|Grapegrower & Winemaker||Wine & Viticulture Journal||Wine Industry Directory||
||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.
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Announcements and Suppliers
24/11/2014: Tonnellerie CADUS early order discounts for vintage 2014
The world class CADUS Origine® barrel line-up is extended with the addition of the Sensoriel® range featuring amongst others the ACCESS barrel. A high quality French oak barrel with a commercial benefit provides winemakers with the tools to enhance wine quality without blowing their oak budget.
24/11/2014: Are your wine additives the real thing?
Are you taking advantage of the inexpensive wine additives such as DAP or tartaric acid available this vintage? Not sure whether what you’re getting is the real deal? AWRI Commercial Services can give you confidence by testing wine additives for compliance with either the Food Chemicals Codex (FCC) or the product’s Certificate of Analysis.
24/11/2014: Final week to enter Adama/GW Photo Competition
If you haven’t entered the Adama/GW photo competition, you better be quick! Entries close Sunday 30th November and there are 11 awesome prizes up for grabs! All you have to do is grab your camera and snap a picture of your healthy vines or vineyard – it’s that easy!
24/11/2014: Update your listings for the 2015 Wine Industry Directory
It’s that time of year again. The Winetitles team is busily putting together the 2015 Wine Industry Directory (WID) and is seeking your updated listing. What is WID, you may ask?
24/11/2014: Final week for exhibitors to register for the Australia Trade Tasting and Conference with early bird pricing
So what can you expect in 2015 Australia Trade Tasting? Click the link to find out.
Australian Wine Industry News
28/11/2014: Grapegrowers warned prepare for bushfire smoke damage
Vineyards exposed to smoke from bushfires or controlled burns may be at risk of producing tainted wine. Grapes are susceptible to the absorption of smoke compounds during sensitive stages of development. Glynn Ward, Department of Agriculture and Food of Western Australia grapes and wine project manager, says grapes are particularly vulnerable to smoke taint during the period between veraison and harvest.
28/11/2014: Canadians get a taste for Australian wine
Canadian media were invited to sample a selection of Australian wines at the Savour Australia Preview Tasting event, held in Vancouver last Thursday. Hosted by Wine Australia, the event gave industry members a preview of what to expect in next year's Australian themed Vancouver International Wine Festival (VIWF).
28/11/2014: The countries with highest sparkling wine taxes
Pop the cork! Not just for special occasions anymore, wine drinkers are making sparkling wine a more regular beverage of choice. Whether opting for a glass of bubbly with dinner or mixing a fashionable cocktail, Champagne, Prosecco, Cava, and their closest relatives are growing in popularity. The production and consumption of sparkling wine has increased drastically in the past 10 years with production alone increasing 40 per cent since 2004.
28/11/2014: Australia Trade Tasting announces US focus
Australia Trade Tasting (AuTT) announced the United States of America will be the focus market of its educational conference next year. The 2015 Export Focus Day highlights market entry into featured focus countries and will include a core group of speakers from top US sales, distribution, marketing and retail firms.
28/11/2014: Wine Australia’s new gem
The vacant position of Wine Australia’s UK and Europe regional director, one of the organisation’s most important in-market positions, has been filled with the appointment of a master of wine who has been working for Tesco. Laura Jewell brings significant commercial experience complemented by in-depth wine knowledge to the position left vacant by the sad death of Yvonne May in September.
27/11/2014: Pernod Ricard takes creativity in-house
Last year Pernod Ricard Winemakers started an in-house Think Creative Leadership Lab in an effort to broaden creative thinking across the company. Marketing and new product development is part of the agenda but it’s much broader. The Sydney-based global winemaking unit charged Paulina Larocca, creativity and concept director of Pernod Ricard Winemakers, with the new remit and she’s now rolling out a series of initiatives starting in Australia and New Zealand but going global over the next few years.
27/11/2014: Winemaker predicts challenging times
The company behind McGuigan wines expects challenging times ahead, due to fierce competition at home and overseas and higher prices because of a low vintage. Ian Ferrier, Australian Vintage chairman, says margins should be improved by further falls in the Australian dollar, but the currency had not dropped as much as he expected.
27/11/2014: Chateau Yaldara set to be tourist hotspot
1847 Wines has completed its purchase of Australia’s historic Chateau Yaldara, announcing plans to turn it into a major tourist destination. The purchase includes both the Chateau Yaldara site and its brands with 1847 wines intending to use the historic winery not only to expand its portfolio, but as part of a “long term strategy to develop the site into a major tourism destination for the Barossa.”
27/11/2014: Champagne Henriot back in Australia
Peter Hasko, former Coca-Cola Amatil general manager and his son Ben, a former sommelier, were inspired by meetings with the Henriot family and tasted their unique, hand-crafted Champagnes. Together, the pair wanted to collect a range of equally special wines, made by equally passionate and talented winemakers, and with this in mind they created distribution company Bootleggers and signed Champagne Henriot as their first brand.
27/11/2014: McGuigan steps down from Australian Vintage board
In a report before the Australian Stock Exchange, Ian Ferrier, Australian Vintage chairman, says that Brian McGuigan is retiring and will not seek re-election to the board. Ferrier says as the board renewal process could take up to 12 months, McGuigan will not leave immediately, but did want to inform shareholders.
26/11/2014: Melbourne's first 'interactive, urban' winery opens
When Cam Nicol moved into a rental property in Melbourne's north last year, he didn't expect to find a wine fermenter in the basement. The surprise led to a creative experiment, involving two of his best friends – who both happened to be winemakers.
26/11/2014: Six of Aldi’s cheap wines judged best in Sydney
Australia’s biggest wine snobs have sniffed, sipped and spat their way through more than 2000 wines- only to judge six bottles from Aldi as among the best the country has to offer. The Sydney International Wine Competition found a $6.99 Cabernet Sauvignon from south-eastern Australia and a $9.99 Semillon, blended specifically for the Aldi discount supermarket chain, to be in its top 100.
26/11/2014: Role of the Supplier Seminar well received by industry
A seminar discussing the supplier’s role in the future of the wine industry, hosted by Wine Industry Suppliers Australia (WISA), the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) and Accolade Wines, was well attended at Hardys’ Tintara in McLaren Vale earlier this month. Attendees were guided through collaborative work between the organisations in regards to a product information disclosure form aimed at becoming an industry standard.
26/11/2014: Fruit growers assess the damage after hail storms in Sunraysia
Growers are assessing the damage after hail storms wiped out crops in parts of Sunraysia. Growers are hoping to meet with local politicians today to ask for disaster assistance, after the local wine industry estimated a loss of 20,000 tonnes from this year's vintage.
26/11/2014: Wine Grape Growers Australia AGM looks to future
The Wine Grape Growers Australia annual general meeting (AGM) and seminar was well attended and provided insight to the grapegrowing sector of the industry earlier this month. Brian Walsh, Australian Grape & Wine Authority (AGWA) chair, said the organisation’s three key objectives were increasing demand, competitiveness and capability.
25/11/2014: Jacob’s Creek plays emotion card with winemakers at the heart of new brand push
Jacob’s Creek has launched a global brand campaign with a TV-led push that focuses on the people who make the wine and the challenges they face at the centre of the creative. The ‘Made By’ marketing drive, created by Havas Worldwide Australia, follows the launch of a new brand identity earlier this year and will celebrate the people, places and passions that go into crafting every bottle of Jacob’s Creek wine.
25/11/2014: Wine Victoria welcomes plan to grow wine tourism and exports
Wine Victoria has welcomed the Labor Party’s pre-election announcements to invest in the Victorian wine industry through key policy areas including tourism, international exports, biosecurity and regional job creation. Jacinta Allan, shadow minister for regional and rural development, yesterday announced a $1 million plan which includes dedicated funds to boost cellar door visits and support wine exports by growing overseas markets.
