the information on its booze shelves, which is being used give customers access to its wine team’s tasting notes and recommendations, including food and wine matching, as well as supporting the retailer's seasonal campaigns.

Washington winemakers Riesling showcase
No place in the United States produces more Riesling than the Columbia Valley, and nowhere else in the world does a winery make more Riesling. Thanks to the leadership of Chateau Ste. Michelle in Woodinville, the Evergreen State leads the nation in Riesling production, more than California, Oregon, New York and Michigan. And Washington’s oldest winery bottles more Riesling than any winery in the world – including Germany.

#V17 tip #5
#V17 tip #5: Put up signs requesting visitors report to the vineyard office on arrival. #Vinehealth

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WID 2017