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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.

16/04/2014: Wine’s Top 20 – what the big players are saying about the industry
Australia’s embattled wine industry is ruled by a handful of big players who are surrounded by an army of boutique labels. And the 2014 annual review of Australia’s Top 20 Wineries is part of Australian & New Zealand Grapegrower & Winemaker’s April issue, which is out now. The review follows discussion with industry executives about where their companies are heading, the challenges they face and what they think about current industry trends and the impact they will have in Australasia. It also includes the latest production figures for Australian and New Zealand viticulture and wine industries, drawing on information surveyed from wine producers for the Wine Industry Directory released last month. The Wine Industry Directory shows while Australian production and wine consumption is still rising, the actual number of vineyards has plateaued for the first time after decades of spectacular growth.

Announcements and Suppliers

22/04/2014: Winery email marketing – 9 tips to keeping your winery newsletter fresh
Do you feel as though you are always writing the same thing in your monthly Newsletters? BeverageTradeNetwork.com examines the “must have” components in your winery's email marketing campaign.

22/04/2014: WEA to host WineEng 2014 expo in McLaren Vale
This year’s Winery Engineers Association (WEA) Conference and Exhibition – WineEng 2014 – will be held at Serafino Winery in McLaren Vale, South Australia from 18-19 June 2014. This is a significant and innovative event on the wine calendar as the conference concentrates on many aspects of wine production and is aimed at operational personnel.

15/04/2014: Manganese – a solution is available
The VA Filtration and Memstar group has a long and proud reputation for innovation, helping winemakers deal with what were previously intractable problems such as excessive VA, alcohol, Brett and smoke taint. Dealing with excess manganese is its latest development. In February Wine Australia issued a warning to wine exporters to China as a result of a number of Australian wine shipments being rejected by Chinese authorities.

14/04/2014: How to get five million users to see your brand on Youtube for free
BeverageTradeNetwork.com writes on real tactics and real tips on how to capitalise on social media and increase your winery's brand recognition. Check out five tips on wine marketing on social media that actually worked for a winery and how they got five million views for their marketing efforts.

14/04/2014: What WineWorks does differently
It's what WineWorks does differently that ensures its clients are receiving the best possible treatment and results they deserve. More importantly, through the experience of each team member, WineWorks has become educated of the needs, wants and expectations when it comes to transporting, reworking, storing and exporting award winning and boutique wine.

14/04/2014: GWRDC China Insights workshops begin this week
Do you know the possible distribution channels for your wine in China? Do you know what qualities are important when a Chinese consumer chooses wine? Join the GWRDC for breakfast where these questions will be explored by Professor Larry Lockshin, Dr Armando Corsi and Dr Justin Cohen from the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science.

14/04/2014: Entries now open for International Cool Climate Wine Show
The International Cool Climate Wine Show is now taking entries for this year’s event. Now in its 15th successful year, the event is recognised as one of the best boutique wine shows in Australia. Entries close on Wednesday 23 April 2014 and wines are due on Wednesday 7 May 2014.

7/04/2014: What does Woolworths really want to hear when you pitch a new brand to them?
In this article BeverageTradeNetwork.com writes what makes the Australian market unique and how to prepare a new brand for a successful launch. Every market is different and fundamental knowledge of how decision-makers think will make the task of getting your product on the shelves of retailers around the world that much easier.

7/04/2014: New wine closure benchmarking trial set to sparkle
The AWRI will be conducting the world’s first large-scale benchmarking trial for sparkling wine closures. The trial will evaluate the impact of a broad range of different closure technologies on a premium bottle-fermented Chardonnay Pinot Noir and will run for an initial 24 month period.

7/04/2014: Grapegrower & Winemaker’s May 2014 Cover Comp
Harvest is the word on everyone’s lips at the moment and in the next issue of Grapegrower & Winemaker we’ll be providing readers with a full report on how the 2014 vintage fared. But we need the perfect cover photo to sum up what the May issue is all about. So the editorial team is on the hunt for the definitive harvest photograph – which may be machinery on the run, picker on foot or even the sun rising over another frantic day.

Australian Wine Industry News

24/04/2014: Blog: Pech's take on solar
Long-time Grapegrower & Winemaker subscriber and Barossa viticulturist Leo Pech has been in the wine industry since the ’50s and says solar photovoltaic units are the way of the future due to the anticipated rise in electricity costs. Planet Power’s Chris Noth installed an AC high-tech 10kW TRUAC solar system on Pech’s shed in February and for a grapegrower who’s seen it all, he says solar power is one of the best things to happen to the wine industry.

24/04/2014: Riverland region to tell its success story through Tourism Australia campaign
One of the core strategies emerging in the Riverland Wine plan is to grow the market. If more wine drinkers around the globe choose Australian wine, by default as the largest Australian producer of popular premium wines, Riverland producers will be beneficiaries, says the region's association.

24/04/2014: Selling Tasmania to key wine industry leaders
Wine Tasmania is looking to lure up to 10 key industry figures to the state in June for a flying two-day tour in the hope of boosting wine sales. The June trip will whip industry representatives around Tasmania to highlight the beauty of the state with a focus on wine.

24/04/2014: High-flying adventures of Lisa McGuigan Wines
Lisa McGuigan Wines launched in 2011 with four core wines. In that short space of time McGuigan has secured a deal with Jetstar to carry her wines and the company turned over between $1 and $2 million last year. But it's not McGuigan's first wine venture - she is a member of wine royalty in the form of the McGuigan family and was the woman behind McGuigan's internationally successful Tempus Two label.

23/04/2014: New world demand buoys wine barrel business
International sales could account for around half of annual turnover for Melbourne wine barrel innovator Flexcube by the middle of the year, based on demand in new world wine regions in the US and South America. The company is targeting growth of more than 40 per cent to $5.2 million after tax for the 2014-15 financial year provided it can maintain its current trajectory.

23/04/2014: Blog: Winemakers celebrate end to Japanese tariff
Elimination of a 15 per cent import tariff into Japan on Australia's wine during the next seven years as part of the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership has been welcomed by the Winemakers' Federation of Australia (WFA). "This agreement is a critical part of developing export opportunities for our Australian wine in Japan," WFA president Tony D'Aloisio said.

