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

28/07/2014: Wine Australia audits are on the rise: Tips to stay compliant
According to the most recent Wine Australia Operational Plan the number of Australian wineries targeted for audit has increased by 33 per cent to 400 in 2013-2014. That’s about a one in four chance of getting audited on your label integrity compliance.

28/07/2014: Why submit to Melbourne International Wine Competition?
The Melbourne International Wine Competition is the only one of its kind in the Pacific region where all the judges are real trade buyers judging the wine by its category and actual price. These judges are buyers from the top liquor stores, restaurants, hotels and more in Australia.

28/07/2014: Kauri specialty winemaking equipment
Kauri offers a wide range of specialty winemaking equipment. For the coming 2015 vintage, take this great opportunity and place your orders early for our special pricing.

28/07/2014: Putting the Sense in Sensory
AWRI Commercial Services offers a wide range of sensory services to the wine industry. Expert sensory staff, experienced sensory panels and world-class facilities allow tailored sensory solutions to be developed. Each wine submitted is assessed independently by at least five trained, highly skilled AWRI judges.

Australian Wine Industry News

31/07/2014: Wine industry takes charge of its future
More than 300 wine industry leaders from across Australia are expected in Adelaide this October for what's shaping up to be the country’s national wine week. They will be attending Outlook 2014: Taking Charge of Our Future organised by the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) to progress plans for the industry’s recovery of share and margin in key markets.

31/07/2014: Royal Melbourne Wine Awards announces extension of entries
Entries for The Royal Melbourne Wine Awards (RMWA) have been extended until 15 August 2014. Australian wine producers now have another fortnight to enter Australia’s largest and most prestigious wine awards. The RMWA, conducted by the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV), showcases the diversity and quality of Australian wines, recognising outstanding achievements in the pursuit of product excellence.

31/07/2014: Aussie wine industry in tax clampdown
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has warned the wine industry not to abuse the system by unfairly claiming hundreds of thousands of tax rebates each year. The ATO is set to crackdown on winemakers taking advantage of the wine equalization tax (WET) rebate, worth up to half a million dollars to individual producers annually.

31/07/2014: Blog: Forums to tackle issues facing Murray-Darling and Swan Hill winegrape growers
Major issues confronting winegrape growers in the Murray-Darling and Swan Hill regions will be aired at forums in Swan Hill and Mildura next month. Growers will have the opportunity to hear from Wine Grape Growers Australia executive director Lawrie Stanford who will provide an update on moves to stamp out dysfunctional commercial practices between growers and wine companies.

30/07/2014: Last chance to participate in WID survey
As the wine industry’s leading publisher, Winetitles regularly seeks feedback to ensure its products remain relevant to their users. If you’re a Wine Industry Directory user, we would love to hear your thoughts on the directory and what we can do to continue improving the publication. Your last chance to participate in this survey is Friday 1 August 2014.

30/07/2014: Blog: Barossa's Hentley Farm named Australia's best winery
Internationally acclaimed wine guru James Halliday named Barossa Valley’s Hentley Farm winery as the best in Australia at the annual James Halliday Wine Companion Awards in Melbourne last night. Founded by Keith and Alison Hentschke in the '90s, Hentley Farm is set among rolling hills on the banks of Greenock Creek at Seppeltsfield, South Australia where it grows and produces ultra-premium quality single-estate and single-block wines.

30/07/2014: Penfolds sales avoids takeover
Treasury Wine Estates' big gamble on the biggest promotional drive in the history of the company appears to have paid off, as chief executive Michael Clarke pushes to evade a potential takeover by private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR). An avalanche of buyers have scooped up a discounted $650 wine fridge by buying six bottles of high-end Penfolds wines after Clarke launched an aggressive advertising blitz for the month of July, which will give Penfolds' sales a fast start to the new financial year.

30/07/2014: Wine Australia congratulates ARIA Brisbane on winning 'best listing of Australian wines'
Wine Australia regional director for Australia, Asia and emerging markets Aaron Brasher has offered his congratulations to ARIA Brisbane on their recent win for 'best listing of Australian wines' in the Wine List of the Year Awards.

30/07/2014: Entries open for Riverland Wine Show
Entries for the 42nd Riverland Wine Show are open and the committee are inviting participation of wine and brandy producers with products from the Swan Hill, Riverina, Rutherglen and Riverland regions. Riverland Wine Show committee chairman Eric Semmler says "the Riverland Wine Show remains an integral and important forum for the evaluation and assessment of wines from inland irrigated regions”.

29/07/2014: National Drugs Strategy Household Survey findings revealed
The use of tobacco, alcohol and illicit drugs is associated with increased risks of preventable disease, injury and mortality according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Harmful use of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs is a significant public health concern in Australia, as are its considerable impacts on economic and social participation.

29/07/2014: SA Pruning Championships results announced
Good technique was key in determining the prize winners for this year's SA Pruning Championships held in Clare Valley. The Wolf Blass shield for the winner of the Vine Pruning Championship of South Australia for 2014 went to Jeremy O’Donald from J&J Vineyard in McLarenVale, who took out the best aggregate score across the two open individual sections.

29/07/2014: Climate change behind Tasmanian wine growth
Warmer weather is driving a boom in Tasmanian wine as wineries look to expand to cooler climes. Climate change is responsible for increased production and a growth in investment as interstate investors look further afield for cooler growing conditions. Wine Tasmania said there has been a rise in interest from major winemakers who were finding the conditions on the Australian mainland challenging.

29/07/2014: Blog: Instagram uncovered: Making your wines more attractive with social media
A wine marketing campaign can be a tricky thing to do with oenophiles because they can be a finicky bunch and are very conscious of the wines they consume. Even casual wine drinkers have particular tastes when it comes to imbibing socially or at home watching a movie.

28/07/2014: Blog: The hows and whys to irrigation scheduling
Irrigation scheduling could save big numbers on the bottom line of the wine industry each year by determining the correct frequency and duration of watering vines. The aim is to apply just enough water to fully wet the plant's root zone while minimising over-watering and allowing the soil to dry between waterings to allow air to enter the soil and encourage root development.

28/07/2014: Wine Victoria names new board members
Wine Victoria chair Damien Sheehan has welcomed four new members to the Wine Victoria board. The Hon. Patrick McNamara, Dr Richard McIntyre, Angie Bradbury and Roger Sharp will join the board effective immediately.

28/07/2014: drumMUSTER appeals
In an effort to increase the number of drums being returned for recycling, drumMUSTER has launched a new campaign calling on farmers across South Australia to bring in their drums for recycling. It is hoped the campaign will change the mindset of farmers and other agricultural and veterinary chemical users who are not disposing their chemical containers in an environmentally friendly way.

