Daily Wine News
A snapshot of wine business, research and marketing content gleaned from local and international wine media sources. Emailed Monday to Friday excluding public holidays. Click here to subscribe, for advertising inquiries, click to download our media kit.

Announcements and Suppliers

24/04/2015: 50% Tickets Sold Already. 2015 AuTT Conference Promises Insights On Sales and Distribution.
Learn from some of the most influential professionals in the beverage industry at the Australia Trade Tasting educational conference on 1st September, 2015 and 2nd September. These presentations from industry leaders on today's leading ideas on marketing, sales and distribution will challenge and inspire you to grow your beverage company.

24/04/2015: Winemaker - Technical Sales
A rewarding sales role has become available for a winemaker with at least 2-4 years’ experience in winemaking, with the desire to join a sales organisation promoting yeast, yeast nutrient and related products to wineries. Sales experience will be an advantage. Our client, an established supplier, seeks an applicant with good winemaking skills and experience.

21/04/2015: Langhorne Creek Wine Show Luncheon
The Langhorne Creek Wine Show Luncheon is held on Friday May 1st in the Grand Marquee, overlooking the picturesque gum trees and vineyards at The Winehouse in Langhorne Creek. This ticketed event has established itself as the region’s premier event, attended by winemakers, industry members, wine enthusiasts, invited media and sponsors. Joining previous judges, wine writer Nick Ryan and Iain Riggs of Brokenwood, will be Margot Muir, manager of Edinburgh Cellars and judge for the last 3 years at the Royal Adelaide Wine Show.

14/04/2015: Hitting the "Sweet Spot" with Memstar
Alcohol has a profound effect on a taster's perception of a given wine's quality and style. There are certain alcohol concentrations where the wine seems to stand out, displaying enhanced fruit expression on the nose and palate and improved mouth-feel. When winemakers do a sweet spot tasting on a wine, they find that even small reductions in alcohol can make the difference between a good wine and a great.

Australian Wine Industry News

24/04/2015: How to keep vineyards productive in the long term
The twin demands of keeping vineyards healthy while striving for greater productivity will drive the agenda at the ASVO’s technical seminar in Mildura in July. National and international experts will address topics as diverse as salinity management, trunk disease, viruses, disease resistant cultivars, drought resilience and the necessary responses to climate change. “We’ll be looking at specific issues around the biotic and abiotic threats to productivity as well as debating broader questions about how to adapt to keep vineyards viable,” said organiser Brett McClen.

24/04/2015: The freedom of Australian vineyards leaves tasters spoilt for choice
The thirsty country certainly makes a lot of drink: Australia produces well over a billion litres of wine a year, which isn’t bad for a continent largely covered by ground so parched that no vine stands a chance. Until recently, Australian wine was perceived as cheap, plentiful and about as subtle as a wallaby in your bathroom – which was never wholly true but worked well until the rest of the New World started carving up the market.

24/04/2015: Casella showcases Peter Lehmann integration
Casella Family Brands has successfully demonstrated a two-tier approach to selling its wines following the recent acquisition of the Peter Lehmann business. At the recent ProWein exhibition in Dusseldorf, two separate stands were used to showcase the new Casella premium portfolio as well as a range of wines from the recently-acquired Peter Lehmann Wines. The highlights of the new Casella premium range which were available for tasting to European buyers for the first time included the Casella Limited Release.

24/04/2015: Vineyard remembers Victoria Cross hero
WHEN Jenny Houghton acquired an eight-hectare property at Longwood East, Victoria, in 1994, she wanted to find out more about the Victorian Cross (VC) recipient Leslie Cecil Maygar after whom the hill at the side of the vineyard was named. Some 20 years later she continues to marvel at the acts of valour, gallantry and courage that saw him distinguished in both the Boer War and World War I. She has spent time trawling digital archives (including Maygar's hand-written letters, biographies and other books) and speaking to people in the region whose families have passed down stories of his deeds.

24/04/2015: Adelaide Hills Shiraz conquers USA
Sidewood’s Mappinga Reserve Shiraz 2012 from the Adelaide Hills won a double gold and has been named best red wine at the 2015 Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America competition held in Florida last week. Owen Inglis, Sidewood vigneron, said the international exposure from the trophy was invaluable. “We are thrilled to have picked up this impressive American Trophy,” he said.

23/04/2015: Place of origin works in favour of Australian wines
It's not just the beer, the crocodile hunters and the Great Barrier Reef that bring smiles to the faces of foreigners. This past week the University of Adelaide's Wine Business department released the results of a worldwide research project which says overseas consumers like the Aussie quaffers. The results were published in Australia's Food Magazine and in a press release from the university. “Our international customers and consumers believe that our wine and our winemakers are authentic and exciting,” said Dr Roberta Crouch, lead researcher on the project.

23/04/2015: Rutherglen winemakers finish wine grape harvest before big wet
Winemakers in one of Australia's premier wine regions have finished this season's grape harvest early. The Rutherglen region, which is famous for producing some of the world's best Muscat and Topaque, has battled a number of natural disasters including frosts and flooding rains in the last decade. This season growers avoided disaster and were ready to make great wine. For Colin Campbell, senior winemaker and director of Campbells Wines, the tough years have been infuriating.

23/04/2015: Newspapers chasing liquor industry dollars
Australia’s four largest newspaper publishers have come together to launch a campaign named "Influential by Nature". The campaign is the largest marketing initiative ever undertaken by The Newspaper Works – the industry body that represents APN News & Media, Fairfax Media, News Corp Australia and West Australian Newspapers (Seven West Media) – and aims to convey the influence of newspapers in consumer alcohol spend.

23/04/2015: WineVine.tv launches new global digital video
SYDNEY: WineVine.tv announces the launch of its digital TV channel dedicated to all things wine. www.winevine.tv offers the global wine community a place to view, discover and enjoy a full-bodied blend of knowledge, information and entertainment, delivered by a collection of expert hosts. The channel will include every aspect of wine enjoyment, delivering expert opinion and commentary to consumers on all wine matters ranging from varietals to vintages, grape growth to winemaking, and retail to consumption.

23/04/2015: Wine Australia launch Market Program Guide for user-pays activities
Wine Australia has launched its updated Market Program Guide outlining upcoming user-pays activities available to wine brands, exporters, importers, regions and states to promote Australian wine both domestically and in key export markets. The guide currently includes 53 user-pays opportunities in 16 markets ranging from trade-focused events, consumer events, retail promotions, tastings and masterclasses, educational initiatives and advertorial opportunities to sommelier and trade immersion activities, that all aim to promote the diversity, quality and regionality of Australian wine.

22/04/2015: Spotlight on wine industry in Margaret River
THE Margaret River wine region will be put under the spotlight as part of a senate inquiry into the Australian wine sector. The inquiry will examine the costing and potential rebate for Australian wine. WA senator Dean Smith co-sponsored the motion after seeing the demand for WA wine to be exported to China. The focus of the inquiry will be on the impact of free trade agreements, the Wine Equalisation Tax rebate and production costs.

22/04/2015: High prices at Barossa wine auction
A LIVE auction which offered some of Australia’s oldest and rarest wine has seen spirits soar and records broken. Supported by Langton’s, the Barossa Wine Chapters Auction opened online for bidding in early April before wrapping up with a live auction and lunch on Friday 17 April in the Barossa. More than 410 attendees were given the unique opportunity to buy large formats of wine, rare experiences and exclusive back vintage releases with perfect provenance direct from wineries.

22/04/2015: Hunter Valley overtakes Marlborough as leading region on NSW wine lists
The Hunter Valley has taken over from New Zealand’s Marlborough as the number one wine region represented on New South Wales wine lists with 7.8 per cent of all listings, up 21 per cent on last year. The findings were revealed in the latest Wine Business Solutions Wine On-Premise Report 2015 which reviews wine lists from all over Australia. Listings from NSW Wines were up six per cent on last year, being the only state to show growth.

22/04/2015: Wine in spotlight at Australian culinary exhibition
The Australian Embassy introduced on Tuesday its premium food and beverage products to Indonesia through the Australian Culinary Trails which will be held for the second time this year from April 21 to 26 at the Grand Indonesia Mall in Central Jakarta. "We see great potential to increase our engagement in the food sector and hope these events will open up the opportunities for the industry of both in Australia and Indonesia," Australian Ambassador to Indonesia Paul Grigson said.

22/04/2015: Mornington Peninsula's wine tourism goes to new level with Crittenden's cellar door launch
The Crittenden winemaking family has been coming up with surprises since they got into the game, and now they’ve got another, writes Marguerite Winter. The dam that Garry Crittenden created in 1981 is now a serene lake in a landscaped setting. The spacious decks of three boat house-style guest villas lap its edges and, across the lawn and skirting a vineyard, is Stillwater restaurant, a Mornington Peninsula landmark, and perfect for a spot of lunch after a tasting at the nearby cellar door.

21/04/2015: Fix My Tax campaign launched
A campaign to get Australians involved in the Federal Government's reforms to the tax system has been launched by the Distilled Spirits Industry Council of Australia (DSICA). The Henry Tax Review called for a more open, understandable and responsive tax system, but the DSICA has said that the current system is anything but, saying, "there are over sixteen different tax rates across two tax systems, depending on the type of drink, the size of the container and how much alcohol is in it."

