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.

Announcements and Suppliers

24/11/2014: Tonnellerie CADUS early order discounts for vintage 2014
The world class CADUS Origine® barrel line-up is extended with the addition of the Sensoriel® range featuring amongst others the ACCESS barrel. A high quality French oak barrel with a commercial benefit provides winemakers with the tools to enhance wine quality without blowing their oak budget.

24/11/2014: Are your wine additives the real thing?
Are you taking advantage of the inexpensive wine additives such as DAP or tartaric acid available this vintage? Not sure whether what you’re getting is the real deal? AWRI Commercial Services can give you confidence by testing wine additives for compliance with either the Food Chemicals Codex (FCC) or the product’s Certificate of Analysis.

24/11/2014: Final week to enter Adama/GW Photo Competition
If you haven’t entered the Adama/GW photo competition, you better be quick! Entries close Sunday 30th November and there are 11 awesome prizes up for grabs! All you have to do is grab your camera and snap a picture of your healthy vines or vineyard – it’s that easy!

24/11/2014: Update your listings for the 2015 Wine Industry Directory
It’s that time of year again. The Winetitles team is busily putting together the 2015 Wine Industry Directory (WID) and is seeking your updated listing. What is WID, you may ask?

24/11/2014: Australia Trade Tasting announces educational conference on 1 September 2015
Six bold talks to coach you – six key note speakers to train you – one day to inspire and educate. Learn from some of the most influential professionals in the beverage industry at the Australia Trade Tasting educational conference on Monday August 31 2015. These presentations from industry leaders on today’s ideas on marketing, sales and distribution will challenge and inspire you to grow your beverage company.

18/11/2014: Adama announces winner of Custodia and Solaris Promotion
On Friday 14 November Adama drew the winner of the 2014 Custodia/Solaris WIN $5000 promotion. The promotion encouraged growers to try Custodia® – for Powdery Mildew and now Downy Mildew and Botrytis Bunch Rot control – and/or new Solaris® - for targeted Botrytis control – with the opportunity to win $5000 to spend on anything they wished at their place of purchase.

17/11/2014: Australia Trade Tasting announces educational conference on 1 September 2015
Learn from some of the most influential professionals in the beverage industry at the Australia Trade Tasting educational conference on Monday August 31 2015. These presentations from industry leaders on today’s ideas on marketing, sales and distribution will challenge and inspire you to grow your beverage company. The educational conference is a full day experience that brings together thousands of beverage professionals from around the world. The event takes place on Tuesday 1 September 2015 in Melbourne, Australia.

Australian Wine Industry News

24/11/2014: Burch Family Wines joins leading Chinese agricultural company
Leading Chinese agricultural company, Joyvio Group, has launched its wine distribution initiative at an event in Beijing, which includes its partnership with Burch Family Wines - one of Western Australia’s largest family owned and operated wine companies.

24/11/2014: Riverland plans for future competitiveness
The Riverland Viticultural Technical Group (RVTG) met last week to plan a number of projects and workshops for the 2015/2016 financial year. Several of last year’s projects will be continued including trials of new clones and root stocks and finding a vineyard solution for the growing Gazania problem.

24/11/2014: Global focus on grapevine disease management
South Australian scientists are making inroads into the management of common fungal grapevine diseases Eutypa and Botryosphaeria, which have caused significant losses in vineyards throughout the world.

24/11/2014: Kingsland signs up Australia's Limestone Coast Winery
Kingsland has bolstered its agency portfolio by taking on Australia’s Limestone Coast Winery. LCW sources grapes from across Australia, with a particular focus on flagship regions of the Limestone Coast such as Coonawarra and Mount Benson.

24/11/2014: Producers see export benefits
WA's premium wine and food producers have hailed free trade with China as a potential revolution, allowing them to broaden existing lucrative markets and create new ones. Producers of high-end wine, seafood and truffles are eyeing expansion in an attempt to tap the sought-after and growing market of the Chinese middle class, who are increasingly looking to spend their wealth on luxury produce.

21/11/2014: When the kids move out – parents celebrate with bubbles
With silly season fast approaching, Mark Twain’s observation that “too much of anything is bad, but too much Champagne is just right” is as relevant as ever. Roy Morgan Research explores the bubbly world of Australia’s Champagne and sparkling wine drinkers.

21/11/2014: Trunk disease will have a 'bigger impact than phylloxera', warns expert
Speaking at the International Workshop on Grapevine Trunk Diseases in Adelaide yesterday, international vineyard consultant Dr Richard Smart claimed that grapevine trunk diseases may have a greater impact on the world’s vineyard than phylloxera had previously.

21/11/2014: Future wine leaders awarded national fellowship
Two of Australia’s up and coming wine experts were awarded the prestigious 2014 Working with Wine Fellowship at a black tie dinner at Yalumba Tuesday night. Brent Williamson from The Wine Emporium in Queensland and David Manning from Negociants Australia in Victoria were named the winners of the biennial education program.

21/11/2014: Online solution to calculate smoke risks
Winemakers and vignerons in Western Australia have been using an online tool to identify the danger periods for smoke taint from burning off or bushfires. The Smoke Taint Risk calculator (STAR), launched late last year, was developed to reduce the incidence and severity of smoke exposure on grapes and wine.

21/11/2014: A win for the Wine & Viticulture Journal
The 2014 Wine Communicator Awards, presented by the Wine Communicators of Australia, was held Wednesday night at Four Seasons in Sydney. Three of the five finalists nominated for best wine trade or technical writer have a strong ties with the Wine & Viticulture Journal, including editor Sonya Logan and contributors Anthony Hoare and Cathy Howard. After much deliberation, Howard, who also contributes to Grapegrower & Winemaker, received the award.

21/11/2014: Friday Fun: 11 celebrities who make wine
What does a celebrity who already has everything do? Buy a winery, of course. Business Insider Australia rounded up a bunch of celebrity winemakers, some who have invested in their own vineyard and others who have teamed up with an already established winery to create their own unique collection.

20/11/2014: Government response to the review of the Liquor Control Act 1988
The Government response to the review of the Liquor Control Act 1988 has been tabled this week in Parliament. Larry Jorgensen, Wines of Western Australia chief executive officer, noted the Government’s response is a positive step forward in providing West Australian producers with alternative pathways to market.

20/11/2014: Murrumbateman vineyard crowdfunds expansion
Murrumbateman's Four Winds Vineyard has raised $21,635 within a month to expand its winery after giving crowdfunding a go. The vineyard sold out of Sangiovese, and nearly all of its Riesling, so it needed more production space before the next vintage.

20/11/2014: A glimpse into Keith Tulloch's winery in Pokolbin
Blood is definitely thicker than wine at Keith Tulloch's winery. The Tulloch name is one of those most closely linked with Hunter Valley history, along with Tyrrell, Lindeman, Wilkinson and Wyndham. But of the esteemed group, only Tyrrells and Tullochs still work in the region today.

20/11/2014: Riverina wineries host Asian media in bid to increase sales flow
It's a tough gig being a wine writer - drinking your way across the globe in search of a top tipple. It's even tougher for an Australian wine region to convince Asian bloggers and buyers its district has the goods over neighbouring rivals. But the Riverina Winegrapes Marketing Board is fairly confident it did enough to impress its overseas visitors to Griffith, NSW this week.

20/11/2014: Barossa Pearl back on the menu
After 30 years, one of Australia's most famous wines - Barossa Pearl - has made a comeback. Steven Johnston wrote to Jacob's Creek earlier this year to ask if rumours were true that the winery was bringing back Barossa Pearl. He told Bernard Hickin, Jacob's Creek chief winemaker, how his parents had toasted their wedding with Barossa Pearl and asked if the wine would be available as a special gift to help them celebrate 50 years of marriage. After hearing the story, Hickin agreed to prepare a one-of-a-kind handmade single bottle.

