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News posted on Thursday, 31 March 2016

Victoria’s wine industry ripe for growth
Victoria’s wine industry is set for further growth after the Government’s launch of a new funding scheme aimed at helping Victorian growers and winemakers. Wine Victoria together with Jaala Pulford, Minister for Agriculture, launched the new Victorian Government's Wine Growth Fund to further develop and sustainably grow the wine state’s wine industry.

Tell-all series gives insight into families behind Barossa’s leading wines
A new television series hosted by award-winning wine writer Tyson Stelzer will offer an unprecedented insight into what really goes on in the lives of grapegrowers and winemakers from the Barossa wine region. People of the Vines Barossa is a six episode observational documentary capturing the joys and the heartaches of a high-stress vintage.

Australian wine trade invited to Tasmania
Wine Tasmania has issued an invitation for Australian wine trade representatives to participate in a wine-focused visit to Tasmania in June 2016. Comprising a two day visit in late June, ten selected wine trade representatives will taste their way around the island, meeting wine producers and sampling their wines, as well as a food, cider or whisky producer or two, whilst soaking up the breathtaking scenery and lifestyle of the island.

Wolf Blass secures international baseball sponsorship
Wolf Blass was yesterday announced as the first ever official wine supplier of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball Organisation – a sport that welcomed more than 24 million attendees to live baseball matches throughout the 2015 season. Through this multi-platform partnership, Wolf Blass will showcase their extensive portfolio to the NPB’s broad and passionate base of baseball fans in Japan throughout the seasonal game series, award ceremonies and NPB fan events.

Laithwaite's Wine launching New Zealand home delivery service
Well known British merchant Laithwaite's Wine is bringing its doorstep wine delivery service to New Zealand. Wine drinkers will be able to order wine from around the world when Laithwaite's launches its New Zealand wine distribution business on Monday. Founded by Tony Laithwaite in 1969, Laithwaite's describes itself as the world's largest wine delivery merchant with more than a million customers.

Sustainable Vineyard of the year 2015: Kaimira Estate
For 2015 we introduced a new accolade to our arsenal, Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand (SWNZ) maintains and checks (through external audits) a hugely credible system to ensure that accredited vineyards follow a ‘best practice model of environmental practices in the vineyard and winery’, as well as assuring the consumer (and local stakeholders) that their concerns towards the environment are being addressed and environmental impact is minimised.

Auteur Wines owners share the secret to their success
Winemaker Kenneth Juhasz is the newly named board president of the Sonoma Valley Vintners and Growers Alliance – and he’s embracing his volunteer position with the same intensity and excitement he has for making the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir that earn raves and consistently score in the 90s. He and his wife, Laura, own Auteur Wines, and he has long been the consulting winemaker at Dunum Estate and several other wineries.

Warm weather awakens California vineyards
The vineyard terrain of California’s Central Coast is so expansive that a single story couldn’t contain it. Today’s update completes yesterday’s “Central Coast Vineyards Report on 2016,” which included reports from associations, growers and wineries in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Monterey counties. Not surprisingly, the Santa Cruz Mountains and Livermore Valley differ in vineyard growth and weather conditions from their southern counterparts.

Russian demand for low quality ‘wine drink’ surges amid crisis
The production of low-quality wine alternatives is booming in Russia, as citizens look for cheaper alternatives amidst the ongoing economic crisis, says Russian alcohol market experts. According to Russian law, a drink that contains anything apart from fermented grapes cannot be called wine. But there’s a budget alternative called the “wine drink,” which can include artificially added sugars, sweeteners, alcohol, colouring and flavouring.

China's largest winemaker targets Chile amid international push
Yantai Changyu Pioneer Wine Co. plans to buy vineyards in countries including Chile and Australia as China’s largest wine maker expands abroad. “As the next step in our international expansion, our priority now is Chile,” Sun Jian, Changyu’s deputy general manager, said in an interview in Madrid earlier this month through a translator. “Australia would come next.”

Margaret River winemakers embrace new grape varieties
While Margaret River is reputed for its Chardonnay and Cabernets, some new European varieties have emerged in the region - including one from the Balkans - that are further increasing the diversity of Australian cultivars. Amato Vino is one such Margaret River producer who is stepping away from the mainstream varieties and is the first in Australia to produce the ancient Balkans variety, Slankamenka Bela.

Fingers crossed for wine producers
Broadbrush comes to you this week from Margaret River, where drenching showers on Easter Saturday caused some concern among wine producers. It’s mostly Cabernet still on the vines after a successful vintage but, with the tail end of vintage 2016 just days away from completion, our wine producer mates tell us any threat to the vines from unwanted last-minute rains will probably not amount to much. Fingers crossed.

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