21/04/2015: Australians wrestle with water supply, climate change
On the heels of a study by Macquarie University's accounting and sustainability expert professor Roger Burritt, Australia's winemakers are wondering what they can do to conserve water in the midst of predictions about a dry future. According to a story on Australian eco website Sustainability Matters, there's a difference of opinion about the solutions. “There is clear gap between the wine industry's perception of the importance of water efficiency and wastewater production issues, and what the actual statistics reveal,” the article said.

21/04/2015: Australian wine production faces difficult conditions
Difficult trading conditions have plagued the Wine Production industry over the past five years. Volatile demand from key export markets, a soaring Australian dollar for much of the period and rising competition from low-cost overseas wine producers have all hurt wine exports, according to IBISWorld’s updated report on the Wine Production in Australia. In the domestic market, producers have been forced to contend with changing consumer preferences and have lost bargaining power to retailers.

21/04/2015: Wine industry comedy more than a good drop in the tourism ocean
SOUTH Australia and its iconic wine regions star in the second season of satirical comedy Plonk, heralding a new frontier of tourism. The web series Plonk takes an off-kilter look at the South Australia wine industry that is “part comedy narrative, part documentary”. The mockumentary follows the many misadventures of a film crew who are making a wine show – but the true star is the burgeoning wine and hospitality industry of Australia’s south.

21/04/2015: Japanese consumers turning to New World wine, says report
Japanese wine drinkers are increasingly open to trying new styles and countries as the country’s wine market ‘comes of age’, according to a new report. Chile has been a major beneficiary of this maturing trend in Japan, with the country’s wines more than tripling their share of the market over the past seven years and overtaking France late in 2014, says Rabobank in its latest wine quarterly report. Australian winemakers are also seeking a greater presence in Japan.

20/04/2015: Bond joins Grant Burge Wines
Accolade Wines has appointed experienced wine industry executive, Jeff Bond, as Grant Burge Wines general manager. Michael East, Accolade Wines general manager Asia Pacific, said Bond’s recent experience as CEO at Peter Lehmann Wines, coupled with his marketing experience and understanding of the global drinks industry through time with Maxxium, made him the ideal person to lead Grant Burge Wines. “Jeff’s experience and his engagement with the Barossa will really help ensure the brand stays true to its origins and to Grant and Helen Burge’s ambitions for the business,” East said.

20/04/2015: Cask wine under fire as government ponders tax hike
The price of cask wine could double within 18 months, with major drinks companies and health experts lobbying the Abbott government to revamp a tax system that unduly favours bulk wine sales. The federal government is considering changes to rebates for the wine equalisation tax in the May budget, which could signal the first moves towards a broader volumetric tax on alcohol sales in Australia.

20/04/2015: Australian wine builds a positive reputation
Early results released from a University of Adelaide-led research project have revealed overseas wine trade and consumers hold very positive feelings about Australians and Australian wine. When trade and consumer focus groups in the United States, United Kingdom, China, Korea, Indonesia, Vietnam and India were asked what they think about Australians and Australian wine they responded with descriptions of ‘authentic’, ‘exciting’, ‘sincere’, ‘strong’ and ‘reliable’.

20/04/2015: Treasury Wine Estates stock recovering strongly
Treasury Wine Estates stock price hit a 52-week high this week peaking at AUD$5.89 per share before retreating and closing at $5.89. The stock’s one year return is up 57.66%. It is good news for the wine company as it was less than a year ago when it was fending for a possible takeover from capital private equity firm KKR and Rhone Capital. The company made two different bids last year, which TWE rejected.

20/04/2015: Three new Barossa Barons
Peter Gago, Penfolds chief winemaker, Tyson Stelzer, wine journalist, and Grant Dickson, co-owner of fermentAsian restaurant and formerly the wholesale manager for Rockford Wines, have been inducted into the Barons of Barossa. The announcement was made at The Barossa Grand Cellar Dinner at Chateau Tanunda on Thursday night, April 16, and Stephen Henschke, Grand Master of the Barons of Barossa said that three men were well deserving of the recognition.

17/04/2015: Barossa chef and winemaker to represent Australia at US food festival
The festival celebrates food, wine, beer and spirits from local producers, as well as inviting guest chefs and wine makers from six continents to participate. Over the May weekend, Australia will be represented by chef Owen Andrews, and winemaker Warren Randall, both from the Barossa Valley in South Australia. Owen Andrews said it's a great opportunity to increase his own skills and to show how strong Australia's food culture has become.

17/04/2015: Let’s drink more Australian wine, says US magazine
ATLANTA, US: Those people you see in the Yellowtail commercials on TV—they look like they’re having so much fun, don’t they? As far as I know, Yellowtail is the only commercial for wine on network television. They’ve certainly got the money for it: In 2005 they sold 7.5 million cases of wine globally and sold more wine to the US than all of the French producers combined. But popularity has its price, and many consumers have come to view all Australian wine as some type of cheap party fuel. Australian labelling hasn’t exactly helped.

17/04/2015: Thousands flock to the Barossa for the Barossa Vintage Festival
Lovers of world-renowned wine and food are bring spoilt for choice at the 2015 Barossa Vintage Festival. With half of the ticketed events already sold out, the Barossa Vintage Festival is expected to attract more than 55,000 people with 10,000 people travelling from interstate and overseas. Tourism Minister Leon Bignell said the visitors would inject thousands of dollars into the local economy. “It’s a highly-anticipated festival and the focus is on the very best the region is famous for –local, fresh produce and Australia’s premium wines,” Bignell said.

17/04/2015: Report on wine production in Australia updated
Volatile demand from key export markets, a soaring Australian dollar for much of the period and rising competition from low-cost overseas wine producers have all hurt wine exports. For this reason, industry research firm IBISWorld has updated its report on the Wine Production industry in Australia. Difficult trading conditions have plagued the Wine Production industry over the past five years. Volatile demand from key export markets, a soaring Australian dollar for much of the period and rising competition from low-cost overseas wine producers have all hurt wine exports.

17/04/2015: Treasury Wine refinances debt
Treasury Wine Estates has refinanced its $300 million syndicated debt facility, splitting the loan into two tranches. The winemaker's debt facility was due to mature in April 2016. However, it has successfully renegotiated the terms of the facility, splitting it into two $150m tranches, which will mature in April 2018 and April 2020 respectively. Treasury Wine's chief financial officer Tony Reeves said the refinancing was consistent with the group's strategy of maintaining future financial flexibility through diverse funding sources.

16/04/2015: Water and Australia's wine industry
With over 2500 wine producers in Australia, the wine industry has a significant role to play in our economy. Being particularly vulnerable to water shortages, it is crucial for the wine industry to realise the importance of implementing long-term water management strategies. Research into the long-term implications associated with water management on Australian wine supply chains has been recently completed by Accounting and Sustainability Expert at Macquarie University, Professor Roger Burritt.

16/04/2015: Yalumba puts on show for WA wine lovers
Yalumba presented the North Cottesloe Food and Wine Expo in Perth on Sunday, showcasing a selection of the Barossa winery’s current release leading wines, as well as labels from Western Australia, France, Spain, Italy and Victoria. The 2012 Yalumba The Signature Cabernet Sauvignon and 2009 Yalumba Steeple Vineyard Shiraz were among two of the most popular wines on the day, alongside the 2013 Vasse Felix Heytesbury Chardonnay.

16/04/2015: T’Gallant restaurant, winery for sale
THE popular T’Gallant restaurant in Main Ridge is for sale as part of owner Treasury Wine Estates’ cost-cutting plan. Up for grabs is the restaurant and the T’Gallant’s winery interests. About eight hectares of grapes are grown at the 16-hectare Mornington-Flinders Rd property but wine is no longer made there. Grapes from all over southeastern Australia are marketed under the T’Gallant label. The vineyard–restaurant has had a chequered career over the past decade or so, having been fined for permit breaches when owned by Foster’s Brewing Group.

16/04/2015: QLD winemaker wins dux
The Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) have named Jessica Ferguson, Sirromet Wines assistant winemaker, as dux of the 35th Advanced Wine Assessment Course. Having topped the class in statistical scores, verbal skills and group interaction, Ferguson has been offered a place as an associate judge for the 2015 Royal Queensland Wine Show (RQWS), to be held in June – a highly sought after position due to the very limited places available.

16/04/2015: A sweet lament: The riesling backlash begins
Sommeliers keep pushing sweet Riesling but it is varietal suicide, Jason Wilson claims. This will be the first June in seven years that we won't be besieged by the relentless Summer of Riesling campaign. No more fake "RIESLING" tattoos; no more mediocre bars offering three cheap, off-dry Kabinett wines on the happy-hour menu to entice wannabe hipsters. No more evangelical somms scolding us to drink Rieslings that no wine lover in Germany or Austria would fancy.

15/04/2015: Meet the misfits of the Australian wine industry
There’s no longer any debate about it: South Australian wines are among the best in the world. From regions like the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale to the little natural winemakers’ utopia that is Basket Range), the variety and flavours of SA wine simply can’t be beat. That said – as great as it is – wine has always been somewhat of the mysterious older sibling of the alcohol world. Luckily, there are a heap of younger, energetic South Australian winemakers whose focus is on producing wines that are delicious, drinkable – and, above all else, accessible.

15/04/2015: Why is the phrase ‘Life, drink it in’ too subversive for Aussies to handle?
In this opinion piece Mitchell Taylor argues the ban on the latest ad campaign from his winery is “political correctness and the nanny state gone too far”. ‘Life, Drink it in’. It seems a pretty good tagline for life, a nice message to get up and out and drink from life’s cup (responsibly of course). But I’m afraid this seemingly innocuous tagline, accompanying some beautiful imagery shot by one of the nation’s finest photographers, is simply too shocking, too provocative, too dangerous for your eyes.

