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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.

30/09/2014: Shiraz shines at New World Wine Awards
The highest number of medals ever was awarded at the New World Wine Awards 2014, following a record number of entries. Among the full range of varietals entered, the Shiraz category was a stand-out performer with the highest number of medals awarded among the red wine varietals and the second-highest number of medals overall, second only to Sauvignon Blanc.

30/09/2014: Bumper season for Hawke's Bay
Warm, sunny weather has led to some Hawke's Bay wineries reporting record profits. The findings from the 2014 Viticulture Monitoring Report show a positive outlook for the industry as a whole. The report is largely based on interviews with contract grape growers and wineries, and showed bumper seasons for winemakers in Hawke's Bay and Marlborough.

Announcements and Suppliers

29/09/2014: Kauri early order barrel discounts for vintage 2015
Kauri is offering fantastic early order savings on Saury’s range of oak barrels. For best prices and discount delivery rates from the cooperages of Saury, Saury Bourgogne, Tonnellerie LEROI and Saury USA, please order by the following dates (click to view).

29/09/2014: How to get your brands into specialty distributor portfolios
BTN takes a look at how to expand distribution and grow sales using specialty distributors. As large corporations like ABInBev and SABMiller continue to flood the market with new 'faux-craft' labels and the number of genuine start-ups seem to grow by the day, competing for space in distributor portfolios in the craft industry is becoming increasingly difficult.

Australian Wine Industry News

1/10/2014: Casella trades up as Aussie dollar drops
John Casella is shifting his focus to premium wine categories to help balance the books and improve the standing of Casella Family Brands in the US market, with a weaker Aussie dollar working to its advantage. Casella Family Brands, owners of the Yellow Tail label, are betting on the weaker Australian dollar and a move into premium categories to boost profits.

1/10/2014: Future looks bright for local wine industry
The past decade has presented a host of difficulties for the Australian wine industry, but according to IBISworld, the restructuring forced upon the industry by those challenges, together with changing consumer tastes and Australia’s falling dollar, means brighter times may be ahead.

1/10/2014: Treasury boss weighs restructure
Michael Clarke, Treasury Wine Estates' chief executive and one of his senior executives are assessing up to five options before making a final decision on an internal structure expected to include a separate sales and marketing arm for the company's top-end wine brands. The two are aggressively moving to "unzip" them from the more commercial wine brands, which will also have a dedicated sales and marketing force that is expected to be in place by the end of the year.

1/10/2014: Outlook 2014 kicks off in Adelaide today
The Australian wine industry has gathered in Adelaide this week for the biennial Outlook 2014: Taking Charge of Our Future Conference which commenced today. Paul Evans, Winemakers’ Federation of Australia chief executive, said the conference has attracted more than 300 delegates and features the release of the 2014 Vintage Report, panel discussions with experts and sessions on the industry’s future directions and challenges.

30/09/2014: Australia's wine reputation in the UK is changing
Australia's wine reputation in its largest export market is changing. The United Kingdom is Australia's largest wine export market by volume, worth $370 million a year. In the past, Australia has been a good source of cheap, everyday drinking wines for UK consumers. But the industry has worked hard to change that image, and at bottle shops in Scotland its reputation is changing. Laura Poole reports for ABC Rural.

30/09/2014: Wine exporters toast the dollar's dive
For three years, Tasmanian winemaker Josef Chromy has been in talks with US importers about getting its pinot noir into the world’s biggest consumer wine market. But until now the high Australian dollar has made the cost prohibitive. Josef Chromy is not unlike many Australian businesses that have suffered a crippling currency impact, shutting them out of key export markets. Vesna Poljak reports for BRW.

30/09/2014: Wine shows confirm strength of 2014 Hunter vintage
The 2014 Hunter Valley vintage is being hailed as a great one, with perfect ripening conditions in a region that has notoriously wet vintages. Leading winemakers, including Bruce Tyrrell of Tyrrell's Wines and Iain Riggs of Brokenwood, have given the 2014 vintage a big rap, Tyrrell comparing it to the great 1965 vintage (at least for red wines) and Riggs saying he rated the vintage 11 out of 10. Huon Hooke reports for

30/09/2014: Effervescence Tasmania 2014
Anyone who is curious to learn why the Apple Isle is becoming the epicentre of New World sparkling should head to Effervescence Tasmania (31 October-1 November), as it promises to be the most comprehensive consumer tasting of the island's sparkling wines to date. Update from Gourmet Traveller Wine.

30/09/2014: Philip Laffer is the first Australian wine industry ‘life member’
Philip Laffer, one of the key people responsible for the success of Jacob’s Creek, has been recognised for his outstanding leadership and contribution to the wine industry, named as the first Australian wine industry ‘life member’.

29/09/2014: Robert Oatley Vineyards expands distribution with Bordeaux label
New South Wales' Robert Oatley Vineyards will be the Australian distributor for wines from Bordeaux producer Chateau de Sours effective October 1. Chateau de Sours has been producing wine on Bordeaux’s right bank, south west of St. Emilion in the commune of Saint-Quentin-de-Baron, for more than 200 years.

29/09/2014: Sirromet taps into Chinese market through home deliveries
A growing taste among Chinese consumers for expensive wine is helping a major Queensland label boost its exports. Mt Cotton's Sirromet is tapping into the Chinese market through home deliveries — wherever the consumer lives. “We’ve had wine on the backs of yaks heading into the hills of Mongolia,” Rod Hill, Sirromet’s sales and marketing director said.

29/09/2014: Wine industry sets sights on Nordic markets
This month saw the successful launch of the Nordic Roadshow tastings hosted by Wine Australia where more than 700 guests tasted more than 150 Australian wines at events held in Stockholm, Sweden and for the first time in Norway and Finland. The events were met with enthusiasm from attending trade, media and consumers, many of whom were surprised at the diversity of Australia’s wine regions.

29/09/2014: Blog: Environment conference round-up
An engaged group of grapegrowers and winemakers took the opportunity to get involved in future trends in environmental management in Adelaide last week. The seventh Australian Wine Industry Environment Conference was facilitated by the South Australian Wine Industry Association (SAWIA) and staged at the Waite Campus of the University of Adelaide.

29/09/2014: Treasury Wine ends talks with bidders KKR and TPG
The board of Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) has terminated talks with private equity firms Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and TPG Capital about a potential $3.4 billion buyout of the company after deciding a price of $5.20 per share undervalued the company. Paul Rayner, TWE chairman said the company had consulted a wide range of institutional shareholders making up about half of the Treasury share register and they were universal in their views that $5.20 wasn't enough to justify a change of control.

26/09/2014: Australian winemakers take aim at premium end of US market
Premium Australian wine sales to the US are showing encouraging growth, according to Wine Australia. The government body says a recent survey of North American importers of Australian wine shows while overall volumes are down, three quarters of importers saw increases or maintained their sales of higher-end products.

26/09/2014: McGuigan waits for 'Aussie wine miracle'
It's been a tough four years for Neil McGuigan, Austra­lian Vintage's chief executive. The high Australian dollar is eating into the company's export margins, making the already challenging job of running an unpredictable agriculture business even harder.

26/09/2014: Wine Australia backs ProWine China
Wine Australia has backed the second annual ProWine China exhibition with preparations underway for an Australian pavilion at the event. Willa Yang, Wine Australia's regional manager for China, said a number of Australian producers have confirmed their participation in the exhibition to be held in Shanghai from 12-14 November.