25/11/2014: ASVO announces new president and changes to board
The Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology (ASVO) has announced that Dr Mardi Longbottom, senior viticulturist of the Australian Wine Research Institute, has been appointed president of the organisation. Upon accepting the appointment, Dr Longbottom said that she was honoured to be elected.
25/11/2014: Growers count the cost of storm damage
Winegrape growers in southwest NSW have lost up to 20,000 tonnes of the 2015 harvest from a storm that ripped through properties in Gol Gol North, Buronga, Mourquong, Curlwaa and Coomealla on Saturday. The damage bill will run to millions of dollars, with the loss of wine grapes alone estimated to be worth up to $6 million.
25/11/2014: Frankland wine producers move on after October hail storm
A month after hail decimated wineries in Western Australia's Frankland River, producers are slowly getting back on their feet. Alkoomi owner Rod Hallett lost 90 per cent of his crop, a loss worth several million dollars. But a harsh pruning campaign and a bit of time means the vines are re-shooting and he says he can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.
25/11/2014: Boutique wine business goes from small to booming
Brett Ketelbey and Tom Hollings had both worked in the wine industry and noticed a gap that needed to be filled. Online wine boutique Different Drop gives Australians the chance to order Australian wines that can’t be found in your local bottle shops.
24/11/2014: Burch Family Wines joins leading Chinese agricultural company
Leading Chinese agricultural company, Joyvio Group, has launched its wine distribution initiative at an event in Beijing, which includes its partnership with Burch Family Wines - one of Western Australia’s largest family owned and operated wine companies.
24/11/2014: Riverland plans for future competitiveness
The Riverland Viticultural Technical Group (RVTG) met last week to plan a number of projects and workshops for the 2015/2016 financial year. Several of last year’s projects will be continued including trials of new clones and root stocks and finding a vineyard solution for the growing Gazania problem.
24/11/2014: Global focus on grapevine disease management
South Australian scientists are making inroads into the management of common fungal grapevine diseases Eutypa and Botryosphaeria, which have caused significant losses in vineyards throughout the world.
24/11/2014: Kingsland signs up Australia's Limestone Coast Winery
Kingsland has bolstered its agency portfolio by taking on Australia’s Limestone Coast Winery. LCW sources grapes from across Australia, with a particular focus on flagship regions of the Limestone Coast such as Coonawarra and Mount Benson.
24/11/2014: Producers see export benefits
WA's premium wine and food producers have hailed free trade with China as a potential revolution, allowing them to broaden existing lucrative markets and create new ones. Producers of high-end wine, seafood and truffles are eyeing expansion in an attempt to tap the sought-after and growing market of the Chinese middle class, who are increasingly looking to spend their wealth on luxury produce.
24/11/2014: Last day to register for Roussane tasting
Today is the last day for Australian wine producers to register their interest in the Wine & Viticulture Journal’s forthcoming inaugural tasting of Roussanne wines and Roussanne-dominant blends.
21/11/2014: When the kids move out – parents celebrate with bubbles
With silly season fast approaching, Mark Twain’s observation that “too much of anything is bad, but too much Champagne is just right” is as relevant as ever. Roy Morgan Research explores the bubbly world of Australia’s Champagne and sparkling wine drinkers.
21/11/2014: Trunk disease will have a 'bigger impact than phylloxera', warns expert
Speaking at the International Workshop on Grapevine Trunk Diseases in Adelaide yesterday, international vineyard consultant Dr Richard Smart claimed that grapevine trunk diseases may have a greater impact on the world’s vineyard than phylloxera had previously.
21/11/2014: Future wine leaders awarded national fellowship
Two of Australia’s up and coming wine experts were awarded the prestigious 2014 Working with Wine Fellowship at a black tie dinner at Yalumba Tuesday night. Brent Williamson from The Wine Emporium in Queensland and David Manning from Negociants Australia in Victoria were named the winners of the biennial education program.
21/11/2014: Online solution to calculate smoke risks
Winemakers and vignerons in Western Australia have been using an online tool to identify the danger periods for smoke taint from burning off or bushfires. The Smoke Taint Risk calculator (STAR), launched late last year, was developed to reduce the incidence and severity of smoke exposure on grapes and wine.
21/11/2014: A win for the Wine & Viticulture Journal
The 2014 Wine Communicator Awards, presented by the Wine Communicators of Australia, was held Wednesday night at Four Seasons in Sydney. Three of the five finalists nominated for best wine trade or technical writer have a strong ties with the Wine & Viticulture Journal, including editor Sonya Logan and contributors Anthony Hoare and Cathy Howard. After much deliberation, Howard, who also contributes to Grapegrower & Winemaker, received the award.
21/11/2014: Friday Fun: 11 celebrities who make wine
What does a celebrity who already has everything do? Buy a winery, of course. Business Insider Australia rounded up a bunch of celebrity winemakers, some who have invested in their own vineyard and others who have teamed up with an already established winery to create their own unique collection.
20/11/2014: Government response to the review of the Liquor Control Act 1988
The Government response to the review of the Liquor Control Act 1988 has been tabled this week in Parliament. Larry Jorgensen, Wines of Western Australia chief executive officer, noted the Government’s response is a positive step forward in providing West Australian producers with alternative pathways to market.
20/11/2014: Murrumbateman vineyard crowdfunds expansion
Murrumbateman's Four Winds Vineyard has raised $21,635 within a month to expand its winery after giving crowdfunding a go. The vineyard sold out of Sangiovese, and nearly all of its Riesling, so it needed more production space before the next vintage.
20/11/2014: A glimpse into Keith Tulloch's winery in Pokolbin
Blood is definitely thicker than wine at Keith Tulloch's winery. The Tulloch name is one of those most closely linked with Hunter Valley history, along with Tyrrell, Lindeman, Wilkinson and Wyndham. But of the esteemed group, only Tyrrells and Tullochs still work in the region today.
20/11/2014: Riverina wineries host Asian media in bid to increase sales flow
It's a tough gig being a wine writer - drinking your way across the globe in search of a top tipple. It's even tougher for an Australian wine region to convince Asian bloggers and buyers its district has the goods over neighbouring rivals. But the Riverina Winegrapes Marketing Board is fairly confident it did enough to impress its overseas visitors to Griffith, NSW this week.
20/11/2014: Barossa Pearl back on the menu
After 30 years, one of Australia's most famous wines - Barossa Pearl - has made a comeback. Steven Johnston wrote to Jacob's Creek earlier this year to ask if rumours were true that the winery was bringing back Barossa Pearl. He told Bernard Hickin, Jacob's Creek chief winemaker, how his parents had toasted their wedding with Barossa Pearl and asked if the wine would be available as a special gift to help them celebrate 50 years of marriage. After hearing the story, Hickin agreed to prepare a one-of-a-kind handmade single bottle.
20/11/2014: Clones, rootstocks, weeds and irrigation on the Riverland agenda
An increased number of clones will be evaluated this year as part of an extended research project that aims to identify new clones most suited to the Riverland environment and growing conditions. Chris Byrne, Riverland Wine executive officer, said the increase in numbers will speed up the project timeline and fast-track the outcomes, not just for the Riverland but the broader Australian wine industry.
19/11/2014: Warm welcome to China free trade deal
The end of negotiations on a China-Australia Free Trade Agreement was marked with a ceremony at Parliament House and the signing of a Declaration of Intent by Andrew Robb, the Australian Trade and Investment Minister, and Gao Hucheng, the Chinese Commerce Minister. This formalised the conclusion of the negotiations and cemented the intent of both Australia and China to take the necessary steps towards bringing the Agreement into force. The news has been warmly welcomed across the wine industry.
