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News posted on Friday, 31 July 2015

Clare vs Eden Valley Riesling – game on!
The Wine & Viticulture Journal is pitting Clare Valley Rieslings against their Eden Valley counterparts for its next blind tasting. This will be only the second tasting the Journal has held comparing wines from different regions following its 2011 taste-off of Grenache from Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale. Producers from these regions have until close of business next Tuesday (11 August) to contact editor Sonya Logan expressing their interest in submitting a wine to the tasting ([email protected]).

Jim Barry and the power of VETO
There’s a changing of the guard going on at Jim Barry Wines with two sons – Tom and Sam – taking the reins while current managing director Peter Barry is re-working his job description. “I’ll never retire,” Peter said. “I enjoy the winery my parents created, the wines and the vineyards – I can’t imagine living anywhere else other than the Clare Valley. “But there are also some rewards in taking a senior role – it’s a bit less hands on and you can take a bigger picture view,” Peter said.

Grapegrowers look to sell amid “vicious cycle”
A high proportion of grapegrowers are looking to sell long-held family vineyards, say industry insiders, amid continuing poor profitability for some South Australian operations. The Winemakers Federation 2015 vintage report shows that on average just one per cent of the crop from South Australia’s Riverland was sold at profit this year. The vast majority of the crush – 92 per cent – was sold below the average cost of production, four per cent broke even and three per cent turned a “low profit”.

Wine industry law firm says wine industry is at a crossroads
Wine industry law firm Finlaysons says many Australian wine grape growers and wine makers are considering their financial future, and are thinking about succession planning, expansion, finding an investor or putting up the for-sale sign. The company started a series of national workshops in Western Australia's Swan Valley wine grape growing region today and will conclude the WA-leg of the trip in Margaret River tomorrow.

Cask wine consumption dropping but Queenslanders still love goon
QUEENSLAND has been given the dubious title of being the nation’s biggest goon drinkers. Despite being considered the beverage of bogans and cash-strapped youths, it is pensioners who are buying the most cask wine. New research from Roy Morgan shows that of the 45 per cent of Australians who drink wine, almost 16 per cent love their goon. Queensland is above the national average with 18 per cent of wine drinkers opting for chateau d’cardboard.

Central Otago’s new twelve-day wine celebration
Labour Weekend will mark the opening of the first annual ‘Down to Earth’ celebration of wine in New Zealand’s Central Otago region, set to run from Saturday 24 October to Wednesday 4 November 2015. This inaugural hands-on Celebration will give wine enthusiasts the chance to be immersed in uniquely interactive experiences only on offer during these special twelve days; many of which guarantee one-on-one time with renowned winemakers.

Wine judges set to taste over 1,300 wines
Wine judges set to taste over 1,300 wines at one of NZ’s largest wine shows. Year-on-year growth in entries has seen the New World Wine Awards become one of New Zealand’s leading wine shows, with a record 1,332 entries this year. At this scale, the independent judging panel of 13 wine experts will be required to blind-taste up to 120 wines each per day over three days from 3-5 August.

Wine fraud: banned director jailed after million pound con
This sentence, handed out by a judge at London’s Old Bailey court this week, follows Constantinos’ conviction on 25 June on 10 counts that included running a fraudulent business, intent to defraud and acting as a company director while disqualified. His trial lasted three weeks and was brought by Tower Hamlets Trading Standards. An eight-year jail sentence is in the upper range of sentences given to wine investment fraudsters over the last decade. Constantinos compounded his fraudulent activities by running companies while banned as a director.

Enjoy Life By The Glass wins exclusive new contract
Single-serve wine brand Enjoy Life By The Glass (ELBTG) has been chosen as the exclusive wine provider by the 13,000-seater SSE Hydro venue in Glasgow. SSE Hydro is ELBTG's largest client to date. The brand has previously won the exclusive contract to provide wine at the Country to Country music festival at London's O2 in March this year. Enjoy Life By The Glass's current offer is based around its House range of French wines.

Hopes rise for 2015 Port wine harvest
Hot and dry weather means the 2015 wine harvest is set to begin early in the Douro, and possibly before the end of August. It is very early days – with not a single grape yet picked – but hopes are rising for a good quality crop. David Guimaraens, head winemaker for the Fladgate partnership, this week raised expectations when he compared the growing season to 2011 – a vintage described as outstanding by many critics.

Western Cape winery believes rooibos can revolutionise industry
A WESTERN Cape winery, which is aiming to revolutionise the winemaking industry by using rooibos in the production of wines, has released a white wine with no sulphites or other preservatives added. Audacia Wines in Stellenbosch last year released a red wine made using rooibos chips. The winery has replaced traditional imported oak wood derivatives including staves, chips and powders normally used in the winemaking process with indigenous rooibos wood to produce wine with no added sulphites, used to preserve wine, or preservatives.

What could the TPP mean for New Zealand?
The Trans-Pacific Partnership is the world's largest regional trade agreement, involving 12 nations and covering about 40 per cent of the global economy. New Zealand was one of original four member nations of a previous form of the agreement, called the TPSEP or Pacific 4, which then turned into the TPP after the United States decided to enter talks in 2008. Exports will include beef, dairy, grains, sugar, horticulture, seafood, wine, resources and energy, and manufactured other goods.

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