26/09/2014: Blog: Drinking habits of AFL fans revealed: How does Aussie wine fare?
In the lead up to the AFL Grand Final this weekend, Roy Morgan Research conducted a study which looked into the drinking habits of AFL supporters. As the Swans and Hawks prepare to battle it out for the 2014 premiership, footy fans across the nation will be planning their Grand Final celebrations. But Roy Morgan Research posed the question on every beverage producer’s lips – what do AFL supporters like to drink? Considering 14 of the 18 AFL teams are sponsored by an alcohol brand or retailer, it seemed an apt time to take a look at the booze preferences of AFL fanatics and where wine sits among beer, spirits, cider and liqueur.

25/09/2014: Blog: Ready…set…tweet! How you can bank your social media benefits
Facebook and Twitter may be known to the workplace as big, fat time-wasters but wine brands across the nation are taking advantage of these social media platforms to effectively engage with consumers at little (or no) expense. As Stephanie Timotheou reports, one global company is ticking all the right boxes.

25/09/2014: Winegrape inquiry blow
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has dealt a blow to local winegrape growers by rejecting a request that it investigate alleged predatory pricing behaviour by Australia’s major wineries last season. The ACCC declined to investigate a complaint by former Murray Valley Winegrowers chief executive officer Mark McKenzie last March who said big wineries had abused their market power and indulged in predatory pricing.

25/09/2014: Australia scoops young sommelier prize
A contestant from Australia has won the 2014 Chaîne des Rôtisseurs International Young Sommelier of the Year award. Pier Alexis Souliere of Est Restaurant in Sydney triumphed in the competition, now in its ninth year, which took place in Copenhagen. Second place went to Jane Lopes of the US, while Tanguy Martin of Hotel Terravina in the UK came third.

25/09/2014: Meet your maker at this year’s Brisbane Good Food & Wine Show
Food and wine lovers will have the opportunity to discover and celebrate the local and regional produce Australia has to offer at the Good Food & Wine Show held at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre from 17-19 October. This year’s show will feature regional producers from every corner of Queensland so visitors can discover local labels they won’t find in the supermarket.

24/09/2014: WA winemakers see interest from Japan ahead of trade agreement
West Australian winemakers are seeing renewed interest from Japan ahead of Australia ratifying its economic partnership agreement with the country. The Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA) was signed earlier this year and will provide preferential access for Australia's exports in Japan.

24/09/2014: Online wine wholesaler collapses but finds new home
Online wine wholesale company Wine Growers Direct Australia has collapsed into administration, but has found a new home under the brand according to Pitcher Partners’ Andrew Yeo, who was appointed administrator to the company last week alongside Gess Michael Rambaldi.

24/09/2014: Australian Vintage hones in on Asia
With the opening of a new Hong Kong office and signing a distribution deal with COFCO in China, Australian Vintage is ramping up its activities in Asia. Nicolas Heretiguian, Australian Vintage’s new general manager for Asia, said on top of building the new COFCO deal, there would be an increased focus on South Korea and Japan as well, where opportunities for Australian wine beckon.

24/09/2014: Blog: Adelaide set to host 'national wine week'
Australia’s wine industry will meet in Adelaide next week for the biennial Outlook 2014: Taking Charge of Our Future Conference and major industry award events. Paul Evans, Winemakers’ Federation of Australia chief executive, said the conference was expected to attract more than 300 delegates and was being held in conjunction with the Maurice O’Shea Award Dinner and the Royal Adelaide Wine Show.

23/09/2014: Blog: Researchers turn winery waste into biofuels
Researchers at Swinburne University of Technology in Victoria have developed a technique for converting winery waste into compounds that could have potential value as biofuels or medicines. Australia is the world’s sixth largest wine producer, with around 1.75 million tonnes of winegrapes crushed every year. After the final pressing, more than half the grapes crushed end up as biomass waste comprised of skins, pulp, stalks and seeds.

23/09/2014: Wine Australia certifies language educators
Wine Australia has certified two Australian-based Chinese language educators, Ruyi Li and Jackie Qi, who conducted their first A+ Wine School Level One classes for Chinese speaking wine trade and consumers in Adelaide and Melbourne at the weekend.

23/09/2014: Judging begins for Australian Cool Climate Wine Show
More than 4000 bottles landed at Murrumbateman Winery last week and judges have begun tasting ahead of this weekend's 2014 Australian Cool Climate Wine Show. Virginia Rawling, the show's founder, said this year's field of entrants was the biggest in its 15-year history.

23/09/2014: Golden parachute for Treasury's ex-boss
Former Treasury Wine ­Estates (TWE) chief David Dearie was handed a $1.3 million golden parachute after being ousted from the company on the back of a disastrous performance in the group’s US division. The embattled Melbourne-based group, which has since become a takeover target, ­revealed Dearie’s seven-figure termination payout in its annual report released Friday. Dearie, who exited the company last September, also received $1.09 million in base salary and vested incentives for less than three months in the top role last year, the ­report reveals.

23/09/2014: Hunter winery fined $210,000 for blast that killed two employees
Drayton's Family Wines has been fined more than $200,000 over the explosion that claimed the lives of winemaker Trevor Drayton and welder Eddie Orgo in 2008. Workcover NSW prosecuted Drayton’s and Orgo’s employer, Perfab Engineering, in the District Court’s criminal jurisdiction for two breaches of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

22/09/2014: Coonawarra to get new wine centre
Adelaide businessman and hotelier Greg Toop plans to develop a major wine visitor information centre and tourist park in Coonawarra following his purchase of the Chardonnay Lodge motel complex at Penola. The proposed development is designed to promote the Coonawarra region as an area of wine excellence and a destination of world significance to domestic and international visitors.

22/09/2014: SIWC deadline extended for judging stock deliveries
A rush of late international entries has forced the Sydney International Wine Competition to extend the deadline for deliveries of tasting stock to Tuesday 30 September 2014. The current 2015 competition has attracted entrants from Australia, New Zealand, the US, Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Romania, Thailand, China and Mongolia. Warren Mason, SIWC competition director, said the decision to extend the deadline was made because late entrants, particularly those coming from overseas, were struggling to make the original deadline.

22/09/2014: WGGA releases draft business plan for consultation
Wine Grape Growers Australia (WGGA) has released a draft business plan for the future management of Australian grapevine collections and is seeking industry feedback on the recommendations before they are presented to the Joint Policy Forum of the Winemakers' Federation of Australia (WFA) and WGGA.

22/09/2014: Treasury scores Woolies exclusivity
Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) has struck an exclusivity deal with Woolworths' Dan Murphy's liquor chain for a new wine under the Pepperjack brand. This is the first major sign of chief executive Mike Clarke's push for some exclusive arrangements with Australia's major liquor retailers.

22/09/2014: Blog: SAWIA recognises members for environmental achievements
The South Australian Wine Industry Association (SAWIA) announced the finalists and winners of its 2014 Environmental Excellence Awards with the theme of 'waste' at a luncheon on Friday. In presenting the awards, Brian Smedley, SAWIA chief executive, commended the entrants and noted the strength of all applicants.

