Winebiz - Australia's Wine Industry Portal By Winetitles

Daily Wine News
A snapshot of wine business, research and marketing content gleaned from local and international wine media sources. Emailed Monday to Friday excluding public holidays. Click here to subscribe, for advertising inquiries, click to download our media kit.

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

Announcements and Suppliers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

31/03/2014: What does Woolworth's really want to hear when you pitch a new brand to them?
In this article BeverageTradeNetwork.com writes about what makes the Australian market unique and how to prepare a new brand for a successful launch. Every market is different and fundamental knowledge of how decision-makers think will make the task of getting your product on the shelves of retailers around the world that much easier.

31/03/2014: WISA to host seminar on disaster planning
Wine Industry Suppliers Australia (WISA) will be hosting a seminar on disaster planning on Tuesday 15 April and will be addressing many issues to assist the wine industry.

Australian Wine Industry News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4/04/2014: Blog: The ‘new retail’: When online and offline converge
The number of consumers who shopped online in 2013 was higher than the number of those who did online banking. In fact, if you’re a retailer, chances are that nine in 10 (89 per cent) of your consumers purchased a product online last year.

4/04/2014: Winemakers can't afford to ignore social media, says industry expert
A visiting American wine industry expert says social media is just as important as the grapes that are grown and the wine that's produced. Paul Mabray, who delivered a lecture at the National Wine Centre in Adelaide last night, says that even small winemakers can't afford to ignore the web.

4/04/2014: NSW government paid to promote sales of low-cost wines to seniors
The NSW government is promoting massively discounted wine to seniors despite a crackdown on excessive alcohol consumption in other age groups. Seniors card holders have received emails from the Department of Family and Community Services offering discounts of almost 60 per cent on wine through Cellarmasters, a direct-to-home retailer owned by Woolworths.

4/04/2014: Continuing oversupply of wine concerns Clare Valley grapegrowers
Winegrape growers in Clare Valley have raised concerns that the continuing oversupply of wine in Australia, particularly Riesling, could significantly damage the South Australian region. Three quarters of the wine produced at Pikes Wines are white varieties and chief winemaker Andrew Pike says the situation is “probably going to get worse before it gets better".

4/04/2014: It's a glass half full for Granite Belt winemakers
Winemakers across Granite Belt and South Burnett are toasting to their efforts at this year's Queensland Wine Week which wraps up Sunday. Preston Peak Wines manager Katrina Dunn says while only 1 per cent of Australia's wine is produced in Queensland in terms of volume, the high standard of wine produced is gaining a reputation on the national and international stage.

3/04/2014: Over supply a looming issue for smaller wine regions
Grapegrowers in the Clare Valley say they're concerned the continuing over supply of wine in Australia could hurt their region. As vintage nears completion, producers say the season has been good despite some nerve-racking weather conditions.

3/04/2014: Fungus ruins red winegrape crops in NSW
Recent rain on the southern tablelands of NSW has led to outbreaks of botrytis in some vineyards, ruining up to half of some red winegrape crops. Vigneron Howard Spark from Goulburn says his Shiraz grapes have been badly affected.

3/04/2014: Blog: Winery adapting to warming
South Australian viticulturist and winemaker David Bruer has no doubts that climate change is already affecting the way his grapes grow and his wines taste. During the past 15 years, Bruer has observed winters becoming colder and drier in Langhorne Creek where Temple Bruer Wines is based.

3/04/2014: What influences suppliers and consumers most when choosing wine?
A University of Adelaide wine marketing researcher has examined what influences selection along the wine supply chain, providing wine businesses with valuable insight into what encourages suppliers and consumers to choose a particular bottle of wine.

3/04/2014: Grapegrower & Winemaker’s May 2014 Cover Comp
Harvest is the word on everyone’s lips at the moment and in the next issue of Grapegrower & Winemaker we’ll be providing readers with a full report on how the 2014 vintage fared. But we need the perfect cover photo to sum up what the May issue is all about. So the editorial team is on the hunt for the definitive harvest photograph – which may be machinery on the run, picker on foot or even the sun rising over another frantic day.

2/04/2014: Final day to register interest in Viognier tasting
Australian producers of varietal Viognier have until the end of today (Wednesday 2 April) to register their interest in a tasting soon to be held by the Wine & Viticulture Journal. The tasting will provide a snapshot of the evolution of varietal Viogniers in Australia since the magazine’s last assessment in 2006.

2/04/2014: Blog: Tasmania’s king of contract winemaking
In the Australian wine industry Winemaking Tasmania is a standout performer. It opened in 2002 as a Hobart-based contract winemaker, went straight into profit and has kept right on making money. Managing director Julian Alcorso says the business plan called for a target of 200 tonnes by Year Five but they had passed that mark by the end of their second year.

