|Grapegrower & Winemaker||Wine & Viticulture Journal||Wine Industry Journal||Australian Viticulture||Wine Industry Directory||
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.
Browse the DWN Archive by date
Announcements and Suppliers
20/05/2013: Stop the Waste!
Vineyard owners and managers are constantly reviewing their practices to identify and remove wastage which impacts the bottom line of their business and/or the environment. Traditional vineyard sprayers are a perfect example of such wastage, with off-target drift losses costing vineyards not only through the unnecessary loss of valuable spray chemicals but also in damage to the environment and to the viticulture industries’ public image for sustainability and responsibility.
20/05/2013: Now that vintage is over there is nothing left to think about right
Oh if only it was that easy. But never fear E.E. Muir & Sons has got you covered for all your fining and filtration needs wherever you are in Australia. The good news is that Enartis have just released a new range of innovative filter sheets called Filtra AV.
13/05/2013: Allergen testing in the wine industry
The introduction of the EU export requirements for allergen testing in wine last year introduced some challenges but as always, the industry rose to the test. Thermo Fisher Scientific was pleased to work closely with our customers to find solutions and enable customers to meet the requirements head on. Our high quality allergen kits from Elisa Systems provide customers confidence in their labelling and we are happy to offer technical expertise to enable an easy introduction of the test into the routine lab work flow.
13/05/2013: Barrel alternatives from Toneleria Nacional
When a barrel becomes too expensive, winemakers need alternative oak options that deliver the “fine oak touch.” Toneleria Nacional Barrel Alternatives are the solution – our combination of fine grain oak and unique hot-air toasting delivers structural finesse and elegance with discreet aromatic expression, just like a barrel.
6/05/2013: Treasury Wine Estates Fleet Rotation Auction
Manheim, Australia’s leading automotive and industrial auctioneer is conducting a major auction in Elmore, on behalf of Treasury Wine Estates on Wednesday the 29th of May. The fleet rotation auction will feature a wide range of viticultural and agricultural equipment and will be held onsite at the Elmore Events Centre (48 Rosaia Road) at 10.30am. Sourced from the Treasury Wine Estates fleet, machinery such as tractors, quad bikes and a large variety of vineyard equipment will be available for sale.
6/05/2013: WineTech 2013 – stellar solutions on show
WineTech 2013 is returning to Sydney on 15 – 17 July, with a stellar showcase of solutions for helping grapegrowers and winemakers develop their businesses. Held with the Wine Industry Technical Conference, WineTech is the Australian wine industry’s premier technical event, providing access to products, services and strategies that help improve just about every step of the winemaking process.
Australian Wine Industry News
22/05/2013: Brits drink to Australia's health
Australian wine sales to Britain have broken through the £1 billion barrier, extending the country's lead on second-ranked Italy as Britain's favourite imported wine, according to latest figures from market analysis firm Nielsen. And there was strong growth for more expensive wines, even as Britain splutters along in a protracted economic downturn, with sales of wines priced above £7 ($A11) rising 16 per cent in volume terms.
22/05/2013: Winery's expansion a boost for Griffith
Approval of the McWilliam’s group’s planned $53 million expansion of its Hanwood winery could support the creation of more than 100 new jobs at the Griffith facility. The NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure (DPI) signed off on the project last week, which will almost double the winery’s capacity.
22/05/2013: Wemen grower heads Murray Valley Winegrowers
Murray Valley Winegrowers has a new chairman, Wemen grower Brian Englefield. Mr Englefield was yesterday appointed to fill the vacancy left by Dennis Mills, who resigned unexpectedly at the end of April. Mr Englefield said he was pleased to be offered the opportunity to lead MVW at a pivotal time in the history of the regional wine grape industry.
22/05/2013: World class
Thorn-Clarke Wines Shiraz has wowed judges at the 2013 International Wine Challenge in London. The 2010 William Randell Shiraz has been award the trophy for Best Australian Shiraz and Best Barossa Shiraz. Senior winemaker of Thorn-Clarke Wines Helen McCarthy said it was a fantastic feeling to be awarded two international trophies.
22/05/2013: Chinese wines imported into Australia
I have finally found the time to taste 11 authentic Chinese wines. The tasting did not start particularly well, with two Chardonnays from a winery named 1421 (a convoluted historical link back to AD1421 is provided on the back label). Neither of these two wines is up to Australian standards, the first with very unusual pastille fruit flavours and aftertaste, the second with better varietal expression, but a hard, abrupt finish, writes James Halliday.
22/05/2013: New Masters of Wine for US and Australia include double Master
The Institute of Masters of Wines has announced that three new Masters of Wine have joined the Institute. Alison Eisermann Ctercteko MW, Eric Hemer MW MS, and Adam Lapierre MW have all successfully passed the three parts of the Master of Wine examination and have now been admitted to the Institute as members.
22/05/2013: Tidswell Wines wins regional trophy in the world's biggest global wine competition
Tidswell Wines has been awarded a Regional Trophy and Gold medal in the 2013 Decanter World Wine Awards for their Jennifer Cabernet Sauvignon 2010. Tidswell Wines is a family-owned estate-grown producer located in the heart of the Limestone Coast region of South Australia.
21/05/2013: South Australian wine exports club to target China, Hong Kong
A new body to foster wine exports to Hong Kong and China has been launched by the Hong Kong Australia Business Association's South Australian chapter. The HKABA Wine Club will be headed up by Council for International Trade and Commerce SA chairman Francis Wong and will include eight committee members. Mr Wong said the group's role was to help new and existing exporters break into the lucrative Hong Kong and Chinese markets.
21/05/2013: New Love McLaren Vale application to lure more SA tourists
About 635 wineries, cellar doors and small businesses in the McLaren Vale region are the first to have access to a new direct digital marketing tool to lure tourists in the region. The McLaren Vale Grape Wine and Tourism Association and the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank have stumped up $10,000 in a mix of grants and actual funding to customise a new mobile phone application.
21/05/2013: Hunter exporters welcome fall in Aussie dollar
Predictions of a further drop in the Australian dollar have been welcomed by Hunter exporters who have struggled to remain competitive in global markets. In the past week the dollar has fallen below parity with the US currency, but market analysts believe it could drop to 90 cents or even lower.
20/05/2013: Tasmania the 'lucky' state for wine
A report on diversifying Tasmania's economy identifies wine as one of the most attractive sectors for growth. The 800 page report commissioned by the Federal Department of Regional Australia includes a chapter by wine consultant, Dr Richard Smart. Dr Smart says the wine industry could profitably expand much faster than the 10 year average of 65 hectares per annum.
20/05/2013: A new drop
The days of Shiraz, Cabernet and Chardonnay dominating the Australian wine industry are far from over, but alternative varieties are becoming more readily available. And in amongst these newer drops are some unique Australian wines. But as Kerry Staight reports, while the home-grown varieties may make a lot of sense in the vineyard, the real test is getting consumers to taste and then buy them.
20/05/2013: High dollar suffocating regional business
Casella Wines boss John Casella has called on the federal government to help loosen the noose he says is suffocating local exporters and artificially pushing down the Australian dollar. Despite the dollar dropping below parity with the greenback for the first time in 11 months this week, Mr Casella, whose family company is Australia's largest wine exporter, said a dollar just below US90c would have "profound economic benefits" for industry. Casella announced the first loss in its history in January, blaming the high Aussie dollar.
20/05/2013: Lots of love for winery Long Lunch
Wine and sunshine – along with good food – combined to create the perfect 20th anniversary weekend for the Lovedale Long Lunch. Organisers said attendance exceeded expectations, with more than 20,000 people showing up. So much food was eaten on Saturday that chefs had to work through the night to meet demand for Sunday.
17/05/2013: $100,000 solar innovation grant for wine consortium
Winemakers could achieve greater resource efficiencies if a South Australian based study into the use of an industrial scale solar hot water system proves successful. Manufacturing, Innovation and Trade Minister, Tom Kenyon said the government had committed $100,000 to a Barossa Valley consortium undertaking the study through the State Government's ClevergreenTM Eco-Innovation Program.
17/05/2013: Wine driving our future
The Murrumbateman wine industry is big business and appears to be taking the mantle as the area's major economic driver. Ken Helm, of Helm Wines in Murrumbateman, said wineries were now the leading industry to support the Yass Valley region. "In the very early days it was a minor player in the rural economy but it's now a major player," he said.
17/05/2013: Seguin Morea to hold two oak workshops at Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference
Seguin Moreau will be conducting two workshops as part of the 15th Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference at Sydney in July, which is operating in conjunction with the WineTech. Workshop W02 Premium Oak Selection - a new direction for the future – will be conducted by Graeme Little and Dr Kerry Wilkinson on Saturday 13th July 9am -1pm. This workshop will go through the various developments in the oak industry, looking at past, present and future methods of oak selection.
17/05/2013: Highly acclaimed wine and spirit courses now offered in Victoria
The Sydney Wine Academy now offers the internationally recognised Wine and Spirit Education Trust Courses (WSET) in Victoria. The highly regarded WSET qualifications are ideal for those already employed in the restaurant, wine or service industry who are looking to take the next step in their career. The courses are also perfect for wine enthusiasts looking to increase their knowledge.
17/05/2013: Chris Crawford is new Crown director of wine
Overseeing Crown Melbourne's 15,000 wine bottle inventory across seven wine cellars is just part of the job for sommelier Chris Crawford in a new role there. Crown has announced the seasoned sommelier has been appointed to the newly created position of Director of Wine. As well as looking after the giant collection, he'll be responsible for Crown's overall wine strategy including procurement and training, and will mentor the operation's team of sommeliers.
17/05/2013: McLaren Vale Wine Growers hone in on sustainability with GPS tracking precision
Last week the McLaren Vale Grape, Wine & Tourism Association (MVGWTA) launched the online system for McLaren Vale Sustainable Winegrowing at a presentation delivered by McLaren Vale Sustainability Officer Irina Santiago. Already at the forefront of viticultural sustainability, the shift to an online system from a previous paper recording system, integrates sophisticated GPS location by block and data entry providing detailed reporting for single block vineyards.
