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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
29/10/2014: Direct sales now more than half of revenue for small to medium sized wineries
Wine Business Solutions’ direct to consumer benchmarking study ‘Taking the Direct Route 2014’ has just been released. One of the key findings is that for wineries producing less than 50,000 cases, more than half of revenue now comes from direct sales. All of the main sources of direct revenue (cellar door, web sales, club sales and events) are growing strongly.
27/10/2014: Take control of your wine costing and know the true margin on each bottle you produce
Do you know the profit margin on each of the wines you produce? While it’s easy to get an overall picture of the health of your business, it can be difficult to know what the underlying profitability is on each wine.
27/10/2014: 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.
27/10/2014: Less than one week remaining for BTN Guide USA 2015 early bird entries
BeverageTradeNetwork.com is accepting listings for its 2015 BTN Buyers Guide that will go to 4000 importers and distributors in the US. If you are looking to expand your distribution in United States and are considering to enter your brands in the guide, now is the time.
27/10/2014: Proof of performance
AWRI Commercial Services offers expert independent proof of performance assessment. If you are a supplier developing a product we can assist you. Work can be performed confidentially and your company will own the results.
20/10/2014: Eleven prizes to be won in Adama/Grapegrower & Winemaker photo competition
Are you a budding photographer? Do you have photos of healthy vines or vineyards you’d like to share with Grapegrower & Winemaker readers? Grapegrower & Winemaker is giving you the opportunity to make the front cover of its January 2015 issue and thanks to the generosity of Adama, you can also win one of 11 prizes – first prize includes a GoPro Hero3+ camera!
Australian Wine Industry News
31/10/2014: From Champagne to Australian sparkling — bubbles are back, baby
The sound of a cork popping from a bottle means one thing - the party has well and truly begun. Champagne, or as we say it in Australia like it is - sparkling, bubbles or fizz - transcends the basic sniff and sip pleasures of still wine. And, of course, it can smell and taste of simple fruity delights all the way through to sophisticated and sometimes mind-boggling complexities. From the burst of spring during Melbourne Cup until New Year’s Eve, we’ll drink much more sparkling than the rest of the year. It’s party season from now ’til 2015, writes Tony Love.
31/10/2014: Masters degree inspires book on Tasmanian wine industry
Tasmanian wine writer Tony Walker will offer an opportunity to delve into the state's wine industry when he releases his new book next month. Vintage Tasmania tells the story of Tasmanian wine from the first plantings in 1823 to the state's contemporary emergence as one of the world's most promising cool climate regions.
31/10/2014: Mayors call for Abbott to reform alcohol tax
The nation's capital city mayors have asked Prime Minister Tony Abbott to reform alcohol taxation, saying young men "pre-loading" on cheap wine before hitting city nightspots were behind much booze-fuelled violence. In meetings with politicians including the PM yesterday, Lord Mayors urged the government to adopt recommendations from the 2009 tax review led by former Treasury secretary Ken Henry, for alcoholic drinks to be taxed according to their alcohol content.
31/10/2014: Why South Australia's Coonawarra still rules
Though perhaps not as fashionable as it once was, this tiny wine region in South Australia produces exquisite Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz, writes The Wall Street Journal's wine writer Will Lyons.
31/10/2014: Racegoers in for a treat at Langhorne Creek
Former MasterChef contestant and renowned chef Andre Ursini has created a menu featuring the best of the Fleurieu Peninsula for racegoers in the Eden Marquee at Langhorne Creek Vignerons’ Day. Held on Sunday 23 November at the Strathalbyn Racecourse, Langhorne Creek Vignerons’ Day is more than just a horse race, according to organisers. It’s a celebration of the best gourmet food and wine the Fleurieu Peninsula has to offer.
31/10/2014: Winemakers’ Federation accepts report, commits to recommendations
An independent review into the way the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia handled a document relating to Entwine Australia and the McLaren Vale Grape, Wine and Tourism Association has found no impropriety. In September, the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) referred the matter to David Bleby, a retired Supreme Court judge, for an independent assessment. WFA President Tony D’Aloisio said the board met this week and adopted the report in full, including recommendations to improve future processes.
30/10/2014: $10,000 Tasmanian Viticulture Fellowship announced
The fourth recipient of the $10,000 Don Martin Sustainable Viticulture Award, presented by the Alcorso Foundation, has been announced as James Aubrey from Hill Smith Family Vineyards. As part of the fellowship, Aubrey will undertake a study tour in Germany’s Mosel region, as well as Burgundy and Champagne in France with a focus on viticultural research and extension specific to cool climates.
30/10/2014: Emergency Services Levy increase hurts wine businesses
The South Australian Wine Industry Association's (SAWIA) survey of members has shown that the Emergency Services Levy has increased anywhere between 20 and 657 per cent. In the latest SAWIA newsletter, the organisation stated "the dollars involved are considerable even before thinking of all the costs that a business has to pay just to stay in business". It represents a significant amount of wine to sell, and if sales are flat, businesses are considering other ways to reduce costs in order to pay the government charges.
30/10/2014: Oxford Landing winemaker looks outside the square
Andrew La Nauze may be Oxford Landing’s winemaker, but more recently he’s become the unexpected poster boy for the brand. Splayed across the winery’s website is a photo of La Nauze, guitar slung across his back, boots grazing the dust, looking every bit the rock star more than a mild-mannered winemaker.
30/10/2014: What’s next for Treasury Wine Estates?
A few months ago Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) postponed its annual general meeting until December in order to better report to shareholders on the development of the two competing takeover offers for the company. Since both of those offers were rejected at the end of September in the belief that they undervalued the company, shareholders are now left with a long wait to discover management’s take on turning the company around.
30/10/2014: Grange goes cheap as TWE clears its cellar
Liquor retailers are being offered huge discounts on Penfolds Grange for the first time in 35 years in what they say is a move by Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) to clear out excess stock of Australia's iconic premium wine. The Australian Financial Review spoke to a number of retailers across the country who confirmed they had been offered discounts between 10 and 30 per cent in the past few weeks to help move excess stock of the winemaker's 2009 Penfolds Grange.
30/10/2014: Vine age versus vine balance – which is more important?
There was a passionate discussion at the recent ASVO seminar in Mildura regarding the value of older vineyards compared with young vineyards. The discussion caused me to reflect on my own experiences in comparing vine age and vine balance, writes Tony Hoare.
29/10/2014: $10 million of annual savings identified in SAWIA’s Lean manufacturing pilot trial
More than $10 million of potential annual savings have been identified in the South Australian Wine Industry Association's (SAWIA) pilot trial for implementing Lean manufacturing principles in 11 SA-based wineries. The savings for each business ranged from $21,000 to $5 million per annum, with the level of savings varying based on the size and structure of each winery.
29/10/2014: TWE eyes $1 billion retail travel channel
IF Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) could entice window shoppers in duty-free stores and airport lounges to buy a bottle of wine, the company could lay claim to an expanded revenue pool of more than US$1 billion (A$1.13bn), according to reports in The Australian. TWE has commissioned fresh research into the US$39 billion ($44.3bn) global travel retail market to better understand the motivation of travellers, and believes there are big opportunities in the rapidly growing retail channel.
29/10/2014: Blaze contained but fire crews keep watch as wineries count cost
Waterbombers were sent to multiple fires as crews battled high temperatures, dry conditions and gusty winds yesterday. Residents of Ballandean, in the winegrowing area south of Stanthorpe, were told to consider leaving their properties as an uncontrolled fire moved quickly through the area around 4pm, reports the Courier Mail. Fire crews were able to contain the fire by 5.30pm but stayed overnight to strengthen containment lines. Some of the local wineries have lost significant parts of their crops and Michelle and Tim Coelli, owners of Twisted Gum Wines, said the fire started only meters away from their property.
29/10/2014: Wine buyers lured by labels, according to research
Ever wondered what drives the choice you make when shopping for wine, apart from the thirst for a drink? Finally someone has answered all our questions. Professor Larry Lockshin, head of the wine marketing school at the University of Adelaide, says after extensive research into the buying habits of Australians, he's found it's mainly about recognition. Which is all about the label.
29/10/2014: Barossa winery of the year announced
There's no stopping Barossa's Murray Street Vineyards this year. The Greenock-based winery has been winning medals all year and has now been awarded the prestigious title of Barossa winery of the year at the Melbourne International Wine Competition.
