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News posted on Thursday, 28 May 2015

Australian Vintage’s full-year profit forecast to drop 10%
McGuigan wines owner Australian Vintage expects its full year profit to drop about 10 per cent because the winemaker has not produced as many grapes as expected. The company says grape yields from its vineyards have been disappointing. “Yields from owned vineyards are below expectations due to the effects of the previous year’s frost on our own vineyards,” Australian Vintage said today. The winemaker (AVG) also processed fewer tonnes of grapes for other customers.

Barossa viticulturist makes the cut
After a record number of applications were received for the 2015 Future Leaders program 15 rising stars from the Australian grape and wine community been picked to contribute to the future success of the Australian wine community. Among the 15 people picked was Nigel Blieschke, a viticulturist from Peter Lehmann Wines. “It is an honour to be chosen,” Nigel said. “I have worked in many of Australia’s diverse wine regions, mostly in grower liaison and vineyard management."

Australian rose ready to grow
Wine Communicators of Australia hosted a panel discussion and tasting looking at the opportunities for Australian Rosé on the domestic and international markets. The key outcomes from the evening were the potential to position Australia as leaders of Rosé wine, the opportunity to demonstrate the versatility of Rosé as a complement to food and how we might influence consumers at the point of purchase to both navigate the many styles and ultimately to purchase Rosé wines.

Seppeltsfield 100-year-old port gets a luxury Lalique crystal makeover worth $10,000
South Australian winery Seppeltsfield has answered the question by stepping into the world of high culture and design with its latest blend of Barossan fortified. The winery has partnered with luxury French crystal house Lalique to release a rare 100-year blend of tawny “port” in an exclusively crafted decanter to go on sale this week for $10,000. Only 150 of the pieces have been made worldwide, to be unveiled Wednesday and Thursday in $150 a head tasting events in Melbourne and Sydney.

Calling Australian Lagrein producers
Producers of Australian-made Lagrein and Lagrein-blends are being invited to register their interest in an upcoming tasting of these wines by the Wine & Viticulture Journal. This will be the first time the Journal has held a tasting of this Italian variety which nearly 30 Australian wine producers are now dabbling with, according to The Australian & New Zealand Wine Industry Directory, the Journal’s sister publication.

‘Cold soak’ process turns up the heat on wines
THOSE pondering which elements make the best drop of wine may be surprised to learn different climates produce mixed results when it comes to wines made using the ‘cold soak’ process. Department of Agriculture and Food WA researcher Richard Fennessy compared Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot from Swan Valley and Mt Barker to determine differences between hot and cool climate regions using the cold soak process.

NZ urged to improve brand visibility in food and beverages
Brand New Zealand can play a big role in the international market and create its own loyal followers, as its appeal of "clean and green" is very strong. However, a majority of overseas consumers are still unaware that their food originates in New Zealand, which is undermining the potential and opportunities of New Zealand food and beverages to leverage its international standing. So, the efforts to promote the premium brand image of New Zealand as "clean and green" needs a new approach.

Kiwi-Korean wine festivals scheduled for May, June
Wine is the bridge between two countries and a whole lot of water. Later this month and into June, the new Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Korea is scheduled to host two wine festivals – one in Seoul, the largest city in Korea; and one in Busan, Korea’s second-largest city. “The Seoul tasting will take place on May 30 at the Waterfall Garden of the Grand Hyatt Seoul, with the second of the wine extravaganza being held at the Grand Ballroom of the Park Hyatt Busan on June 13,” Korea Times reporter John Redmond wrote earlier this week.

How the internet is revolutionising the wine market
Think of the wine trade and what image comes to mind? Probably a bunch of old men having a point-scoring chat about carbonic maceration, in fancy accents. Well, you’re wrong: the Internet is changing what we drink, how we buy it, and how we talk about it. One of the most basic changes is transparency — especially of pricing. In the same way that a quick search allows one to have a good nose at the price of anything from neighbours’ houses to transatlantic flights, websites like New Zealand’s Wine Searcher, Vinopedia and Bring A Bottle let you track down that elusive Saint-Veran at the click of a mouse.

Vineyard uses chopper to counter frost
Having well-off clientele came in handy for a Vineland winery. When Vineland Estates Winery vice-president and winemaker Brian Schmidt received a frost-warning alert from the app on his phone Friday, he needed to act quickly to protect the winery’s 90 acres of grapes. While many Niagara wineries have wind machines in their vineyards to push warmer air down to the vines during cold snaps, Vineland Estates has opted not to. The slope of the land on the Niagara Escarpment’s Twenty Mile Bench generally funnels cold air down toward Lake Ontario.

Broadland feeds thirst for exclusivity
A UK wine producer and importer believes it can “comfortably” grow fivefold in the next decade thanks to an efficient business model and new products that meet demand for private label offerings. Recent years have seen Broadland Wineries move away from its contract bottling roots to focus on sourcing wine for a portfolio of its own brands, many of which are designed to meet what the company reports as a growing desire among both retailers and consumers for exclusive label offerings.

Gallo continues spending spree with Napa vineyard buys
E&J Gallo winery has bought more than 100 hectares of vineyard on the fringes of Napa Valley, as part of its drive to invest in estates producing premium wine. Gallo said it bought Cypress Ranch and a portion of the Palisades vineyard in Napa Valley via an unnamed ‘affiliate’. The land lies in Pope Valley in what has been described as the last frontier of Napa Valley, to the north. The move gives Gallo an extra 260 hectares of land, with 104ha of vines planted.

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