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News posted on Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Paul Schaafsma to head Accolade Wines
Accolade Wines has appointed its General Manager UK and Ireland, Paul Schaafsma to be Chief Executive Officer, succeeding John Ratcliffe who will become Deputy Chairman and also continue to advise on the strategic development of the company. Schaafsma has been involved in the wine industry for nearly 20 years, with extensive experience in the Australian, UK, European and African markets.

Penalty rates and biosecurity highlighted in Wine Tasmania's submission to senate inquiry
Penalty rates, biosecurity and more marketing for cool climate wine regions are part of the thrust of the Senate hearing submission from Wine Tasmania. CEO Sheralee Davies appeared before the Committee in Launceston along with four Tasmanian winemakers. Davies says the submission has put forward several changes to the Wine Industry Award 2010 including a reduction from 4 hours to 2 hours for casual staff.

Mobile operation a little bottler for NSW and Canberra wineries
Mobile wine bottler Des Profitt spends almost half his life on the road to keep costs down for regional wine producers. For 13 years he has been travelling from Cudal near Orange in central west New South Wales and bottling wine at wineries in the south of the state. However it is more than just hitching his swag and turning up to a winery. When the New Zealand-born Mr Proffit arrives, it is in a large semi-trailer.

Clonakilla Riesling wows Canberra wine show judges
Clonakilla Wines' 2015 Riesling was named wine of the show against strong competition from "the vintage of a lifetime" at the weekend's Canberra and Region Wine Show. Winning winemaker Tim Kirk said the current district vintage was proving a "belter" for Murrumbateman and Canberra district winemakers with Mother Nature balancing the books after three "challenging" wet years from 2010 to 2012. "Mother Nature has given us a couple of belters in 2013 and 2015," he said. "2014 was pretty good as well.

Graham Norton backing triples Invivo wine sales
Kiwi wine business Invivo has tripled its monthly sales after launching its latest Graham Norton Sauvignon Blanc into Ireland. Invivo is backed by the UK personality, Norton, who owns two per cent of the company and as part of this, produced his own limited edition sauvignon blanc last year. According to co-founder Tim Lightbourne the success of the specialty wine, which was only sold in New Zealand, led to the decision to expand the reach into Norton's home country of Ireland.

Wine Industry welcomes progress with South Korea Trade Deal
New Zealand Winegrowers welcomes news that the Tariff Amendment Bill was passed through Parliament on Friday, a big step towards implementing the Free Trade Agreement with South Korea. Philip Gregan, New Zealand Winegrowers chief executive officer, said the negotiators have achieved a great outcome for the wine industry. "Tariff free access into South Korea at the time the agreement comes into force represents a significant boost to our export ambitions in one of the key Asian markets," he said.

Wine globalisation set to continue
The past two decades have seen globalisation of the world’s wine markets proceed like never before, in both speed and comprehensiveness. There was a degree of trade expansion in the five decades to World War I but, until the late 20th century, interactions across continents involved little more than the exporting of vine cuttings and traditional production expertise. Indeed most wine was consumed in the country of production, and those countries were mostly in Europe.

Italian grape harvest gives cause for celebration
Italy's growers breathe a sigh of relief as the weather ensures a good harvest so far. Italian producers and growers are optimistic about the 2015 harvest, after a fine summer ensured the disaster of last year was not repeated. Bad weather saw a much-reduced harvest in 2014, both in terms of quantity and quality, but this year's glorious summer weather has put smiles back on growers' faces, according to Italy's Wine News website.

Aldi to launch online wine sales early next year
Aldi is to open a new front in its assault on the UK grocery market early next year when it begins selling wine online. The move comes despite the impact of the continuing price war on the group, which has suffered its first fall in operating profits in six years. Matthew Barnes, chief executive of Aldi in the UK and Ireland, said a huge part of an £11m decline in operating profits last year, to £260m, was due to price cuts, as Aldi responded to waves of activity by its bigger rivals.

Low-alcohol wine that tastes good
Wine that's low in alcohol but big in flavour - that's what people want according to research by Charles Sturt University (CSU) consumer sensory scientist Professor Anthony Saliba. Professor Saliba, from CSU's School of Psychology, has examined consumer attitudes towards low-alcohol wine in Australia and in the United Kingdom and found taste is the key, not just lower alcohol levels. "A survey of more than 800 Australian wine consumers in 2013 showed there was a significant market opportunity for low-alcohol wine," said Professor Saliba.

Napa vineyard pest find may have been fluke
A leaf-consuming grapevine pest with a Halloween-like name apparently ended up being only a brief visitor to Napa Valley this summer. A single western grapeleaf skeletonizer moth showed up in a vineyard sticky trap along Tubbs Lane near Calistoga in June. But further trapping has yielded no more of this invasive species. “Good news,” county Agricultural Commissioner Greg Clark said.

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