29/10/2014: Barossa and Clare split vineyards to create geological sub-regions
Winemakers in the Barossa and Clare are splitting their vineyards into new sub-regions as part of a stronger focus on soil and climate in Australia's wine sector. Around 12 specific sub-zones could be created, but it is early days. Further south, Barossa Valley's patchwork of vineyards is also being carved into unofficial sub-zones based on soil and climate under the Barossa Grounds project, which began in 2011.
28/10/2014: WVJ editor Sonya Logan named finalist in 2014 Wine Communicator Awards
A big congratulations to Wine & Viticulture Journal (WVJ) editor Sonya Logan who has been selected as a finalist in the 2014 Wine Communicator Awards for the ‘best trade technical writer’ category. Logan has served the wine industry as a journalist and editor for more than 20 years and will be attending the awards night at the Four Seasons Hotel in Sydney, courtesy of Winetitles.
28/10/2014: Video: Industry reps discuss Australia's drinking culture
Paul Evans, Winemakers' Federation of Australia chief executive officer, spoke to ABC's News Breakfast about the upcoming National Alcohol Summit. Click the link to view the video.
28/10/2014: Severe hail storms damage vineyards across WA
Vineyards in the south of Western Australia could see yield losses of up to 30 per cent after they were hit by damaging hail storms last week. Severe thunderstorms struck the South West and Great Southern regions on Wednesday evening, with wineries in Frankland and Pemberton hit the hardest.
28/10/2014: Aussie wine production to rise 2 per cent
Australia's wine production should see a 2 per cent increase this year, while global production is predicted to decrease 6 per cent. According to the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV), 80 per cent of the world’s wine is produced by 10 countries, with Australia ranked as number six.
28/10/2014: Australian boutique winemakers line up in Hong Kong
Without the deep pockets, production volumes and international marketing panache of big brands, it remains a challenging task for Australia's boutique wineries to reach out to export markets. This year Judith Kennedy, the Association of Australian Boutique Winemakers' chief executive officer, was able to embark on a sales mission into Hong Kong, joined by seven trophy winners and three gold medallists.
27/10/2014: Wine Victoria calls for state government tourism and trade support
Wine Victoria has made its industry priorities known in the lead up to the state government election, including important trade and tourism recommendations. Damien Sheehan, Wine Victoria chair, said the peak body represents more than 800 grapegrowers and winemakers and is calling for a stronger partnership with state government, including funding for inbound trade activities and regional wine events.
27/10/2014: Technology needn’t be high-tech when it comes to saving money in the winery
No-one leaps in the air with joy upon opening their latest energy bill to discover their costs have gone up yet again. However, if a silver lining can be found in such hikes, it’s that they usually force companies to take a long, hard look at where they might be able to reduce their energy use. That’s certainly been the knock-on effect at Domaine Chandon, in Victoria’s Yarra Valley, according to operational winemaker Adam Keath.
27/10/2014: Riverland's strategic plan released
The first strategic plan prepared by Riverland growers and winemakers was released at Riverland Wine's Annual General Meeting last week. The plan outlines the organisation's mission and why it exists: to provide leadership, resources and the coordination necessary to drive a profitable, dynamic and sustainable wine industry for the benefit of its members and the community.
27/10/2014: Barossa vineyards on the market
Barossa Valley winemaker John Russell has listed his Greenock Farm vineyard as a trickle of listings emerge from the South Australian wine region. The 40 hectare property has 12.2 ha of 100-year-old vines, a historic three-bedroom residence, stone farm buildings and arable land for further development.
27/10/2014: Margaret River wine sales fall
Wine exports from Western Australia's Margaret River region have dropped in both volume and value over the past year. The Australian Grape and Wine Authority's (AGWA) Wine Export Approval Report showed bottled wine exports from the region fell 11.5 per cent to 2.3 million litres in the year to September.
24/10/2014: Gippsland: small region, big on diversity
Victoria's Gippsland region covers 20 per cent of the state extending from Melbourne’s east to the NSW border and despite having one of the largest GIs, it’s one of the nation’s smallest wine producing regions. Ken Eckersley, Wines of Gippsland chairman and owner of Nicholson River Winery, said Gippsland was part of the “table wine revival” in Australia from 1970 and enthusiasts planted vines from the beaches to the mountain valleys.
24/10/2014: Gwyneth Paltrow to attend Tasmania’s tourism event
Gwyneth Paltrow is reportedly attending the third phase of Restaurant Australia's campaign next month at the Museum of Old and New Art. Also joining is celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal. The two will join more than 80 VIPs who are equally popular in the food and wine industry. Tourism Tasmania's John Fitzgerald said the event will give Australia's "gastronomic tourism" the international exposure it deserves.
24/10/2014: Cab Sauv takes two steps forward
This week marked a big step forward for indigenous grape varieties White Cabernet Sauvignon (Shalistin) and Bronze Cabernet Sauvignon (Malian). Mac Cleggett from Cleggett Wines in Langhorne Creek has signed an agreement with the Riverland Vine Improvement Committee (RVIC), giving them sole opportunity to propagate and sell planting material to Riverland grapegrowers.
24/10/2014: Warburn Estate releases new range in honour of winery
Warburn Estate has released a brand new range to the market, which it says blends heritage, modernity and family ties. Named after the winery itself, the new Warburn Estate range takes its cues from the Warburn tradition of "over-delivering" on wine quality and packaging that hits the mark with wine consumers and trade alike.
24/10/2014: Puglia wines to be showcased at Vinitalia Down Under
Puglia’s wine sector is heading to Melbourne for the second edition of Vinitalia Down Under this weekend. The event, a trade fair dedicated to Italian wines, is being promoted and funded by the Ministry for Economic Development and is organised by the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Melbourne in partnership with Vinitaly International.
24/10/2014: Australian wineries wary of China's allure
Weakening demand for wine in China and an unusual import restriction have taught Australian wineries to tread cautiously in the country. Many Australian winemakers still see China as a big opportunity to grow exports, but the past year has injected a greater sense of realism into their thinking.
24/10/2014: Make your email marketing sparkle
Figuring out which message evokes the action to buy can be a tall order. Having a loyal customer base through sales or a wine club helps, since you can relay the news of a new vintage through email. But how do you get that message to make your customers interested in the wine? Sometimes you're not sure if you're getting the right message or imagery across to appeal to wine lovers. That's why you should look into conducting A/B testing on your email promotions. Wine Direct's Jim Agger reports.
23/10/2014: Displaying medals on wine labels: WFA wants your feedback
The display of medals on wine labels is under review by the Winemakers' Federation of Australia (WFA) to maintain the integrity of the nation's wine show awards. As part of the Code of Practice for the Display of Awards review, WFA is seeking public feedback by Thursday 30 October.
23/10/2014: Supplier's role in the industry's future to be discussed at event
Wine Industry Suppliers Australia (WISA) is partnering with Accolade Wines and the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) to present an event aimed at encouraging dialogue between industry suppliers and producers. The event, to be held at Hardy’s Tintara in McLaren Vale on 11 November, will give participants the opportunity to be updated on the recently recommended ‘Product Declaration - Minimum Standards Document’. The document was created through a joint collaboration between the WFA and WISA and aims to deliver a harmonised starting point for suppliers to provide information about their products to customers.
23/10/2014: Farmers, politicians and conservationists unite over Murray Darling
Winemaker Darren De Bortoli and senior investigative journalist Ken Jury are reigniting the Murray Darling debate with a call for an additional river lock in an attempt to save billions of litres of Murray Darling Basin water each year. A proposed Lock Zero would be built above Wellington, 105km South-east of Adelaide, that would increase fresh water availability throughout the up-river food producing regions of the Murray-Darling Basin system.
23/10/2014: Tallawanta vineyard leased to Brokenwood
Brokenwood has become the ‘‘honoured custodian’’ of the heritage-listed Tallawanta vineyard between Hunter Valley Gardens and Harrigan’s Irish Pub in Pokolbin. The 9 ha vineyard is planted predominantly in Shiraz and over the years has produced some of the Hunter Valley’s finest reds. In a deal that also involves a land swap, Brokenwood has leased Tallawanta from the Roche Family Group.
23/10/2014: Dropped training subsidy could hurt QLD wine industry
The College of Wine Tourism in Stanthorpe is concerned a state government decision to remove a training subsidy for school students will hurt more than just the education sector. The subsidy was used primarily for high school students under the Vocational Education and Training (VET) program. Under the program, students could study vocational education courses while still at school.