19/11/2014: Angove Family Winemakers launches Vintage House Wine and Spirits
Angove Family Winemakers has announced that as of February, the distribution operation of its integrated wine business will be rebranded as Vintage House Wine and Spirits. The newly branded entity will take over from Angove Family Winemakers’ long established distribution operation. The 129-year-old family business has been distributing other brands for more than 50 years, with the family embracing Vintage House Wine and Spirits to drive this part of their business into the future.
19/11/2014: Environmental innovation honoured at ASVO awards
An advocate for new wine styles and the man behind the innovative “insectarium” have taken top honours at this year’s Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology (ASVO) awards held in Adelaide last night. Sue Bell from Bellwether Wine in Coonawarra was named 'winemaker of the year' and Matthew Bailey from Taltarni in Pyrenees was crowned 'viticulturist of the year'.
19/11/2014: Wolf Blass launches Foundation Masters by Research Scholarship
The Wolf Blass Foundation Masters by Research Scholarship was launched yesterday at a VIP cocktail event held at the University of South Australia. Blass, together with industry leaders, university personnel and Winetitles staff gathered to welcome the scholarship, which will provide the opportunity to guide marketing innovation and transform the wine industry in Australia.
19/11/2014: New guidelines help identify winery wastewater solutions
New research from the CSIRO has identified a series of guidelines to help wineries find better ways to reuse their wastewater, in particular fit-for-purpose irrigation. Co-funded by the Australian Grape and Wine Authority (AGWA) and conducted in collaboration with the University of Adelaide, the three-year project was led by Dr Anu Kumar, CSIRO Group Leader – Land and Water Flagship.
19/11/2014: Aussie Shiraz shift is 'not critic-driven', says expert
Producers rather than critics are driving the stylistic shift in Australia’s flagship Shiraz, maintains one expert on the country’s wines. Hosting a Shiraz masterclass in London last week, Mark Davidson, Wine Australia's global education manager, considered the move in recent years by an increasing number of producers towards a “fresher” expression of this variety.
18/11/2014: Accolade Wines confirms bid for Grant Burge
The consolidation of the family-owned Australian wine sector is stepping up pace after Accolade Wines confirmed rumours swirling through South Australia’s famed Barossa Valley that it was in talks to buy fifth-generation winemaker Grant Burge Wines. Accolade Wines is controlled by private equity and owns Australian wine business BRL Hardy.
18/11/2014: Chinese FTA holds fortune for Orange winemakers
Orange winemakers who export to China will be given a more competitive edge if tariffs are phased out as a result of a free trade agreement. The agreement, which is close to being signed after nine years of negotiations, could result in the phasing out of Australian wine export taxes, making the process easier and more cost effective for the region's red wine producers.
18/11/2014: A piece of history back as drawcard for Brown Brothers
Brown Brothers executive director Ross Brown had two reasons to boast at the weekend. The vineyard at Milawa hosted about 3000 people during the annual Spring Wine and Food Festival that coincided with 125 years of making wine in the Milawa region.
18/11/2014: Workshop plants the seed for precision viticulture in the Hunter
More than 20 Hunter Valley viticulturists and winemakers came together in September to see and experience firsthand the tools and techniques associated with precision viticulture. Viticultural consultant Liz Riley said the workshop was an opportunity to plant the seed and start a conversation about opportunities for small to medium-scale producers to implement precision viticulture tools and techniques.
18/11/2014: Quealy-McCarthy winemaking team returns
Quealy Winemakers has announced Kevin McCarthy will join the team, reuniting the work of the original couple who introduced Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio into Australia. McCarthy, together with his wife Kathleen Quealy, first established T’Gallant Wines in 1990 on Mornington Peninsula. After leaving T’Gallant in 2006, Quealy formed Quealy Winemakers on the family property in Balnarring. McCarthy stayed on at T’Gallant to help pay the bills as Quealy Winemakers grew. Both McCarthy and Quealy have now decided it's time for Kevin to return to the family business.
17/11/2014: Yalumba turns 165
Yalumba is today celebrating its 165 birthday. The winery was founded in 1849 by Samuel Smith, a brewer who immigrated to South Australia from Dorset with his family two years prior. Yalumba has remained family owned throughout its lifetime, with Robert & Sam Hill-Smith undertaking a complete buy-out of other family shareholders in 1989. “In many ways today marks another challenging journey beginning all over again,” Robert Hill-Smith said. “I am confident we shall prevail.”
17/11/2014: Wines of Provenance: a great innovation
James Halliday says the Australian wine show system has continuously evolved over the past 20 or so years. He says one of the interesting recent innovations was introduced by the Royal Adelaide Wine Show (since adopted by others), called Wines of Provenance. It requires three vintages of the same wine, the youngest the current vintage, the next between five and nine years older than the first, the last about 10 or more years older than the first.
17/11/2014: China trade deal opportunities
TASMANIAN wine and seafood exporters are set to reap the benefits of an historic Australia-China free trade deal to be signed in Canberra. Senior government officials working on the deal, to be signed by Prime Minister Tony Abbott and President Xi Jinping, have confirmed China has agreed not only to include wine in the agreement but also to commit to substantial tariff reductions.
17/11/2014: Push for craft beer "equality" to wine
The founder of Victoria's oldest craft brewery wants governments to do more to support the industry. Grand Ridge Brewery's Eric Walters said Australia's concentrated beer market made it difficult for small breweries to make inroads at retail and venue level. Walters has called for "parity and equity with winemakers in terms of tax".
17/11/2014: Emblem now registered to control Eutypa dieback in grapevines
Dr Mark Sosnowski, convenor of the 9th International Workshop on Grapevine Trunk Diseases, said having a registered Eutypa fungicide that can be applied post-pruning with a vineyard sprayer was a significant step forward in the bid to save Australia’s premium quality vines from devastation by trunk disease. Registration of the trusted vineyard fungicide Emblem has been extended to cover Eutypa dieback in Australian grapevines, just ahead of a major international conference on grapevine trunk diseases in Adelaide.
17/11/2014: Wanted: Rousanne
Before 2014 draws to a close, the Wine & Viticulture Journal will be holding its first tasting of Australian Roussanes and Roussane-dominant blends. The results of the tasting will be published in the January/February issue of the Journal.
14/11/2014: Grapegrowing hotspots in Tasmania could boost wine exports
The Tasmanian wine sector hopes that findings from new research will help the industry capture more of the export market. A study by the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture has identified several untapped prime grapegrowing locations. Dr Reuben Wells said the study was designed to give potential investors more detailed information about suitable sites.
14/11/2014: Hunter winemaker receives prestigious Graham Gregory award
Hunter Valley winemaker Christopher Barnes has been awarded the prestigious Graham Gregory award for his outstanding contribution to the industry. The award was presented by the Minister for Primary Industries, Katrina Hodgkinson, at the NSW Wine Industry Awards luncheon.
14/11/2014: Engagement: Not all events are equal
There are hundreds, possibly thousands, of winery events and festivals staged across Australia each year, so there was plenty of fodder for Teagan Altschwager and her events project with the University of Adelaide’s wine marketing research team. Altschwager, a PhD candidate with the university’s business school, found while events can successfully draw a crowd, they don’t always result in guests leaving with a lasting memory of a particular wine label.
14/11/2014: International writers discover food and wine ‘secrets’ in Mudgee
Mudgee has been offered up as one of the country’s premier food and wine destinations to a group of international VIPs on a gastronomic tour aimed at whetting the appetite of international travellers. Meena Thiruvengadam, Yahoo finance officer, was one of 88 food and wine writers, broadcasters, critics and bloggers touring the country. The New Yorker’s three-day tour included tastings at Mudgee’s finest cellar doors and restaurants including Lowe Wines.