28/07/2014: Another win for the Barossa
South Australia's Barossa Valley has received the 'outstanding region' award at the '2014 delicious. Produce Awards'. Barossa was named outstanding region for the new restaurants and wineries revitalising SA's historic food and wine destination. Simon Wilkinson, a critic on the critics’ panel said “While the settler traditions of small goods, pickles and breads are still treated with reverence, it’s the new breed of young Barossans who are shaping the region’s future".

25/07/2014: Australian Vintage sells 10,000 tonne winery
Australian Vintage Limited (AVL) yesterday announced the sale of its 10,000 tonne Yaldara winery and its brand, excluding the vineyard, to 1847 winery. Settlement, which is subject to 1847 obtaining a liquor licence for the winery, is expected to occur towards the end of the year.

25/07/2014: Blog: Big Apple acknowledges Barokes as ‘best wine in a can’
Wine in a can pioneer Barokes Wines took home a total of 12 medals at the New York International Wine Competition, including the 'best wine in a can' award. It was also awarded three gold, six silver and two bronze medals at the well-respected wine competition.

25/07/2014: Don’t get all hazed over bentonite – help is coming
Haze in white wines is considered by consumers to be a major fault and therefore a great deal of money, time and effort are spent on haze prevention. Wine haze is caused by particular grape proteins that are found in finished wine.

25/07/2014: Adelaide gears up for 2015 Cellar Door Wine Festival
Exhibitors are rushing to snap up their place at Adelaide’s 2015 Cellar Door Wine Festival to be held from 20-22 February next year. Now in its fifth year, the Cellar Door Wine Festival Adelaide is a popular event on the calendar for SA wineries, breweries and food producers, with 70 per cent of exhibition space booked within the first three weeks of application.

24/07/2014: WFA and Wolf Blass Foundation builds case to end rebate going to New Zealand
The Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) and the Wolf Blass Foundation have announced a strategic partnership to support local winemakers. “Thanks to the generosity of Wolf and his Foundation, WFA will commission critical analysis to strengthen the case to government to remove the eligibility of New Zealanders and other foreigners from claiming the Wine Equalisation Tax rebate,” chief executive Paul Evans said.

24/07/2014: Vine growers sour over cellar door fee
A $500 charge set to hit cellar doors has left a bitter taste in the mouth of Hunter vignerons, after the state government included them in a new liquor licence fee scheme targeting alcohol-fuelled violence. Producer or wholesaler licences have been included in the risk-based annual licence fees scheme, which will take effect from this financial year.

24/07/2014: Blog: Turning to water to turn it into wine
Turning water to help it turn your work into wine is a pretty tough gig to follow. So who would have thought winemaking circa 2014 would require a snorkel and a swim suit? Because diving classes are not yet on the curriculum of any of Australia’s university wine courses.

24/07/2014: Why Tasmanian Pinot Noir matters
Tasmania produces less than 1 per cent of Australia's wine. The amount of Pinot Noir grown on the island is a trickle of the national Pinot figure - 12.5 per cent. So, barely registering a blip on the Australian wine scene, why should anyone care about Tassie Pinot Noir? Because it matters. Facing a future where many Australian wine regions are expected to get hotter and less likely to produce Pinot Noir of any great suppleness or charm, Tasmania offers a refuge.

23/07/2014: New 'judged with food' award announced for SIWC
The Sydney International Wine Competition has announced it will be awarding a new medal at this year's show, titled the 'judged with food' award. Led by Kym Milne MW, the wines will be evaluated by a panel of 14 judges which includes two Master Sommeliers and four Masters of Wine representing Australia, New Zealand, the UK and the US.

23/07/2014: The only way is up, says Hardys
Explaining the stylistic implications of cool climate for wine is a key challenge in the drive to push consumers into higher price points, according to Australian brand Hardys. “There’s a question of whether consumers really understand what cool climate means,” said Hardys chief winemaker Paul Lapsley, whose owner Accolade Wines invested $4.5m in 2013 as part of an ongoing drive to raise the brand’s image as a premium producer.

23/07/2014: Blog: Australian first with grapevine trunk disease workshop
Grapegrowers and winemakers have an opportunity to learn the latest information and practical management options for grapevine trunk disease. The 9th International Workshop on Grapevine Trunk Diseases (9IWGTD), sponsored by the Australian Grape and Wine Authority (AGWA), is being held in Australia for the first time and will showcase the Australian wine industry’s proactive methods for trunk disease management.

23/07/2014: Wigan hangs up his winemaking tools
Peter Lehmann Wines' founding winemaker Andrew Wigan has decided to retire at the end of the year. Wigan, who made his first wine in 1972, worked alongside the late Peter Lehmann from 1976. Now as one of Australia’s most celebrated winemakers, Wigan has a long list of accolades to show for it.

22/07/2014: Blog: Sweet success for Morris of Rutherglen
An Australian wine producer has achieved global recognition after winning the 'fortified wine of the year' award at the highly competitive International Wine Challenge (IWC) 2014. Morris Old Premium Rare Liqueur Tokay from Morris of Rutherglen won the award after achieving gold in stages one and two of the competition, which is renowned for being one of the world’s finest and most meticulously-judged wine shows.

22/07/2014: James Halliday Chardonnay Challenge entries close Friday
Wineries across Australia have until Friday 25 July to enter this year’s James Halliday Chardonnay Challenge. In the short two year history of the challenge, 960 wines from 350 wineries representing 60 different Australian regions have been judged, with 95 points or higher awarded to 40 Chardonnays to date.

22/07/2014: Wolf Blass stifles knock-off brand
Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) has successfully challenged a Chinese company's bid to trademark a wine brand that was a clear imitation of its Wolf Blass imprint. Guorong Xu sought to register the Kensington brand featuring the perched eagle logo and TWE director of group corporate affairs Roger Sharp said it was "a fairly direct and blatant rip-off of the Wolf Blass eagle".

22/07/2014: It's all in a name at Peter Drayton Wines
Wine is more than just a passion or tradition for some people - it's in their blood, and that is certainly the case with Hunter businessman Peter Drayton. While he has maintained a share in the Ironbark Hill vineyard on Hermitage Rd for the past 14 years, the majority of his time and energy has been spent growing and managing his successful construction company Drayton Constructions.

21/07/2014: WFA’s Action Agenda: What does it mean for individual wineries?
Finlaysons’ Wine Roadshow XXII in August will focus on WFA’s Action Agenda. The theme is to distil the WFA Actions down to the individual winery level. In December 2013 WFA released its “Actions for industry profitability 2014 – 2016” with a view to returning Australia’s wine sector to growth in both domestic and export markets.

21/07/2014: Entries extended for NSW Small Winemakers Show 2014
Entries have been extended for the 23rd NSW Small Winemakers Show 2014. They will now close on Tuesday 29 July. Judging will commence on 25 August and conclude on 27 August at the Forbes Youth & Community Centre. The show is open to all NSW and ACT wine producers that crush a maximum of 500 tonnes annually.