19/09/2014: Vineyard subsoil restrictions the focus of Nuffield Scholarship
Andrew Clarke from Ringwood North in Victoria was last night awarded the prestigious Nuffield Scholarship supported by the Australian Grape and Wine Authority (AWGA). He will use the scholarship to investigate managing subsoil restrictions in established vineyards. As chief viticulturist for Yering Station in the Yarra Valley, Clarke is responsible for all viticultural programs and vineyard management on the property.

19/09/2014: Bedford and Phoenix announce amalgamation plan
Two of South Australia’s leading disability organisations – Bedford Group and wine labelling and de-labelling service provider Phoenix Society – have announced plans to join forces. The amalgamation will create the nation's second largest Australian Disability Enterprise, delivering employment to more than 1300 people with disabilities across 14 sites, as well as offering school to work transition, day options, housing and nationally accredited qualifications to hundreds more.

19/09/2014: Standardising chemical residue limits a win for the wine industry
The Australian wine industry says an agreement by Pacific countries to standardise the acceptable limits of chemical residue in wines will lead to millions of dollars in savings. Currently every country has its own rules for setting maximum residue limits. Some countries, like China, won't accept any level of commonly used vineyard sprays such as fungicide phosphorous acid used to combat downy mildew.

19/09/2014: Independent investigation announced by the WFA
The Winemaker’s Federation of Australia is set to launch an independent investigation into how and why the McLaren Vale Grape Wine & Tourism Association was provided a redacted version of an independent assessment of wine industry programs – instead of the complete Aus-Qual report. A redacted document (with one paragraph and a letterhead edited out) was provided to the McLaren Vale association on Friday 5 September. Neither the WFA Board, nor Paul Evans the CEO, authorised the edits. Nathan Gogoll from the Grapegrower & Winemaker and Sonya Logan from the Wine & Viticulture Journal report...

18/09/2014: Understanding the South Korean wine market
Research from the University of South Australia is set to help the Australian wine industry understand the changing nature of the South Korean wine market as it enters a new era of bilateral trade relations with Australia. The research will highlight the trend of the South Korean wine market, the means of wine distribution and the regulatory environment.

18/09/2014: Aussie wine drinkers prefer to partake in private
While the proportion of Australian adults drinking wine is gradually declining across the nation, the proportion of those drinking wine at home in an average four-week period has increased. A case of ‘home is where the wine is’, perhaps? In the year to June 2010, 47 per cent of Aussies over the age of 18 drank wine in any given four weeks. Meanwhile, 37 per cent of the population drank it at home.

18/09/2014: Scottish win could impact Australian wine sales
A 'yes' vote for independence in Scotland this week could mean fewer Brits traveling Down Under and a drop in Australian wine sales. Richard Holden, University of NSW Business School professor, expects the uncertainty created by a win for the 'yes' vote will spell big changes in the Australian dollar's value against the British pound.

18/09/2014: Del Rios Winery gains five-star status
John Durham admits he was chuffed on seeing the newly ­released 2015 edition of James Halliday’s Australian Wine Companion. When the winemaker ­arrived at Del Rios winery two years ago, the wine critic rated it 3.5 stars. Now, the winery at Mt Anakie near Geelong has achieved a five-star status.

18/09/2014: Blog: Jack of all trades but a master of viticulture
He may be a rugby player, hunter, fisherman and diver but it’s not all about sport and recreation for this 28-year-old Kiwi. Almost five years ago Matt Duggan somehow found the time to add viticulture to his list of passions.

17/09/2014: Blog: Streamlining wine regulation to save ‘millions’
Streamlining the international requirements that Australian wines must meet has the potential to save growers and winemakers millions of dollars. Tony Battaglene, Winemakers' Federation of Australia strategy and international affairs general manager, said moves to deliver savings are well underway following strong support for change at the fourth APEC Wine Regulatory Forum – the first to be held in the Asia Pacific region.

17/09/2014: Wine Australia Tasting hits highest guest attendance
This month saw Wine Australia host its largest event in Japan with 463 guests attending the annual Wine Australia Tasting on Wednesday 3 September in Tokyo. The tasting for sommeliers, retailers, wine educators and media saw 18 Japanese importers showcase 300 Australian wines from 48 winemakers.

17/09/2014: Trade embargoes hit Aussie wine exporters
Over-production continues to plague the Australian wine industry and Russia’s ban on wine imports from Europe won’t help fix it according to Mark Sciocco, Rabobank Australia wine industry analyst. Sciocco, who visited Sunraysia this week, said the best hope for local winegrape growers supplying the mainstream market is for the Australian Dollar, which broke through the US90c barrier last week, to continue falling towards US85c.

17/09/2014: Clare Valley Wine Show celebrates 20 years
South Australia's Clare Valley Wine Show will celebrate its 20th year this October. An anticipated 400 entries will be judged by a panel of industry experts from 28-30 October to access the quality and excellence of the varieties, viticulture, production, provenance and sub-regionality of Clare Valley wines. Neil Paulett, Clare Valley Winemakers Incorporated chair said the annual show is an opportunity for local winemakers, grapegrowers, viticulturists and industry representatives to receive appraisal and recognition for their efforts.

16/09/2014: Trunk disease, Shiraz and collaboration key areas for Victorian regional program
Victorian growers and wineries will hear the latest treatment and management advice on trunk disease in November with a series of workshops taking place across six regions. As part of the Greater Victoria Regional Program for 2014–15, funded by the Australian Grape and Wine Authority (AGWA), workshops will be held in the Yarra Valley, Mornington, Bendigo, Geelong, Wangaratta and Ararat.

16/09/2014: US readers praise Hunter wine region
USA Today’s readers have placed the Hunter Valley in the top 10 best wine regions in the world to visit. Gus Maher, Hunter Valley Wine and Tourism Association general manager said the region has seen some great accolades in recent times and this one yet again places it on the world stage in terms of wine tourism. “The US continues to be an important sector for the Hunter Valley for both inbound tourism visitors and also wine exports," he said.

16/09/2014: Blog: Wickman raises a glass to the fine wine market
Selling wine can be tough at times but Wickman’s Fine Wine Auctions has proved consumers are still spending big on premium drops. Grapegrower & Winemaker's Stephanie Timotheou caught up with auctioneer Mark Wickman and discovered how he went from a computer programmer to the owner of one of Australia’s biggest wine auction websites.

16/09/2014: 2015 Cellar Door Wine Festival exhibitor registrations now open
Adelaide’s 2015 Cellar Door Wine Festival will be held from 20–22 February and exhibitor registrations are now open with more than 70 per cent of space already booked. The three-day festival, hosted by the Adelaide Convention Centre, brings together 170 South Australian wineries and food producers to create the country’s biggest cellar door.

15/09/2014: AGWA opens first round of scholarship applications
The Australian Grape and Wine Authority (AGWA) is accepting applications until Friday 7 November 2014 for PhD, masters and honours scholarships to commence in 2015. AGWA’s commitment to academic scholarships is one way in which it supports a competitive Australian wine sector across the whole value chain, from vine to glass.

15/09/2014: Wine flavour precursors revealed in new research
It’s the sort of research – and topic – that can’t help but pique the interest of wine drinkers and scientists: what causes the flavours and lingering aftertaste we get in our mouth when we taste a memorable glass of wine. For the past 14 months, scientists at The Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) have been looking in depth at glycosides – flavour compounds attached to sugars in wine – and have shown they play a role in the development of the in-mouth flavour we perceive when drinking wine.