16/05/2013: Big tick for Tassie's top tipples
Three Tasmanian wines have defeated thousands of entries to win gold in one of the world's largest and most eminent wine contests. The Josef Chromy 2011 Chardonnay, the Frogmore Creek 2011 Fume Blanc (Sauvignon Blanc) and the Penfolds 2010 Yattarna Chardonnay scored gold awards in the International Wine Challenge in London.
16/05/2013: Our wines fortified on the global stage
The region’s wines are the toast of London following success at a world renowned competition. Leading the way were Rutherglen’s Morris Wines and Stanton and Killeen Wines, who each won four gold medals at the International Wine Challenge. In an announcement on Tuesday, other gold medal winners were All Saints Estate, Buller Wines and Campbells Wines.
16/05/2013: Chinese thirst for wine knowledge starts at home
Australia China Business Council (ACBC) and WhatWine will hold a wine education and tasting event in Melbourne on May 30th, one of the first events of its kind aimed at educating the local Chinese community about Australia’s high-end wines. The event will showcase wines from 12 of the country’s best and most awarded wineries including Bass Phillip, Bindi, d’Arenberg, De Bortoli, Jasper Hill, Moss Wood and Torbreck.
16/05/2013: Eveleigh Markets to uncork fine wines at new fair
Organisers of Sydney's popular Eveleigh Farmers Market are about to uncork a new event that will showcase some of the state’s finest wine and cheese. On 16 June nearly 50 wineries will come together at the heritage-listed Blacksmith’s Workshop, the site of the weekly Eveleigh Farmers’ Market, for the first Eveleigh Uncorked Wine and Cheese Fair.
16/05/2013: Decoding wine with Jack Mullard
When customers pay The Tasting Table Wine Shop in Melbourne a visit, they have countless questions for its founder, wine connoisseur Jack Mullard. Here, he answers five of the most commonly asked questions.
15/05/2013: Vintage boss wants British alcohol tax fix
Australian Vintage boss Neil McGuigan has called for an overhaul of the way wine is taxed in Britain, Australia's largest wine export destination. He said the billion-dollar export industry risked pushing people into ready-to-drink spirits if it could not produce a flavoursome wine with ''guts'' that was also only 5.5 per cent alcohol.
15/05/2013: Hunter Valley to appear in ‘wine adventure’ series
A group of international filmmakers recently spent a few days looking at the ‘extreme’ side of the Hunter Valley wine industry, for a documentary series called WINERAM. Aimed at providing a wine adventure instead of the regular wine review, WINERAM Productions was established by American entrepreneur and wine enthusiast Colin West, who wanted to make the industry more appealing to younger generations.
15/05/2013: Artistic label for God’s Hill Wine
South Australian artist Miranda Lloyd has had her dream come true. The 36-year-old from Houghton has teamed with God’s Hill Wine winemaker Charlie Scalzi to create wine labels for the collector’s edition 2011 Shiraz and 2012 Chardonnay. During February and March 2013 Miranda and Charlie got together after Charlie came across a painting of the Rooster that Miranda had painted at the National Wine Centre of Australia. “I never thought everything would happen so quickly,” Miranda said.
15/05/2013: GWRDC connects research to business with INseries workshops
The Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation (GWRDC) will present the latest insights on Chinese consumer wine preferences in the first INseries events kicking off in May. ‘China Insights’ will be the first topic addressed in the INseries breakfast workshops, taking place in five of the top Australian wine regions exporting to China – McLaren Vale (23 May), the Barossa Valley (24 May), the Hunter Valley (27 May), the Yarra Valley (28 May) and Margaret River (30 May).
14/05/2013: Club develops thirst for wine knowledge
At Rutherglen in north-east Victoria, winemakers have been critiquing wine at monthly dinners for the last 40 years. They bring a bottle of wine, it can come from Australia or from overseas and it has to be masked. Tasting notes are swapped about the wine quality and style, which are recorded in a book for vignerons to refer to at a later date.
14/05/2013: Jim Chatto's pleasant irony
Quietly spoken 40-year-old Jim Chatto is one of the most talented winemakers in Australia. Whether he is the best of all will come into focus over the next few years following his move to the McWilliam's group, announced this month. His job there will be multi-layered; he will assume direct responsibility for Mount Pleasant, replacing long-serving winemaker Phil Ryan who is retiring, but he will also cover the group's winemaking operations elsewhere.
14/05/2013: Brookland Valley Estate unveils new range of wines in Australia
Australia-based Brookland Valley Estate has unveiled a new range of wines - Unison - that showcases the terroir and character of the Margaret River region. The Brookland Valley Unison range consists of wines such as Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2012, Chardonnay 2012 and Cabernet Sauvignon 2011.
14/05/2013: Drinking wine without the headaches
Most wine contains antioxidants to stop the wine from spoiling, white wine usually contains more than red. Some people are sensitive to these preservatives and it causes an asthmatic like reaction or more commonly headache. James Pennington a Margaret River winemaker for decades, has created a solution using approximately 3% hydrogen peroxide solution that reacts with the wine to reduce the amount of anti oxidant in the wine.
14/05/2013: Trinchero Family Estates announces the launch of Dr. Angove “The Recipe” Australian Red Blend
Trinchero Family Estates yesterday announced that together with Angove Family Winemakers, they have launched the first vintage of Dr. Angove, a 2012 Red Blend from South Australia with a suggested retail price of $12.99. Consisting of 50% Shiraz, 30% Grenache, and 20% Petit Verdot, the red blend, “The Recipe” is a modern take on Dr. Angove’s original red wines.
14/05/2013: Bantry Grove opens a new cellar door
Boutique wine producer, Bantry Grove has just opened a new cellar door in the heart of Millthorpe in the Central West of NSW. Bantry Grove @ La Boucherie is open between 10am-5pm, three days a week (Friday, Saturday, Sunday). "The Orange wine region is gaining momentum with wine lovers from all over Australia coming to the Central West to sample the fantastic cool climates wines and wonderful food available here. Opening a cellar door in the area was a logical next step to make our wines more accessible to customers," said owner Terrey Johnson.
14/05/2013: Wine Australia announces the resignation of its chief executive
Wine Australia has announced the resignation of Chief Executive, Andrew Cheesman. Mr Cheesman, who has led the organisation since 2009, has resigned to pursue other opportunities within the wine sector.
13/05/2013: Ultimate wine tourism
Two Margaret River wineries are being used to beef up international tourism to Australia. Leeuwin Estate and Xanadu Wines have been selected as two of 11 wineries nationwide to participate in a new Tourism Australia initiative called the Ultimate Winery Experiences of Australia. The project aims to bring together some of the country’s top wineries to raise the profile of Australia as a leading wine tourism destination.
13/05/2013: Varietal variety
In the heart of the Riverland, a region known for producing the most winegrapes in the country, one group is working to introduce some new varieties into the mix. The not-for-profit Riverland Vine improvement Committee is a nursery for some unusual varieties of winegrapes. The RVIC's manager David Nitschke says the development and sale of both the traditional vines and new varieties is a core part of the group's operations.
13/05/2013: Hunter Valley's sparkling Chardonnay released
Bilgavia Estate has released its 2012 Bilgavia Estate Hunter Valley Blanc de Blanc ($30) at the recent NSW Wine Festival. The new sparkling Chardonnay is made from grapes grown on Bilgavia Estate’s 19.6 hectare vineyard located at Parsons Creek Farm in the Broke Fordwich region of NSW’s Hunter Valley. The new wine joins the recently released Bilgavia Estate Chardonnay and Verdelho, with a 2013 Shiraz planned for release next year.
13/05/2013: Bleasdale sells stake to Hong Kong distributor
China's grip on Australia's agricultural base has tightened with a Chinese investment firm making a strategic investment in one of Australia's oldest wineries, Bleasdale at Langhorne Creek, South Australia. The winemaker's Asian distributor Monita, owned by Hong Kong importers Charles Poon and Raymond Ran, have purchased a 10 per cent stake in Bleasdale alongside an investment by South Australian family pastoral business AJ & PA McBride to secure the long term future of the business. AJ & PA McBride will hold a 38 per cent stake in Bleasdale.
13/05/2013: Growers push for profitable future
Local growers have had enough of being pushed aside – and they’ve asked the state’s biggest farming body to step in with a solution. Frustrated farmers summoned NSW Farmers Association president Fiona Simson to Griffith on Monday to hear their plight on the rising cost of electricity, the influx of foreign fruit and the high Australian dollar. They called on Ms Simson to step up lobbying of state and federal governments to give farmers a fair go before it’s too late.
10/05/2013: Aussies raise a glass to alternative wine varieties
Word on the grapevine is that the Australian wine scene is in the middle of a shake-up. The usual French varieties that have satisfied Aussie taste buds since the 19th century now have some competition from drops hailing from Europe's south. Better suited to Australia's searing climate and offering something new, vinos from Italy, Spain, Slovenia and surrounds are infiltrating our restaurants and bottle-os, experts say.
10/05/2013: Research to simulate winter drought for vines
Scientists will investigate the effectiveness of drip irrigation for winegrape vines during dry winters. The CSIRO and the South Australian Research and Development Institute will use sprinklers to simulate various levels of winter rainfall to see if irrigation systems can counteract a winter 'drought'.
10/05/2013: Grape success for Leiths
Graeme Leith, an electrical contractor, and Sue Mackinnon, a journalist - friends and partners - wanted a challenge in 1973. They wanted to brave the elements, and were set on producing "the best wine in the world". Their love of wine was spurred on by an extended trip to Italy where Graeme fell in love with wine in the town of Perugia, in Umbria.
10/05/2013: Plain packaging for tobacco: wine branding down the gurgler?
