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News posted on Monday, 29 June 2015

Red flows at Grant Burge Wines as Accolade picks up pieces
Accolade Wines, the second largest wine company in Australia, has a lot of work do to improve the performance of its recently-acquired Grant Burge Wines, which plunged to a loss of almost $10 million in its final year as a stand-alone firm. The Australian Financial Review can reveal that Barossa Valley-based Grant Burge Wines tumbled to a loss of $9.4 million after generating sales of $40.4 million in its last 12 months as an independent company.

Treasury Wine Estates, Pernod Ricard hail China-Aus FTA
Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) and Pernod Ricard have welcomed the signing of a new China-Australia free trade agreement, which will end excise duty on Australian wine imports to the Asian country. The agreement, signed last week, will phase out tariffs of 14-20% over the next four years as the countries look to bolster trade ties. China is Australia’s third-largest export market by value behind the US and the UK and accounts for 5.4% of Australian wine exports, or 11.8% in sales terms.

WA wineries produce another outstanding vintage
West Australian wine lovers can again toast to good tasting wine after winemakers wrapped up another outstanding vintage, continuing a stellar trend in the west. A sustained period of successful vintages across WA's rich and diverse wine regions have been the envy of interstate wine industries, with 2015 another standout year. Low yields resulted in top-quality varieties south of the state, while the Swan Valley harvest is one of the best vintages on record, with yields spot on and quality buoyed by the cooler start to summer.

Sulphur-free wine tastes great but isn’t made to last
Sulphur has been used as a preservative and disinfectant in winemaking for thousands of years. The ancient Romans burned sulphur candles inside amphorae before filling them with wine because they knew it helped the wine stay fresh; sulphur dioxide was first added to wine as a preservative as long ago as the late 15th century. Today, the practice of adding sulphur dioxide, SO2, to wine is almost universal.

‘Dining boom’ the next big thing for Australian exporters to Asia
HIGH in the Mongolian mountains, far from the reach of skyscrapers and flashing city lights, a shipment of Queensland wine is bundled up with blankets, carried through the rocky and snow-dusted countryside on the back of a yak. It’s one of the more unusual export deliveries for Sirromet winery at Mt Cotton, near Brisbane, which has been quick to stretch its legs into the booming Asian market. And while there’s unique challenges in exporting overseas, director of sales and marketing Rod Hill says it’s worth the effort as a rapidly growing middle class increases global demand for food.

Blaze hits Waikato's Vilagrad Winery
As Jacob Nooyen watched the winery his family had established a century ago go up in flames his first thought was "God, save the wine! I'm the winemaker and there's just so much work that's gone in to making the wine," said the winery owner and winemaker after Monday morning's blaze which severely damaged 60-70 per cent of the Ngahinapouri winery near Hamilton. Every Waikato firefighting crew was called in to battle the blaze.

Marketing plan invites changes in perception
GISBORNE District councillors have been told the “‘massive” national and international marketing machine of Air New Zealand could overcome the stigma and poor perception many people have of the region. Jasper Holdsworth, a trustee of Activate Tairawhiti, and Gavin Murphy, the vice-president of the Chamber of Commerce, successfully asked councillors yesterday to reverse a previous decision not to grant Activate Tairawhiti $50,000 a year for three years to support an Air New Zealand campaign marketing larger Q300 aircraft on the Wellington to Gisborne route.

Sweden's wine industry is maturing nicely thanks to climate change
The song of a skylark mingles with the clink of glasses from the small bodega by the winery. Inside, the sommelier is serving visitors as they gaze out on to rows of vines stretching down a slope of rolling hillside. This may look like Languedoc, Rioja or the Mosel, but it’s rural Sweden, where climate change is midwife to the slow birth of Europe’s northernmost wine region. The plot of fertile soil a short drive from Malmö, Sweden’s third city, has been in Håkan Hansson’s family for five generations.

Trouble brews over Saint-Tropez' ‘crap’ wine
A French cooperative learns the hard way that it's best to check the meaning of a name before putting it on the label. Trouble has struck the paradise resort of Saint-Tropez in the south of France after someone belatedly realized that the name of this year's local Rosé means "crap" in German. The glitzy resort in the Var department, famed for its old port and celebrity guests, is also surrounded by vineyards that produce grapes for Rosé.

Grand slam for English wine as Wimbledon bosses serve a local glass
English wine could be a smash hit when it is served at Wimbledon for the first time from tomorrow. Tennis fans will be able to order a glass of Bolney Wine Estate Pinot Gris 2014 to go with their strawberries and cream. The All England Club decided to stock up on the home-grown wine for VIPs in corporate areas and has bought 400 bottles from the West Sussex winemaker, the Sunday People reports.

China’s Ningxia region launches wine contest
Up to 60 winemakers will have the chance to travel to China in September to learn from its winemakers and compete for a prize pool, as the second Ningxia Winemakers Challenge (NWC) is launched. Applications for the winemaking contest opened this week, which will see winemakers given the chance to practice their craft by producing a wine from the region to compete for a prize pool of €120,000.

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