15/04/2015: 2015 harvest brings chance for ‘memorable’ wine
PERFECT climatic conditions have resulted in one of the best ever grape harvests in the King Valley according to local growers and winemakers. Warm days, and mild and cool nights have produced some “amazing fruit” according to Christian Dal Zotto, vice-president of Wines of the King Valley. “It’s the best we’ve had for a while, the winemakers are very excited about the quality of the fruit and the potential to make some memorable wine,” he said.

15/04/2015: Right all along about no looming gas crisis: anti-CSG group
A Hunter Valley anti coal seam gas (CSG) group says revelations New South Wales is not facing a looming gas crisis has proved its stand against the industry's claims were right all along. The Australian Energy Market Operator has revised its earlier prediction now stating there is no short, medium or long-term shortages expected for New South Wales. It comes just days after AGL secured Bass Strait gas supplies from Esso and BHP Billiton until 2020.

15/04/2015: How To Drink Properly wins second international marketing award
DrinkWise and its agency Clemenger BBDO have claimed their second international accolade for the ‘How To Drink Properly’ social marketing program, claiming a silver award in the youth marketing category at the APAC Effie Awards 2015 in Singapore on Friday. After being awarded silver at the 2014 Spikes Asia Awards in September, ‘How To Drink Properly’ was recognised at the APAC Effie Awards as one of the region’s most outstanding marketing communication campaigns.

14/04/2015: Pernod Ricard ups focus on Jacob's Creek for summer
Pernod Ricard is ramping up activity on Jacob’s Creek and launching new campaigns for Malibu and Cuban rum brand Havana Club. It is launching a second burst of its ATL ‘Made by Australia’ campaign for Jacob’s creek, to tie-in with its fifth year sponsoring Wimbledon, and supported by a new Wimbledon-inspired limited edition bottles and neck collar promotions. The investment is the second tranche of a multimillion dollar investment in the brand during 2015.

14/04/2015: Anti-Muslim whine about wine
Hate campaign, the new Temperance, a joke or a misguided attempt to turn wine into water? A campaign targeting halal certified products missed the mark completely when it tried it took on one of Australia's best known wine brands, Jacob's Creek. The anti-Muslim Facebook group, Boycott Halal in Australia, accused Jacob's Creek of trying to have its wine certificated as halal. The accusation came on the eve of Sunday's halal food expo at Fairfield - Australia's first - when police were called to break up fights between anti-Islam and anti-racism protestors.

14/04/2015: Scientists show ‘vineyard of the future’
Australian researchers have offered a glimpse of a future that could see viticulturists do much of their work remotely, thanks to three new pieces of technology. The first system put forward by the team from the University of Adelaide is an iPhone app that allows producers to measure canopy growth. The device is currently undergoing further tests by a “leading wine company” prior to its planned release via iTunes.

14/04/2015: Skills with the still
DISTILLATION is not a completely forgotten extension of a winemaker’s skill set. Undergraduate winemaking students still take part in theoretical and practical lessons in distillation and there are several wine industry links to an emerging local ‘craft’ spirits industry. Graham Jones, University of Adelaide adjunct associate professor, has guided many students through the process of distillation and says although it’s less common for graduates to put this part of their education into practice, this doesn’t dampen the enthusiasm.

14/04/2015: Australian wine impresses at the China Food and Drinks Fair
Some of Australia’s best wine regions have been displayed at the 92nd China Food and Drinks Fair, held in Chengdu on 26–28 March 2015. Wine Australia, in partnership with 13 exhibitors, showcased more than 100 fine wines from 40 brands and close to 20 wine regions to an estimated 100,000 festival attendees. Willa Yang, Wine Australia’s regional manager said Chengdu’s China Food and Drinks Fair was one of the most important trade events on the calendar. “We’ve had incredibly positive feedback from our exhibiting partners and visitors to our pavilion,” she said.

13/04/2015: Australian winemakers and Chinese importers work together to create a premium wine for the Asian palate
A Chinese company is working closely with Australian wineries to create a new premium wine range suited to the Chinese palate. Keith Leung and Keith Lu run K-Wine, an import company based in Hong Kong. Leung and Lu are working in partnership with wineries in Western Australia's Margaret River and the Barossa Valley in South Australia, to create wine under their own brand. K-Wine has created “CEO”, a wine created in Australia, with the businessmen working alongside wineries to develop a unique product.

13/04/2015: Pop-up wineries give cities a taste of the craft
Fun. This is the word that keeps spilling from the lips of every urban winemaker with whom I’ve spoken; the people who have spent the past few weeks crushing, fermenting and pressing grapes in inner-city locations across the country. In February, Margaret River winemaker Nic Peterkin took over a corner of the Mantle Restaurant in Fremantle and filled a collection of glass demijohns with verdelho and pinot noir juice he’d pressed with the help of the restaurant patrons.

13/04/2015: Tourism award winners announced in Adelaide
SOUTH Australia’s reputation for superb wines and beaches has again been recognised, with two of our leading tourism experiences crowned the best in the nation. Pindarie Cellar Door in the Barossa Valley was last night named Australia’s Best Tourism Winery for the second consecutive year. It is now one win away from entering the national Tourism Hall of Fame. The announcements were made at a gala dinner for 800 guests at the Adelaide Convention Centre to celebrate the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards.

13/04/2015: Workers flock to harvest
THE annual vintage brings lots of anxiety and hard labour to Hunter vineyards and wineries and also attracts a ‘‘foreign legion’’ of workers. As vignerons battled against the rain that threatened the 2015 harvest and restricted the use of mechanical harvesters, they relied on an all-nations army that included Australian regulars and hand-pickers from Germany, France, Denmark, Italy, England, Wales, Canada, New Zealand and the United States.

13/04/2015: Get behind Aussie Wine Month
Wine Australia is encouraging Australian sommeliers, venue managers and restaurateurs to support Aussie Wine Month in May. Venues can get behind the initiative, described as the country's biggest celebration of wine, by creating an all Australian wines-by-the-glass list throughout May. In a statement, Wine Australia said: "We're calling on sommeliers, venue managers and restaurateurs across Australia to get behind our local wines and winemakers.”

13/04/2015: Climate change focus in clonal trials
A major AGWA-funded project assessing clonal variability in Chardonnay and Shiraz aims to improve the wine industry’s understanding of how clones can contribute to wine style as well as their best possible location. Dr Michael McCarthy, principal scientist viticulture with the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI), said a lack of such knowledge is a major reason why industry uptake of different clones has been slow.

10/04/2015: Winemakers' Federation pushes for more marketing of Australian wine, instead of 25 cent levy
The Winemakers' Federation of Australia says a proposed 25 cent temporary levy to be added to all bottles of wine is a good discussion starter, but suggests better marketing overseas would bring more benefits. The levy is an idea put forward today by Senator Nick Xenophon who has sounded a dire warning about the health of Australia's wine and grape growing industry. According to a report released by the Winemakers' Federation of Australia, less than 15 per cent of Australia's wine grape growers made a profit last year.

10/04/2015: Henschke family wants Hill of Grace Shiraz to sell at higher price than Penfolds Grange
AUSTRALIA might witness a very unusual price war before long — a tussle to be the nation’s most expensive wine. The Barossa Valley’s Henschke family have decided they want their iconic Hill of Grace Shiraz, generally regarded as the second best Australian wine, to sell at a higher price point than Treasury Wine Estate’s Penfolds Grange, and thus become seen as Australia’s best. There’s not much doubt that it’s a two-way contest between these two 60-year-old reds. Grange currently sells for $785 while the 2009 Hill of Grace is listed at $595.

10/04/2015: Riverland Wine respond to “wine bailout” headline
RIVERLAND WINE: The dramatic headline on Thursday’s Advertiser, Wine Bailout was very misleading. The truth of it, is that the entire industry is being challenged and to imply it’s a Riverland issue is far from the reality. Riverland Wine has a long and a successful record of working with Senator Nick Xenophon to bring about major reforms that have improved conditions for winegrowers over many years. Xenophon lobbied hard on the behalf of Riverland Wine and provided excellent access to some of his Federal parliamentary colleagues to bring about the Exit Packages.

10/04/2015: SA wine history unfolds in film on Hamilton Family
'Wine Line – the Hamilton Story' is a dramatised documentary film that highlights the success of the Hamilton family’s wine ventures – and their impact on the Australian wine industry. The film takes viewers on a journey through the history, life and times of early South Australian settlers – the Hamilton Family – one of whom arrived on the first ship to reach the new colony in 1836. The family became founders of Hamilton’s Wines that eventually grew to become Leconfield - Home of Richard Hamilton Wines.

10/04/2015: A message from Big Bob McLean
The time seems right to release a statement to confirm that these rumours of my death are true. That dyin’ business was killin me anyway. Wilma, Adam and Sarah were with me through the last slide, which in the end was a bigger deal for them than it was for me, the wonders of modern medicine being what they are. Thanks to all the crew at the Angaston Hopital. You were great. The vet told me this was happening months ago when my liver wore out, so we’ve all had plenty of time to get used to it. It was a good 67 years.