15/09/2014: Bulk wine exports blamed for O-I glass production cut and job losses
The wine industry says a production cutback by Adelaide glass firm Owens-Illinois (Formerly ACI Glass) is due to more Australian wine being exported in bulk and bottled overseas. O-I has announced 60 jobs are to go as it reduces operations from two furnaces to one and says wine industry production is a factor. Figures from the Australian Grape and Wine Authority showed a 6 per cent drop in exports last year.

15/09/2014: Break into the lucrative US market
Suppliers are invited to contact Wine Industry Suppliers Australia (WISA) by Tuesday 30 September to register your interest in breaking into the US market by exhibiting at the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium to be held in Sacramento, California from 28-29 January 2015.

15/09/2014: Blog: NSW Small Winemakers Show 2014 results announced
The NSW Small Winemakers Show celebrated its 23rd year with an increase in entries and a rise in gold medals awarded. Shiraz, Chardonnay and Semillon played their usual starring roles for NSW, but the diversity of the regions also came to the fore as a total of 615 entries were received from 101 small producers who crush a maximum of 500-tonnes annually.

12/09/2014: WGGA offers Vinitech-Sifel sponsorship to delegates
Wine Grape Growers Australia (WGGA) invites applications to attend the Vinitech-Sifel international trade show in Bordeaux, France from 2-4 December 2014 as a VIP guest of the organisers. Applications are now open and will close Sunday 21 September 2014.

12/09/2014: Blog: 19th vintage Meshach Shiraz speaks longevity
Grant Burge’s 19th vintage (2009) Meshach Shiraz epitomises old vine intensity and longevity. The fruit was handpicked from vines close to 100 years old, creating a deep and concentrated wine with the ability to age gracefully just like Meshach William Burge who passed away in 1942, aged 99. “My flagship wine is close to my heart, not only because of its iconic status and exceptional qualities, but also for historic reasons,” Grant Burge said.

12/09/2014: Angove’s Ingle at the cutting edge
South Australia's Riverland region is justifiably proud of its original winemaking family. Angove Family Winemakers managing director John Angove says the appointment of Tony Ingle more than 10 years ago was a "masterstroke". His nomination for Gourmet Traveller Winemaker of the Year is just the latest recognition of his outstanding talents and a great contribution to Angove’s family business and the wine industry as a whole.

12/09/2014: Wine language: Consumers want you to keep it simple
Autolytic, barnyard, cassis, chewy tannins, cigar box, extracted, flabby and round. We know what we’re talking about, but have we managed to tell the average consumer anything at all when we use this sort of language? It turns out telling the story about the wine, rather than using industry-standard lists of specifications and descriptors, has more impact.

11/09/2014: McLaren Vale approved under national Entwine program
The Winemakers’ Federation of Australia has announced a sustainability program run by the McLaren Vale Grape Wine and Tourism Association, approved by Entwine Australia. Level 2 of the McLaren Vale Grape Wine and Tourism Association’s program was recommended for approval following an independent assessment by AUS-QUAL Pty Ltd. Federation chief executive Paul Evans said the Federation’s board met in Adelaide yesterday and accepted the recommendation put forward through its Wine Industry National Environment Committee (WINEC).

11/09/2014: Exit strategies explained for growers struggling to make ends meet
Options for winegrape growers considering exiting the industry were in the spotlight at a forum in Mildura last week. Liz Singh, Murray Valley Winegrowers industry development officer, said the meeting was about giving growers the opportunity to hear about the experiences others had when they moved to a new industry.

11/09/2014: Blog: Why SEO still matters in wine ecommerce
You may have a great online wine store, but traffic has been stable and consistent. This may not seem like a bad thing, except the purpose of site is to bolster traffic and thus sales. It's therefore essential to figure out the cause of the problem quickly to gain the benefits and recoup the costs of making a new web store.

11/09/2014: McGuigan sets up Hong Kong office
Australian Vintage, which owns McGuigan Wines, has officially opened an office in Hong Kong as it seeks to grow its Asian business and capitalise on its new distribution deal with COFCO. Cameron Ferguson, Australian Vintage general manager, said the establishment of a Hong Kong office for the company has been a key strategic objective for the business as it seeks to expand operations throughout Asia and in particular greater China.

International Wine Industry News

1/10/2014: NZ winemakers escape frost
Winemakers in New Zealand's South Island have escaped sudden frost which hit the region this week. Marcus Pickens, Wine Marlborough general manager, said he spoke to a number of vineyard owners on Monday and no one has reported any major problems.

1/10/2014: Matua crowned champion winemaker of the year at NZ International Wine Show
Off the back of three trophies and 20 medals, Nikolai St George, Matua's chief winemaker, was crowned 'Nissan NZ champion winemaker of the show' at the New Zealand International Wine Show, announced Saturday night. The star of the Matua portfolio was its Single Vineyard Matheson Syrah 2013 which claimed a gold medal and two trophies - the Federal Merchants trophy for champion NZ Syrah and the San Pellegrino trophy for champion Shiraz/Syrah.

1/10/2014: Rioja shows Burgundian-style ‘revolution’ (Spain)
Riojan wine is going through a revolution far more meaningful than the region’s misleading traditionalist versus modernist debate, believes Tim Atkin MW. Speaking at the annual Wines from Rioja UK trade tasting in London this week, the writer and critic presented a series of wines to illustrate a growing shift away from large scale blending of regions and varieties in pursuit of consistency in favour of single vineyard or single village expressions.

1/10/2014: Tesco moves bottled wine to 1.5 litre bag-in-box (UK)
UK-based retailer Tesco has moved five of its most popular bottled wines from its Finest range into 1.5 litre bag-in-box wines after seeing growth in the format. The supermarket has seen “strong year-on-year growth” for its own label bag-in-box wines, and now wants to offer a more “convenient packaging style” for shoppers.

1/10/2014: California's crop harvest smaller than usual (US)
With harvest time across California, many of the state's once-robust crops — from the grapes that make world-famous wines to popular almonds — are anticipated to be smaller than usual this year due to the state's drought.

1/10/2014: Bordeaux 'lacks premium brands', says Baron Philippe de Rothschild chief (France)
Bordeaux's image on the international wine market is hampered by a lack of premium brands that appeal to mainstream consumers according to Hugues Lechanoine, Baron Philippe de Rothschild managing director. Bordeaux may be home to some of the world's most prestigious wine estates, but the top wines from those chateaux only represent a small part of the French region's overall wine business.

30/09/2014: Succession planning: Preserve legacy and fairness
Wineries in transition from founder to children can be rife with highly emotional, charged conflict that can threaten to rip the family apart and wreck years of business cultivation. When the owners of a mid-sized winery decide to retire, what should they do?

30/09/2014: Wine on a plane: How altitude impacts taste and experience
How does altitude impact the taste and experience of a wine? Forbes contributor Cathy Huyghe spoke to Master Sommelier Andrea Immer Robinson, who chooses wine for Delta Airlines. Robinson said there are dramatic differences in how a wine shows itself on the ground and in flight.

30/09/2014: The need for more grapes in Texas
While producing grapes in Texas pales compared to high-production and widely grown commercial crops like cotton, corn, wheat and sorghum, which dominate the state's agricultural landscape, viticulture does represent a growing niche market that many first-time farmers have discovered in recent years.