22/10/2014: AGWA reports rise in Aussie wine exports
Australia has seen a small rise in its wine exports according to the latest Wine Export Approval Report September 2014, released yesterday by the Australian Grape and Wine Authority (AGWA). In the year ended September 2014, total Australian wine exports increased by 0.7 per cent to 688 million litres while total value was steady at A$1.78 billion. The average value of bottled wine exports also grew by 6 per cent to A$4.83 per litre, continuing six years of consistent growth and reflecting a slow but increasing demand for wines in the premium category.
22/10/2014: De Bortoli toasts success with shares, cutting costs
De Bortoli Wines, one of Australia’s largest family-owned wine groups, has more than doubled its profit but the sharp uplift in earnings had little to do with its vineyard and was rather the result of good luck on the sharemarket. The Riverina-based producer's profit hit $11.399 million over the year ended June 30, a 126 per cent increase on the $5.04m profit posted in 2013.
22/10/2014: Taylors Wines talks awards, exports and the US market
Taylors Wines has plenty of reason to celebrate. The Clare Valley winery has won a multitude of local and international awards of late, further cementing the winery’s reputation for a fine drop. But gaining international recognition isn't easy and requires a shifting of perceptions that some export markets currently have of the Australian wine industry, including the US.
22/10/2014: Tasmanian wines ready to sparkle
A wine tasting event with a difference will be held this month at Relbia’s Josef Chromy Wines. The inaugural Effervescence Tasmania is a platform for consumers and the trade to taste some of Tasmania’s best sparkling wines and seafood. It will be held as a showcase to further Tasmania’s push to become the epicentre of modern sparkling products.
22/10/2014: Australian Fumé Blancs fail to inspire
Fumé Blanc was a term coined by the late American Robert Mondavi in the 1960s to differentiate his dry, barrel-aged Sauvignon Blanc from the typically sweet, simple Californian versions of the era. The popularity of Sauvignon Blanc in Australia in recent years has seen a growing number of wines made in a Fumé style entering the market as a point of difference to their more simple relatives of the same variety. However, the Wine and Viticulture Journal's recent blind tasting of 33 Australian Fumé Blancs suggests producers aren’t quite hitting the mark with expectations for the style.
21/10/2014: Blog: Salena Estate embraces Italian heritage
With a current production of 15,000 tonnes and a plan of expanding to 30,000 over the next four years, family-owned Salena Estate sells 80 per cent of its wine on the export market into Asia and Europe. Owner Bob Franchitto said the family was from an Italian background but born in Australia. “My father was a prisoner of war who immigrated back to Australia in 1949. My wife Sylvia and I started the winery in 1998 but have been involved in vineyards for well over 35 years,” he said.
21/10/2014: Riverland grower looks to turn from winegrapes to dried fruits
A grower in South Australia's Riverland is looking to a crop that used to be popular in the region as an alternative to winegrapes. Winegrape prices are forecast to stay low for the next few years, and 94 per cent of growers in the region were unprofitable last year. Darren Kennedy, a grapegrower in the region, says the transition to dried fruit crops would be "fairly easily" and the attraction of sultanas is the fact that it still comes from a vine.
21/10/2014: Philip Shaw Wines' vineyard manager named vigneron of the year
Charlie Simons, Philip Shaw Wines' vineyard manager, was named the Orange region's vigneron of the year at Friday night’s Orange Wine Show Dinner at Ross Hill Winery. He said he hoped his passion for his job was obvious and was proud to see the reputation of Philip Shaw Wines continue to grow in the two-and-a-half years he had worked there.
21/10/2014: Tax a threat to region’s winegrape growers
Murray Valley Winegrowers (MVW) is gearing up for another fight against taxation arrangements that would wipe out much of the region’s winegrape production. There’s concern that a wide-ranging tax review, slated to start within months, could result in recommendations for changes in the way wine is taxed, as suggested in 2009 by the 'Henry tax review'.
21/10/2014: SIWC judging complete despite weather gods’ intervention
Sydney International Wine Competition (SIWC) judges finished tasting and scoring more than 2000 wines last week, but were unsure if they would be able to leave their base in the Blue Mountains because of ferocious gales and storms that brought snow to the region. The panel of Australian, New Zealand and international judges were eventually able to get down the mountains to the airport, leaving SIWC convenor Warren Mason and his team the task of collating the results.
21/10/2014: When social media goes bad: how to prepare for and manage issues online
Most wineries are experts at making wine, not at creating superstar social media profiles, let alone navigating social media disasters. But it’s not difficult with a bit of forethought to be prepared if and when an issue crops up.
20/10/2014: Researcher uses mathematics to save grapevines from disease
A University of Sydney researcher is using mathematical modelling to help save century old Italian grapevines currently being ravaged by an aggressive insect-borne disease. Dr Federico Maggi, an environmental engineer in the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies, has recently returned from his home town of Piedmont, Italy where he spent three months researching better methods for ridding the region of Flavescence Dorée (FD), known as “grapevine yellows”.
20/10/2014: AGWA appoints Stuart Barclay as general manager – market development
The Australian Grape and Wine Authority (AGWA) last week announced the appointment of Stuart Barclay as general manager - market development. Andreas Clark, acting chief executive officer, said on behalf of the AGWA team he is pleased Barclay agreed to take on this key leadership role.
20/10/2014: Just one day left to register for Shiraz Viognier tasting
Tomorrow is the last day for wine producers to register their interest in the Wine & Viticulture Journal’s forthcoming tasting of Australian Shiraz Viogniers. As we announced last week on Daily Wine News, it has been 10 years since the Journal last tasted Shiraz Viognier.
20/10/2014: Australia aims to draw more Chinese tourists to wine and dine Down Under
Food and wine is the latest front in Australia's campaign to draw visitors and investors Down Under - particularly from China. In the past year, the number of people from Hong Kong visiting Australia rose 16.1 per cent to 200,700. And its mainland Chinese visitor numbers increased 12.2 per cent to 795,100 - making them Australia's second largest tourist market after New Zealand.
20/10/2014: Wine writing ethics under spotlight
Wine writers’ ethics came under the spotlight at the Wine Day Out forum held in Melbourne recently. Part of the discussion was broadcast on ABC Radio National’s First Bite program and although restricted in its breadth of coverage by time, several interesting threads emerged. The session was convened by freelance wine scribe Max Allen, who was joined by fellow writer Mike Bennie among others.
20/10/2014: Australian agriculture needs to adapt, not shift, to meet climate change
Peanuts have moved north, tuna has moved east and wine has moved south. But sooner or later, Australia is going to run out of places to shift agricultural production to avoid the harsh effects of climate change. Last week CSIRO, Australia's flagship scientific body, told the Reuters Global Climate Change Summit it is now critical for companies to consider both mitigation and adaption measures.
17/10/2014: New tool for wineries to tackle refrigeration costs
The Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) has released its latest tool for winery owners seeking to cut costs and improve their refrigeration and energy usage. The AWRI Refrigeration Demand Calculator is a spreadsheet-based software tool used to analyse and manage winery refrigeration demand.
17/10/2014: TWE waters vines underground to combat climate change
Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) is testing technology to water vines underground and is expanding fermentation capacity to combat the impact of climate change on its vineyards around the world. Rising temperatures mean too much water from over-ground irrigation is lost through evaporation, while changing ripening times are compressing harvest periods and putting pressure on processing facilities.
17/10/2014: Brown Brothers to build cellar door in Tasmania
Brown Brothers has confirmed it will build a cellar door at the Hazards winery on Tasmania's east coast. Katherine Brown from the Victorian-based company says the new building will be part of the East Coast Wine Trail and comes after the success of the Devil's Corner Pinot.
17/10/2014: WISA announces Supplier of the Year Award winners
Wine Industry Suppliers Australia (WISA) presented its 2014 Supplier of the Year Award winners to an audience of 160 wine industry professionals at the Adelaide Festival Centre last night. Lallemand Australia outshone 12 other finalists to win the highly coveted Tarac Technologies Supplier of the Year Award, presented by award sponsor Fraser Ainsworth AM, Tarac Australia chairman.
17/10/2014: Riverland winegrape growers expect more hard years to come
Winegrape growers from the Riverland put their questions and concerns to some of the biggest wine producers in the region this week. Riverland Wine held an industry outlook meeting in Renmark to discuss what's been a difficult period for the industry.