9/04/2015: April 2015 Grapegrower & Winemaker magazine out now
The April 2015 issue of the Grapegrower & Winemaker magazine is out now – and is available online for all subscribers. The annual Top 20 countdown of Australian wine companies is featured this month in a special report written by freelance wine writer, Jeni Port. The April issue also looks at the latest in pruning; trellising and training as well as fertilisers and nutrition. We also feature an in-depth look at winemakers transitioning into the spirit industry, with several local distillery owners sharing their opinions.

9/04/2015: Growers struggle to survive with falling grape prices
After years of low prices and spiralling debts, some of Australia's oldest grape growers are giving up. They say the price setting of the wineries is sending them broke and things must change. Some of Australia's oldest grape growers are pulling up their vines and scaling back after years of low prices and spiralling debts. In South Australia's Riverland, growers say that the cards are stacked against them and they want help competing against the big wineries. But as Alex Mann reports, even their own association thinks it may be best to give up the fight.

9/04/2015: Quality grapes but few buyers in Coonawarra
As grape harvest nears its end in the Coonawarra region of South Australia, some growers are struggling to sell their fruit at a profit. The south east region is renowned for its Cabernet Sauvignon but Rob Mason, who manages a number of vineyards in Coonawarra and Wrattonbully, said even the popular grapes were difficult to move. Mason aims to secure fixed price contracts with wineries, but where that was not possible he was forced to accept any offer on the table.

9/04/2015: Wirra Wirra buys Adelaide Hills star
McLaren Vale producer Wirra Wirra has stepped up its interest in the Adelaide Hills by acquiring highly regarded Pinot Noir producer Ashton Hills. Covering just three hectares of vineyard 570 metres up in the Piccadilly Valley, Ashton Hills was founded in 1982 by Stephen George, whose other interests include several decades as consulting winemaker for big name Clare Valley estate Wendouree.

9/04/2015: Senator Nick Xenophon proposes 5c a bottle levy to support SA’s struggling grapegrowers
AUSTRALIAN wine drinkers would pay up to 25 cents extra a bottle to help struggling grape growers and get the wine industry back on track, under a radical proposal by independent Senator Nick Xenophon. A temporary consumer levy would raise at least $100 million to help wine-grape growers who are failing to break even. The wine industry is suffering from a longstanding oversupply of grapes and a lack of funding to take on international competitors in key overseas markets.

8/04/2015: Brokers sour on Treasury Wine Estate outlook
Treasury Wine Estate's announcement last week that it had made significant changes to its supply-chain network in the US and Australia and further opportunities had been identified to help in cutting overhead costs has failed to rejuvenate confidence, judging by analyst's commentary. Both Citi and Deutsche Bank have sell recommendations on the stock with the former setting its 12-month price target at $4.90. Deutsche Bank is particularly bearish on the company with its price target of $4.00, some 25 per cent shy of the company's current trading range.

8/04/2015: Winemaker lads set up shop with a crowd of support in Preston
Thornbury’s Cam Nicol and winemaker mates Sam Vogel and Alexander Byrne last month teamed up to launch Noisy Ritual, a crowdfunded winery and pop-up bar on High St, Preston. Noisy Ritual guides members through the winemaking process, from grape to glass, by inviting participants to stomp their own batch of grapes, press them, and then bottle the finished product. Nicol said the decision to launch an urban winery came after moving into his Thornbury home last May, where he discovered a square concrete wine fermenter in the basement.

8/04/2015: Canberra biodynamic winemaker lets the lunar cycle determine harvest
"A bottle of wine contains more philosophy than all the books in the world," is a quote from philosopher Louis Pasteur. For one Canberra winemaker it is the teachings of a philosopher that has shaped his wine. Dr Dave Carpenter has operated Lark Hill winery, north-east of the nation's capital, for over two decades after previously working in mathematics and physics. His picking of grapes and making of wine is based largely on work originally carried out in 1924 by Dr Rudolf Steiner, who established biodynamic agriculture.

8/04/2015: Record entries but no records broken at annual Bago Grape Stomp in northern NSW
It is the highlight of the wine grape harvest in the Hastings Valley in northern New South Wales. But while the Bago Grape Stomp attracted record entries this year, the record was not broken. This year marked the 17th event and hundreds of people from across the region and the state turned out for the championships at a winery near Wauchope. "There were over 40 entries, so 80 people have put their names down for the stomp, as well as a full field in the media grape stomp," organiser Ian Adams said.

8/04/2015: Plans to refresh Entwine Australia
The Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) announced some upcoming changes to Entwine Australia, the industry’s environmental assurance program. Through a series of free workshops across Australia, the program will be assessed with any issues discussed by WFA together with the broader wine community. Damien Griffante, Federation natural resource policy and programs manager, said continuous improvement was a cornerstone of Entwine. “We are excited about Entwine’s uptake and its next steps to make the program even better which we want to explore at the workshops with industry and stakeholders,” he said

7/04/2015: Aussie elders outdrink under-30's in wine
If you live in Australia and you're over 30, there's a decent chance you're much more of a wine maven than your younger counterparts. According to a survey release by Roy Morgan Research, nearly 5 out of 10 Australian's 30 years or older said they'd had a drink of wine in the past four weeks. Only about 3 out of 10 drinkers aged 30 or younger could say the same. “Young people are often portrayed as binge-drinkers in the media, but our latest data shows that slightly more Australians aged 30 and older drink alcohol in an average four weeks.”

7/04/2015: Canberra wineries donate excess Shiraz grapes to Companion House
Three regional vineyards are donating some of the exceptional 2015 harvest to Companion House in Canberra, which helps vulnerable people including refugees. Four Winds Winery, Murrumbateman, business manager Sarah Collingwood said they could not fit another berry into the winery after harvesting enough for their own label and contracted wineries. Collingwood said they hated the thought of not using the leftover grapes. "The solution presented itself, after speaking to other people in the industry.

7/04/2015: Cheap wine brings alcohol tax loopholes to foreground
Jimmy Barnes once extolled the values of cheap wine in one of Cold Chisel's best-known tunes and alcohol vendors are reportedly beginning to catch on with strong wine-based drinks appearing on the shelves - and avoiding the high taxes that hit similarly potent spirits. The wine-based drinks are sold on the spirits shelves and contain a similar alcohol level to spirits including rum and whiskey, Fairfax Media has reported. However, the tipple carries a price tag of half to as much as a quarter of older-style strong drink.

7/04/2015: Hardys releases regional William Hardy wines
This month, Bill Hardy has launched new packaging for his namesake brand, William "Bill" Hardy, and announced a move to regional blends. The relaunch reflects an ongoing premiumisation of the brand. The new packaging incorporates new and UK exclusive labelling techniques, which ensures the product looks notably premium and the wines have been upgraded from South Australia appellation to Limestone Coast for the Chardonnay and Langhorne Creek for the Shiraz.

7/04/2015: Treasury Wine's Penfolds brand hit by China discounting
In a pop-up shop on the outskirts of Shanghai, the problems facing Penfolds across China are written in black marker pen and glued to the window. "Buy 1 get 1 free" says the sign promoting the offerings inside. For a wine brand that aims to sit alongside the likes of Louis Vuitton at the luxury end of the market, it's hardly the ideal image. But the sign, written on an A4 sheet of paper, tells us much about the bumpy ride for Penfolds and its parent, Treasury Wine Estates, in China over the last three years.

7/04/2015: Latest issue of the Wine & Viticulture Journal now available
The March-April issue of Australia’s Wine & Viticulture Journal has hit the streets featuring the theme of ‘Planning for Success’. Perhaps the most controversial of the articles written with this theme in mind is Richard Smart’s opinion column. Prompted by the current development of the Australian Grape and Wine Authority (AGWA) five-year strategic plan, Smart explains why he thinks Australia should look to New Zealand for some guidance on the future success of its wine industry as he believes its wine sector is in better health than ours.

International Wine Industry News

24/04/2015: Happy #SauvBlanc Day!
Today is #SauvBlanc Day and wine lovers around the globe will be toasing to Sauvignon Blanc – the crisp, refreshing, zingy drop that has not only taken the world by storm, but is also Australia’s favourite white wine varietal. With the sun rising first in New Zealand, #SauvBlanc Day celebrations officially kick off there on Friday 24 April, making their way around the globe, finishing off 43 hours later at Twitter Headquarters in San Francisco.

24/04/2015: Hobbit designer behind boutique winery
A boutique winery similar to a 1850s bush hut is planned for Marlborough. One of Marlborough's oldest wineries Jackson Estate is behind the application to build a small winery on Jacksons Rd, outside Blenheim, that will process up to 250 tonnes of largely hand-picked grapes. The Hobbit trilogy's art director Brian Massey is behind the concept design. The application, which is objected to by neighbouring farmers the Jordan family, was heard at a resource consent hearing before councillors Jamie Arbuckle, David Oddie and Graeme Barsanti on Wednesday .

24/04/2015: Why family vineyards have always dominated the wine scene – and always will
Do families make better wines? It’s a romantic notion and one that mom-and-pop producers – many of whom like to peddle the notion that they’re in a David-and-Goliath battle with Grape Giants shilling nothing but soulless plonk – would like us to swallow. I can’t count the number of labels out there touting their “family wine estate” status. But hold on. What’s special about that? Families have always dominated the wine industry. They always will; I’ll bet my family cellar on it.