29/09/2014: Sweet success for Villa Maria
It was sweet success for Villa Maria at the weekend, collecting nine gold medals and the trophy for champion sweet wine at the New Zealand International Wine Show, held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Auckland. The New Zealand International Wine Show, now in its 10th year, is the country’s largest wine show. This year it racked up more than 2000 global entries, giving recognition to wines that are or will be sold in New Zealand.

29/09/2014: Bordeaux vineyards threatened by new pest (France)
Bordeaux winegrowers face a growing menace in the form of a three-millimetre (0.1 inch) long Asian fruit fly called Drosophila suzukii, suspected of spreading sour rot through ripening grapes in otherwise healthy vineyards. 2014 is the first year both sour rot and Drosophila suzukii, commonly known as the spotted wing drosophila, have been detected in Bordeaux’s red winegrape vineyards.

29/09/2014: Gravels winemaker steps up
Gordon Russell, Esk Valley Estate's senior winemaker has been appointed the new chairman of the Gimblett Gravels Association, taking over the role from Sacred Hill's Tony Bish. "I've been there since the beginning and have been on the sub-committee for some time, and over the past two years I've been under Tony's stewardship as deputy chairman," Russell said.

29/09/2014: Stag's Leap Wine Cellars opens $7m visitor centre (US)
Stag's Leap Wine Cellars has opened a $7m visitor centre that allows tourists to sample wines while looking out across the vineyard that delivered the estate's victory against Bordeaux in the 1976 Judgement of Paris tasting. Barcelona-based designer Javier Barba worked alongside local architect Dan Macdonald on the project and building began in July 2013.

29/09/2014: Wine importer sees wholesale business grow fivefold (UK)
UK-based wine importer Red Squirrel Wine has seen its wholesale business take off after it beefed up its portfolio and revamped its logo and website. The group unveiled its new look and new wines at the London Wine Fair and says the exposure helped boost sales fivefold in just three months.

29/09/2014: China's Ningxia matures as quality wine producer
A few years ago barely anyone had heard of wines from Ningxia in China, but today the region is producing some of the country's best vintages and it doesn't plan on stopping there. At a gathering in Beijing last week, 50 wines from Ningxia - a largely arid region with harsh, cold winters - were on show and the general consensus was that the quality of the wine is on an upward trajectory.

26/09/2014: Blackenbrook Vineyard celebrates 10 years
New Zealand winery Blackenbrook Vineyard is celebrating its 10-year anniversary. Renowned wine commentator Michael Cooper says “Blackenbrook is one of the highest-achieving wineries on the Nelson scene, with a reputation for aromatic white wines that are rich and full of personality".

26/09/2014: New deal set to improve wine trade between Hong Kong and Mainland China
A new agreement designed to shorten the time it takes to send wine exports from Hong Kong to Mainland China has come into force this month. The new deal is a supplement to the original agreement, signed in 2010, and has removed the need for importers to be registered on the Chinese Mainland.

26/09/2014: It's a vineyard seller's market (US)
The 23rd Wine Industry Financial Symposium, designed to bring together lenders and the wine business, was held earlier this week at the Marriott Napa Valley. Among many sessions, one that attracted great attention was on winery and vineyard sales and acquisitions.

26/09/2014: Wine should look to 'entertain not educate', says advertising guru (UK)
The wine industry should look at the success of BBC’s Top Gear in how to make a potentially complex subject entertaining to the public, according to advertising guru Sir John Hegarty. The founder of Bartle Bogle Hegarty advertising agency said the wine industry has to work much harder at simplifying the language and branding around wine so it becomes attractive to more consumers.

26/09/2014: Languedoc region needs 'stability to ease wine supply tensions' (France)
The French bulk wine market is starting to look “very tense” according to one top broker, following major shortages in the Languedoc region. “We’re starting to see the real results of what it was to pull out such a huge amount of vineyards,” Daniel Murphy, Murphy Wine Company managing director said.

25/09/2014: Winemaker's comments ruffle feathers
An article in a leading British drinks trade magazine quoting a Marlborough winemaker has ruffled feathers in the New Zealand wine industry. The Drinks Business quoted Jackson Estate chief winemaker Matt Patterson-Green as saying many lower to mid-tier New Zealand wines on sale in the UK were "boring" and "soulless".

25/09/2014: Burgundy exports suffer from 'lack of availability' (France)
The latest Burgundy export figures suggest the region's wines are becoming harder for consumers to find and there are fears prices have risen too strongly. Burgundy wine exports dropped 12 per cent in volume for the first seven months of 2014, versus the same period last year, according to Burgundy trade body BIVB.

25/09/2014: Wineries speak up about benefits of natural cork (US)
A growing list of leading US wineries including St. Francis, Bogle and Fetzer are speaking up about the benefits of using natural cork. They recognise that not only does natural cork allow wines to age perfectly, but using natural cork also provides a potential competitive advantage when it comes to marketing wine brands.

25/09/2014: Wine Vision 2014 turns spotlight onto wine and consumers of the future
The future of wine, from emerging markets to evolving consumers, will be up for debate at this year’s second Wine Vision event which takes place in November. Set to be an international gathering of the wine industry's major players, how to succeed in a volatile market will be the main focus.

25/09/2014: Bolivian wine trade heads to ProWein 2015
Bolivia, a newcomer to the wine trade, is making its presence felt internationally by taking a stand at next year’s ProWein show in Dusseldorf, Germany. Dutch government agency CBI has been working with 14 Bolivian wineries since 2013 with the aim of helping them export to Europe.

25/09/2014: Low alcohol wines dogged by 'lack of awareness' and 'poor quality perceptions'
France and the US are the most attractive markets for lower alcohol wines, although others show great potential, according to a new report from Wine Intelligence. But overall there is still a distinct lack of awareness about lower alcohol wines and a perception that they are poor quality, the report says.

24/09/2014: Interactive map to benefit wine sector
An interactive map of Marlborough vineyards which shows the variety, clone and age of the vines in each vineyard has been launched. The map was presented to about 70 wineries in August and since then, about 30 wineries have come on board. Nick Lane, Cloudy Bay Vineyards winemaker and Marcus Pickens, Wine Marlborough general manager created the interactive map to capture and present a picture of Marlborough's vineyards, allowing wineries to identify and highlight their own vineyards with a colour to represent its variety.

24/09/2014: Aussie MP calls to end NZ wine producer rebate
Tony Pasin, Member for Barker, South Australia yesterday called on the Australian Government to immediately end the New Zealand wine producer rebate facilitated by the Wine Equalisation Tax (WET). “Australians are currently providing a $23 million direct subsidy to New Zealand, which is unfair and unnecessary,” Pasin said.

24/09/2014: Robots could replace wine critics (Denmark)
Researchers in Denmark have created an artificial tongue they claim is able to assess the effect of tannins in wine more effectively than professional tasters. As reported by Tech Crunch, the research, published in ACS Nano, claims the optical nanosensor is a more superior judge of the effect of tannins in the mouth than a human due to being entirely objective.

24/09/2014: Wineries may face higher costs for harvest workers (France)
French wineries may come under added financial pressure as the government considers imposing social charges on wages paid to harvest workers with short term contracts. Part time harvest workers are crucial to France’s wine industry. Across agriculture in general, around 300,000 temporary harvest contracts are signed each year, representing around two-thirds of the country's harvest workers.