17/10/2014: Top drops and Jimmy Watson recipient named at 2014 Royal Melbourne Wine Awards
The results for the 2014 Royal Melbourne Wine Awards (RMWA) conducted by the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria were announced last night following an extensive week of judging and tasting of the 3183 wines entered. Gold medals were handed out across 77 classes with 15 trophies and eight major trophies awarded to the best drops, following rigorous assessment from an expert panel of judges headed by Tom Carson together with international guests Martin Moran MW from Ireland, Warren Gibson from New Zealand and James Suckling from the US.
17/10/2014: Shortage of grapes leave NSW winemaker crushed
Hungry birds and variable weather has forced one of the oldest wineries in New South Wales to look much further afield to supplement its own fruit for this year's vintage. Tilba Valley Winery traditionally uses grapes grown in the region to make up any shortfall that may occur with the fruit grown on the site, which is just over 2ha. But many growers who normally provide the extra grapes were limited in production and those based around Canberra, from which owner Peter Herrmann also buys, were hit by fruit bats.
16/10/2014: Coloured closures correction
An article featured by Daily Wine News on October 10, promoting a new range of coloured closures from Orora should not have promoted the new range as being available in Australia. The story from Drinks Business Review referred to a range of coloured closures for wine bottles under its Stelvin brand that are available in the Europe and US markets. There are no current plans to update the wide range of colours offered by Orora in Australia.
16/10/2014: Four Winds Vineyard launches project to expand winery
Canberra District's Four Winds Vineyard has launched a project to help expand the capacity of its winery. The project, run through website Pozible.com, will allow 30 days for funds to be raised so the winery can be extended by next vintage.
16/10/2014: Educator and author awarded Legend of the Vine
Wine Communicators of Australia (WCA) has announced the inaugural 2014 South Australian Legend of the Vine Award recipient as Adelaide educator and author Patrick Iland OAM. Dr Iland received the award in front of more than 300 wine industry peers and corporate guests at the WCA Royal Adelaide Wine Show Award Winners Lunch on Tuesday.
16/10/2014: Audio: Riverland Wine Forum
Winegrape growers from the Riverland will have the opportunity to quiz industry chiefs today at the Chaffey Theatre in Renmark. According to the ABC, it will give growers the chance to talk to the six wineries that buy the majority of Riverland grapes as well as Australia's largest bulk wine trader.
16/10/2014: Unearth Australian wine at Good Food and Wine Show tastings
Wine Australia is encouraging visitors to discover more about its home grown world class wines through the Riedel A+ Australian Wine Masterclass tastings as part of the three day Good Food and Wine Show this weekend at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.
16/10/2014: d'Arenberg to build giant Rubik's cube visitor centre
McLaren Vale's d'Arenberg winery is planning to build an $11 million, multi-storey tasting room and restaurant complex in the heart of its vineyards, modelled on the design of a Rubik's cube. Chester Osborn, d'Arenberg winemaker, said he hopes to begin building the futuristic, cube-shaped facility in spring next year.
16/10/2014: Grapegrowers concerned about frost damage
Frost in the middle of October has South Australian grapegrowers concerned for their crops, with some saying it has already damaged shoots on the vines. But according to the ABC, this hasn't been widespread. Brett Schutz from Tim Adams Wines just outside Clare says its vineyard escaped any serious damage as temperatures dipped below zero last night.
15/10/2014: Winemaker and WCA life member Gerry Sissingh dies, aged 78
Gerry Sissingh, a life member of Wine Communicators of Australia (WCA), died last Friday at the age of 78. Sissingh was a winemaker, consultant, wine communicator and wine educator and devoted much of his life to the wine industry. Born into a wine merchant family in the Netherlands, Sissingh migrated to Australia in the 1950s to seek a future in the industry he knew and loved.
15/10/2014: Australian wineries armed with tools to get 'lean'
The Australian Grape and Wine Authority (AGWA) has launched the 'Lean' Guide to assist the nation's wineries in improving their techniques and practices. 'Lean' is a system of tools and practices that helps businesses to use less human effort, space, capital, material and time. The Lean Guide: A Primer on Lean Production for the Australian Wine Industry is a user-friendly, simple guide interpreting the 'Lean' technique for wineries.
15/10/2014: What kind of parents are grapevines?
Last November, a pair of American economists published a paper with the National Bureau of Economic Research stating that first-born children earn higher grades than kids born into more crowded families. Asking questions about family size and child success is dangerous. Bring it up in a crowded room and you’ll hear that only children are antisocial or deprived, that kids with lots of siblings don’t get enough parental attention, and that first-born children are bossy. Start asking the same questions about what kind of parents grapevines are and the barrage is just about as bad. Erika Szymanski reports.
15/10/2014: Retailers back new wine app
Sydney’s Chambers Cellars will soon become the fifth retailer to partner with Wineosphere, the innovative new iPhone application that promises “the ultimate wine app experience” for consumers. Wineosphere brings together more than 22,000 independent wine reviews, information on where wines can be purchased and price comparisons, social sharing, exclusive deals and many other features.
15/10/2014: Australian Shiraz Viognier – 10 years on
Australian Shiraz Viogniers will take centre stage for the Wine & Viticulture Journal’s next tasting – 10 years since the publication last tasted the blend. In prefacing the results of the Journal’s last Shiraz Viognier tasting, wine writer Nick Bulleid described the blend as “the newest wine style to hit the market”.
15/10/2014: Latest issue of the Wine & Viticulture Journal out now!
Winery innovations and technology, particularly those suited to small and medium size enterprise wineries, are the focus of the just-released September-October issue of the Wine & Viticulture Journal. Regular contributor Cathy Howard gets the ball rolling by responding to a reader’s request for advice on how to design and undertake experiments in a small to medium winery and how to get the most out of winery trials to assist producers in evolving their winemaking practices to incorporate new techniques or products.
15/10/2014: National Moscato Challenge results announced
The results of the inaugural 2014 National Moscato Challenge were announced on the Australian Inland Wine Show website yesterday. Topping the list of 51 entries from around Australia was Gapsted Wines’ 2012 Gapsted Moscato. In the final analysis it came down to a two-horse race between wines from four Moscato classes that were awarded gold medals.
15/10/2014: Winery fundraiser tops $150,000
The Oxford to Oxford Challenge (O2O) has raised more than $150,000 for cancer research. More than 300 people took part in the challenge, cycling and running 110km from the Oxford Landing Winery in the Barossa to the Oxford Landing Estate in the Riverland. Andrew La Nauze, Oxford Landing winemaker, said the event had a great community feel.
14/10/2014: Wild ride for young Hunter winemaker
Which ever way you look at it, the past 12 months have been a wild ride for Hunter Valley winemaker Gwyn Olsen. “I know, I know,” she says when reminded of it, staring off into the distance and shaking her head in disbelief. It started this time last year when she moved to Briar Ridge winery as chief winemaker – her first time in the top job.
14/10/2014: Yield and quality, and epistemology
An enormous lot has been said about the relationship, or lack thereof, between grape yield and wine quality. The following article was written by Erika Szymanski, a studying PhD at the Centre for Science Communication at the University of Otago, New Zealand.
14/10/2014: You need to get to know your GLO
Justin Jarrett has no worries growing grapes for 15 different wine producers and adjusting what he does in the vineyard to suit the wine label each parcel is destined to be bottled under.
14/10/2014: Pernod Ricard launches graduate program
Pernod Ricard Winemakers, the global wine company behind premium wine brands Jacob’s Creek, Brancott Estate and Campo Viejo, is launching a global graduate program for ambitious university graduates. The program will enable graduates who have a passion for wine, desire to travel and an entrepreneurial spirit, the opportunity to join Pernod Ricard Winemakers as a graduate wine ambassador or graduate winemaker.
14/10/2014: Orange wine region records heaviest rainfall
The Orange district has recorded heavy rainfall from yesterday's storm which hit most of the region. Vignerons are inspecting their crops following the heavy downpour and Cumulus Wines viticulturist Marty Gransden said the 10 mm his vineyard received will help wet the top soil which was drying out. But concerns about the weather are not over.
13/10/2014: ATO clamps down on WET rebate claims
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has been conducting a high number of audits in the wine industry, including any business claiming over $100,000 in rebates including the WET. The ATO is already reporting estimated savings of more than $30 million in repaid claims and fines.