The Australian community is becoming increasingly aware of how the over-consumption of alcohol and fast food impacts on human health. These industries should be wary of government lobbying from the health industry to propagate legislation similar to the Tobacco Plain Packaging Act, with a warning shot across the bows being draft legislation introduced into the New South Wales State Parliament late in 2012 intended to minimise the advertising of alcohol products.
10/05/2013: 550 million years of history in every drop
Wednesday 1 May marked the release of 23 new-release 2011 Vintage of McLaren Vale Scarce Earth Shiraz wines. These wines have passed three expert tasting panels to ensure they reflect their sense of place and express their true fruit characters. In McLaren Vale things happen… but not by chance. The region’s passionate wine producers are amongst the most cohesive in Australia, banding together, getting their hands dirty and achieving some incredible feats in the process, proving that two heads really are better than one.
10/05/2013: Orange's best ever FOOD Week
The 2013 Orange FOOD Week has been hailed as the best ever with all the events, across 10 days in April, extremely well supported. The 2013 FOOD Week was the region’s 22nd such event, making it one of the longest running regional food festivals in Australia. The Week comprised over 100 separate dinners, tastings, talks, tours and lunches, attracting fantastic crowds of up 30,000.
9/05/2013: Vineyard celebrates 150 years since first planting
It's been 150 years since George Francis planted Isabella vines on his property in Port Macquarie. His vines went in at Douglas Vale in 1863, 25 years after Henry Fancourt White, an assistant surveyor, established the first vineyard, Clifton, on nearby land. Ian Cupit, from the Douglas Vale Conservation Group, says the Mr Francis put a quarter of his 18 hectare property under vines. All that remained when the group formed in 1995 to restore and conserve the property were three of the original vines.
9/05/2013: Swan Valley fears over Californian grape risk
IMPORTED Californian table grapes have the potential to decimate the local industry, industry growers say.The Swan Valley Grape Growers Association has come out swinging in its defence of its local product after a Federal Government recommendation that fresh, California-grown grapes be allowed to enter WA for the first time. California grapes have been imported into the other Australian states since 2002 but are not permitted in WA because of fears of introducing new diseases.
9/05/2013: Changes to the WET producer rebate
I’m sure you’re all familiar with the fact that, from 10 December 2012, changes to the wine producer rebate came into effect, writes Grapegrower & Winemaker business columnist Melanie Reddaway. Producers who buy wine for blending or further manufacture must now reduce the amount of their rebate claim by any earlier amount of rebate attributable to the wine.
8/05/2013: Wine: Keeping up the old traditions pays off
Owner Peter Fogarty was in the Hunter on Friday night hosting the 50th birthday celebration of the iconic Lake’s Folly Wines operation when he received a ‘‘baby bonus’’. That was the birth in Perth of his and wife Lee’s first grandchild. Juanita Fogarty, wife of elder son John, had given birth to a baby boy – Benjamin John. John Fogarty is chief viticulturist for the Fogarty Wine Group, which owns the Perth Hills Millbrook, Margaret River Deep Woods Estate and Pemberton Smithbrook operations in addition to Lake’s Folly.
8/05/2013: Herbicide warning for grapegrowers
Grapevine growers and the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) are alerting farmers using phenoxy herbicides, particularly the 2,4-D and MCPA agricultural chemical products, to be vigilant in managing the risk of spray drift. DPI Chemical Standards Officer Neil Harrison said grapevines and other broadleaf crops are highly vulnerable to spray drift from phenoxy herbicides.
8/05/2013: Wine winners announced in Langhorne Creek
It was party time at Langhorne Creek on the 3rd of May, when a crowd of nearly 300 winemakers, grapegrowers, media, politicians and industry partners marked the end of a successful vintage and unveiled the winners of the 2013 Langhorne Creek Winemakers Showcase at the 13th anniversary of the Langhorne Creek Winemakers’ Luncheon.
8/05/2013: Unprecedented interest opens Winter Wine Festival launch to public
Unprecedented interest has convinced Shoalhaven Coast Winter Wine Festival organisers to open the official launch to the public. The three-day June long weekend festival will be officially launched at a cocktail party function at the Mercure Resort Gerringong by the Sea from 6pm-8pm on May 22. Shoalhaven Coast Wine Industry Association president Barry Starkey said support for the region’s biggest food and wine event was increasing every year.
7/05/2013: Australian and Chinese investors to buy stake in Bleasdale
A combination of Australian and Chinese investors will buy almost half of Bleasdale at Langhorne Creek - one of Australia's oldest wineries. The Bleasdale family, which owns but doesn't run the 163-year-old winery, has been looking for sale or co-investment options since late last year. South Australian family pastoral business AJ & PA McBride has bought 38 per cent of Bleasdale and the winery's long-term Asian distributor Monita, owned by Hong Kong importers Charles Poon and Raymond Ran, has taken a 10 per cent share.
7/05/2013: Victory is sweet for Doug Govan's Rudderless
When Doug Govan bought the Victory Hotel near South Australia's Sellicks Beach in 1989, he planted a vineyard around the hotel and named it Rudderless. This wasn't a reflection of his life; it was named after an old, rudderless wooden boat that he and a group of friends had painstakingly restored. In fact, Govan had covered a lot of ground on the way to the Victory Hotel, beginning with the management (aged 21) of the bar in an Adelaide nightclub owned by man-about-town Derek Jolly.
7/05/2013: Alcohol levels give wine lovers a headache
Do those New World Cabernets and Zinfandels make your head spin? Fed up with having to stop drinking after just one glass? Plenty of wine lovers around the world will have noticed their favourite tipples are getting stronger, and many of them are unhappy about the hangovers that come with increased alcohol levels. But it seems they have only themselves to blame as experts say that changing consumer tastes are mainly responsible for driving the trend.
7/05/2013: Vineyard managers use fans to keep frost at bay
Vineyards on both sides of the Tasman were hit by frost this vintage due to the atypical cold conditions that took place during the latter part of 2012. For New Zealand Frost Fans this season has been a busy one, with the company being called out to install a number of fans throughout Marlborough and Hawkes Bay as well as various regions in South Australia. New Zealand Frost Fans sales manager Brett Feehan said unusual weather patterns had caused frost problems for a number of vineyards last year.
6/05/2013: Woolies declares Aussie Wine Month a sales success
Dan Murphy's received its best ever sales response to the all-Australian wine catalogue released as part of Aussie Wine Month, according to Woolworths Liquor Group director Brad Banducci. Banducci told The Shout the sales response was up by about 10 per cent on previous fine wine catalogues "which shows there is still a lot of interest in Australian wines".
6/05/2013: Wine industry problems growing at seller door
The wine industry is struggling to deal with a range of global and home-grown issues threatening the survival of many growers and producers, experts warn. A confluence of international and domestic financial and market impacts has severely affected Australian producers, Winemakers' Federation chief executive Paul Evans says. He said serious questions needed to be asked about the viability of the industry that is the country's fourth largest in rural export revenue.
6/05/2013: New horizon: Farming body to be reborn
South Australian Farmers Federation is to become Primary Producers SA after members voted to disband the 120-year-old organisation. Around 70 members voted to change the constitution and name at a special general meeting held in Adelaide on Monday. The new model will consist of commodity groups over individual farming members and be known as Primary Producers SA.
6/05/2013: Boutique wineries in McLaren Vale prepare for future supermarket wine sales
McLaren Vale's boutique wineries are banding together to combat the impact of proposed laws which could lead to supermarkets selling wine. Winemakers say they are changing the way they market themselves and increasingly turning to social media in the wake of the State Government floating plans to allow supermarkets with a floor plan of more than 400 sq m to sell bottled wine. Lazy Ballerina in Hope Forest winery co-owner James Hook said the changes would impact on the boutique industry.
3/05/2013: Grange sparks bidding war
There were parties and intimate gatherings for tastings as far away as London yesterday for the global release of one of the world's most prestigious and luxurious wines, Penfolds Grange, with retailers in Australia battling it out in a race to have the cheapest price for the 2008 vintage of the iconic drop. With the kind of buzz, excitement and anticipation usually reserved for the arrival of a pop star or a royal birth, the launch in the early hours of Thursday morning of the 2008 Grange grabbed the attention of drinkers and wine buffs worldwide.
3/05/2013: It's cheers to Canada
To many, Canada conjures images of maple leaves, snow-capped rocky mountains and grizzly bears. However, winemaker Robert Fiumara sees things differently. To him, Canada is much more than a country comprising diverse tourist attractions. It represents a land of opportunity that is paying dividends for his vineyard more than 15,000km away in the NSW Riverina. Canada has quickly become the No.1 market for Robert's self-proclaimed "boutique" winery, Lillypilly Estate, at Leeton.
3/05/2013: Hunter Shiraz cuttings planted in Sydney botanic garden
A historic piece of the Hunter has found a new home in Australia’s oldest botanic garden. Cuttings from Shiraz vines dating back to 1867 were planted in Sydney’s Royal Botanic Garden on Thursday. The vines date back to 1867 and were a gift from Tyrrell’s Wines, which has signed a three-year partnership with the Gardens and Domain Trust.
3/05/2013: Wine class is a corker
If you want to learn how to make an informed choice of wine for your table, Curra Social and Sports Club member Peter Brittain is the man to talk to. Peter and his wife Pauline are hosting a wine evaluation and appreciation day at their home in Curra from 11.30am on Saturday, May 11. Peter, who holds a B.ap.Sc.Oenology (Wine Science), says Australia has some fine, inexpensive wines and knowing how to evaluate will make all the difference to your enjoyment.
3/05/2013: Penfolds Grange 2008 matched by Robert Oatley 2011 McLaren Vale Shiraz
A $17 Shiraz from McLaren Vale has matched the much-hyped new release of Penfolds' Grange, with a price tag of $785, in a tasting with a panel of everyday wine drinkers. The 2011 Robert Oatley Shiraz and the 2008 Grange both scored 36 points out of a possible 50 from our panel that included a builder, an IT consultant and a travel agent/mum, as well as wine expert Tony Love. They tasted four Shirazes, priced at under $800, under $80, under $18 and under $8, without knowing which was in each glass.