2/04/2014: Wineries still on track for ‘first class’ vintage
Heavy rainfalls haven’t dampened the grape harvest across the King Valley and by all accounts the 2014 wine vintage is expected to be “first class”. Vignerons last week worked overtime to get fruit picked ahead of rain on Wednesday night that swept across the valley.

2/04/2014: Riverland wines showcased at ProWein 2014
Riverland wineries including Angoves, Kingston Estates, Growers Wine Group (Waikerie), Salena Estates and Oxford landing, together with a host of brands that use Riverland fruit, were showcased at Europe’s leading wine fair in Düsseldorf, Germany last week. The ProWein fair is widely regarded as the world’s premium wine fair.

2/04/2014: Grapegrower & Winemaker's May 2014 Cover Comp
Harvest is the word on everyone’s lips at the moment and in the next issue of Grapegrower & Winemaker we’ll be providing readers with a full report on how the 2014 vintage fared. But we need the perfect cover photo to sum up what the May issue is all about. So the editorial team is on the hunt for the definitive harvest photograph – which may be machinery on the run, pickers on foot or even the sun rising over another frantic day.

1/04/2014: Blog: Horses return to d'Arenberg Vineyards
For the first time in more than 50 years a d’Arenberg vineyard has felt the gentle clip clop of a horse’s hooves between its vines, as Chester Osborn embarks on an experiment with the oldest bush vine Grenache vineyard in the McLaren Vale wine region.

1/04/2014: Wine backwards in coming forwards on GM
Genetically modified technology has the potential to make grapes cheaper to produce and enhance Australian wine production, but the Australian wine sector doesn't support the use of GM in its industry. Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) managing director Dan Johnson says GM is used in research, but the industry' is not ready for commercialisation.

1/04/2014: Henschke’s Hill of Grace Shiraz rates as one of the best — and now it’s poetry
Australia's most revered single plot of grape vines and the famous Shiraz that stems from it, Henschke Hill of Grace, is more than just a bottle of great red wine. It’s now a work of art. And the family behind the distinguished site has vowed to commission a new piece every year to honour it.

1/04/2014: Angove sets out Australia’s route forward
Australia’s medium-sized family wine businesses are vital for reinvigorating the country’s export momentum, believes John Angove, managing director of South Australian producer Angove Family Winemakers. He acknowledged recent troubled reports from major brand owners such as Treasury Wine Estates and Yellow Tail’s Casella Wines and said “the big companies – I don’t know what they’re doing".

31/03/2014: Wineries hit the wall - finally
After 30 years of surging growth Australia’s wine industry finally hit the wall in 2013 according to the 32nd edition of The Australian and New Zealand Wine Industry Directory (WID). Produced by the specialist wine industry publisher, Winetitles, the 2014 Directory lists 42 new wineries for this edition – and 41 closed down, were absorbed into another existing company or requested that their details are not listed.

31/03/2014: Australian wine sales hit hard by Chinese austerity drive
Australian winemakers might have to wait until 2015 to see a return to growth in China after Pernod Ricard, the world's second-biggest drinks group and owner of Jacob's Creek, warned beverage sales were flat since the Lunar New Year as an austerity drive and crackdown on luxury gift giving kept glasses empty.

31/03/2014: The hunt is on for Australia’s top drops
The hunt for Australia’s finest wines has begun with entries now open to the prestigious Royal Queensland Wine Show (RQWS). The popular competition last year attracted 1600 entries from 264 wineries across the nation. It is the ultimate test for winemakers to compete against industry peers and be judged by some of Australia’s most respected and experienced professionals.

31/03/2014: Australia's thirst for champagne continues
Last year Australia imported more than six million bottles of champagne, a rise of 1.4 per cent, which makes Australia the sixth largest export market in the world. Australia imported 6,023,165 bottles in 2013 behind Belgium, which imported 9,525,304 (a rise of 14.15 per cent) bottles.

31/03/2014: Warmer weather causing trouble for winegrape growers
Australian wineries are expected to crush more than 1.5 million tonnes of grapes during this year's vintage, but growers say they're having trouble processing their crops because it's ripening too quickly. Researchers are blaming climate change, with warmer conditions and drier soils accelerating the ripening process.

International Wine Industry News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4/04/2014: Virginia wineries struggle with grape shortage (US)
The Virginia wine industry is booming but wineries across the state are struggling to find enough locally grown grapes to meet demand. "We need more grapes than we can grow ourselves," New Kent Winery and Vineyard managing partner Pete Johns said.

4/04/2014: Earthquake in Chile spares wine regions
The 8.2 magnitude earthquake that struck 95 miles offshore from the northern city of Iquique on Tuesday spared winemaking regions of Chile. Wines of Chile USA executive director Marybeth Bentwood said “we have spoken to the wineries in Chile and have been reassured that there was very little impact on the vineyards, wineries and related industries".