13/10/2014: Wine show season: It seems not all wine shows would earn a gold medal
This month Grapegrower & Winemaker asked four winemakers to share their thoughts on the wine show system: Tom Carson from Yabby Lake/Heathcote Estate in Victoria; John Griffiths from the Faber Vineyard in Western Australia’s Swan Valley; Drew Tuckwell from Printhie in Orange, New South Wales; and Sarah Crowe from Victoria's Yarra Yering.
13/10/2014: The naked truth about wine: being nice pays off
It all began with a simple thought from someone wanting to set up a wine company: "What if we are nice to the winemakers - what would that look like?" Luke Jecks speaks about the wine industry with passion and enthusiasm, tempered with serious commercial acumen. The managing director of Naked Wines Australia tells of the crowd-funded business' birth which is taking on the big players in the wine industry.
13/10/2014: Best of world Rieslings ready for judging
The southern hemisphere's largest Riesling event returns to Canberra this week and one expert judge thinks the celebration of the white grape variety stands out from the pack. John Belsham, international winemaker and consultant, has taken his place as chairman of judges and said the Canberra International Riesling Challenge offered value for both adjudicators and consumers.
13/10/2014: Supermarket giant dumps exclusive liquor unit
Supermarket giant Coles has restructured its liquor arm by handing back to its category managers the responsibility for its private label wines and national wine brands, according to reports in The Australian. The company has also scrapped its Exclusive Liquor Brands (ELB) unit, which was only established last year to lead the retailer’s push into private label wines.
International Wine Industry News
31/10/2014: Five ways millennials are changing the wine world
The 62 million millennials in America who are old enough to drink are rapidly changing the way wine is marketed. While baby boomers still lead in wine consumption, millennials — people born in the early 1980s to 2000 — are the fastest growing demographic, and producers are taking note of their purchasing power.
31/10/2014: Consent bid for new boutique winery
A Blenheim wine company has sent an application to the Marlborough District Council for resource consent to build a 250-tonne winery. Jackson Estate's application was lodged last week outlining the construction of a 2064 square metre winery, hosting centre and underground cellar.
31/10/2014: Damaging frost hits New Zealand vineyard
World renown Chardonnay producer Kumeu River Winery was hit by frost last weekend which destroyed part of its vineyards. A freak overnight change in temperature gave no warning so the producer hadn't hired the usual helicopters to protect the vines.
31/10/2014: Californian winery to launch in-house bottling line
LangeTwins Winery in Acampo, California is set to begin operating a new, state-of-the-art bottling line by January 2015 which will provide the family-owned winery and custom crush facility full control over the entire winemaking process – from grapegrowing to the packaged product.
31/10/2014: Why South Africa's wine industry is growing in confidence
Mike Ratcliffe, managing director of Warwick and Vilafonte wineries in Stellenbosch, tells Geoffrey Dean about the growing confidence in South Africa’s wine industry.
31/10/2014: UK's biggest wine merchants announce merger
Two of the UK's largest wine merchants have merged their businesses after restaurant supplier Bibendum agreed to acquire retailer-focused supplier PLB, amid tough trading conditions in the country. Bibendum holds a controlling stake in the merged business, which has been named Bibendum PLB Group, according to a spokesperson for the firm.
30/10/2014: Greek wine production shows significant decrease
Wine is one of Greece’s main products but this year wasn't promising for vineyards across the country with a 15 per cent decrease in production, according to the Greek Wine Federation. In contrast to the significant production decrease, the price of winegrapes skyrocketed.
30/10/2014: Experts debate oak use for Sauvignon Blanc (UK)
The use of oak when vinifying Sauvignon Blanc proved one of the most contentious areas of discussion in The Drinks Business Sauvignon Blanc Masters. Held earlier this month in London, the tasting saw almost 150 examples of this grape variety from 17 countries tasted blind by a panel of MWs and senior buyers. Of these, nearly a quarter had seen some element of oak barrel use.
30/10/2014: Central Florida pops cork on ocean-aged wine (US)
Central Florida is getting its first peek — and taste — of ocean-aged wine, a process that could revolutionise the wine industry. California winemaker Gustavo Gonzalez is overseeing the two-year-old project in which barrel-fermented Cabernet Sauvignon was bottled and dropped into the 60-foot-deep Charleston Harbor, an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean in South Carolina.
30/10/2014: What's a winemaker to do when their yeast quits on the job?
Stuck fermentations drive winemakers crazy. Yeast that should be busy with the task of converting sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide suddenly quit just short of the finish line, allowing bacteria strains to take over, consuming the sugars but not producing alcohol, only less desirable chemicals.
30/10/2014: New Zealand offers more than hobbits and Sauvignon Blanc
Thanks to The Lord of the Rings and the tourism board’s 100% Pure New Zealand marketing campaign, Americans envision stunning landscapes when they think of the island nation. They picture a playground for adventure, with endless options for hiking, bungee jumping, whale watching and the like. But when it comes to wine, they know very little about New Zealand.
30/10/2014: Champagne to reduce sulphur dioxide (France)
Among the many current winemaking developments in Champagne, oxygen management at disgorgment appears a particular focus. Unlike ageing, oak use or sugar levels, the topic may not be exciting to Champagne enthusiasts, but oxygen management on the bottling line is important for two main reasons.
29/10/2014: Georgian farmers earn $170m from 2014 grape harvest
Georgian grapegrowers are enjoying the benefits of a bumper harvest after earning GEL$170 million (A$109m) by selling 120,000 tons of grapes this year. The 2014 grape picking season has ended in all of Georgia’s wine producing regions including Kakheti in the east and Imereti and Racha in the west, according to the country's national wine body.
29/10/2014: Who are France’s biggest wine drinkers?
Following France’s return to being the world's biggest wine producing country, a media company has released regional wine consumption figures from across France. According to figures released by Bonial, and based on a percentage of the population who drink at least once a week, producing wine doesn’t necessarily mean consuming wine.
29/10/2014: Yealands Estate acknowledged for sustainable practices
A winery with the vision of becoming the world’s most sustainable wine producer has received the top gong at this year’s Sustainable 60 Awards. Marlborough-based Yealands Estate Wines was also acknowledged in the environment category at an awards ceremony in Auckland last night.
29/10/2014: California winegrape harvest earliest this decade
California's 2014 winegrape harvest was the earliest of the decade following a mild winter and early budburst in spring. But the overall length of the growing season was similar to past years, according to a report released by the Wine Institute on Monday.
28/10/2014: Competition heats up for 2014 Air New Zealand Wine Awards
The competition is heating up for this year’s Air New Zealand Wine Awards with a near-record of entries. More than 1500 wines across 16 different classes have been entered with Pinot Noir being the most popular variety, followed by Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris.
28/10/2014: Award-winning winery on the market
Gisborne's Kirkpatrick Estate Winery located on Patutahi Plateau has been placed on the market for sale. The boutique business is one of few in the region to combine a winery and vineyard on site, allowing it to produce high quality, estate-grown wines. After 10 years enjoying a rewarding lifestyle, owner Simon Kirkpatrick has decided to sell the property to pursue a career in consultancy.
28/10/2014: French winemakers fear decimation of vineyards through disease
Winemakers in France have demanded urgent funds to tackle a vine disease that could decimate vineyards across the country. The fungal disease esca is said to be incurable and could be as devastating as the 19th century plague that destroyed France's vineyards.
28/10/2014: Chablis has ‘brand strength of Champagne’
The strength of “brand Chablis” and its pulling power in terms of driving sales is on a par with Champagne, according to a leading producer in the region. Nathalie Févre of Domaine Nathalie et Gilles Févre said “Chablis has the brand strength of Champagne to the extent that people buy on the fact that it’s Chablis over the domaine or climat name".
28/10/2014: September saves winegrape harvest (US)
Most grapegrowers will agree last year's harsh winter combined with wet growing conditions in early spring had a huge impact on the quantity of grapes grown across the Finger Lakes region. "As with most years, the weather has been the story," Vinny Aliperti, Atwater Estates and Vineyards winemaker said.
28/10/2014: Virginia becomes wine goldmine (US)
When Matthieu Finot moved to Virginia, he only planned to stay for a year. That was a decade ago. Finot is now among a growing number of French winemakers setting up shop in the US state, where former president and Francophile Thomas Jefferson struggled to produce grapes two centuries ago.