3/05/2013: Chinese winery investors return to Hunter Valley after 18-month hiatus
Chinese buyers have returned to the Hunter Valley vineyard market after more than 18 months. Fu Yip International Group, run by Chengye Xiao and Jiemei Xiao, last spent $1.7 million last month on Honeytree Estate, at Pokolbin. It was marketed by Cain Beckett from Jurd’s Real Estate. Beckett has been the negotiating agent on many winery sales to Chinese investors since 2011.
International Wine Industry News
22/05/2013: Consumers pushing for calorie labelling (UK)
Consumers are keen to see government plans for calorie labels on wine become legislation as calorie counting becomes an increasingly important factor in the wine buying process. Speaking during a seminar at the London International Wine Fair at ExCel yesterday, Johnnie Forsyth, senior drinks analyst for global market research group Mintel, explained: "Health has become more of a priority in the past few years with calories now at the forefront of the consumer decision making process, and wine is no longer exempt."
22/05/2013: Colombia: a market with great potential (US)
With a flourishing business environment, the country has become an interesting market in which more and more people are leaning towards wine, especially in big cities like Bogotá or Medellín. The wine market in Colombia has grown considerably in the last few years, exceeding the growth experienced by the alcoholic drink in general. Per capita consumption of this country, in only 15 years, has gone from one glass per person annually to 1.5 liter per year.
22/05/2013: Wine producers need to rethink bottle sizes (UK)
Wine producers should rethink the relative pariah status of mid-sized bottles as health-conscious consumers look for treats in smaller portions, according to a senior Mintel analyst. Just 3% of innovation in the UK wine industry over the past 12 months has involved bottle sizes between 25cl and 50cl, and this needs to change, Mintel global drinks analyst Jonny Forsyth told attendees of the London International Wine Fair this week.
22/05/2013: Winegrapes aged for centuries (US)
Vintners age the best wines, and it seems the grapevine itself took ages to domesticate. Genetic analysis suggests grapes were probably first cultivated in southwest Asia during the Neolithic, approximately 8000 years ago. However, archeological evidence suggests thousands of years passed during which many cultivated grapevines in Europe still produced smaller grapes and lower yields than the thoroughly domesticated grape subspecies, Vitis vinifera vinifera.
22/05/2013: Jackson Family consolidates Oregon holdings (UK)
Jackson Family Wines is aiming to increase its production of ‘world class’ Pinot Noir with the purchase of a number of vineyards in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. The acquisition of the Zena West vineyard in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA comes after the California producer bought the adjoining Zena East and Zena Middle parcels in March this year.
22/05/2013: Multi-buy ban sees 4.5m wine bottle sales drop (Scotland)
Sales of wine fell by almost 4.5 million bottles in the year after the Scottish Government banned multi-buy deals, a new NHS report has revealed. Scotland’s supermarkets and off-licences saw alcohol sales fall by 2.6 per cent overall, with wine decreasing by 4 per cent – or 12,300 fewer bottles every day – following the introduction of the Alcohol (Scotland) Act in October 2011.
22/05/2013: Unique line-up of international judges for NZ wine comp (NZ)
From a total of 12 judges, three are flying in from Australia and one from Singapore to add their extensive experience to the eight-strong New Zealand team at this year’s Spiegelau International Wine Competition. Joining regulars Ralph Kyte-Powell from Melbourne and Adelaide-based consultant Phil Reedman MW are Annette Scarfe, a newly minted MW based in Singapore and Nick Ryan, wine writer and commentator from Sydney.
22/05/2013: Beer, wine may be roped off (NZ)
Eight Tauranga supermarkets could be forced to stop selling beer and wine for the last hour of trading in order to reduce the harm caused by alcohol. A joint meeting of the Tauranga City Council and Western Bay District Council have agreed to restrict the sale of alcohol in supermarkets to between 7am and 9pm. The 7-5 vote was to stop supermarkets gaining a competitive advantage over bottle stores which the councils agreed should trade from 7am to 9pm.
22/05/2013: 2013 vintage 'best Hawke's Bay wine ever seen' (NZ)
It’s confirmed! The excitement expressed as grapes of every variety were harvested throughout Hawke’s Bay last month, has burst into euphoria; pressed grapes now safely in barrels and casks are being touted as exceptional and 2013 as the ‘vintage of the century’ for Hawke’s Bay. An informal survey of winemakers from Central Hawke’s Bay to Esk Valley, from the coast to the (almost) the ranges is unanimous. The flavours and colour of this season’s pressed grapes, both white and red, could not be better.
21/05/2013: Wine industry 'has turned the corner' (NZ)
Steadily rising export prices for New Zealand wine combined with a lift in the size of this year's vintage are bringing a collective sigh of relief to our beleaguered wine industry. The latest industry statistics show the average FOB (free on board - the price the exporter receives before shipping) price for wine exports has risen steadily over the past three quarters and was $8.24 a litre in the latest March quarter, the highest it has been since March 2011.
21/05/2013: First 2013 Sauvignon Blanc ready to roll (NZ)
The first run of Marlborough 2013 Sauvignon Blanc was bottled last week, about two months earlier than usual. Wine Bottlers Marlborough chief executive Jason Gluer said 20,000 litres of Rossendale Sauvignon Blanc would be ready to ship to the United States this week. "It's tasting good," Mr Gluer said. "For such a young wine, the quality is exceptional."
21/05/2013: MT. Beautiful winery founder David Teece to be honored (NZ)
United States-based internationally acclaimed professor of economics and founder of Mt. Beautiful Wines/Teece Family Vineyards, David Teece, is “absolutely delighted” that efforts to promote U.S. – New Zealand relations have been officially recognised. Professor Teece, who is also a successful entrepreneur and consultant, has received a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services regarding New Zealand-United States relations.
21/05/2013: Villa Maria wins two golds at London Wine Comp (NZ)
Villa Maria has received two gold medals at the prestigious International Wine Challenge in London. Golds were awarded to the Single Vineyard Southern Clays Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012 and the Private Bin Hawkes Bay Syrah 2010. Wines are stringently critiqued and tasted at least three times by a minimum of ten of the finest wine tasters in the world.
21/05/2013: Wine trade needs to keep up with sweet-toothed consumers (UK)
The wine industry is failing to keep up with changing tastes among consumers, according to drinks analyst Jonny Forsyth of Mintel, speaking at the LIWF today. Forsyth said consumers are becoming increasingly sweet toothed and adventurous in the products they choose. However, he added, unlike other industries the wine trade is failing to keep up, to its commercial detriment.
21/05/2013: Decanter World Wine Awards 2013 winners announced (UK)
Judges at this year's Decanter World Wine Awards tasted a record-breaking 14,362 wines and awarded nearly 10,000 medals, it was announced this morning. The Decanter World Wine Awards launched in 2004 with just over 4,000 wines, and is now celebrating its tenth anniversary as the world’s leading wine competition.
21/05/2013: Sales of wine over £7 up 16% in UK (UK)
Volume sales of wines over £7 are up 16% in the UK as consumers opt to spend more on individual bottles, but less frequently on wine. According to the latest figures from market analysts Nielsen, the average price of a 75cl bottle of wine has increased to £5.11, up from £5.03 at the end of last year, on the back of escalating taxation. Though increasing wine prices don’t appear to be putting consumers off from trading up on wine.
21/05/2013: Shippers need to convince trade of bulk wine benefits (UK)
Companies offering bulk wine transport services must work harder if they are to win over the wine trade. Justin Knock MW, a consultant winemaker for Cobevco, which bottles drinks, said new technology means bulk shipping often means wine arrives in the UK in a better state than if it has been individually bottled. However, he admitted shippers must do more if they are to convince winemakers and sellers that the process is not only an effective one but can offer cost benefits too.
21/05/2013: Wine drinkers face little danger from pesticides, but winegrowers do (US)
Disturbing reports of pesticides and fungicides in French wine have raised concerns for consumer safety, but the laboratory that sounded the alarm said the results of their study were misrepresented. The lead author said that chemical residues in wine are too small to have an effect on drinkers, but he added that vineyard workers are being exposed to a significant health risk.
20/05/2013: A vintage year (NZ)
This year could turn out to be a vintage year for Sam Neill. Not only is the 65-year-old Kiwi actor currently on both our large and small screens, he's also got an impressive lineup of television and cinema projects scheduled for release in the next 12 months and this year's harvest from his Central Otago winery has resulted in a bumper crop.
20/05/2013: Vast wine markets (NZ)
There is huge potential to increase the value of New Zealand wine by drawing on untapped international markets, says Constellation Brands New Zealand chief executive Joe Stanton. Mr Stanton heads the New Zealand branch of the international wine business, the country's largest wine producer according to an article by wine expert Michael Cooper in the New Zealand Listener, last month.
20/05/2013: Wine: Crafted with focus on detail (NZ)
For almost two decades, Hans Herzog has been growing grapes, making wine and, in the process, carving out an enviable reputation for low-yielding, small-volume, high-quality handcrafted wines from Marlborough. Along with the old world-style wines, he has one of the finest vineyard restaurants, with an eclectic international wine list and a relaxed ambience in a dining room overlooking rose gardens and vines.
20/05/2013: Chinese investors snapping-up 'one chateau per month', say estate agents (UK)
From the beginning of 2011, a leading Bordeaux real estate agent says, an average of one Bordeaux chateau per month has been sold to a Chinese investor. Asian-owned properties in Bordeaux now number 40 to 50 – a figure that, given the size of the region, is a mere ‘blip on the radar’, estate agent Maxwell-Storrie-Baynes says.