14/11/2014: Winegrowers welcome new viticulturist
NSW winegrowers will benefit from the recent appointment of a viticulture development officer, as part of a collaborative extension model between the NSW Government and the state’s wine industry. Darren Fahey said his first-up goals are to work on skills development and “seeking input from regions on what research areas growers are most interested in”.
13/11/2014: Wine communication on social media should be 'light-hearted', says researcher
A wine lover might like their white wine dry - but when it comes to marketing that wine, social media engagement should be anything but. A study by marketing researcher Rebecca Dolan from the University of Adelaide's business school shows the best way to succeed on social media is to treat customers like old friends. "With wine brands it's easy to be a bit more light-hearted. It's quite a social product so it's easy to put that across on social media," Dolan says.
13/11/2014: Australian winemaker named 2015 IWSC president
The International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC) has named Neil McGuigan, chief winemaker for McGuigan Wines, as its 2015 president. McGuigan, a third generation Hunter Valley winemaker, was announced president at the competition’s banquet and awards night in London yesterday, marking the 46th year of the IWSC.
13/11/2014: International judge 'shocked' at high standard of Australian alternative varieties
Australia is doing a great job at growing Italian wine varieties down under according to Walter Speller, an Italian wine writer and judge who was invited as a guest judge at this year's Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show.
13/11/2014: Man behind Yellow Tail wines charged over alleged involvement in major drug syndicate
One of the three brothers who transformed Yellow Tail wines into one of the great Australian export success stories has been charged over his alleged involvement in a major drug syndicate. Marcello Casella, the youngest brother in Australia's largest family-owned winery, Casella Wines, is alleged to be part of the criminal syndicate that produced, distributed and sold commercial quantities of cannabis and methylamphetamine throughout southern NSW.
13/11/2014: Casella to acquire 100% share in Peter Lehmann Wines
The board of Peter Lehmann Wines today advised shareholders it has received a proposal from Casella Family Brands to acquire 100 per cent of the company’s shares for an offer of $1.50 per share. Receipt of the proposal follows a period of confirmatory due diligence agreed to by the company to facilitate the submission of an offer by Casella for the consideration of all shareholders.
12/11/2014: Austrade to host Australia Business Week in India
Australian wine companies that are either exporting or seeking to export to India have an opportunity to expand business networks in the country through involvement in Australia Business Week in India (ABWI), arranged by Austrade India. The Hon Andrew Robb AO MP, minister for trade and investment, will lead the ABWI mission from 12-15 January 2015.
12/11/2014: WA wine veteran a rare vintage
Western Australia has this week lost one of its oldest citizens with the death of Swan Valley vigneron Joe Zekulich, aged 107. Zekulich arrived in Fremantle in 1924 as a 16-year-old Croatian migrant who spoke no English, had no money but was the financial lifeline to his family back home.
12/11/2014: Finding an answer to trunk disease in grapevines
Scientists are working to unravel the mystery of why some grapevines suffer a slow death. While researchers around the world are constantly fine-tuning strategies for managing grapevine trunk diseases, until now little sustained work has been done on finding ways to make vines less susceptible in the first place.
12/11/2014: Wine owes a debt to ancient viruses
Next time you pour a glass of wine, raise a toast to the 30-milion-year-old viruses that have contributed to the genetic make-up of modern grapes. A team of plant scientists from the University of Queensland has discovered the Pinot Noir grape variety owes a significant part of its genetic heritage to ancient plant viruses.
12/11/2014: Boosting email deliverability for the holidays
The holiday season is an exciting time for wineries. A lot of people are looking for the best wine to pair with their main course of turkey, prime rib or roasted butternut squash. Others are simply looking for something to give to friends and family. The best way to get the message out to consumers is through email. But you want to make sure your contacts are actually receiving those emails. By bolstering your deliverability, you'll be able to get people reading and visiting your website, helping to make your holidays a happy one.
11/11/2014: TWE closes production site
Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) has announced it will cease operations at its Ryecroft winery in McLaren Vale and move production to other TWE-owned wineries across South Australia. As a result of this change, no grapes will be processed at Ryecroft winery for the 2015 vintage and more than 30 jobs will reportedly be lost.
11/11/2014: Macedon Ranges Vignerons Association lobbies for more government investment
The Macedon Ranges Vignerons Association has joined a campaign by Wine Victoria to have greater State Government support of the industry. The association which this week celebrates Budburst Food and Wine Festival, has joined more than 800 Victorian grapegrowers and winemakers in the campaign which is seeking more support for inbound trade activities and regional wine events.
11/11/2014: Aussie wine out in force in Hong Kong
More than 50 Australian wineries have joined 1000 exhibitors from 38 countries at the 2014 Hong Kong Wine & Spirits Fair. This year 20,000 trade buyers attended the event, including 180 from Australia with a number of new countries exhibiting at the fair including Belarus, Colombia and the Republic of Macedonia alongside new features such as a whisky and spirits tasting zone.
11/11/2014: Orange Sauvignon Blancs set Australian benchmark
Two Orange wine producers have been singled out for their quality following a benchmarking of Sauvignon Blanc wines by the Australian Wine Institute recently. As a result of the benchmarking, four Orange wines made the top seven with a 2010 Fume Blanc from De Salis Wines at Nashdale unanimously voted the best by the panel of expert judges.
11/11/2014: Penfolds Grange spanning 60 years goes on sale at Le Clos Dubai
A collection of Penfolds Grange wine spanning all of the top Australian producer's 60 available vintages has gone on sale priced at $660,000 at Le Clos, a luxury merchant based at Dubai International Airport. The collection comprises Shiraz wines from each vintage dating back to 1951, plus a rare Grange 1953 Cabernet Sauvignon.
11/11/2014: Backstage at the Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show
Grapegrower & Winemaker editor Nathan Gogoll was lucky enough to travel to Mildura last week at the invitation of the Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show. The committee had stretched their first fellowship program to include a ‘VIP media backstage pass’ so he got to be there as well as the actual ‘fellow’, sommelier Sarah Limacher. Read all about his adventure on the Grapegrower & Winemaker blog.
10/11/2014: Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show results announced
The fourteenth annual Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show (AAVWS) results are in and chief judge Jane Faulkner has declared them “the best to date”. She says the results show how Australia’s winemaking regions have embraced the alternative winegrape varieties. The trophies were handed out Saturday at a lunch prepared by chefs Frank Cammora and Stefano di Pieri.
10/11/2014: Industry sees increase in reports of fraud and authenticity issues in wine export markets
Australian wine exporters need to put precautions in place to safeguard themselves against authenticity issues, according to the leading industry research body. The Australian Wine Research Institute has found a big jump in reports of issues concerning fraudulent Australian wines overseas.
10/11/2014: TWE offers CEO rights over 764,000 shares
Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) is seeking shareholder approval to grant Michael Clarke, chief executive, rights to acquire up to 764,000 shares at no cost if he jumps various hurdles to improve the performance of the winemaker.
10/11/2014: Major wine brands see double digit growth, according to report
Hardys, Lindeman’s, Kumala and Casillero del Diablo have all posted double-digit value growth in a flat market, according to the latest wine report from Mintel. The figures showed Accolade Wines' Hardys extended its lead in the still wines market in the past year, reaching sales of £289 million (AU$530m).
10/11/2014: Victorian vineyard expected to yield up to $4m
A syndicate of investors is selling a 300ha vineyard in central Victoria, with expectations the property could fetch as much as $4 million, according to reports in The Australian. The Lake Marmal Vineyards were established in 1998, with a grape supply agreement in place with one of Australia’s largest wine producers until 2018.
10/11/2014: November 2014 Grapegrower & Winemaker magazine out now
The November 2014 issue of Grapegrower & Winemaker is out now and available online for all subscribers. Join us as we discuss the latest in vine management; mildew control; fertilisers and nutrition; irrigation; filtration, pumps and tanks; and packaging and bottling.
