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News posted on Monday, 29 August 2016

Swan Valley can overcome identity problem: wine expert
Visiting international wine communicator and judge Lim Hwee Peng believes the Swan Valley has an identity problem. In his opinion, with a little tweak, it has the potential to enter an exciting modern chapter in its long history as a wine-producing region. “The Swan Valley is frequently considered as a hot winemaking region, yet the wines I have assessed in the recent Swan Valley Wine Show were certainly not typical of those from a hot wine region,” Mr Hwee Peng said.

Geelong champagne expert and publican in running for Vin de Champagne Awards
GEELONG bubbles connoisseur Cam O’Keefe is vying for the title of champagne king. Mr O’Keefe who owns Centra Hotel on Myers St, is one of five finalists in the prestigious biennial Vin de Champagne Awards and will be flown to Sydney for a gala event on September 26. For him, champagne is more than just a bubbly treat. “You find most people in the food and wine industry are most serious about one aspect and for me that’s champagne.”

50 years of Redman shiraz tells it like it is in the Coonawarra
ONE of my favourite Shiraz in the recently published Top 100 Wines winter edition was the Redman 2012 Shiraz. Its attraction, as my tasting note suggests, is because it’s an “old-school, traditionally grown and vinified style … a wine that doesn’t show off and lingers in your senses for some time.” Last week in Coonawarra, the Redmans – brothers Bruce and Mal at the helm – added far greater meaning to their sense of tradition by opening 50 consecutive vintages of that Shiraz, starting with the first one their dad Owen made under the Redman label in 1966.

Orange Wine Festival announces special program to celebrate 20 years of winemaking
One of New South Wales’ best known and most loved annual festivals returns when the Orange Wine Festival takes over the famous cool-climate region come October. Spread from 14th to 30th October, the stacked program, celebrating 20 years of Orange as a wine-growing region, will add an additional two signature festival events along with its record 90+ satellite events, making for one of the most comprehensive regional wine festivals to date.

NZ wine exporters urged to act post-Brexit
The New Zealand wine industry must be ready to take full advantage of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union, says a visiting wine trader from the UK. UK Wine and Spirits Trade Association chief executive Miles Beale has been in this country for the wine industry's annual conference which was held in Blenheim. Mr Beale said the United Kingdom's planned exit from the EU will open up opportunities for New Zealand as the UK starts doing its own trade deals. He suggests exporters move early and start discussions with the UK.

Yealand's Crossroads winery and vineyards put on the market
One of New Zealand's largest wine companies is selling its Hawke's Bay winery and vineyards and moving production to Marlborough. Yealands Estate Wines has put the Crossroads operations on the market, including three vineyards, the winery and the cellar door. However, the Crossroads brand, business and existing stock in bottles, barrels, and tanks, are not part of the sale. This decision comes just one year after Peter Yealands sold the majority of his company to Marlborough Lines.

How wineries are getting sold and still keeping their souls
Making wine may be one of the most romantic and evocative of all professions, but the reality is that it’s brutally difficult to earn a reliable living, and often subject to the whims of forces beyond anyone’s control. Even producers that have been crafting excellent wine for several generations aren’t immune: One or two bad harvests in a row, an ill-timed hail storm, an earthquake that topples stocks of barrels filled with aging wine—all of these can wreak havoc on even the most economically fastidious wine producer.

Can scientific rigor describe wine terroir?
What does terroir mean in an age of big data and social media, a world awash in information yet still unable to agree on the distinguishing role of place in winemaking? When scientists from a variety of disciplines gathered in Oregon last month for the XI International Terroir Congress, the question was a hot topic. Between dozens of papers that reported results from projects around the globe that seek a better understanding of the conditions under which grapes grow and wines are made, several papers dug into the thorny issue of what we talk about when we talk about terroir.

Wine packaging retailers say does and does not work
In an article covering Wines & Vines Magazine’s Packaging Conference this past Aug. 17, Paul Franson wrote, “one of the most popular sessions…featured three wine retailers discussing what wine packaging worked for them – and what didn’t.” The three panellists: Gary Fisch, owner of Gary’s Wine and Marketplace in New Jersey, Debbie Zachareas, the co-owner and partner of Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant in San Francisco and Oxbow Mann stressed that producers ought to seek feedback regarding wine packaging from the frontline: retailers. 

Wine Communicator Awards open for entries
Entries are currently open for the Wine Communicators Australia (WCA) prestigious annual awards, which this year will be offered in seven categories. Entries close on Friday 16 September, with the winners to be announced at a special presentation night in Sydney on 8 November, which will be sponsored by Riedel Australia.

Frost and hail see Austria's wine yields slashed
Austria’s wine harvest is set to see the lowest volumes since 2010, following damage from frosts and hail earlier this year. Yields for the 2016 vintage are expected to be down around 25% on the ‘normal’ levels and expected to yield around 1.8m Hectolitres overall, around 75% of the ‘normal’ Austrian yield of 2.5m hectolitres, according to the Austrian Wine Marketing Board. Many vineyards in the east of the country were affected by “catastrophic” frosts in late April, the trade body said.


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