20/05/2013: Canadian wineries finding focus (UK)
Canada’s wineries are becoming increasingly focused on specific grape varieties as the country’s wine industry matures. Speaking to The Drinks Business at the annual Wines of Canada tasting at the Canadian High Commission, several producers voiced the opinion that there was an increasing amount of specialisation and that Canada was “more than just icewine”.
20/05/2013: Feds put new rules on wineries' use of social media (US)
Beverage makers selling wine, beer and spirits using the freewheeling world of social media are being gently reined in by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. In new guidelines, the federal government declared that sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are essentially new forms of advertising. As a result, companies selling adult beverages on those sites are subject to advertising rules, according to regulators.
20/05/2013: Wine industry warns that ‘sin taxes’ would undermine country’s image (France)
In these times of recession, we all know that governments leave no stone unturned in their quest for new revenues. So when public health issues were cited as the motivation behind a new parliamentary mission designed to explore the possibility of introducing “behavioural taxation”, the primary reaction was scepticism, mixed with a fair dose of concern in a country where wine has until now enjoyed relatively preferential treatment due to its historical role in French society, reports La Journee Vinicole.
20/05/2013: Court told of £4.5m wine fraud (UK)
A court has heard how a group of fraudsters conned hundreds of people out of £4.5 million through bogus wine investments. Southwark Crown Court heard that Daniel Snelling, 38, his sister Dina Snelling, 35, and their cousin, Rebecca McDonald, 42, carried out two frauds over the space of three years, often targeting elderly people’s life savings. The trio initially set up Nouveau World Wines, which promised to invest in the best Australian wines.
17/05/2013: Region's vineyards grow as sheep numbers tumble (NZ)
The area of land dedicated to winegrapes in Marlborough has tripled since 2002 while sheep numbers have steadily declined. Statistics New Zealand this week released statistics showing a total 22,630 hectares of vineyards in Marlborough in June 2012, compared with 7521ha in 2002. At the same time the Marlborough sheep flock has shrunk 30 per cent in 10 years to 547,000, from 785,115 in 2002.
17/05/2013: Waimea wines win (NZ)
Waimea Estates has fashioned an impressive record in wine competitions around the world, winning 115 gold medals and 20 trophies across seven different wine styles in the past 15 years. But last week Waimea showed that it can also produce great wines at an affordable price after eight of its wines were named in the Winestate Magazine Top 40 Best Buys for wines in New Zealand and Australia.
17/05/2013: Wine: Blanc expression (NZ)
"It's a wine of taffeta, well woven and of good yarn," said the French Renaissance writer and epicure Francois Rabelais of the charms of a Chenin Blanc. It's one of the most thrilling white grape varieties, yet is too often overlooked, certainly here in New Zealand, despite the fact local winemakers have shown we can make stunning examples.
17/05/2013: Wine maestro to attend US sav celebration (NZ)
There are hundreds of wine varieties in the world, but Friday, the fourth annual International Sauvignon Blanc Day, is dedicated to just one. The annual celebration of the variety synonymous with Marlborough began at a Californian winery in the United States as a global online wine tasting, and has expanded with the influence of social media.
17/05/2013: Parker slams concept of ‘Parkerisation’ (UK)
US wine critic Robert Parker has slammed the idea that wines have been made specifically to suit his palate, defending his tastes as "complicated and varied." According to AFP, during a rare interview with French magazine Terre de Vins published this week, Parker refused to accept the idea of the “Parkerisation” of wines and the emergence of a richer, riper style made to please the critic’s palate.
17/05/2013: Winery job listings continue to climb (US)
This past April, the winery job index rose to 275 more than three times its level in April 2009. April also saw the third straight month of robust winery hiring activity that far exceeds the typical spring surge in the sales and hospitality sector as wineries prepare for the summer tourist season. Other industry indicators in Wines & Vines’ latest Wine Industry Metrics report for April showed positive growth as well, including a 6% increase in off-premise sales and 10% more direct-to-consumer shipments for the past 12 months.
17/05/2013: ‘London calling’ for Canadian wine (Canada)
Just in case you were under the impression that Canadian wine is made solely for and consumed only by Canadians, think again. The world is hungry for our prized grapes and unbeknownst to 99 per cent of the 35 million inhabitants of this vast country, the A-Team is out there in the field. As I write this, Canada is re-introducing itself to the world by way of an essential and comprehensive tasting hosted today by The Canadian High Commission at Canada House, Trafalgar Square, London.
17/05/2013: Sainsbury's to focus on lighter-style wines (UK)
Sainsbury's plans to double the sales of its lighter-style wines by 2020 as it responds both to growing consumer demand and its obligations under the government's Responsibility Deal. Andy Phelps, Sainsbury's head of beers, wines and spirits, said he aimed to hit this target by boosting the current range of lower-alcohol wines, but by also expanding its offering of single-serve wines (175ml bottles) to around 25.
17/05/2013: Climate change prompts renewed interest in native Missouri grapes (US)
If you are a fan of wine, particularly European wines, from France, Italy or Germany, you can be proud of the role Missouri plays in creating that wine. Ever since the mid-1800s roots from Missouri grapes have been grafted on to European varieties, because of their natural resistance to certain pests.
16/05/2013: Net bidders get taster of wine auction (NZ)
With just over a fortnight to go before the Hawke's Bay Charity Fine Wine Auction sparks into bidding life, the early online bids are already edging close to the five-figure mark. For the first time in the 22-year history of the annual Cranford Hospice fundraiser, bidding has gone online, and those who have registered to put in an early bid have responded enthusiastically. Just over $7500 in bids has been posted so far.
16/05/2013: Stonefruit make way for grapes (NZ)
Vineyard developments are starting to roll out in Marlborough in a fresh sign of renewed confidence in the wine industry. Marcus Wickham, of Ormonds Nursery, said yesterday demand for rootstock had increased significantly compared to the four years following the grape oversupply problem in 2008, which severely affected profitability. Interest in rootstock was four times greater than this time last year, he said, enabling them to hire up to 50 staff during their peak season, more than double compared to post-2008.
16/05/2013: Minister asking why Chinese deal failed (NZ)
Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples is investigating why a major Maori wine producer has not done a lucrative deal for its premium wine to be distributed to hotels and restaurants throughout China. The Wakatu Incorporation operates Kono Beverages, an organisation in Nelson. The business was close to signing a contract with China's third largest wine distributor, Dynasty Ltd - but it did not go ahead.
16/05/2013: Hillebrand signs deal with Accolade Wines (UK)
Logistics company JF Hillebrand has signed a five year global freight services contract with Accolade Wines. The contract includes both bulk and case movement, using sea, road and rail services from sites in Europe and the New World to Accolade Park in Bristol.
16/05/2013: Jancis Robinson made honorary Vintner (UK)
Wine writer Jancis Robinson MW has been made an honorary Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Vintners. Robinson is only the twenty-sixth person in the company’s 650 year history to be made a Freeman Honoris Causa and the fourth woman – Baroness Margaret Thatcher being one of the others.
16/05/2013: The CDC goes to war against wine (US)
The May 2 editorial in Pennsylvania’s Scranton Times Tribune, said it all: “Perdition just a vote away.” The plan by Governor Tom Corbett to end the state’s monopoly on wine and spirits sales has triggered hellish prognostications from a constellation of groups who argue that the best way to prevent alcohol abuse is to have the government sell it reluctantly.
16/05/2013: Electronic nose better than a human’s (UK)
A group of Swedish and Spanish engineers have invented an “electronic nose” capable of detecting fruit aromas more effectively than a human. Using its 32 sensors, the device, which the researchers claim is more sensitive than a human nose, can currently only distinguish between the odors emitted by chopped apples and pears.
15/05/2013: Gold to 20 Marlborough wines (NZ)
Marlborough collected 20 of the 38 gold medals awarded to New Zealand producers at the 30th International Wine Challenge in London during the weekend. Challenge co-chairman Charles Metcalfe said judges were particularly impressed with the quality of New Zealand pinot noirs, which picked up 13 golds.
15/05/2013: Managing wine's waste (NZ)
Since the mid-1990s, winegrowers in New Zealand have been developing and adopting a system to ensure that they're protecting the places that make our exceptional wine. This initiative, called the Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand programme, is considered an integral part of the future for wine production. The independently audited programme provides a framework for growers to take action across several sustainability pillars, including their by-products, and these are managed under a Code of Practice developed by growers.
15/05/2013: Winery vandals deny themselves a treat (NZ)
Moana Park, a Hawke's Bay winery, was in the news for all the wrong reasons last week when vandals forced open a tank and allowed premium quality Merlot valued at about $160,000 to spill on the ground. It appears they never even had a taste. Which served only to add insult to injury for owner Dan Barker, who says: "It is gutting to have all our hard work just wasted like this. I mean we've invested 12 months of growing, harvesting and then winemaking - it's a lot of blood, sweat and tears to just literally pour down the drain. It doesn't appear malicious - just plain, senseless vandalism."
15/05/2013: Media mogul Rupert Murdoch buys Moraga Vineyards (US)
Rupert Murdoch, the Australian press baron, has bought the 16-acre Moraga Vineyards and winery, in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Bel Air. The purchase price was a reputed 29.5 million. The billionaire publisher announced the purchase via Twitter. “About to celebrate buying beautiful small vineyard right in LA,” he tweeted.
15/05/2013: Napa grapegrowers look to 2030 (US)
The Napa Valley Grapegrowers held their seventh Ahead of the Curve seminar last week, envisioning what the Napa Valley might be like in 2030. While 125 attendees were expected, the actual turnout exceeded 170, and the meeting had to be moved into a larger room at Silverado Resort in Napa. Jon Ruel, the elected president of the Grapegrowers and chief operating officer of Trefethen Family Vineyards, provided an overview of what faces the audience of growers gathered at a critical time for most.
15/05/2013: French senator seeks support for wine tax increase (UK)
French Senator Yves Daudigny is looking for support for a new tax on wine sold in France. Daudigny caused international protest last October for his championing of a 300% tax increase on palm oil, known as the Nutella Tax. The wine tax would be the latest in a series of taxes aimed at the drinks industry. Spirits have been taxed in France since October 2011, and a beer tax was introduced in October 2012.