21/07/2014: Blog: Biomass power plant promises bright future for Mildura
Grape skins will help drive a $174 million biomass power plant near Mildura on the Murray River in northern Victoria. The proposed renewable energy plant has moved a step closer to reality with rezoning approval from State Planning Minister Matthew Guy.

21/07/2014: TWE to target US$39bn global travel and duty free alcohol sector
Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) has kicked off an expansion into the US$39bn (AU$41.5bn) global travel retail market to ensure its wines aren't left out of the rush by other international luxury brands such as Chanel, Swarovski, Prada and Gucci, vying for shelf space at the world's newest and most ritziest airports, duty-free shops and cruise liners.

18/07/2014: Coonawarra wineries plan promotional tour of China
Grapegrowers in South Australia’s Coonawarra region have grand plans to take their wine to China. Coonawarra Grape and Wine Incorporated marketing manager Renee Harrison says producers will sell the region’s story and connect with new distributors through a China road show and have received $70,000 in funding.

18/07/2014: Accolade Wines begins on-premise push
Accolade Wines has announced a new distribution partnership with Red + White that will see its premium portfolio make a push into the on-premise channel. Commencing 1 August, the new arrangement will see Red + White responsible for the distribution of Accolade brands including Arras, Bay of Fires, Eddystone Point, Hardys, Yarra Burn and Leasignham into on-premise venues.

18/07/2014: USQ welcomes funding boost for irrigation research
University of Southern Queensland (USQ) researchers are about to embark on a new stage of research into water and energy use efficiency on Queensland farms. USQ’s National Centre for Engineering in Agriculture (NCEA) has welcomed $89,190 in funding which will be used to develop and promote technologies to assist irrigators with scheduling and water management.

18/07/2014: Blog: Sustainable winemaking - what does it mean and how does it benefit consumers?
Organic, natural, biodynamic, eco-friendly, new age – whatever label it comes with, wines made in accordance with sustainable practices are currently on the ascent and consumer appetite is steadily growing. Naked Wines’ call centre constantly fields questions from customers regarding organic, vegan, vegetarian and biodynamic wines.

18/07/2014: Farmoz changes to new global brand name, Adama
Farmoz has officially commenced trading under new global brand Adama. The roll out is part of a staged branding program where more than 40 companies will move to a single brand under the Adama name. The transition process is expected to take 18 months as each entity introduces the new brand to its stakeholders.

18/07/2014: Spot the locals: Aussie brands make top 10 list of biggest global wine brands
Leading European drinks trade magazine The Drinks Business recently published a list of the 10 biggest global wine brands by volume of sales. Four of the top 10 have solid supply bases in the Riverland, Sunraysia and the Riverina.

17/07/2014: International grapevine trunk disease workshop comes to Australia
Grapegrowers and winemakers will have the opportunity to learn the latest information and practical management options for grapevine trunk disease at the 9th International Workshop on Grapevine Trunk Diseases (9IWGTD). Sponsored by the Australian Grape and Wine Authority (AGWA), the workshop will be held in Australia for the first time and will showcase the Australian wine industry’s pro-active methods for trunk disease management.

17/07/2014: ASVO to host annual Mildura seminar this month
The Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology will host the annual Mildura seminar from 24-25 July at the Mildura Arts Centre. The scene will be set by David Lowe who will tell the audience why targeting this sweet spot is critical to the success of the Australian wine industry.

17/07/2014: Wine prices – do expert quality ratings matter?
Consumers who use expert wine reviews to inform their purchase decisions are more likely to choose better wine than those who rely on price as an indicator of quality, according to research. The study, 'Wine prices and quality ratings: a meta-regression analysis', by Professor Eddie Oczkowski at the CSU School of Accounting and Finance and the Institute for Land Water and Society, and Professor Chris Doucouliagos from Deakin University, aimed to establish whether there is a strong empirical relationship between a wine's price and its quality.

17/07/2014: Blog: Spirit of the Swan – 180 years of winemaking in the Swan Valley
The Swan Valley and Regional Winemakers' Association has commissioned well-known author and journalist Mike Zekulich to write a book capturing the spirit of Western Australia’s oldest wine region, the Swan Valley. The book will be launched by Premier of Western Australia The Hon. Colin Barnett at a function on Thursday 31 July at Houghton Winery.

16/07/2014: Wine ads the right vintage
Penfolds has a well-established reputation as one of Australia’s premium winemakers. A study by The Newspaper Works looks at two ads for Penfolds wines – one from the winemaker itself, and the other from retailer Dan Murphy’s.

16/07/2014: Cellar doors and cover-crop research at the top of Queensland’s agenda
Improving the cellar door experience for consumers and the financial returns for wineries are key focus points for the Queensland Regional Program in 2014–15. Former Queensland Wine Industry Association (QWIA) president Jim Barnes said workshops and finding ways to adapt and apply existing research results for Queensland’s climate and environment will form a large part of the rogram, funded by the Australian Grape and Wine Authority (AGWA).

16/07/2014: Tasmanian Wine List Award finalists announced
Finalists in the inaugural Tasmanian Wine List of the Year competition have been selected and voting is now invited from members of the public. In 2014 Wine Tasmania and the Tasmanian Hospitality Association (THA) partnered on a new award to recognise Tasmanian businesses supporting the local wine sector as part of the THA’s annual Awards for Excellence.

16/07/2014: Blog: Australia’s wine drinking habits revealed in largest wine census
Leading online wine retailer Vinomofo has today revealed the nation’s grape-drinking habits through its inaugural 2014 Wine Census, the largest of its kind in Australia. The Great Vinomofo Wine Census 2014 surveyed more than 5000 wine drinkers on their drinking habits.

15/07/2014: Vineyard research helps crack the pepper puzzle
Groundbreaking vineyard research is helping provide Australian grapegrowers and researchers with a new level of understanding and potential control of the development of rotundone in Shiraz. The Australian Wine Research Institute’s (AWRI) sensory and flavour research manager Leigh Francis summarised recent research at the Shiraz Symposium held in Melbourne, which was funded as part of the AGWA R&D Regional Program for Greater Victoria.

15/07/2014: Blog: Rise in average value of Australian wine exports driven by premium wine
The average value of wine exports continued to rise in the year ended June 2014, driven by an increase in exports of premium Australian wines in key markets, according to the latest Wine Export Approval Report June 2014, released today by the Australian Grape and Wine Authority (AGWA).

15/07/2014: Fight against grapevine trunk diseases intensifies
Researchers from SA and NSW are taking the battle to prevent and protect vines against grapevine trunk diseases to a new level, with a project seeking to give growers more targeted and timely management options.

15/07/2014: Carbon clock is ticking for young farmers
The political carbon landscape may be changing but one thing remains constant - Australia’s climate is becoming increasingly variable. The day-to-day realities of that, along with the associated economic and social pressures, are going to have major impacts on agriculture now and into the future.

