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

15/09/2014: Kauri early order barrel alternatives: Discounts for vintage 2015
Kauri is offering fantastic early order savings on Nacional’s range of barrel alternatives to Australian wineries. Order before Friday 19 September 2014 and receive the best pricing available.

15/09/2014: Export excellence
Domaine Asmara is a family-owned and operated boutique vineyard located in the Heathcote wine region. Already achieving high accolades in the domestic market, the focus shifted to exporting our premium wines to the vast markets of China and HK. Its approach has always been holistic in this matter. It’s not about selling “a product”, but rather offering passion that satisfied the customer needs.

15/09/2014: Good Food & Wine Show rolls into Brisbane 17–19 October
The Good Food & Wine Show will once again be celebrating artisan products and boutique wines in Brisbane this October. Wineries can sample and sell direct to consumers and show organisers are expecting 20,000+ visitors to attend over the three days.

8/09/2014: Grapegrower & Winemaker Bosch heated jacket winner announced
Congratulations to Luke Tocaciu from Patrick of Coonawarra who won the Bosch heated jacket Grapegrower & Winemaker competition.

8/09/2014: Extending and stretching: 12 things to consider when expanding your beverage brand's line-up
In this article BTN looks at how to successfully expand your brand's line-up. Whether it's your distillery's new BBQ sauce, your brewery's new citrus flavour or your winery's new premium offering, deciding to add new products to your brand line-up takes careful preparation.

8/09/2014: Barossa Enterprises: Experts in wine packaging products and services
Barossa Enterprises is a proven manufacturer of quality handmade timber packaging products and offers a packaging service at competitive prices. Come to the experts for a range of products and services including display boxes, pallets, bins and crates, fumigation (BE is ISPM-15 certified to meet export requirements) and process packaging.

8/09/2014: Packaging design with a competitive edge
Packaging design is in constant evolution, except this; It all begins with an idea, and someone who’ll believe in it. Depot Creative are proud of our awards and industry-wide reputation for giving clients a real competitive edge.

4/09/2014: Entries to the 2014 VISY Great Australian Shiraz Challenge close next week
Entries to the 2014 VISY Great Australian Shiraz Challenge close next Friday 12 September. Don’t miss your chance to win more than $12,000 worth of prizes and the coveted Great Australian Shiraz Challenge Trophy. The event’s unique judging process ensures all wines are objectively assessed regardless of style, climatic and regional differences.

1/09/2014: How to sell your brand to online retail channels like Vinomofo.com and Lot18.com
The following article by BeverageTradeNetwork.com (BTN) provides insights and tips for suppliers looking to sell their brands to online retail partners. BTN interviews Andre Eikmeier, founder of Vinomofo.com (fastest growing retailer in Australia) on how wineries can position themselves for this channel.

1/09/2014: Bird protection made easy
The right netting can make a huge difference to your vineyard’s productivity. Vine nets come in sizes suitable for multi row and single row applications and custom made sizes are also available for early orders.

Australian Wine Industry News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10/09/2014: Murray Valley winegrape prices drop 20 per cent
This year’s Murray Valley winegrape harvest produced 10 per cent less fruit than last year’s vintage and suffered a drop in value by more than 20 per cent. The 2014 Wine Grape Crush survey report released yesterday confirmed a harvest of 413,627 tonnes worth $129m, compared with last year’s 458,614 tonnes valued at $165m.

10/09/2014: Little guys take on Woolies and Coles
Small online retailers are working out ways to break into the highly competitive grocery retail industry with varying degrees of success. Online wine retailer Vinomofo keeps a highly curated selection of 10 to 20 wines on site with one or two wines added each day. This model allows Vinomofo to buy a large volume of wine and compete against large grocery stores such as Coles and Woolworths. "We buy more of our individual wines than anyone in the country and that's including the evil empire," Justin Dry, Vinomofo co-founder said.

10/09/2014: Mudgee gets five new weather stations
Grapegrowers will now have the most up-to-date information about weather conditions and the state of vines around the Mudgee region, thanks to five new weather stations positioned in local vineyards. A grant secured by the Mudgee Wine Grape Growers Association has funded the installation in vineyards at Logan Wines, Yeates Wines, Gooree Park, Woodbrook and Robert Stein.

10/09/2014: Blog: Jobs cut as glass furnace is turned off
An Adelaide glass packaging factory is about to turn off one of its glass furnaces, leaving up to 60 people out of work. The West Croydon factory – owned by US group Owens-Illinois (O-I), formerly ACI Glass – which has been making glassware at the Port Road site since 1914, has scaled back its manufacturing significantly in recent times.

