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News posted on Monday, 31 October 2016

ACCC promises further examination of winegrape sector
The wine industry has been put on notice by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission that further examination of contracting practices are required. This has been confirmed in a report issued by the ACCC, following a series of workshops and consultation sessions with viticulture and horticulture representatives over the past four months. The report Perspectives in Horticulture and Viticulture summarises the issues raised with the ACCC and provides the agency’s responses. Murray Valley Winegrowers (MVW) Executive Officer Mike Stone attended one of the workshops and hosted a meeting of two ACCC senior managers with winegrape growers in Mildura in August.


Storm brewing over safe drinking review
The Turnbull government has quietly begun a review of Australia's safe-drinking guidelines after the "low risk" level of alcohol intake was halved overnight amid accusations of nanny statism. The five-yearly review of the guidelines, running behind schedule, was kicked off by the government this month with the selection of a 14-member panel to scrutinise the guidelines for the National Health and Medical Research Council. There are rumblings the process is captive to anti-alcohol public health advocates who will ensure the review maintains or even stiffens the current standards.

Winners of the National Cool Climate Wine Show
The world-class judges of the National Cool Climate Wine Show have tasted well over 800 wines from 150 entrants all over Australia, and the results have been finalised just hours before the public tasting. This year exhibitors were rewarded with a total of 292 medals. That is a 36% strike rate with 35 Gold, 64 Silver and 193 Bronze medals awarded. Special mention to the excellent class of Sparkling Wines and the great results from the Central Ranges with many wines from Orange and Bathurst excelling. The Champion Wine of the Show was awarded to Josef Chromy Wines for their 2010 Pinot Chardonnay Sparkling.

Winners of the fourth annual China Awards
Wine professionals who excel in promoting fine Australian wine in China have been celebrated at a gala dinner and ceremony at Space by Three in Shanghai. Days after its latest Export Report confirmed that mainland China is now Australia’s number one export market by value, Wine Australia has announced 13 worthy winners at its 4th annual China Awards on Monday 24 October. Wine Australia Chief Executive Officer Andreas Clark was in Shanghai for the event and said, ‘The Wine Australia China Awards offer a fantastic opportunity for us to recognise and celebrate the people and businesses who are helping to promote fine Australian wine in China.

The art of wine at the ultimate cellar door experience
A LEADING Australian winemaker will soon open a cellar door that promises to thrill all the senses to improve the bottom line. For d’Arenberg Winery’s Chester Osborn, the five-storey AUD$14 million glass-encased steel and concrete structure inspired by Rubik’s Cube is the realisation of a 13-year dream. Osborn, 54, is the chief winemaker and futurist for the company his great grandfather Joseph Osborn founded 104 years ago but is equally well known for his love of art and his eclectic and eccentric collection of shirts.

British Airways first class to serve Hawke’s Bay Pinot Noir
The Sileni Estate Selection ‘Plateau’ Pinot Noir will be served to British Airways first class customers. The wine is now available in international first class cabins on routes across Asia and the Pacific. The selection is a further endorsement for Hawke’s Bay grown Pinot Noir, a region which, until now, has not received the same recognition as other Pinot Noir producing areas within New Zealand. “I don’t think that many people understand how much Pinot Noir is grown in Hawke’s Bay, or the quality of it. The varietal is our largest red wine export, appreciated in more than 80 markets around the world for its food-friendly style,” says CEO Nigel Avery.

Region’s wine has ‘runs on the board’
Wairarapa may only have one gold medal winner at this year’s Air New Zealand Wine Awards, but that is not a reflection of the quality of wine in the area. That’s the view of the competition’s main judge, Michael Brajkovich, who said it made sense that Wairarapa would be underrepresented. “It really depends on who enters and what they enter,” he said. “Some top producers from Wairarapa don’t enter, which can throw off the statistics.

Meiburg to host wine in China conference
For those looking to crack China’s wine import market, Debra Meiburg MW will host the Wine in China symposium at this year’s ProWine China. Hundreds of members of the international wine trade are set to descend on Shanghai for the upcoming Prowine China trade fair taking place from 7-9 November. In a bid for wine producers and winery representatives to better understand China’s often complex wine import market, Debra Meiburg MW will host a one-day symposium to discuss trends, share insights and make forecasts for China’s “high potential market”.

Changyu Pioneer accelerates wine imports into China
China’s biggest listed winemaker is preparing to ramp up imports from Spain, France and other European countries amid expectations that wine consumption in the world’s second-largest economy will continue to grow at a blistering pace. Changyu Pioneer, the listed wine and spirits group whose Chinese vineyards cover more acres than all of Burgundy, already owns two wineries in France and last year bought a bodega in Spain. It ships some 3m bottles a year from its Spanish property and 1m from France — but aims to increase annual imports from its European wineries to 20m bottles over the next three to five years.

Climate change driving up prices from wine regions
The weather in the summer of 2015 was unlike anything Chile's Aurelio Montes Jr. had experienced in nearly 30 years of winemaking. "We never get rain during summer, but last year we had some rains during summer...very extreme rains, tropical rains, that's not very common in Chile." said Montes, who has vineyards in Curico and Colchagua, Chile, producing Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc. Experts are predicting a drop in global production of wine because of climate change, which is forcing up prices, particularly of Old World wines. That has Canadian winemakers seeing an opportunity.

a $45million Ponzi scheme from rare vintages discounts
Buying wine from this guy was sure to give you a hangover. John Fox, revealed in August to be the 'Bernie Madoff of wine,' ran a $45million wine Ponzi scheme for 23 years. Fox, a dealer who headed up the California-based Premier Cru wine club, offered his members some of the most exclusive wines in the world at a 10 to 30 percent discount. Wealthy collectors eager to scoop up rare vintages at the cut prices would pay before the wine was even bottled, and then wait six months to two years for delivery. But Fox was not buying the wine for his latest customers - he was instead putting the money towards buying the orders of his earlier customers.

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