14/07/2014: A 'Treasure Chest’ of Australian wine heritage set for auction
Wines from one of the greatest names in Australian wine heritage – Woodley’s Coonawarra Treasure Chest – will go to auction for the first time since 2006 when Wickman’s Fine Wine Auctions offer wines from the stellar 1955 and 1956 vintages online from 21-28 July 2014.

14/07/2014: Climate change signals the end of Australian Shiraz as we know it
Australian vintner Nick Glaetzer's winemaking-steeped family thought he was crazy when he abandoned the Barossa Valley - the hot, dry region that's home to the country's world-famous big, brassy Shiraz. Trampling over the family's century-old grapegrowing roots on the Australian mainland, Glaetzer headed to Tasmania to strike out on his own and prove to the naysayers there was a successful future in cooler climate wines.

14/07/2014: Penfolds suffers from China squatters
Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) failed to register the Chinese name for Penfolds and is now locked in a protracted legal battle with a notorious trademark squatter in an effort regain ownership of the name. A rival wine company has registered three variations of Penfolds’ Chinese name, Ben Fu which potentially leaves TWE open to a hefty fine for trademark infringement and could also allow the rival to sell wine using the Chinese name for Penfolds.

14/07/2014: Research helps identify wine industry’s alternative future
The CSIRO is preparing to release its final report and research findings from a five-year project that will help the Australian wine industry better meet the challenges of a changing climate and environment. The project, titled ‘Enhanced varieties and clones to meet the challenges of climate change and deliver low alcohol wines’ is led by group leader Peter Clingeleffer and aims to evaluate and phenotype 500 grape varieties in the CSIRO germplasm collection.

14/07/2014: Winemakers popping champagne corks at triple victory
Granite Belt winery Symphony Hill Wines has been awarded three trophies at the 2014 Royal Queensland Wine Show. Its 2013 Gewurztraminer was awarded 'best other single white varietal of show' and 'best Queensland wine of show'. It was also awarded the trophy for 'most successful Queensland exhibitor of show' for the fourth time in the past five years.

11/07/2014: Wine Victoria welcomes investment in R&D to fight Phylloxera
Wine Victoria chair Damien Sheehan yesterday welcomed the announcement of a two-year research partnership between the Victorian Government and the Australia Grape and Wine Authority to fight vineyard pest Phylloxera. The pest attacks the roots of European grapevines (Vitis vinifera), eventually killing those vines and moving on to others.

11/07/2014: Adelaide winegrape varieties book wins international accolade
University of Adelaide School of Economics professor Kym Anderson has received (along with two others) the prestigious International Organisation of Vine and Wine Award for the best viticulture books in 2013. Published by the University of Adelaide Press, 'Which Winegrape Varieties are Grown Where?' is an in-depth analysis of the world’s wine varieties and winegrape growing nations that account for 99 per cent of global wine production.

11/07/2014: Taylors Wines toasts solution to business data crush
The need to bring together business data from several different states and multiple teams set Taylors Wines on a path to become the first Australian winery to implement an internationally-renowned business intelligence and corporate performance management solution, BOARD.

11/07/2014: Blog: WA winemakers get a taste of cold soak technique
Western Australian winemakers recently lent their tasting expertise to research by the Department of Agriculture and Food WA (DAFWA). Department researcher Richard Fennessy is investigating the influence of climate on the effectiveness of pre-fermentative cold maceration (cold soak) on red wine varieties.

International Wine Industry News

31/07/2014: Accolade Wines introduces new brands to New Zealand
The recent acquisition of award-winning New Zealand wine brands Mud House and Waipara Hills by Accolade Wines will see more of the company’s premium portfolio into New Zealand. Hancocks Wine, Spirit & Beer Merchants which has represented the Waipara Hills and Dusky Sounds wine brands for the past 12 years has been appointed as distributor for a number of Accolade Wines’ premium international brands including West Australian Houghton, Bay of Fires and the House of Arras.

31/07/2014: Villa Maria launches virtual vineyard app
New Zealand's Villa Maria is launching a “virtual vineyard” app that allows wine lovers to discover more about the country's wine regions. The app uses a combination of augmented reality, photography and videos to educate and inform customers.

31/07/2014: Champagne region faces crisis (France)
The Champagne region is facing a crisis. It must change radically to safeguard its future according to Comite Champagne communications director Thibaut Le Mailloux. Although it has grown substantially in the past 50 years, Champagne cannot continue to compete in terms of volume Le Mailloux said.

31/07/2014: Potential debt default could hurt struggling wine industry (Argentina)
Argentina is on the brink of defaulting on debt payments for a second time in 13 years over a dispute with hedge fund investors. Such a default could seriously damage the country’s wine industry, according to grape and wine brokerage firm Ciatti.

31/07/2014: Winemakers revive fortunes of 'forgotten' Pais grape (Chile)
Some of Chile's biggest wine producers are working to revive the Pais grape variety that arrived in the country with Spanish colonisers but has since lost favour to more modern international varieties. There are around 7250 ha of Pais planted in Chile, mostly in the country's Maule and Bio Bio Valley regions.

31/07/2014: Mumm kicks off 2014 harvest with a splash (US)
Dozens of Mumm Napa employees gathered Wednesday morning to celebrate the start of the 2014 harvest on the winery’s crushpad. Almost 16 tonnes of Pinot Noir grapes were delivered, destined for Mumm's sparkling wine.

30/07/2014: Winery and council in secret settlement
A long-running dispute between Napier City Council and the owners of Mission Estate Winery has been settled out of court - but ratepayers will not be told what it has cost them. The dispute, settled this month, began in 2006 when the council used the Public Works Act to take 1.5 ha from the New Zealand winery to realign Puketitiri Road. A valuer employed by the council, Mike Penrose, put the land's value at $168,000.

30/07/2014: Vintage year expected at awards
The Hawke's Bay A&P Bayleys Wine Awards are expecting world-class entries as the standard of the region's wine continues to rise, according to organisers. Entries for the 14th annual awards, the oldest regional wine competition in the country, officially opened last Thursday.

30/07/2014: Wine world lines up for Vinexpo Nippon (Japan)
A range of international winemakers have signed up to Vinexpo Nippon to be held in Tokyo from 1-2 November. Leading brands from Australia, New Zealand, Chile, France, Italy, Spain and South Africa have reserved stands at the Japanese show which will take place at the Prince Park Tower Hotel.

30/07/2014: Professor claims terroir is ‘a myth’ (France)
The quality of some of the world’s top wines is down to a concentration of expertise rather than terroir, a French professor has argued. Top regions such as Champagne and Rioja are not successful because of the chemistry of the soil, the climate or local knowledge but because of a concentration of expertise, according to a paper co-authored by Professor Valéry Michaux, director of research at NEOMA Business School in Rouen.

