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News posted on Friday, 30 October 2015

Pernod Ricard brings wine to life with living house
What started out as a one line brief to bring the story of Stoneleigh wines to life, turned into one of Sydney's oldest homes becoming a living breathing part of nature. Pernod Ricard's Stoneleigh brand, in partnership with IPG's Society and production agency, The Feds, has created a house in Miller's Point in Sydney that is completely alive. Designed to truly bring wine tasting to life, each of the rooms in the house represents a different wine in the brand's newly released Wild Valley range.

Riverland hosts water worries meeting
The Riverland’s irrigators have been among the world’s best for 60 years at least. As a collective group they have been focused on water use efficiency since the 1960s when the cap on Murray River extractions was first legislated. They have consistently been at the forefront of new water delivery infrastructure and irrigation technology. They have taken responsibility for salinity management with salinity zoning and salt interception schemes.

Treasury signs new partnership agreement with Victoria Racing Club
Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) announced today that it has signed a new five-year agreement with the Victoria Racing Club (VRC), signifying the longest commercial partnership in the history of Australia’s premier racing club. The agreement extends the relationship between the two organisations to 43 years, with TWE retaining its rights as Official Wine Partner of the VRC and the Melbourne Cup Carnival. Angus McPherson, TWE’s Managing Director for Australia & New Zealand, said the partnership provides TWE with the perfect platform to engage consumers.

Art + wine
In partnership with Hunter Valley winery Bimbadgen, the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) has announced the release of both a red and white that will form the Bimbadgen MCA Wine Series XV - a 2014 Tempranillo from the Central Ranges Region in NSW and a 2015 Riesling from Orange. This latest series release marks the fifteenth year in a row that Bimbadgen has partnered with the MCA to combine art and wine in uniquely labelled bottles, creating two limited-edition blends with labels by Australian artists from the MCA Collection.

Bayer Young Viticulturist on the road to success
Caleb Dennis, Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year 2015, was handed the keys to his prize from Hyundai last week and now has full use of a Santa Fe for a whole year. This was part of his prize package for winning the tough National Final in Hawke’s Bay at the end of August. “We are extremely grateful to Hyundai for their support and sponsorship,” says Nicky Grandorge, Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year national co-ordinator.

The best sparkling wine picks
Is New Zealand the best sparkling wine producer in the "New World"? Based on Cuisine's tastings of sparkling wines over the years it may well be so. We've seen a steady rate of improvement and it hasn't been limited only to high-priced products. In the latest tasting, all the five and four-and-a-half star wines were from NZ, and so were 12 out of 19 four star wines – many of which were also Best Buys.

Global wine production up 2% in 2015
Global wine production is estimated to have increased by 2% in 2015, according to a report by the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV), with Italy once again named the world’s biggest producer having increased its volumes by 10%. Initial estimates presented by the OIV at a press conference this week predict total wine production in 2015 to have reached 275.7 million hectolitres. Italy saw the biggest rise producing 48.9 million hectolitres, up 10% on 2014. Italy was followed by France which produced 47.4 million hectolitres, a rise of just 1% compared with 2014.

Tesco drops 300 wines from range and eliminates half price deals
Tesco finally unveiled the full extent of their new range and pricing policy at their autumn press tasting in London Tuesday. The stated focus of the retailer is to make the shopping experience ‘simpler, easier and better’. As part of this exercise the range has been reduced from over 950 lines to 650. However, it’s the company’s pricing and promotional strategy for wine, which has seen the biggest impact of radical change.

A game changer for Burgundy winemaking?
Two Burgundy winemakers, Dominique Lafon and Pierre Merguey, have launched what is believed to be the first custom crush-style winery in the Côte d’Or. In what is a potentially significant move for Burgundy winemaking, their plan has been to follow the traditional California model where winemakers source their own fruit and then pool resources for equipment.

Italian growers turn to cooler areas, native grapes
Do you know the grape balbiani? Ever read about a grape named sezannensis, or one calledoiriki? Even if you’re an “expert” wine lover, curious to learn about everything in the wine world, it’s likely that you’ve never heard these names. Don’t worry if you don’t know about them. They were “ancestral grapes” that didn’t survive a glacial era more than 60 million years ago. Will modern grapes like cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay become extinct because of climate change in the future?

Margin squeezing and price pressure drives winemakers away from supplying big supermarkets
As the Winemakers Federation of Australia takes aim at harsh pricing strategies from the big supermarkets, one winemaker has told ABC Rural supplying the big liquor chains brings more risk than reward. WFA chief executive Paul Evans lamented to a rural media luncheon in Adelaide recently that it was no wonder public health advocates were taking aim at the industry when wine was cheaper than bottled water.

China’s fine wine industry draws new drinkers
For many mainland Chinese, knowledge about wine began with a line in 1989’s hit Hong Kong comedy God of Gamblers – “Uncork me a bottle of 1982 Chateau Lafite!” Fine vintage has since then been considered a symbol of wealth and status, drawing rich business people and powerful officials to taste and collect. After a few years of decline because of Beijing’s corruption crackdown and austerity drive, China’s wine market is now slowly recovering, with the young generation and the elderly becoming a new driving force for growth, industry insiders say.

Global wine production up 2% in 2015
Global wine production is estimated to have increased by 2% in 2015, according to a report by the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV), with Italy once again named the world’s biggest producer having increased its volumes by 10%. Initial estimates presented by the OIV at a press conference this week predict total wine production in 2015 to have reached 275.7 million hectolitres. Italy saw the biggest rise producing 48.9 million hectolitres, up 10% on 2014. Italy was followed by France which produced 47.4 million hectolitres, a rise of just 1% compared with 2014.

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