23/04/2014: Regional food and wine businesses urged to promote globally
South Australian food and wine businesses are being encouraged to join a new initiative to promote Australia's restaurants and top drops to the world. Tourism Australia's new internet campaign Restaurant Australia will encourage regional businesses to promote its food and wine online in a push to get more international travellers to visit country areas.

23/04/2014: 'Wine Production in Australia' industry market research report updated by IBISWorld
The Australian wine production industry has faced difficult trading conditions during the past five years. Exports have been hurt by volatile economies in key export markets, a soaring Australian dollar which has made wine exports uncompetitive, and rising competition from new low-cost wine producers.

22/04/2014: Cape Mentelle drops legal challenge over Wallcliffe name
Margaret River's Cape Mentelle has bowed to pressure from local producers by dropping its threat of legal action against Flametree Wines over use of the Wallcliffe name on labels. The move by Cape Mentelle comes after members of the Margaret River Wine Association voted overwhelmingly to challenge the LVMH-owned estate's claims to trademark rights on Wallcliffe as a standalone name.

22/04/2014: Angullong Wines’ 2012 Fossil Hill wine range released despite ‘difficult vintage’
According to Angullong Wines’ general manager Ben Crossing, the 2012 vintage in Orange was difficult but his latest wine range titled Fossil Hill managed to come out on top. The 2012 Angullong Fossil Hill Shiraz Viognier and the 2012 Angullong Fossil Hill Tempranillo were released ahead of Orange F.O.O.D Week in April and were presented at a number of events throughout the festival.

22/04/2014: Grampians winemakers unaffected by bushfire smoke taint
There's relief amongst winemakers in the Grampians after they've learnt their harvest hasn't been tainted by smoke from the summer bushfires in the region. Their confidence is underpinned by a decade's research, which tells them whether or not they'll have a problem before they begin the costly process of harvest.

22/04/2014: Blog: Australian wine trade invited to ‘Unbottle Tasmania’
Wine Tasmania has issued an invitation for Australian wine trade representatives to participate in a wine-focused Tasmanian visit in 2014. Comprising a two-day visit in late June, selected trade representatives will taste their way around the island, meeting wine producers and sampling their wines, as well as a food, cider and whisky producer or two, whilst soaking up the scenery of the island.

22/04/2014: Time for winemakers to make some vintage Flemington
From March to May for the past 60 years, backyard winemakers have flocked to John Merlino's grape stand at the Sydney Markets in Flemington to select the varieties they hope to be quaffing in a few years time. Across Sydney thousands of families have been making their own plonk for more than half a century, buying grapes at the markets, picking the best bunches from vineyards or growing their own in their backyards.

22/04/2014: Grapegrower & Winemaker's May 2014 Cover Comp winner announced
Congratulations to Summit Estate Wines winemaker Paola Andrea Cabezas Bono who is the winner of Grapegrower & Winemaker's May 2014 Cover Comp. The scantily-clad winemaker who bathed in a fermenting tank of her own Tempranillo grapes will feature on the front cover of Grapegrower & Winemaker's May issue and will also receive a 12-month subscription to the magazine.

17/04/2014: Blog: Tasmanian Wine List of the Year Award launched
Wine Tasmania and the Tasmanian Hospitality Association (THA) have partnered on a new award to recognise Tasmanian businesses that support the local wine sector. The inaugural Tasmanian Wine List of the Year Award was recently launched as part of the THA’s 2014 awards for excellence.

17/04/2014: Growers need more information, says Riverland Wine
One of the main themes emerging from the Riverland's January meetings was the need for more information being made available to growers to make decisions about future commitments. This requirement for information, early in the viticulture year, was the main driver that led to the Australian Wine Industry Voluntary Code of Conduct concluded in the latter part of 2009.

17/04/2014: Australian wine sales to China plummet
Latest figures on Australia's wine export performance show a steep 12 per cent decline in sales to China, underlining the earnings impact of the central government's austerity drive and crackdown on ostentatious banquets to the local wine sector.

17/04/2014: Seppeltsfield releases WWI commemorative wine
Rare Tawny Port dating back to World War I has been released by South Australian-based Seppeltsfield Wines in partnership with the Australian War Memorial. Seppeltsfield owner and managing director Warren Randall said the winery was fortunate to have a unique Tawny holding of every vintage year from 1878 onwards which enabled the release of the commemorate wine sets.

17/04/2014: Australia must stop ‘mindless chase of listings’
Tesco has expressed concern about the “homogenisation” among Australia’s major wine brands, calling for them to work harder at standing out from the crowd. At a time when Australia’s overall volume exports fell by 6 per cent during 2013, Tesco’s wine product development manager James Griswood said the country still remained “the most popular” source of wine among customers.

16/04/2014: What’s in a name? Carignan a mataro
Yet another wrongly identified grape variety has been found in Australian vineyards. And this time it’s personal, writes Max Allen. Last year, Allen made a few bottles of red wine from what he thought were Carignan grapes. He has written many times about how much he loves the wild flavours of Carignan from southern France, and how he thinks this heat-tolerant variety is the perfect choice for sunbaked Australia.

16/04/2014: Average value of Australian wine exports continue to rise while total volumes decline
The average value of wine exports continued to rise while the total Australian wine exports declined in the 12 months ended March 2014, according to the latest Wine Export Approval Report March 2014, released by Wine Australia today. The average value of exports increased by 1 per cent to A$2.59 per litre, mainly due to a 6 per cent increase in the average value of bottled wine to A$4.68 per litre.

16/04/2014: Australian Vintage takes a bite out of Easter trading
Employees from one of Australia’s largest wine producers, Australian Vintage Limited (AVL) will down tools on Thursday 17 April to participate in the company’s largest in-store tasting initiative to date. The ‘Easter tasting blitz’ will see more than 46 participants from six business units set up shop in Independent Liquor Stores throughout six states and 24 sales territories in one afternoon, with individuals from AVL brands Nepenthe, McGuigan and Tempus Two representing its respective brands in store.

16/04/2014: Showcasing Australia's top female winemakers
A dozen of Australia's most talented female winemakers gathered in South Australia's Coonawarra for a celebration of food, wine and regional produce. The idea of the 'Sips in the Sticks' event came about when Coonawarra winemaker Sue Bell of Bellwether Wines noticed a lack of regional events. Now in its second year, the event is chance to build relationships between consumers and producers.