30/07/2014: California wine industry strong despite bumps in road (US)
The California wine industry is "purring like a well-tuned engine" but growers must beware of bumps in the road including foreign competition, alternative beverages and rising input costs, according to grape leader Jeff Bitter. Bitter’s overall message included more wine industry positives than concerns during his speech to 300 members of Allied Grape Growers (AGG) at its annual meeting in Fresno in July.

30/07/2014: South Africa's Sodbuster wine targets UK farmers
A South African wine has decided to bypass the usual UK retail channels in favour of directly targeting farmers. Sodbuster, which is bottled in South Africa by Boland Cellars, is describing itself as a wine "made by farmers, for farmers".

29/07/2014: Major wine companies should not pin their futures on China, warns Krug chief
The wine world needs to let go of its obsession with China and stop believing the market can solve all its problems, according to Krug chief executive Margareth Henriquez who runs the top Champagne house in France.

29/07/2014: Wineries prepare for wine awards
A record number of golds are in prospect next month, says one of two Hawke's Bay judges preparing to taste and test top tipples at the 12th annual New World Wine Awards. The Bay's wineries could be among the winners after two great growing seasons on the trot.

29/07/2014: Two Marlborough vineyards on the market
The high value of the New Zealand dollar has motivated the Australian owners of several vineyards in the heart of New Zealand’s premier Sauvignon Blanc grapegrowing region to place two of their properties on the market. Both neighbouring vineyards are in the highly-fertile Waihopai Valley in Marlborough.

29/07/2014: Moët Hennessy sales hit by China destocking, but US remains 'dynamic'
Moët Hennessy posted declines in sales and profits for the first half of this year as difficult conditions in China’s drinks market continue to hinder luxury-end growth. The French company’s sales fell 7 per cent on a reported basis to €1.7bn (AU$2.4bn) in six months to June, while profit from recurring operations was down 15 per cent to €461 million (AU$658m).

29/07/2014: New drinks retail brand launches in UK
Conviviality Retail, owner of the Wine Rack and Bargain Booze chains, has launched a warehouse-style retail brand in the UK promising to undercut rivals’ wine, beer and spirit prices. The first BB Warehouse branch opened yesterday in Wakefield on the renovated site of a former Rhythm & Booze outlet, after Conviviality bought the chain earlier this year.

29/07/2014: North Coast growers battle with state's high court over frost rules (US)
Local grapegrowers and farmers are battling with North Coast's highest court over controversial rules governing frost protection, escalating a legal battle on regulations meant to protect endangered fish in the Russian River and its tributaries.

28/07/2014: New Zealand premium wine sales soar in UK market
New Zealand wine has become the second largest country of origin in the UK market for wine sold for more than £7 (AU$12.65) according to the latest Nielsen data. New Zealand now sells 18 per cent of all wines sold in this premium price segment, having overtaken Australia and France.

28/07/2014: NZ Winegrowers stunned by criticism
A claim by Australian wine figure Wolf Blass that New Zealand wine exporters are claiming a subsidy in and flooding the Australian market has left Kiwi growers bemused. Blass said wine companies from New Zealand had claimed about $25m in rebates through Australia's WET scheme, designed to promote Australian wines. New Zealand Winegrowers chief executive Philip Gregan said the accusation from Blass that New Zealand's flooding the Australian market with wine was hard to swallow.

28/07/2014: Ontario grape crops recover from bitter winter (Canada)
Ontario vineyards that saw grape crops damaged by extreme cold weather this winter are experiencing strong growth again thanks to the mild summer, experts say. Favourable weather conditions such as ample precipitation and the lack of extreme heat or drought helped the crops recover from cold injuries according to Jim Willwerth, a viticulturist with Brock University's Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute.

28/07/2014: Japan’s growing thirst for Chilean wine worries EU
Imports of bottled wine from Chile are surging in Japan, partly in line with falls in the import tariff following a bilateral economic partnership agreement. Chilean wine was second in annual imports to Japan in 2013 on a country-by-country basis, beating Italian wine.

28/07/2014: Merchant taps into mature wine demand (UK)
A new UK-based wine merchant is attracting international customers by basing its business entirely on sales of mature wine. Established in February this year by former Roberson Wine manager Joe Gilmour, Blast Vintners carries a strong, 190 wine portfolio of which 80 per cent are European.

28/07/2014: Lafite-Rothschild owner produces first ‘experimental’ wine in China
Chateau Lafite-Rothschild owner Domaines Barons de Rothschild has described its first Chinese vintage as ‘experimental’ and believes it is likely to take at least another three harvests to perfect a wine that it could sell on the domestic market.

25/07/2014: Master class takes on new meaning
The words 'master class' take on new meaning next month at New Zealand's inaugural Master of Wine open day. Its setting is in the crater of an old volcano, which happens to be the home of the largest family-owned winery in the country - Villa Maria Winery in Mangere, Auckland.

25/07/2014: Montana wins most trusted accolade
Marlborough wine brand Montana has been named the most trusted company in the country. The New Zealand Reader's Digest announced the country's most trusted brands for 2014 on Wednesday. Montana was named the winning wine brand and wineries Villa Maria and Wither Hills were "highly commended".

25/07/2014: Winegrape grower sets new record for maturing grapes (Austria)
An award-winning Austrian winegrower is believed to have set a new record after leaving harvested grapes for an incredible nine months before fermenting them to create an ultra-sweet white and red wine. Christian and Nora Trierenberg, who own a vineyard in the southern Austrian province of Styria, harvested 2500 kilos of Zweigelt (red winegrapes) and Gewuerztraminer (white winegrapes).

25/07/2014: Booming wine industry will significantly impact economy in coming years (US)
In the past 15 to 20 years, Washington’s wine industry has been booming. Numbers in acreage for vineyards, production, jobs and wineries are skyrocketing, which will lead to a major impact on its economy in coming years, according to a recent study. It's as simple as supply and demand.

25/07/2014: California's Malibu Coast winemakers secure AVA status (US)
The Malibu coastline outside Los Angeles has become California's newest American Viticultural Area (AVA), which winemakers hope will raise the region’s profile. Officially named Malibu Coast AVA, the sub-region will stretch northbound along the Pacific Coast Highway for approximately 46 miles (74km) and inland to the Santa Monica Mountains for eight miles (12.8km).

25/07/2014: Tesco adds seven new wines to its Finest range in response to calls from consumers (UK)
Tesco’s customers have called for increased variety in its Finest wine range and their prayers were answered last week as the British multinational retailer added seven new wines including a Riesling from Slovenia. The new lines have been added to increase the breadth of the range and “take customers on a journey of exploration and discovery”.

24/07/2014: Employers encouraged to take up Seasonal Worker Scheme
Domestic Pacific workers can be as successful as overseas Pacific workers in the horticulture and viticulture industries says Pacific Island Affairs Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga. Lotu-Iiga is encouraging employers to take up the New Zealand Seasonal Worker Scheme announced Tuesday by Social Development Minister Paula Bennett. The scheme will provide pastoral care and other support to assist Kiwis into seasonal work.