15/05/2013: Wine Forger's Handbook warns of dangers of fake wines (UK)
A new eBook warning of the dangers of counterfeit wines has just been published online. The Wine Forger’s Handbook is by wine journalist Stuart George and art crime expert Dr Noah Charney. The slim volume gives a short history of forgery and fraud in the wine world, before going on to detail two short case studies covering two of the best known alleged fine wine fraudsters of recent times: Hardy Rodenstock and Rudy Kurniawan.
15/05/2013: Consumers to drive transparency in wine (UK)
Increasing consumer awareness of food and drink additives will drive transparency in the wine trade, believes Isabelle Legeron MW. As organiser of natural wine fair RAW, Legeron has listed the additives for every wine due to be shown at the London-based event, which can be viewed online, including the total sulphite level in mg/l. She took the same approach for last year’s inaugural fair, although she admitted that it is “a hell of a lot of work as you have to do a sulphite analysis of every cuvée.”
14/05/2013: Invivo Wines awarded gold medals (NZ)
New Zealand’s Invivo Wines has been awarded prestigious gold medals for both its Invivo 2012 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and 2011 Invivo Central Otago Pinot Noir at the world’s largest on-trade focused wine competition, The 2013 Sommelier Wine Awards recently held in London. The tasting panel for the Sommelier Wine Awards reads like a Who’s Who of the UK hotel, restaurant and sommelier scene, with a total of over 80 judges from some of the UK’s top establishments taking part in judging over 1800 wine entries.
14/05/2013: Picking a labour of love for rovers (NZ)
Vineyards across Central Otago are buzzing with activity as grapes are picked. Jo McKenzie-McLean takes a look at this year's harvest and some of the people it brings to the region.
14/05/2013: Christie’s launches agency to help Chinese buy wineries (UK)
Christie’s is capitalising on the thirst for wealthy Chinese consumers to buy wineries by opening the world’s first estate agency for would-be vineyard buyers. Vineyards by Christie’s International Real Estate, billed as the “first global advisory for buyers of vineyard estates”, is to open in Hong Kong. Run by both wine experts and luxury property specialists, the agency will offer a consultancy service for clients looking to acquire vineyards around the world.
14/05/2013: Jackson Family Wines adds another Willamette Valley vineyard to portfolio (US)
Jackson Family Wines, a California-based family-owned winery that is involved in sustainable viticulture practices, winemaking and responsible vineyard and natural resource management, has acquired Zena West, a Willamette Valley vineyard in Oregon.
14/05/2013: Moet Hennessy toasts launch of Yunnan winery (China)
Moet Hennessy, the wine and spirits division of the French luxury group LVMH, has launched a new winery in Deqin county, in Yunnan province, and officials said the company is planning to boost its presence further in China. "China is expected to stay as our largest market this year, especially from a revenue viewpoint," said Mark Bedingham, its managing director in Asia Pacific, who added the country overtook the US last year as its largest global market, without revealing any figures.
14/05/2013: Tesco launches Co-buy wine scheme (UK)
Tesco has launched its Co-buy Collection scheme, which will see the price of a case of wine reduce as more people decide to buy it. The supermarket has partnered with BuyaPowa to launch the initiative and customers will pay £1 to join. Each offer will be available for a limited time and the more people that co-buy, the cheaper the wine becomes.
14/05/2013: Canada’s bubbly personality (Canada)
Break out the made-in-Canada bubbly. Champagne isn’t just for drenching champion athletes, New Year’s revelry and the French anymore. Producers at home are challenging the famed region’s monopoly on the finest sparkling wine. Nestled among the rolling green hills of Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley near the Gaspereau River, Benjamin Bridge is part of the new wave of Canadian vineyards creating a buzz with high-calibre bubbles.
14/05/2013: South Africa wine exports setting records on China demand (US)
South African wine exports are poised to beat their 2012 record this year following high yields and on demand for premium vintages from North America and Asia, industry executives and growers said. Wine exports rose to 469 million liters (124 million U.S. gallons) in the year ending April 30, up 25 percent from the previous 12 months and more than triple the total shipped in 2000, data from the Wines of South Africa trade body, or WOSA, show.
13/05/2013: Wine: Spain's rarest splendour (NZ)
It's remarkable how many small companies import wines of interest from Europe. Catherene Cook, of Casa Aragon, is a Spanish wine importer with a small but perfectly formed band of white and red wines from one of Europe's oldest and largest wine producers. The wines are often brought in in tiny volumes and snapped up by consumers with an eye and a palate for a well-ripened, gutsy but refined reds from the other side of the world.
13/05/2013: Fortify yourself (NZ)
With winter coming in, I've been turning my mind towards wintry red wines of late, and there are few more comforting bottles to have on hand during the dead of the year than port. We have something of a tradition of port here; actually, I should say we have a tradition of fortified wine here, as proper port comes from Portugal. Sure, there are some honourable mentions to be made of fortified wines from New Zealand and even from Australia, but for the genuine article, you need to find some Portuguese wines.
13/05/2013: The 11 year itch - importing vines into Australia (UK)
Australia's exceptionally strict quarantine procedures, and the hottest summer on record, are having a considerable impact on the development of the wine industry there. There is nothing more fashionable in Australian wine at the moment than what they call 'alternative varieties', grapes other than the standard likes of Shiraz, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. But since it can take up to 11 - yes, 11 - years to get an imported vine cutting through quarantine and into production, it's a wonder that there are quite so many new varieties out there.
13/05/2013: World's best-selling wine writer sells off private cellar (UK)
The world's best-selling wine writer, Hugh Johnson, is selling off his private cellar after half a century of collecting and like any downsizer, he is struggling to let go. "I shouldn't be selling them," he says wincing in the direction of a pair of magnums of Chablis waiting to go under the hammer in an Essex auction room. "I don't want to look. You see, when I look at the bottles I know exactly how they will taste."
13/05/2013: Tasmania seeks to tempt Champagne investors (UK)
Officials in Tasmania are seeking to persuade Champagne houses to invest in their island's potential. Tasmanian officials are heading to Champagne to promote their island as a budding investment opportunity for sparkling wine. Officials will be flanked by leading Tasmanian producer, Dr Andrew Pirie, as well as Sue Henderson, director and consultant at Wine IP, in a series of meetings with Champenois over the next week.
13/05/2013: From grief to growth at Jackson Family Wines (US)
Many winery owners have made large fortunes, but few could be called larger than life. The late Jess Jackson earned both the characterisation and the billions thanks to his business acumen and his unique personal style. He amassed tens of thousands of acres in five countries, raced some of the most famous thoroughbreds in modern history and created Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay — a wine so successful it's not just a brand, it's a wine archetype.
13/05/2013: Let’s talk about Burgenland (UK)
Austria’s efforts to develop a market for its red wines should centre on a flagship region rather than grape variety, according to many in the UK trade. While Grüner Veltliner has secured a regular slot on the majority of serious wine lists, Austria has so far struggled to achieve similar success for its red wines. Although Blaufränkisch is generally cited as the variety capable of producing the country’s highest quality red wines, it represents just 7% of Austria’s total vineyard plantings – half the area covered by Zweigelt.
13/05/2013: Hardys celebrates its 160th anniversary (UK)
Hardys is celebrating 160 years of winemaking with new launches and commemorative packaging. New initiatives are to be announced later in the year and Hardys brand ambassador William 'Bill' Hardy, the great-great grandson of Thomas Hardy, is to lead the celebrations.
10/05/2013: Experts oppose subdivision in winegrowing area (NZ)
Two Masters of Wine have thrown their weight behind opposition to subdividing an Earnscleugh property described as premium wine-producing land. Johnny and Pam Chapman have applied to subdivide their Earnscleugh Rd ''Como Villa'' property into lots of 1.88ha, 0.76ha and 1.16ha. The first lot would contain the existing dwelling, established vineyard and the Como Villa historical building, cellar door venue and associated buildings.
10/05/2013: Grape waste could have great value (NZ)
Scientific studies into wine industry by-products show grape skins and seeds could have a future as bio-fuels and stock feed. The Riddet Institute, at Massey University, identified huge potential for Marlborough to develop and enhance products from its primary products, and presented its findings at the Marlborough Research Centre last month. Marlborough produced about 250,000 tonnes of grapes each year, which was turned into a high-value export wine. However, 40,000 tonnes of grape waste remained, costing the industry more than $1 million a year to transport.
10/05/2013: French TV takes look at NZ wine (NZ)
Marlborough's 2013 grape harvest featured on a news bulletin on prime-time television in France last week. The evening news show, France 2, spoke to three French winemakers who run family wine businesses in Marlborough, including the Bourgeois family from Clos Henri, George Michel and Daniel Le Brun from No 1 Family Estate.
10/05/2013: A tale of two Rieslings (NZ)
Riesling is often referred to as a "winemakers' wine" because it provides lots of options for the winemaker. I recently received two bottles of 2012 Riesling from Neudorf Vineyards that show different winemaking techniques. The wines were made from hand-harvested fruit picked on the same day, at the same time, from the same vineyards at 21.6 Brix but treated slightly differently in the winery. The result is two wines with distinctly different characters but each beautiful in its own way.
10/05/2013: McGuigan pushes for new duty band (UK)
Neil McGuigan, CEO of Australian Vintage, has called on the UK government to encourage responsible drinking with the creation of an alcohol tax band between 9% and 12% abv. Highlighting the absence of any difference in alcohol duty between 5.5% abv and 15% abv, McGuigan argued that a shift towards lower alcohol wine consumption would be encouraged by the introduction of an intermediate band without posing such a challenge to quality.