16/04/2014: Blog: French winemakers open young minds to global picture
University of Adelaide students got a taste for the French wine industry when Clos de Trias owner and winemaker Even Bakke visited Australia’s future winemakers and viticulturists. Californian-born Bakke, who runs his southern France business in the Ventoux region was this year’s Walter, Carew and Richard Reynell Fellow and didn’t hesitate to hop on a plane to help broaden the students’ exposure to international winemaking practices and wine styles.

15/04/2014: Blog: National Wine Centre turns wine tasting into space age experience
Wine writer Tony Love describes it as the buffet to beat all buffets. But rather than all you can eat, it’s all the great Australian wine you can sample in one spot. The National Wine Centre in Adelaide has turned the traditional cellar door tasting into a space age experience with a bank of 14 hi-tech Enomatic dispensing machines able to pour 120 wines at any time in varying volumes.

15/04/2014: Most Riverland grapes sold
Most grapegrowers in the Riverland have contracts to sell their grapes each year. According to Riverland Wine, in difficult times a contract takes much of the worry out of selling. Those who are not so fortunate to have a contract are most often left to their own devices to sell their year’s labour and inputs.

15/04/2014: Wine Australia and Daniel Pontifex Memorial Trust on the hunt for next young Australian to win scholarship
Wine Australia is once again collaborating with the Daniel Pontifex Memorial Trust to find an outstanding, enthusiastic young Australian from the restaurant sector to win a travel bursary to the UK and Europe, to gain valuable experience in some of London’s finest restaurants, as part of the Daniel Pontifex Scholarship. To be in the running, candidates are expected to have a strong interest in wine and currently work in hospitality.

15/04/2014: Plantagenet Wines' chief winemaker wins 2014 Lallemand Bursary
The Institute of Masters of Wine and Lallemand have awarded Plantagenet Wines' chief winemaker Cath Oates from Mount Barker, Western Australia the 2014 Lallemand Bursary. The bursary, established in 2010, is open to students in the institute’s study program and provides a fully-funded place at the institute’s 8th International Symposium which will take place in Italy next month.

15/04/2014: April 2014 Grapegrower & Winemaker magazine out now
The April 2014 issue of Grapegrower & Winemaker is out now and is available online for all subscribers. Join us as we discuss the latest in training and trellising, fertilisers and nutrition, and bottling, labelling and packaging. Also in this month you will find the highly anticipated annual Top 20 Australian wineries and Top 5 New Zealand wineries features written by freelance journalist Ed Merrison and New Zealand wine writer Bob Campbell MW.

14/04/2014: Research and workshops help give Australian wine a competitive edge in China
New marketing research is giving Australian wineries a look at the consumption and purchasing behaviours of Chinese wine consumers, and helping deliver a competitive edge in this burgeoning wine export market. The three-year research project is being conducted by the University of South Australia’s Ehrenberg Bass Institute for Marketing Science and is funded by the GWRDC.

14/04/2014: Chinese invest in Coonawarra business
Coonawarra's family-owned business Hollick Wines has announced a Chinese company has made a major investment in the brand. Hong Kong Yingda now has a majority stake in the business, but the Hollick family including founders Ian and Wendy still have significant shares.

14/04/2014: Changing the narrative of Riverland wine
If two wines of equal merit are side by side on a shelf, consumers will choose the one with the best story. South Australia's Riverland region, about two hours north-east of Adelaide, produces 25 per cent of the nation's grape crush. But the Riverlation tour is a chance for the region's boutique winery owners to tell their story.

14/04/2014: Blog: Chilling out in Australian wine’s own Ice Age
Iced wine styles are developing an enthusiastic following in Australia, with Iced Riesling, Cabernet and Chardonnay competing for the luxury dessert wine market. But with temperatures here unable to emulate the freezing conditions in the northern hemispheres where ice wines are traditionally made, Danielle Costley writes our winemakers are chilling out with alternatives.

11/04/2014: Institute of Masters of Wine announces Bordeaux tasting in Australia
The Institute of Masters of Wine (IMW) will host its annual Bordeaux tasting in Melbourne on Friday 2 May. The tasting, held for the second time in Australia, will show a line-up of 70 wines from the Grands Crus Classés properties of the Médoc and its equivalents.

11/04/2014: McLaren Vale's lofty visions set
McLaren Vale Grape Wine & Tourism Association chief executive officer and consultant Marc Allgrove announced yesterday that key strategic goals had been set by the association to guide McLaren Vale in its ongoing development as a world leading wine, food and tourism destination.

11/04/2014: Blog: It’s been a wild ride for Michael Wilson
Long before Cadell Evans won the Tour de France a wild colonial boy from Tasmania was blazing the trail in world cycling for generations of Australians. But today the pace is slightly different for Michael Wilson who has morphed from cycling superstar into a multi-lingual vigneron at downtown Launceston.

11/04/2014: New Treasury Wine boss makes strong debut, but uncertainty reigns
Analysts remain divided about Treasury Wine Estates' (TWE) prospects despite being impressed by CEO Mike Clarke's debut address to the market. Highlighting the disparity of views on TWE, the spread of analysts' earnings forecasts for the 2014-15 financial year ranges between $190 and $280 million, suggesting Clarke's address did little to quell the uncertainty surrounding stock.

10/04/2014: Tasmania boosts Aussie wine revival
Excitement about Tasmania is playing an important role in reinvigorating interest in the Australian wine industry according to one producer. Although the state currently contains 1600 hectares of vineyards divided among 160 licensed producers, average prices are more than double that for Australian wine as a whole and the Tasmanian government is keen to attract further investment in the region.

10/04/2014: Winemakers experience 'best vintage in a decade' but warn challenges remain
A number of vintners have experienced their best vintage in a decade in some areas of Western Australia but warned it would not be enough to remedy the challenges facing local wineries. Producers in the Great Southern are in the latter stages of this year's vintage, with most white winegrapes already harvested and the red varieties in progress.

10/04/2014: Treasury Wine Estates boss urges PM Tony Abbott on more wine FTAs
Treasury Wine Estates' (TWE) new boss has urged Prime Minister Tony Abbott to push the case for more free trade deals on Australian wine. Michael Clarke, incoming managing director of TWE said he had already written a letter to Abbott making the case for a better deal for Australian winemakers.