24/07/2014: Champagne prices stay low thanks to weak French market
Champagne agents expect big discounts at UK supermarkets this Christmas thanks to weak demand for the sparkling wine in its home country. Comité Champagne last week set the 2014 yield slightly up on last year at 10,500kg per hectare, including 400kg/ha allowed to be released from producers' reserve stocks, rising to 500kg/ha if sales exceed 307 million bottles by year end.

24/07/2014: First bottles of Ethiopian wine produced by French drinks giant
French beverage giant Castel, one of the world's biggest producers of wine and beer, is raising a glass to its first production of 1.2 million bottles of Ethiopian Rift Valley wine. The African state's former president Meles Zenawi, who died in 2012, encouraged Castel to develop vineyards in Ethiopia as a way of improving its image.

24/07/2014: Hahn redirects brand-building prowess (US)
The Californian producer behind multi-million dollar wine brands Rex Goliath and Cycles Gladiator is now channeling its expertise into a high-end Pinot Noir and Chardonnay project. After selling its Rex Goliath brand to Constellation in 2005 for $43m, earlier this year the Monterey-based Hahn Family Wines sold follow-up venture Cycles Gladiator to a US firm called Wine Hooligans for an undisclosed sum.

24/07/2014: Italy's star is rising in NZ
There are more varieties of winegrapes in Italy than in any other country, but selling Italian vino in New Zealand remains a hard ask for small importers who focus mostly on the restaurant trade. So it may come as a surprise to find there are a growing number of Italian wine importers in New Zealand - and their business is growing.

24/07/2014: Bankrupt En Primeur Ltd owes creditors £1.8m (UK)
Debts at UK wine merchant En Primeur Ltd are higher than originally thought and there are concerns over apparent gaps in the firm’s stocks. En Primeur Ltd's creditors are owed more than £1.8m (AU$3.2m), liquidator Nedim Ailyan of Abbott Fielding found after examining the firm’s books.

23/07/2014: Overseas opportunity for Tarac Technologies
Tarac Technologies Pty Ltd has been selected by Marlborough Grape Marc (MGM) group in New Zealand to generate new, commercially viable and environmentally sustainable products from grape waste. Tarac technologies chief executive Jeremy Blanks said he is “impressed with the collaborative approach taken by the industry and Marlborough District Council to seek solutions which create value and enhance the image of the New Zealand Wine Industry".

23/07/2014: Spanish varietal finds new home in NZ
Albariño may be a Spanish varietal but New Zealand producers say the grape is "quite at home" in a country far from where it originates. Albariño is resistant to rain-induced rot and is attracting interest, particularly among growers in Gisborne, Marlborough and Nelson.

23/07/2014: Swiss winemaker convicted of tax fraud
Swiss winemaker Dominique Giroud has been convicted of tax fraud but his spokesperson said the verdict "doesn't come as a surprise". Giroud was found guilty by a court in the Swiss canton of Vaud last week and was accused of providing false figures on his company, Giroud Vins, to tax authorities between 2005 and 2009.

23/07/2014: Chinese firm buys Quixote Winery (US)
Napa’s Quixote Winery has been sold to Chinese-owned firm Jinta Vineyards and Winery for US$29m (AU$30.8m). It is the latest in a series of Asian acquisitions in the area which includes the sale of Michael Mondavi’s winery to Kieu Hoang Winery, owned by a Vietnamese-American who sells exclusively to Asian markets.

23/07/2014: California passes ‘sip and spit’ bill (US)
A bill allowing underage winemaking and brewing students to taste while studying has been approved by the governor of California. According to the San Francisco Gate, governor Jerry Brown signed the bill into law this Monday and it will come into effect from the winter semester.

23/07/2014: Wine firms must be 'consumer-centric' to win new generation of drinkers (UK)
Wine companies must have a consumer-centric approach to draw in and stay relevant to new generations of wine drinkers according to the latest Rabobank report. It says many wine companies have had greater success by developing contemporary brands rather than rehashing their existing portfolio.

22/07/2014: Competition delivers 85 gold medals to wines from New Zealand, Australia and Europe
The 2014 Spiegelau International Wine Competition held last week in Marlborough has awarded 85 gold medals, 199 silver and 536 bronze medals resulting in more than 60 per cent of all wines judged receiving an accolade. New Zealand producers received 60 of the gold medals, Australia took home 14, France scooped five and Spain, Portugal and Chile received three, two and one respectively.

22/07/2014: Wine judges set to taste more than 1150 wines at one of NZ’s largest wine competitions
With a record number of wines entered in the New World Wine Awards this year, an independent panel of 13 wine experts will spend three days in August judging every wine using the same internationally recognised system as other leading wine competitions.

22/07/2014: Japanese wines may get boost in LDP plan
The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is looking at establishing legislation designed to boost the international competitiveness of Japanese wine. Under the proposed legislation, the government would issue certificates of origin for wine and guarantee product quality if wine made from domestically grown grapes meets a certain criteria.

22/07/2014: Rhone co-ops in 'supply war' with negociants (France)
Tensions are running high in the Rhone Valley with negociants and cooperative cellars clashing over the advance purchase of grapes for the 2014 harvest. A letter was sent in early July to all cooperative cellars in the region, signed by the Cotes du Rhone winemakers’ union, to warn of manoeuvres from certain negociants to assure their grape sourcing.

22/07/2014: Chilean wine shines at a China tastings
Last week six fine wines from Chilean winery La Lejania were well-received by Nanning wine lovers, proving Chinese consumers are looking beyond top drops from France. The tasting, hosted by La Lejania’s Asia export manager Diego Garreton Smart followed a thorough introduction of the producer’s rich winemaking history.

22/07/2014: 20 per cent of Italy’s vineyards declared obsolete
As much as one fifth of Italy’s vineyards are “obsolete” according to Marchese Piero Antinori, president of one of the country’s biggest wine producers Marchesi Antinori. During a talk at May’s IMW symposium in Florence, Antinori gave a brief history of his experience in the Italian wine industry before stating the weaknesses and opportunities in the country today.

21/07/2014: Amisfield viticulturist crowned 2014 Central Otago Young Viticulturist of the Year
It was second time lucky for Amisfield assistant vineyard manager Mike Winter after he took out the 2014 Central Otago Young Viticulturist of the Year title in Bannockburn. The 27-year-old who finished third last year, fought off some tough competition from seven other competitors to win the title and the right to represent the region at the national competition in Blenheim next month.

21/07/2014: US billionaire's Kiwi empire growing
Californian billionaire William P. Foley II is expanding his assets in New Zealand. He plans to upgrade two Wairarapa vineyards, build a new Marlborough bottling plant and buy a gin label, Land Rover Discovery vehicles and the owners' cottage at the Wharekauhau Country Estate. According to reports, he is also contemplating expanding south of Wairarapa and Marlborough and buying a Central Otago vineyard if the opportunity arises.

