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News posted on Tuesday, 29 November 2016

New vineyard weather stations
Four new vineyard weather stations in the Hilltops and Southern Highlands wine regions have extended the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) monitoring network to 42 stations across eight wine growing regions. DPI viticultural development officer, Adrian Englefield, said high rainfall this winter and spring has increased vineyard pest and disease pressure for many NSW winegrape growers. “Up-to-date weather station information from the DPI Weather Station Network is helping growers make informed and timely management decisions,” Mr Englefield said. “DPI’s weather station network gives winegrape growers real time vineyard weather information, which can be used to tailor vineyard spray applications to manage pest and diseases.”

Langhorne Creek wins leading Australasian wine award
A Cabernet Sauvignon from Langhorne Creek in South Australia has topped a field of 10,000 wines from Australia and New Zealand to be named Winestate Wine of the Year 2016. The award, presented to Lake Breeze Wines for its Arthur's Reserve Langhorne Creek Cabernet Petit Verdot Malbec 2012 yesterday in Adelaide, is the second time the South Australian winery has taken out the award after winning in 2010 with its 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon. This year’s winning wine is Cabernet Sauvignon (86 per cent) blend with small amounts of Petit Verdot (9 per cent) and Malbec (5 per cent).

Kono Beverages and Bouchon Wines Partnership
Kono Beverages of New Zealand and Bouchon Wines and Spirits of Australia are pleased to announce a distribution partnership with immediate effect. Bouchon will exclusively promote the Tohu and Aronui brands in the State of Queensland. Bouchon will be adding eight Kono wines to their portfolio. These eight wines are made by Kono Chief Winemaker, Bruce Taylor, at their Awatere Valley Winery in Marlborough, New Zealand. The wines are made from premium fruit grown on ancestral lands in Marlborough and Nelson.

Coles takes on Aldi with cheap, award-winning wine
The supermarket giant’s liquor arm is gearing up to take on the German discounter with private label plonk, after Aldi won over drinkers with a slew of awards. A $5 bottle of red sold exclusively at Coles was yesterday named as the best wine under $20 from Australia and New Zealand at the Winestate Wine of the Year Awards. The James Busby Big & Bold Shiraz 2015 was chosen from a field of 10,000 wines by a panel of expert judges that included Australian wine industry legend Wolf Blass.

Cellar doors spring up in Sydney’s inner city
Forget about travelling hours to a remote location to sample the best that Australia’s wine regions have to offer — Sydney’s inner west is brimming over with cellar doors which bring the best to you. Earlier this year, Cake Wines opened Sydney first winery cellar door in Redfern, converting an old warehouse into a experiential drinking spot for lovers of vino. Now, Handpicked Wines joins the growing trend with a cellar door in the heart of the Chippendale creative commons.

Geographical indications set for New Zealand
The Act to bring New Zealand's long-dormant geographical indications (GI) registration scheme into force has been passed by parliament. GIs are used to signal that products originating from a particular geographical region possess certain characteristics or qualities attributed to that location. Well known examples include Champagne and Scotch whisky. It is expected that the registration scheme will be in force by around March or April 2017. This will allow 'interested persons' to register a GI in relation to wine or spirits.

Sweet Success for Hawke’s Bay’s Alpha Domus Winery
Boutique Hawke’s Bay Winery Alpha Domus continues to attract attention at national and international competitions, with a string of awards to its name. Most recently, Alpha Domus’s 2015 The Barnstormer Syrah has won three gold medals, at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards, the Sydney International Wine Competition and the Hawke’s Bay A&P Wine Awards. Managing Director Paul Ham says this is a huge coup for the family-owned winery. “In an increasingly crowded marketplace with a large number of big players, it’s testament to the care and attention we as a boutique wine producer place on every stage of the process from vine to wine,” says Mr Ham.

Why I hate female sommeliers and so should you
You would be forgiven for thinking that we are living in a marvelous time for women in the wine industry. With headlines like “The Rise of the Female Sommeliers” and “Sex and the Sommelier: Make Way for Women,” women are showing up everywhere. From “13 Badass Female Winemakers” to “New York City’s Pioneering Female Sommeliers,” women seem to be making big strides in wine making and tasting. As a female wine writer, I should be delighted by this celebration of “female” sommeliers and winemakers. Surely this explosion of coverage of women in wine is cause for excitement. But I’m not excited. In fact, I hate it.

UK wine wholesalers split on Brexit uncertainty survival chances
Around 40% of UK's wine wholesalers and distributors are considered to be well-placed to cope with any potential fallout from the country's decision to exit the European Union, according to recently-published research, although almost a third could struggle. A report from market analysts Plimsoll Publishing, released earlier this month, is based on a "financial health check" on 1,223 wholesalers and distributors in the country. The results claim that 483 firms are performing well in current market conditions, and should be able to weather any uncertainty in the sector.

Georgia pledges largest-ever wine export to China
Georgian wine company Badagoni will sell five million bottles of Georgian wine in China in what will be the largest export of Georgian wine to China in the history of both countries. A respective memorandum was signed by representatives of Badagoni and China's Wenzhou Bydoway Import & Export Co. in Georgia’s top winemaking region Kakheti today. The country's Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Agriculture Minister Levan Davitashvili and other high officials attended the signing ceremony.

Oxney Estate launches first organic English sparkling wine
Stretching out its green fingers, while further affirming its green credientials, east Sussex vineyard Oxney Organic Estate has launched its first organic English sparkling wine. Made by winemaker David Cowderoy, The Classic 2014 is a blend of 40% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir and 30% Pinot Meunier, and has a low dosage of 4g/l. Adding to a collection of award-winning still and sparkling rosé, still white and a classic cuvée sparkling, the wine spent a minimum of 20 months on lees and what Oxney describes as a delicate and persistent mousse.

Chalkers Crossing top award haul with Len Evans Memorial trophy
Chalkers Crossing is pleased to announce their 2014 Chalkers Crossing CC2 Hilltops Shiraz has won 4 trophies at the National wine show of Australia. The award winning wine took home the most prestigious trophy of the show, the Len Evans Memorial trophy for Champion wine of the show. This wine has received 13 trophies so far in 12 months, including 5 trophies at the prestigious 2016 KPMG Sydney Royal Wine show. It also collected the Shiraz Trophy, the Single vineyard Dry red trophy and the Dry red table wine at the National Wine Show.

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