10/04/2014: Blog: Successful online wine marketing relies on a good call to action
E-commerce is taking off for wine companies and consumers are increasingly interested in finding ways to buy wine online. According to Wine Searcher, the global online wine market is worth about $5 billion and is expected to continue to grow at a rate of 30 per cent annually.

9/04/2014: Treasury Wine poised to cut jobs, slash costs
Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) is set to shed jobs and slash its costs in the face of a protracted downturn in its key markets. In his opening remarks to analysts and investors yesterday, TWE boss Michael Clarke admitted ''there is a lot that needs to be fixed'' within the company which owns brands such as Penfolds, Wolf Blass and Rosemount.

9/04/2014: Rain slashes grape yields by almost 70 per cent in major wine regions
It's been a financially disastrous vintage for the so-called dress circle of Victoria's wine industry - especially the Mornington Peninsula and Yarra Valley. But some viticulturists think it might give the regions a healthy shake-up.

9/04/2014: Poor fruitset and yields halved leaves winemakers in doubt of a profitable vintage
Winegrape yields are down as much as 80 per cent in the Adelaide Hills wine region. Cool conditions during flowering at the end of last year resulted in poor fruit set. Viticulture consultant Richard Hamilton says some wineries will find it difficult to make money from this year's vintage.

9/04/2014: Blog: How Louisa Rose to such great heights
History will record those who produced some of the world’s great vintages. And sadly, for some, will also enshrine those select few who bottled some of the world’s great failures. But Louisa Rose has secured her place in that rarest of all categories in the industry’s annals because she actually saved a great wine from extinction.

8/04/2014: Blog: McLaren Vale’s latest project breaks new ground in management of the region's most precious resource
The McLaren Vale Groundwater Telemetry Pilot Project is a grower driven initiative and a world leading development which recognises an important need to have a more complete understanding of the Willunga Basin groundwater resource.

8/04/2014: Wine Australia kicks off annual Grand Tasting and Seminar Roadshow in China
Chinese wine trade, consumers and media will have the chance to experience the quality, diversity and regionality of Australian wines at the biggest showcase of Australian wine in China as part of the Wine Australia Grand Tasting and Seminar Roadshow which kicks off today. The annual roadshow, which will run until Monday 14 April, will be held in Shanghai, Shenyang and Nanning and will feature more than 34 Australian exhibitors, showcasing more than 60 brands and 300 wines.

8/04/2014: WFA welcomes end of 15 per cent tariff
Elimination of a 15 per cent import tariff into Japan on Australia’s wine during the next seven years as part of the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership has been welcomed by the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA). “This agreement is a critical part of developing export opportunities for our Australian wine in Japan," WFA president Tony D'Aloisio said from China where he’s attending Australia Week.

8/04/2014: East goes west for best bunch
Michael East admits that much of the business he oversees "is not sexy". But the general manager of Accolade Wines Australia and New Zealand remains upbeat that he can bring a lot more excitement and energy into those "non-sexy" bits to build on the already powerful position the group holds in Australia and overseas.

7/04/2014: GWRDC renews focus with five new working principles
Future Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation (GWRDC) investments in innovation and adoption activities will be guided by five new working principles following an independent review. "GWRDC is committed to helping increase the rate of adoption of research and development (R&D) outcomes funded by the wine sector and Australian Government," GWRDC executive director Dr Stuart Thomson said.

7/04/2014: Premium Australian wine sales fall as China's elite tighten their belts
China's push to reduce conspicuous consumption has seen the sale of premium Australian wines tumble dramatically, with exports from some wine houses plummeting up to 70 per cent. The slump follows the launch of the Communist Party's anti-corruption and austerity campaign last year, which was aimed squarely at wealthy Chinese - many of them high-ranking party officials.

7/04/2014: Australia's bid for fine wine dominance
Australia will continue to dominate all tiers of the UK wine market after surging ahead of rivals and muscling into fine wine, according to a leading supplier. The nation cemented its place as the UK’s top supplier by growing 4 per cent in value to £1.1 billion.

7/04/2014: Wine Australia's UK/EU boss given leave due to health issue
Wine Australia has given its UK and Europe boss a period of extended leave while she is treated for cancer. Yvonne May has temporarily stepped down after being diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, the body announced Friday. In an update to members, acting CEO Andreas Clark said “Yvonne will be undergoing intensive treatment during the next couple of months".

7/04/2014: Booze consumption hits 15-year low, but wine’s a winner
Beer-loving Aussies are on the slide with more preferring a red or white, according to the latest ABS data. Beer consumption has fallen to its lowest point in more than 50 years to around 4 litres of alcohol per person in the 2012-2013 financial year. During the same half-century period, estimated wine drinking has risen and now includes more than 37 per cent of all ­alcohol available.

7/04/2014: UPDATE: Grapegrower & Winemaker’s May 2014 Cover Comp
In the email sent to our database, as well as previous posts on social media and Daily Wine News, Grapegrower & Winemaker stated the competition winner would be announced on Monday 21 April 2014. Due to this day being a public holiday, the winner will now be announced on Tuesday 22 April 2014.

7/04/2014: Blog: Giesen brothers turn to Germany for inspiration
Whoever made the claim of “out with the old and in with the new” was kidding themselves. And they certainly weren’t involved in the New Zealand wine industry. Theo, Alex and Marcel Giesen, who purchased their first Marlborough vineyard in 1981, have gone back to their roots (and back to basics) to create an historical new wine range out of German Fuder barrels.

International Wine Industry News

24/04/2014: Argentina's harvest down 20 per cent
Winemakers across Argentina say heavy rain and low temperatures in February have impacted this year’s harvest with white production down by as much as 30 per cent. The adverse weather has delayed the harvest and affected production of the country's flagship Malbec grape, with producers saying the total harvest for 2014 will be 20-22 per cent smaller than last year.

24/04/2014: Consumer research to be revealed at wine fair (UK)
London Wine Fair organiser Brintex has commissioned Wine Intelligence, with sponsorship from Cobevco, to carry out an annual piece of wine market research called Carpe Vinum that will focus on a different consumer group each year. The report for 2014 investigates a group of consumers of critical importance to the future of the UK wine market - Generation Y.