20/11/2014: Clones, rootstocks, weeds and irrigation on the Riverland agenda
An increased number of clones will be evaluated this year as part of an extended research project that aims to identify new clones most suited to the Riverland environment and growing conditions. Chris Byrne, Riverland Wine executive officer, said the increase in numbers will speed up the project timeline and fast-track the outcomes, not just for the Riverland but the broader Australian wine industry.

19/11/2014: Warm welcome to China free trade deal
The end of negotiations on a China-Australia Free Trade Agreement was marked with a ceremony at Parliament House and the signing of a Declaration of Intent by Andrew Robb, the Australian Trade and Investment Minister, and Gao Hucheng, the Chinese Commerce Minister. This formalised the conclusion of the negotiations and cemented the intent of both Australia and China to take the necessary steps towards bringing the Agreement into force. The news has been warmly welcomed across the wine industry.

19/11/2014: Angove Family Winemakers launches Vintage House Wine and Spirits
Angove Family Winemakers has announced that as of February, the distribution operation of its integrated wine business will be rebranded as Vintage House Wine and Spirits. The newly branded entity will take over from Angove Family Winemakers’ long established distribution operation. The 129-year-old family business has been distributing other brands for more than 50 years, with the family embracing Vintage House Wine and Spirits to drive this part of their business into the future.

19/11/2014: Environmental innovation honoured at ASVO awards
An advocate for new wine styles and the man behind the innovative “insectarium” have taken top honours at this year’s Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology (ASVO) awards held in Adelaide last night. Sue Bell from Bellwether Wine in Coonawarra was named 'winemaker of the year' and Matthew Bailey from Taltarni in Pyrenees was crowned 'viticulturist of the year'.

19/11/2014: Wolf Blass launches Foundation Masters by Research Scholarship
The Wolf Blass Foundation Masters by Research Scholarship was launched yesterday at a VIP cocktail event held at the University of South Australia. Blass, together with industry leaders, university personnel and Winetitles staff gathered to welcome the scholarship, which will provide the opportunity to guide marketing innovation and transform the wine industry in Australia.

19/11/2014: New guidelines help identify winery wastewater solutions
New research from the CSIRO has identified a series of guidelines to help wineries find better ways to reuse their wastewater, in particular fit-for-purpose irrigation. Co-funded by the Australian Grape and Wine Authority (AGWA) and conducted in collaboration with the University of Adelaide, the three-year project was led by Dr Anu Kumar, CSIRO Group Leader – Land and Water Flagship.

19/11/2014: Aussie Shiraz shift is 'not critic-driven', says expert
Producers rather than critics are driving the stylistic shift in Australia’s flagship Shiraz, maintains one expert on the country’s wines. Hosting a Shiraz masterclass in London last week, Mark Davidson, Wine Australia's global education manager, considered the move in recent years by an increasing number of producers towards a “fresher” expression of this variety.

18/11/2014: Accolade Wines confirms bid for Grant Burge
The consolidation of the family-owned Australian wine sector is stepping up pace after Accolade Wines confirmed rumours swirling through South Australia’s famed Barossa Valley that it was in talks to buy fifth-generation winemaker Grant Burge Wines. Accolade Wines is controlled by private equity and owns Australian wine business BRL Hardy.

18/11/2014: Chinese FTA holds fortune for Orange winemakers
Orange winemakers who export to China will be given a more competitive edge if tariffs are phased out as a result of a free trade agreement. The agreement, which is close to being signed after nine years of negotiations, could result in the phasing out of Australian wine export taxes, making the process easier and more cost effective for the region's red wine producers.

18/11/2014: A piece of history back as drawcard for Brown Brothers
Brown Brothers executive director Ross Brown had two reasons to boast at the weekend. The vineyard at Milawa hosted about 3000 people during the annual Spring Wine and Food Festival that coincided with 125 years of making wine in the Milawa region.

18/11/2014: Workshop plants the seed for precision viticulture in the Hunter
More than 20 Hunter Valley viticulturists and winemakers came together in September to see and experience firsthand the tools and techniques associated with precision viticulture. Viticultural consultant Liz Riley said the workshop was an opportunity to plant the seed and start a conversation about opportunities for small to medium-scale producers to implement precision viticulture tools and techniques.

18/11/2014: Quealy-McCarthy winemaking team returns
Quealy Winemakers has announced Kevin McCarthy will join the team, reuniting the work of the original couple who introduced Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio into Australia. McCarthy, together with his wife Kathleen Quealy, first established T’Gallant Wines in 1990 on Mornington Peninsula. After leaving T’Gallant in 2006, Quealy formed Quealy Winemakers on the family property in Balnarring. McCarthy stayed on at T’Gallant to help pay the bills as Quealy Winemakers grew. Both McCarthy and Quealy have now decided it's time for Kevin to return to the family business.

17/11/2014: Yalumba turns 165
Yalumba is today celebrating its 165 birthday. The winery was founded in 1849 by Samuel Smith, a brewer who immigrated to South Australia from Dorset with his family two years prior. Yalumba has remained family owned throughout its lifetime, with Robert & Sam Hill-Smith undertaking a complete buy-out of other family shareholders in 1989. “In many ways today marks another challenging journey beginning all over again,” Robert Hill-Smith said. “I am confident we shall prevail.”

17/11/2014: Wines of Provenance: a great innovation
James Halliday says the Australian wine show system has continuously evolved over the past 20 or so years. He says one of the interesting recent innovations was introduced by the Royal Adelaide Wine Show (since adopted by others), called Wines of Provenance. It requires three vintages of the same wine, the youngest the current vintage, the next between five and nine years older than the first, the last about 10 or more years older than the first.

17/11/2014: China trade deal opportunities
TASMANIAN wine and seafood exporters are set to reap the benefits of an historic Australia-China free trade deal to be signed in Canberra. Senior government officials working on the deal, to be signed by Prime Minister Tony Abbott and President Xi Jinping, have confirmed China has agreed not only to include wine in the agreement but also to commit to substantial tariff reductions.

17/11/2014: Push for craft beer "equality" to wine
The founder of Victoria's oldest craft brewery wants governments to do more to support the industry. Grand Ridge Brewery's Eric Walters said Australia's concentrated beer market made it difficult for small breweries to make inroads at retail and venue level. Walters has called for "parity and equity with winemakers in terms of tax".

17/11/2014: Emblem now registered to control Eutypa dieback in grapevines
Dr Mark Sosnowski, convenor of the 9th International Workshop on Grapevine Trunk Diseases, said having a registered Eutypa fungicide that can be applied post-pruning with a vineyard sprayer was a significant step forward in the bid to save Australia’s premium quality vines from devastation by trunk disease. Registration of the trusted vineyard fungicide Emblem has been extended to cover Eutypa dieback in Australian grapevines, just ahead of a major international conference on grapevine trunk diseases in Adelaide.

17/11/2014: Wanted: Rousanne
Before 2014 draws to a close, the Wine & Viticulture Journal will be holding its first tasting of Australian Roussanes and Roussane-dominant blends. The results of the tasting will be published in the January/February issue of the Journal.

14/11/2014: Grapegrowing hotspots in Tasmania could boost wine exports
The Tasmanian wine sector hopes that findings from new research will help the industry capture more of the export market. A study by the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture has identified several untapped prime grapegrowing locations. Dr Reuben Wells said the study was designed to give potential investors more detailed information about suitable sites.

14/11/2014: Hunter winemaker receives prestigious Graham Gregory award
Hunter Valley winemaker Christopher Barnes has been awarded the prestigious Graham Gregory award for his outstanding contribution to the industry. The award was presented by the Minister for Primary Industries, Katrina Hodgkinson, at the NSW Wine Industry Awards luncheon.

14/11/2014: Engagement: Not all events are equal
There are hundreds, possibly thousands, of winery events and festivals staged across Australia each year, so there was plenty of fodder for Teagan Altschwager and her events project with the University of Adelaide’s wine marketing research team. Altschwager, a PhD candidate with the university’s business school, found while events can successfully draw a crowd, they don’t always result in guests leaving with a lasting memory of a particular wine label.

