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News posted on Monday, 30 May 2016

Adelaide University will run a business incubator in the heart of the Champagne wine region
THE University of Adelaide will run a business incubator in the heart of the Champagne wine region in France for the next five years following an agreement signed overnight. ThincLab Chalons will be set up in the French city of Chalons-en-Champagne, with the aim of supporting innovation and entrepreneurship. It will be based on the University’s ThincLab business incubator model.

Riverland growers may have to turn off irrigation as River Murray flows drop
RIVERLAND growers say they will have no choice but to turn off irrigation to parts of their orchards and vineyards if action is not taken to address plummeting flows into the River Murray. The Murray-Darling Basin Authority said this year’s water inflow was in the lowest five per cent on record, prompting calls fora Drought Task Force to help landowners still recovering from the millennium drought.

Swift brut sparkles in Stelzer’s Hall of Honour
SWIFT Sparkling has been inducted into the prestigious new Hall of Honour for sparkling wines, after being recognised as the highest-ranking brand producing sparkling in the state. The Hall of Honour was created by acclaimed sparkling wine reviewer and writer Tyson Stelzer who has just released the Australian Sparkling Report 2016 saying he was inspired to do so by the high calibre of Australian sparkling wines.

Petaluma winemaker Brian Croser sells Maylands Farm for $6.9m
Australian wine-making legend Brian Croser, founder of Petaluma wines, has sold his lamb-rearing Maylands Farm on South Australia's Fleurieu Peninsula for $6.9 million. The sale was a strong result for the 735 hectare highlands property near Parawa – about an hour from Adelaide – after it had been listed with a $6 million asking price. It is understood the buyer is an Australian expat who comes from Adelaide. It was sold on a walk-in, walk-out basis.

What happens when farmers want to sell but no Australians are interested in buying?
The ABC's Vote Compass has revealed that 80 per cent of voters do not support the sale of agricultural land to foreign investors, but what happens when farmers want to sell and no Australians are interested in buying? Jan and Merv Smith have worked their 230-acre family farm in Western Australia's Margaret River wine region for 44 years and are hoping to sell up and retire.

Two in hospital after gas leak at Blenheim winery
A suspicious leak has left two workers in hospital in Marlborough this morning. The Fire Service were called to a gas leak at 4am at Blenheim's Arwa Winery, where they forced entry into the property. They were unable to find the source of the leak, which was initially believed to be a possible ammonia leak. The condition of the workers admitted to Wairau Hospital is unknown.

Villa Maria wins Champion Wine of Show title
Villa Maria has topped the Gisborne Regional Wine Awards with a trophy for the highest awarded winery and achieved a record breaking fourth Champion Wine of Show title, Lead Viticulturist Trophy and two varietal trophies. Villa Maria Group Chief Winemaker Nick Picone commented on the meaningfulness of this win, "The New Zealand wine industry is cognisant of the fact that we may not always be able to rely on Sauvignon Blanc, so to see an emerging variety like Viognier take out the top prize at one of our national wine competitions is fantastic.”

World's first wine theme park is set to open in Bordeaux
If you're more likely to be sitting in the cafe while everyone else runs off to ride the rollercoasters, this might be the theme park for you. But before your imagination runs away with you, this is not 'Willy Wonka and the Chardonnay Factory'. There are no fountains of pinot noir or lakes of merlot. La Cite du Vin is more of a wine museum than anything else but it's pretty impressive all the same.

Spain’s wine industry is hiccuping from its excesses
TOMELLOSO, Spain — For many, winemaking conjures up images of rolling vineyards, oak barrels and cavernous cellars. But here at Virgen de las Viñas, or Virgin of the Vineyards, the biggest producer in Spain’s largest wine region, production comes in the shape of giant steel vats and hoses connected to tank trucks. Employees work three shifts to keep the place running 24 hours a day.

Levels of consumer confusion 'astonishing', says industry expert
There is an astonishing level of consumer confusion in an increasingly proliferated wine industry, according to wine consultant Mike Paul. Speaking at the International Cool Climate Wine Symposium in Brighton on Friday, Paul discussed the challenges involved in developing strong regional identities. He said there are very few examples of regions which really add something on an international level in terms of consumer franchise.

Natural Wine Walks on the Wild Side
Two recent wine fairs in London have shown that the polarizing "natural wine" movement hasn't gone away. It’s a busy time for wine lovers in England. While the International Cool Climate Wine Symposium rumbles on in Brighton, London has just finished six weeks of celebrating natural wine, with events based around the REAL and RAW wine fairs.

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