24/09/2014: No one wants 'Coca-Cola' wines, says winemaker (South Africa)
South Africa needs to be serious about making terroir specific Sauvignon Blanc rather than “Coca-Cola wines” according to one of the key winemakers in the country. Matt Day, Klein Constantia chief winemaker said “South Africa needs to make terroir specific Sauvignon – no one wants Coca-Cola wines anymore, they’re too obvious. I’m aiming to make our Sauvignon Blanc one of the best examples in the southern hemisphere".

24/09/2014: Chile engages in 'extreme viticulture'
While many viticultural changes are taking place in Chile to improve the quality of its grapes - such as replanting on rootstocks, using improved clones, reproducing old vine material and managing vineyards for better sugar-acidity balance in berries - it is the planting of increasingly extreme locations that is the most remarkable development.

23/09/2014: Sparkling wine production increases in the UK
The UK is gaining a reputation as a premium sparkling wine producing country. In England and Wales the production of sparkling wine has dramatically increased, accounting for 60 per cent of production in the UK. Julia Trustram Eve, English Wine Producers marketing director, says while they are a tiny player in the world market, what they do produce is "unique".

23/09/2014: Sudden storm smashes Tuscan vineyards (Italy)
A sudden, violent storm has ripped its way through northern Tuscany’s vineyards between Florence and Lucca, causing millions of dollars’ worth of damage and further hammering an already-reduced crop. Francesco Miari Fulcis, Confagricoltura Toscana growers' association president, said as much as 22,000 tonnes of grapes had been destroyed as high winds, lightening, hail and a tornado ripped through parts of the region on Friday.

23/09/2014: Esk Valley's Pinot Gris leads the way
Amongst some of the best in the country, Esk Valley's Hawke's Bay Pinot Gris 2014 has been awarded the number one spot in Dish Magazine with the tasting panel led by Yvonne Lorkin, Dish Drinks editor. “We have been producing Pinot Gris since 2001 and the best to date is the 2014,” Gordon Russell, Esk Valley winemaker said. “This is our unique take on a Pinot Gris from a great Hawke's Bay harvest.”

23/09/2014: Argentina sustains UK wine growth
Argentina is witnessing a period of continued growth in the UK market with wine exports in the first half of 2014 increasing 36.2 per cent in volume and 35 per cent in value on the same period in 2013. According to the Wine and Spirits Trade Association’s (WSTA) 2014 Q3 report, Argentina has seen growth in the UK over the preceding 12 months of 26 per cent and 28 per cent in volume and value respectively.

23/09/2014: Tesco in turmoil over inaccurate results (UK)
UK supermarket giant Tesco, one of the biggest wine retailers in the world, has suspended four executives over a £250 million (AU$461m) overestimation of profits. The retailer admitted on Monday morning that its first-half profits announced last month were overstated and have called in auditors to go through the company’s accounts.

23/09/2014: Winemakers use holograms to stop fraud (South Africa)
Winemakers in South Africa have begun adding holographic labels to their bottles to distinguish them from counterfeits as wine fraud continues to threaten vineyards. The Cape Winemakers Guild in Cape Town ordered 26,000 silver labels with “2014”, a vintage year, embellished in a hologram for bottles to be sold in its October auction.

22/09/2014: Wine, hops, fruit outlets for sale
A cluster of high value wine and orchard properties in New Zealand's Tasman District, with a combined worth of more than $30 million, have hit the market. Among the four businesses is Kahurangi Estate winery in Upper Moutere, a 12 hectare vineyard and winery owned by Greg and Amanda Day, who are now seeking to offload debt and move on to other things.

22/09/2014: Central Otago wine industry no longer a 'one trick pony'
Central Otago wines were awarded a total of 102 medals at the 2014 New Zealand International Wine Show. The region dominated the Pinot Noir category, taking out 10 of the 15 gold medals awarded, but also took home medals for classes including Methode Traditionelle, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Gewürztraminer, Chardonnay and Syrah among others.

22/09/2014: Wine volume to slide as disease hurts harvest (Italy)
Italy’s wine volume is forecast to slide 15 per cent this year after disease affected the country's harvest, according to Istituto di Servizi per il Mercato Agricolo e Alimentara (ISMEA) and Italy’s Wine Union. The 2014 vintage may drop to 40.9 million hectoliters from last year's 48.16 million hectoliters, with production falling in the north and south, ISMEA and the Wine Union said in a statement on Friday.

22/09/2014: China eases Hong Kong customs headache
Hong Kong has signed a deal with Chinese customs officials, introducing an online system designed to speed up wine shipments to the mainland. The move marks a relaxation of the measures agreed in 2010 that required Hong Kong firms to ship wine via one of nine approved mainland importers in a process which could take several months.

22/09/2014: Chile increases Pinot focus
Chile’s Pinot Noirs are rapidly improving in quality helped by ageing vines, cool-climate coastal locations and a couple of Burgundian consultant winemakers. Earlier this year, The Drinks Business Global Pinot Noir Masters competition captured the strength of Chile’s offering from one of the world’s most sought-after and difficult grapes.

22/09/2014: Winemakers optimistic ahead of red harvest (France)
Heavy storms have failed to dampen Bordeaux winemakers' optimism for the 2014 red winegrape harvest, as figures show producers across France plan to increase yields to compensate for shortfalls last year. Up to 17mm of rain fell across Bordeaux last Wednesday and a small amount of hail fell on Entre-Deux-Mers on Thursday afternoon, but no significant damage was reported.

19/09/2014: Tasting event to showcase best of region's wines
The Nelson New Release Tasting event is a chance for local wine lovers to sample the best of the region’s newly released wines before they hit the shelves. Now in its seventh year, the spring event organised by Wine Nelson will take place at The Boathouse, Wakefield Quay on Tuesday 30 September 2014. It brings together 20 family vineyards and more than 100 local drops.

19/09/2014: NZ winemakers increase WET access to more than $23m a year
New Zealand wineries have increased their access to Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) rebates, taking more than $23 million in the past financial year. Small wineries can claim up to half a million dollars in rebate from the WET, which is levied at 29 per cent of sales.

19/09/2014: Prosecco out-marketing Champagne (France)
One of Champagne’s most established producers has warned if the region doesn’t "get its act together" it could soon be falling behind Prosecco. Twelfth generation Champenois Claude Giraud has publicly thrown his support behind Champagne’s ‘2030 Initiative’ but believes the region needs to go further.

19/09/2014: WSTA calls for further cut to UK duty
The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) is calling on the UK government to cut alcohol duty by 2 per cent in the 2015 budget. At the group’s annual conference on Wednesday, Miles Beale, WSTA chief executive, said he believed they were not “asking for the world” and that a 2 per cent cut to duty was “modest”.

19/09/2014: Ningxia faces shortage of white winegrapes (China)
High quality white winegrapes are in short supply in China's Ningxia region and the coming 2014 harvest is not expected to improve the situation. As Ningxia growers prepare for the 2014 white grape harvest, Pernod Ricard’s Domaine Helan Mountain has already decided it won’t make a Special Reserve Chardonnay from this year’s crop.

19/09/2014: Winegrape growers expect third consecutive record year (US)
Winegrape growers in Washington have begun harvesting crops they expect will set a third straight volume record. But Vicky Scharlau, Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers executive director said this comes as no surprise for the region. The state’s $8.6bn industry has forecast a 230,000-tonne vintage through expanded acreage to feed growing demand.