9/09/2014: Blog: AWRI and RAWS raise a glass to two top tasters
The Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) and the Royal Adelaide Wine Show (RAWS) have acknowledged two duxes of the most recent Advanced Wine Assessment Courses (AWACs). Lim Hwee Peng, Winecraft Marketing & Services educator and consultant, based in Singapore, was named dux of AWAC 33 and Rose Kentish, Ulithorne Wines winemaker, was named dux of AWAC 34. Hwee Peng and Rose will both be offered a place as associate judges for the 2014 Royal Adelaide Wine Show to be held in October. These are highly sought after positions due to the limited places available.

9/09/2014: Yarra Valley white wins top honour at Riverina Wine Show
Results from the 40th Riverina Wine Show were announced last week at a gala dinner held at the Wine Museum in Griffith. Although a Shiraz might have been more appropriate for a 40th anniversary celebration, it was the 2013 Santolin Wines Individual Vineyard Chardonnay from the Yarra Valley which took home the top honour of best still wine of show.

9/09/2014: McLaren Vale wineries join forces to present Spring Affair
The refreshing green of budburst, golden sun, wine and azure seas are all great reasons to celebrate with McLaren Vale’s Spring Affair, the latest edition to South Australia’s festivals. Three of the region's leading wineries, Maxwells, Coriole and Paxton, are presenting the new Spring Affair event during the October long weekend offering two days of live music, local food and fine wines.

9/09/2014: ASVO to elect new board members
The Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology (ASVO) board is electing members for its South Australia and combined Western Australia, Tasmania and Queensland seats. Elections will be conducted online and people based in these regions will receive a voting email mid-September.

8/09/2014: Blog: Riesling challenges the world
The 15th Canberra International Riesling Challenge, sponsored by Winetitles among others, is to be held from 13-18 October and has attracted 494 entries from 239 wineries representing nine Riesling-producing countries. The judging at this year’s event will be undertaken by three international and three Australian judges, all of whom are Riesling experts.

8/09/2014: Producers must begin pre-budburst chemical control, says Riverland Wine
Grape leaf rust mite is a pest specific to grapevines and severe infestations can cause economic losses – generally more problematic in later budbursting varieties. The most widely recognised and distinct symptom is bronzing on the upper surface of vine leaves in late summer and early autumn. It can also inflict damage in early spring through feeding within bursting buds and at the base of young shoots. Pre-budburst chemical control is required for the following season when more than 50 per cent of vine leaves are bronzed on more than half the vineyard.

8/09/2014: September 2014 Grapegrower & Winemaker magazine out now
The September 2014 issue of Grapegrower & Winemaker is out now and is available online for all subscribers. Spring is finally here so pull out that dusty hammock, sit back and join us as we discuss the latest in irrigation, pressing and crushing, oak alternatives and education among others.

8/09/2014: WA shines at Perth Royal Wine Show
The 2014 Perth Royal Wine Show has been a triumph for WA producers with nine of the 19 trophies awarded to individual wines from across the state. The success story of the show was Margaret River's Aravina Estate which took home five trophies including best wine of the show for its 2013 Chardonnay.

5/09/2014: VIC100: The definitive guide to Victoria’s top 100 wines
The results for the VIC100 Wine Awards were announced this week. Held for the first time in 2014, the VIC100 aims to identify the best wines, from the best producers and connect those results directly with consumers.

5/09/2014: Wine Industry Environment Conference targets smarter business
The early bird discount rate for the 7th Australian Wine Industry Environment Conference has been extended by one week and ends next Friday 12 September. Some of the brightest sparks in the wine business world will descend on Adelaide for the conference to be held at the Charles Hawker Conference Centre, Waite Campus on 25 September.

5/09/2014: Industry says health warnings would make it 'laughing stock'
The idea of putting health warnings on alcohol labels is being tested on consumers, but the wine industry fears Australia could be ridiculed globally. Some medical research has highlighted cancer risks associated with alcohol consumption, but the wine industry thinks Australia would be a laughing stock if it resorted to more health warnings. For many products, the label is a huge part of recognition and achieving sales and the alcohol industry is no exception Paul Evans of the Winemakers Federation said.

5/09/2014: Blog: AWRI answers crossflow queries
From time to time the AWRI helpdesk takes an enquiry that goes something like this: “My wine was very difficult to filter via crossflow, what could be the cause?” It is a good question as most wines do fly through crossflow filters, primarily due to the way the continuous flow filter has been engineered.

5/09/2014: Australian winemakers to join Negociants on tour of UK independents
Negociants UK will be hitting the road later this month as part of a nationwide tour of tastings focused on the independent and on-trade. Australian winemakers joining the tour are Louisa Rose from Yalumba, Barossa & Eden Valley, Simon Steele from Brokenwood, Virginia Willcock from Vasse Felix, Tom Barry from Jim Barry Wines, and from New Zealand Clive Jones from Nautilus Estate and Jeff Clarke from Ara.