24/04/2015: Wine lovers pay premium for French wine
The average price of a litre of French wine is more than double the global average. Drinkers might have access to more different wines from more countries than ever before, but they're prepared to pay a shell out for a taste of France. A report carried out for private bank BNP Paribas shows that when it comes to French wine – and vineyards – customers are willing to dig deeper, especially at the top end of the market. The world average price per litre for exported wine is €2.62 (A$3.64), while French wine commands an average of €7 ($9.74) per litre.

24/04/2015: Pernod hails ‘solid’ performance
Pernod Ricard has become the latest drinks group to reflect a steadily resurgent Asian market and buoyant US dollar, as it reported two per cent organic sales growth at the end of the third quarter. With sales for the first nine months of 2014/15 reaching new heights, Pernod Ricard stood by its original prediction for a profit increase of 1-3 per cent this financial year, despite a slow start. In common with the modest uplift reported last month by rival Rémy Cointreau, Pernod’s most recent results are largely thanks to a four per cent sales rise in Asia after a “stable” Chinese New Year.

24/04/2015: 14 incredibly simple hacks for wine lovers
Open your bottle of wine with a shoe, swiftly chill a bottle with wet paper towels and spread shaving cream on clothes stained with red. These and 11 other useful tips are revealed in an infographic by Business Insider. From hacks such as storing leftover red wine in ice-cube trays, to advice on how to bypass wholesalers and retailers when buying wine, here are 14 practical tips every oenophile should have in their arsenal.

23/04/2015: $1.35m funding brings ‘Joiy’ for Wellington winemakers
Global markets are in the sights of Archer McRae Beverages after closing a $1.35 million funding round this month, with their flagship beverage ‘Joiy’ – the largest single capital raise of a Creative HQ start-up. Helmed by founder Chris Archer, Joiy is the product of 25 years of award winning wine making, coupled with global ambitions and a customer centric approach. Joiy was part of business incubator Creative HQ’s global growth programme last year.

23/04/2015: Giesen Wines celebrating International Sauvignon Blanc Day
Giesen Wines is celebrating International Sauvignon Blanc Day on Friday, April 24, with its Marlborough growers. It is the sixth annual International Sauvignon Blanc Day - an online initiative that started in California with St Supery Winery as a global social media wine tasting. Giesen has one of the most diverse Sauvignon Blanc portfolios in New Zealand, producing eight main styles ranging from its ever popular Giesen Estate, which is exported to 30 countries, through to the super premium Fuder range.

23/04/2015: Tesco 2015 results report a £6.4 billion loss
Tesco has reported the worst annual financial results in the retailer’s 96 year history, showing a loss of £6.376bn (A$12.36) and underlying profit before tax fall just over 70 per cent for the year. Dave Lewis, Tesco chief executive, said it had been a very difficult year for the supermarket giant. “The results we have published today reflect a deterioration in the market, and more significantly, an erosion of our competitiveness over recent years,” he said.

23/04/2015: Raise tax on wine with higher alcohol: expert
Increased tax on high-alcohol wines should be considered to limit their health risk, a leading expert has urged. Professor Joe Barry voiced concerns that high alcohol levels in some wines could be contributing to a surge in liver disease, particularly among women. Global warming and increased wine imports from New World countries such as Australia and Chile have been posited as the reason for a worldwide rise in alcohol levels in wine in recent decades. Hotter climates are generally associated with a higher sugar and alcohol content in wine.

23/04/2015: The head of China’s biggest wine brand admits its wines are terrible
Ning Gaoning, the chairman of Cofco, the state-owned grain company that operates China’s biggest wine producer, told a conference in Switzerland what Chinese oenophiles have long known: its wines are “not very good”. From China’s vast wine market to its rising disposable income levels, there should be no shortage of incentives for Chinese winemakers to produce better vintages. In 2012 China (including Hong Kong) became the world’s largest market for red wine.

23/04/2015: A new dawn for Napa Cab in Hong Kong?
Napa Cabernet offers good value for money and is seeing a resurgence in consumer interest, says Silverado’s general manager, Russell Weis. Speaking to the drinks business, Weis said he felt wines from California occupied “a value position” in the Asian market, especially Hong Kong. “Traditionally speaking of course, Burgundy and Bordeaux still dominate but people are realising that Napa Valley offers amazing single expressions of Cabernet, but without that Bordeaux price tag.”

22/04/2015: Bulk Sauv sells for double due to low crop
Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is fetching big money on the bulk market after the crop for 2015 came in under target. After last year's bumper harvest, which saw Marlborough wineries bring in a record 329,572 tonnes of grapes, the price of 2014 vintage Sauvignon Blanc on the bulk market dropped to $2 per litre. A year later, the average price for 1 litre is sitting at about $5. Wine Marlborough board chairman Clive Jones said while most wineries had come in on target, or just below, overall the volume of grapes harvested was "significantly smaller" than last year.

22/04/2015: Trade talk: What’s next for New Zealand?
Sauvignon Blanc might be the darling of New Zealand, but this rugged winemaking region is far from a one trick pony. True, the aromatic variety accounted for 72.2 per cent of the country’s total harvest in 2014 and 85.5 per cent of its exports, (New Zealand Winegrowers 2014 annual report), but this southern hemisphere outpost has far more to offer than Marlborough Sauvignon. Having established a stellar reputation for the variety on the world stage, its premium heartland of Marlborough is now almost completely planted – which begs the question of which regions and varieties will producers now choose to invest in?

22/04/2015: The revolution of the global wine market
For over 15 years, Agrifrance, a specialist division of BNP Paribas Wealth Management, has published an annual report on France’s rural economic situation, providing insights into rural property investment. This year’s report focuses on the major changes that have taken place in the global wine market over the past 20 years such as the arrival of wines from the New World and the rise of new consumers, according to BNP Paribas.

22/04/2015: Online wine auctions wooing new collectors
Will a new generation of online auction bidders bypass traditional favourites Bordeaux and Burgundy? It has become a familiar trope that we're living in a golden era of wine appreciation, with a higher level of quality and wider range of choices than ever before. Given the power of Google – and Wine Searcher – we have more information at our fingertips than any previous generation of drinkers.

22/04/2015: Swiss wine consumption falls to record low
Last year 264 million litres of wine were consumed in Switzerland, 7.5 million litres less than in 2013, a drop of 2.8 per cent. Swiss wines suffered more than foreign ones – a result blamed on poor recent harvests. Wine consumption has been dwindling in Switzerland for years, although 2013 saw a one-off rise. While total white wine consumption (domestic and imported) fell 1.7 per cent last year, total red wine consumption fell 3.3 per cent, according to figures released on Tuesday by the Federal Office for Agriculture.

22/04/2015: US overtakes France as world's foremost wine consumer
The top 5 key trends in today's global wine market: Exports have doubled over the past 20 years with Europe maintaining its position as the global leader, exporting 58 per cent of its annual production while newer wine-producing countries (New Zealand, Chile, Australia and South Africa) have increased their export volume by 370 per cent. The United States has also overtaken France as the world's foremost wine consumer, with average annual consumption of 12 litres per person.

21/04/2015: Key says alcohol ad ban unlikely to go ahead
John Key says he would be "extremely surprised" if a far-reaching ban on alcohol sponsorship and advertising went ahead. A ministerial forum on alcohol advertising and sponsorship has put forward a raft of recommendations - including a ban on alcohol companies sponsoring sports teams and events. Organisers of major Marlborough events that rely on sponsorship from the wine industry, including the Forrest GrapeRide and Saint Clair Vineyard Half Marathon, have said their future would be threatened if the recommendations were implemented.

21/04/2015: Boutique New Zealand winery’s grand plans for future
The Glover family in Marlborough are firmly making their mark as a small but mighty producer with an award-winning array of aromatics and Pinot Noir. Lucky Jack Glover has been surrounded by wine all his life. After being inspired by other Marlborough pioneers, his parents, Owen and Wendy converted their dairy farm in Dillons Point to vine in 1985 and initially planted Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Riesling and Chardonnay before turning their hand to Gewürztraminer in 1991.

21/04/2015: Moët Hennessy in trademark dispute
Luxury wine and spirits producer Moët Hennessy, the drinks division of LVMH, is facing a trademark battle in California over its Chandon Délice sparkling wine brand. A lawsuit has been presented to a California federal court by Joseph Phelps Vineyards (JPV), which claims that Moët’s Délice brand infringes on its trademark over the name, granted to the California winery in 1987. Joseph Phelps Vineyards, based in the Napa Valley, claims to have sold millions of dollars worth its Delice wine over a number of years, and that the Moët brand – launched in November last year – is “confusingly similar” in its title.

21/04/2015: Rioja 2014 official vintage rated ‘good’ with increased quantities over last year
The thirtieth officially rated vintage in Rioja was rated ‘good’ by the control board for the Designated of Origin (DOC) with quantities looking to be higher than the 2013 vintage. The DOC produced a total of 312.89 millilitres of wine from the 2014 harvest. Prior to being able to use the Rioja DOC, all wines are subjected to testing to ensure quality benchmarks are met. The control board of the Rioja DOC which is made of 140 tasters officially rates the wines of each vintage annually and this year sampled 4,383 wines.

21/04/2015: Building wine online around the ‘buy’ button
Joe Waechter came to the CEO role at WineDirect, a Napa-based direct-sales technology company that offers software and services for e-commerce, regulatory compliance, marketing and winery management, five years ago after wearing hats in venture finance and global parcel delivery. For a decade before that, he was managing partner of California Pacific Capital, a early-stage-funding firm he started. And for 15 years leading up to that, he was president and CEO of DHL Worldwide Express.