14/11/2014: International writers discover food and wine ‘secrets’ in Mudgee
Mudgee has been offered up as one of the country’s premier food and wine destinations to a group of international VIPs on a gastronomic tour aimed at whetting the appetite of international travellers. Meena Thiruvengadam, Yahoo finance officer, was one of 88 food and wine writers, broadcasters, critics and bloggers touring the country. The New Yorker’s three-day tour included tastings at Mudgee’s finest cellar doors and restaurants including Lowe Wines.

14/11/2014: Winegrowers welcome new viticulturist
NSW winegrowers will benefit from the recent appointment of a viticulture development officer, as part of a collaborative extension model between the NSW Government and the state’s wine industry. Darren Fahey said his first-up goals are to work on skills development and “seeking input from regions on what research areas growers are most interested in”.

13/11/2014: Wine communication on social media should be 'light-hearted', says researcher
A wine lover might like their white wine dry - but when it comes to marketing that wine, social media engagement should be anything but. A study by marketing researcher Rebecca Dolan from the University of Adelaide's business school shows the best way to succeed on social media is to treat customers like old friends. "With wine brands it's easy to be a bit more light-hearted. It's quite a social product so it's easy to put that across on social media," Dolan says.

13/11/2014: Australian winemaker named 2015 IWSC president
The International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC) has named Neil McGuigan, chief winemaker for McGuigan Wines, as its 2015 president. McGuigan, a third generation Hunter Valley winemaker, was announced president at the competition’s banquet and awards night in London yesterday, marking the 46th year of the IWSC.

13/11/2014: International judge 'shocked' at high standard of Australian alternative varieties
Australia is doing a great job at growing Italian wine varieties down under according to Walter Speller, an Italian wine writer and judge who was invited as a guest judge at this year's Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show.

13/11/2014: Man behind Yellow Tail wines charged over alleged involvement in major drug syndicate
One of the three brothers who transformed Yellow Tail wines into one of the great Australian export success stories has been charged over his alleged involvement in a major drug syndicate. Marcello Casella, the youngest brother in Australia's largest family-owned winery, Casella Wines, is alleged to be part of the criminal syndicate that produced, distributed and sold commercial quantities of cannabis and methylamphetamine throughout southern NSW.

13/11/2014: Casella to acquire 100% share in Peter Lehmann Wines
The board of Peter Lehmann Wines today advised shareholders it has received a proposal from Casella Family Brands to acquire 100 per cent of the company’s shares for an offer of $1.50 per share. Receipt of the proposal follows a period of confirmatory due diligence agreed to by the company to facilitate the submission of an offer by Casella for the consideration of all shareholders.

12/11/2014: Austrade to host Australia Business Week in India
Australian wine companies that are either exporting or seeking to export to India have an opportunity to expand business networks in the country through involvement in Australia Business Week in India (ABWI), arranged by Austrade India. The Hon Andrew Robb AO MP, minister for trade and investment, will lead the ABWI mission from 12-15 January 2015.

12/11/2014: WA wine veteran a rare vintage
Western Australia has this week lost one of its oldest citizens with the death of Swan Valley vigneron Joe Zekulich, aged 107. Zekulich arrived in Fremantle in 1924 as a 16-year-old Croatian migrant who spoke no English, had no money but was the financial lifeline to his family back home.

12/11/2014: Finding an answer to trunk disease in grapevines
Scientists are working to unravel the mystery of why some grapevines suffer a slow death. While researchers around the world are constantly fine-tuning strategies for managing grapevine trunk diseases, until now little sustained work has been done on finding ways to make vines less susceptible in the first place.

12/11/2014: Wine owes a debt to ancient viruses
Next time you pour a glass of wine, raise a toast to the 30-milion-year-old viruses that have contributed to the genetic make-up of modern grapes. A team of plant scientists from the University of Queensland has discovered the Pinot Noir grape variety owes a significant part of its genetic heritage to ancient plant viruses.

12/11/2014: Boosting email deliverability for the holidays
The holiday season is an exciting time for wineries. A lot of people are looking for the best wine to pair with their main course of turkey, prime rib or roasted butternut squash. Others are simply looking for something to give to friends and family. The best way to get the message out to consumers is through email. But you want to make sure your contacts are actually receiving those emails. By bolstering your deliverability, you'll be able to get people reading and visiting your website, helping to make your holidays a happy one.

11/11/2014: TWE closes production site
Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) has announced it will cease operations at its Ryecroft winery in McLaren Vale and move production to other TWE-owned wineries across South Australia. As a result of this change, no grapes will be processed at Ryecroft winery for the 2015 vintage and more than 30 jobs will reportedly be lost.

11/11/2014: Macedon Ranges Vignerons Association lobbies for more government investment
The Macedon Ranges Vignerons Association has joined a campaign by Wine Victoria to have greater State Government support of the industry. The association which this week celebrates Budburst Food and Wine Festival, has joined more than 800 Victorian grapegrowers and winemakers in the campaign which is seeking more support for inbound trade activities and regional wine events.

11/11/2014: Aussie wine out in force in Hong Kong
More than 50 Australian wineries have joined 1000 exhibitors from 38 countries at the 2014 Hong Kong Wine & Spirits Fair. This year 20,000 trade buyers attended the event, including 180 from Australia with a number of new countries exhibiting at the fair including Belarus, Colombia and the Republic of Macedonia alongside new features such as a whisky and spirits tasting zone.

11/11/2014: Orange Sauvignon Blancs set Australian benchmark
Two Orange wine producers have been singled out for their quality following a benchmarking of Sauvignon Blanc wines by the Australian Wine Institute recently. As a result of the benchmarking, four Orange wines made the top seven with a 2010 Fume Blanc from De Salis Wines at Nashdale unanimously voted the best by the panel of expert judges.

11/11/2014: Penfolds Grange spanning 60 years goes on sale at Le Clos Dubai
A collection of Penfolds Grange wine spanning all of the top Australian producer's 60 available vintages has gone on sale priced at $660,000 at Le Clos, a luxury merchant based at Dubai International Airport. The collection comprises Shiraz wines from each vintage dating back to 1951, plus a rare Grange 1953 Cabernet Sauvignon.

11/11/2014: Backstage at the Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show
Grapegrower & Winemaker editor Nathan Gogoll was lucky enough to travel to Mildura last week at the invitation of the Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show. The committee had stretched their first fellowship program to include a ‘VIP media backstage pass’ so he got to be there as well as the actual ‘fellow’, sommelier Sarah Limacher. Read all about his adventure on the Grapegrower & Winemaker blog.

10/11/2014: Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show results announced
The fourteenth annual Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show (AAVWS) results are in and chief judge Jane Faulkner has declared them “the best to date”. She says the results show how Australia’s winemaking regions have embraced the alternative winegrape varieties. The trophies were handed out Saturday at a lunch prepared by chefs Frank Cammora and Stefano di Pieri.

10/11/2014: Industry sees increase in reports of fraud and authenticity issues in wine export markets
Australian wine exporters need to put precautions in place to safeguard themselves against authenticity issues, according to the leading industry research body. The Australian Wine Research Institute has found a big jump in reports of issues concerning fraudulent Australian wines overseas.

10/11/2014: TWE offers CEO rights over 764,000 shares
Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) is seeking shareholder approval to grant Michael Clarke, chief executive, rights to acquire up to 764,000 shares at no cost if he jumps various hurdles to improve the performance of the winemaker.

10/11/2014: Major wine brands see double digit growth, according to report
Hardys, Lindeman’s, Kumala and Casillero del Diablo have all posted double-digit value growth in a flat market, according to the latest wine report from Mintel. The figures showed Accolade Wines' Hardys extended its lead in the still wines market in the past year, reaching sales of £289 million (AU$530m).

10/11/2014: Victorian vineyard expected to yield up to $4m
A syndicate of investors is selling a 300ha vineyard in central Victoria, with expectations the property could fetch as much as $4 million, according to reports in The Australian. The Lake Marmal Vineyards were established in 1998, with a grape supply agreement in place with one of Australia’s largest wine producers until 2018.

