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News posted on Thursday, 30 April 2015

Bookings soar for WineTech 2015
WineTech 2015 will be one of the biggest and most diverse wine industry trade shows ever presented in South Australia as bookings for the conference continue to soar. Held at the Adelaide Showground, the event has seen more than 85 per cent of exhibitor space booked with a significant number of Australian and overseas companies participating for the first time. Hosted by Wine Industry Suppliers Australia Inc. (WISA), WineTech 2015 will be a dedicated trade exhibition targeting people in the industry with a direct operational focus.

Removing the manipulation stigma from Winemaking
Manipulation is a much-maligned word, suggesting that the winemaker is somehow cheating. Clark Smith believes we should just get over it. Accusing a winemaker of manipulation is like calling your wife a whore because she's sleeping with you. To dishonour our craft is both insulting and naïve. Winemaking is, after all, just a form of food preparation – the ultimate slow food. Chefs are supposed to manipulate things. It's what we do.

Boost in exports for WA wine producers
Australian wine exports have increased in both volume and value in the past 12 months, bringing welcome news for local producers in Western Australia. Kim Tyrer, President of Mount Barker Wine Producers Association, said that export growth represents opportunities for WA producers operating at the higher end of the market. "In WA we can't compete on the cheaper, lower end, we have to be at the premium end of the market. China's very into red wine, so that suits us. The US are also very much into a similar sort of thing."

Little Wine and Beer Tours - a clever business idea
Up until the age of 24, Emma Jones was convinced she was just a beer drinker. While she grew up in Newcastle just down the road from the Hunter Valley, wine wasn't something she found her palate could quite adapt to. Now four years later, Jones has launched Little Wine and Beer Tours Australia – a company that offers groups the opportunity to easily get out and experience boutique wineries and breweries on the east coast and in South Australia. It was boutique wineries just like those that her tours visit that finally won over her palette.

Hort productivity rivals dairy in NZ
NEW Zealand's fruit and vegetable production has exceeded $7 billion for the first time, with exports now valued at $3.9b. Horticulture is more productive per hectare than the dairy industry, the country's largest export income earner. HortNZ says its $3.9b export returns out of the $7.16b production total are derived from 123,000 hectares of land, versus dairy exports of $16.9b from 1.7 million ha. CEO Peter Silcock said they were not out to "bag" dairy, but the reality was that exports generated per hectare were high compared to other land uses.

Wooing the high value Chinese traveller
China is on the verge of an outward tourism boom as middle-class incomes surge. Already New Zealand has begun to chalk up more business as more high-quality Chinese tourists spend more time (and money) during their visits here, especially on food and wine. CLSA reckons that outward tourism boom will gather pace as the country's per capita GDP approaches a tipping point of US$8000, which will lead to a massive increase in discretionary spending power across the Chinese middle-class.

Moet Hennessy to bottle first Chinese red wine
Moet Hennessy Estates & Wines, producers of wines including Cloudy Bay and Cheval des Andes, is due to bottle its highly anticipated Chinese red wine within the next few weeks, with an international launch due for autumn 2015. The wine, which is grown in the Himalayan Mountains in the northern reaches of China's Yunnan province close to the border with Tibet, is made with Cabernet Sauvignon grown at altitudes between 2,200 metres and 2,600 metres above sea level.

English wine sales rise
It wasn't so long ago that anyone who asked for a glass of English wine in a restaurant would have been met with blank looks. But English wine is soaring in popularity, according to Waitrose, which has reported a 177 per cent increase in sales just this week. Rebecca Hull, the English and Welsh wine buyer for Waitrose, said: “The success of English wine is a culmination of dedication and effort from some talented winemakers across the country who have gradually built the reputation of our wines from the ground up.

Can cheap wine taste great?
When consumers taste cheap wine and rate it highly because they believe it is expensive, is it because prejudice has blinded them to the actual taste, or has prejudice actually changed their brain function, causing them to experience the cheap wine in the same physical way as the expensive wine? Research in the Journal of Marketing Research has shown that preconceived beliefs may create a placebo effect so strong that the actual chemistry of the brain changes.

Wine producers question Canadian duty fees
Wine sales made to Canadian citizens have upstate New York wine producers worried. They said they are losing business because Canada makes it too expensive for their citizens to buy New York state wines while visiting and then bring it home to Canada. Canadians are subject to duty in excess of 100 per cent on wines sold here. This duty is what wine producers said puts them at a costly disadvantage. One local wine seller suggested imposing similar duties on Canadian wines brought into the U.S. might bring Canadian officials into discussions to work out more fair trade.

Wine industry ignored as NZ rebate set to stay
The government is expected to maintain tax rebates for the wine sector in the budget — including $45 million going to New Zealand — rebuffing industry calls for urgent reform that is predicted to save the government $253m. Australian winemakers and grapegrowers have been pushing for a shake-up of the Wine Equalisation Tax to encourage a restructuring of the sector beset with low grape prices and a glut of cheap, bulk wine.

Part four: Australian wine industry – state of play
THE FOURTH installment of our Q&A with members of the Australian wine industry is all about grapegrowers. We’ve been gathering a range of opinions on the recently launched senate inquiry into the industry; a proposal for a temporary levy on every bottle of wine sold in Australia to assist growers through current tough times; and the general state of the industry. Today, as we continue our ‘state of play’ series we have canvassed the views of a range of growers of different sizes from different regions across New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia.





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