21/04/2015: Top 10 modern wine drinker stereotypes
The drinks industry today is flooded with tools and market analysis to help the trade understand more about their customers than ever before. Whether you’re revamping your pub wine list, hosting the ladies who lunch or refreshing City clientele, there’s data out there offering advice on how to satisfy just about any demographic or emerging trend you care to imagine. Sometimes though, it can be just as informative to ditch the research papers and simply take a look at the real life people around you.

20/04/2015: Aussie market tough for wineries
Near parity with the Australian dollar has presented a speed bump for Hawke's Bay wineries trying to gain traction in the Aussie market. The Kiwi dollar jumped half a cent against the Australian dollar this week, moving above A99c and sparking renewed speculation of parity. The strength of the dollar is putting a strain on exports to Australia for some industries - among them, New Zealand winegrowers. Hawke's Bay Winegrowers Association chairman Michael Henley said the dollar was a hindrance to breaking further into the Australian market for local wineries.

20/04/2015: Economic benefits of Marlborough wine festival tallied
Visitors to Marlborough for the region's biggest party spent more than $1.3 million and contributed almost $800,000 to the region's gross domestic product. The first economic impact report for this year's Marlborough Wine & Food Festival, held in February, was released on Friday and shows the economic impact the event has on the region. More than 7800 people attended the event this year, including 230 organisers, 620 staff and 6970 attendees.

20/04/2015: New EU rules allow for increased demand
A new scheme for authorizations of vine plantations has been published by the European Commission, which allows for a yearly limit in expansion of the EU’s wine areas. The new rules are in agreement with the reforms in the Common Agricultural Policy in 2013, and were also approved by the European Parliament and the member states. The publication confirms that the member states should, at a national level, manage a system of free, non-transferable planting authorizations.

20/04/2015: France, US are world’s top markets for Rosé wine
PARIS, April 17 — The world’s leading producer and consumer of Rosé wines, France is not the only country to succumb to the fruity and floral notes of this summery beverage. According to a study published by FranceAgriMer yesterday, April 16, the popularity of Rosé wines is on the rise around the globe, and the US is the second largest market. French oenophiles consumed around nine million hectoliters of Rosé wine in 2013, representing a 50 per cent increase over the decade.

20/04/2015: Exploring the recent rise of grower champagne
Emilien Allouchery from Champagne Allouchery Perseval moved back to the family's eight-hectare Montagne de Reims estate about 10 years ago, having worked overseas for wineries in New Zealand and South Africa. What did he learn, making wine outside of the Champagne region? “English!” he grins. The confidence and individuality of this rock star lookalike is typical of those in the area in which he is working, the milieu of Les Champagnes de Vignerons — Grower Champagne.

20/04/2015: Better knowledge means better wine
A €4m (A$5.54m) EU project has the potential to identify new and improved strains of wine microorganisms, which could improve future winemaking. Microorganisms have a myriad of roles in wine production: from helping vines obtain nutrients from the soil, to the yeast and fermentation process that gives wine its delicate flavours and aromas. Microwine has been launched to delve into this complex- poorly understood- world.

17/04/2015: Global wine supplies relatively ‘balanced’, but expect premium supplies to tighten, Rabobank says
Global wine inventories appear to be balanced, according to the latest wine report from Rabobank - but the report warns of variations in supply between the premium and generic ends. Premium wine grapes appear to be slightly tighter, Raobank's Wine Quarterly Q2 2015 report said. but generic and commodity varieties have "much broader availability".

17/04/2015: Sinking euro and rising dollar make waves in the wine industry
If you’ve ever been tempted to hop on a plane and take an impromptu trip to Europe, now is the time. With the dollar at a 12-year high, currently at $1.07 against the euro, Americans have the opportunity to book a 5-star Italian hotel or overindulge at a French bistro without the financial regret that would have accompanied such splurges just a few months ago. Changing exchange rates are also impacting the wine industry, albeit slowly

17/04/2015: Climate change threatens wine production
Buenos Aires: The country's world famous wine industry is under threat from climate change. The Andean region — where the wine is mainly produced — is set to become one of the most affected by global warming, according to a report by the Energy Secretariat that was released yesterday. The region, which includes Mendoza, San Juan, La Rioja, Catamarca, Salta and Jujuy, is on track to experience higher temperatures, more frequent and longer heat waves and dry periods, less rain and changes to the flow of the rivers, all phenomena that will affect wine production and force producers to implement measures to adapt to a shifting climate.

17/04/2015: Premiumisation: Are wine drinkers really trading up?
That’s the top trend in wine this year, that we’re feeling better about the economy and trading up: Buying more expensive wine than the wine we bought during the recession, moving from $4 bottles to $8, from $8 to $12, from $10 to $15, and from $15 to $20. The wine business calls this trend premiumisation, and the salivating at the prospect has reached epic proportions. That’s because the wine business doesn’t necessarily want to sell cheap wine — it’s not as profitable and it doesn’t carry the prestige that selling more expensive wine does (a much more important reason than consumers can possibly imagine).

17/04/2015: Opportunities for NZ in revival of Japanese wine demand
Signs of a revival in demand in the important, high-income Japanese wine market present opportunities for New Zealand wine producers, according to Rabobank’s latest Wine Quarterly report. After a nearly two decade-long hiatus, beginning after the Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s, the Japanese wine market has now ‘come of age’ with the country’s wine drinkers increasingly open to new consumption occasions, wine styles and innovations, the report says.

17/04/2015: Marlborough Wine Weekend cancelled
The fifth biennial Marlborough Wine Weekend has been cancelled. The three-day event, organised by Wine Marlborough, originally pencilled in for October will not be held this year. In a monthly newsletter, Wine Marlborough said they decided not to run the event because they wanted to focus more on other events, which were planned within months of the wine weekend. They wanted to focus on the WineWorks Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc Race, which is held in November, the inaugural International Sauvignon Blanc Celebration (ISBC) and the Marlborough Wine & Food Festival, both held in February, the newsletter said.

16/04/2015: Wine industry booms again
The New Zealand wine industry is firmly on the rebound after a torrid period following the Global Financial Crisis, where winegrowers' returns plummeted despite an overall growth in export volumes. Wine exports reached record highs again last month, earning almost $1.4 billion for the calendar year - an 8.2 per cent increase from 2013. Crowe Horwarth's resident wine expert, Alistair King, says that strong performances aren't just limited to the international market.

16/04/2015: Kiwis can't get enough of Hawke's Bay Bordeaux
It's not uncommon in Europe to come across a wine style that is almost entirely and very happily lapped up by the local populace. Because of this, you rarely see these wines beyond their home turf. Our young wine culture and export focus are against such a thing happening here in quite the same way. But there is one style that is a little similar – lower-priced Hawke's Bay Bordeaux varietals and blends.

16/04/2015: Tesco to restructure wine buying team and bring in a new MW to help lead
Tesco is said to be announcing a number of changes to its wine buying team including bringing back James Davis MW from Greene King and a series of redundancies, according to a report on harpers.co.uk sister publication Off Licence News. James Davis MW is currently a senior buyer for Greene King and has been with the company for more than seven years. His new role at Tesco is said to be reporting directly to head of Tesco’s BWS, Gavin Warburton.

16/04/2015: Double standards in California
“California Puts Mandatory Curbs on Water Use" reports the April 2 front page of the New York Times. "Steps to Confront Record-Setting Drought," a headline reads. The article describes Gov. Jerry Brown's executive order—California's first time restricting water use. A 25 per cent reduction over the next year is required of residents and many businesses. But wait. "Owners of large farms . . . will not fall under the 25 per cent guideline," reads another story.

16/04/2015: Wine, etc.: Importers scour the globe for marketable wines
Shopping for a wine isn't as simple as it used to be. Since the invention of the plane, the selection of wines imported to the United States has continued to grow at a dizzying rate. The limited handful of European wines that we saw on shelves 35 years ago has grown to thousands of brands today. So, it's understandable why consumers are baffled by the array of choices. Just how to you select which ones to buy?

16/04/2015: Irrigation effects on wine
Regulated deficit irrigation strategies can improve fruit quality by producing smaller berries, but does it affect the chemical and sensory properties of the wine? Washington State University researchers found that the moderate regulated deficit irrigation strategies generally followed by wine grape growers and more severe deficit irrigation both positively impact the fruity aroma components of red wine. Wines from the more severe irrigation regimes also had the highest colour saturation.

15/04/2015: Winemakers thankful for early harvest
Chief winemaker at Gibbston Valley Winery Christopher Keys said it meant they had most of the grapes picked when the snow arrived on Monday. "The good news is we're 70 percent through harvest at this point so the majority of our pinot has been taken in from the warmer sub-regions," he said. "It's still snowing, but that's only going to affect the later ripening areas that still have fruit hanging on to ripen, so cooler regions, Gibbston, Wanaka. Alexandra, are likely to have fruit still out there."

15/04/2015: Moet winemaker Marc Brevot on why NZ has it good
It's not often that you hear someone from a 300-year old company say constant innovation is the key to success. But that's what Moet et Chandon winemaker Marc Brevot did this week during his first visit to New Zealand. "When you make wine, it's easy at some stage to be satisfied. Then you relax and continue to produce what you know. But if you start to do that then you're dead. You're dead because your environment is changing all the time, whether it's your consumer environment or your climate conditions, everything moves all the time.