24/04/2014: China bottle tech checks fake wine market
Counterfeiting wine is a big and lucrative business in China, with sophisticated methods used to replicate famous brands. China's CTV has reported that 50 per cent of wine sold in the country could be fake but many in the industry believe the true figure for high-profile brands such as Bordeaux's Chateau Laffite and premium Australian names such as Penfolds Grange is as much as 90 per cent.

24/04/2014: ProWein 2015 now open for registrations (Germany)
With immediate effect, registration documents for exhibitors at ProWein 2015, held from 15-17 March in Düsseldorf, will be available at www.prowein.com. The deadline for registration is 31 July 2014. As announced by Messe Düsseldorf last year, from 2015 onwards ProWein will no longer be held in halls 1 to 7.1 and will be moved to halls 9 to 17 due to demand from exhibitors which has been on the rise for many years.

24/04/2014: Matua introduces new Legends range to its New Zealand wine portfolio
New Zealand winery Matua has introduced a new premium range of wines to its key UK and European markets called Matua Lands & Legends. The range, handled by its distributors Treasury Wine Estates, was officially launched at last month's ProWein trade exhibition in Germany.

23/04/2014: Top brand Bulgarian wine meets Koreans
Bulgarian Ambassador to Korea Petar Andonov hosted a wine tasting event at the embassy in Seoul, showcasing a variety of wines to importers, restaurant owners and journalists. At the event Telish Winery chief executive officer Jair Agopian said Bulgarian wines are similar to Italian Toscani and French Bordeaux, mainly because the vineyards that produce the grapes are located on the same latitude.

23/04/2014: Wine company sued over fake Yquem (UK)
London-based fine wine merchant, the Antique Wine Company, has been accused of selling an American wine collector thousands of dollars worth of fake Bordeaux. Atlanta real-estate developer, Julian LeCraw, has filed a lawsuit against AWC, AWC Holdings, AWC Global and its owner Stephen Williams for 16 counts including breach of contract, fraud, conspiracy to defraud and negligent representation among others.

23/04/2014: Winemakers encouraged to enter New World Wine Awards (NZ)
Entries for the 2014 New World Wine Awards open on Monday 12 May and top winemakers are encouraging their peers to enter. In addition to the distinction of an award that recognises quality on the same international scale as other wine competitions, winning winemakers are guaranteed national distribution in New World supermarkets and extensive brand exposure, driving sustained sales.

23/04/2014: New buyers impressed with South African wines
South Africa's competitively priced wine is attracting new buyers who are impressed by the quality of the wines, a recent report by Rabobank found. The report, released last week, said both bulk and bottled wine exports from South Africa enjoyed strong growth in 2013.

23/04/2014: Professor speaks on chemistry of wine (US)
The continuum of high-culture music concerts at Weill Hall was given a hiatus Thursday for an introspective look inside the scientific soul of Californian winemaking. Chemistry and biochemistry professor Phil Crews from the University of California, Santa Cruz presented a lecture entitled “The chemistry and science of wines and winemaking” to more than 700 attendees consisting of Sonoma chemistry and biochemistry students and faculty, curious enophiles and insiders from the local wine industry.

23/04/2014: New Zealand wine trust funds valuable research
The Cresswell Jackson New Zealand Wine Trust has awarded its first research grant. Under the broad objective of enhancing the success of the New Zealand wine industry, the trust awarded the grant to scientist Dr Wendy Parr of Lincoln University.

22/04/2014: Wet weather threatens Marlborough wine (NZ)
Grapegrowers are racing to harvest what's left of their crop in New Zealand's largest wine producing region before wind and rain do any more damage. It's been one of Marlborough's wettest Aprils on record and harvesters are under pressure to get this year's vintage out of harm's way.

22/04/2014: Napa trend for ‘leaner, less oaked’ Chardonnay (US)
The St. Helena Star and Napa Valley Vintners tasting panel met this month to review current vintages of Napa Valley Chardonnays priced over $30. In the review the local panel of winemakers preferred the 2012 vintage over 2011 and sought greater acidity and less oak influenced flavors in the wines they tasted.

22/04/2014: Changyu unveils major e-commerce push (China)
Chinese wine giant Changyu is investing heavily in e-commerce to take advantage of an expected surge in online wine sales in China. The 100-year-old wine and spirit producer announced the launch of an online platform called ‘Pioneer Wine’ during the recent China Food and Drinks Fair (CFDF).

22/04/2014: In drought dilemma, water district cuts off growers to ensure supply for homes (US)
A small water district in Mendocino shut the valves that supply irrigation to more than 2000 acres of vineyards and other crops, leaving nearly 200 farming customers without their main source of water, a shortfall that likely foreshadows what's ahead statewide for many growers as the drought stretches on.

22/04/2014: Mount Palomar Winery damaged by gas explosion (US)
A propane gas explosion on Friday gutted the tasting room and kitchen at Mount Palomar Winery in the Temecula Valley wine region, causing around $2 million in damages according to Cal Fire. Although the damage was extensive, there were no injuries reported and the winery’s wine production area wasn't affected.

22/04/2014: Americans thirsty for New Zealand wine business
Wine lovers in the US are drinking more New Zealand wines than ever, with double-digit annual percentage increases in the value of imports for the past five years. As demand increases, investors are also developing a taste for Kiwi wine.

17/04/2014: Winemakers work their magic (NZ)
While rain may have slowed the 2014 Marlborough grape harvest, for winery workers there's still little time to rest. The incoming trucks seem endless, the same machinery needs to be hosed down again and again, and the whirr of the presses is constant.

17/04/2014: Area vineyard damage being analysed (US)
During the past two weeks Finger Lakes Grape Program and Cornell research staff cut more than 14,000 buds to assess the level of injury in vineyards due to the cold temperatures experienced across the region. It appears there are still factors that will impact this year’s crop, and there is no indication of how much damage has been done to trunks.

17/04/2014: New ventures brew in old wine bottles (India)
At 15ml per capita consumption, India is among the lowest wine consuming countries in the world. But at 25-30 per cent year-on-year growth, it is also the fastest growing wine market in the world. Now, the latter is what a new breed of entrepreneurs have been quick to raise a toast to. Sniffing a lucrative opportunity in grappling with grapes, some have even quit corporate careers to get into the brewing business.