International Wine Industry News
28/11/2014: Hong Kong gathers for Wine in China talks
Hong Kong was talking about China for all the right reasons at the Wine in China conference, held in November. The second instalment of the acclaimed annual conference and largest 'open conversation' of its kind saw over 150 professionals; including 45 speakers and over 100 delegates gather to discuss and debate the Chinese wine market.
28/11/2014: Triangle puts on wine fest
Eight Hawke's Bay wineries which sit within a unique grapegrowing triangle are planning to stage a one-day sip and savour event early next year to celebrate the region. It will be known as the Bridge Pa Wine Festival and has been put together based on the Harvest Hawke's Bay events.
28/11/2014: Dog Point's journey to greatness
Dog Point celebrates 10 years in the industry with a tasting of every wine they’ve ever made. "You can't call your wine a dog!" declared an Australian distributor when James Healy and Ivan Sutherland showed him plans for their new label. "We were mildly panicked for a while, but then thought 'bugger it'," recalls Healy. A decade later and Dog Point has established itself as an iconic name in New Zealand wine.
28/11/2014: The world's first guide to matching insects and wine
A British wine merchant has created the world's first insect and wine matching guide. As well as pairing Chardonnay to tarantulas, buyers at Laithwaite's Wine matched sparkling rose to barbecued locusts, sherry to giant waterbugs and Shiraz to sago worms. Traditional food in parts of Asia, Latin America and Africa, edible insects are now being touted as the new superfood due to their high protein content.
28/11/2014: Debate over role and relevance of wine bloggers continues
The role and relevance bloggers have on the wine trade has become a major debating issue following recent articles questioning their value from leading wine commentators. Dr Damien Wilson, of Burgundy School of Wine and Spirits Business, is the latest to create a storm following his comments this week that "bloggers risk becoming an endangered species unless they identify what value they are bringing to the trade".
28/11/2014: Grower Champagnes a ‘phenomenon’
“Grower Champagne may be the most notable phenomenon in the Champagne world,” said Essi Avellan MW speaking yesterday at an event at Trinity House in London organised by the Institute of Masters of Wine. The Individual Expressions of Champagne tasting was dedicated to 'grower Champagnes'- Champagnes made by small, independent producers who bottle their own wines.
27/11/2014: Community upset at another wine shop
South Auckland residents worried about the impact of another liquor store in their community say they are being ignored and a law change meant to help them fight against new stores opening is failing. A petition with more than 800 signatures, police, schools and local health groups all objected to an application for a new wine shop in Clendon, saying it would cause more harm to an area already drowning in shops selling alcohol.
27/11/2014: Sun sets on coalition for free trade
The Coalition for Free Trade (CFT), established by vintners in 1995 as a non-profit organisation seeking judicial relief from laws prohibiting direct-to-consumer shipments, has ended all activities after achieving significant victories for wineries and wine lovers alike. “We can celebrate a rare occasion- an industry association opened its doors for business, raised money, got the job done, then turned the lights out,” said W. Reed Foster, Coalition for Free Trade president and Ravenswood Winery chief executive officer.
27/11/2014: Autumn heat helps secure promising vintage for the Loire Valley
Following two tough years, the autumn heat is responsible for the success of this year’s vintage for Loire Valley, according to Les Vins du Centre Loire, which released the region’s vintage report this week. The report said despite budburst being 10 days early, due to the relatively cool weather throughout the summer, "2014 was characterised by a long growing season" and "the vine was delayed throughout the whole season".
27/11/2014: Climate change a boon for Nordic grapegrowers
On one of the world’s northern-most frontiers, grapevines are growing on hillsides and talk among some farmers is about terroir and aroma as global warming and new technology push the boundaries of winegrowing. "Maybe a touch of raspberry?" opined Wenche Hvattum, one of two farmers at the Lerkekasa vineyard west of Oslo- on the same latitude as Siberia, southern Greenland or Alaska- debating aromas in the ruby-red juice from their freshly pressed grapes.
27/11/2014: Maison Sichel signs Amazon deal to boost off-trade sale
Maison Sichel has signed a deal with Amazon for five of its wines, with a special focus on flagship brand Sirius, in an effort to revitalise the brand after its UK off-trade distribution “ran out of steam”. This is the first time the Bordeaux producer has worked with the online giant, which Charles Sichel, export director, describes as "exactly the boost we are looking for".
27/11/2014: Roger Jones on falling in love with Central Otago
If there was one area in New Zealand which defines the whole ethos of its wine industry, it must be Central Otago. From lakes that look like seas, mountains that rise out like volcanoes, people still prospecting for gold, while others are skiing down the slopes or bungee jumping, this is the land of ambition, hope and dreams.
26/11/2014: Wine Spectator's top 100 still a powerful guide
What a difference a week makes. Before Wine Spectator announced its top 100 wines of the year last week, the awarded wines were hardly setting Wine Searcher's database on fire. But interest has exploded as each of the top 10 wines was announced, showing there's no doubt that wine lovers are swift to act on authoritative lists of recommended wines.
26/11/2014: Wine industry should take initiative on calorie labelling
The wine industry needs to prepare itself for adding calorie labels to wine bottles, as the battle against obesity continues, warned Miles Beale, Wine & Spirit Trade Association chief. Speaking at the Wine Vision conference in London last week, Beale said "it would behove the industry to come up with a proposal that doesn't compromise the industry" but would show it to be proactive.
26/11/2014: Natural botrytis-killing pesticide licenced
Eden Research announced this week that it had signed an exclusive agreement with SIPCAM, a chemical manufacturing company based in Milan, to sell 3AEY, an all-natural pesticide that kills the grape fungus botrytis and protects grapes from pests. Not only is 3AEY totally natural, made from tea tree oil and lemon juice, but is harmless to the honey bee whose population is currently under significant threat.
26/11/2014: Chinese wine dealer smashes fake Lafite
At a highly publicised media event, staff smashed over 200 bottles of Lafite and second wine Carruades de Lafite that had been identified as fake. The unidentified dealer had apparently bought 13,069 bottles of the Bordeaux first growth for more than seven million yuan (A$1.3m) at an auction but later found many bottles were not the real thing.
26/11/2014: Liquor ban imposed on Waiheke Countdown
Countdown Waiheke is facing a ban on selling booze for five days next month after being caught selling to someone under age earlier this year. The store's off-licence liquor section is being forced to close between December 7 and December 12. This follows Waiheke Wine Centre’s four-day off-licence suspension, which occurred in October this year.
26/11/2014: The 2014 SBN Awards: the big winners
It's the most important recognition of forward-thinking businesses and individuals in the country. The NZI National Sustainable Business Network Awards, now in its 12th year, recognises and celebrates innovation and positive impact in renewable energy, community work, business efficiency and models that restore our environment.
25/11/2014: Bringing movie magic to the wine world will win new drinkers
Simon McMurtrie, Direct Wines chief executive officer, insists that bringing ‘some of the magic’ associated with movie and perfume launches into the wine world will entice a new generation of wine drinkers. Direct Wines is the world's largest direct-to-consumer wine group, with sales of £353 million (A$6m) in 2013. Ben Bouckley from BeverageDaily.com caught up with McMurtie after he chaired the second day of Wine Vision 2014 in London last week.
25/11/2014: ProWine China claims market leadership after second year
ProWine China, the sister-event to ProWein, has claimed the position as the leading trade fair in Mainland China after its second annual show was held in Shanghai earlier last month. With 38 different countries in attendance, ProWine China has equalled or surpassed the participation of several older trade fairs in the country.