15/04/2015: US wine market sees growth in volume, but not value Rabobank says
The American wine market is slowing in terms of volume growth, despite continued expansion throughout 2014, according to Rabobank’s Wine Quarterly Q2 2015 report. But a report from the financial service agri-food team said US value growth is actually accelerating, making it a desirable market for premium brands. The report said the US wine market continued to expand in 2014 through growth volume which was “well below” rates seen in previous years.

15/04/2015: What's the big deal about stems?
Why would anyone want to put grape stems in their wine? Richard Hemming investigates for Wine Searcher. Stems? As in the bits of a bunch of grapes you throw away? Yes! There is a growing trend for chucking the stems in the fermentation vat along with the grapes, rather than chucking them away. When making red wine, most grapes go through a machine called a crusher-destemmer, when they reach the winery.

15/04/2015: Artisan wine fair RAW announces new Berlin venue
The artisan wine fair, RAW is launching a new fair in Berlin later this year, to cater for an increasingly international clientele. RAW Berlin will be the show’s third location, following RAW London, which takes place on May 17-18 at the Truman Old Breweries, and RAW Vienna. The show promotes artisan wine producers who make fine wine using natural farming techniques, including organic and biodynamic practices.

15/04/2015: Understanding sustainable wine standards
With so many organic options to eat, it may be easy to forget that wonderful wines can be just as sustainably produced as the food on our plates. Fortunately, Santa Barbara County boasts a growing number of wineries that have adopted one of many sustainably certified options. These varying criteria can cause confusion for wine enthusiasts, so here’s a review of three of the more common certification programs, along with insight from producers who are pursuing improved sustainability in winemaking for Earth Day and every day.

14/04/2015: Scientists identify factor which influence colour of Pinot grapes
To be red, or not to be red is a matter of mutation. This past Friday, New Zealand Herald reporter Jamie Morton published a story about a team of researchers at INRA Colmar (France) who discovered the reason why some pinot grapes turn out red and why some turn out white. “A new study … found the colour of grapes within the pinot family spawn from naturally occurring mutations which selectively shut down the genes responsible for the synthesis of red pigments, called anthocyanins,” Morton wrote.

14/04/2015: NZ Cellar exceeds crowdfunding target within a week
Online retailer The New Zealand Cellar has exceeded its crowdfunding target within five days of launching the project, enabling it to open its first retail outlet in London this summer. The boutique wine e-commerce business, which was launched in June by New Zealand wine expert Melanie Brown, was looking to raise A$67,000 through crowd-funding platform Kickstarter to fund the new shop in Brixton.

14/04/2015: Tesco could face £3bn bill for failing supermarkets
Tesco is facing a bill of £3bn (A$5.8bn) on its failing supermarkets as Britain's biggest retailer fights against falling sales and profits, City analysts have warned. The supermarket group will reveal a £3bn impairment charge on its property in annual results later this month, according to estimates by analysts at Barclays. The writedown on the value of Tesco's stores will reflect the fact they are suffering from falling sales.

14/04/2015: Wine labels should include production methods
While mandatory labels for organic or genetically modified foods have been regarded by the public as unnecessary bureaucracy, a group of analysts are calling for just that when it comes to wine. Production methods and added chemicals can affect the colour and taste and should be noted, the authors of a new study write. Dr. Heli Sirén and colleagues from the University of Helsinki analyzed the chemical profiles of eight Pinot Noir wines from different regions in the USA, France, New Zealand and Chile and they found that each wine had a different profile, affected by the processes used to make it.

14/04/2015: Changyu aggressive in foreign wine brand acquisitions
In line with overseas investment craze among Chinese enterprises, Changyu, China's leading wine brand, is actively seeking overseas acquisitions after establishing an investment company with €10 million (US$10.6 million) in capital in France last October, reports the Guangzhou-based 21st Century Business Herald. Changyu is setting its sights on the five major wine markets of France, Spain, Italy, Australia, and America, where it is looking for potential acquisitions or agencies to help push sales on the Chinese market.

14/04/2015: South African wine festival flies into Hong Kong
Over 500 wine enthusiasts surged into the Park Lane Hotel for Wines of South Africa’s “Discover South African Wine” Festival. With over 180 wines available from all over South Africa from Swartland to Stellenbosch, the event held on Friday for members of the drinks trade and Saturday for consumers celebrated the best the country had to offer. Highlights included the famous braai (barbecue), which was masterminded by guest chef Allistaire Lawrence and the team from Riva at the Park Lane.

14/04/2015: Asia to remain most important market, says Sotheby's Wine chief
When Jamie Ritchie joined Sotheby's to start his career as a wine auctioneer a quarter of a century ago, there were relatively few Asian wine customers. In 2015, Asians are the biggest buyers of wine, both for their parties and for pure investment. "Asia will continue to be the most important wine-buying market. There are so many Asians who like to enjoy wine but there is no local supply of top-end wine. As such, they will continue to be the biggest buyers in the auction markets in the following years.”

13/04/2015: NZ winemakers chart growth beyond Australia
WELLINGTON - New Zealand's wine industry is looking beyond its biggest export market Australia as the "kiwi" dollar's unprecedented strength against its Australian counterpart dents export earnings from the island nation's closest trading partner. Australia sources more than half of its foreign wine from New Zealand. The popular Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc dominates around 70 percent of Australia's Sauvignon Blanc market.

13/04/2015: Aussie dollar parity bad news for wine exporters
The New Zealand dollar's rise to near parity with the Australian dollar may impact wine sales across this ditch, Marlborough wine exporters say. With the Kiwi dollar closing in on A$1, after reaching a record post-float high of A99.78c on Monday, some Marlborough exporters are becoming concerned about their sales in one of New Zealand's main wine export markets. Saint Clair Family Estate director Neal Ibbotson said if the New Zealand dollar broke even with the Australian dollar it could cause problems.

13/04/2015: Majestic Wine reveals US ambitions with Naked purchase
British wine retail chain makes major acquisition. UK retailer Majestic Wine has bought internet retailer Naked Wines with a clear ambition to exploit new markets in the US and Australia. The deal, which is worth £70m (A$133m), “opens up attractive international growth in the USA and Australia,” Majestic said today. Majestic was the darling of the financial sector for a decade, showing seemingly unstoppable year on year growth and – with the demise of Oddbins – dominance of the UK independent wine retail landscape.

13/04/2015: Drop in demand sours Bordeaux wine trade
Purse the lips and pass the spittoon. It is that time of year when global vintners descend on France's Bordeaux region to whet palates and prep clients on the latest cellar must-haves. The only problem: no one is buying. "The last five vintages, the collector, the end-user, the person the chateaux ultimately wants to buy the wine, they are out of pocket. They would be better off having not bought en primeur," said Justin Gibbs, the co-founder of Liv-Ex, an online wine trading and market analysis firm.

13/04/2015: Celebrity wines: how good are they really?
Several A-list stars own vineyards and wine estates solely for personal use including Hollywood couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, French actor Gerard Depardieu and British musician Sting. But how good are they, really? Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's wine from their French vineyard has gone on sale in a UK supermarket for the first time after winning rave reviews from critics. Marks and Spencer is stocking a limited supply of the 2014 Miraval Rose and has urged those seeking a taste of Hollywood via a Provence vineyard to "get in quick".

13/04/2015: Urban wineries thrive without bucolic scenery
A grape likely doesn't care if it's turned into wine in a bucolic Napa Valley vineyard setting or in a gritty industrial park. These days many visitors to wine country don't care either. Adventurers are finding their way to a growing number of wineries located near auto body shops and plumbing supply businesses - neighbourhoods where vineyard vistas are not to be found. The 10 or so urban wineries inside the Napa city limits can be found within walking distance of downtown and in far-flung business parks. Start-up costs are much less, government regulations on tours and tastings fewer, so here they come.

10/04/2015: Marlborough truck operators slam grape spill complaints
Marlborough truck operators are hitting back at complaints of grape spillages saying it is not always the truck driver at fault. Fourteen trucks have spilled grapes on Marlborough roads in the last three weeks, after police called for a spillage-free harvest. Sergeant Michael Moloney, of the South Island Commercial Vehicle Investigation Unit, believed it could be a combination of inappropriate vehicles and out-of-town drivers who were unfamiliar with the roads.

10/04/2015: Pinot pigment mutations tell scientists a colourful story
That cool Pinot Gris you enjoy after a tough day at the office is really just a mutant spin-out of Pinot Noir - or so scientists have found. Researchers have pin-pointed the genetic process that determines whether Pinot grapes become red or white. Pinot Noir, predominantly grown in the cooler regions, makes up about 9 per cent of wine production in New Zealand, while Pinot Gris, our third most popular white variety, accounts for around 6 per cent.

10/04/2015: EU expands wine growing areas to meet rising Chinese, US demand
Brussels (dpa) - European vintners can increase their harvest from next year under EU rules published Thursday, aimed at helping the bloc retain its share of the wine market and cater for a rise in international demand. Traditional wine growing regions in Spain, France and Italy have long faced competition from countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Argentina or the United States. But strict rules in the European Union have limited their production volumes.

10/04/2015: Top 10 wine brands 2015
The wine industry as we know it today owes an inestimable debt to European knowhow and culture, but in commercial terms today’s axis leans in a very different direction. As consumers in France, Spain and Italy cut back their wine consumption, often in favour of other drinks categories altogether, global sales are being propelled forward by countries whose embrace of wine is a relatively recent phenomenon. Last year marked a watershed moment as the US overtook France for the first time to become the world’s biggest wine consumer by volume with annual consumption reaching 29.1 million hectolitres.