18/09/2014: Sacred Hill launches Chardonnay Collection
The release of the 2013 Special Selection Chardonnays from Riflemans' Vineyard has heralded the launch of the Sacred Hill Chardonnay Collection. The flagship 2013 Sacred Hill Riflemans Chardonnay and 2013 Sacred Hill Virgin Chardonnay have both been released as part of Sacred Hill’s super premium range, with a third wine likely to be added from the 2014 vintage.

18/09/2014: Gold shines through for Villa Maria
Villa Maria took home nine gold medals at this year’s New Zealand International Wine Show, making it another successful year for the country's most awarded winery. To accompany the gold medals, Villa Maria was awarded 25 silver medals for a variety of its wines.

18/09/2014: There’s ‘no need’ for alchemy in the cellar, says winemaker (South Africa)
Winemakers should be less focused on trying to be alchemists in the cellar and instead work towards expressing their piece of dirt according to one of South Africa’s leading winemakers. Speaking in London yesterday, Kevin Grant of Ataraxia said "there’s no need for alchemy in the cellar. In South Africa we’re discovering which grapes work best where and which are the best to use to express our piece of dirt".

18/09/2014: California expects more competition for wine market (US)
A new report showing the US continues to lead the world in wine consumption is viewed as good news for the California wine sector, but it shouldn't lead to complacency, according to three experts. The country's number one ranking in total consumption for 2013 marked the third consecutive year of that achievement.

18/09/2014: Chilean producers embrace Mediterranean varietals
While Chile is best known for its Bordeaux blends, Mediterranean grapes are becoming an increasing focus for the country’s winemakers. Varieties such as Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Roussanne and Viognier are being employed in a greater number of blends across the country. Marcelo Retamal, De Martino winemaker, says he’s about to visit Spain, Sardinia and Corsica to explore their wines because “Chile has a huge potential for Mediterranean varieties".

18/09/2014: Napa heatwave boosts sugar levels (US)
A heatwave last week led to an increase in sugar levels as the 2014 Napa Valley harvest approaches an unusually early end. John Newmeyer said the last grapes from the Wild Horse Valley appellation were brought in on Saturday and other growers harvesting Cabernet Sauvignon say they might be done by the end of September.

18/09/2014: Naked Wines owner said to mull growth options (UK)
UK-based online wine retailer Naked Wines is looking at ways to raise capital to help fund an expansion, according to unidentified sources close to the matter. Reports are circling that Naked Wines is working with Cavendish Corporate Finance LLP to assess options including selling a stake to private-equity firms.

17/09/2014: Claims of slump in wine sales rejected
The amount of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc exported to the UK has slowed and is being replaced by South African Sauvignon Blanc, according to a British news site that quoted Jane Robertson, Accolade Wines category development manager. This news has been denied by Philip Gregan, New Zealand Winegrowers chief executive officer, who said there has been an 11 per cent increase in Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc exported to the UK for the year ending August 2014.

17/09/2014: Germany weighs up climate change impact
German producers have welcomed the impact of global warming and say its helping them compete in the modern marketplace, despite evidence that rising temperatures have brought an increased risk of storm damage. Speaking at an event in London, Christian Witte, Schloss Johannisberg estate director, offered his view on the effect of changing weather patterns in recent years. "The biggest impact we see right now is first of all a positive thing – there are now ripe vintages," he said.

17/09/2014: Sparkling wine buoys UK drinks market
Sparkling wine was the only alcoholic drinks category to enjoy double-digit growth in the UK in the past 12 months. According to the latest market report by the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA), retails sales of sparkling wine were up 13 per cent in volume and 19 per cent in value in the 12 months to 19 July 2014.

17/09/2014: Cathay Pacific launches ‘Wine Lift’ freight service
Cathay Pacific has launched a new aerial freight service specially designed for shipping wine around the world. The latest in the carrier’s specialised air lift series, Wine Lift, has been introduced to reflect Hong Kong’s “increasing status as a hub for the global wine trade". The company explained that the service provides wine merchants and customers with a service tailored to meet their requirements for transporting wine in a safe and timely manner.

17/09/2014: Central Otago growers showcase top Pinots
Central Otago winegrowers joined forces to host a new release Pinot Noir tasting with six wine writers gathering in Cromwell to try more than 80 drops that have just been, or will soon be, released. The wines were mainly young ones from the 2013 vintage, but some 2012s and a handful of premium 2011s also made an appearance.

17/09/2014: Chilean winery releases dry-farmed vintage
Chilean winery Viña Montes has released its first dry-farmed vintage which relied on natural rainfall for growing grapes. “I have concerns about global warming and the fact there’s less and less water throughout the wine world,” Aurelio Montes, founder and chief executive officer said. But while this is a concern for most producers, Montes has discovered an unirrigated future may not be "complete hell".

17/09/2014: Buyers should 'act quickly' to secure Languedoc wine from 2014 harvest (France)
Wine buyers looking to secure wine from the Languedoc region in France this year are urged to act quickly following predictions the yield could be down as much as 40 per cent on last year, according to grape broking business Ciatti Group.

16/09/2014: Gisborne to focus on wine quality
A lift in the quality and consistency of Gisborne grapes and wines is the aim of Gisborne Winegrowers Association, says Alan Knight, the body's new president. Knight replaces outgoing president Doug Bell and operates his own vineyard, Belmundy, at Patutahi. “As a committtee our core focus is on increased marketing of the local product but we will also focus on improved education at a grower level,” he says.

16/09/2014: Clearview Estate picks up two golds at NZ International Wine Show
Two 2013 Chardonnays from Clearview Estate received a gold medal at this year’s New Zealand International Wine Show announced yesterday. The Clearview Estate Reserve Chardonnay is the winery’s flagship wine and has been produced every vintage for 27 years by Tim Turvey, co-founder and winemaker. Turvey and fellow founder Helma van den Berg were responsible for grafting and planting the original vines that still provide the majority of fruit for the Reserve Chardonnay.

16/09/2014: E. & J. Gallo Winery contributes $100,000 to Napa quake victims (US)
E. & J. Gallo Winery announced it has donated $100,000 to the American Red Cross to assist those impacted by the earthquake that struck Napa Valley last month. “On behalf of our employees and their families, we are making this donation to help the rebuilding effort and to provide aid and comfort to the victims of this disaster,” Joseph Gallo, the winery's chief executive officer and president said.

16/09/2014: South African wines gain momentum in UK market
The hard work put into growing the UK market by South African producers is beginning to pay off, but the country still needs to bring prices in line with market, says Wines of South Africa (WOSA). Speaking at last week's Beautiful South Tasting in London, Jo Wehring, WOSA UK market manager, said this year has been exciting for South African producers. "It's gathered enough momentum and we're now getting recognition for our top end wines that we weren't getting seven, eight or nine years ago," she said.

16/09/2014: Spain must restructure but avoid 'trashing vinous treasures', warns MW
Spain has to be careful not to trash its vinous treasures, warned Justin Knock MW, as the country faces a restructure following a wine glut. Last year Spain brought in a bumper harvest which in "normal circumstances" could have been sold off, but was compounded when added to large stocks around the world, Knock said.