10/05/2013: California honors historic vines (US)
Despite Prohibition and the changing whims of America’s wine drinkers, some growers in California have managed to nurture vines that have been growing for decades if not more than a century. The vines produce grapes that some say make vibrant, interesting wines but also provide an almost literal connection to the roots of California’s viticultural heritage. To honor these vineyards, the California Assembly passed a resolution.
10/05/2013: Nigeria’s thirst for Champagne explodes (UK)
A status symbol obsessed elite in Nigeria has driven the country to become one of the fastest growing markets in the world for Champagne. Nigerians spent £38m on Champagne last year, and data analyst Euromonitor forecasts that the country will splash out £68m on Champagne in 2017, with consumption in the west African country predicted to reach 1.1m litres by 2017. Oil barons, hip-hop music and Nigeria’s thriving movie industry, known as Nollywood, are all driving demand for the French fizz.
10/05/2013: Australian wine: Ripe for the picking (UK)
Wine producers in every corner of the globe have set their sights on China’s vast and increasingly wine-friendly population, but nowhere more so than in Australia. Australian wineries see themselves as particularly well placed to service the growing Chinese interest in wine. However, it’s been well publicised that Australian wineries have been through some challenging times in recent years. With tough market conditions, excess production and falling grape prices, numerous small businesses have been hitting the wall. In many ways, it’s an investor’s dream.
9/05/2013: Pask Winery in Hastings expects vintage of the century from Gimblett Rd chardonnay grapes (NZ)
About this time every year you might see strange-looking machinery rolling slowly along the main roads around Hawke's Bay, Warren Buckland writes. While you wait to pass them, spare a thought for the people who have been driving them long hours, day after day, harvesting the grape crop that has been ripening on the vines through this fantastic summer. Red-eyed with fatigue, winery workers are putting in the hours processing the fruit into wine which earns Hawke's Bay $275 million a year and which has our region described as "very exciting" by international journalists and consumers of fine wine.
9/05/2013: French wine could get pricey, climate change study says (US)
That bottle of Bordeaux you put aside may become even rarer in the next few decades as climate change could reduce wine grape production in traditional parts of the world and move it elsewhere, researchers say. Danish Cabernet, anyone? Wine grape production's sensitivity to climate makes it a good test case for what could happen over the next several decades. And the land suitable for viticulture in current major wine producing regions could be reduced by 20% to 70% by 2050, depending on the amount of greenhouse gases produced, the researchers said this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
9/05/2013: True Grape: Chenin Blanc back in vogue with connoisseurs of fine wine (Canada)
Originating in France’s Loire Valley, Chenin Blanc is a grape varietal that is experiencing a resurgence after many years of declining production. Quails’ Gate winemaker Grant Stanley believes Chenin’s decline in popularity stems in large part to all the sweet, flabby wines from California and South Africa that dominated the market over much of the past two decades, writes Gurvinder Bhatia in the Edmonton Journal.
9/05/2013: Ascension Wine Estate in receivership (NZ)
Ascension Wine Estate – a winery and popular events venue in Matakana, north of Auckland – has been placed into receivership. The landmark winery on Matakana Rd was put into voluntary receivership on Monday when owners Darryl and Bridget Soljan asked the bank to call in the receivers.
9/05/2013: Ridge Vineyards labels go full disclosure (US)
What’s the big deal? Isn’t wine just fermented grape juice, writes Dave McIntyre in the Washington Post. Ridge Vineyards, one of California’s premier wineries, recently announced that beginning with the 2011 vintage, its labels will list ingredients and “actions” taken in producing the wines. This move by such a high-profile winery could encourage others to list ingredients and heighten consumer awareness of the use of additives and modern techniques in winemaking.
9/05/2013: Wines increasingly clad in celebrity names (US)
Fancy having Brangelina, Drew Barrymore and Dan Aykroyd over for dinner? No problem, they'll even bring the wine, writes Michelle Locke on twincities.com. OK, maybe the stars themselves won't show up, but their wines will appear with just a wave of a credit card. You might start with an aperitif of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's new Miraval rose, move on to a light pasta dish served with Barrymore Wine's pinot grigio, then perhaps finish up with a glass of Aykroyd's cabernet franc ice wine for dessert.
9/05/2013: Hawke's Bay 2013 vintage the 'stuff of legends (NZ)
Winemakers in New Zealand's Hawke's Bay say the 2013 harvest is set to produce a historic vintage. The wine grape harvest in Hawke's Bay, on the east coast of New Zealand's north island, may have only just been completed, but several winemakers are already lauding 2013 as perhaps the best vintage they've seen.
8/05/2013: War stories from China: Babich Wines (NZ)
Babich Wines is a family owned wine label, founded in 1916 in west Auckland by Croatian immigrant Josip Babich. The winery has been selling mostly Pinot Noir and Bordeaux-styled reds in China for the last eight years. "When things change in China, they change very quickly. Three years ago China was our 20th largest market; it’s now our third. And it’s primarily a red wine market — a Hawkes Bay story, and we’re quite strong in Hawke's Bay," said David Babich, general manager for Babich Wines.
8/05/2013: Saint Clair Family Estate excellence in Merlot (NZ)
Saint Clair Family Estate has shown outstanding quality amongst some of the world’s best wines at the Mondial du Merlot International Wine Competition where the Saint Clair Rapaura Reserve Merlot 2010 has been awarded an esteemed Gold Medal. The Mondial du Merlot is an International Wine Competition hosted in Zurich, Switzerland which is open to all producers/distributors/importers of wines made from 51% or more of the Merlot grape variety. Both single varietal wines as well as blends are eligible to enter making this a fierce competition.
8/05/2013: Hawkes Bay Charity Fine Wine Auction online bidding has started (NZ)
With less than a month to go to the Hawkes Bay Charity Fine Wine Auction online bidding has started on www.charitywineauction.co.nz. The event is in its 22nd year and over that time HB Wineries have raised well over $2 million for beneficiary Cranford Hospice. This years auction has a notable tribute lot to Sir Paul Holmes who was cared for by the hospice. Organisers have instigated an online auction which has already started.
8/05/2013: LIWF 2014 will take place at Olympia (UK)
Next year’s London wine fair will definitely be taking place at London Olympia and not ExCel it has been confirmed. Speaking to the press at a briefing this morning (7 May), event director, Ross Carter, announced the new location as well as unveiling a new logo, new date and explaining the focus he wanted the fair to have.
8/05/2013: Paris aims for its own appellation (UK)
Paris and the Ile de France region hopes to receive its first basic appellation wine - an IGP - in the next few months. The Indication Géographique Protégée (IGP) category has replaced the Vins de Pays for wines that come from a specific region of France, but are not bound by rules as strict as the Appellation Controllée system. Currently Paris has only one commercial vineyard, in Suresnes, in the western suburbs of the city.
8/05/2013: Pandas at risk from Chinese vineyards (UK)
The habitats of endangered giant pandas are being threatened by planned vineyard plantings in the Chinese provinces of Shaanxi and Sichuan. According to the South China Morning Post, authorities in Shaanxi plan to plant 18,000 hectares of vineyards, and similar schemes are in the pipeline for Sichuan, putting the 1,600 wild giant pandas that inhabit the provinces at risk.
8/05/2013: Sweet wines, an upward trend in consumption (US)
In a market of wine consumers who are becoming more sophisticated over years, it is not strange to see opportunities of niches like that experienced by sweet wines, recommended by experts to pair with desserts and different types of cheeses. Argentinians’ fascination for Malbec-based red wines is being left behind. Now, it is time “to widen the palate”. So, it is turn to taste sweet wines, demand of which has been growing thanks to women and young people, who are attracted to these varieties with higher level of sugar and lower alcohol (in general around 10°), making them easier to drink.
8/05/2013: Naked Wines to help English winemaker Katie Jones recover from destroyed vintage (UK)
Naked Wines hopes to help English winemaker Katie Jones get back on her feet after her entire white wine vintage was destroyed by vandals at her winery in Languedoc, south west France last month. It is offering its customers the chance to buy on pre-sell up to 20,000 bottles of wine it has been able to source for Jones from a neighbouring winery.
7/05/2013: China hears our wine story (NZ)
Hawke's Bay winemakers are building relationships with the expanding and economically crucial Chinese market by hosting visiting media and taking part in trade fairs in China. During his visit to Napier last week Prime Minister John Key said the Bay was well-placed to cash in on a market which he said New Zealand was barely touching the surface of.
7/05/2013: Prophet's Rock set to expand (NZ)
Some place names are particularly evocative, and none more so than Prophet's Rock. For those familiar with the Central Otago landscape, Prophet's Rock is a prominent landmark named after a pioneering goldminer, Bob Prophet, who had the gold claim at this site. A similarly enormous rock at the centre of what became the Prophet's Rock Bendigo vineyard made the naming of the winery an obvious choice.
7/05/2013: Censored wine words still on hold (US)
Wineries in the U.S. still don’t know whether words on their labels—including their names—will eventually be accepted on wines they might export to Europe. Since a 2006 trade agreement between the United States and the European Union expired in 2009, a list of terms has been under negotiation. Since then, almost nothing has been resolved.
7/05/2013: British woman speaks of her anguish after vandals poured £60,000 of wine down the drain (UK)
A British woman who moved to France to follow her dream of becoming a winemaker has spoken of her anguish after vandals poured £60,000 of her product down the drain. Katie Jones, who left Leicestershire two decades ago, lost the equivalent of 4,000 bottles of white wine – an entire year’s vintage. The 47-year-old said it was her ‘worst nightmare’ to discover she had lost a year’s work when she returned home after a business trip.
7/05/2013: What winemaking consultants really do (US)
When Michel Rolland was named the winemaking consultant to France's Château Figeac two months ago, a great protest was registered in certain wine-drinking circles. The St. Émilion grand cru would be ruined; the wine would be "Rolland-ized," opined drinkers posting on a popular discussion board. One reader even declared that the move was "a disaster for all fans of Figeac." Who would guess that a winemaking consultant—even the world's most famous one—had the power to provoke such an outpouring of passion, not to mention a purported ability to destroy a Bordeaux estate?