28/10/2014: TWE to drive premium wines in the convenience sector
Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) will continue to focus on the opportunity and potential for premiumising wines in the convenience sector through the festive trading period and into 2015. Dan Townsend, TWE's general manager for the UK and Western Europe, says "we are a premium branded supplier, we need to build this category". TWE is looking to grow its business by £200 million (A$366m) by 2019 in the impulse buying category.
27/10/2014: Gamay: NZ’s red answer to Sauvignon Blanc
The winery that claims to be New Zealand’s only Gamay producer has suggested this grape variety has scope to fulfill a similar role for the country as Sauvignon Blanc. Speaking to the Drinks Business at a tasting of his wines, Nicholas Buck, Te Mata estate director put forward a strong case for the grape. “Not every wine has to be the last word in ageability and Gamay is just so drinkable,” he said.
27/10/2014: Lessons your brand can learn from millennials’ wine consumption rates (US)
Young people are drinking more wine than any generation before them, but what does that have to do with companies that practice law or sell socks? There are some characteristics that have emerged about this generation which any business, including those in the wine industry, can learn from. Rowan Gormle, Naked Wines chief executive officer, asserts that millennials are important to the future of the wine industry.
27/10/2014: Cheers to another award for Canterbury producer
Nik Mavromatis, Greystone Wines sales and marketing manager was disappointed to see only one local wine at the Champion Canterbury Awards dinner table. "Canterbury people are so patriotic but for some reason they're not all drinking Canterbury wine," he said. "And yet if you go to Otago, they're all drinking Otago, if you go to Wellington they're all drinking Martinborough." He said North Canterbury is the best place in New Zealand to grow Pinot Noir and Chardonnay which is "backed up by all the awards the vineyards from our region received".
27/10/2014: Russia to invest €250m in Crimean wine industry
The Russian government plans to invest €250 million (A$359m) in the expansion and growth of the Crimean wine industry to include a 60 per cent increase in vineyard plantings. As part of the plan, by 2025 the total area covered by Crimean vineyards is set to grow from 37,300ha to 100,000ha.
27/10/2014: Washington wine industry pushes for more Canadian sales
Washington State Wine Commission officials hope to increase the taste for Washington wine in Canada, the state’s top international market. Washington wine is now being promoted in Quebec’s government-controlled retail stores and a recently announced $97,000 US federal grant will support two more years of promotion.
27/10/2014: Austria steps up sparkling ambitions
The Austrian Wine Marketing Board has announced a new three-tier quality hierarchy for the country’s sparkling wines as it seeks to raise the profile of this style. Level 1, the lowest tier, features a tightened minimum requirement for Austrian sparkling that guarantees all grapes and base wine have been produced in the country.
24/10/2014: Nab weed escapees with dormant season vineyard survey (US)
As part of an overall vineyard management system, your ability to control weeds can affect the risks to your crop posed by other threats such as insects, mites, nematodes and diseases say University of California Cooperative Extension specialists.
24/10/2014: Beaux Cailloux: It’s not goodbye, it’s see you later
New Zealand Chardonnay lovers have lost a fine wine with the demise of Craggy Range’s Les Beaux Cailloux vineyard. After seemingly hitting its straps in the 2010 and 2011 vintage with its best wines to date, the pesky mealybug put an end to the illustrious 10-year-old Chardonnay block in Hawke’s Bay’s Gimblett Gravels.
24/10/2014: MP speaks in favour of foreign investment
The wine industry wouldn't be where it is today without foreign investment, new Kaikoura MP Stuart Smith says. In his maiden speech to parliament last night, Smith said investment by foreign-owned wine companies brought more than money to the table.
24/10/2014: Vineyard a first for North Island's Rotorua
Rotorua's viticulture industry is growing with Volcanic Hills Winery planting its first local vineyard this week. The vines have been planted adjacent to the bottom terminal at Skyline Rotorua, where the winery is based. Brent Park, the winery's co-owner, said it would be a first for the Rotorua region.
24/10/2014: Terroir gives Champagne its soul
American wine and spirits columnist Elin McCoy declares she's a terroirist when it comes to Champagne and that its winemakers are among the most avant-garde. Her Champagne ideal is not just a glass of dependable, consistent bubbly to toast a promotion or celebrate an anniversary, she writes.
24/10/2014: US faces wine tariff hikes in trade dispute
Canada and Mexico have threatened the US with trade sanctions and massive increases in wine taxes after the World Trade Organisation this week ruled US meat tariffs to be illegal. Wine and fortified wine are on a list of 10 products the US neighbors have said could be hit with a 100 per cent surtax and the consequences for US producers could be devastating.
24/10/2014: France reclaims title as world's largest wine producer
France regained its seat as the world’s top wine producer in 2014, trumping main competitor Italy where producers had suffered a poor harvest, the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) announced yesterday. France, which was overtaken in production by Italy two years ago, produced 46.2 million hectolitres of wine this year, a rise of 10 per cent on last year, the OIV said.
23/10/2014: Clearview Estate shines at wine awards
Clearview Estate took out two of the 13 gold trophies at this year’s Hawke’s Bay Wine Awards. For the small winery based on Cape Kidnapper’s coast, receiving awards for the museum class and the Sauvignon Blanc and/or Semillon class came hot on the heels of a strong showing at the International Aromatic Wine competition held earlier this month.
23/10/2014: NZ raises a glass to the next vintage
With the 2014 winegrape harvest long over, growers have been busy investing time and money in their new crop. But with a repeat of this year's bumper harvest unlikely, what can they expect in years to come? Marlborough Express wine reporter Chloe Winter investigates.
23/10/2014: French vineyards attract new blood
France is getting an injection of fresh ideas as more people are helped into the country's wine industry. Safer, the organisation that controls agricultural land sales in France, has announced that of the 240 vineyard sales they are involved with on average each year, two-thirds are purchased by newcomers to the wine world.
23/10/2014: Funding for farmworker education reaches more than $800,000 (US)
Though the news got buried when an earthquake struck a few hours later, the seventh annual Napa Valley Grapegrower Harvest Stomp held in August raised an unprecedented $870,000 to support its educational programs, promotion and outreach initiatives, the Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation and work to preserve agriculture in the American Viticultural Area (AVA).
23/10/2014: World Bulk Wine Exhibition to attract more than 200 wineries (Amsterdam)
More than 200 wineries will be heading to Amsterdam next month for the sixth annual World Bulk Wine Exhibition (WBWE). Producers and the trade across 70 countries are expected to attend the two-day event which will be held from 24-25 November. This year the WBWE has been expanded by a quarter to cope with increased interest in bulk wine around the world.
23/10/2014: How to market wine when it's forbidden to market wine (Turkey)
Let’s say you’re on the marketing team of a winery in Turkey, home to an ancient tradition of winemaking as well as some of the world’s largest brands by volume. Let’s say your winery has found success in the domestic market, where most Turkish wineries sell upwards of 95 per cent of their products. Now let’s say that, thanks to regulations imposed by the Turkish government, you are no longer permitted to market or promote your wines within that domestic market.
22/10/2014: Californian winery adds seven markets to distribution (US)
Paso Robles-based Bianchi Winery has added seven new markets to its distribution footprint. In the next few months, the winery’s portfolio will be available in Hawaii, Montana, Tennessee, Washington, Maryland, Delaware and Texas, bringing its total reach to 32 markets nationwide, according to Shanken News Daily.
22/10/2014: Are millennials wine illiterate?
Are millennials illiterate? Uninterested in where wine comes from? Or are they wine’s greatest generation? Wine writer W. Blake Gray's working assumption has been the latter: that people in their 20s are willing to spend money on wines from anywhere, and are more concerned with drinking something interesting than impressing their peers. But if you look at companies set up to sell wine to millennials — some created by millennials — their reading of that market makes it seem smug and uncurious and more interested in the app the wine is bought from than the bottle itself.
22/10/2014: Central Otago grapegrowers on frost watch
The frost-fighting season has begun for grapegrowers in Central Otago. Steve Green, New Zealand Wine chairman and Carrick Wines owner, said Monday night was the first ''major'' event of the frost-fighting season for grapegrowers throughout the region.
22/10/2014: Double trophy win for Vidal Estate's Legacy range
One of Hawke's Bay’s oldest wineries has received two of the top accolades in the prestigious Decanter Asia Wine Awards. Vidal Estate was awarded regional trophies for best white and red wines with its Vidal Legacy Chardonnay 2012 and Vidal Legacy Syrah 2010. To be awarded a regional trophy, a wine must first win a gold medal, then subsequently be judged the best in its region.