10/11/2014: November 2014 Grapegrower & Winemaker magazine out now
The November 2014 issue of Grapegrower & Winemaker is out now and available online for all subscribers. Join us as we discuss the latest in vine management; mildew control; fertilisers and nutrition; irrigation; filtration, pumps and tanks; and packaging and bottling.

7/11/2014: Winners of the second annual Wine Australia China Awards revealed
Wine Australia has announced 13 winners in the second annual Wine Australia China Awards, recognising the efforts of those who have helped promote Australian wine in the Chinese market over the past financial year. The cocktail reception attended by 120 guests was hosted by Alice Cawte, the Australian Consul General, and Willa Yang, Wine Australia regional manager for China.

7/11/2014: Calif study tour offered to SA growers
The Wine Grape Council South Australia (WGCSA) is offering grapegrowers the chance to participate in a study tour to California this summer. The trip will be led by Peter Hackworth, WGCSA executive officer, who has previously organised study tours in California, France and Spain.

7/11/2014: Australia's ‘SIPNOT’ comes to HK
The Stonier International Pinot Noir Tasting (SIPNOT) will take place in Hong Kong for the first time this month, giving the local trade a chance to compare Pinot Noirs from around the world. Led by Jeannie Cho Lee MW alongside, “The Flying Winemaker” Eddie McDougall and Stonier’s winemaker Mike Symons, the tasting will feature 12 Pinot Noirs. Symons explained that Stonier – one of Australia’s first Pinot producers – set up the tasting event more than 15 years ago.

7/11/2014: Future directions of the wine industry uncorked
The Australian Grape and Wine Authority (AGWA) management conducted a Regional Program Partners’ Day this week in Adelaide. Representatives from around the country were invited to come together to witness some of the high level services offered to our industry and talk with scientists about some of the latest grape and wine research covering topics on flavour, colour, tannin and low alcohol wine yeast development.

7/11/2014: Winegrape prices dropped 60 per cent over past 15 years in Sunraysia
It's no secret winegrape growers have suffered since the boom and bust of the late 2000s when production hit a glut and prices dropped, but now that decline has been documented. A new report has been released in Mildura, which looks at the three main grape industries in the region - dried, table and wine. For wine, it's a grim picture with prices paid for red winegrapes dropping 59 per cent since 1997.

7/11/2014: Mick Jagger’s SA wine splurge
A few weeks ago while The Rolling Stones were filling in time between rehearsals before their Adelaide Oval performance, some of the crew decided a little wine tour of the Adelaide Hills was a good idea. The itinerary included visits to Scott, La Prova, Hahndorf Hill, and Shaw and Smith – all within the vicinity of Hahndorf – before they headed into the steep slopes of the Adelaide Hills north-west to have lunch with winemaker Taras Ochota at Basket Range.

7/11/2014: AAVWS hashtag blows up Twittersphere
The Australian Alternative Variety Wine Show kicked off yesterday in Mildura and will continue through to Sunday. Grapegrower & Winemaker editor Nathan Gogoll is attending the four-day event and has compiled a list of the top 20 tweets from day one.

6/11/2014: Late pruning and wine sensory attributes of Barossa Valley Shiraz
With the support of the Australian Grape & Wine Authority (AGWA), Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) and the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry WA (DAFWA), the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) is leading a research project to investigate the effect of time of pruning on grapevine physiology, berry and wine chemical and sensory attributes.

6/11/2014: Father and son duo launch a ‘Super Tuscan’ blend
John Leyshon, boutique winemaker and Canberra District Wine Industry Association president, has released a new label which takes its name from the street where his family grew up and where the winery and vineyards are located. Leyshon has been involved in the Canberra District wine industry since 1997 as a partner and winemaker at Little Bridge Wines, but has been working on the Mallaluka label and range of wines with his son across the past 12 months.

6/11/2014: Rutherglen calls for State Government tourism and trade support
Rutherglen winemakers have welcomed Wine Victoria’s recently announced industry priorities ahead of the state election, including important trade and tourism recommendations. Winemakers of Rutherglen, alongside more than 800 Victorian grapegrowers and winemakers represented by Wine Victoria, call for a stronger partnership with State Government, including funding for inbound trade activities and regional wine events.

6/11/2014: Woolworths’ food and liquor sales reach $11b
Supermarket giant Woolworths has reported a 3.9 per cent Australian food and liquor first quarter sales growth on the previous year. The company said sales were below expectations, with trading softer in August and September. Growth was impacted by differences in the timing of promotional activities and the cycling of higher fuel discount activity.

6/11/2014: Putting the fizz back in: What’s happening to Australia’s sparkling wine love affair?
On a global scale, Australia is the 9th largest sparkling wine market in terms of volume - an impressive statistic when taking into account the relatively small Australian population. About half of all alcohol consumers in Australia drink sparkling wine, making the nation a market of around 8.3 million sparkling wine drinkers, of which 1 in 5 are enjoying fizz on a weekly basis. But Wine Intelligence's recently published tracking study reveals this market may be losing its sparkle.

6/11/2014: More than just a wine show
Mildura is hosting this year’s Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show (AAVWS) which kicks off today and welcomes two international guests, a first AAVWS fellowship recipient and a record-breaking number of entrants. Wine writer Walter Speller says he is “hugely excited” to judge at this year’s AAVWS and experience first-hand how Italy’s varieties express themselves in unique Australian terroirs.

5/11/2014: Boutique wine producers take centre stage at wine show
The 2014 Blackwood Valley and WA Boutique Wine Show wowed the judges this year with 278 entries from 55 boutique wine producers across Western Australia. Rod Properjohn, chief judge of the show, praised both the organisers and the quality of entries.

5/11/2014: Why consumer shortcuts matter
“What the wine industry really needs is innovation” is something often heard in discussion forums. Wine Intelligence's Juan Park says the wine industry needs to compete with craft beer, cocktails or ciders which are doing a good job connecting with younger consumers. “I want that Pinot Grigio on offer” is also a familiar sentence reminding the industry of the lack of adventure consumers show when approaching the wine aisle. So how is innovation possible in the wine industry? How can we reconcile both opposites?

5/11/2014: Tahbilk owner toasts the weakening Aussie dollar
Alister Purbrick, owner of Victorian winery Tahbilk, has described the idea of the Australian Dollar falling below US85c as “sensational”. The fourth-generation Purbrick to run the business is rubbing his hands at the prospect of fatter margins as he exports his wines to Canada, the US, Britain and Sweden, reports The Australian.

5/11/2014: Casella bids for top-shelf cred with $100 Shiraz and Cabernet Sauv
The budget-busting Yellowtail wine company which skyrocketed to fame and fortune with its $10 kangaroo-logo, “critter” wines in the 2000s has released a set of audacious high-end premium drops. The Casella company has launched two super-premium reds, Casella 1919 Shiraz and Casella 1919 Cabernet Sauvignon, both selling for 10 times the usual Yellowtail price.

5/11/2014: Margaret River told to prepare for above average summer temperatures
Above average temperatures are forecast for WA's south west wine and tourism region this summer. The Bureau of Meteorology has predicted the region has a high chance of exceeding median maximum temperatures over the three months from November to January. Jim Campbell-Clause, AHA Viticulture consultant, said grapegrowers should make sure they are prepared for potential summer temperatures to safeguard next year's yields.

4/11/2014: Chinese wine guru says Australia needs to target everyday drinkers instead of connoisseurs
Chinese wine guru Fongyee Walker is often travelling the world to judge shows and packs four different toothpastes to get the dark stains off her teeth. She can talk the talk with the best of them, but is baffled by the industry's tendency to alienate the general public.

4/11/2014: Vintage rock star returns to make Naked Wines
"It's a bit like a recording studio for musicians. We provide the platform and the rest is basically down to hard work, talent and a degree of luck." Naked Wines Australia boss Luke Jecks is handy with the analogies when it comes to describing his unique, crowd-funded business model for supporting independent winemakers across Australia and New Zealand.

