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News posted on Monday, 31 August 2015

Fine wine key to US market growth
A focus on premium wine and the story Australia has to tell are key to increasing North American market share, according to Wine Australia regional director Angela Slade. The United States was the top destination for bottled Australian wines by value at $369 million and for exports by volume at 108 million litres in the past 12 months.

Australian Vintage profits drop
Australian Vintage Limited has reported an 11 per cent drop in its annual profit to $9.4 million amid tough conditions for the industry globally. Revenue for the business increased 7.5 per cent on the previous year to $230.9m, which the company said “reflected higher branded sales despite anticipated lower bulk and processing sales”.

Family winemakers buy Barossa Valley landmark
Renowned winemakers the Calabria family have snapped up the picturesque Magnolia Vale wine property in the heart of the Barossa Valley for about $1.9 million. The 12-hectare property on the corner of Magnolia and Light Pass Roads in Tanunda has 10 hectares of vines producing grapes for Treasury Wine Estates. It is also renowned for its 1800s bluestone cellar door and restaurant leased to Artisans of Barossa, run by seven local wine producers.

The Australian Vinegar story: Australia’s first dedicated vinegar-making facility
LiraH, Australia’s leading premium vinegar producer, started with some oak barrels on a farm at Ballandean only 10 years ago. In 2003, Ian Henderson and his wife Robyn launched Australia’s first dedicated vinegar-making facility in Queensland’s premier wine-growing region, the Granite Belt.

Coonawarra’s Raidis Estate powering up innovative visitors
Leading the charge to support innovation, Raidis Estate has recently installed South Australia’s first Tesla recharge station at their Coonawarra Cellar Door, enabling Tesla owners to visit the Limestone Coast wine region with ease for the first time. The idea was sparked by Melbourne-based Tesla owner Keith Wein who visited Emma and Steven Raidis at their Cellar Door while waiting 24 hours for his battery operated vehicle to recharge.

Council consultant to scope science research
The Marlborough District Council is to pay a consultant $20,000 to scope out an idea for a research institute in Marlborough. In the 2015 budget, ministers Steven Joyce and Nathan Guy announced $25 million over three years to support new privately-led regional research institutes. The Government wants institutes to focus on scientific research relevant to a region, with an emphasis on research into new technologies, new firms, products and services.

Dry River wines of Martinborough a well-kept secret for too long
Neil McCallum is a pioneer of New Zealand pinot and the Wairarapa wine region, otherwise known as Martinborough. A former research scientist with a PhD in organic chemistry from Oxford University, McCallum and wife Dawn planted the region’s first 100 vines in 1979. They named their vineyard Dry River after a 19th century sheep station in the region, which itself was probably named due to the area’s dry, gravely and free-draining soil.

Why should you get to know Georgian wines? Because they’re exciting.
We tend to think of the classic vinifera wine grape varieties as European, meaning French, Italian and Spanish. But vinifera’s origin lies to the east, in the Caucasus region: where Europe and Asia intersect, where ancient trade routes crisscrossed the mountains between the Black Sea and Persia, and near where the Bible says Noah planted a vineyard after the ark settled on Mount Ararat. This is where the oldest archaeological evidence of wine production, vinifera seeds in clay vessels, was found.

A toast to Southeast Asia's wine underdogs
At first glance, it was like any run-of-the-mill vineyard — manicured rows of grapevines winding through the countryside and the faint scent of fruit wafting in the air. But here in the rural heartland of Thailand, things are done differently. The Tha Chin River trickles through tropical soil, cutting wide canals filled with long-tailed boats across the 10,000-acre plot. Sun-drenched grapes hang high on bamboo stilts as straw-hatted farmers tend to plump, green beauties.

Natural wine is a natural fit in Tokyo
The natural wine movement is spreading. Everywhere I look in Tokyo, neighbourhood wine bars and small bistros are introducing all-natural wine lists. I’m starting to wonder, why does natural wine fit so organically into the city? Japanese consumers were early adopters of natural wine, developing a taste for it in the early 1990s — even before it was a trend in France.

Researchers develop a method to sniff out counterfeit wine without opening the bottle
How do you know if a wine is authentic without opening the bottle? A team of researchers at U.C. Irvine believes they have developed a valuable new tool in the battle against counterfeit wines — a test that authenticates wine by extracting wine vapour molecules from the cork while it's still in the bottle.

VinPilot® DryFog humidification reduces wine loss
Wine ageing in barrels for three years can lose up to 14% of its volume when stored at 60% relative humidity. The VinPilot DryFog system increases the RH and is able to maintain it at higher levels up to 85%, which results in reduced losses by 80%. The DryFog system creates and controls high humidity conditions without wetting resulting in wine evaporation being reduced, saving on major 'topping' and 'angel share' costs.





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