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News posted on Friday, 28 August 2015

Oh, what a Hunter vintage
"Stock up on the ’14 vintage, customers, it’s a cracker ... the hype of the 2014 shiraz from the Hunter is not a myth. Top wines had beautiful fruit with good oak balance and will be treasures for years to come." No, this is not a salesman’s spiel, it’s the 2015 Hunter Valley Wine Show judges giving enthusiastic praise to 2014 shiraz.

De Bortoli Wines keeps it in the family in the Yarra Valley
The De Bortoli winery in the Yarra Valley holds two things in the highest regard: family and taste. “We don’t want our wines to taste like they come from the Barossa,” Stephen Webber says. “We want our wines to taste like the Yarra Valley. It’s a pretty important thing called terroir, which means the flavour of the place, and we try pretty hard to make sure our wines taste like they come from here.”

Push on for wine tax reforms
The Abbott Government has released its Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) Rebate Discussion Paper aimed at pruning market distorting wine industry subsidies. Submissions to the discussion paper – originally flagged for release in July - are due to close on September 11. A WET Rebate Consultative Group comprising senior wine industry members has also been established as part of the taxation reform process.

Bayer 'young viticulturist of the year' announced
Caleb Dennis is the 2015 Bayer 'young viticulturist of the year'. Representing Hawke’s Bay, Caleb competed in a wide range of challenges over three days to beat three other contestants and claim the title. The nataional final took place in Hawke’s Bay so the local contestant received a rapturous applause from the crowd when the results were announced, especially from his colleagues at Craggy Range.

A night of celebration at the Romeo Bragato Wine Awards
An Auckland Chardonnay and a Hawke’s Bay Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot shine at this year’s Romeo Bragato Wine Awards. Grown by Brett Donaldson, the Villa Maria Single Vineyard Ihumatao Chardonnay 2013 won the coveted Bragato Trophy - Champion Single Vineyard Wine and the Bill Irwin Trophy for Champion Chardonnay.

Gallo to purchase Talbott Vineyards; wine giant seems to be reinventing itself
E. & J. Gallo Winery, the world’s largest wine company, today announced that it will purchase Talbott Vineyards in Monterey County’s Santa Lucia Highlands. The deal will close September 4, and neither side is saying how much Gallo is shelling out. Coming on the heels of Gallo’s purchase of J Vineyards & Winery last March, the Talbott deal signals a potentially significant shift in Gallo’s focus toward premium wines.

Vineyard improves water efficiency through technology
Ag companies are learning to do more with less water. Four years into the drought, it’s become the new normal for many companies. The Delicato Family Vineyards in San Bernabe is rethinking its watering practices. New technology is helping age old agriculture. Compared to 2011, in 2014, DFV used 55 percent less water to irrigate and frost protect.

Wine grape harvest starts with bar set high
Vineyards across the Mid-Valley are gearing up for harvest with the bar set much higher by last year’s haul, when overall grape harvest in the state jumped 39 percent compared with 2013. “It marks the third straight year of double-digit production gains,” said Michelle Kaufman, communications manager with the Oregon Wine Board.

So you want to be a winemaker? Here’s some advice.
Should you go to college and take an oenology or viticulture degree? Or should you learn through hands-on experience? Should your first job be in a mega-winery or a small artisan producer? Is there anything to be gained from overseas experience? Here's some advice from Ben Salazar, Winemaker at Edmeades Winery.

50,000 cases per month – and growing
GraysOnline, the Australian online retail and auction company, recently separated its wine offer through the stand-alone GraysWine.com.au. The general manager of the Grays wine division is Simon West, somebody with a lot of ‘skin’ in the wine industry. In a Q&A with Nathan Gogoll, West explains his background in sales and marketing and details how GraysWine wants to work with the wine brands it sells.

Entries close soon for the Wine Communicator Awards
Entries for the WCA’s prestigious annual Wine Communicator Awards, which for the first time will include a category for ‘best wine educator’ close in less than two weeks – on Thursday 10 September. There are nine award categories, including the Wine Communicator of the Year, Digital Wine Communicator of the Year, and New Wine Writer of the Year.


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