4/04/2014: Project lifts region's wine profile (NZ)
A major new wine-making project will put New Zealand's Northland on the map as a wine region, TV presenter and wine expert Yvonne Lorkin says. Lorkin, who also writes the Advocate's wine column, has been in the Bay of Islands filming an episode of Thirsty Work, a wine series broadcast on FoodTV.

4/04/2014: BlackSquare grows global wine sales
BlackSquare has announced an important wave of top-tier, enterprise-level winery clients who have adopted its Blackboxx direct-to-consumer (DTC) wine e-commerce platform. New international clients include Australia’s Brown Brothers, Canada's Hester Creek Estate Winery, Ontario’s Vineland Estates Winery and Singapore’s Wine Export Initiative.

4/04/2014: UK Bordeaux wine sales rise 14 per cent
Sales of Bordeaux wines in the UK have grown 14.2 per cent in volume and 18.6 per cent in value, according to data compiled by market research firm IRI. Figures supplied by French Customs support this growth with exports of Bordeaux wine to the UK rising by 18 per cent in 2013. This year’s increase continues an ongoing trend which has seen 750,000 extra nine litre cases of Bordeaux wines shipped to the UK during the past four years.

4/04/2014: Pressure on wine shipments mounts as US ports still deadlocked over contracts
Strike threats at western US sea ports are ongoing, with wine logistics experts predicting major problems for those who have not planned ahead. Employees across 29 ports are threatening industrial action over new contracts which could hit wine shipments, both in and out of the US.

3/04/2014: European Union to grant Bulgaria EU$133 million for vine-growing subsidies
Bulgaria will receive EU$133 million from the European Union which will subsidise vine-growing and wine production under a new operational program. Krasimir Koev who heads Bulgaria's Vine and Wine Agency said the new program was signed Wednesday. Upon receiving the funds, new vines are to be planted across Bulgaria.

3/04/2014: Italy weighs up options in China
With Italy’s market share in China sitting at 6 per cent, Vinitaly International held a roundtable event at the Chengdu Wine Fair late last month to discuss Italy’s standing in the country and how wine imports might be boosted. Italian ambassador to China, Alberto Bradanini, said the problem is that "in China, Italy is not seen as one of the wine-producing countries".

3/04/2014: Bottled wine exports grew 25 per cent
In spite of uncertainty, exporting sectors had a good performance in the first two months of the year except for the US market where exports dropped by 9 per cent in value and 8.5 per cent in volume. The overall Argentine wine exports during January/February 2014 grew almost 25 per cent in terms of value and 26 per cent in volume, compared with the same period of 2013, according to data from Caucasia Wine Thinking.

3/04/2014: Northwest vineyards see budburst (US)
Gentle rains nourished local vines through March and swelling buds began to burst March 27 at Stoller Family Estate in Dundee. Vineyard manager Rob Schultz said as early as March 7 sap was rising and vines were approximately three weeks ahead of schedule. While a head start to the season was welcomed, it increased the chance of damage from unexpected spring frosts.

3/04/2014: Chilean wine exports to UK fall by one third in 2013
The UK is still the second largest export market for Chilean wine but volumes have plummeted 34 per cent during the past year with value down 17 per cent. According to export figures from Wines of Chile, volumes have decreased from 667,828 nine litre cases in January 2013 to 439,685 nine litre cases in January 2014.

3/04/2014: Harvest brings the world to region (NZ)
The grape harvest in Marlborough brings together a melting pot of nationalities and cultures and the 2014 first year class of viticulture students at Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology is no different. Among them are students from Hawaii, India, England and China, some of whom have decided on a total shift in their careers to get into the wine industry. They got a feel for harvesting last week, hand picking a tonne of Pinot Noir grapes at a Sacred Hill Winery block near Renwick.

2/04/2014: New owner to grow New Zealand wine brands
A suite of award-winning New Zealand brands have been acquired by leading Australian wine company, Accolade Wines, which plans to use its global reach to grow the brands. The deal, announced last November, has been finalised following regulatory approvals and includes Mud House, Waipara Hills, Dusky Sounds, Haymaker and Skyleaf and their assets.

2/04/2014: Producer sprinkles vineyard with meteorite dust (Canada)
A biodynamic producer in British Columbia has ground meteorites to sprinkle on his vineyard. Adam Macfarlane, owner of Quantock Winery on Galliano - one of the gulf islands near Vancouver, said he hoped the extraterrestrial dust would “energise” his soil.

2/04/2014: French vineyard robot has a vine time in Oregon (US)
A shear-wielding contraption billed as the world’s first robotic vineyard pruner put on a show to a rapt audience of winemakers and vineyard managers in the hills above Carlton on Monday. The robot, dubbed Wall-Ye-France by its French inventor, Christophe Millot, moved up and down a long vineyard row, extending its clippered “hand” to make a precise cut.