16/09/2014: Wine market shows positive signs amid dollar strength
The fine wine market is showing signs of revival after price declines from its peak in 2011, assisted by a strengthening dollar according to Miles Davis, partner at Wine Asset Managers LLP in London. “We’re beginning to see some positive signs coming through,” he said. “While it’s too early to call a turn, three years has been a long time but obviously this market will come around at some point.”

15/09/2014: ‘Jumping genes’ could lead to new grapes
A New Zealand scientist is looking at a way to create new clones of Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. At the University of Lincoln near Christchurch, Dr Chris Winefield, a senior lecturer, is studying transposons – DNA sequences which move from one genome location to another – and their application to grape clones.

15/09/2014: New grape sorting system gives winemakers control (US)
A new grape sorting system with the brains of a computer is giving Laura Sorge, a Columbia Crest winemaker, more control over the grapes that make it into this year's vintage. The Paterson winery replaced its red grape crush pad, de-stemmer and sorting system with state-of-the-art technology and added a smaller version of the same system for its higher-end reserve wines.

15/09/2014: Welsh winemakers predict best vintage in two decades (UK)
Welsh winemakers are predicting this year will be their best vintage in two decades after a bumper grapegrowing season. The mostly warm and dry summer provided ideal growing conditions in vineyards, meaning grapes will be picked earlier than usual in Britain, with some vineyards gearing up for harvest in the next fortnight.

15/09/2014: Police foil plot to flood market with counterfeit wine (Italy)
Wine producers are clinking their glasses in celebration after police foiled a plot to flood the market with more than 220,000 counterfeit bottles of prized red wine. According to Italian police, a wine expert who obtained fake Brunello and Rosso di Montalcino labels and was able to falsify certification in the region’s wine database, was selling lower quality wine as bulk supplies of the coveted red to unwitting local producers.

15/09/2014: Boost for trade with Chinese province
The Hawke's Bay wine region has strengthened ties with a key export destination, China's Shandong Province, through new deals signed at the weekend. Hastings mayor Lawrence Yule met with Shangdong Province vice-governor Ji Xiangqi at Villa Maria Estate on Saturday night where two memorandums of understanding were signed - one between Hawke's Bay Winegrowers and the Shangdong Wine and Vine Association, and another between Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT) and Qilu University of Technology.

15/09/2014: Wine exports on upward trend (Georgia)
Georgian wine is continuing to be exported as European countries strive to get their hands on Georgia’s top drops. The country exported 36.5 million bottles of wine valued at AU$131m to 38 countries from January 1 to August 30 this year, according to the National Wine Agency of Georgia (NWA).

12/09/2014: Sileni Nano offers new way to enjoy wine
Sileni Estates will become the first New Zealand winery to design and sell a 100 per cent recyclable, all-in-one glass and bottle. Created to deliver a glass of wine for any occasion, Sileni Nano comes in a single-serve package made from multi-layer plastic, making it leak-proof and unbreakable.

12/09/2014: Debts rise $1.62m for winery in liquidation
Mt Rosa Estate's liquidation shows total debts have mounted to $1.62 million, but the value of its vineyards, properties and wine stocks in Gibbston Valley is yet to be determined. The estate was placed in liquidation on 3 July after an application by Otago Wine Logistics Ltd. Otago Wine Logistics and IRD are the two preferential creditors and are owed $90,900, while BNZ bank is the sole secured creditor, and is owed $1.46 million after Mt Rosa became in arrears of repaying a loan.

12/09/2014: Event to showcase Nelson's new release wines
The Nelson New Release Tasting event is a chance for local wine lovers to sample the best of the region’s newly released wines before they hit the shelves. Now in its seventh year, the spring event organised by Wine Nelson will take place at The Boathouse, Wakefield Quay on Tuesday 30 September. It will bring together 20 family vineyards and more than 100 of the region's drops.

12/09/2014: France to be world’s top producer despite fall in exports
There was good and bad news for the French wine industry this week as it emerged the country is set to overtake Italy to become the world’s largest wine producer, although a fall in demand from China has seen exports plummet.

12/09/2014: Chilean producer rediscovers País grape
As part of a move to more southerly, historic wine regions in Chile, the country is starting to create varietal and blended products using the País grape. While Torres Chile was the first major producer to make a still wine from the variety, as well as the inaugural País pink sparking, Chile's two largest producers, Concha y Toro and VSPT Wine Group, will both launch a País this year.

12/09/2014: Argentina and South Africa lead growth in off-trade sales (UK)
Off-trade sales of Argentinian wine increased 21 per cent while South African wine was up 14 per cent in the past 12 months, according to a report released Wednesday by Bibendum. In the 10 countries considered in the report, Argentina and South Africa were the best performing nations in terms of volume and value growth.

12/09/2014: Frost patrol on the cards for Missoula winery (US)
Cold temperatures overnight have Western Montana grapegrowers concerned, and one Missoula winery called in reinforcements to keep its crop from freezing. For some local growers, moving further into September means long nights and Andy Sponseller of Ten Spoon Winery and Vineyard is no exception.

11/09/2014: Young viticulturist of the year gears up for more competition
Paul Robinson, this year's New Zealand young viticulturist of the year, is a success story for the Hawke’s Bay winegrowing industry. After leaving school a decade ago, Robinson moved from Taranaki in pursuit of a horticulture-based career. Studying at EIT and working part-time in a friend’s vineyard combined theory and practice, he says, which made him want to finish the bachelor of viticulture and bachelor of wine science concurrent degree.

11/09/2014: NZ wine industry visionary dies, aged 89
Alex Corban, the man credited with gaining an international foothold in the New Zealand wine industry has died, aged 89. Corban led the changes that set the platform for the modern New Zealand wine industry. An ambitious and far-sighted leader during the '50s, '60s and '70s, his work on many fronts was fundamental to the development of a cohesive industry producing high quality table wines for domestic and international markets.

11/09/2014: PM promises ‘well organised’ grape harvest season (Georgia)
As summer draws to an end, Georgia's grape harvest season is just beginning and experts are estimating more than 100,000 tonnes of grapes will be picked this year. The country’s Prime Minister promised this year’s crop would be "well organised and distinguished”. He said 2014 would be marked by a degree of market self-regulation and establishment of an organisation which would reduce harvest processing problems.

11/09/2014: Italy braces for smallest harvest since 1950
Italian winemakers are preparing for what could be their smallest harvest in 64 years with bad weather blamed for a drop in production across the country. Unseasonably bad weather across much of Italy’s wine producing territory could see production plunge to 41 million hectolitres, down 15 per cent on 2013, the farmers’ association Coldiretti said on Tuesday.

11/09/2014: Vineyard owner says competitor stole wine in paint can idea (US)
A Chester County vineyard has filed a trademark infringement suit against an international company that allegedly stole its idea to market a wine-dispensing paint can product. The owners of Paradocx Vineyards in Landenberg, Pennsylvania seeks injunctive and compensatory relief against the Interpublic Group of Companies, a multi-national corporation that created a wine in a paint bucket product through its McCann Vilnius design agency in Lithuania.

11/09/2014: Wine professionals form new distribution company (UK)
Three UK-based wine professionals have launched their own distribution company, North South Wines, in partnership with Italy's The Wine People, New Zealand's Waimea Estates and Australia's De Bortoli Wines. The company will act as a UK agent for an additional 16 wineries across Europe, South America, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia. The new set-up means De Bortoli will be closing its UK office over the coming months.

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