22/10/2014: Rioja set for allocation pressure (Spain)
Berry Brothers & Rudd has strengthened its Rioja portfolio as the merchant’s Spain buyer Simon Field MW acknowledged growing demand for the region’s top wines. Introducing a total of nine new producers from across Spain at the merchant’s annual Spanish tasting, Field said “there’s lots of talk in the press about gran reserva really getting into its stride in the US market".
22/10/2014: Vinexpo aims to ‘wow’ attendees (France)
Vinexpo’s 2015 exhibition in Bordeaux, France will see a number of major changes including tasting lounges, new caterers, a revised Club du Lac, a cocktail bar and post-show parties in an attempt to “wow” attendees. The wine and spirits fair, which takes place next June, is to trial a number of initiatives, some of which were tested at this year’s Vinexpo Hong Kong, and others that are entirely new.
21/10/2014: Bay wineries pick up gold at International Aromatic Wine Competition
Three Hawke's Bay wineries picked up gold medals at this year's International Aromatic Wine Competition which is run annually by the Canterbury A&P Society. The awards were announced last week and among the winners was Clearview Estate, which took home gold for its 2014 Golden Gewurztraminer. Barry Riwai, the estate's winemaker, said he was delighted the Gewurztraminer had sparked with the show's judges as it had with visitors to the winery.
21/10/2014: NZ winery plans for 100-year milestone
New Zealand's Babich Wines will celebrate its centennial anniversary in 2016 and preparations are in full swing. Kicking off early next year, Babich Wines will be running an international media and marketing campaign across New Zealand and all of its export markets. This campaign will incorporate an extensive global PR drive that will be supported by 100-year promotional activity, the release of limited edition wines and events in major cities around the world.
21/10/2014: US and European wine regions step up campaign to protect online wine names
American winemakers were joined by their counterparts from Champagne at a conference on deregulating internet domain names in an effort to boost awareness of how weaker controls would negatively impact the wine business.
21/10/2014: Sonoma County cracks down on Bella Vineyards
Bella Vineyards is famous for its robust Zinfandels and romantic wine cave dinners but Sonoma County officials are alleging that owners Lynn and Scott Adams have been running their winery outside of county rules for more than a decade. In response, planning commissioners voted unanimously last week to halt all wine-related events at Bella Vineyards and cease public tastings in its popular wine cave.
21/10/2014: Argentine wine becomes more ‘Michelangelo’, says wine consultant
The discovery of limestone soils and the use of new winemaking techniques are turning Argentine wines from “Schwarzenegger” to “Michelangelo”, according to one international consultant. The analogy was made by Italy’s Alberto Antonini, wine consultant and co-founder of Altos Las Hormigas winery in Mendoza, when speaking at a Malbec masterclass in London last month.
21/10/2014: French fizz touted for UK success
French Crémant and Mousseux are well placed to become the next styles to enjoy a breakthrough in the buoyant UK sparkling wine market. Ben Campbell-Johnston, organiser of the Fizz trade tasting which will take place in London later this week, noted a “marked increase” in exhibitors from these French regional categories at the 2014 event.
20/10/2014: NZ wine wins top award at Canberra International Riesling Challenge
The top award at the 15th annual Canberra International Riesling Challenge has been won by Accolade Wine’s Mud House Estate from the Canterbury/Waipara region of New Zealand with its 2013 The Mound Vineyard Waipara Valley Riesling.
20/10/2014: Poor harvest hurts Michigan winemakers (US)
Last year's brutal winter has left Michigan winemakers with few reasons to pop corks. Whining about wine isn't in Holly Balansag's nature, but the co-owner and winemaker of Sandhill Crane Vineyard in Jackson has a cause for complaint. Balansag has harvested 20 tonnes of grapes this year, down 75 per cent from the previous year due to extremely cold weather brought on by the polar vortex.
20/10/2014: Younger consumers push for variety in Japanese supermarkets
Grocery stores in Japan are stocking their shelves with a greater range of wines, thanks to demand from younger consumers. For years, Japanese supermarkets sold bottles that averaged 1000 yen (A$10.65) or less. But a generation of younger, savvier consumers is driving mainstream retailers to expand their offerings with higher-end bottles at upwards of about 3000 yen ($32), says a report from Vinexpo Nippon.
20/10/2014: Drones 'could become familiar sight' over vineyards, says researcher (US)
As he went around Napa Valley, Ken Giles had the unenviable task of notifying nearby residents that UC Davis would be conducting a demonstration project using drones to spray pesticides at its vineyard in Oakville. Giles, a professor in the university’s biological and agricultural engineering department, said he was prepared for questions, especially given the civil rights qualms over military and police use of drones.
20/10/2014: Argentina's government 'played a key role in its UK success', says ambassador
The Argentinian government has played a key role in the success of Argentine wine in the UK, according to its UK ambassador Alicia Castro. She said Argentinian wine exports to the UK had risen by around 35 per cent in the past year, and was up more than 100 per cent over the past 10 years.
17/10/2014: Speakers announced for 2014 Wine in China conference
Organisers of the second Wine in China conference have announced the 2014 event’s speaker line-up, and the list is a 'who’s who' of world-class leaders from across the wine industry. With the topics for 2014 being: finding the right importers, market entry logistics, connecting with the F&B trade, wine retail: Building loyalty, education and internal training and consumer dynamics: Packaging for the Chinese market and media, the speaker list offers a diverse range of topics for delegates to discuss, debate and learn about.
17/10/2014: Kiwi life beyond Sauvignon Blanc
There's no doubt Sauvignon Blanc has been a fantastic standard-bearer for New Zealand wine, offering a popular and instantly recognisable peg on which to hang an entire industry. The problem is that it might well become something of an albatross. Almost 60 per cent of NZ's vineyard area is planted to Sauvignon Blanc and the grape accounts for 84 per cent of all wine exports, which gives you an idea of the level of thirst that exists for this style of wine. But over the years, the number of "genuinely excellent" Sauvignon Blancs has not even kept pace with the burgeoning number of wineries, writes Don Kavanagh.
17/10/2014: Bulk wine: New Zealand reaching 'event horizon', says MW
The New Zealand wine industry is about to reach an “event horizon”, according to Justin Knock MW. He says the country has managed to deal with successively larger harvests for a number of years and maintain high pricing, but this year it has a deluge of wine and the tail end of vintage was wet, so there is a "huge chunk of average booze coming out of there, maybe a third of it weak quality".
17/10/2014: Boom time for British vineyards (UK)
The number of UK wine producers has reached a 20-year high and grown by almost 50 per cent in the past year. According to research by accountant UHY Hacker Young, there are now 135 wine producers in a rapidly growing market.
17/10/2014: Bordeaux launches ad campaign to stem fall in exports (France)
Bordeaux wine officials hope a new international advertising campaign will help the region stem falling exports to its key markets. Bordeaux’s regional wine body, the CIVB, said it would promote the area’s wines simultaneously in the most important export markets. New figures show exports of Bordeaux from August 2013 to August 2014 fell 8 per cent in volume and 18 per cent in value.
17/10/2014: How fraud is destroying the wine industry
Back in August, a prolific wine collector was given a distinction that no other connoisseur had ever been awarded in US history. He was sentenced to a 10-year prison term for counterfeiting wine. Rudy Kurniawan was ordered to a decade behind bars and to pay fines and restitution totaling more than $48 million in connection with his wine dealings. A judge and jury had decided that while justice might be blind, it would not fail to recognise wine fakes and to punish the people who knowingly offered them for sale. Wine experts recently gathered in New York to discuss the issue of wine fraud. Eater NY wine editor Levi Dalton was on the scene.
16/10/2014: Winery celebrates two new releases
The release of two long-awaited new premier wines from Havelock North's Craggy Range was a perfect time to celebrate wine and food, with winery owner Terry Peabody flying in some top kitchen support from Australia. The event, held at the winery's Terroir Restaurant on Saturday night, showcased the skills of leading Australian chef Grant Murray as well as chief winemaker Matt Stafford and his team.