10/04/2015: Water or wine? California drought and water competition
“California Puts Mandatory Curbs on Water Use” reports the April 2 New York Times long article at the top of the front-page. “Steps to Confront Record-Setting Drought,” the sub-headline reads. The article describes Gov. Jerry Brown’s executive order—California’s first time restricting water use. A 25 per cent reduction of water use over the next year is required of residents, golf courses, cemeteries, and many businesses. But wait. “Owners of large farms…will not fall under the 25 per cent guideline.”

10/04/2015: Science has spoken: Big wine doesn’t mean more flavour
It appears that haughty Euro-centric wine connoisseurs were right all along: Lower-alcohol wines are more interesting than the big, fat ethanol bombs coming out of California, Australia and Chile. No more arguments, please. Science has spoken. At least that’s what we’re left to conclude from a fascinating study conducted at the Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and Language in San Sebastian, Spain. Researchers used magnetic-resonance machines to peer inside the brains of drinkers as they (the study participants, not the researchers) sipped various wines.

9/04/2015: NZ shop gets physical via crowdfunding
Online outlet The New Zealand Cellar has turned to crowdfunding in a bid to raise £35,000 (A$67,700) within just two weeks to enable the launch of its first shop. Established last year, the New Zealand wine specialist currently offers 200 wines from 72 producers to its customer base across the UK and Europe. Now founder Melanie Brown is looking to develop her business further by transforming an empty retail space in Brixton, south London, into a physical outlet for this portfolio.

9/04/2015: University seeing first fruits of vine experiment
In a country known for its white wines, one New Zealand college is trying to grow against the grain. A team of professors and students from Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT) are in the first round of harvesting several new cold-weather reds, an anomaly in the land of Sauvignon Blanc. “The new plantings over the past three years have mainly been focused on trialing different cool climate reds,” the university said in a press released published by news site Scoop.

9/04/2015: Bibendum PLB stengthens play for UK
The UK drinks trade needs to consolidate if it is to keep pace with where the industry is heading, according to Bibendum PLB Group’s CEO – who last year oversaw one of the largest ever mergers in the UK drinks trade. Bibendum and PLB Group announced in October its plan to merge, bringing together five trading companies; existing Bibendum trading arms The Wondering Wine Company and Instil Drinks Company, PLB, including its beer division, and Walker and Wodehouse Wines.

9/04/2015: Bordeaux has abused the market, says Moueix
The annual debate over the pricing for the en primeur campaign has one negociant slapping his leg in frustration at his fellow producers. A number of Bordeaux estate owners have already indicated that they will be setting prices for the upcoming 2014 campaign at 2012 levels but that is a huge mistake, according to one of the region's leading players. During Bordeaux's annual en primeur tasting week, the director of Château Palmer announced the estate would be setting prices at 2012 levels.

9/04/2015: Washington grapegrowers dodge spring frosts
Wine grape growers across Washington’s Columbia Valley are on high alert as baby leaves are emerging from their winter slumber that are being threatened by spring frosts. Bud break – the first sign of the new growing season – is 10 to 14 days early. While that bodes well for getting the vintage off to a good start, it also leaves the young leaves vulnerable to temperatures that have dropped below freezing a few times in the past week. “There’s been a little bit of frost in spots,” said Dick Boushey.

9/04/2015: India's wine industry sees high days ahead
PUNE: India's homegrown wine industry sees a strong second wave of growth on the horizon. Industry leader Sula, which added 250 acres of vineyards last year through contract farming, plans to add another 400 next year. Damage caused by unseasonal rain to table grapes helped the wine industry increase production of port wine while the liquor ban in Kerala, which has already resulted in a three-fold increase in wine sales, is expected to give a major boost to the industry.

8/04/2015: New flights to connect wine regions
Wine enthusiasts could soon be flying from one grape-growing region to another as Sounds Air plans a direct flight between Blenheim and Napier. Managing director Andrew Crawford said the company was considering introducing the flight to allow people to commute between the wine regions more freely. The new route would likely operate twice a week, Crawford said. "I think there's a lot of people who travel back and forth," he said.

8/04/2015: Aussies jealous as NZ dollar approaches parity
The Aussie dollar has staved off parity with the Kiwi ... for now. A rate cut reprieve from the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) on Tuesday saved what the Aussies called an embarrassment: parity with the Kiwi. However, the market still expected the New Zealand dollar to achieve parity sooner than later as the RBA looks for a lower exchange rate to stimulate the economy across the Tasman. If the gold kiwi grows wings and soars above the golden kangaroo, the New Zealand dollar will be worth more than an Australian dollar for the first time since October 1973.

8/04/2015: California’s drought may result in tastier wine
California is struggling with water resources for the fourth year in a row during a historically bad drought. This week, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed an executive order requiring cities and towns to cut 25 percent of their water use over the next nine months. Meanwhile, the winemakers have actually been producing tastier wine. With a drought that’s affected more than 98 percent of the state, the prediction was that the California wine industry may be reaching the end of the vine.

8/04/2015: Norwich-based Naked Wines toasts surge in Easter sales
The Norwich based firm, which crowd funds nearly 150 independent winemakers in 13 countries, has reported a 37pc surge in sales of rosé wine in recent weeks as customers get ready for spring. The company has also seen an 18pc increase in sales of champagne and other sparkling wines helping year-on-year group sales figures to climb by 20 per cent. Naked Wines saw strong demand for all three Rosé wines in its portfolio, with Richard Kershaw’s Richard Rose leading the field.

8/04/2015: The current Chinese wine market seen through the eyes of wine experts
During the 49th edition of Vinitaly, its strategic arm abroad, Vinitaly International, chose to dedicate three complimentary seminars of its “Talk Business Series” to the Chinese wine market: importers, wine educators and sommeliers offered their different points of view for a 360 degree overview of a country where many factors are today concurring to a slow but constant increase of Italy’s wine market share.

8/04/2015: Grapes and wrath: Why wine critic Robert Parker is skipping the famous Bordeaux tasting
It’s tasting time in Bordeaux, when the wine world flocks to the banks of the Garonne to discover what the latest vintage has to offer. For the next few weeks critics and merchants will sniff, snort, swill and spit their way through hundreds of tastings before passing judgement on the wines of 2014. This year, though, there will be a huge gap at the table. Robert Parker Jr, unquestionably the most powerful man in the world of wine, the critic who can make or break the reputation – and value – of an entire vintage, will not be there.

7/04/2015: Alcohol ad ban threat to events
Marlborough's economy could suffer a huge financial blow if major sporting events in the region are canned as a result of proposed bans on alcohol advertising. Major events, such as the Forrest GrapeRide and Saint Clair Vineyard Half Marathon, attract thousands of visitors each year. They inject thousands of dollars into Marlborough's economy, but that could all be lost if the Government adopts the 14 recommendations put forward by a ministerial forum in relation to alcohol advertising and sponsorship.

7/04/2015: NZ signs FTA with South Korea to eliminate tariffs on 48.3% exports
WELLINGTON: New Zealand’s Trade Minister signed the New Zealand-South Korea Free Trade Agreement with his Korean counterpart, Yoon Sang. The agreement will eliminate tariffs on 48.3 percent, or NZD793.7m (USD604m) of New Zealand’s current exports to South Korea. The agreement will progressively remove tariffs on 98 percent of New Zealand’s exports to South Korea. In addition, New Zealand will completely remove its duties on all South Korean products within seven years of the agreement coming into force.

7/04/2015: Climate change, wine costs, tap water taste among Calif. drought's effects
SAN FRANCISCO, April 2 (UPI) -- The four-year water slump that the Golden State has not yet broken free from continues to have a tremendous impact on the 40 million people who live there. But that impact goes far beyond the precariously lean snowpack and clean water availability. California has officially been in a drought since 2011, but a lack of water for the nation's third-largest state is anything but rare.

7/04/2015: Enjoyment of wine enhanced by music, scientist claims
An Oxford academic, behavioral psychologist professor Charles Spence, is claiming that the music we listen to when we eat specific foods and drink wine can directly be connected to how much we enjoy that meal. “Can we capture aromas or bouquet musically? Are wine writers merely filling column inches with this use of the musical metaphor or are they picking up on some underlying truth? We think they are. We have found that people can experience 15 per cent more pleasure if music matches the wine.”

7/04/2015: Can Bordeaux woo back Americans?
Bordeaux hopes to woo back the US market, thanks, in part, to the strength of the dollar against the euro. Anthony Moses, managing director of Twins, a leading negociant for the US, selling some €15 million of Bordeaux, told Wine Searcher that the US is again buying Bordeaux with enthusiasm, in part because of the favorable exchange rate. Since May 2014, the euro's value has fallen from $1.39 to $1.07, a 23 percent fall. As a result, Moses reported that the last three months “have been our best ever, with sales in the US doubling.”

7/04/2015: Vietnam tops Southeast Asia regarding wine consumption growth
Vietnam ranks first in Southeast Asia in terms of beer and wine consumption growth though its GDP just stands at number eight in the region, according to statistics by the Hanoi-based Health Strategy and Policy Institute. Vietnamese spend around US$3 billion a year on beer and VND16 trillion ($744.2 million) on wine produced in plants, Vu Thi Minh Hanh, deputy head of the institute, said at a conference on the prevention of the bad effects of beer and wine on Thursday.

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