17/04/2014: Provence sweeps board at rosé tasting in London
Wines from in and around Provence dominated the top spots in a blind tasting in London last week that featured 31 of the world’s most famous and expensive rosés. The top scoring wine was Chêne Bleu rosé from a 600 metre site in Provence’s Dentelles de Montmirail in France.

17/04/2014: Bordeaux 2013: 'Chateaux pricing to protect their pride' (France)
Disagreements between merchants and chateaux over Bordeaux 2013 prices have continued this week after the en primeur campaign picked up speed with a flurry of releases. Among some of the biggest releases this week, Chateau Haut-Bailly fell 6 per cent from 2012 - and was 56 per cent down from 2010 to €39.60 ex-Bordeaux, returning to its 2008 price. The move is likely to be well-received, given that many merchants and market observers have been calling for prices to return to 2008 levels.

16/04/2014: Italian sparkling exports to UK jump 40 per cent
Exports of Italian sparkling wine to the UK jumped 40.2 per cent in 2013, strengthening its status as the UK’s fizz of choice, according to the latest wine trends report from analysts at Rabobank. Stephen Rannekleiv, one of the authors of the report, said he believed the UK was following a similar trend to the US in which Prosecco has become an “everyday treat” and an “affordable luxury”.

16/04/2014: Richard Branson to buy South African vineyard
English entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson is set to buy Mont Rochelle Hotel & Mountain Vineyard in the South African region of Franschhoek. As reported by Travel Weekly, the sale will go through via Branson’s Virgin Limited Edition luxury property company with a preliminary agreement having been reached to purchase the hotel and vineyard for an undisclosed sum.

16/04/2014: Metrics show wine industry thriving (US)
Wineries across the US are selling more wine at higher prices, direct-to-consumer shipments are peaking and winery hiring is at record highs. The outlook for the industry appears positive, according to the latest industry metrics report by Wines Vines Analytics. Direct-to-consumer shipments in March grew 20 per cent during the same time last year and were up 10 per cent during the past 12 months. The total value of March shipments hit $213 million.

16/04/2014: Small town to get grape crushing plant (US)
Milbrandt Vineyards of Mattawa plans to build a $6 million winegrape crushing facility in George, Washington which will boost revenue in the area. The crushing plant will be known as Ancient Lakes Winery and will crush about 1000 acres of white grapes from the company’s Evergreen Vineyard at George and Ancient Lakes Vineyard overlooking the Columbia River southwest of Quincy.

16/04/2014: Rain keeps wine industry on its toes (NZ)
Rain continues to cause stress for Marlborough's wine industry, but it's not only growers and wineries feeling the pain. Harvester operators, hand-pickers and truck drivers who transport the fruit have all been struggling with the wet conditions.

15/04/2014: Vintners hope to cork wine glut (US)
At the second Wine, Beer, Spirits and Cider Summit last week in New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced he is dedicating $6 million to marketing the state's producers of wine and other adult beverages. Certainly it's worth raising a glass to the high quality of Finger Lakes Rieslings, but in truth these are challenging times in the wine world.

15/04/2014: Wine given heritage status in France
A bill put forward to the French senate to give the country’s wines and vineyards national heritage status has been accepted. According to La Depeche du Midi, the bill was accepted at the weekend and recognises “wine and winemaking areas form a part of the cultural and gastronomic landscape of France".

15/04/2014: Masters of Wine gear up for record breaking event (Italy)
A record number of Masters of Wine will gather in Florence next month for the institute’s eighth international symposium. Wine professionals are invited to attend and learn from some of the most notable figures in the wine world and more than 400 people from 30 countries have already signed up.

15/04/2014: Hambledon opens door for expansion (UK)
English sparkling wine producer Hambledon Vineyard has created the potential to grow its production by acquiring 46 acres from neighbouring Hampshire estate Meonhill. The financial details have not been disclosed, but it also includes “certain bulk reserve wine stocks” which will allow Hambledon to draw on a greater supply of reserve wine for its sparkling production.

15/04/2014: Climatologist points to wet, warm April for Northwest wine industry (US)
Research climatologist Greg Jones, whose work is respected in the Pacific Northwest wine industry and beyond, predicts warmer and wetter conditions for the region during the second half of April. Jones issued his first report Friday and the Southern Oregon University professor’s interpretation of the long-range forecast for the 2014 vintage tracks with the report he presented earlier in the year at the Oregon Wine Symposium in Portland.

15/04/2014: Vineyard contractors fined over pay (NZ)
Two Blenheim residents running a vineyard contracting business have been fined more than $2000 for not paying staff wages and holiday pay. Papani Tupou and Ofa Fotu-Moala operated as viticulture contractors trading under the name "Sovereignty of Knowledge Contracting" and had employed "an unknown number" of people to work in their vineyards.

15/04/2014: Huge vineyard holding for sale (NZ)
A Marlborough grapegrowing estate has put 440 hectares of vineyards near Seddon on the market. Saint Lukes Estate Wines listed its vineyards for sale with Harcourts Marlborough last month and rural and commercial sales manager Tom Rutherford was appointed to sell the land on behalf of co-founder and director Graeme Giles.

14/04/2014: Rain hampering harvest (NZ)
The bad weather which has hit Marlborough during the past week has put a damper on harvest, bringing some wineries to a complete standstill. TerraVin Wines winemaker Gordon Ritchie said they had stopped harvest and were waiting for breaks in the weather.

14/04/2014: Cloudy Bay in Central Otago deal (NZ)
World-famous winery Cloudy Bay has purchased its first vineyard outside Marlborough. Cloudy Bay wine communications manager Stephanie McIntyre confirmed the wine company had bought vineyard and hospitality holdings from Central Otago wine producer Northburn Station.

14/04/2014: Kiwi system aims to eliminate wastewater in vineyards (NZ)
A new Kiwi-designed water filtration system that can eliminate wastewater could save New Zealand wineries thousands of dollars annually, has significant export potential for international wine producers and is already being championed by the local dairy industry.

14/04/2014: Grape researcher weighs winter freeze damage (North America)
Memories of a long, cold winter could soon fade but the effects might not. Months before the annual grape harvest, Lake Erie Regional Grape Center research technologist Bryan Hed had been searching the center's 23-acre vineyard for signs of trouble.

