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News posted on Friday, 28 October 2016

'Red dawn' for Australian wine
China's position as Australia's largest wine export market has ushered in a 'red dawn' for winemakers, according to agribusiness banker Rabobank. China imported 41 per cent more Australian wine in the six months to June compared to the previous year, making it a key barometer for future red wine grape market conditions. Red wine grape varieties from more premium, cool/temperate climate regions have seen the largest recovery in market conditions

Potential for locals in China free trade deal
The significant value the wine industry contributes to the Orange economy has been further highlighted with the success local producers are having exporting their product overseas, principally to China and Korea. Of course this success is only the tip of the iceberg. When the current tariffs on wines are lifted, in the next few years, the Orange industry will be on a level playing field with its international competitors including New Zealand and Chile. Under The China Australia Free Trade Agreement (CHaFTA) tariffs of 14-20 per cent on Australian wines will be eliminated by January 1, 2019.

Pepper Tree wins Limestone Coast Wine Show
Pepper Tree Wines has dominated the Limestone Coast Wine Show for the second year in a row. The 2013 Pepper Tree ‘Elderslee Road’ Single Vineyard Wrattonbully Cabernet Sauvignon won the David Wynn Trophy for ‘Best Red Wine of Show’, the H.R. (Ron) Haselgrove O.B.E. Trophy for ‘Best Cabernet Sauvignon of Show’ and was also named the ‘Best Individual Vineyard Wine’ at last night’s VINE | STONE | COAST presentation feast hosted by the Robe and Mount Benson wine regions. The wine then went on to claim the Bill Redman Trophy for ‘Best Wine of Show’, with viticulturist Peter Balnaves claiming the highly coveted Arthur Hoffman Trophy and back-to-back titles as ‘Viticulturist of Best Wine of Show’.

d'Arenberg winemaker Chester Osborn wins entrepreneur of the year
d'Arenberg Chief Winemaker, Chester Osborn, was named a National Finalist in the recent 2016 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year awards, joining other outstanding entrepreneurs from across Australia who competed for the ultimate prize of being named 2016 Australian EY Entrepreneur Of The Year. After being selected earlier this year, Chester travelled to Sydney in October to compete with other Regional Finalists, meeting the national judges during one-on-one ‘speed judging’ interviews, from which he was named the National Finalist for the Central Region in the category of ‘Industry’, which included retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers of products from all industries.

Jane Hunter Honoured by Marlborough Wine Industry
Jane Hunter, owner of Hunter’s Wines in Marlborough, has been awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the board of Wine Marlborough. The annual award is given in recognition of services to the wine industry over a period of time. Jane, who arrived in Marlborough in 1983, has played an integral role in making Marlborough a household name in international wine circles.

Kiwi wine among the world's most affordable
New Zealand has been named as one of the most affordable countries in the world to buy wine. Ranking in 10th place, the average cost of a 750ml bottle of New Zealand wine is $15.21. In comparison, Australia was ranked 26th as the most expensive country to buy wine with an average cost of $22.76 per bottle. According to SHAREaCAMPER's 2016 Wine Price Index New Zealander's drink an average of 25.80 litres of wine per capita annually - ranking 17th overall in the world for the most litres consumed.

Your Wine Preferences Aren't Written In Your Genes
Joining the growing list of startups exploiting our love of DNA-personalized products is a a company called Vinome, which is cashing in on the notion that your wine preferences are written in your genes. The startup, connected to the DNA sequencing company Illumina, promises to provide you with your perfect bottle of wine, based on a DNA analysis of your saliva. This claim holds up as well as a sauvignon blanc to a bloody steak. The problem with Vinome is that there’s no scientific evidence that shows which DNA variations affect a person’s wine preference.

McIntyre leads sustainability efforts in Monterey
Wine tasting in Santa Lucia Highlands of Monterey County: Long-time vintner Steve McIntyre met us, a traveling group of wine writers, in his vineyard. He pulled up in his pick-up truck, jumped out, opened the tail gate and rummaged around for glasses to give us tastes of his McIntyre rose of pinot noir, chardonnay, and pinot noir. There are only a few spots in the world that can consistently grow world-class pinot noir grapes, McIntyre said. One of them is the Santa Lucia Highlands, this slender 12-mile stretch of land perched on the eastern slopes of the Santa Lucia mountain range.

How Wine Spectator thrives 40 years on
Among wine lovers around the world, Wine Spectator has taken on a familiarity and fame reserved for only the most influential people and publications: Ask a sommelier or a retailer about a particular wine, or a vintage in a specific region, and the answer is likely to begin with the phrase, “I was just reading in the Spectator…” Like Cher, like Armani, like the great chateaux of Bordeaux, Wine Spectator is instantly recognizable by uttering just half of its name. The “Spectator” could, at this point in our collective wine lives, mean only one publication.

Chilean wine finds its way to Minnesota
These wines are finding their way into Minnesota stores and restaurants. For years, many of us have been waiting for Chile to produce truly grand fermented grape juice, to become a source of more than “nice enough” reds and whites at value prices. A new wave of Chilean wines is just starting to roll into local stores and restaurants, representing what importer Elizabeth Butler calls “an underrepresented part of Chile: smaller production, hands-on, with a deeper exploration of varietals and regions.”

Margaret River: First class in a glass
A joint initiative between the South West Development Commission and the Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association launched this week aimed at promoting the Margaret River region to Singapore. The First Class in a Glass campaign will encourage residents of Singapore to share a ‘selfie’ or video clip on social media of themselves enjoying Margaret River wine using the hashtag #margaretriverfirstclass for the chance to win prizes.

Supermarket wine isn’t the bargain it’s cracked up to be
Wearily nearing the end of the current round of supermarket tastings, Fiona Beckett has been struck by two things: how little innovation there is (I’ve been seeing the same old wines for years); and how inflated the regular price of some of the bottles now are. The former probably matters less to you than to me – we hacks are always after something new, whereas you’re probably devoutly relieved that a wine you like is still available. But the automatic assumption that supermarket wine is better value really doesn’t stack up.

Growers fearful of retribution: ACCC
Fruit and vegetable growers have told the competition watchdog they are reluctant to report complaints against the major supermarkets and wholesalers because they fear retribution. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) says its meetings with fruit, veg and wine grape growers across the country has identified several concerns, the fear of retribution being a key and widespread one. Its report Perspectives in horticulture and viticulture, released on Thursday, says most growers are reluctant to report issues.

upermarket wine isn’t the bargain it’s cracked up to be

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