4/09/2014: Blog: Looking for SA leaders
The Governor's Leadership Program is aimed at people who are, or will develop into, South Australian leaders. It is a challenging leadership development program - an unconventional, unmatched and life-changing experience. Mardi Longbottom, senior viticulturist at the Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) is one of the three dozen participants in the 2014 program.

4/09/2014: New fellows appointed at AWRI
Associate Professor Peter Dry and Professor Sakkie Pretorius have been appointed as new honorary fellows at the AWRI. Dry is a highly respected viticulturist with a long history of involvement in the research and education activities of the Australian wine sector. Pretorius is a well-known microbiologist who has been at the forefront of wine yeast microbiology and molecular biology over the past two decades.

4/09/2014: Margaret River winemaker could be crowned best in the world
Margaret River winemaker Virginia Willcock may soon reach her zenith after being named as a finalist for the coveted international winemaker of the year award. Willcock is one of only five vinters in the world nominated for the award offered by US magazine Wine Enthusiast. In recent years, the Vasse Felix chief winemaker has been named winemaker of the year by both Australian Gourmet Traveller Magazine and the West Australian Good Wine Guide.

4/09/2014: AFFW taking the fight to the frontline
Mitchell Taylor – Taylor’s Wines boss and chairman of Australia’s First Families of Wine – reflects on the way his company and coalition are not just waiting for wine’s second coming, they are out there drumming up their own business.

3/09/2014: Victoria to host top international wine buyers
Victorian wine will get an export boost with an inbound Chinese trade mission aimed at promoting the state's drops on the world stage. Employment and trade minister Louise Asher announced last week the Victorian Government would host its first Super Inbound Wine Mission next year, targeting senior wine buyers as part of a plan to significantly boost the state’s food and beverage exports.

3/09/2014: Judges sniff, swirl and sip at Perth Royal Wine Show
Choosing to start the day with a glass of wine would normally raise a few eyebrows but for the judges at the Perth Royal Wine Show, it's just another day at the office. A panel of 25 experts picked up the first of nearly 2200 wines Monday morning in a bid to crown the winner of this year's show. Chief judge Brian Croser said each person would taste 150 wines a day and many of them would be tasted twice.

3/09/2014: Blog: The Wolf of Wine Street racks up a big one
This month Wolf Blass, one of the great names in the Australian wine story, celebrates his 80th birthday. The Barossa baron invited Grapegrower & Winemaker's Stephanie Timotheou to his Adelaide office to catch up over a coffee as he reflected on the 57 years he’s dedicated to the wine industry here and abroad.

3/09/2014: Hunter wine industry subject of university study
The Hunter Valley wine industry, which attracts more than 2 million tourists annually, is being put under the microscope in a University of Newcastle study. The four-year project funded as part of the Australian Research Council 2014 Linkage Program is underway and examines the role the Hunter has played in influencing the nation’s drinkers to switch from beer to wine. It focuses on how producers in the region have changed Australian culture by creating a taste for their wines.

2/09/2014: Japan’s biggest tasting of Australian wine returns this week
This Wednesday sees the return of the Wine Australia Tasting (WAT) at the Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel, the biggest trade tasting in Japan with nearly 500 trade and media guests expected to attend. The timing of the event is designed to precede the peak of Japan’s wine consumption from mid-autumn and throughout winter.

2/09/2014: Australian winemakers’ views towards oak barrel alternatives matures
It is probably fair to suggest that for most of us in the world of winemaking, the use of oak barrel alternatives is not one of the more energising or romantic aspects of our days’ work. Nor are they what seduced us all away from more lucrative careers elsewhere. Also, one suspects that a beautifully lit barrel hall is a better image for brand building than a store room with bags of chips and planks on the shelves.

2/09/2014: Blog: Inaugural Tasmanian Wine List Awards announced
Stillwater and Mures Upper Deck have been announced as the inaugural recipients of the Tasmanian Wine List of the Year Awards. In 2014 Wine Tasmania and the Tasmanian Hospitality Association (THA) partnered on a new award to recognise licensed Tasmanian businesses supporting and promoting the local wine sector as part of the THA’s annual Awards for Excellence.

2/09/2014: Australia has 'critical role' to play in China, says industry leader
Cameron Ferguson, Australian Vintage general manager, said the nation's role in the future of wine in China will be “critical”. Responding to questions about the company's recent deal with Chinese retailer COFCO for its McGuigan brand, Ferguson said Australian wine was “aspirational for the Chinese wine drinker; it’s about our clean, green lifestyle, nature and outlook for which the Chinese have an affinity”.

2/09/2014: Yvonne May – we will never forget her
The following article was written by wine writer, critic and buyer Matthew Jukes following the news that Yvonne May, Wine Australia regional director for Europe and the UK passed away. I learned of Yvonne’s passing on Saturday from her husband David and immediately felt cheered that she had made a whole seven days more than the doctors said she would. This is Yvonne to a tee – she embodied drive, determination and inner strength. David and I talked last week at length and he was putting a very brave face on things in spite of the awful news.