25/11/2014: Leading wineries join cork industry to highlight consumer preference for natural cork
US-based company 100% Cork and a group of leading Northern California wineries yesterday announced the launch of a novel multi-media campaign to raise awareness about the benefits of natural cork wine closures and demonstrate to other wineries the value of promoting their use of cork.
25/11/2014: Demand for tall new grapevines booming
A Marlborough grapevine nursery, which employs 50 people to graft 100,000 grapevine plants a week, is struggling to meet demand. Ormond Nurseries, the South Island's only grapevine propagation specialist, has been inundated with calls from vineyard owners wanting new grape vines to ensure they will have enough fruit to supply their markets next season.
25/11/2014: Chilean Cabernet lightens up
Marcelo Papa knows Cabernet Sauvignon is the star of the Chilean wine industry. As a winemaker at Concha y Toro, one of the world’s largest wine producers, he’s aware it represents nearly one third of sales and production. But he’s looking to recast its character and make more balanced reds with lower alcohol and less oak influence.
25/11/2014: 'Wacky' winemaker tastes success
Peter Yealands says a lot of people might think he is "slightly odd" however with 160 staff, the legacy of being one of the top six wine producers in New Zealand and a shelf-full of awards for his wine and sustainability practices he is, unsurprisingly, not too concerned. Yealands Family Wines won the supreme award at the NZI National Sustainable Business Network Awards this week, as well as winning the restorative impact award earlier in the evening.
24/11/2014: Wine designs 'fail if don't stand for something', warns design agency boss
The secret to good brand design is for it to stand for something which is where wine often falls down as they all “blur” into each other, according to Kevin Shaw, founder of design agency Stranger & Stranger. Speaking at the Wine Vision conference in London last week, Shaw said wine is being left behind compared to the designs and brands being launched in the beer and spirits categories.
24/11/2014: Napa winemakers argue over the Valley's visual image
If you've never heard the term "viewshed" – like "watershed" – welcome to Napa Valley. The essence is that Napa's bucolic look is an asset that can't be messed with. The term isn't unique to Napa; from North Carolina to Malibu, legislators have enacted or considered viewshed protection laws.
24/11/2014: New strategies to reduce use of plant protection products in winemaking
To cut down on using plant protection products in viticulture is the goal of a project coordinated by the Basque Institute for Agricultural Research and Development (NEIKER-Tecnalia) and to be implemented over the next three years. The aim of the initiative is to show that it is possible to reduce the frequency and intensity of applications of plant protection treatment for fungal diseases such as mildew and oidium, two of the main pathologies affecting vineyards.
24/11/2014: Summer wine sales are coming up rose
Summer wine sales are coming up rose. The pink drink has lost its reputation as lolly water and customers are buying it in record volumes. Supermarket sales show in the year to date, Kiwis purchased 861,607 bottles of still rose wine – 40 per cent more than five years ago. Drinkers favour it as a summer tipple with the bulk being sold between November and February.
24/11/2014: Demand for tall new grapevines booming
A Marlborough grapevine nursery, which employs 50 people to graft 100,000 grapevine plants a week, is struggling to meet demand. Ormond Nurseries, the South Island's only grapevine propagation specialist, has been inundated with calls from vineyard owners wanting new grapevines to ensure they will have enough fruit to supply their markets next season.
24/11/2014: Northern Rhône co-operative looks to the future
The Cave de Tain co-operative in Tain l'Hermitage inaugurated a new wine cellar last week at a cost of 10 million euros (A$14 million). It replaced one built 40 years ago. The highly regarded co-operative, which celebrated its 80th anniversary a year ago, makes 50 per cent of the wine in the northern section of the Rhône Valley.
21/11/2014: World 'mother' grape saved from brink of extinction
A rare winegrape dubbed 'Casanova' because of its role in parenting so many of the world's leading varieties is one step further from extinction thanks to Swiss volunteers and a leading scientist. Once shunned, Gouais Blanc earned new respect 15 years ago when a study showed it was the "mother grape" of many varieties, including Chardonnay and Gamay.
21/11/2014: Grapegrowers enjoy record harvest
Marlborough grapegrowers will pocket an estimated $64 million more this year than in 2013, despite being paid less per tonne for their fruit. Interim grape prices, released by New Zealand Winegrowers, show grapegrowers have been paid an average of $1667 per tonne of grapes this year, compared with $1677 per tonne last year - a decrease of $10 per tonne.
21/11/2014: Boutique winery soars sky high
Boutique Central Otago producer Lowburn Ferry Wines has capped a string of elite awards for its wines over the past fortnight with the announcement that its Pinot Noirs will be served in British Airways' first class cabins from early next year. Lowburn Ferry Home Block Pinot Noir 2011 will be on board British Airways flights from March and vineyard owners Jean and Roger Gibson say the association with this premier airline represents a significant endorsement for Lowburn Ferry.
21/11/2014: Wine brands need to 'get on top of Facebook', warns social media campaigner
Brands should “just be honest and sell their gear” on Facebook and other social media sites as forcing likes and comments turns off consumers. That's according to Jon Morter, the guy who's been dubbed a "social media hellraiser" by the New York Times. He's compiled a list of things brands should avoid doing on Facebook which he presented to delegates at this week's Wine Vision.
21/11/2014: Bordeaux not ‘too expensive’, says CIVB vice-president
Bordeaux’s new advertising campaign has been designed to dispel the notion that the region is "too expensive" and "too complicated" according to Allan Sichel. “We want Bordeaux to be accessible and we are trying to correct two misconceptions,” he said. According to Sichel, the CIVB vice-president, consumer research had also shown that people feel they don’t have the required knowledge to drink wine from Bordeaux.
21/11/2014: British Columbia wine industry slows rate of plantings
British Columbia’s wine industry grew slowly in terms of vineyard plantings over the past three years, yet the modest 4 per cent increase since 2011 is actually good news, according to the BC Wine Institute. A report prepared by Lynn Bremmer of Mount Kobau Wine Services in conjunction with the BC Grapegrowers Association showed the province grew with 10,260 acres of winegrapes and 254 wineries. In 2011 there were 9854 acres of vineyards and nine years ago there were 6632 acres and 118 wineries.
20/11/2014: Air New Zealand Wine Awards to be showcased in Australia
Wines from this year’s Air New Zealand Wine Awards will be the focus of two upcoming tasting events in Melbourne and Brisbane where guests will be among the first in Australia to sample a selection of 80 gold and silver medal-winning drops. Judges have awarded a record 112 gold medals to wines from around the country at this year’s awards – the highest tally of golds handed out since the competition began in 1974.
20/11/2014: Yealands takes top prize at Sustainable Business Awards
Yealands Family Wines has been named the overall winner of the NZI National Sustainable Business Network Awards held in Auckland this week. The awards, now in its 12th year, is designed to recognise businesses that are making a difference by innovating and transforming New Zealand’s business landscape.
20/11/2014: ProWine China toasts record numbers
ProWein’s 2014 China trade fair, the world’s leading international trade fair for wine and spirits in Shanghai, welcomed a record number of visitors to its three-day event last week. A total of 8250 visitors attended the show, up from 7650 in 2013, while the total number of exhibitors attending rose by 10 per cent to 650.
20/11/2014: Wine has to 'talk more to young consumers', says Wine Riot chief
The wine trade is missing out on marketing to women, with many brands pushing “condescending” butterfly or cupcake messages, says Tyler Balliet, founder of Wine Riot in the US. Balliet, who founded Second Glass and launched Wine Riot events after being frustrated with how wine was marketed to younger people, added that many in the trade have "overlooked" millennial consumers.
20/11/2014: Portuguese wine is 'best value in UK', according to study
Portuguese wines currently being sold in British supermarkets offer more value for money than other nations' wine, according to an extensive 18-month review by wotwine. The supermarket wine app, which tasted 4280 wines for the study, has found 65 per cent of Portuguese wines on sale in UK supermarkets offer "extra/fair value for money".