4/11/2014: Pinot project gets people hands on
Jeir Creek Winery in Murrumbateman has been getting consumers involved in a Pinot Noir project in recent years, giving their biggest fans the chance to be hands on throughout the production process. Rob Howell, managing director and senior winemaker, says the project gathers between 10 and 20 participants each harvest and gives wine lovers an idea of the life of a grapegrower and winemaker.

4/11/2014: 2014 Visy Great Australian Shiraz Challenge winners announced
Moppity Vineyards has taken out the 2014 Visy Great Australian Shiraz Challenge trophy with its 2013 Reserve Shiraz. As one of Australia’s most prestigious wine awards, this year’s event attracted 392 entries from more than 60 regions across the nation. Moppity's winning wine, produced in the cool climate NSW Hilltops wine region, triumphed over strong competition particularly from South Australia's McLaren Vale and the Barossa.

4/11/2014: Raise a glass of Tasmania's best on race day
The Spring Racing Carnival is here and what better way to celebrate than with a glass of Tasmanian bubbly? Manika Dadson speaks with three Tasmanian wine gurus about their favourite sparkling wines for the party season.

4/11/2014: Seminar to fill the gap on options and opportunities for grapegrowers
It's been a big year for industry information and analysis and a seminar organised by Wine Grape Growers Australia (WGGA), to be held in Adelaide next week, thinks it has plugged a gap in the information made available so far. Lawrie Stanford, WGGA executive director says it will be a positive forum offering "real options for growers and alternatives to the private-brand dominated messages presented by other events this year”.

International Wine Industry News

24/11/2014: Wine designs 'fail if don't stand for something', warns design agency boss
The secret to good brand design is for it to stand for something which is where wine often falls down as they all “blur” into each other, according to Kevin Shaw, founder of design agency Stranger & Stranger. Speaking at the Wine Vision conference in London last week, Shaw said wine is being left behind compared to the designs and brands being launched in the beer and spirits categories.

24/11/2014: Napa winemakers argue over the Valley's visual image
If you've never heard the term "viewshed" – like "watershed" – welcome to Napa Valley. The essence is that Napa's bucolic look is an asset that can't be messed with. The term isn't unique to Napa; from North Carolina to Malibu, legislators have enacted or considered viewshed protection laws.

24/11/2014: New strategies to reduce use of plant protection products in winemaking
To cut down on using plant protection products in viticulture is the goal of a project coordinated by the Basque Institute for Agricultural Research and Development (NEIKER-Tecnalia) and to be implemented over the next three years. The aim of the initiative is to show that it is possible to reduce the frequency and intensity of applications of plant protection treatment for fungal diseases such as mildew and oidium, two of the main pathologies affecting vineyards.

24/11/2014: Summer wine sales are coming up rose
Summer wine sales are coming up rose. The pink drink has lost its reputation as lolly water and customers are buying it in record volumes. Supermarket sales show in the year to date, Kiwis purchased 861,607 bottles of still rose wine – 40 per cent more than five years ago. Drinkers favour it as a summer tipple with the bulk being sold between November and February.

24/11/2014: Demand for tall new grapevines booming
A Marlborough grapevine nursery, which employs 50 people to graft 100,000 grapevine plants a week, is struggling to meet demand. Ormond Nurseries, the South Island's only grapevine propagation specialist, has been inundated with calls from vineyard owners wanting new grape vines to ensure they will have enough fruit to supply their markets next season.

24/11/2014: Northern Rhône co-operative looks to the future
The Cave de Tain co-operative in Tain l'Hermitage inaugurated a new wine cellar last week at a cost of 10 million euros (A$14 million). It replaced one built 40 years ago. The highly regarded co-operative, which celebrated its 80th anniversary a year ago, makes 50 per cent of the wine in the northern section of the Rhône Valley.

21/11/2014: World 'mother' grape saved from brink of extinction
A rare winegrape dubbed 'Casanova' because of its role in parenting so many of the world's leading varieties is one step further from extinction thanks to Swiss volunteers and a leading scientist. Once shunned, Gouais Blanc earned new respect 15 years ago when a study showed it was the "mother grape" of many varieties, including Chardonnay and Gamay.

21/11/2014: Grapegrowers enjoy record harvest
Marlborough grapegrowers will pocket an estimated $64 million more this year than in 2013, despite being paid less per tonne for their fruit. Interim grape prices, released by New Zealand Winegrowers, show grapegrowers have been paid an average of $1667 per tonne of grapes this year, compared with $1677 per tonne last year - a decrease of $10 per tonne.

21/11/2014: Boutique winery soars sky high
Boutique Central Otago producer Lowburn Ferry Wines has capped a string of elite awards for its wines over the past fortnight with the announcement that its Pinot Noirs will be served in British Airways' first class cabins from early next year. Lowburn Ferry Home Block Pinot Noir 2011 will be on board British Airways flights from March and vineyard owners Jean and Roger Gibson say the association with this premier airline represents a significant endorsement for Lowburn Ferry.

21/11/2014: Wine brands need to 'get on top of Facebook', warns social media campaigner
Brands should “just be honest and sell their gear” on Facebook and other social media sites as forcing likes and comments turns off consumers. That's according to Jon Morter, the guy who's been dubbed a "social media hellraiser" by the New York Times. He's compiled a list of things brands should avoid doing on Facebook which he presented to delegates at this week's Wine Vision.

21/11/2014: Bordeaux not ‘too expensive’, says CIVB vice-president
Bordeaux’s new advertising campaign has been designed to dispel the notion that the region is "too expensive" and "too complicated" according to Allan Sichel. “We want Bordeaux to be accessible and we are trying to correct two misconceptions,” he said. According to Sichel, the CIVB vice-president, consumer research had also shown that people feel they don’t have the required knowledge to drink wine from Bordeaux.

21/11/2014: British Columbia wine industry slows rate of plantings
British Columbia’s wine industry grew slowly in terms of vineyard plantings over the past three years, yet the modest 4 per cent increase since 2011 is actually good news, according to the BC Wine Institute. A report prepared by Lynn Bremmer of Mount Kobau Wine Services in conjunction with the BC Grapegrowers Association showed the province grew with 10,260 acres of winegrapes and 254 wineries. In 2011 there were 9854 acres of vineyards and nine years ago there were 6632 acres and 118 wineries.

20/11/2014: Air New Zealand Wine Awards to be showcased in Australia
Wines from this year’s Air New Zealand Wine Awards will be the focus of two upcoming tasting events in Melbourne and Brisbane where guests will be among the first in Australia to sample a selection of 80 gold and silver medal-winning drops. Judges have awarded a record 112 gold medals to wines from around the country at this year’s awards – the highest tally of golds handed out since the competition began in 1974.

20/11/2014: Yealands takes top prize at Sustainable Business Awards
Yealands Family Wines has been named the overall winner of the NZI National Sustainable Business Network Awards held in Auckland this week. The awards, now in its 12th year, is designed to recognise businesses that are making a difference by innovating and transforming New Zealand’s business landscape.

20/11/2014: ProWine China toasts record numbers
ProWein’s 2014 China trade fair, the world’s leading international trade fair for wine and spirits in Shanghai, welcomed a record number of visitors to its three-day event last week. A total of 8250 visitors attended the show, up from 7650 in 2013, while the total number of exhibitors attending rose by 10 per cent to 650.

20/11/2014: Wine has to 'talk more to young consumers', says Wine Riot chief
The wine trade is missing out on marketing to women, with many brands pushing “condescending” butterfly or cupcake messages, says Tyler Balliet, founder of Wine Riot in the US. Balliet, who founded Second Glass and launched Wine Riot events after being frustrated with how wine was marketed to younger people, added that many in the trade have "overlooked" millennial consumers.

20/11/2014: Portuguese wine is 'best value in UK', according to study
Portuguese wines currently being sold in British supermarkets offer more value for money than other nations' wine, according to an extensive 18-month review by wotwine. The supermarket wine app, which tasted 4280 wines for the study, has found 65 per cent of Portuguese wines on sale in UK supermarkets offer "extra/fair value for money".

20/11/2014: County officials say Argentina trip yields benefits
Two Napa County supervisors see the trip they took to an international wine conference in Argentina as reaping benefits for the Napa wine industry. Mark Luce, Brad Wagenknecht and county agricultural commissioner Greg Clark joined a local contingent that went to the Great Wine Capitals General Assembly in Mendoza, Argentina earlier this month.

20/11/2014: Big names return for 2015 London Wine Fair
Eighty-three per cent of suppliers at this year’s London Wine Fair have signed up for the 2015 show and they'll be joined by a host of new names. The companies returning include Armit, Australian Vintage, Bancroft, Bibendum PLB, Connoisseur, CyT and Gonzalez Byass among others. Big names that took stands in 2014 such as Accolade and Treasury are yet to sign up, but the fair is still six months away.

19/11/2014: UK independent wine sector ‘thriving’
Despite significant challenges, the future of the UK’s independent wine retail sector looks bright, according to a recent report by Wine Intelligence that described it as “thriving”. Consumers have never had more choice when it comes to purchasing wine with the number of independent UK retailers increasing by 50 per cent since 2007.

19/11/2014: Blenheim winery excels with Pinot Noir
Blenheim-based winery Lawson’s Dry Hills has received a raft of gold medals and trophies at a number of wine shows over the past couple of months. The list of recent accolades includes six gold medals for the Reserve Pinot Noir 2012 awarded at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards, Marlborough Wine Show, New Zealand International Wine Competition, Spiegelau International Wine Competition and the Easter Wine Show.

19/11/2014: South African producer ditches sulfur for Rooibos
South African producer KWV has launched a ‘natural’ Pinotage using Rooibos and Honeybush wood in place of the wine industry’s standard preservative: sulfur dioxide. Called Earth’s Essence, the new brand boasts no added sulfur but uses a patented process which sees the wine exposed to the wood of the Cape’s native Rooibos and Honeybush plants during various stages in the winemaking process.

19/11/2014: UK wine trade mourns loss of pioneer
Mike Roberts MBE, a pioneer of English wine and co-founder of one of the country's best-known estates, Ridgeview, has died. Roberts' death was announced by his family on Friday, prompting a series of tributes from across the UK wine industry.

19/11/2014: Sonoma wineries keep close eye on trade negotiations
International trade is again at the forefront of Washington policy-making as it is one of the few issues the Obama administration and the incoming GOP-controlled Congress are believed to be able to agree upon in the next two years. The issue has enormous implications locally, especially for the North Coast’s multibillion-dollar wine industry.

18/11/2014: Distinguishing winery repairs from improvements
As the economy continues to recover, winery owners will spend increasing amounts of capital to update their production facilities and attract patrons to their tasting rooms. The scope of these projects can vary from simple refreshes involving paint, updated floor coverings and new signage to complete renovations that include new exteriors, expanded footprints and facility layout changes.

18/11/2014: Farm buyer eyes Chinese wine market
A winery, accommodation complex and 100 hectare vineyard expansion are on the cards for an Awatere Valley property bought by a Chinese-owned company this year. The Ling Hai Group purchased the Castlebrae farm in April from long-time owners the Marfell family.

18/11/2014: Hawke's Bay wines take medals in Hong Kong
Three Hawke's Bay wineries have had silver medal success at the recently staged Hong Kong International Wine sand Spirit Competition. Havelock North vineyard Chateau Waimarama picked up four of the nine silvers that came the Bay's way.

18/11/2014: Wine trade prepares for ‘seismic change’, says Wine Vision director
Wine Vision 2014’s executive director is set to kick off the global conference by telling delegates the wine trade is preparing for “seismic change” in wake of Tesco’s accounting scandal.

18/11/2014: Italy’s ‘other’ Ferrari steps up a gear
A Trentino producer is confident it can carve an export niche in the growing sparkling wine category, even at prices to rival prestige cuvée Champagne. “We are not afraid of being priced much higher than most Champagne,” said Matteo Lunelli, president of traditional method sparkling wine producer Ferrari, which has been managed by his family for three generations.

18/11/2014: How a tweet nearly cost a wine producer its liquor licence
Simple tweets are causing trouble for some local vintners and brewers who wanted to get the word out about a Sacramento event. Grape Escape was billed as one of the largest wine tasting events in northern California this summer. SaveMart sponsored the event but if you’re providing the booze, you’re not allow to say so, according to the California Alcohol Control Board's deputy division chief.

17/11/2014: Wine Spectator reveals Top 10 wines for 2014
Over the last few days, Wine Spectator magazine has done its annual slow reveal of the Top 10 wines from the Wine Spectator Top 100 list. And this year, when the No. 1 wine came up, it wasn’t a Bordeaux, a California Cabernet, a Spanish Rioja or an Italian Barolo. The shocker is that it’s a wine from Portugal — and a port.

17/11/2014: ‘Vintage of dreams’ for UK wine industry
The leaves are finally falling off the vines at Denbies estate in Surrey but two weeks ago the stems still bore the weight of fruit as the last of the harvest was gathered in – almost a month later than usual. Christopher White, manager of his family’s vineyard, says: “We finished with a dessert wine and left the fruit out for it as long as we dared. Conditions were so good that we took the risk. The fruit looks shrivelled and grey but when the juice comes out, it’s like nectar, like honey.

17/11/2014: O Canada, We Raise Our Wine Glass to Thee
Canadians are famously conciliatory. To be a Canadian, it seems, is to know how to apologize. A lot. This temperament has its advantages (Canadians rarely go to war) but also means Canadians are often overlooked. For example, few consumers realize one of the world’s most exciting new wine regions is in Ontario, Canada.

17/11/2014: World's largest wine fair to open Singapore show
The world’s largest wine and spirits exhibition, ProWein, has announced it will be expanding with a new show launching in Singapore. The first ProWine Asia event will launch in Singapore from 12-15 April 2016 and will complement the existing annual ProWine China exhibition in Shanghai.

14/11/2014: Fact-checking some viticulture myths
One of the things science does is force us to rethink commonly held notions, assumed truths or what appears to be common sense. In viticulture, we have our own set of myths and beliefs about growing grapes that have survived for decades in the absence of good field research. But while many of them have some basis in fact, they are not necessarily the absolute truths that they are sometime touted as being. Here are a few ‘myths’ that we have in viticulture, and what researchers have found out about them, writes Hans Walter-Peterson.

14/11/2014: Yealands Wine Group crowned NZ wine producer of the year
Yealands Wine Group has been named New Zealand wine producer of the year at the International Wine and Spirits Competition (IWSC). The prestigious title was collected by Simon Kelly, European director of sales, at the awards evening held in London Wednesday night. The Marlborough-based wine group also took home 37 medals and three silver medals.

14/11/2014: Lodi winemakers strip back Zinfandel
If Zinfandel was treated more like Pinot Noir, how different would it taste? In Lodi, a group of winemakers are finding out. The Lodi Native project brought together six wineries who each made two barrels of Zinfandel in 2012 under tight rules: single vineyard wines only, only native yeast, no new oak, and no added tannin, acid or enzymes.

14/11/2014: Is Asia’s Champagne palate changing?
Dominique Moreau of Champagne house Marie Courtin has seen the evolution of Champagne tastes of Asia over the past four years and thinks real change is in the air. “There’s been a change in the palate,” she explained, adding that on her visits she meets more professionals who are willing to try new things – particularly her Champagnes which are low dosage and, in one example, vinified in oak.

14/11/2014: ProWein Singapore to debut in 2016
ProWein is to hold a new exhibition in Singapore to support its already established ProWine China event in Shanghai. Taking place from 12-15 April 2016, ProWein Singapore will take place in partnership with Singapore Exhibition Services and in parallel with bi-yearly show Food&Hotel Asia.

14/11/2014: Wines closed with cork see increase in sales volume and value
Nielsen has released sales figures for the top 100 premium wine brands based solely on closure type, showing significant improvements for wines sealed with natural cork. Since the start of 2010, the volume market share for wines closed with cork rose 29 per cent. Alternative closures also saw an increase, but of 9 per cent in the same time period.

13/11/2014: Young winery earns top accolade
A Hawke's Bay vineyard has been awarded a prominent international wine award. Craggy Range vineyard near Havelock North has been named the best new world winery by US magazine, Wine Enthusiast. Terry Peabody, Craggy Range owner, said the win was the highest accolade the winery had won to date.

13/11/2014: Burgundy welcomes ‘return to normal’
Burgundy’s wine bureau has hailed the 2014 vintage as “very promising” although it warned good yields would not be enough to replenish stocks in the region. Although final volumes will not be confirmed until early next year, the Bureau Interprofessionnel des Vins de Bourgogne (BIVB) reported that “initial estimates mark a return to normal for many producers”.

13/11/2014: Hong Kong wine registration program launches
The Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency’s Wine Registration program has been officially launched. The program is aimed at combatting counterfeiting and giving consumers increased confidence in the wines they are buying.

13/11/2014: Truett-Hurst boosts wine sales by 20 per cent
California's Truett-Hurst on Monday reported sales rose 20 per cent in the first quarter - a result of strong sales to online shoppers, tasting room visitors and members of its wine club. The Healdsburg winery also reported a net loss of $100,000 for the three-month period ending September 30 (or 3 cents per share), compared to a $33,000 loss from the same period in 2013.

13/11/2014: Tesco appoints new wine buyer
UK-based supermarket giant Tesco has added a new wine buyer to its team. Catherine Friend has joined the group as an assistant buyer and will be responsible for the fortified, Portuguese and wine-gift categories.

12/11/2014: Gold medals announced for 2014 Air New Zealand Wine Awards
Judges have awarded 112 gold medals to wines from around the country at this year’s Air New Zealand Wine Awards. This is the highest tally of gold medals handed out since the national wine competition began in 1974.

12/11/2014: Global thirst for sparkling wine insatiable
Consumers around the world have developed an insatiable thirst for sparkling wine with global sales having surged by 30 per cent in the past decade. According to the latest figures from the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV), in order to meet demand, production of sparkling wine has increased by 40 per cent, with still wine growth lagging far behind at 7 per cent.

12/11/2014: Hailstorm destroys crop of ‘holy wine’
A freak hailstorm has forced one of Tuscany’s biggest producers of “holy wine” – believed to have been used in Mass in the Middle Ages – to forgo production in 2014. Dessert wine Vin Santo is likely to be in short supply after Tenuta di Artimino’s entire crop was badly damaged in a hailstorm which hit just before harvest in September.

12/11/2014: Asian wine producers unite
A new association for wine producers across Asia has been announced with the aim of promoting and presenting the region’s burgeoning winemaking industry to the world. Launched at last week’s HKTDC fair, the Asian Wine Producers aims to unite winemakers from Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Burma, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

12/11/2014: Bordeaux prices falling to 'pre-China boom' levels, says Liv-ex
Plummeting prices for Bordeaux first growths in the past three years serve as the latest cautionary tale in a long history of boom and bust for chateaux and negociants, according to Liv-ex co-founder James Miles, who sees no end to the pattern.

12/11/2014: New strategies to reduce use of plant protection products in winemaking
To cut down on using plant protection products in viticulture is the goal of a project coordinated by the Basque Institute for Agricultural Research and Development (NEIKER-Tecnalia), to be implemented over the next three years. The aim of the initiative is to show it is possible to reduce the frequency and intensity of applications of plant protection treatment for fungal diseases such as mildew and oidium, two of the main pathologies affecting vineyards.

11/11/2014: French oak remains favourite barrel type among US producers
The results from this year’s US Wine Business Monthly Barrel Survey are in but the most significant results have been dwarfed by the news of the damaged caused by the August earthquake in South Napa. The estimates, as of press time, are that the temblor caused more than $80 million in damage to the wine industry (out of an estimated $400m overall).

11/11/2014: Wairarapa vineyard on the market
Cottier Estate, an established vineyard in the Wairarapa wine region, has been placed on the market for sale. The 13.7 hectare property comprising the land, associated winery buildings and an award-winning homestead has a ratable valuation of $2.07 million.

11/11/2014: Liquor licensing laws and alcohol purchasing rates
Seventy-four per cent of New Zealanders drink alcohol in an average four week period, down from 77 per cent in 2009 but still slightly above the Australian rate of 70 per cent, data from Roy Morgan Research shows. But despite this small gap in consumption, the rate of alcohol purchasing is much higher in New Zealand than Australia - a difference that may be a result of the two countries’ liquor licensing laws.

11/11/2014: London’s property market ‘brutal’ for expanding wine independents
London’s independent wine merchants and restaurateurs say finding new locations is “extremely challenging”, given intense competition from established operators. Operators in both the on- and off-trade said competing with major chains meant commercial agents often ignored them or they were left with "second pickings".

11/11/2014: 100th woman welcomed to Master of Wine Institution
Six new members were welcomed into the Institute of Masters of Wine program last week at Vintners' Company in London. Sarah Jane Evans, Master of Wine Institute chairman, addressed the new members, expressing her enthusiasm on behalf of the prestigious program.

11/11/2014: French wine brand dives into fundraising
Rhône wine brand Les Dauphins is launching its new presence on social media with an effort to raise money for UK charity Children in Need. The brand will be using its new social media pages on Facebook and Twitter to inform consumers about its plans to raise money at the BBC Good Food Show.

10/11/2014: Villa Maria tops wine show awards
While the trophies for the Marlborough Wine Show didn't make an appearance at the awards dinner on Saturday night because of freight issues, competition organisers didn't let that put a dampener on the evening. Villa Maria Estate came out on top this year, taking home champion wine of the show as well as three of the 12 trophies awarded.

10/11/2014: NZ reds are ripe and ready to go
Over the past 20 years, Gimblett Gravels land has become one of the more sought-after pieces of real estate in New Zealand. It's now recognised as a unique wine-growing area that can achieve something the rest of New Zealand has traditionally had difficulty doing: produce fully ripe red grapes.

10/11/2014: Viticulture instructor implements canopy research
Fall harvest in the Surry Cellars vineyard is the perfect time for a new viticulture instructor to begin work at Surry Community College. Joseph Geller has been in the thick of harvest season and has begun the establishment plans for expanding the campus vineyard.

10/11/2014: One in five Brits admit to drinking a bottle of wine in a sitting
One in five Britons aged 25 to 34 admit to drinking an entire bottle of wine to themselves, according to a Harris Interactive poll produced in collaboration with the Grocer. The poll surveyed more than 2000 people and found that women were slightly more likely to drink a bottle of wine to themselves than men.

10/11/2014: Port assesses ‘incredible’ comeback
The head winemaker of Taylor’s, Fonseca and Croft Ports has hailed the “tremendous revival” of the entire fortified category as he defended the decision not to move into table wine. “It’s an incredible moment in the Port trade,” remarked David Guimaraens. “Port and other fortified wines are at the moment being tremendously appreciated for what they are.”

10/11/2014: Chilean wine industry ‘too brand driven’, says winemaker
The Chilean wine industry is "too brand driven" according to one of the country’s leading boutique winemakers. “I think Chile was wrong in aping the Old World châteaux model and leading with big brands," Derek Mossman-Knapp of the Maule-based Garage Wine Co said. "It would have been wiser to build the structure of the industry around origin rather than brands."

7/11/2014: Majestic funding request angers wine suppliers
Majestic Wine has angered a number of its supplier wineries by asking them to help fund a new warehouse for the retailer in the UK. One trade source said several suppliers were 'furious' over a request they pay extra for each bottle they ship to the specialist wine retailer.

7/11/2014: Canadian wines the ‘last frontier’ for HK
Canadian wines have a chance to capitalise on the strong links between Canada and Asia as the realisation of its wine industry’s growing quality spreads. Joseph Luk , managing director of Cuvées, said he's seen a growing number of importers adding Canadian wines to their lists.

7/11/2014: Palestine’s only brewer moves into wine
Palestine’s only brewer, Taybeh Brewing Co., is set to open a boutique hotel and winery early next year in a bid to boost tourism in the area. The company is located in the village of Taybeh, a Christian enclave in the predominantly Muslim West Bank. Brothers David and Nadim Khoury, who founded the beer brand, describe their move into wine tourism as “peaceful resistance”.

7/11/2014: Independent merchants win Wines of Chile promotion
Five independent wine merchants from across the UK have won a buying trip to Chile for their “innovative and quirky” promotions around Chilean wine. Wines of Chile selected McAlindon Wines from Belfast; Taurus Wines from Guildford in Surrey; The Wine Reserve from Cobham Surrey; Gercules Wine Warehouse in Sandwisch; and Kent and Stone Vine & Sun from Twyford, Hampshire as its top independent merchants of 2014.

7/11/2014: Bordeaux bounces back in the US
Results from the all-Bordeaux auction held by Hart Davis Hart last weekend bode well for the region’s market future according to Paul Hart, chief executive officer of the Chicago-based auction house. "Bordeaux sales have been on the rise in the US, which has recently emerged as the world’s leading auction market," he said following the two-day sale.

7/11/2014: The utmost imported
Three hundred million glasses, give or take a few. That’s how much wine New Zealand imported in the year to mid-2014. Overseas wines command 45 per cent of the total New Zealand market and most of the wine the country imports is red, mainly from Australia, Chile, France, South Africa, Spain, Argentina and Italy.

6/11/2014: Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair kicks off today
More than 1000 exhibitors from 38 countries and regions will showcase their products and services at the 7th Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair which kicks off today. John Tsang, financial secretary of the Hong Kong SAR Government, will be the guest of honour at the opening ceremony of the fair, which is organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC).

6/11/2014: Washington winegrape harvest to set record
Winegrape growers in Washington are wrapping up another record harvest which was second in size to California’s. Washington’s crop was forecast at 230,000 tonnes in August and industry sources say it probably will top that. Tonnage has been on a steady climb from 142,000 in 2011 mainly due to growing acreage, now in excess of 45,000 acres (18,210ha).

6/11/2014: Jancis Robinson says industry needs to take advantage of 'golden age'
The wine industry is living in a “golden age” of wine and needs to make the most of it before it's taken over by bureaucracy and censorship. This was the personal plea of Jancis Robinson MW at last weekend’s Digital Wine Communications Conference held in Montreux, Switzerland.

6/11/2014: Brewery teases Champagne in ‘apology’ video
A UK brewery has issued a tongue-in-cheek apology to the Champagne Bureau after releasing a “Champagne-style” sparkling beer. Savour Beer teamed up with Bolney Wine Estate earlier this year to brew a 10.5 per cent abv Belgian-style golden ale using the “méthode champenoise” to create a sparkling beer. But its use of the term sparked anger among The Comité Champagne who deemed its use to promote the beer “unduly” and “unfair practice” given that Champagne is a protected term reserved only for sparkling wines produced in Champagne using the traditional method.

6/11/2014: Social media gives wine the chance to shine, says Google chief
Social media platforms like YouTube give the wine industry a chance to connect directly with consumers in a way traditional media channels such as TV and newspapers have always denied them, according to Google’s Hamish Nicklin. He said too often wine is pushed to the sidelines by the mass national media or has to "play second fiddle" to food.

6/11/2014: Another NZ winery and homestead on the market
Wairarapa's Cottier Estate vineyard - a 13.7ha property which produces Pinot Noir and Chardonnay - is up for sale. The property, located in Gladstone near Carterton, includes a winery and award-winning homestead and has a rating valuation of $2.07 million, according to Bayleys agent Lindsay Watts.

5/11/2014: Tough times close winery restaurant
Hunter's Garden Restaurant, the first winery restaurant to open in Marlborough, has shut after 30 years in business. Jane Hunter, Hunter's Wines managing director, said the past couple of seasons had been tough. While it was a tough decision, she said 90 per cent of the company's wines were exported and they would concentrate on this growing market instead.

5/11/2014: Wine chemist develops sensor technology for Sauvignon Blanc
Renowned for the quality of its Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand is also leading the way in new technologies to help improve the drop during the winemaking process. Professor Paul Kilmartin, leading wine chemist at the University of Auckland, is developing sensor technology that would begin the winemaking process immediately after harvest.

5/11/2014: European winemakers find 2014 harvest a 'challenge'
For many European winemakers, the harvest of 2014 was called a "challenge" or "disappointing" after a cold winter cracked and crippled vines, hail storms ravaged vineyards and rain in August delayed ripening. Yields dropped 20 per cent to 30 per cent in many areas and for some winemakers, there was no crop at all.

5/11/2014: Napa Valley Vintners head to Japan and China to promote region
Twenty members of the Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) non-profit trade association are heading to Tokyo, Japan and Shanghai, China this week for eight days of marketing activities to promote the Napa Valley wine region. While in Tokyo, the group will host education and wine tasting events for restaurant and retail wine buyers, wine importers and members of the press.

5/11/2014: Bordeaux launches ad campaign across seven key markets
The Bordeaux Wine Council (CIVB) will launch a new international advertising and branding campaign across seven key markets starting this month. The campaign, which was created by London-based agency Isobel, focuses on authenticity, diversity and innovation, and is aimed at stimulating a re-discovery of Bordeaux as a world reference in terms of wine quality and expertise.

5/11/2014: Digital technology is a 'disruptive' force for the wine trade, hears DWCC
Technology is having a 'disruptive' effect on how wine businesses are run, delegates at the Digital Wine Communications Conference heard last weekend in Montreux, Switzerland. Whether it's through consumer-centric apps, better social media engagement and being ahead of the competition, when it comes to technology and talking to your consumers, the wine trade "can do much more", according to a panel of experts.

4/11/2014: Woolies snaps up troubled wine estate
Australian supermarket giant Woolworths has bought into Marlborough's wine industry with the acquisition of Isabel Estate Vineyard in Blenheim. Pinnacle Drinks, a subsidiary of the grocery giant, is the new owner of the New Zealand winery after it went into receivership in July, racking up more than $12.4m in debt.

4/11/2014: Wine awards in full swing
Twenty-six judges began tasting more than 680 Marlborough wines yesterday for this year's Air New Zealand Wine Awards. The prestigious three-day event, now in its 39th year, is being held at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland.

4/11/2014: Wine bloggers risk becoming 'dinosaurs' unless they become more professional
Wine bloggers and communicators need to raise their game and become more professional or risk becoming “dinosaurs” and out of touch not only with the wine trade but with the consumers they are trying to talk to. That was the stark warning issued at the Digital Wine Communications Conference in Montreux on Friday by a panel of experts analysing the future role of wine bloggers.

4/11/2014: Master of Wine uncovers Cyprus’ burgeoning wine industry
Sun, sea and sand are not factors normally associated with quality wine production, but once you leave the high-rise hotels and holiday villas of the coast, inland Cyprus is a fascinating ancient wine landscape, discovers Caroline Gilby MW.

4/11/2014: Why Chinese buyers are pouring into the Okanagan wine industry
It’s harvest season in British Columbia’s Okanagan wine country. Among the yellowing vineyards, the crushing of grapes and the tourists flocking to cellar doors to sample and stock up on past vintages, Zhenzhen Fu is on a life-changing mission. She wants to buy and run a winery. The 28-year-old, who moved to Canada from Weihai - a seaside city in China’s eastern Shandong province - is on her fourth visit to Canada’s western wine region and this time has the intention to spend big.

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