16/10/2014: Small town, big achiever
John Martin, an early European settler in New Zealand, might have known the village he founded had international aspirations. A well-travelled man in his youth, Martin named the main streets after places he had visited in the world and to this day include Texas, Kansas, Naples and Oxford. Today, still only a village of just 1300 people, Martinborough packs quite a punch on the world wine stage. Its alluvial river terraces and silty loams have proved ideal for the production of winegrapes, especially Pinot Noir, but also Shiraz, Chardonnay and Riesling. George W. Russell reports.
16/10/2014: New wine registration scheme to launch (Hong Kong)
The Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency (HKQAA) is set to launch a wine registration scheme aimed at boosting consumer confidence and combating counterfeiting. A company must register with the HKQAA and be accredited by them before it is allowed to use the mark labels, which are supported by an online platform. Ir Ho, HKQAA deputy chairman, explained that the scheme “helps both the trade and consumers,” allowing the trade to prove their claims of quality and provenance and consumers to find out for themselves.
16/10/2014: French producers need Chinese to drink more wine again
French wine is having another bad year. Sales of Bordeaux wine abroad have fallen 18 per cent to €1.8 billion (A$2.6bn) in the year to July, according to the comité interprofessionnel des vins de Bordeaux. Wine produced in the French region accounts for half the value of exports, so it’s both a huge part and an indicator for the rest of the country’s wine regions. Sales also fell in 2013, a long way off the heights of 2012, when revenues from Bordeaux totalled €4.3 billion (A$6.25bn).
16/10/2014: Wine industry reaches 'historic turning point', says producer (UK)
The UK wine industry has reached a “historic turning point” says the head of one of the country’s most respected estates. Frazer Thompson, Chapel Down chief executive, pointed to the quality and quantity of the 2014 harvest, consumers willing to invest in the industry and the 48 per cent rise in new winemakers during the past year.
16/10/2014: More Americans turning to wine, says Wine Intelligence (US)
More Americans are drinking wine on a regular basis, with those consuming wine at least once a month having increased by 40 per cent to 91 million in the past five years. This growth is in tandem with a 17 per cent increase in sales volumes between 2009 and 2013, according to a Wine Intelligence report released yesterday.
15/10/2014: Schools seek students from wine areas
Secondary schools in Marlborough are on a mission to recruit international students from wine growing regions around the world. Marlborough Boys' College principal Wayne Hegarty spent 10 days in Germany during the holidays to visit schools and attend an education fair. Hegarty said Marlborough Boys' and Girls' colleges were looking at the possibility of sister schools, specifically in wine growing areas of Germany. "If the schools can be in a wine growing region, it adds another dimension to promoting Marlborough," he said.
15/10/2014: Winemakers label UK harvest 'vintage of dreams'
This year’s harvest across the UK is being labelled the “vintage of dreams” and “best ever” by winemakers, many of whom have finished picking ahead of schedule. Bob Lindo of Camel Valley in Cornwall said the combination of no spring frosts, a perfect fruit-set, enough rain in August and the driest and warmest September in nearly 100 years came together for a "perfect storm of good grapegrowing news for Camel Valley".
15/10/2014: California wines gain popularity in China
Eyeing China’s burgeoning middle class, California wineries are exploring how they can better tap into what’s becoming a major potential market. “The millennials in China are the market of the future,” David DeBoer, Delicato Family Vineyards vice president of international sales said.
15/10/2014: 'Grapes of Wrath': Stomping out grape disease one vineyard at a time (US)
Cracking the genetic code of a common disease affecting grape production could improve vineyard management and help protect the multi-billion dollar industry that includes wine, raisins, jam and grape-seed extract among others. A Rochester Institute of Technology scientist and an alumnus are close to completing the genetic blueprint of grape crown gall tumor disease - the bane of vineyards worldwide.
15/10/2014: Chilean winemakers make the most of country’s diversity
Chile is well-known for the concentration of its wine production, allowing the country to make consistent wine at competitive prices. But emerging is a new wave of boutique projects from the full length and breath of the country, resulting in original blends from little-known places.
15/10/2014: Bumper harvest clouded by threat of wood decay (France)
The French winegrape harvest has produced a bumper crop for 2014 after two years of adverse weather conditions. But the smiles could be wiped off winegrowers’ faces if wood decay disease, which now affects 12 per cent of vines in all of France’s wine growing regions, continues its relentless march across the country.
14/10/2014: Vineyard sales a sign of rising demand
Five New Zealand vineyards have sold during the past month, signalling a rise in interest and demand from overseas buyers. Among the vineyard sales were three in South Island's Waihopai Valley, including one which sold to an Australian family with wine interests in Goulburn Valley, Victoria.
14/10/2014: Show celebrates diversity and complexity of Marlborough wines
The fourth annual Marlborough Wine Show resulted in 35 gold medals, 125 silver and 221 bronze with 77 per cent of entries receiving an award last week. Judging was led by chair Jeff Clarke of Ara who said he was pleased with the overall quality. “This year’s show has continued to reinforce not only the quality but also the range and diversity of Marlborough wines,” he said. “The 2012 Pinot Noirs and 2014 Sauvignon Blancs were a definite highlight.”
14/10/2014: Burgundy wine buyer heads to Ningxia
Berry Bros & Rudd’s Burgundy buyer is heading to Ningxia in China to assess its potential as a fine wine region. Jasper Morris MW will fly to the region later this week and visit numerous wineries in what could be the first of a series of visits during the next few years as the country develops its viticultural industry.
14/10/2014: Champagne 2014: Organic growers survive tense summer
Organic growers in Champagne believe they have proven themselves in 2014 after a wet August increased tension with their non-organic counterparts over the use of sprays. In the year the Comite Champagne approved a new environmental directive, many growers are understood to have pushed the legally allowed sprays to the limit to protect their grapes.
14/10/2014: Costco executive discusses wine business
Annette Alvarez-Peters is one of the most powerful people in the wine industry. She supervises the wine buyers for Costco Wholesale Corporation, which sold $3.7 billion in alcohol around the world last year. The sway Costco carries in the industry from the vineyard to retail shelf is tremendous because many wineries want a shot at floor space inside the big-box discount retailer, based in Issaquah, Washington. Bill Swindell reports.
14/10/2014: Sparkling wine riding high
Sparkling wine is enjoying unequalled success in the on-trade, with Prosecco the most notable pour chomping at the heels of Champagne. But, as James Lawrence writes, there are plenty of contenders in this tempestuous market.
13/10/2014: A major win for organic NZ wine in the EU
The European Commission has agreed to recognise New Zealand’s organic wine production methods as equivalent to its own. This result came about after two years of collaboration between the Ministry of Primary Industries and New Zealand Winegrowers. The organisations saw the importance of organic wine in New Zealand’s future, therefore began a concerted effort to ensure New Zealand has access to the European market.
13/10/2014: Quality drives NZ wine drinkers, not price
Price is no longer the biggest factor in a NZ wine drinker's purchasing decision, according to New World supermarkets. Brendon Lawry, liquor merchandise manager, says not only are New Zealanders buying wine based on quality over price, but they have a favourite buying landscape across eight to 12 brands, illustrating more educated palates and a greater knowledge of the wine world.
13/10/2014: Total global wine production for 2014 could be down by 4 per cent, says Rabobank
Total global wine production could drop by 4 per cent, according to Rabobank’s latest Wine Quarterly report. It says with the exception of France, winegrape production "appears set to decline across nearly every major production region" compared to 2013.
13/10/2014: China's coal-mining region turns to wine in new "economy push"
To reinvent itself in China's new consumption-driven economy, one region will need to crush a few grapes. After a decade of mining to power China's economy, the arid and remote northwestern region of Ningxia is remaking itself as industry slows and demand for fossil fuels is set to wane. The region has set its sights on becoming China's vineyard.
13/10/2014: Argentine organic wines: a growing and consolidating category
Ninety-five per cent of Argentina's total wine production is intended for the foreign market, the US being the main destination. Organic wine has experienced such a growth that it has become the country's second most important product in terms of production and exports.
13/10/2014: Bordeaux recovery boosts French volumes
The French Agriculture Ministry has predicted the 2014 vintage could reach 46.5 million hectolitres, up from 42.37 million last year, reaching its highest level in three years. The prediction follows two unusually small harvests in France caused by hail and grape rot, with a warm and dry September said to have largely rescued this year's vintage.
13/10/2014: Paso Robles divides to conquer (US)
The Californian wine region of Paso Robles has been granted permission to set up 11 new distinct appellations within its borders. The ruling was passed by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) in Washington DC on Thursday.