Big issue of the Wine & Viticulture Journal for SMEs

Small to medium wineries take centre stage for the September/October issue of the Wine & Viticulture Journal which has begun to arrive in letterboxes this week.

Highlighting our focus on SME wineries is our cover photo of Justin Lane, winemaker and proprietor of small McLaren Vale winery Alpha Box & Dice. The way Justin has set up his cellar door and gone about hand selling his wines epitomises what small operators need to do to ensure ongoing sales in a tough market.

Complementing our story on Alpha Box & Dice is an article by Trish Barry, of Mastermind Consulting, who offers some tips for small to medium winery operators for achieving maximum effectiveness from direct marketing campaigns; Rowena Curlewis, of specialist wine design consultancy The Collective, outlines some steps in creating a successful wine brand; Professor of Tourism from Adelaide’s Flinders University, Jane James, discusses interpretation, the professional word for storytelling, explaining that telling a great story can engage consumers and keep them coming back for more; while our journalist Matt Byrne tracks down three small wineries in different states of Australia offering something a little bit different at their cellar door.

In addition to the aforementioned marketing articles, SMEs also take the spotlight in our winemaking section, where editor Sonya Logan spoke with three wine producers in three different states to find out why they choose to outsource some of their operations, and their tips for their industry colleagues to ensure such arrangements are as hassle-free and positive as possible. We also highlight some new or innovative products of particular interest to small and medium winemaking operations from picking to packaging.

Bound to create a spot of controversy in this issue is our regular columnist Richard Smart, who suggests the Australian wine industry has a lot to learn from its counterpart across the Tasman, particularly in its exploitation of cool climate regions. Smart spent most of the ‘80s as a viticultural scientist with the New Zealand government and contends that Australia has failed to properly develop its cool climate viticulture resources, resulting in a loss of both domestic and export sales. He urges Australia to develop a significant proportion of its plantings in genuine cool climate regions with mean January temperatures of less than 19 degrees.

Also offering food for thought in this issue is fellow columnist Tony Keys who continues his look at the Australian wine industry’s response to the pressure being imposed by the anti-alcohol lobby.

The Australian Wine Research Institute provides an update on its work to develop advanced diagnostic strategies to more reliably identify grapes or wine at risk of developing smoke taint, while researchers from Nomacorc in France draw on recent trials they’ve carried out on the effects of pre- and post-bottling oxygen exposure in discussing key aspects of successful oxygen management strategies.

In viticulture, our annual spotlight on pest and disease management includes a report by researchers at the National Wine & Grape Industry Centre based at Charles Sturt University in which they reveal that a second fungus is involved in causing ripe rot in Australia; University of Melbourne researchers outline the presence of Phytoseiidae predatory mite – key predators of grapevine rust and bud mite – in previously unstudied wine regions of Australia; researchers from New Zealand describe their latest efforts to develop biologically-based products for controlling botrytis; journalist Mark Smith talks with Dr Andrew Landers, from Cornell University in the US, who leads an application technology program that develops engineering solutions for safe and more efficient vineyard and orchard spraying; while regular contributors Ursula Kennedy and Tony Hoare provide their thoughts on disease control for this season in light of the challenges of 2010-11.

Also featured in the September/October issue of the Journal is Matt Byrne’s regional report on Queensland’s Granite Belt; our varietal report and tasting on Verdelho; the first of a regular contribution by Wine Intelligence for which chief operating officer Richard Halstead looks at consumer closure preferences with specific reference to the UK, US and Australia; while Greco is featured in our alternative varieties column.

If you’re not already a subscriber, visit: