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A snapshot of wine business, research and marketing content gleaned from local and international wine media sources. Emailed Monday to Friday excluding public holidays. Click here to subscribe, for advertising inquiries, click to download our media kit.
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Announcements and Suppliers
20/10/2014: Take control of your wine costing and know the true margin on each bottle you produce
Do you know the profit margin on each of the wines you produce? While it’s easy to get an overall picture of the health of your business, it can be difficult to know what the underlying profitability is on each wine.
20/10/2014: Last call for brands looking for distribution in USA: Enter your brands in BTN Guide now
The early bird discount of $200 ends on Friday 31 October 2015. If you are looking to expand your distribution in the US and are considering entering your brands in the BTN Guide, now is the time. The 2015 BTN GUIDE (US market entry version) is an exclusive catalog of exciting new wine, craft beer, and spirit brands looking to expand their distribution network.
20/10/2014: Eleven prizes to be won in Adama/Grapegrower & Winemaker photo competition
Are you a budding photographer? Do you have photos of healthy vines or vineyards you’d like to share with Grapegrower & Winemaker readers? Grapegrower & Winemaker is giving you the opportunity to make the front cover of its January 2015 issue and thanks to the generosity of Adama, you can also win one of 11 prizes – first prize includes a GoPro Hero3+ camera!
Australian Wine Industry News
23/10/2014: Displaying medals on wine labels: WFA wants your feedback
The display of medals on wine labels is under review by the Winemakers' Federation of Australia (WFA) to maintain the integrity of the nation's wine show awards. As part of the Code of Practice for the Display of Awards review, WFA is seeking public feedback by Thursday 30 October.
23/10/2014: The role of the supplier in the future of the wine industry
Wine Industry Suppliers Australia (WISA) is partnering with Accolade Wines and the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) to present an event aimed at encouraging dialogue between industry suppliers and producers. The event, to be held at Hardy’s Tintara in McLaren Vale on 11 November, will give participants the opportunity to be updated on the recently recommended ‘Product Declaration - Minimum Standards Document’. The document was created through a joint collaboration between the WFA and WISA and aims to deliver a harmonised starting point for suppliers to provide information about their products to customers.
23/10/2014: Blog: Farmers, politicians and conservationists unite over Murray Darling
Winemaker Darren De Bortoli and senior investigative journalist Ken Jury are reigniting the Murray Darling debate with a call for an additional river lock in an attempt to save billions of litres of Murray Darling Basin water each year. A proposed Lock Zero would be built above Wellington, 105km South-east of Adelaide, that would increase fresh water availability throughout the up-river food producing regions of the Murray-Darling Basin system.
22/10/2014: AGWA reports rise in Aussie wine exports
Australia has seen a small rise in its wine exports according to the latest Wine Export Approval Report September 2014, released yesterday by the Australian Grape and Wine Authority (AGWA). In the year ended September 2014, total Australian wine exports increased by 0.7 per cent to 688 million litres while total value was steady at A$1.78 billion. The average value of bottled wine exports also grew by 6 per cent to A$4.83 per litre, continuing six years of consistent growth and reflecting a slow but increasing demand for wines in the premium category.
22/10/2014: De Bortoli toasts success with shares, cutting costs
De Bortoli Wines, one of Australia’s largest family-owned wine groups, has more than doubled its profit but the sharp uplift in earnings had little to do with its vineyard and was rather the result of good luck on the sharemarket. The Riverina-based producer's profit hit $11.399 million over the year ended June 30, a 126 per cent increase on the $5.04m profit posted in 2013.
22/10/2014: Taylors Wines talks awards, exports and the US market
Taylors Wines has plenty of reason to celebrate. The Clare Valley winery has won a multitude of local and international awards of late, further cementing the winery’s reputation for a fine drop. But gaining international recognition isn't easy and requires a shifting of perceptions that some export markets currently have of the Australian wine industry, including the US.
22/10/2014: Tasmanian wines ready to sparkle
A wine tasting event with a difference will be held this month at Relbia’s Josef Chromy Wines. The inaugural Effervescence Tasmania is a platform for consumers and the trade to taste some of Tasmania’s best sparkling wines and seafood. It will be held as a showcase to further Tasmania’s push to become the epicentre of modern sparkling products.
22/10/2014: Australian Fumé Blancs fail to inspire
Fumé Blanc was a term coined by the late American Robert Mondavi in the 1960s to differentiate his dry, barrel-aged Sauvignon Blanc from the typically sweet, simple Californian versions of the era. The popularity of Sauvignon Blanc in Australia in recent years has seen a growing number of wines made in a Fumé style entering the market as a point of difference to their more simple relatives of the same variety. However, the Wine and Viticulture Journal's recent blind tasting of 33 Australian Fumé Blancs suggests producers aren’t quite hitting the mark with expectations for the style.
21/10/2014: Blog: Salena Estate embraces Italian heritage
With a current production of 15,000 tonnes and a plan of expanding to 30,000 over the next four years, family-owned Salena Estate sells 80 per cent of its wine on the export market into Asia and Europe. Owner Bob Franchitto said the family was from an Italian background but born in Australia. “My father was a prisoner of war who immigrated back to Australia in 1949. My wife Sylvia and I started the winery in 1998 but have been involved in vineyards for well over 35 years,” he said.
21/10/2014: Riverland grower looks to turn from winegrapes to dried fruits
A grower in South Australia's Riverland is looking to a crop that used to be popular in the region as an alternative to winegrapes. Winegrape prices are forecast to stay low for the next few years, and 94 per cent of growers in the region were unprofitable last year. Darren Kennedy, a grapegrower in the region, says the transition to dried fruit crops would be "fairly easily" and the attraction of sultanas is the fact that it still comes from a vine.
21/10/2014: Philip Shaw Wines' vineyard manager named vigneron of the year
Charlie Simons, Philip Shaw Wines' vineyard manager, was named the Orange region's vigneron of the year at Friday night’s Orange Wine Show Dinner at Ross Hill Winery. He said he hoped his passion for his job was obvious and was proud to see the reputation of Philip Shaw Wines continue to grow in the two-and-a-half years he had worked there.
21/10/2014: Tax a threat to region’s winegrape growers
Murray Valley Winegrowers (MVW) is gearing up for another fight against taxation arrangements that would wipe out much of the region’s winegrape production. There’s concern that a wide-ranging tax review, slated to start within months, could result in recommendations for changes in the way wine is taxed, as suggested in 2009 by the 'Henry tax review'.
21/10/2014: SIWC judging complete despite weather gods’ intervention
Sydney International Wine Competition (SIWC) judges finished tasting and scoring more than 2000 wines last week, but were unsure if they would be able to leave their base in the Blue Mountains because of ferocious gales and storms that brought snow to the region. The panel of Australian, New Zealand and international judges were eventually able to get down the mountains to the airport, leaving SIWC convenor Warren Mason and his team the task of collating the results.
21/10/2014: When social media goes bad: how to prepare for and manage issues online
Most wineries are experts at making wine, not at creating superstar social media profiles, let alone navigating social media disasters. But it’s not difficult with a bit of forethought to be prepared if and when an issue crops up.
20/10/2014: Researcher uses mathematics to save grapevines from disease
A University of Sydney researcher is using mathematical modelling to help save century old Italian grapevines currently being ravaged by an aggressive insect-borne disease. Dr Federico Maggi, an environmental engineer in the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies, has recently returned from his home town of Piedmont, Italy where he spent three months researching better methods for ridding the region of Flavescence Dorée (FD), known as “grapevine yellows”.
20/10/2014: AGWA appoints Stuart Barclay as general manager – market development
The Australian Grape and Wine Authority (AGWA) last week announced the appointment of Stuart Barclay as general manager - market development. Andreas Clark, acting chief executive officer, said on behalf of the AGWA team he is pleased Barclay agreed to take on this key leadership role.
20/10/2014: Just one day left to register for Shiraz Viognier tasting
Tomorrow is the last day for wine producers to register their interest in the Wine & Viticulture Journal’s forthcoming tasting of Australian Shiraz Viogniers. As we announced last week on Daily Wine News, it has been 10 years since the Journal last tasted Shiraz Viognier.
20/10/2014: Australia aims to draw more Chinese tourists to wine and dine Down Under
Food and wine is the latest front in Australia's campaign to draw visitors and investors Down Under - particularly from China. In the past year, the number of people from Hong Kong visiting Australia rose 16.1 per cent to 200,700. And its mainland Chinese visitor numbers increased 12.2 per cent to 795,100 - making them Australia's second largest tourist market after New Zealand.
20/10/2014: Wine writing ethics under spotlight
Wine writers’ ethics came under the spotlight at the Wine Day Out forum held in Melbourne recently. Part of the discussion was broadcast on ABC Radio National’s First Bite program and although restricted in its breadth of coverage by time, several interesting threads emerged. The session was convened by freelance wine scribe Max Allen, who was joined by fellow writer Mike Bennie among others.
20/10/2014: Australian agriculture needs to adapt, not shift, to meet climate change
Peanuts have moved north, tuna has moved east and wine has moved south. But sooner or later, Australia is going to run out of places to shift agricultural production to avoid the harsh effects of climate change. Last week CSIRO, Australia's flagship scientific body, told the Reuters Global Climate Change Summit it is now critical for companies to consider both mitigation and adaption measures.
17/10/2014: New tool for wineries to tackle refrigeration costs
The Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) has released its latest tool for winery owners seeking to cut costs and improve their refrigeration and energy usage. The AWRI Refrigeration Demand Calculator is a spreadsheet-based software tool used to analyse and manage winery refrigeration demand.
17/10/2014: TWE waters vines underground to combat climate change
Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) is testing technology to water vines underground and is expanding fermentation capacity to combat the impact of climate change on its vineyards around the world. Rising temperatures mean too much water from over-ground irrigation is lost through evaporation, while changing ripening times are compressing harvest periods and putting pressure on processing facilities.
17/10/2014: Brown Brothers to build cellar door in Tasmania
Brown Brothers has confirmed it will build a cellar door at the Hazards winery on Tasmania's east coast. Katherine Brown from the Victorian-based company says the new building will be part of the East Coast Wine Trail and comes after the success of the Devil's Corner Pinot.
17/10/2014: WISA announces Supplier of the Year Award winners
Wine Industry Suppliers Australia (WISA) presented its 2014 Supplier of the Year Award winners to an audience of 160 wine industry professionals at the Adelaide Festival Centre last night. Lallemand Australia outshone 12 other finalists to win the highly coveted Tarac Technologies Supplier of the Year Award, presented by award sponsor Fraser Ainsworth AM, Tarac Australia chairman.
17/10/2014: Riverland winegrape growers expect more hard years to come
Winegrape growers from the Riverland put their questions and concerns to some of the biggest wine producers in the region this week. Riverland Wine held an industry outlook meeting in Renmark to discuss what's been a difficult period for the industry.
17/10/2014: Top drops and Jimmy Watson recipient named at 2014 Royal Melbourne Wine Awards
The results for the 2014 Royal Melbourne Wine Awards (RMWA) conducted by the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria were announced last night following an extensive week of judging and tasting of the 3183 wines entered. Gold medals were handed out across 77 classes with 15 trophies and eight major trophies awarded to the best drops, following rigorous assessment from an expert panel of judges headed by Tom Carson together with international guests Martin Moran MW from Ireland, Warren Gibson from New Zealand and James Suckling from the US.
17/10/2014: Shortage of grapes leave NSW winemaker crushed
Hungry birds and variable weather has forced one of the oldest wineries in New South Wales to look much further afield to supplement its own fruit for this year's vintage. Tilba Valley Winery traditionally uses grapes grown in the region to make up any shortfall that may occur with the fruit grown on the site, which is just over 2ha. But many growers who normally provide the extra grapes were limited in production and those based around Canberra, from which owner Peter Herrmann also buys, were hit by fruit bats.
16/10/2014: Coloured closures correction
An article featured by Daily Wine News on October 10, promoting a new range of coloured closures from Orora should not have promoted the new range as being available in Australia. The story from Drinks Business Review referred to a range of coloured closures for wine bottles under its Stelvin brand that are available in the Europe and US markets. There are no current plans to update the wide range of colours offered by Orora in Australia.
16/10/2014: Four Winds Vineyard launches project to expand winery
Canberra District's Four Winds Vineyard has launched a project to help expand the capacity of its winery. The project, run through website Pozible.com, will allow 30 days for funds to be raised so the winery can be extended by next vintage.
16/10/2014: Educator and author awarded Legend of the Vine
Wine Communicators of Australia (WCA) has announced the inaugural 2014 South Australian Legend of the Vine Award recipient as Adelaide educator and author Patrick Iland OAM. Dr Iland received the award in front of more than 300 wine industry peers and corporate guests at the WCA Royal Adelaide Wine Show Award Winners Lunch on Tuesday.
16/10/2014: Audio: Riverland Wine Forum
Winegrape growers from the Riverland will have the opportunity to quiz industry chiefs today at the Chaffey Theatre in Renmark. According to the ABC, it will give growers the chance to talk to the six wineries that buy the majority of Riverland grapes as well as Australia's largest bulk wine trader.
16/10/2014: Unearth Australian wine at Good Food and Wine Show tastings
Wine Australia is encouraging visitors to discover more about its home grown world class wines through the Riedel A+ Australian Wine Masterclass tastings as part of the three day Good Food and Wine Show this weekend at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.
16/10/2014: d'Arenberg to build giant Rubik's cube visitor centre
McLaren Vale's d'Arenberg winery is planning to build an $11 million, multi-storey tasting room and restaurant complex in the heart of its vineyards, modelled on the design of a Rubik's cube. Chester Osborn, d'Arenberg winemaker, said he hopes to begin building the futuristic, cube-shaped facility in spring next year.
16/10/2014: Grapegrowers concerned about frost damage
Frost in the middle of October has South Australian grapegrowers concerned for their crops, with some saying it has already damaged shoots on the vines. But according to the ABC, this hasn't been widespread. Brett Schutz from Tim Adams Wines just outside Clare says its vineyard escaped any serious damage as temperatures dipped below zero last night.
15/10/2014: Winemaker and WCA life member Gerry Sissingh dies, aged 78
Gerry Sissingh, a life member of Wine Communicators of Australia (WCA), died last Friday at the age of 78. Sissingh was a winemaker, consultant, wine communicator and wine educator and devoted much of his life to the wine industry. Born into a wine merchant family in the Netherlands, Sissingh migrated to Australia in the 1950s to seek a future in the industry he knew and loved.
15/10/2014: Australian wineries armed with tools to get 'lean'
The Australian Grape and Wine Authority (AGWA) has launched the 'Lean' Guide to assist the nation's wineries in improving their techniques and practices. 'Lean' is a system of tools and practices that helps businesses to use less human effort, space, capital, material and time. The Lean Guide: A Primer on Lean Production for the Australian Wine Industry is a user-friendly, simple guide interpreting the 'Lean' technique for wineries.
15/10/2014: What kind of parents are grapevines?
Last November, a pair of American economists published a paper with the National Bureau of Economic Research stating that first-born children earn higher grades than kids born into more crowded families. Asking questions about family size and child success is dangerous. Bring it up in a crowded room and you’ll hear that only children are antisocial or deprived, that kids with lots of siblings don’t get enough parental attention, and that first-born children are bossy. Start asking the same questions about what kind of parents grapevines are and the barrage is just about as bad. Erika Szymanski reports.
15/10/2014: Retailers back new wine app
Sydney’s Chambers Cellars will soon become the fifth retailer to partner with Wineosphere, the innovative new iPhone application that promises “the ultimate wine app experience” for consumers. Wineosphere brings together more than 22,000 independent wine reviews, information on where wines can be purchased and price comparisons, social sharing, exclusive deals and many other features.
15/10/2014: Australian Shiraz Viognier – 10 years on
Australian Shiraz Viogniers will take centre stage for the Wine & Viticulture Journal’s next tasting – 10 years since the publication last tasted the blend. In prefacing the results of the Journal’s last Shiraz Viognier tasting, wine writer Nick Bulleid described the blend as “the newest wine style to hit the market”.
15/10/2014: Latest issue of the Wine & Viticulture Journal out now!
Winery innovations and technology, particularly those suited to small and medium size enterprise wineries, are the focus of the just-released September-October issue of the Wine & Viticulture Journal. Regular contributor Cathy Howard gets the ball rolling by responding to a reader’s request for advice on how to design and undertake experiments in a small to medium winery and how to get the most out of winery trials to assist producers in evolving their winemaking practices to incorporate new techniques or products.
15/10/2014: National Moscato Challenge results announced
The results of the inaugural 2014 National Moscato Challenge were announced on the Australian Inland Wine Show website yesterday. Topping the list of 51 entries from around Australia was Gapsted Wines’ 2012 Gapsted Moscato. In the final analysis it came down to a two-horse race between wines from four Moscato classes that were awarded gold medals.
15/10/2014: Winery fundraiser tops $150,000
The Oxford to Oxford Challenge (O2O) has raised more than $150,000 for cancer research. More than 300 people took part in the challenge, cycling and running 110km from the Oxford Landing Winery in the Barossa to the Oxford Landing Estate in the Riverland. Andrew La Nauze, Oxford Landing winemaker, said the event had a great community feel.
14/10/2014: Wild ride for young Hunter winemaker
Which ever way you look at it, the past 12 months have been a wild ride for Hunter Valley winemaker Gwyn Olsen. “I know, I know,” she says when reminded of it, staring off into the distance and shaking her head in disbelief. It started this time last year when she moved to Briar Ridge winery as chief winemaker – her first time in the top job.
14/10/2014: Yield and quality, and epistemology
An enormous lot has been said about the relationship, or lack thereof, between grape yield and wine quality. The following article was written by Erika Szymanski, a studying PhD at the Centre for Science Communication at the University of Otago, New Zealand.
14/10/2014: You need to get to know your GLO
Justin Jarrett has no worries growing grapes for 15 different wine producers and adjusting what he does in the vineyard to suit the wine label each parcel is destined to be bottled under.
14/10/2014: Pernod Ricard launches graduate program
Pernod Ricard Winemakers, the global wine company behind premium wine brands Jacob’s Creek, Brancott Estate and Campo Viejo, is launching a global graduate program for ambitious university graduates. The program will enable graduates who have a passion for wine, desire to travel and an entrepreneurial spirit, the opportunity to join Pernod Ricard Winemakers as a graduate wine ambassador or graduate winemaker.
14/10/2014: Orange wine region records heaviest rainfall
The Orange district has recorded heavy rainfall from yesterday's storm which hit most of the region. Vignerons are inspecting their crops following the heavy downpour and Cumulus Wines viticulturist Marty Gransden said the 10 mm his vineyard received will help wet the top soil which was drying out. But concerns about the weather are not over.
13/10/2014: ATO clamps down on WET rebate claims
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has been conducting a high number of audits in the wine industry, including any business claiming over $100,000 in rebates including the WET. The ATO is already reporting estimated savings of more than $30 million in repaid claims and fines.
13/10/2014: Wine show season: It seems not all wine shows would earn a gold medal
This month Grapegrower & Winemaker asked four winemakers to share their thoughts on the wine show system: Tom Carson from Yabby Lake/Heathcote Estate in Victoria; John Griffiths from the Faber Vineyard in Western Australia’s Swan Valley; Drew Tuckwell from Printhie in Orange, New South Wales; and Sarah Crowe from Victoria's Yarra Yering.
13/10/2014: The naked truth about wine: being nice pays off
It all began with a simple thought from someone wanting to set up a wine company: "What if we are nice to the winemakers - what would that look like?" Luke Jecks speaks about the wine industry with passion and enthusiasm, tempered with serious commercial acumen. The managing director of Naked Wines Australia tells of the crowd-funded business' birth which is taking on the big players in the wine industry.
13/10/2014: Best of world Rieslings ready for judging
The southern hemisphere's largest Riesling event returns to Canberra this week and one expert judge thinks the celebration of the white grape variety stands out from the pack. John Belsham, international winemaker and consultant, has taken his place as chairman of judges and said the Canberra International Riesling Challenge offered value for both adjudicators and consumers.
13/10/2014: Supermarket giant dumps exclusive liquor unit
Supermarket giant Coles has restructured its liquor arm by handing back to its category managers the responsibility for its private label wines and national wine brands, according to reports in The Australian. The company has also scrapped its Exclusive Liquor Brands (ELB) unit, which was only established last year to lead the retailer’s push into private label wines.
10/10/2014: Grapegrowers surveyed to underpin action on Emergency Services Levy
The Wine Grape Council of South Australia (WGCSA) has this week written to all South Australian grapegrowers, asking them to help quantify the increase in the SA Emergency Services Levy (ESL). Peter Hackworth, WGCSA executive officer, explained some farmers are facing increases that are much higher than last year. “The removal of the general remission from the Emergency Services Levy comes at a time when most of our members are struggling to cover the cost of growing grapes let alone making a profit,” he said.
10/10/2014: Wine industry 'needs methadone for WET', says producer
Australian wine producers need to be weaned off their addiction to WET rebates so they can be sufficiently motivated to sell the majority of the wine they produce overseas, says Bill Moularadellis, Kingston Estate Wines managing director. At last week’s Wine Industry Outlook Conference, Moularadellis said every Australian wine producer has a responsibility to sell 60 per cent of what they produce in international markets.
10/10/2014: Orora launches coloured closures for wine packaging
Australian packaging firm Orora (previously Amcor) has launched a range of coloured closures for wine bottles under its Stelvin brand. The new range will be available with an option to choose from 24 different colours, according to a report on Drinks Business Review.
10/10/2014: Bold plan to get Australian labels online in China
A Hong Kong logistics tycoon whose company services many of Australia’s biggest retailers has turned his focus to getting those clients online to target Chinese customers. “A couple of years ago it became pretty obvious the writing was on the wall for Australian retailers who weren’t successful online and I was worried what that would mean for my business,” John Lau, founder of CS Logistics Holdings said. His main focus, after an initial offer to the public, will be on Australia's biggest food and liquor retailers.
10/10/2014: Industry honours Riverland legend
John Angove, Angove Family Winemakers managing director was awarded the Honorary Life Membership at the South Australian Wine Industry Association (SAWIA) annual general meeting last month. Representing the fourth generation of the family-owned winery, John joined the business in the 1970s, becoming managing director in 1983 and then chairman in 2001, as reported on the Riverland Wine website.
10/10/2014: Record entries in new-look wine show
In a new initiative, the 2014 McLaren Vale Wine Show will introduce food into the judging process, a new category for Vermentino and a series of public dinners to celebrate the award-winning wines. While it’s been done before by national shows, this is the first time a regional Australian wine show has incorporated food into the judging of wine. The McLaren Vale Wine Show will also be the first to invite Australian ‘Silver Bullets’ – a term coined by James Halliday to describe a guest judge of particular influence – to join the judging discussion.
9/10/2014: Falling dollar gives hope to Hunter winemakers
Hunter Valley winemakers are hopeful the falling Australian dollar will open opportunities to win back export markets after years of decline, according to the ABC. The Hunter has been one of Australia's worst affected regions with wine sales going into freefall as the local currency reached parity with the US dollar.
9/10/2014: Wine industry 'crushed', according to WFA figures
The Australian wine industry’s long, dry spell continues with new figures from the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) showing 94 per cent of inland production was unprofitable in 2014. As reported by Sunraysia Daily, the figures weren’t much better on a national scale with 84 per cent of production unprofitable, while another 6 per cent only managed to break even.
9/10/2014: Buying habits of consumers unlocked
There's plenty of information to read on a wine bottle but so few take the time, prompting one winemaker to produce a label that speaks for itself, according to wine writer Tony Love. In the spur of the moment you grab it. The bottle with the bright colours and wild typeface is the one that grabs your attention faster than the dozens of boring labels vying for attention in a shop stocking thousands.
9/10/2014: McLaren Vale 'perfect for Mediterranean grapes', says winemaker
Winemakers at McLaren Vale’s Hedonist say the region is perfect for growing Mediterranean grape varieties after adding a Tempranillo and Sangiovese to its range. The vineyard has officially released the varietals to the UK market via distributor Awin Barrat Siegel, as reported in Harpers.
9/10/2014: Australian wine regions welcome international guests
The Australian wine sector is set to welcome 26 international trade and media guests as part of four Wine Australia regional visits that will showcase the quality, diversity, provenance and personality of the nation's wines. As part of the Wine Australia User Pays Activities (UPA) Market Program, the trips will see groups from the UK, Europe, North America and Asia land on Australian soil this week to embark on tailored itineraries that will have guests meeting winemakers and tasting a range of wines at cellar doors.
8/10/2014: McWilliam’s Wines returns to being 100 per cent family-owned
McWilliam’s Wines announced yesterday the company has returned to being 100 per cent family-owned. Rob Blackwell, McWilliam’s chief executive officer, says the announcement comes on the back of an exciting period of development for the company.
8/10/2014: Organic the natural way forward, say local vignerons
While the glut of organic wine on the market could fool one into thinking it's a new trend, Cowra's long-established organic wine industry believes they're positioned to respond to the growing consumer demand. Wine free from synthetic chemical fertilisers, pesticides, fungicides and herbicides is a burgeoning market; opening a range of opportunities for smaller, organic vineyards.
8/10/2014: Barossa launches Trust Mark
Designed as a symbol for consumers to recognise as a "unique endorsement", the Barossa Trust Mark (BTM) is essentially a guarantee and assurance of quality. It evolved from discussions about how to elevate promotion of the Barossa brand platform beyond the traditional communication channel for regions. "Consumers look for clues to help them choose a product they can rely on; one that will live up to the expectations created around it and won't let them down," Linda Bowes, chair of the BTM said.
8/10/2014: Is the wine industry telling consumers the truth?
When consumers read recommendations of which wine to buy there's an implicit trust that the points awarded, the glowing terms used and the research that's been done is all for their benefit. But what if that trust was misplaced?
8/10/2014: Australian wine production set to rebound
Australia has long produced some of the most renowned wines in the world. But over the past decade the nation's wine industry has faced a host of difficulties which have led to substantial revenue declines and a major restructuring of the industry’s operating environment. In the five years through 2014-15, industry revenue is expected to decline by 2 per cent, according to IBISWorld.
7/10/2014: October 2014 Grapegrower & Winemaker magazine out now
The October 2014 issue of Grapegrower & Winemaker is out now and available online for all subscribers. Spring has sprung and buds are bursting so it’s the perfect time to join us as we discuss the latest in bird control, harvesting, refrigeration and pests and disease among others. This month Grapegrower & Winemaker turns its focus to wine shows as we head into the season of medal- and trophy-giving. To kick it off we catch up with Virginia Rawling who reflects on the Australian Cool Climate Show’s growth and the quality of wine from these regions.
7/10/2014: Big drop in Tasmanian winegrape production
The Tasmanian wine industry's latest vintage report shows its winegrape harvest almost halved when compared to last year. In 2013 more than 11,000 tonnes of grapes were produced on the island but in 2014 the tonnage just exceeded 6500 tonnes.
7/10/2014: Sustainability program offered to Aussie winegrowers
The Sustainable Australia Winegrowing (SAW) program is being offered to the wider Australian wine industry for the first time since being developed by the McLaren Vale grapegrowing community. The program has been developed over the past five years with support from the SA government and is quickly becoming renowned for its comprehensive nature and long term vision.
7/10/2014: Yield down, quality up
While a national report shows Australia’s wine vintage this year was slightly down on the high yields of 2013, quality at one of the country’s premier family-owned wine companies didn’t falter. Brown Brothers at Milawa was very happy with its 2014 vintage, as fruit came off the vines like clockwork.
3/10/2014: The Collective opens first European office
Sydney-based drinks design agency The Collective has opened its first office outside Australia. After attending the 2014 London Wine Fair, the firm decided to open an office in the UK to offer customers "fresh thinking" on label design and packaging. The company has a strong focus on the wine industry and will offer a range of services in branded packaging, new product development, brochures and websites among others.
3/10/2014: Riverland Wine executive officer honoured
Chris Byrne, Riverland Wine executive officer, has been announced as this year's recipient of the 2014 JMA Engineering Riverland Wine Award. Byrne's drive and passion representing Riverland winemakers and grapegrowers’ interests at regional, state and national levels has been typical of his ‘quiet achiever’ approach.
3/10/2014: Penfolds collection launched this week
The Bin Series and Icon & Luxury scions of the Penfolds Family have been united in The Penfolds Collection. This is a "smarter, less obviously divisive and elitist word" which Matthew Jukes happens to use in his own work, notably in the vastly less expensive Daily Mail Summer and Christmas Collections. While the Penfolds Collection has launched, the wines will not officially go on sale until 16 October.
3/10/2014: Wine snobs must learn to love supermarket giants
One of Australia's biggest wine companies says the entire $5 billion wine industry needs to accept that the market power of Woolworths and Coles will only increase and joining forces with them is the best business model.
3/10/2014: Wine boss says 10-year grape glut to continue
Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) will continue to benefit from the oversupply of grapes across the Australian wine industry which has existed for the past 10 years, one of its executives says. Stuart McNab, TWE global supply and production manager, says the oversupply lowers input costs and, for now, it's likely to continue. "It's not normal to stay in oversupply for 10 years," he says.
3/10/2014: Outlook 2014: Day two wrap up
An optimistic mood was established first thing on the second day of the Outlook Conference, thanks to Michael Walton, who works in consumer and business intelligence for Nielsen, and his “concentrated happiness” message. Walton actually started the day by testing the level of optimism in the room... He asked everyone in the conference room to stand up and identify how positive they were about their own situation within the industry, the largest group by a long was 'a little bit positive' and those leaning toward ‘positive’ far outnumbered those in the ‘negative’.
International Wine Industry News
23/10/2014: Clearview Estate shines at wine awards
Clearview Estate took out two of the 13 gold trophies at this year’s Hawke’s Bay Wine Awards. For the small winery based on Cape Kidnapper’s coast, receiving awards for the museum class and the Sauvignon Blanc and/or Semillon class came hot on the heels of a strong showing at the International Aromatic Wine competition held earlier this month.
22/10/2014: Californian winery adds seven markets to distribution (US)
Paso Robles-based Bianchi Winery has added seven new markets to its distribution footprint. In the next few months, the winery’s portfolio will be available in Hawaii, Montana, Tennessee, Washington, Maryland, Delaware and Texas, bringing its total reach to 32 markets nationwide, according to Shanken News Daily.
22/10/2014: Are millennials wine illiterate?
Are millennials illiterate? Uninterested in where wine comes from? Or are they wine’s greatest generation? Wine writer W. Blake Gray's working assumption has been the latter: that people in their 20s are willing to spend money on wines from anywhere, and are more concerned with drinking something interesting than impressing their peers. But if you look at companies set up to sell wine to millennials — some created by millennials — their reading of that market makes it seem smug and uncurious and more interested in the app the wine is bought from than the bottle itself.
22/10/2014: Central Otago grapegrowers on frost watch
The frost-fighting season has begun for grapegrowers in Central Otago. Steve Green, New Zealand Wine chairman and Carrick Wines owner, said Monday night was the first ''major'' event of the frost-fighting season for grapegrowers throughout the region.
22/10/2014: Double trophy win for Vidal Estate's Legacy range
One of Hawke's Bay’s oldest wineries has received two of the top accolades in the prestigious Decanter Asia Wine Awards. Vidal Estate was awarded regional trophies for best white and red wines with its Vidal Legacy Chardonnay 2012 and Vidal Legacy Syrah 2010. To be awarded a regional trophy, a wine must first win a gold medal, then subsequently be judged the best in its region.
22/10/2014: Rioja set for allocation pressure (Spain)
Berry Brothers & Rudd has strengthened its Rioja portfolio as the merchant’s Spain buyer Simon Field MW acknowledged growing demand for the region’s top wines. Introducing a total of nine new producers from across Spain at the merchant’s annual Spanish tasting, Field said “there’s lots of talk in the press about gran reserva really getting into its stride in the US market".
22/10/2014: Vinexpo aims to ‘wow’ attendees (France)
Vinexpo’s 2015 exhibition in Bordeaux, France will see a number of major changes including tasting lounges, new caterers, a revised Club du Lac, a cocktail bar and post-show parties in an attempt to “wow” attendees. The wine and spirits fair, which takes place next June, is to trial a number of initiatives, some of which were tested at this year’s Vinexpo Hong Kong, and others that are entirely new.
21/10/2014: Bay wineries pick up gold at International Aromatic Wine Competition
Three Hawke's Bay wineries picked up gold medals at this year's International Aromatic Wine Competition which is run annually by the Canterbury A&P Society. The awards were announced last week and among the winners was Clearview Estate, which took home gold for its 2014 Golden Gewurztraminer. Barry Riwai, the estate's winemaker, said he was delighted the Gewurztraminer had sparked with the show's judges as it had with visitors to the winery.
21/10/2014: NZ winery plans for 100-year milestone
New Zealand's Babich Wines will celebrate its centennial anniversary in 2016 and preparations are in full swing. Kicking off early next year, Babich Wines will be running an international media and marketing campaign across New Zealand and all of its export markets. This campaign will incorporate an extensive global PR drive that will be supported by 100-year promotional activity, the release of limited edition wines and events in major cities around the world.
21/10/2014: US and European wine regions step up campaign to protect online wine names
American winemakers were joined by their counterparts from Champagne at a conference on deregulating internet domain names in an effort to boost awareness of how weaker controls would negatively impact the wine business.
21/10/2014: Sonoma County cracks down on Bella Vineyards
Bella Vineyards is famous for its robust Zinfandels and romantic wine cave dinners but Sonoma County officials are alleging that owners Lynn and Scott Adams have been running their winery outside of county rules for more than a decade. In response, planning commissioners voted unanimously last week to halt all wine-related events at Bella Vineyards and cease public tastings in its popular wine cave.
21/10/2014: Argentine wine becomes more ‘Michelangelo’, says wine consultant
The discovery of limestone soils and the use of new winemaking techniques are turning Argentine wines from “Schwarzenegger” to “Michelangelo”, according to one international consultant. The analogy was made by Italy’s Alberto Antonini, wine consultant and co-founder of Altos Las Hormigas winery in Mendoza, when speaking at a Malbec masterclass in London last month.
21/10/2014: French fizz touted for UK success
French Crémant and Mousseux are well placed to become the next styles to enjoy a breakthrough in the buoyant UK sparkling wine market. Ben Campbell-Johnston, organiser of the Fizz trade tasting which will take place in London later this week, noted a “marked increase” in exhibitors from these French regional categories at the 2014 event.
20/10/2014: NZ wine wins top award at Canberra International Riesling Challenge
The top award at the 15th annual Canberra International Riesling Challenge has been won by Accolade Wine’s Mud House Estate from the Canterbury/Waipara region of New Zealand with its 2013 The Mound Vineyard Waipara Valley Riesling.
20/10/2014: Poor harvest hurts Michigan winemakers (US)
Last year's brutal winter has left Michigan winemakers with few reasons to pop corks. Whining about wine isn't in Holly Balansag's nature, but the co-owner and winemaker of Sandhill Crane Vineyard in Jackson has a cause for complaint. Balansag has harvested 20 tonnes of grapes this year, down 75 per cent from the previous year due to extremely cold weather brought on by the polar vortex.
20/10/2014: Younger consumers push for variety in Japanese supermarkets
Grocery stores in Japan are stocking their shelves with a greater range of wines, thanks to demand from younger consumers. For years, Japanese supermarkets sold bottles that averaged 1000 yen (A$10.65) or less. But a generation of younger, savvier consumers is driving mainstream retailers to expand their offerings with higher-end bottles at upwards of about 3000 yen ($32), says a report from Vinexpo Nippon.
20/10/2014: Drones 'could become familiar sight' over vineyards, says researcher (US)
As he went around Napa Valley, Ken Giles had the unenviable task of notifying nearby residents that UC Davis would be conducting a demonstration project using drones to spray pesticides at its vineyard in Oakville. Giles, a professor in the university’s biological and agricultural engineering department, said he was prepared for questions, especially given the civil rights qualms over military and police use of drones.
20/10/2014: Argentina's government 'played a key role in its UK success', says ambassador
The Argentinian government has played a key role in the success of Argentine wine in the UK, according to its UK ambassador Alicia Castro. She said Argentinian wine exports to the UK had risen by around 35 per cent in the past year, and was up more than 100 per cent over the past 10 years.
17/10/2014: Speakers announced for 2014 Wine in China conference
Organisers of the second Wine in China conference have announced the 2014 event’s speaker line-up, and the list is a 'who’s who' of world-class leaders from across the wine industry. With the topics for 2014 being: finding the right importers, market entry logistics, connecting with the F&B trade, wine retail: Building loyalty, education and internal training and consumer dynamics: Packaging for the Chinese market and media, the speaker list offers a diverse range of topics for delegates to discuss, debate and learn about.
17/10/2014: Kiwi life beyond Sauvignon Blanc
There's no doubt Sauvignon Blanc has been a fantastic standard-bearer for New Zealand wine, offering a popular and instantly recognisable peg on which to hang an entire industry. The problem is that it might well become something of an albatross. Almost 60 per cent of NZ's vineyard area is planted to Sauvignon Blanc and the grape accounts for 84 per cent of all wine exports, which gives you an idea of the level of thirst that exists for this style of wine. But over the years, the number of "genuinely excellent" Sauvignon Blancs has not even kept pace with the burgeoning number of wineries, writes Don Kavanagh.
17/10/2014: Bulk wine: New Zealand reaching 'event horizon', says MW
The New Zealand wine industry is about to reach an “event horizon”, according to Justin Knock MW. He says the country has managed to deal with successively larger harvests for a number of years and maintain high pricing, but this year it has a deluge of wine and the tail end of vintage was wet, so there is a "huge chunk of average booze coming out of there, maybe a third of it weak quality".
17/10/2014: Boom time for British vineyards (UK)
The number of UK wine producers has reached a 20-year high and grown by almost 50 per cent in the past year. According to research by accountant UHY Hacker Young, there are now 135 wine producers in a rapidly growing market.
17/10/2014: Bordeaux launches ad campaign to stem fall in exports (France)
Bordeaux wine officials hope a new international advertising campaign will help the region stem falling exports to its key markets. Bordeaux’s regional wine body, the CIVB, said it would promote the area’s wines simultaneously in the most important export markets. New figures show exports of Bordeaux from August 2013 to August 2014 fell 8 per cent in volume and 18 per cent in value.
17/10/2014: How fraud is destroying the wine industry
Back in August, a prolific wine collector was given a distinction that no other connoisseur had ever been awarded in US history. He was sentenced to a 10-year prison term for counterfeiting wine. Rudy Kurniawan was ordered to a decade behind bars and to pay fines and restitution totaling more than $48 million in connection with his wine dealings. A judge and jury had decided that while justice might be blind, it would not fail to recognise wine fakes and to punish the people who knowingly offered them for sale. Wine experts recently gathered in New York to discuss the issue of wine fraud. Eater NY wine editor Levi Dalton was on the scene.
16/10/2014: Winery celebrates two new releases
The release of two long-awaited new premier wines from Havelock North's Craggy Range was a perfect time to celebrate wine and food, with winery owner Terry Peabody flying in some top kitchen support from Australia. The event, held at the winery's Terroir Restaurant on Saturday night, showcased the skills of leading Australian chef Grant Murray as well as chief winemaker Matt Stafford and his team.
16/10/2014: Small town, big achiever
John Martin, an early European settler in New Zealand, might have known the village he founded had international aspirations. A well-travelled man in his youth, Martin named the main streets after places he had visited in the world and to this day include Texas, Kansas, Naples and Oxford. Today, still only a village of just 1300 people, Martinborough packs quite a punch on the world wine stage. Its alluvial river terraces and silty loams have proved ideal for the production of winegrapes, especially Pinot Noir, but also Shiraz, Chardonnay and Riesling. George W. Russell reports.
16/10/2014: New wine registration scheme to launch (Hong Kong)
The Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency (HKQAA) is set to launch a wine registration scheme aimed at boosting consumer confidence and combating counterfeiting. A company must register with the HKQAA and be accredited by them before it is allowed to use the mark labels, which are supported by an online platform. Ir Ho, HKQAA deputy chairman, explained that the scheme “helps both the trade and consumers,” allowing the trade to prove their claims of quality and provenance and consumers to find out for themselves.
16/10/2014: French producers need Chinese to drink more wine again
French wine is having another bad year. Sales of Bordeaux wine abroad have fallen 18 per cent to €1.8 billion (A$2.6bn) in the year to July, according to the comité interprofessionnel des vins de Bordeaux. Wine produced in the French region accounts for half the value of exports, so it’s both a huge part and an indicator for the rest of the country’s wine regions. Sales also fell in 2013, a long way off the heights of 2012, when revenues from Bordeaux totalled €4.3 billion (A$6.25bn).
16/10/2014: Wine industry reaches 'historic turning point', says producer (UK)
The UK wine industry has reached a “historic turning point” says the head of one of the country’s most respected estates. Frazer Thompson, Chapel Down chief executive, pointed to the quality and quantity of the 2014 harvest, consumers willing to invest in the industry and the 48 per cent rise in new winemakers during the past year.
16/10/2014: More Americans turning to wine, says Wine Intelligence (US)
More Americans are drinking wine on a regular basis, with those consuming wine at least once a month having increased by 40 per cent to 91 million in the past five years. This growth is in tandem with a 17 per cent increase in sales volumes between 2009 and 2013, according to a Wine Intelligence report released yesterday.
15/10/2014: Schools seek students from wine areas
Secondary schools in Marlborough are on a mission to recruit international students from wine growing regions around the world. Marlborough Boys' College principal Wayne Hegarty spent 10 days in Germany during the holidays to visit schools and attend an education fair. Hegarty said Marlborough Boys' and Girls' colleges were looking at the possibility of sister schools, specifically in wine growing areas of Germany. "If the schools can be in a wine growing region, it adds another dimension to promoting Marlborough," he said.
15/10/2014: Winemakers label UK harvest 'vintage of dreams'
This year’s harvest across the UK is being labelled the “vintage of dreams” and “best ever” by winemakers, many of whom have finished picking ahead of schedule. Bob Lindo of Camel Valley in Cornwall said the combination of no spring frosts, a perfect fruit-set, enough rain in August and the driest and warmest September in nearly 100 years came together for a "perfect storm of good grapegrowing news for Camel Valley".
15/10/2014: California wines gain popularity in China
Eyeing China’s burgeoning middle class, California wineries are exploring how they can better tap into what’s becoming a major potential market. “The millennials in China are the market of the future,” David DeBoer, Delicato Family Vineyards vice president of international sales said.
15/10/2014: 'Grapes of Wrath': Stomping out grape disease one vineyard at a time (US)
Cracking the genetic code of a common disease affecting grape production could improve vineyard management and help protect the multi-billion dollar industry that includes wine, raisins, jam and grape-seed extract among others. A Rochester Institute of Technology scientist and an alumnus are close to completing the genetic blueprint of grape crown gall tumor disease - the bane of vineyards worldwide.
15/10/2014: Chilean winemakers make the most of country’s diversity
Chile is well-known for the concentration of its wine production, allowing the country to make consistent wine at competitive prices. But emerging is a new wave of boutique projects from the full length and breath of the country, resulting in original blends from little-known places.
15/10/2014: Bumper harvest clouded by threat of wood decay (France)
The French winegrape harvest has produced a bumper crop for 2014 after two years of adverse weather conditions. But the smiles could be wiped off winegrowers’ faces if wood decay disease, which now affects 12 per cent of vines in all of France’s wine growing regions, continues its relentless march across the country.
14/10/2014: Vineyard sales a sign of rising demand
Five New Zealand vineyards have sold during the past month, signalling a rise in interest and demand from overseas buyers. Among the vineyard sales were three in South Island's Waihopai Valley, including one which sold to an Australian family with wine interests in Goulburn Valley, Victoria.
14/10/2014: Show celebrates diversity and complexity of Marlborough wines
The fourth annual Marlborough Wine Show resulted in 35 gold medals, 125 silver and 221 bronze with 77 per cent of entries receiving an award last week. Judging was led by chair Jeff Clarke of Ara who said he was pleased with the overall quality. “This year’s show has continued to reinforce not only the quality but also the range and diversity of Marlborough wines,” he said. “The 2012 Pinot Noirs and 2014 Sauvignon Blancs were a definite highlight.”
14/10/2014: Burgundy wine buyer heads to Ningxia
Berry Bros & Rudd’s Burgundy buyer is heading to Ningxia in China to assess its potential as a fine wine region. Jasper Morris MW will fly to the region later this week and visit numerous wineries in what could be the first of a series of visits during the next few years as the country develops its viticultural industry.
14/10/2014: Champagne 2014: Organic growers survive tense summer
Organic growers in Champagne believe they have proven themselves in 2014 after a wet August increased tension with their non-organic counterparts over the use of sprays. In the year the Comite Champagne approved a new environmental directive, many growers are understood to have pushed the legally allowed sprays to the limit to protect their grapes.
14/10/2014: Costco executive discusses wine business
Annette Alvarez-Peters is one of the most powerful people in the wine industry. She supervises the wine buyers for Costco Wholesale Corporation, which sold $3.7 billion in alcohol around the world last year. The sway Costco carries in the industry from the vineyard to retail shelf is tremendous because many wineries want a shot at floor space inside the big-box discount retailer, based in Issaquah, Washington. Bill Swindell reports.
14/10/2014: Sparkling wine riding high
Sparkling wine is enjoying unequalled success in the on-trade, with Prosecco the most notable pour chomping at the heels of Champagne. But, as James Lawrence writes, there are plenty of contenders in this tempestuous market.
13/10/2014: A major win for organic NZ wine in the EU
The European Commission has agreed to recognise New Zealand’s organic wine production methods as equivalent to its own. This result came about after two years of collaboration between the Ministry of Primary Industries and New Zealand Winegrowers. The organisations saw the importance of organic wine in New Zealand’s future, therefore began a concerted effort to ensure New Zealand has access to the European market.
13/10/2014: Quality drives NZ wine drinkers, not price
Price is no longer the biggest factor in a NZ wine drinker's purchasing decision, according to New World supermarkets. Brendon Lawry, liquor merchandise manager, says not only are New Zealanders buying wine based on quality over price, but they have a favourite buying landscape across eight to 12 brands, illustrating more educated palates and a greater knowledge of the wine world.
13/10/2014: Total global wine production for 2014 could be down by 4 per cent, says Rabobank
Total global wine production could drop by 4 per cent, according to Rabobank’s latest Wine Quarterly report. It says with the exception of France, winegrape production "appears set to decline across nearly every major production region" compared to 2013.
13/10/2014: China's coal-mining region turns to wine in new "economy push"
To reinvent itself in China's new consumption-driven economy, one region will need to crush a few grapes. After a decade of mining to power China's economy, the arid and remote northwestern region of Ningxia is remaking itself as industry slows and demand for fossil fuels is set to wane. The region has set its sights on becoming China's vineyard.
13/10/2014: Argentine organic wines: a growing and consolidating category
Ninety-five per cent of Argentina's total wine production is intended for the foreign market, the US being the main destination. Organic wine has experienced such a growth that it has become the country's second most important product in terms of production and exports.
13/10/2014: Bordeaux recovery boosts French volumes
The French Agriculture Ministry has predicted the 2014 vintage could reach 46.5 million hectolitres, up from 42.37 million last year, reaching its highest level in three years. The prediction follows two unusually small harvests in France caused by hail and grape rot, with a warm and dry September said to have largely rescued this year's vintage.
13/10/2014: Paso Robles divides to conquer (US)
The Californian wine region of Paso Robles has been granted permission to set up 11 new distinct appellations within its borders. The ruling was passed by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) in Washington DC on Thursday.
10/10/2014: NZ Riesling dominates in global competition
A Central Otago Riesling has scooped two top awards at the International Wine & Spirits Competition (IWSC), while a Pinot Noir from Wairarapa secured the competition’s coveted Pinot Noir trophy. Two Sisters Vineyard Central Otago Riesling 2009 was awarded both the single vineyard white trophy and the Jancis Robinson trophy for the Riesling class, while Lansdowne Estate Wairarapa Pinot Noir 2010 received the Bouchard Finlayson trophy for Pinot Noir.
10/10/2014: Matua lands Cricket World Cup deal
Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) brand Matua Wines has been announced as the official wine for the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup, to be held in New Zealand early next year. The International Cricket Council (ICC) has appointed the New Zealand-born brand as part of a partnership that will see Matua products supplied at all cricket venues across New Zealand throughout the competition, reports the Drinks Business.
10/10/2014: Mixed fortunes for Italy's harvest
Italian winemakers have been vexed this year by one of the wettest and most "bizarre" vintages in recent memory, as one producer put it. Across the country an extremely mild winter accelerated the growing cycle, causing a premature onset of ripening. An unusually cool summer slowed it down but the lower temperatures also brought overly abundant rainfall throughout Italy, which hampered ripening and led to widespread vine disease.
10/10/2014: Rioja focuses on independent wine merchants (Spain)
Wines of Rioja is redistributing its marketing budget to focus on independent retailers and the on-trade as it seeks to push into more premium tiers. The UK is the Spanish region’s main export market and it is investing more in Britain as sales dry up in the home market due to a struggling economy, according to a report on Off Licence News.
10/10/2014: Wine production in France to surge
Wine production in France is anticipated to grow by 10 per cent this year as the grape harvest in Bordeaux has improved over the past two decades. According to the France Agriculture Ministry, the harvest started in optimal conditions in most French regions, and by October 1 the bulk of vineyards was picked.
10/10/2014: UC Davis seminar highlights colour and tannin management practices
A seminar on ‘red wine production strategies’ presented by the UC Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology in June provided an overview of current knowledge and research on wine production practices and their effects on phenolic extraction and wine quality. Dr Anita Oberholster, UC Davis extension enologist, was one of the speakers and provided an overview of wine phenolic chemistry. As reported in US Wine Business Monthly, Oberholster said phenolics are important because they are major contributors to wine quality attributes including colour, aroma, taste, flavour, body and texture.
9/10/2014: Consistency is 'most important closure feature', according to survey (US)
US Wine Business Monthly recently conducted its 2014 Closure Survey which found many winemakers ranked closure consistency as the most desired attribute. As noted by Curtis Phillips, who is the magazine's editor, as well as a winemaker, agricultural consultant and UC Davis graduate, winemakers may disagree on the most desirable closure type, but they don’t want their closures to contribute to bottle-to-bottle variation.
9/10/2014: Napa shrugs off quake and drought woes (US)
The winegrape harvest in California is nearly over and the 2014 vintage is predicted to continue the state's recent string of high-quality vintages. "We're on the home stretch," Jon Emmerich, Silverado Vineyards winemaker said. "Most wineries in Napa should be done by next week. Our Cabernet Sauvignon is about 40 per cent of what we produce and I'm very pleased with how it looks."
9/10/2014: South Africa must 'look to Old World for answers', says wine boss
For South Africa to capitalise on the quality and originality of its premium wines, the industry needs to start taking notes from Old World wine-producing countries, according to Carina Gous who heads one of South Africa's largest wine producers, Distell Vineyards & Estates.
9/10/2014: Concerns rise as grape-rotting fly found in vineyards (France)
Bordeaux producers have raised concerns about an Asian fruit fly that causes sour rot in vineyards, although it is not expected to significantly impact the 2014 harvest. The fly, known as Drosophila suzukii, was first spotted in France four years ago and has this year been found in Sauternes and on Bordeaux’s right bank. Winemakers in Burgundy have also reported problems in recent weeks, while producers in Italy’s Veneto region last year expressed concern about the insects’ ability to ruin grapes.
9/10/2014: Vidal Estate unveils wine range rebrand
Vidal Estate has redesigned its wine labels ahead of the UK's Christmas selling season. The New Zealand winery said the global rebrand, which covers all three tiers of the Vidal range, aims to highlight the company's 109-year history and premium positioning. The UK is a major market for Vidal Estate, accounting for 30 per cent of sales, according to a report on just-drinks.com.
9/10/2014: Wine showcase lures more than 500 entries
Judges began tasting more than 500 Marlborough wines on Tuesday for this year's Marlborough Wine Show. The two-day event, now in its fourth year, will be held at the Marlborough Convention Centre in Blenheim and was established to show the sub-regional and style diversity of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, as well as the region's other grape varieties and wine styles.
8/10/2014: Worryingly low numbers graduating into primary industries
There are major concerns over the low number of people graduating with degrees in New Zealand's primary industries. The wine industry is the country's eighth largest exporter worth $1.3 billion each year but last year only six people received a degree in viticulture.
8/10/2014: Chardonnay wins top NZ award
The New Zealand wine industry has been forced to "sit up and take notice" of its Northland region after a Chardonnay won the top award in the country's biggest wine competition. Marsden Estate's Black Rocks Chardonnay beat 2130 entries from 12 countries to be named champion wine of the show at the recent New Zealand International Wine Show.
8/10/2014: Consumers used to be 'afraid of Burgundy', says broker
Burgundy has come a long way from the days when people feared Pinot Noir, but whole swathes of the region's terroirs remain underrated, says broker Becky Wasserman. Soaring consumer demand for certain grands cru Burgundy wines has left merchants with allocation headaches in recent years, but Wasserman remembers when the region was not such "hot property".
8/10/2014: Michigan wine industry set to survive another rough winter (US)
The rough winter of 2013-2014 wasn't kind to the Michigan wine industry and experts say grapegrowers and winemakers are going to notice that in the winegrape crop this year. Linda Jones is the executive director at Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council and projects a 50 per cent reduction in wine output due to harsh weather the region experienced during this period.
8/10/2014: Educate consumers on 'value of wine rather than price', says advertising guru
In a recent talk, leading advertising figure Sir John Hegarty described the wine industry as “peculiar, fragmented, confusing and impenetrable”. He pointed out that 90 per cent of consumers don’t understand the quality in wine and these characteristics have been largely created by supermarket giants.
7/10/2014: NZ wine industry lightens up
There's nothing wrong with a little bit of gimmickry, even in the wine industry which has a long tradition of taking itself rather seriously. But not too seriously in one part of the world, where a couple of Kiwi producers have, in the space of a week, delivered what you might call a double-whammy.
7/10/2014: VinPro to host wine marketing seminar
Cromwell-based contract winemaker and bottler VinPro is hosting a marketing workshop as a practical way of thanking Central Otago wineries for their support. Morley Hewitt, VinPro managing director, says the company has been working with local wineries since it started 20 years ago. The Central Otago wine community is recognised within the NZ wine industry as "unique" in the way it works together.
7/10/2014: Ancient grape ‘solution’ to climate change (France)
Wine cooperative Plaimont may have found a solution to a demand for less alcoholic reds from hot wine regions – an ancient grape known as Pedebernade 5. The producer, which comprises 1000 growers across four regions in southwest France, planted the largest private collection of historic grapes in 2002 to preserve the ancient varieties of the Saint Mont appellation.
7/10/2014: Champagne houses eye English fizz (UK)
Champagne houses will soon be seeking to acquire some of England’s top sparkling wine estates, according to one producer in the UK. Christian Seely, co-owner of Hampshire-based estate Coates & Seely said “the French have already expanded the Champagne region as much as they can and there is nowhere left to plant so no more Champagne can be made".
7/10/2014: Wine crush dodges drought threats (US)
The winegrape harvest is wrapping up on California’s North Coast with some growers reporting it has completed before picking would normally begin. The drought brought challenges as expected, but overall growers were happy to bring in a high-quality crop, with some reduced tonnages because of smaller set and berry sizes.
7/10/2014: Europe gets 'make-your-own' wine shop (Ireland)
A Belgian man has opened what he claims is Europe’s first 'make-your-own' wine shop in Ireland, selling vino for as little as €4 (A$5.78) a bottle. Luc Heymans was so "shocked" by the price of wine in Ireland that he opened Europe’s first craft winemaking shop in Kells, County Meath. “When I moved to Ireland I couldn’t believe the price of a bottle of wine," he explained. "I started making my own wine and then decided to open the shop. There are thousands of similar stores in Canada but this is the first in Europe."
3/10/2014: Moët sparkles in China
Moët Hennessy has launched wines from its Chandon winery in Ningxia, the first Chinese winery focused exclusively on sparkling wine. According to International Wine and Spirit Research (IWSR), consumption of sparkling wine has rocketed in China during recent years, from 3.7 million bottles in 2009 to more than 13 million last year.
3/10/2014: Hawke's Bay wines bag 10 gold medals at New World Wine Awards
New Zealand's Hawke's Bay region picked up 10 out of 63 gold medals at the New World Wine Awards. This year's awards, held earlier this week, saw the highest number of medals awarded in the wake of a record number of entries from wineries across New Zealand, Australia, Spain, Italy and Chile.
3/10/2014: Bordeaux harvest comes up trumps (France)
A sunny September has put the smile back on the faces of vignerons in Bordeaux who have been harvesting "magnificent" grapes and plenty of them. But nobody is claiming an exceptional vintage just yet, especially as the harvest is only just starting for Merlot - the earliest red variety to be picked. Such claims will have wait until the latter part of October, when the Cabernet comes in.
3/10/2014: Languedoc counts cost of deluge (France)
Producers in Languedoc-Roussillon are counting the cost of record rainfall which hit the region earlier this week, causing severe floods. While much of the grape harvest was already complete, with only 15 per cent of vines left to pick in the Hérault region, many vineyards have already been damaged or destroyed by the floods.
3/10/2014: Lehigh Valley AVA gives region more than an identity (US)
When the Vintage Atlantic wine region was officially unveiled a couple weeks ago in New Jersey, it pushed the goal of being able to market a region across several states. Wineries from New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania are part of this regional alliance, which will lean on the "many hands" approach to promote the numerous wineries that dot the landscape on both sides of the Delaware River.