21/07/2014: French wine exports to China remain strong but slip elsewhere
A study from the French government agriculture office FranceAgriMer indicates the country remains the most important wine supplier to China, but is losing market share in Germany, the UK and the US. It's on the American market that France is suffering the most, achieving only 27 per cent of the market by volume in 2013 compared to 36 percent in 2000.

21/07/2014: Prosecco producers warned to avoid deals or become "another Cava" (Italy)
Italian Prosecco producers must maintain prices to guard against becoming “another Cava” (Spanish sparkling wine), UK agents have warned. Bibendum Wine Co head of buying Andrew Shaw said Prosecco needs to push a quality agenda and avoid excessive price promotion. "It needs to learn from Cava’s experience a few years ago when consumer popularity and over-promotion led to a devaluation of individual brands and of the category as a whole," he warned.

21/07/2014: Burgundy vineyards experiment with anti-hail nets (France)
The use of a protective net on vines as a defense against hail is the latest topic of conversation in Burgundy. The discussion follows the failure of expensive anti-hail cannons to protect some of the region’s prized vineyards which were hit by hail for the third consecutive year last month.

21/07/2014: 2014 Wines from Spain Awards winners announced
The 2014 Wines from Spain Awards has announced the 102 winners of its annual competition where more than 700 Spanish wines were tasted by the judging panel headed by Tim Atkin MW. The wines hailing from more than 30 regions represent the spectrum of styles and wines that Spain is producing and exporting to the UK.

21/07/2014: Westminster wine consumption drops (UK)
Consumption of the UK government’s wine cellar has dropped but spending is up, with the Westminster wine cellar now said to pay for itself. Foreign office minister Mark Simmonds has released the 2013/2014 report on the Westminster wine cellar which indicates consumption has dropped by more than 13 per cent on the year before.

18/07/2014: Value creation and environmental sustainability for Marlborough wine industry by-products
Marlborough wine producers have come together with the Marlborough District Council in a new collaborative approach to the management of grape marc disposal to generate new, commercially viable and environmentally sustainable products from grape waste.

18/07/2014: South African winemaker receives Lifetime Achievement Award at IWC 2014
South African winemaker and producer Charles Back received the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award at the International Wine Challenge awards dinner Wednesday night in London. Back, a third generation owner of South Africa's Fairview winery, has become one of the most well-known winemakers around the world for the work he's done in research and analysis, most noticeably in Chile and Argentina.

18/07/2014: Drought drains $2.2bn from farm economy (US)
The ongoing drought in California will cost farmers $2.2bn this year and put 17,100 people out of work, UC Davis experts have estimated. The dollar figure is just 5 percent of the state agriculture industry’s $42.6bn gross income in 2012, but the losses are greater in some parts of the state including Merced and the west side of Stanislaus.

18/07/2014: Champagne yield reflects confidence boost (France)
A small rise in this year’s maximum permitted yield has reflected a modest increase in shipments during the first part of 2014, according to The Champagne Bureau (CIVC). Following a meeting this week between the CIVC, growers and houses, the yield for this year’s harvest has been set at 10,500kg per ha, an increase on last year’s limit of 10,000kg.

18/07/2014: English Wine Producers says it will take five years to hit £100m in sales (UK)
English Wine Producers has revised downwards ambitious targets of reaching £100m (AUD$183m) worth of sales by next year, saying sales of £60 million (AUD$110m) are more likely. While the industry has been enjoying strong growth during the past few years, a poor 2012 harvest has hindered the next phase of its development.

17/07/2014: Wine competition in full swing
Judges have kicked off day two of the Spiegelau International Wine Competition by tasting more than 170 Sauvignon Blanc wines that have come from all over the world. The annual Blenheim-based wine competition, now in its fourth year, began Tuesday morning at the Marlborough Convention Centre with judges tasting wines from New Zealand, Australia, Spain, Italy, France, South Africa, South America and Portugal.

17/07/2014: Hill Laboratories appoints new Blenheim lab manager
It's all happening at New Zealand's Hill Laboratories. The country's leading analytical lab has appointed Hugh Richards as lab manager for the company’s newest facility based in Blenheim. This comes just two days after Daily Wine News reported Kevin Taylor has taken over as the company’s new South Island manager.

17/07/2014: Provence rosé magnum sales to double (UK)
UK sales of Provençal rosé magnums are predicted to double this year with total exports of the region’s signature style rising 22 per cent in volume and 61 per cent in value last year. According to the Provençal Wines Council (CIVP), the UK has now “fully embraced” a trend for buying Provence rosé in the double bottle format.

17/07/2014: Truck spills 18,000 bottles of Saint Emilion wine into street (France)
A truck carrying 18,000 bottles of wine from a Grand Cru Classe estate in Saint Emilion has overturned near Bordeaux, spilling its load across the road. Bottles of Chateau La Dominique's second wine from the 2011 vintage had to be recovered by hand with the majority of them smashed.

17/07/2014: Summer boosts sales of sparkling wine, says Nielsen (Italy)
Fizz has fared well thanks to summer, with sales of sparkling wine up 18.9 per cent on last year, according to the latest Nielsen data for the off-trade. Taking a closer look at Italian sparkling - dominated by Prosecco - volumes were up 58.3 per cent versus last year and now make up one out of every two bottles sold.

17/07/2014: Berry Bros & Rudd and Roberson win independent merchants of the year at IWC 2014 (UK)
UK wine merchants Berry Bros & Rudd (BB&R) and Roberson Wine were named large and small independent merchants of the year at last night’s International Wine Challenge awards dinner. It was a highly successful night for BB&R in particular, which also took home the highly coveted merchant of the year award.

16/07/2014: Gruet toasts new marketing deal (US)
Albuquerque’s Gruet Winery has signed a new marketing partnership with Precept Wine, the largest privately-held wine producer in the Pacific Northwest. Precept Wine will manage sales, marketing and distribution for Gruet, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

16/07/2014: Americans drive Gran Reserva Rioja sales
US wine consumers have developed a thirst for Gran Reserva Rioja and are helping drive sales of the style according to one of the region’s estates. CVNE chief executive Victor Urrutia said Americans are getting "super excited" about the wine and there’s a trend in the US for going back to the Old World classics and family-owned estates.

16/07/2014: Kiwi scientist finds way to counter mealybug threat
The New Zealand wine industry is now better equipped to battle plant pathogens thanks to new research carried out in the country. Economic losses from the grapevine leafroll virus, transmitted by insects called mealybugs, total tens of millions of dollars each year in New Zealand alone.

16/07/2014: Terrasses du Larzac wine region gets appellation status (France)
French officials have approved Terrasses du Larzac in Languedoc-Roussillon as a standalone appellation, offering more evidence of the region's improving reputation. Formerly referred to as 'Coteaux du Languedoc Terrasses du Larzac', the new AOC spreads across 2000ha with 60 wine producers and five cooperatives located west and north of Montpellier.