7/05/2013: Three glasses of champagne a week ‘can improve your memory’ (UK)
Champagne usually marks a memorable occasion for most of us – but scientists are now claiming three glasses a week can help to ensure it’s a memory that lasts. Researchers say that a healthy dose of bubbly can help against brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia. Jeremy Spencer, a biochemistry professor at Reading University, said anyone over 40 would be wise to drink two or three glasses a week.
7/05/2013: WSU Tri-Cities wine center design unveiled (US)
A conceptual design, construction and architectural team has been selected to build the wine science center in the Tri-Cities Research District in Richland. Lydig Construction and ALSC. The Wine Science Center Development Authority plans to break ground on the project, estimated to cost $23 million, this August. Officials said the process to design and build the center, which is intended to work on challenges and opportunities facing the state's growing wine industry, has been a long one.
7/05/2013: Plans to give Indian wines their identity on fast track (India)
If all goes as planned by city-based Indian Grape Processing Board (IGPB), the Indian wine industry will soon market wine with geographical identification. The name of the area where the wine is produced will be its brand name, like it is in the West. According to the plan, there will be a system to recognise wine grape-growing zones in the country and a distinct brand name given to the wines produced in each region. For instance, wine coming from Nashik Valley will bear its name apart from having the taste and character typical to the eco-system of the valley.
7/05/2013: Premium Russian wines on the cards (Russia)
Russia and vodka, yes. But Russia and fine wine? Until recently, the country would never have troubled wine aficionados, due to the poor quality wines produced in Soviet times. But now, happily, that is all changing. Until the past few years, visitors to Russia offered wine could either expect an imported bottle or Soviet-style sweet and semi-sweet wines of dubious quality. But a growing number of Russian wines are home-grown and of excellent quality, produced with French and other imported grapes, along with modern wine technologies.
7/05/2013: Women in Wine first for South Africa (South Africa)
Women in the Cape winelands are standing up to be counted, and are now producing their own wine, bottled under the label Women in Wine. A group of 20 women, all with backgrounds in the wine industry, formed the company seven years ago, with "the dream of giving women, especially farm workers and their families, a share in the industry".
6/05/2013: Wine: A vibrant Austrian (NZ)
Gruner Veltliner may not be a white wine you ask for or buy regularly, but it's here whether you're ready or not. It has been available for a few years now, but the number of local producers experimenting with this Austrian varietal is growing. Coopers Creek led the charge in 2008. Others to follow include Lime Rock, Saint Clair, Seifried, Babich, Forrest Estate, Hans Herzog, Bannock Brae, Waimea, Yealands Estate, and now Gisborne's Matawhero is getting in on the act.
6/05/2013: Global wine shortage can add value (UK)
Tighter global wine stocks should be seen as an opportunity for retailers and merchants to build extra value in markets like the UK, according to wine analysts, Rabobank. A series of smaller harvests mean worldwide wine inventories are at their lowest level for at least 12 years and have fallen by 40% since 2006, according to a new Rabobank report, citing figures from the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV).
6/05/2013: Wine prices rising in restaurants, report says (US)
A glass of Chardonnay while eating out is an increasingly expensive treat as wine inventories start to shrivel, according to a new report. The price of vino by the glass has crept up steadily over the last six months, according to Restaurant Sciences, an independent firm that tracks food and beverage product sales. The most pronounced surge -- an 8.4% jump -- came in the family dining sector, in which the average meal costs $38.50 or less.
6/05/2013: Moet-Hennessy announces locally-produced sparkling for India (UK)
Moet-Hennessy has unveiled plans to release a domestic sparkling wine in India, after investing in the Nashik region north-east of Mumbai. Nineteen hectares of Pinot Noir, Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay were planted in 2011, in the Dindori sub-region of Nashik, Cathryn Boudiak, brand manager for Moet-Hennessy Estates & Wines told Decanter.com.
6/05/2013: Argentina faces competition crisis (UK)
Soaring grape prices and an overvalued peso have raised concerns about the ability of Argentina to compete at the lower end of the bottled wine market. According to a new report by Rabobank, some wineries are reporting an increase in production costs of more than 100% during the last four years, with raised labour costs primarily responsible for a 115% increase in average wine grape prices.
6/05/2013: Co-ops threatened by falling areas under vine (France)
Declining areas available for vineyards are an issue facing many producer countries, including France. Caused by a variety of factors they can jeopardise the livelihood of many companies, not least of which are the co-operative wineries. National wine co-op federation CCVF has called for significant changes to financial and legal structure to accommodate for a wine industry under increasing pressure from urbanisation, reports La Journee Vinicole.
6/05/2013: McWilliam appoints chief winemaker (UK)
McWilliam's Wines has appointed Jim Chatto to the role of chief winemaker, based at Mount Pleasant in the Hunter Valley. Chatto is the fourth chief winemaker to be based at Mount Pleasant since Maurice O'Shea established the Hunter Valley winery in 1921. He is to be responsible for the winemaking and stylistic direction of all McWilliam's wines across its Australian portfolio. His appointment follows the retirement of Phil Ryan in 2012.
6/05/2013: Spain still struggling in the on-trade (UK)
Despite increased listings, outside of the Spanish restaurant scene Spanish wines are still not well represented in the on-trade. Ribera del Duero and Albariño have appeared in increasing numbers to challenge Rioja’s dominance in recent years but the number of other Spanish regions being listed is still very limited.
6/05/2013: Slovak capital hosts world wine contest (Slovakia)
Slovakia is not particularly well known abroad for its wine production, but this is mainly because most of it is consumed locally. Quality has been improving in recent years, and Slovak wines achieved remarkable results at the Viniales Internationales Paris 2013 competition: with nine gold and 38 silver medals, they outperformed even those of France. In mid May Slovakia has an exceptional chance to further improve its image as a wine-producing country when its capital city, Bratislava, hosts the 20th Concours Mondial de Bruxelles (CMB) 2013, one of the world’s most prestigious international wine competitions.
6/05/2013: Point Bush wins silver (NZ)
Waimate vineyard Point Bush Estates has picked up a silver medal at the Canterbury Wine Awards. The 2011 Point Bush Canterbury Syrah received a silver medal in the Game class won by the Terrace Edge 2011 Syrah. Other medal winners in the class were Dallington Downs Pinot Noir 2011, Catherine's Block Tempranillo 2011, Mt Beautiful Pinot Noir 2011, Bay Glen Pinot Noir 2009, which all won silver medals, while bronze went to Tresillian Pinot Noir 2011, Waipara Hills Equinox Pinot Noir 2012 and Greystone Syrah 2010.
3/05/2013: Smaller-sized grapes are the pick of the bunch (NZ)
Opihi Vineyard's Pinot Gris harvest missed most of the rain yesterday but the grapes could possibly become an award-winning wine. Vineyard owners Colin and Brenda Lyon won gold at the Auckland Easter Show for their Pinot Gris in 1998 and hope to do it again. Though they have won assorted silver and bronze awards since, Mr Lyon said this year's grapes are smaller which means they will be extra tasty.
3/05/2013: Winery fined after quad bike injury (NZ)
Winery Craggy Range has been fined $36,000 after a worker fell backwards off a quad bike and broke his arm. The winery was also ordered to pay $6500 to Luke Crawford in reparation after being sentenced in Masterton District Court today. Craggy Range had pleaded guilty to failing to take all practicable steps to ensure Mr Crawford, a contractor, was not harmed while picking grapes at a vineyard for the winery in Martinborough.
3/05/2013: Pernod Ricard celebrates 2013 vintage (UK)
The harvest in Australia took place up to six weeks earlier than 20 years ago, according to Pernod Ricard. The company's winemakers in New Zealand described the vintage as "sensational", while its Australian team called it "above average". Brancott Estate's chief winemaker Patrick Materman said the Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc harvest bears all the characteristics of the region. "The season has been so dry until now and this has delivered a sensational vintage for Marlborough," he said.
3/05/2013: LIWF bookings down 25% (UK)
LIWF exhibitor numbers are down 25% this year but those who have booked a stand believe this should present a business opportunity. Speaking to The Drinks Business for its annual LIWF preview, which featured in the April edition of the magazine, exhibition director Ross Carter said that he expects 25% fewer exhibitors when bookings are finalised, and has reduced the stand area at this year’s fair by 20%. However, he said that those companies which will be present should see fewer competitors and enjoy a greater share of the visitors.
3/05/2013: French government auctions Elysee Palace cellar (UK)
The French government is due to auction off 1,200 bottles of its 12,000-strong official wine cellar. The auction of the Elysée Palace wine cellar is to be held on May 30 and 31 in Hotel Drouot, a large auction building in Paris that dates back to 1852. The auction house Kapandji Morhange – one of 70 independent auction houses operating within Drouot – will be specifically responsible for the sale.
3/05/2013: Climate plays big role in Sauvignon Blanc (US)
To understand the impact of climate on wine, look to Sauvignon Blanc. The weather affects other varieties, of course, but Sauvignon Blanc, a.k.a. Sauv Blanc or even Savvy among its closest friends, is illustrative because the consequence of temperature is so easy to taste.
3/05/2013: Millennials driving wine comeback (US)
C-store retailers can gain points with Millennials and Boomers alike by appealing to a growing love of wine that includes a trend toward flavorisation. A breakout session on the wine category, presented by E&J Gallo Winery, at the NACS State of the Industry (SOI) Summit last month noted that new trends are positioning wine as a prime opportunity for c-stores.
3/05/2013: Strategic uses of technology to be discussed at Wine Industry Technology Symposium (US)
Wine Industry Technology Symposium (WITS) announced its Keynote speakers for the 9th annual event to be held July 15 & 16 in Napa, CA. Keynotes by Larry Broughton, Jonathan Good and Miles Ward bring elite leadership, social media and the transformative cloud to the wine industry.