14/04/2014: Grape dealer sues over fruit quality (US)
A grape négociant is suing the owners of an Oak Knoll vineyard for more than $180,000 in damages and lost profits over the quality of fruit from the 2013 harvest, according to court records. Agajanian Vineyards, which had a three-year contract to buy 10 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon from Chateau Dallage Vineyards alleged the grapes in 2013 did not meet quality specifications.

14/04/2014: Education is critical for Italian wines to compete in Hong Kong
A panel of wine educators from Hong Kong have urged Italian producers to invest in education modules specific to Italy to boost the country’s paltry share of the wine market. The panel, speaking at Vinitaly last week said French wines are dominating the Hong Kong wine scene with a 36 per cent share of the market versus Italy's 6 per cent.

14/04/2014: Vega Sicilia recalls 100,000 bottles (Spain)
Spanish producer Vega Sicilia has recalled 100,000 bottles of its Pintia wine due to excessive levels of sediment. Managing director Pablo Alvarez apologised to clients and offered to replace the wine with the 2008 vintage or the upcoming 2010 release.

14/04/2014: Accolade gets behind fruit-flavoured wines with Echo Falls range (UK)
Fruit-flavoured wines are set for a major boost when one of the UK’s largest off-trade wine brands enters the market. Following the boom in fruit-flavoured cider and beer, Accolade Wines plans to roll out "fruit fusion" wines under its Echo Falls range.

11/04/2014: China splurges 430 per cent more on ‘expensive wine’
China is now the world’s second biggest consumer of high-priced wines following the US, according to a report prepared ahead of international wine show Vinexpo. The Chinese, including buyers in Hong Kong, were second to the US for their willingness to spend US$10 or more on a bottle of wine.

11/04/2014: Brits prefer ‘big-brand Australian reds’ (UK)
A Brit’s “perfect drop” is red, Australian, from a big name brand, has a screw cap, costs on average £5.83 and is bought from a local supermarket according to a survey by specialist wine bottler Cobevco. The survey found of the 2000 consumers, 80 per cent now buy their wines exclusively from supermarkets and their ideal bottle is usually part of a promotion, fuelling the stereotype of bargain Brits.

11/04/2014: Swiss input to a Kiwi vineyard (NZ)
When you hear about overseas based investors buying vineyards in New Zealand it's easy to assume they are corporate buyers expanding their holdings to include New Zealand land, vines and wines; but that isn't always the case. In Nelson a number of vineyards are owned by immigrants from all parts of the world.

11/04/2014: Champagne shipments drop 5.1 per cent in UK
Champagne shipments to the UK slipped 5.1 per cent in volume and 3.8 per cent in value last year as the economy continued its recovery. The UK Champagne Bureau, which released new figures yesterday, said the drop was “unsurprising” and was a late reaction of economic downturn which was “typical” in the luxury goods market.

11/04/2014: Biodynamic winegrower maintains innocence after fine (France)
A Burgundy winemaker has been fined €500 ($687) after he refused to use pesticides on his vines in a controversial case in which the winegrower was backed by environmental groups such as Greenpeace. Emmanuel Giboulot was taken to court by an arm of the French agriculture ministry for not heeding a local directive in Burgundy's Côte d'Or region to regularly treat vines against flavescence dorée, a leaf-hopping insect that causes disease.

11/04/2014: Northburn Station Wine Company changes hands (NZ)
The sale of a Central Otago vineyard to a global luxury goods group will give the region a boost and expand its reputation as a top quality Pinot Noir growing area worldwide, the Northburn Station chief executive said. Tom Pinckney said in a statement the Northburn Station Wine Company in Cromwell had entered into a conditional agreement to sell the property to Cloudy Bay Vineyards.

10/04/2014: Mouton Rothschild owner presses Burgundy estate to change name (France)
Lawyers for Bordeaux's Chateau Mouton Rothschild have started legal proceedings against a small-scale wine estate in Burgundy that also uses the Mouton name. The dispute is the latest in a string of complaints by top wine estates against smaller producers over trademark infringement.

10/04/2014: Bernard Magrez buys vines in Spain's Jumilla region
Multi-millionaire chateau owner Bernard Magrez has added to his wine empire by acquiring vines in Spain's up-and-coming Jumilla region. The small estate has been named 'Bernard Magrez a Jumilla' and comprises around two hectares for the time being. A purchase price was not disclosed.

10/04/2014: Women uncorking wine’s potential in Japan
Although wine consumption and production is on the rise in Japan, it’s still nowhere near the level in Europe or the US. But women may hold the key to fostering Japan’s wine culture. A new, all-female wine-tasting competition is aiming to leverage the power of wine-loving women.

10/04/2014: Vietnam to host international wine festival to promote investment and tourism
Vietnam will host the International Grape and Wine Festival in central Ninh Thuan province from April 17-19 with the aim of promoting exchange, seeking investment opportunities and attracting more tourists. It is expected to draw more than 100 booths showcasing grape products from France, Chile, Argentina, Australia, Hungary, the US, South Africa and Germany. Seminars on grape farming and winegrape processing will be held during the three-day event.

10/04/2014: New York to spend $6 million to promote wine and beer industries (US)
Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced New York will spend $6 million to market the state's wine and beer industries and seek to reform laws to expand distilleries. Cuomo held the second Beer, Wine, Spirits and Cider summit to tout the booming industry and hear recommendations on how to add new businesses.

10/04/2014: ISU professor sees Iowa as regional winery leader (US)
The Iowa wine industry has been growing by leaps and bounds in recent years, prompting an Iowa State University (ISU) professor to contend it has the potential to be a regional leader. Murli Dharmadhikari notes Iowa was home to around 30 wineries and 500 acres of winegrapes a decade ago and those numbers have soared to 100 wineries covering 1200 acres today.

10/04/2014: Keeping vintage on track (NZ)
Winery and vineyard workers aren't the only ones feeling the pressure of vintage. Marlborough trade workers are on-call day and night for wineries in case machinery breaks down. Active Refrigeration service supervisor John Phibbs said the company does checks seven days a week during vintage to ensure everything is performing correctly.

9/04/2014: Bordeaux negociants say demand for 2013 wine is 'dead' (France)
Wholesale wine merchants in Bordeaux were underwhelmed by a rapid burst of 2013 en primeur price releases Monday morning, describing current demand as "dead". The 2013 vintage, which was dogged by bad weather, was seen as a hard sell in a soft market and merchants said prices must fall by 25 to 30 per cent to raise interest.