16/07/2014: Sotheby's to auction fine wine via eBay (US)
Online auction site eBay is going more upmarket after signing a deal to partner with Sotheby's to sell a range of collector's items, including fine and rare wine. Sotheby's and eBay will begin their partnership with a series of live auctions based out of Sotheby's New York headquarters, the two companies announced Monday.

16/07/2014: Chile, Argentina and South Africa come together for Beautiful South event
A central 'meet the winemaker' themed area will be the central focus for this September’s combined Beautiful South tasting featuring wines from Chile, South Africa and Argentina. This is the second year Wines of Argentina, Wines of Chile and Wines of South Africa have come together to put on a joint tasting across two days at London's Olympia exhibition centre.

15/07/2014: French Cremant de Savoie appellation moves closer to reality
Sparkling winemakers in France's Savoie region are set to join an elite club able to use the term 'Cremant' on labels after gaining approval from officials. France's appellation body said Savoie wineries producing sparkling wines by the traditional Champagne method can use the term on labels from the 2014 harvest.

15/07/2014: China’s entry-level wine market gets boost
A government crackdown on gift giving has slowed down sales of imported wines in China, but sales at the other end of the market are booming. John Watkins, head of China based wine merchant ASC Fine Wines suggests it’s not all bad and European countries other than France could be set to benefit.

15/07/2014: Fake big-brand wine on the rise (UK)
It has been revealed that as many as one in five bottles of wine stocked in independent corner shops in England could be fake, following the release of information on police raids to tackle the organised crime. The biggest household labels are the main targets for fraudsters who fake labels on sub-standard wine before selling to corner shop owners.

15/07/2014: Changing colours in Sonoma vineyards signal approach of harvest (US)
The countdown to the annual grape crush has begun as clusters of fruit slowly change texture and colour in pockets throughout Sonoma, heralding the approach of a harvest season expected to come earlier while yielding a crop less bountiful than in previous record-breaking years.

15/07/2014: Hill Laboratories appoints new South Island manager
New Zealand's leading analytical testing laboratory Hill Laboratories has appointed Kevin Taylor as the company’s new South Island manager. Taylor brings to Hill Laboratories’ Christchurch-based lab more than two decades of experience in quality management and operations management fields.

14/07/2014: Blog: New Zealand’s leading analytical testing lab celebrates 30 years
In July 1984 a young Waikato scientist by the name of Roger Hill left a small soil testing laboratory in Cambridge to launch his own in Hamilton. Roger and his wife Anne’s initial business intention, he says, was simply to “have a go” on their own. Yet three decades later the company, well-known nationally and internationally as Hill Laboratories, is the largest privately owned testing lab in the whole of New Zealand.

14/07/2014: Drought cutting into winegrape production (US)
The summer sizzle is helping winegrapes rapidly mature in central California vineyards. Despite the drought, experts say the vines will produce a good crop in an area the wine industry heavily relies on. San Joaquin Valley Winegrowers Association executive director Peter Vallis said "100 per cent of all the grape concentrate made in California comes from within about 100 miles of Fresno".

14/07/2014: Chateau Pichon-Lalande chief open to organic future (France)
Chateau Pichon-Lalande's general manager Nicolas Glumineau says it is possible the entire estate could be farmed organically, but more research is needed. Pichon-Lalande currently farms 3ha of its 78ha of vines organically, while another 3ha have been set aside for biodynamic farming.

14/07/2014: Gallo family fortune close to $10bn (US)
The Gallo family, which owns one of the world's biggest wine producers, has been named as one of the richest families in the US in a new ranking by Forbes magazine. The winemaking operation that Ernest and Julio Gallo began in a shed in California in the 1930s has turned into a family empire worth an estimated $9.7bn.

14/07/2014: Discovery could cut use of fertiliser by farmers (US)
A discovery by a scientist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service could help farmers use less fertiliser, saving money and helping the environment. Richard Haney, a US Department of Agriculture soil scientist in Temple, Texas, has developed a soil test that replicates some of the natural processes that occur in a field and accounts for that microbial activity, along with measuring nitrate, ammonium (NH4), and organic nitrogen.

14/07/2014: Responsibility deal changes will have knock-on effect on how consumers buy wine (UK)
UK wine buyers will start factoring alcohol content into their buying decisions on the back of a new responsibility deal pledge around lower alcohol house wines, says Portman Group chief Henry Ashworth. Following the government announcement last week on additional responsibility deal pledges, Ashworth said offering slightly lower alcohol wines was a "great endeavor" and that it wouldn't reduce enjoyment or commercial success.

11/07/2014: Aussie winemakers urge government to cork $99m tax loophole for New Zealand producers
Australian winemakers are calling for the federal government to close a tax loophole that has allowed New Zealand winemakers to receive close to $100m in rebates between 2005 and 2012. As the Australian winemaking industry bands together to find new ways to get their wines into the homes of its consumers, members of the sector have spoken out about the “abuse” of the WET rebate which was originally designed to assist regional winemakers.

11/07/2014: Pinot Noir makes a mark in NZ
Greywacke founder Kevin Judd's love for Pinot Noir stretches back to 1984 when he started his winemaking career at Cloudy Bay. Cloudy Bay was always very involved in Marlborough's Pinot Noir scene, helping it grow from "nothing to what it is now". So where and how did the region's Pinot Noir story begin?

11/07/2014: Romanian wine producers to get $48m in funding until 2018
Romanian wine producers will soon have access to funds from the European Union worth EUR$47.7m (AU$69m) from 2014 to 2018. They will be able to use this money to restructure or reconvert vineyards and promote their wine brands to the world.

11/07/2014: Pernod Ricard taps into sparkling wine trend with Café de Paris brand (US)
Looking to take advantage of the ongoing popularity of imported sparkling wines in the US market, Pernod Ricard is launching two fruit-flavored sparklers under the Café de Paris brand. The Bordeaux-produced Café de Paris brand, which was established in 1967 and is marketed around the world, will initially include Pomegranate and Pear flavoured sparkling wines in the US this month.

11/07/2014: UK's wine volume sales to pick up by 2017
The UK wine market is expected to grow in value by 6.1 per cent to £13.14 billion (AU$23.9bn) by 2018, with volume growth forecast to pick up again in 2017. According to a market update on wine from market intelligence provider Key Note, wine's value growth will dip this year given duty is rising by 2.5 per cent as opposed to the expected 4.5 per cent.

11/07/2014: Screwcap now level with cork closures in UK according to new data
Americans are still wary of screwcap closures for wine while their British and Australian counterparts are much more accepting according to new data from Wine Intelligence. In the UK, screwcaps and natural cork are favoured equally by consumers, with 40 per cent saying they like buying wines closed with screwcaps and another 40 per cent saying they like natural cork.

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