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News posted on Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Entries invited for trans-Tasman $20+ Sauvignon Blanc tasting
The Wine & Viticulture Journal is inviting producers of Sauvignon Blanc on both sides of the Tasman to enter its forthcoming tasting. The tasting is only open to Australian and New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs with recommended retail prices of more than A$20. The results of the tasting will be published in the May-June issue of the Wine & Viticulture Journal – a special issue that will mark 30 years since the Journal was first published.

A controversial generation of SA winemakers have been thrown into the international spotlight
A NEW — and controversial — generation of South Australian winemakers has been thrown into the international spotlight after one of the world’s leading restaurants chose to feature them on the menu. Copenhagen based Noma’s 10-week pop up on the shores of Sydney Harbour has championed an alternative stream of so-called “natural” wines, particularly from the Adelaide Hills.

Big bag in a box a winner for Accolade Wines as CHAMP mulls exit
It might sound like a cask of wine on steroids, but the 24,000-litre plastic bladders of wine that arrive at a giant bottling facility in Bristol, in Britain, have become a core part of the business model of Australia's second-largest wine company, Accolade Wines. Accolade is 80 per cent-owned by CHAMP Private Equity, which is weighing up a potential exit after five years of ownership.

Grape sprayer uses static electricity to increase coverage
WHEN your five-year-old daughter offers to empty her money box to help finance your invention, how can you do anything but move forward? That expression of unquestioning faith from young Neli was enough to spur Manjula Nishantha to get on with designing and building a prototype of his multi-row foliar and weedicide applicator in his home workshop. Three years later, the machine has completed numerous trials, passed all tests and is ready for investigation by interested spray equipment manufacturers.

Marlborough wine industry turns to dams to protect against future water worries
Having a dam is the new norm for wine companies and grapegrowers as they seek to protect themselves from future water restrictions, a dam builder says. It used to be uncommon for small to medium-sized vineyards in Marlborough to need a dam, but two years of drought and soaring global temperatures had hammered home the need for a reliable water source. Peter Wilkinson grows grapes with his partner Penny Dollimore in the lower Waihopai Valley, drawing water from the Southern Valleys Irrigation Scheme and a well on the property.

Dates set for Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year 2016 competitions
The Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year 2016 Competition is looking to be bigger than ever this year with Auckland (Northern) now introduced as a fifth region. This tough competition helps grow the future of the NZ Wine Industry, as high calibre young viticulturists compete to win the prestigious title of Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year 2016.

Napa Valley - and the event that changed wine forever
The alcove looks like a shrine. But instead of a religious relic, the focus of attention is a wine bottle. A sign reads: “1st Place 1976 Paris Tasting”. On the left, are judges’ scores; to the right, a page from the June 7, 1976 issue of Time magazine. Beneath the Judgment of Paris headline, the story tells of California going glass-to-glass with Burgundy and Bordeaux. The judges were French; the tasting was blind. The victors? California.

Debating wine's health benefits, through the ages
A recent report seems to dismiss the notion that moderate consumption of alcohol, such as a glass or two of wine a day, can have medical benefits. It doesn’t argue that moderate drinking (15 standard drinks a week for men, 10 for women) is necessarily harmful, just that it isn’t necessarily beneficial, either.

Chinese online wine shops plan to raise their game
Three of China’s biggest online distributors of alcoholic beverages, 1919.com, Jiuxian.com and Wangjiu.com have set out plans to significantly increase their service for wine lovers, announced during Chengdu Food and Drinks Fair. With more generic online stores are heading towards the wine business, the ‘professional’ online wine and spirits shops are striving to unite resources.

Smartphones, social media forge paths to younger wine drinkers
For many younger drinkers of wine, the gateway to their pocketbooks is through not a tasting counter or a supermarket display or a glossy magazine ad – but rather through their cellphones, and the rings of selfies, snap reviews and social links radiating from them. That was the argument of Sarah Elliman and Kevin Blum, social media directors who shared their strategies for marketing the Napa Valley’s signature product to the Americans known as millennials, usually described as those born between 1980 and 2000.

WFA respond to health lobby tax bid
The Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) has again rejected calls from the health lobby to increase wine taxes. Paul Evans, WFA chief executive, said the claims to hike wine taxes are misguided, based on incomplete analysis on the impact a tax hike would have on regional communities and a total lack of understanding of how the nation’s wine industry is different to other alcohol products.

Early bird registration rates for 2016 Irrigation Australia International Conference and Exhibition end this week!
Now is the time to reserve your seat at the 2016 Irrigation Australia International Conference with early bird registration rates ending this Friday, April 1, at 11.59pm. After this, prices will revert to full rate and you could miss the opportunity to join industry leaders to learn and cultivate new ideas, discuss current industry challenges and see where the future of irrigation lies at the discounted rate.

Fingers crossed for wine producers
Broadbrush comes to you this week from Margaret River, where drenching showers on Easter Saturday caused some concern among wine producers. It’s mostly cabernet still on the vines after a successful vintage but, with the tail end of vintage 2016 just days away from completion, our wine producer mates tell us any threat to the vines from unwanted last-minute rains will probably not amount to much. Fingers crossed.

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