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News posted on Thursday, 28 April 2016

Woolworths Liquor Group rebrands as Endeavour Drinks Group
Woolworths Liquor Group has announced that it will be changing its name to Endeavour Drinks Group. The company informed supplier partners today. Endeavour Drinks Group will incorporate Woolworths’ banners: Dan Murphy’s, BWS, Cellarmasters and Langtons. Rose Scott, General Manager Merchandising and Marketing said the company wanted a new name that would differentiate its liquor business from its supermarkets food business.

INSIDE: Australian Vintage Limited
Australian Vintage Limited is one of Australia’s largest wine producers and the architect of some of the country’s most recognisable brands, including McGuigan, Tempus Two and Nepenthe. But despite brand notoriety and years of award-winning winemaking under the belt, some confusion remains around just who Australian Vintage Ltd is. So, Ashley Pini, Publishing Editor or drinks bulletin, sat down with General Manager for Australasia and North America, Cameron Ferguson, to set the record straight.

Yalumba ramps up China distribution
Yalumba has announced it will further develop its brands in China through a new distribution partner-ship with ASC Fine Wines (ASC). The partnership will see ASC, which is owned by Suntory Wine International (SWI), become the exclusive distributor in mainland China of wines from The Yalumba Wine Company and Hill-Smith Family Vineyards including its sister vineyard Nautilus Estate of Marlborough, New Zealand.

Joiy wine's bid to be a global ready-to-drink brand, or 'Wine-eken'
A Hunter Valley winemaker has raised $1.8 million to take his marketing-led wine brand global and beat his industry's "self-limiting" ways. Chris Archer spent 20 years making wines for others in the Hunter Valley and New Zealand, before his frustration led him to launch a beverage startup with his wife, Cath, in 2009. "I want wine to go up against Heineken or Red Bull, these strong global brands that plug into the existing infrastructure in whatever territory they're taking on next," he says.

Sidewood's land buy for Shiraz
South Australian winery Sidewood Estate has today announced its acquisition of a 25ha vineyard on Ironstone Road at Echunga in the Adelaide Hills. The cool climate location of the new Echunga property fits with Sidewood’s current vineyards at Oakbank, Verdun and Nairne. Owen Inglis, Sidewood Estate owner, said the new vineyard will be dedicated to producing more Shiraz varieties, after a surge in popularity was making it difficult for the winery to keep up with demand.

Oz travel website praises Bay gems
Wineries, unique architecture and a beautiful coast are features an Australian website is touting as Hawke's Bay's standouts. Australian website, Experience OZ & NZ, is calling for votes from around the world for New Zealand's top destination for 2016. Hawke's Bay was one of 30 nominated places, but needed to make it into the top 10 before it could expect to take top spot.

Marlborough wine institute named Gov’t funding finalist
Marlborough is the largest wine growing region in the country and now it is on the verge of becoming the undisputed centre of wine research. Minister of Science and Innovation Steven Joyce announced on Wednesday that a proposal to establish a wine research institute in the region had made the shortlist for a new $25 million government initiative.

Merchant Survey: 2015 Margaux wine of the vintage
Merchants taking part in Liv-ex’s annual en primeur survey have declared Château Margaux to be the ‘wine of the vintage’ in 2015, but the first growths in general have been called a “mixed bag”. Every year before the campaign gets underway, Liv-ex sends a survey to its 440 international members ask-ing them a series of questions about the latest Bordeaux vintage.

Push to update wine excise tax rules
The U.S. Tax code can be an obstacle to progress, says Rep. Mike Thompson, so he’s introduced bi-partisan legislation to change that, his office announced this week. The St. Helena Democrat, senior member of the House Committee on Ways and Means and Co-Chair of the Congressional Wine Caucus and who represents most of Napa and Solano counties, introduced the Wine Excise Tax Modernization Act. It aims “to modernize federal excise taxes on wine to allow wine makers and grapegrowers to create new, innovative products.”

eBay gets boozy with wine site
When people think of wine, they might imagine California's Napa Valley or Italy's farmland, but almost certainly not eBay's website. The giant marketplace wants to shift that vision. The company is now seeking to become an online destination for your next purchase of Pinot Noir or Chardonnay. On Wednesday, eBay unveiled a new US-based site called eBay Wine and a partnership with startup Drync to bring a broader selection of reds, whites and Rosés to eBay's new online store.

Vector transmitting Red Blotch Virus found
Researchers at the University of California, Davis (UC-Davis) have found the vector that seems to be spreading grapevine red blotch, a major step toward controlling the disease. A virus known as grape-vine red blotch-associated virus (GRBaV) was discovered in vineyards planted with red wine grape cultivars in Napa County in 2008. It creates a disease on vines that presents as red blotches that start on leaf margins or blades and continue onto primary and secondary veins. In white grape cultivars, the blotches appear white or pale yellow.

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