2/04/2014: South Africa must be allowed to reinvest in wine production
A South African Fairtrade producer has praised UK buyers for agreeing not to push down prices despite a weak rand so that wineries can invest in the future. The teetering rand means South African producers are making their biggest margins in years, but they have urged buyers to allow them to reinvest the capital to ensure the rainbow nation can produce better quality wines in the long term.

2/04/2014: French bulk wine prices jump 65 per cent
French bulk wine prices have jumped 65 per cent in the past three years, with white wines the most affected. While white wines increased by 64.5 per cent on average, rosé prices grew 39 per cent and red wine prices rose by 20.5 per cent between 2011 and 2014, according to figures from Murphy Wine Company.

1/04/2014: Exporters and winemakers to benefit from fall in NZ dollar
The New Zealand dollar may weaken in the second quarter, benefiting exporters such as winemakers grappling with a bumper harvest, as economic recovery and a wind-down of stimulus in the US helps lift the greenback, according to the median forecast in a BusinessDesk survey of 15 currency traders and strategists.

1/04/2014: ProWine China 2014 on course for expansion
Following the successful premiere of ProWine China in November, where 570 wine and spirit producers presented themselves to 7650 trade visitors from China and Asia in Shanghai, exhibitor demand for the next event to be held from 12-14 November 2014 is high. The fair will occupy further space in a second exhibition hall this year.

1/04/2014: Foley Family Wines buys Four Graces winery in Oregon (US)
In yet another sign that Oregon is gaining recognition for its wines, Bill Foley and Foley Family Wines have purchased The Four Graces - a producer of Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Pinot Blanc in the Dundee Hills of Oregon’s Willamette Valley.

1/04/2014: Chinese investments approved (NZ)
Chinese companies are stepping up New Zealand investment after two big approvals were granted. Ling Hai Group, owned by Zongren Ling and family, has approval to buy 741ha of Marlborough land from Geoffrey and David Marfell and Castlebrae Vineyards for an undisclosed sum for a wine and tourism deal.

1/04/2014: Are interruptions in Georgia’s wine export economic warfare?
There are interruptions in the export of wine from Georgia to Belarus, but the sale of wine to Ukraine and Russia is continuing without any restrictions, according to Levan Davitashvili, head of Georgia’s National Wine Agency. The media in Belarus has reported Georgian wine is disappearing from shelves not only in shops and supermarkets, but from specialist shops as well.

1/04/2014: Bordeaux to invest €20m in wooing trade and consumers (France)
After suffering both a disastrous harvest and sales drop of up to 12 per cent in some markets in 2013, Bordeaux will invest €19.8 million in communications and marketing in 2014. According to Bernard Farges, chairman of the Bordeaux Wine Council (CIVB), the wine trade needs to be reminded of “the weight the Bordeaux wine business carries".

31/03/2014: Wakatipu wine pioneer Brady vows last bunch (NZ)
The founder of the Wakatipu’s famed wine region Gibbston is fizzing as he bows out of the industry. Gibbston Pinot Noir pioneer Alan Brady, inducted into the New Zealand Wine Hall of Fame last weekend, vows next month’s vintage will be his last as a hands-on winemaker.

31/03/2014: Italian wine producers unite to reach Chinese market
Italian wine producers have begun to fill the gap with other export-driven countries in what they consider a "highly promising" Chinese market. Wine exports are an important motor of the Italian economy, official figures have shown. Last year wine was the most exported agri-food product with a growth rate of 8 per cent compared to 2012.

31/03/2014: Grapegrowers assess damage from cold winter (US)
After a long and brutal winter the federal government is now stepping in to make sure Western New York farmers and growers are not left out in the cold. The severe weather has impacted local wineries and there is now help available.

31/03/2014: Wine spritzer makes comeback (NZ)
The wine spritzer could be making a comeback with a local wine company exporting it by the container load. Invivo Wines launched it's Scarlett's Spritzers range in New Zealand six weeks ago and co-founder Tim Lightbourne is now busy loading a shipping container of the drink which is headed for Canada.

31/03/2014: Wines of Brazil hopes World Cup wine will help boost wines sales in UK
Wines of Brazil hopes the release of a new limited edition official licensed wine for the FIFA World Cup will bring added attention to the country’s wines in the UK and its key export markets around the world.

31/03/2014: Jancis Robinson and Justin Howard-Sneyd part of speaker line-up at UK's first cool climate event
Leading UK wine trade figures Jancis Robinson MW and Justin Howard-Sneyd are two of the speakers who have been announced for the International Cool Climate Wine Symposium which will take place in the UK for the first time between 26-28 May 2016. The event, which was officially launched to the international wine trade at ProWein last week, hopes to bring leading wine professionals, winemakers, academics and educators to Brighton - the host of the 2016 event.

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