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News posted on Friday, 29 January 2016

New Accolade Wine GM issues a ‘word of warning’ as Australian wines face a battle ahead
At the Australia Day Tasting held this week in London, Accolade Wines new general manager for the UK and Ireland Rob Harrison issued a ‘word of warning’ that challenges lay ahead for Australian wines, which now sits below the average price of wine of £5.83 (A$11.82) at just £5.20 (A$10.54). “At this point what I want to make is a bit of a warning for Australia. In terms of being fit for the future I am not really sure we are exactly where we want to be.”

Orchard process provides cool solution to heat stressed vines
Evaporative cooling systems are being used in South Australian vineyards as part of a project to protect grapes during heat waves ahead of harvest. The project is using under-canopy sprinklers in the Riverland and Coonawarra wine regions to cool vineyards at night at the height of the Australian summer. Mike McCarthy, principal scientist with the South Australian Research Development Institute is leading the project.

Growth in a bottle: Weak Aussie dollar helps company prosper
A MILDURA-based wine bottling company says the increase in Australian wine exports is creating more employment opportunities at its firm and expanding its customer base. Best Bottlers managing director Jim Kirkpatrick said the drop in the Australian dollar had generated an increase in wine exports to the United States and Australia’s free trade agreement with China had also benefited the industry.

RIVERLAND: Value chain… What’s that?
Way back in 2009 the SA Government engaged Prof. Andrew Fearne as the ‘Thinker in Residence’ to educate SA businesses about the importance of Value Chain principles in long term business ventures where customers are important. Riverland Wine invited Prof. Fearne to the region to meet with groups of producers and processors. Many were curious. Yalumba got on board and worked with the State Government and Prof. Fearne to map the supply chain in the ‘Vine to Dine’ project.

Lyndey Milan to host Wine Communicators of Australia gala
The Wine Communicators of Australia has confirmed that Lyndey Milan OAM will host its upcoming Gala Dinner. Ms. Milan will also be joined by Robert Joseph and Chair of Judges for the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW, Samantha Connew. This year WCA will host the Sydney Royal Wine Show Retrospective Gala Dinner in conjunction with RAS NSW. With efforts combined, the night will provide an opportunity to look back at the awards’ revered history through insights from Ms. Connew, as well as the past, present and future state of the industry in this country.

Martinborough vineyard fire costs half a million, leaves manager in tears
A fire that destroyed an implement shed and valuable machinery at a Martinborough winery did about half a million dollars of damage, but could easily have cost a lot more. Murdoch James Estate founder Roger Fraser said had workers removed about 50 kilometres of customised bird netting worth up to $200,000 on Wednesday, just hours before the blaze. “If they'd been in there [during the fire], we would never have been able to replace them before vintage," he said.

New Zealand wine exports reach record $1.5 billion high
New Zealand wine exports have reached a new record high of $1.54 billion for the 2015 year, up 14 per cent on 2014 according to New Zealand Winegrowers. "The new record level of wine exports is an outstanding achievement for New Zealand wine exporters and testifies to the strong global demand for our wines," said Philip Gregan, CEO of New Zealand Winegrowers. New Zealand wine is exported to more than 90 countries, and is New Zealand’s sixth largest export good.

Wine sales growth slows to 2% as consumers upscale
SACRAMENTO — Growth in U.S. wine sales slowed in 2015 as competition heats up globally to slake the thirst of wine consumers for higher-priced wines, according to experts at a major wine industry conference. “When you look at it from 60,000 feet overall, the wine business is great; it’s booming and things look very good for the coming year, including this year."

Everything you need to know about the wine world's next big thing
In the mid-twentieth century, a number of French winemakers—known then and now as among the best in the world—adopted some dubious practices. In an effort to produce more bulk and appeal to a perceived global market, they began shifting away from their historically minimalist practices that allowed wines to vary from vintage to vintage according to climatic fluctuations.

Garage winemaker-turned-pro wins gold at San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
Early on, fast-growing online wine company NakedWines.com took a chance on Tom Shula, a talented amateur winemaker who made amazing wines in his garage. That gamble paid off handsomely last week when Shula's rich, complex Merlot won gold in the prestigious San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, joining esteemed brands like Beaulieu Vineyards (BV), Grgich Hills Estates and Cakebread Cellars in the winners' circle.

South Africa’s wine industry urged to innovate
AS SA’s wine producers face up to the devastating drought, their association is urging them to find new ways of turning a profit, in order to stay in business. VinPro data shows 15% of wine grape producers are profitable, 55% are at break-even and 30% farming at a loss. Cellars struggle to obtain wine prices above those needed to break even. SA’s nearly 100,000ha of vineyards generate about 3% of the world’s wine production.

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