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News posted on Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Nigel Westblade joins Peter Lehmann as chief winemaker
Casella Family Brands is delighted to announce the appointment of Nigel Westblade as Chief Winemaker for Peter Lehmann Wines. Commencing in mid February 2017, Nigel will assume responsibility for all aspects of wine production across the Peter Lehmann portfolio, whilst being ably assisted by the Winemaking and Viticulture teams. Since graduating from the University of Adelaide with a Graduate Diploma in Oenology, Nigel has garnered exceptional winemaking experience. His career began working for Cape Jaffa Wines in the Limestone Coast region of South Australia.

Adelaide hills' wineries receive state funding
Ten Adelaide Hills' wineries will receive up to $25,000 each as part of the State Government's new $1 million Cellar Door Grants Program. The Cellar Door Grants Program assists wineries to upgrade and diversify their cellar doors. This could include adding an exclusive tasting room, bed and breakfast facility or educational program. As a further boost in funding to the region, the Adelaide Hills Wine Region Association will receive $16,000 in funding under the Regional Wine Industry Association Grants Program.

McLaren vale expands presence on east coast
A long-standing fixture in the industry, McLaren Vale winery, Shottesbrooke Vineyards, is expanding its footprint in the eastern states by today confirming an exciting new partnership with leading family-owned wine distributor, The Wine Company (TWC). Founded over three decades ago, Shottesbrooke is a second-generation wine business boasting an extensive portfolio of wines produced from the premium wine growing regions of McLaren Vale and the Adelaide Hills, and has tirelessly focused its efforts on producing outstanding wines that are approachable, drinkable and regionally identifiable.

Passions come together
Arriving at Maygar’s Hill Winery and Vineyard in Longwood East, owner/operator and viticulturist Jenny Houghton is nowhere to be seen. After popping into the gorgeous brick cellar door, nestled among 2.43ha of cabernet and shiraz vines, there is still no sign of Ms Houghton. However, wandering up the gravel path toward the winery’s cottage that overlooks the property, Ms Houghton can be seen working vigorously in the garden, tearing out weeds and turning on sprinklers. A formidable woman, Ms Houghton works harder than most to run the boutique winery and bed and breakfast, even pruning her vines each season all on her own.

Pernod Ricard winemakers appoints new global agency
The appointment follows a competitive review with creative and strategic work covering a range of brands including JACOB’S CREEK. Digital work is also a key element of the remit covering JACOB’S CREEK and a number of other global wine brands. “We are pleased to appoint the team at AnalogFolk as global brand building partner for JACOB’S CREEK. Matt leads a strong team, and as much as we value their creative, strategic and digital capabilities, we also believe in the importance of a strong cultural fit with the Pernod Ricard business and our marketing team,” said Derek Oliver, Global Marketing Director, JACOB’S CREEK.

Pinot Noir descends on our nation’s capital
The vinous international spotlight will be on New Zealand’s capital this week with the Pinot Noir NZ 2017 celebration, described as the best Pinot Noir event on the planet. 600 of the most influential wine writers, industry experts and imbibers from twenty countries will congregate on the Wellington waterfront on Tuesday for three days packed full of inspirational speakers, tastings and an overall submergence in New Zealand’s most compelling red grape variety – Pinot Noir. Actor and winery owner Sam Neill will be there; "It’s wonderful to be back in Wellington for Pinot Noir NZ 2017 – a must for New Zealand’s wine industry and anyone involved in producing, selling or writing about Pinot Noir.”

US wine market looks promising for NZ
The United States is shaping up as an increasingly attractive market for wine exporters, barring any major adverse trading changes under President Donald Trump's Administration. Rabobank's latest wine quarterly report showed US wine imports continued to grow in 2016, rising 2% by value and 3% by volume. Italy remained the largest source of imports but growth was being driven by sparkling wines which were up 20% for the first eight months of the year compared to the previous corresponding period.

Wildfires devastate chilean Wine country
At least 10 people are dead and more than 100 vineyards are scorched as firefighters struggle to bring dozens of blazes under control. Wildfires have ravaged Chile's Central Valley for close to two weeks now, and at least 100 vineyards in the Maule and Colchagua regions have been damaged or destroyed in the blazes. President Michelle Bachelet declared a state of emergency Jan. 20, calling the fires some of the worst in the nation's history. As of yesterday afternoon, 53 blazes were still being fought nationwide, with 48 under control and two extinguished, according to CONAF, Chile's National Forest Corporation. Its staff estimates that over 676,000 acres of land have been impacted so far.

Paris to host ‘first ever’ cool-climate wine show
The winegrowers’ associations of the Loire, Burgundy, Alsace and Champagne will converge on Paris next month for ‘the first ever’ international trade show dedicated to promoting French cool-climate wines. VinoVision Paris will take place from 12-14 February at the Paris expo Porte de Versailles exhibition centre. Organised by Comexposium in conjunction with the Association des Vignobles Septentrionaut, the event will bring together nearly 400 exhibitors representing all cool-climate regions of France, including Alsace, Beaujolais, Burgundy, Champagne, Jura, Bugey, Lorraine, Savoy, and the Loire Valley.

Hidden wine cellars under the Brooklyn Bridge
A muted statue of the Virgin Mary received the revelers, a few hundred of New York City's fortunate elite, as they navigated the recesses of the dark, cool caverns underneath the Brooklyn Bridge on the Manhattan side. An orchestra struck up the first chords of the "Blue Danube." The ladies were careful not to lean against the slanted, peeling walls and the men minded their coattails. Amidst the stacks of wine crates stamped ANTHONY OECHS & CO., couples began to waltz. A bottle of fine champagne was passed around as a waiter produced a tray of crystal glasses. It was July 11, 1934, and as The Pittsburgh Gazette eagerly explained, "the dry era" was finally over.

Wine export in 2016 totaled to 3,500,000 US dollars
“Wine export in 2016 totaled to 3,500,000 US dollars” said Head of the Wine Exporters' and Producers' Association of Azerbaijan Elchin Madatov in address at a conference dedicated to the results of the third year of implementation of "The State Program on socio-economic development of the regions of the Republic of Azerbaijan for 2014-2018". He highlighted that plantings of grapes are being expanded in certain regions of the country, new processing enterprises are established and assortment of wine products increases in Azerbaijan.

Vintage biosecurity tip
#V17 tip #1: Review your links with interstate vineyards, wineries, contractors and suppliers. Are those businesses in a Phylloxera Infested Zone (PIZ) or Phylloxera Risk Zone (PRZ)? #Vinehealth Vinehealth Australia is providing weekly biosecurity tips to Daily Wine News readers throughout vintage. Look out for them every Tuesday. For more information about farm-gate hygiene and best practice biosecurity visit www.vinehealth.com.au.

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WID 2017