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News posted on Tuesday, 30 August 2016

McGuigan: The WET Rebate should be cut from bulk wine immediately
The CEO of Australian Vintage Limited, Neil McGuigan, has called on the Government to continue its reforms to the Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) Rebate and remove it from bulk wine immediately. As part of his Budget in May, Treasurer Scott Morrison announced some changes to the WET Rebate, including a tightening of the eligibility criteria and a stepped reduction in the rebate cap. However McGuigan has told The Shout, that while he supports the rebate for boutique producers it should be taken away from bulk wine straight away.

Accolade Wines CEO Paul Schaafsma to step down
Accolade Wine's chief executive Paul Schaafsma is set to bow out according to The Australian Financial Review. Schaafsma was appointed chief executive of Accolade in October, 2015 and is pulling the pin prior to the business listing in early 2017. Accolade's 80 per cent owner CHAMP Private Equity has anointed Michael East, a 30-year wine industry veteran who is currently the general manager of Accolade's operations in Australia and Asia as the successor.

Plan for generational change to put a cork in conflicts
A lawyer specialising in the wine industry says family-run vineyards need to have clear succession plans in place, in order for the industry to remain strong into the future. Wine lawyer Will Taylor said as vignerons aged, businesses needed to prepare for generational change in the industry. He said there were conflict-avoiding and business-development reasons for having a proper succession plan in place. "I see the disasters in my job when people don't plan for succession," he said.

Champagne expert Peta Baverstock ready to sparkle
CHAMPAGNE connoisseur Peta Baverstock is pitting her knowledge against some of the nation’s best as a finalist in the Vin de Champagne Awards in Sydney, reports The Advertiser. The Robe winemaker and cellar door manager was the only South Australian named among the top six professionals in the country to face the judging panel and undergo a blind tasting at the prestigious award event next month.

Macedon Ranges yields classy Riesling, Rose and Pinot Noir
In Max Allen's latest wine column for The Australian, he reported on a recent tasting from the winemakers of Victoria’s Macedon Ranges. It was a good opportunity to catch up with the goings-on in this high, sprawling region north of Melbourne, to see what’s working well in its vineyards, planted variously on the slopes of old volcanoes, in forest-fringed gullies and on boulder-strewn granite plateaus.

Villa Maria wins top three prizes at Bragato Wine Awards
Perennial wine winner Villa Maria again demonstrated its dominance by taking out the top prizes at the first of the 2016 awards. A Villa Maria Chardonnay and a Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot were the champion white and red at the Romeo Bragato Wine Awards. The Villa Maria Single Vineyard Ihumatao Chardonnay 2014 won the overall trophy as well as its category and the white wine section.

Central Otago winery nails Decanter tasting in UK
Central Otago winegrowers Roger and Jean Gibson are elated that a wine from their Lowburn Ferry vineyard has ranked Number One in high profile Decanter magazine in the UK. The in-depth tasting of more than 170 Pinot Noirs from across New Zealand in Decanter's September 2016 issue was carried out by a panel of three prominent UK industry wine judges. Lowburn Ferry Home Block Pinot Noir 2014 scored 96 points out of a possible 100, giving it 'outstanding' status in the tasting. In the covering feature article reviewing the tasting, New Zealand is described as being “the best Pinot-producing country outside of France”.

Are celebrity winemakers destroying an ancient art?
“California Celebrity Vineyards” raises intriguing questions about how we vino buffs should relate to celebrity-tagged wines. Are any of them actually really good? Do they deliver value for the dollar? How involved with the winemaking should we expect celebrities to be? (Quick answer: Mostly, not very!) If you’re inclined to give the back of your hand to the whole business of celebrity wine, you’ll probably agree with veteran California winemaker Stuart Smith, who says, “my first thought is that celebrities getting into wine is God’s way of telling them that they have too much money”.

Sustainable vineyards can be good for North Carolina's wine business
Two years ago, UNC-Greensboro’s Bryan School of Business and Economics prepared a strategic plan for the wine and grape industry. The study found that wineries, now numbering more than 150, support nearly 8,000 jobs and generate about $1.3 billion annually in economic impact – making North Carolina one of the top 10 states for wine and grape production. From Surry County’s Shelton Vineyards and Asheville’s Biltmore Winery to Noni Bacca Winery in Wilmington and Cloer Family Vineyards in Apex, wineries are popping up in every corner of the state.

UC research targets adding value to San Joaquin Valley wine grapes
In an effort to perhaps put more value into the San Joaquin Valley’s grape industry, University of California researchers are studying over 50 different wine grape varieties to see which ones can produce the tonnage and quality necessary to profitably make quality wines. The studies couldn’t come at a better time as the San Joaquin Valley grape industry has been challenged in recent years by lower returns, leading some to replace their vineyards with tree nuts because of their profitability. Some of the reds holding out promise in early studies include Teroldego clones, Triplett, Charbono clones, Sagrantino, Bonarda, Segalin, Morrastel, Marselan, Graciano and Pinotage. Wine-quality white varieties include: Fiano, Petit Manseng, Malvasia Bianca, Arinto, Erbaluce, Alvarinho, Biancu Gentile, Moscato Giallo, Falanghina, and Viozinho.

Scientists identify enzyme that gives aged wine its alluring aroma
New research reveals the enzyme responsible for the alluring scent of aged wine. As one might imagine, the enzyme is involved in the breakdown of molecules. The more time it's left to work, the more the aroma comes to life. Scientists have dubbed the enzyme CYP76F14. It hails from a family of enzymes called cytochrome P450. Its enzyme relatives perform similar chemical-breakdown work.

Exporting wine made easy
Exporting wine overseas can seem very complicated, but AWRI Commercial Services makes the process as easy as possible. The highly experienced customer service team can advise on the analytical requirements for different countries and work through the paperwork needed for each specific export destination.





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