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News posted on Monday, 30 March 2015

Lower dollar a boon for Canberra's wine exporting king
It may mean more expensive holidays for some, but one ACT-registered company has enjoyed a profitable time thanks to the sharp fall in the Australian currency against the US dollar. Wamboin wine exporter Greg Corra has seen his revenue grow rapidly without sending a single bottle to the US. "We currently have 40 clients in China, and with some of them we set the price at 93 US cents, and they're contracts written in US dollars," he said.

Taylors to bring Wild Bush Luxury
Taylors Wine is joining forces with Wild Bush Luxury to bring food, wine and travel together in a series of travel experiences. The partnership has come together through a "passion for local produce" as well as a commitment to the sustainability and conservation of South Australia's natural beauty and heritage. The collaboration starts with an online campaign that will take guests through a sequence of Wild Bush Luxury outback experiences and then encourage them to create their own "Wild Bush Story".

Squeeze on winery
OWNERS of Pinelli Estate Winery say a proposal for a service station opposite their vineyard is the final straw for the tourist facility, which is already squeezed by residential development on one side. To their relief, the City of Swan rejected an application for a petrol station with shop and service area at 40 Bennett Street in Caversham, just metres from homes and Pinelli Estate Winery last Wednesday. At the close of advertising, City of Swan had received 26 objections and 22 letters with no objection to the development.

Aussie wines with screw caps challenge opinions
Australian wines have challenged the views of leading wine experts at Italy’s biggest annual wine fair, Vinitaly in Verona this week, who say screw capped wines are inferior. Tyson Stelzer, Australian wine writer and host, presented five mature flagship Australian red wines under both cork and screw cap in a blind tasting. In a surprise twist, a panel of international wine professionals voted the screw-capped wines ahead of the corks. “The result was ground-breaking for Italy, where screw caps remain controversial and until recently have been prohibited on the country’s top wines,” Stelzer said.

Adelaide Hills wine takes centre stage at Oakbank
Three of the Adelaide Hills’ top wineries will feature prominently at the Oakbank Easter Racing Carnival as part of a new partnership to support the iconic event. Sidewood, Somerled Wines and Golding Wines will be served at the Carnival’s food and wine precinct, The Paddock, on Saturday, April 4 and Monday, April 6. Oakbank Racing Club Chairman John Glatz said while the event aimed to work with and support as many Adelaide Hills businesses as possible, this year it has stepped up this promise.

Scramble for vineyard jobs in wake of cyclone
People in Vanuatu are desperate to find work in Marlborough following the devastation left by Cyclone Pam, a Blenheim vineyard contractor says. Vinepower co-director Jono Bushell has been in the island nation since before the storm, and said he had been hounded by people asking him to find them work. Many of the ni-Vanuatu vineyard workers who were in Blenheim at the time of the cyclone returned home to see their families after it hit on March 14. Speaking from Vanuatu on Thursday, Bushell said he warned the workers still in Marlborough not to return, despite knowing they wanted to check on their families.

Scramble for vineyard jobs in wake of cyclone
People in Vanuatu are desperate to find work in Marlborough following the devastation left by Cyclone Pam, a Blenheim vineyard contractor says. Vinepower co-director Jono Bushell has been in the island nation since before the storm, and said he had been hounded by people asking him to find them work. Many of the ni-Vanuatu vineyard workers who were in Blenheim at the time of the cyclone returned home to see their families after it hit on March 14. Speaking from Vanuatu on Thursday, Bushell said he warned the workers still in Marlborough not to return, despite knowing they wanted to check on their families.

Wineries report record tourist season
The long and mainly sun-blessed Hawke's Bay summer has seen winemakers smiling at the prospect of another fine vintage, and winery staff in general celebrating a hugely successful tourist-driven season. At Clearview Winery in Te Awanga the numbers of guests who called to wine and dine were "record breaking", function, events and restaurant manager Kristy Paddick said. "It's been absolutely pumping," she said. "We had the full sign out in the driveway by about 10am most days over the holiday period."

Japanese executive’s plan to get Americans to trade wine for whiskey
Last year, Suntory Holdings Ltd., the Japanese spirits and brewing conglomerate, made headlines when it acquired Beam Inc., the big name in American whiskey. But the $16 billion deal was followed a few months later by a piece of news almost all the more surprising — that Suntory was naming Takeshi Niinami as its new president, marking the first time in the history of the 115-year-old company that it had sought leadership outside the family ranks.

Online wine merchant Swig targets on-trade
Swig, the independent online merchant is ramping up its focus on the on-trade after appointing a new brand ambassador. The company has appointed Courtney Stebbings, previously the wine buyer and restaurant manager for Lyle’s in Shoreditch and head sommelier at the River Café, to head up the project. Stebbings, who worked with the company at Lyles, took on the project after an accident last year forced her to quit the restaurant floor.

Richmond winery cashes in on Asia's growing thirst for Canadian berry wines
It’s not every day that a business projects doubling its sales. But the thirst for Canadian-made wine products in Asia is driving one Richmond winery to ramp up its bottling lines. Tommy Yuan, founder and director of Canada Berries Enterprises Ltd. — formerly known as Sanduz Estate Winery in the heart of east Richmond’s blueberry growing fields — is confident his 10-acre, blueberry growing and wine bottling operation will be building on the 50,000 bottles it exported in 2014.

Taiwan authorities seize 30,000 bottles of allegedly counterfeit wine
Taiwanese authorities raided the factory of a well-known New Taipei wine importer, seizing more than 30,000 bottles of allegedly counterfeit wine as well as printing equipment they say was used to replicate legitimate wine labels. Investigators from a multi-agency squad have accused Tequila Development Company and its CEO Ted Lin of importing cheap bulk wine from Chile and Spain, then bottling, labelling and selling it as expensive French wine.

Winemakers say uniform alcohol tax will be a disaster
Australia's winemakers say taxing all alcohol at the same rate would be a disaster for the $4 billion industry and employment in country areas. But the largest spirits maker, Diageo Australia, urged Treasurer Joe Hockey to change a tax system that has long favoured wine. The white paper on tax paper said ready-to-drink spirits were taxed at more than $1 a standard drink, an expensive, $50 bottle of wine 50 value is taxed at just below $1, while a $13 cask of bag-in-a-box wine was taxed at the equivalent of 5¢ a standard drink.

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