20/11/2014: County officials say Argentina trip yields benefits
Two Napa County supervisors see the trip they took to an international wine conference in Argentina as reaping benefits for the Napa wine industry. Mark Luce, Brad Wagenknecht and county agricultural commissioner Greg Clark joined a local contingent that went to the Great Wine Capitals General Assembly in Mendoza, Argentina earlier this month.
20/11/2014: Big names return for 2015 London Wine Fair
Eighty-three per cent of suppliers at this year’s London Wine Fair have signed up for the 2015 show and they'll be joined by a host of new names. The companies returning include Armit, Australian Vintage, Bancroft, Bibendum PLB, Connoisseur, CyT and Gonzalez Byass among others. Big names that took stands in 2014 such as Accolade and Treasury are yet to sign up, but the fair is still six months away.
19/11/2014: UK independent wine sector ‘thriving’
Despite significant challenges, the future of the UK’s independent wine retail sector looks bright, according to a recent report by Wine Intelligence that described it as “thriving”. Consumers have never had more choice when it comes to purchasing wine with the number of independent UK retailers increasing by 50 per cent since 2007.
19/11/2014: Blenheim winery excels with Pinot Noir
Blenheim-based winery Lawson’s Dry Hills has received a raft of gold medals and trophies at a number of wine shows over the past couple of months. The list of recent accolades includes six gold medals for the Reserve Pinot Noir 2012 awarded at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards, Marlborough Wine Show, New Zealand International Wine Competition, Spiegelau International Wine Competition and the Easter Wine Show.
19/11/2014: South African producer ditches sulfur for Rooibos
South African producer KWV has launched a ‘natural’ Pinotage using Rooibos and Honeybush wood in place of the wine industry’s standard preservative: sulfur dioxide. Called Earth’s Essence, the new brand boasts no added sulfur but uses a patented process which sees the wine exposed to the wood of the Cape’s native Rooibos and Honeybush plants during various stages in the winemaking process.
19/11/2014: UK wine trade mourns loss of pioneer
Mike Roberts MBE, a pioneer of English wine and co-founder of one of the country's best-known estates, Ridgeview, has died. Roberts' death was announced by his family on Friday, prompting a series of tributes from across the UK wine industry.
19/11/2014: Sonoma wineries keep close eye on trade negotiations
International trade is again at the forefront of Washington policy-making as it is one of the few issues the Obama administration and the incoming GOP-controlled Congress are believed to be able to agree upon in the next two years. The issue has enormous implications locally, especially for the North Coast’s multibillion-dollar wine industry.
18/11/2014: Distinguishing winery repairs from improvements
As the economy continues to recover, winery owners will spend increasing amounts of capital to update their production facilities and attract patrons to their tasting rooms. The scope of these projects can vary from simple refreshes involving paint, updated floor coverings and new signage to complete renovations that include new exteriors, expanded footprints and facility layout changes.
18/11/2014: Farm buyer eyes Chinese wine market
A winery, accommodation complex and 100 hectare vineyard expansion are on the cards for an Awatere Valley property bought by a Chinese-owned company this year. The Ling Hai Group purchased the Castlebrae farm in April from long-time owners the Marfell family.
18/11/2014: Hawke's Bay wines take medals in Hong Kong
Three Hawke's Bay wineries have had silver medal success at the recently staged Hong Kong International Wine sand Spirit Competition. Havelock North vineyard Chateau Waimarama picked up four of the nine silvers that came the Bay's way.
18/11/2014: Wine trade prepares for ‘seismic change’, says Wine Vision director
Wine Vision 2014’s executive director is set to kick off the global conference by telling delegates the wine trade is preparing for “seismic change” in wake of Tesco’s accounting scandal.
18/11/2014: Italy’s ‘other’ Ferrari steps up a gear
A Trentino producer is confident it can carve an export niche in the growing sparkling wine category, even at prices to rival prestige cuvée Champagne. “We are not afraid of being priced much higher than most Champagne,” said Matteo Lunelli, president of traditional method sparkling wine producer Ferrari, which has been managed by his family for three generations.
18/11/2014: How a tweet nearly cost a wine producer its liquor licence
Simple tweets are causing trouble for some local vintners and brewers who wanted to get the word out about a Sacramento event. Grape Escape was billed as one of the largest wine tasting events in northern California this summer. SaveMart sponsored the event but if you’re providing the booze, you’re not allow to say so, according to the California Alcohol Control Board's deputy division chief.
17/11/2014: Wine Spectator reveals Top 10 wines for 2014
Over the last few days, Wine Spectator magazine has done its annual slow reveal of the Top 10 wines from the Wine Spectator Top 100 list. And this year, when the No. 1 wine came up, it wasn’t a Bordeaux, a California Cabernet, a Spanish Rioja or an Italian Barolo. The shocker is that it’s a wine from Portugal — and a port.
17/11/2014: ‘Vintage of dreams’ for UK wine industry
The leaves are finally falling off the vines at Denbies estate in Surrey but two weeks ago the stems still bore the weight of fruit as the last of the harvest was gathered in – almost a month later than usual. Christopher White, manager of his family’s vineyard, says: “We finished with a dessert wine and left the fruit out for it as long as we dared. Conditions were so good that we took the risk. The fruit looks shrivelled and grey but when the juice comes out, it’s like nectar, like honey.
17/11/2014: O Canada, We Raise Our Wine Glass to Thee
Canadians are famously conciliatory. To be a Canadian, it seems, is to know how to apologize. A lot. This temperament has its advantages (Canadians rarely go to war) but also means Canadians are often overlooked. For example, few consumers realize one of the world’s most exciting new wine regions is in Ontario, Canada.
17/11/2014: World's largest wine fair to open Singapore show
The world’s largest wine and spirits exhibition, ProWein, has announced it will be expanding with a new show launching in Singapore. The first ProWine Asia event will launch in Singapore from 12-15 April 2016 and will complement the existing annual ProWine China exhibition in Shanghai.
14/11/2014: Fact-checking some viticulture myths
One of the things science does is force us to rethink commonly held notions, assumed truths or what appears to be common sense. In viticulture, we have our own set of myths and beliefs about growing grapes that have survived for decades in the absence of good field research. But while many of them have some basis in fact, they are not necessarily the absolute truths that they are sometime touted as being. Here are a few ‘myths’ that we have in viticulture, and what researchers have found out about them, writes Hans Walter-Peterson.
14/11/2014: Yealands Wine Group crowned NZ wine producer of the year
Yealands Wine Group has been named New Zealand wine producer of the year at the International Wine and Spirits Competition (IWSC). The prestigious title was collected by Simon Kelly, European director of sales, at the awards evening held in London Wednesday night. The Marlborough-based wine group also took home 37 medals and three silver medals.
14/11/2014: Lodi winemakers strip back Zinfandel
If Zinfandel was treated more like Pinot Noir, how different would it taste? In Lodi, a group of winemakers are finding out. The Lodi Native project brought together six wineries who each made two barrels of Zinfandel in 2012 under tight rules: single vineyard wines only, only native yeast, no new oak, and no added tannin, acid or enzymes.
14/11/2014: Is Asia’s Champagne palate changing?
Dominique Moreau of Champagne house Marie Courtin has seen the evolution of Champagne tastes of Asia over the past four years and thinks real change is in the air. “There’s been a change in the palate,” she explained, adding that on her visits she meets more professionals who are willing to try new things – particularly her Champagnes which are low dosage and, in one example, vinified in oak.
14/11/2014: ProWein Singapore to debut in 2016
ProWein is to hold a new exhibition in Singapore to support its already established ProWine China event in Shanghai. Taking place from 12-15 April 2016, ProWein Singapore will take place in partnership with Singapore Exhibition Services and in parallel with bi-yearly show Food&Hotel Asia.
