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News posted on Friday, 28 November 2014

Grapegrowers warned prepare for bushfire smoke damage
Vineyards exposed to smoke from bushfires or controlled burns may be at risk of producing tainted wine. Grapes are susceptible to the absorption of smoke compounds during sensitive stages of development. Glynn Ward, Department of Agriculture and Food of Western Australia grapes and wine project manager, says grapes are particularly vulnerable to smoke taint during the period between veraison and harvest.

Canadians get a taste for Australian wine
Canadian media were invited to sample a selection of Australian wines at the Savour Australia Preview Tasting event, held in Vancouver last Thursday. Hosted by Wine Australia, the event gave industry members a preview of what to expect in next year's Australian themed Vancouver International Wine Festival (VIWF).

Hong Kong gathers for Wine in China talks
Hong Kong was talking about China for all the right reasons at the Wine in China conference, held in November. The second instalment of the acclaimed annual conference and largest 'open conversation' of its kind saw over 150 professionals; including 45 speakers and over 100 delegates gather to discuss and debate the Chinese wine market.

Triangle puts on wine fest
Eight Hawke's Bay wineries which sit within a unique grapegrowing triangle are planning to stage a one-day sip and savour event early next year to celebrate the region. It will be known as the Bridge Pa Wine Festival and has been put together based on the Harvest Hawke's Bay events.

Dog Point's journey to greatness
Dog Point celebrates 10 years in the industry with a tasting of every wine they’ve ever made. "You can't call your wine a dog!" declared an Australian distributor when James Healy and Ivan Sutherland showed him plans for their new label. "We were mildly panicked for a while, but then thought 'bugger it'," recalls Healy. A decade later and Dog Point has established itself as an iconic name in New Zealand wine.

The countries with highest sparkling wine taxes
Pop the cork! Not just for special occasions anymore, wine drinkers are making sparkling wine a more regular beverage of choice. Whether opting for a glass of bubbly with dinner or mixing a fashionable cocktail, Champagne, Prosecco, Cava, and their closest relatives are growing in popularity. The production and consumption of sparkling wine has increased drastically in the past 10 years with production alone increasing 40 per cent since 2004.

The world's first guide to matching insects and wine
A British wine merchant has created the world's first insect and wine matching guide. As well as pairing Chardonnay to tarantulas, buyers at Laithwaite's Wine matched sparkling rose to barbecued locusts, sherry to giant waterbugs and Shiraz to sago worms. Traditional food in parts of Asia, Latin America and Africa, edible insects are now being touted as the new superfood due to their high protein content.

Debate over role and relevance of wine bloggers continues
The role and relevance bloggers have on the wine trade has become a major debating issue following recent articles questioning their value from leading wine commentators. Dr Damien Wilson, of Burgundy School of Wine and Spirits Business, is the latest to create a storm following his comments this week that "bloggers risk becoming an endangered species unless they identify what value they are bringing to the trade".

Australia Trade Tasting announces US focus
Australia Trade Tasting (AuTT) announced the United States of America will be the focus market of its educational conference next year. The 2015 Export Focus Day highlights market entry into featured focus countries and will include a core group of speakers from top US sales, distribution, marketing and retail firms.

Grower Champagnes a ‘phenomenon’
“Grower Champagne may be the most notable phenomenon in the Champagne world,” said Essi Avellan MW speaking yesterday at an event at Trinity House in London organised by the Institute of Masters of Wine. The Individual Expressions of Champagne tasting was dedicated to 'grower Champagnes'- Champagnes made by small, independent producers who bottle their own wines.

Wine Australia’s new gem
The vacant position of Wine Australia’s UK and Europe regional director, one of the organisation’s most important in-market positions, has been filled with the appointment of a master of wine who has been working for Tesco. Laura Jewell brings significant commercial experience complemented by in-depth wine knowledge to the position left vacant by the sad death of Yvonne May in September.

Jewell to leave Tesco for Wine Australia
Laura Jewell MW is to leave the Tesco wine department to become Wine Australia’s Regional Director for the UK, Ireland, and Europe. The move comes while Dan Jago, Tesco’s head of beers, wines and spirits, remains suspended from the company during the ongoing investigation into a £250m (A$460m) overestimation of its profits.

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