9/04/2014: Wine carton will 'establish itself', says European wine packaging company
Putting premium wines in cartons rather than glass bottles will help consumers accept the packaging and become more environmentally friendly, says Tetra Pak, as it predicts continued growth in the sector. Marketing director GianLuca Furini said it is possible to convert traditional glass bottle enthusiasts but it won't happen overnight.

9/04/2014: Simulating yeast metabolism to understand changes during wine fermentation (Spain)
Rubén Martínez and colleagues from Elhuyar Fundazioa University in Spain have developed a new methodology that makes it possible to know what physiological state the yeast is in at each point in the wine fermentation process. This knowledge is of particular interest for producers, since changes in the grape directly affect the chemical composition of the must.

9/04/2014: Brancott Estate doubles marketing spend (NZ)
Pernod Ricard UK has doubled its consumer marketing spend on New Zealand wine brand Brancott Estate. A new campaign for the brand will focus on its pioneering heritage and will run across print, online, mobile and social media channels.

9/04/2014: Argentinian wines grow 20 per cent in off-trade
Argentinian wines are surging ahead in the off-trade with growth of 20 per cent in the past year as the market “moves up to suit Argentina”, says the European director of the country’s generic body. It also ranks third in the world for the most expensive wine, with an average bottle coming in at £5.75 after New Zealand and France.

9/04/2014: Central Otago wineries set to showcase the region’s wines to Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (NZ)
Central Otago wineries are gearing up for what could be the most important wine tasting of the century ahead of the Duke and Duchess’s visit to Queenstown this Sunday. A handful of local winemakers have been selected to present their Central Otago wines to the young Royals at a private wine and food event to be held at Amisfield winery.

9/04/2014: Supermarket wine price wars are dumbing down market, says report (UK)
Supermarket wine price wars are threatening to‘dumb down' British consumers’ attitudes to wine according to research from Harpers Data & Insight. The report, which is set to be released next week, focuses on the buying habits of British wine consumers in the off-trade market and shows that consumer's obsession with price over quality is beginning to affect the supply chain.

8/04/2014: Declining yields may help Bordeaux winemakers battle price pressures (France)
Wine prices for the Bordeaux 2013 vintage are set to be underpinned by declining yields amid pressure from merchants and investment consultants in Britain and the US for price cuts of 20 per cent or more. Yields fell more than 30 per cent in many vineyards due to cold, wet weather during the flowering season which damaged Merlot grapes in particular, so overall production levels were reduced by as much as half, according to Bordeaux winemakers.

8/04/2014: First low sulfite, nitrogen-assisted wine released by British Columbian winemaker (Canada)
A Canadian organic and biodynamic winery is pleased to present its 2013 Ehrenfelser, the first British Columbian wine made with the use of a nitrogen generator for the purpose of reducing unnecessary sulfite addition in winemaking. According to Summerhill winemaker Eric von Krosigk, the Ehrenfelser is a "beautifully expressive wine that is the essence of freshness and terroir due to minimal sulfite addition".

8/04/2014: Moscow says bottoms up for Crimean wine (Russia)
Following Russia’s recent annexation of southern Ukraine, Crimean wineries are optimistic that the change in political leadership will help their businesses. But what it means for the long-term future of Crimean wine remains to be seen.

8/04/2014: Argentinian wineries grapple with economic difficulties
In recent months the Argentina peso has fallen in value by 30 per cent against the US dollar. This change, coupled with dramatic inflation rates, is creating stress for the Argentinian wine industry. As of 2013, Argentina was home to 894 wineries with more than 300 of them exporting wine. Argentina is now the fifth-largest wine producer in the world and wine holds an important role in the economy.

8/04/2014: Gisborne region's 2014 vintage shaping up to be exceptional (NZ)
Last year was “the vintage of a lifetime” for Gisborne wines and this vintage is shaping up to be equally exceptional. Gisborne is renowned for sunny weather and Chardonnay and the two have combined again this year to produce a vintage that has local grapegrowers and winemakers marveling at its quality. The region’s burgeoning reputation for other white varietals, particularly Viognier and Albariño, will be further cemented with 2014’s superlative harvest.

7/04/2014: Spanish wine production soars above France and Italy
Spanish wine production increased 41 per cent last year thanks to a wet spring and sunny summer. With vineyards producing 50 million hectolitres - enough to fill 6.7 billion bottles of wine - Spain produced more wine than France at 42 million hectolitres and Italy at 47 million.

7/04/2014: Napa Valley Vintners host 20 key trade and media from Japan (US)
Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) will host 20 key wine influencers from Japan this week for 'Experience Napa Valley', a four-day immersion into Napa's wine, winemakers and vineyards. Highly regarded sommeliers, educators, media, retailers and hotel and restaurant professionals will interact with winemakers and principals from more than 50 NVV member wineries and will taste more than 100 different wines.

7/04/2014: Marlborough winemaker gives back to the wine region (NZ)
Nautilus Estate winemaker and winery manager Clive Jones had his heart stolen by the Marlborough wine industry 15 years ago and he plans to continue dedicating his life to the region. Jones is the newly elected chairman of the Marlborough Winegrowers Board and feels it is his time to give something back to the industry - an industry he says has given him so much over the years.

7/04/2014: Kiwi wine fit for a future king (NZ)
As the Royal tour of New Zealand gets underway this week, it seems likely that Kiwi producers will be keen to show off their wines to Kate and Wills. Part of the tour will include a visit to the Amisfield vineyard in Central Otago, but it is expected wines from all parts of the country will be served.

7/04/2014: Italian wine producers join hands to hit Chinese market
Italy’s wine producers have started to fill the gap with other export-driven countries in what they consider a “highly promising” Chinese market. Wine exports are an important motor of the Italian economy, official figures have shown. In 2013 wine was the most exported agri-food product with a growth rate of 8 per cent compared to 2012.

7/04/2014: Chateaux forced to chaptalise in toughest vintage (France)
Several top Bordeaux producers have taken the step of adding sugar to their grape must from the 2013 harvest in order to raise alcohol levels in their finished wines - a process known as chaptalisation. Chateau Palmer's Thomas Duroux said 2013 was the first time he had used chaptalisation since arriving at the property in 2004.

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