14/11/2014: Wines closed with cork see increase in sales volume and value
Nielsen has released sales figures for the top 100 premium wine brands based solely on closure type, showing significant improvements for wines sealed with natural cork. Since the start of 2010, the volume market share for wines closed with cork rose 29 per cent. Alternative closures also saw an increase, but of 9 per cent in the same time period.
13/11/2014: Young winery earns top accolade
A Hawke's Bay vineyard has been awarded a prominent international wine award. Craggy Range vineyard near Havelock North has been named the best new world winery by US magazine, Wine Enthusiast. Terry Peabody, Craggy Range owner, said the win was the highest accolade the winery had won to date.
13/11/2014: Burgundy welcomes ‘return to normal’
Burgundy’s wine bureau has hailed the 2014 vintage as “very promising” although it warned good yields would not be enough to replenish stocks in the region. Although final volumes will not be confirmed until early next year, the Bureau Interprofessionnel des Vins de Bourgogne (BIVB) reported that “initial estimates mark a return to normal for many producers”.
13/11/2014: Hong Kong wine registration program launches
The Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency’s Wine Registration program has been officially launched. The program is aimed at combatting counterfeiting and giving consumers increased confidence in the wines they are buying.
13/11/2014: Truett-Hurst boosts wine sales by 20 per cent
California's Truett-Hurst on Monday reported sales rose 20 per cent in the first quarter - a result of strong sales to online shoppers, tasting room visitors and members of its wine club. The Healdsburg winery also reported a net loss of $100,000 for the three-month period ending September 30 (or 3 cents per share), compared to a $33,000 loss from the same period in 2013.
13/11/2014: Tesco appoints new wine buyer
UK-based supermarket giant Tesco has added a new wine buyer to its team. Catherine Friend has joined the group as an assistant buyer and will be responsible for the fortified, Portuguese and wine-gift categories.
12/11/2014: Gold medals announced for 2014 Air New Zealand Wine Awards
Judges have awarded 112 gold medals to wines from around the country at this year’s Air New Zealand Wine Awards. This is the highest tally of gold medals handed out since the national wine competition began in 1974.
12/11/2014: Global thirst for sparkling wine insatiable
Consumers around the world have developed an insatiable thirst for sparkling wine with global sales having surged by 30 per cent in the past decade. According to the latest figures from the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV), in order to meet demand, production of sparkling wine has increased by 40 per cent, with still wine growth lagging far behind at 7 per cent.
12/11/2014: Hailstorm destroys crop of ‘holy wine’
A freak hailstorm has forced one of Tuscany’s biggest producers of “holy wine” – believed to have been used in Mass in the Middle Ages – to forgo production in 2014. Dessert wine Vin Santo is likely to be in short supply after Tenuta di Artimino’s entire crop was badly damaged in a hailstorm which hit just before harvest in September.
12/11/2014: Asian wine producers unite
A new association for wine producers across Asia has been announced with the aim of promoting and presenting the region’s burgeoning winemaking industry to the world. Launched at last week’s HKTDC fair, the Asian Wine Producers aims to unite winemakers from Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Burma, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
12/11/2014: Bordeaux prices falling to 'pre-China boom' levels, says Liv-ex
Plummeting prices for Bordeaux first growths in the past three years serve as the latest cautionary tale in a long history of boom and bust for chateaux and negociants, according to Liv-ex co-founder James Miles, who sees no end to the pattern.
12/11/2014: New strategies to reduce use of plant protection products in winemaking
To cut down on using plant protection products in viticulture is the goal of a project coordinated by the Basque Institute for Agricultural Research and Development (NEIKER-Tecnalia), to be implemented over the next three years. The aim of the initiative is to show it is possible to reduce the frequency and intensity of applications of plant protection treatment for fungal diseases such as mildew and oidium, two of the main pathologies affecting vineyards.
11/11/2014: French oak remains favourite barrel type among US producers
The results from this year’s US Wine Business Monthly Barrel Survey are in but the most significant results have been dwarfed by the news of the damaged caused by the August earthquake in South Napa. The estimates, as of press time, are that the temblor caused more than $80 million in damage to the wine industry (out of an estimated $400m overall).
11/11/2014: Wairarapa vineyard on the market
Cottier Estate, an established vineyard in the Wairarapa wine region, has been placed on the market for sale. The 13.7 hectare property comprising the land, associated winery buildings and an award-winning homestead has a ratable valuation of $2.07 million.
11/11/2014: Liquor licensing laws and alcohol purchasing rates
Seventy-four per cent of New Zealanders drink alcohol in an average four week period, down from 77 per cent in 2009 but still slightly above the Australian rate of 70 per cent, data from Roy Morgan Research shows. But despite this small gap in consumption, the rate of alcohol purchasing is much higher in New Zealand than Australia - a difference that may be a result of the two countries’ liquor licensing laws.
11/11/2014: London’s property market ‘brutal’ for expanding wine independents
London’s independent wine merchants and restaurateurs say finding new locations is “extremely challenging”, given intense competition from established operators. Operators in both the on- and off-trade said competing with major chains meant commercial agents often ignored them or they were left with "second pickings".
11/11/2014: 100th woman welcomed to Master of Wine Institution
Six new members were welcomed into the Institute of Masters of Wine program last week at Vintners' Company in London. Sarah Jane Evans, Master of Wine Institute chairman, addressed the new members, expressing her enthusiasm on behalf of the prestigious program.
11/11/2014: French wine brand dives into fundraising
Rhône wine brand Les Dauphins is launching its new presence on social media with an effort to raise money for UK charity Children in Need. The brand will be using its new social media pages on Facebook and Twitter to inform consumers about its plans to raise money at the BBC Good Food Show.
10/11/2014: Villa Maria tops wine show awards
While the trophies for the Marlborough Wine Show didn't make an appearance at the awards dinner on Saturday night because of freight issues, competition organisers didn't let that put a dampener on the evening. Villa Maria Estate came out on top this year, taking home champion wine of the show as well as three of the 12 trophies awarded.
10/11/2014: NZ reds are ripe and ready to go
Over the past 20 years, Gimblett Gravels land has become one of the more sought-after pieces of real estate in New Zealand. It's now recognised as a unique wine-growing area that can achieve something the rest of New Zealand has traditionally had difficulty doing: produce fully ripe red grapes.
10/11/2014: Viticulture instructor implements canopy research
Fall harvest in the Surry Cellars vineyard is the perfect time for a new viticulture instructor to begin work at Surry Community College. Joseph Geller has been in the thick of harvest season and has begun the establishment plans for expanding the campus vineyard.
10/11/2014: One in five Brits admit to drinking a bottle of wine in a sitting
One in five Britons aged 25 to 34 admit to drinking an entire bottle of wine to themselves, according to a Harris Interactive poll produced in collaboration with the Grocer. The poll surveyed more than 2000 people and found that women were slightly more likely to drink a bottle of wine to themselves than men.
10/11/2014: Port assesses ‘incredible’ comeback
The head winemaker of Taylor’s, Fonseca and Croft Ports has hailed the “tremendous revival” of the entire fortified category as he defended the decision not to move into table wine. “It’s an incredible moment in the Port trade,” remarked David Guimaraens. “Port and other fortified wines are at the moment being tremendously appreciated for what they are.”
10/11/2014: Chilean wine industry ‘too brand driven’, says winemaker
The Chilean wine industry is "too brand driven" according to one of the country’s leading boutique winemakers. “I think Chile was wrong in aping the Old World châteaux model and leading with big brands," Derek Mossman-Knapp of the Maule-based Garage Wine Co said. "It would have been wiser to build the structure of the industry around origin rather than brands."