1/09/2014: Blog: Global manufacturer plans to revive the cork Down Under
When CorkGuard Closures Ltd introduced SmartCork to the market it knew the Australian wine industry would be tough to crack because of its preference for screwcap. But as it turns out David Taylor, who developed the new cork, is pushing all the right buttons to tap into the antipodean wine world.

1/09/2014: WGGA appoints new executive committee representative
Wine Grape Growers Australia (WGGA) has announced the appointment of Ben Rose as the new greater Victoria and Tasmania representative on the WGGA executive committee. Lawrie Stanford, WGGA executive director, said Rose – a viticulture consultant with more than 15 years’ experience – was qualified to represent the greater Victorian and Tasmanian winegrape growing community.

1/09/2014: Treasury Wine Estates flags AGM delay potential
Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) has warned it may delay its AGM depending on the outcome of discussions with two potential buyers of the group. Earlier this month, TWE revealed it received a competing takeover bid after Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co (KKR) and Rhone Capital proposed a $3.4bn transaction.

1/09/2014: Master of Wine tastes more than 8000 wines for new book
Master of Wine Rob Geddes tried more than 8000 wines for his latest book Australian Wine Vintages. Geddes tasted them over a two-month period from his Crows Nest home, spending between three minutes and 10 minutes on each wine. In the 32nd edition of The Gold Book, Geddes shares which local drops are worth buying this year.

1/09/2014: Loxton Research Centre refurbish progresses
The empty offices at the Loxton Research Centre are beginning to buzz again, according to Riverland Wine. In September last year the state government announced plans to revive the once thriving centre, refurbish and re-populate the empty spaces and build additional capacity. Plans for a new multi-function centre including laboratories, training facilities and meeting rooms were unveiled a couple of months ago.

29/08/2014: Australian Vintage outshines rival with strong profits rise
McGuigan Wines producer Australian Vintage Limited (AVL) has reported its highest annual profits total in nearly a decade, contrasting markedly with the losses reported at rival Treasury Wine Estates. It has become semi-customary during the past 10 years for Australian wine companies to warn of challenging conditions facing their industry. AVL repeated the mantra in its financial results statement this week, reiterating that overall Australian wine exports are still falling year-on-year.

29/08/2014: Award-winning journo joins wine judging panel
Lyndey Milan OAM, Macquarie Group Sydney Royal Wine Show committee chair has announced award-winning British journalist and presenter Jane Parkinson as the show’s 2015 international wine judge. Parkinson is no stranger to the Australian wine industry, having spent three months in 2011 at a winery in South Australia’s McLaren Vale region. The resident wine expert on BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen Live is also the wine editor for Restaurant, wine expert for Stylist and wine reviewer for 60 Second Reviews.

29/08/2014: Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show Fellowship applications now open
The Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show Fellowship invites applications from wine professionals and knowledgeable enthusiasts who wish to take part in the program. The Fellowship gives successful applicants the opportunity to explore and celebrate Australia’s alternative varieties and share that new found fervour with their networks and industry groups.

29/08/2014: Blog: Researchers investigate link between wine and emotion
University of Adelaide researchers are investigating the links between wine, where it’s consumed and emotion to help the Australian wine industry gain deeper consumer insights into their products. A trial is being carried out involving 360 wine consumers who have been sampling specific wines in different environments, and rating their emotional response on a specially devised ‘wine emotion scale’.

28/08/2014: 2014 NSW Small Winemakers Show winners announced
The NSW Small Winemakers Show, sponsored by Winetitles, celebrated its 23rd year of competition this year. More than 600 entries were received from 101 small producers that crush a maximum of 500-tonnes annually.

28/08/2014: AWRI’s fourth webinar series to launch next month
The AWRI’s fourth webinar series will launch in early September with sessions continuing until mid-December. Webinars are interactive online seminars where you participate from your desk using a computer with internet access. You hear the presenter’s voice, see their slides and have the opportunity to ask questions after the presentation. Presentations are made by experts in their field, with a focus on practical advice and support.

28/08/2014: WA wine exports to China suffer steep drop in sales and volume
Western Australia's wine industry is reassessing the extent of its focus on the China export market on the back of sharp drops in both sales and volume. Industry figures reveal wine exports to China from WA in the 12 months to July 2014 were down 25 per cent by volume and 20 per cent in sales.

27/08/2014: Two-day wine and grape science symposium to be held in Adelaide next month
Crush 2014, the wine and grape science symposium, will be held at the Plant Research Centre, Waite Campus in Adelaide from 25-26 September. The national event, organised by the Wine Innovation Cluster (WIC), will bring together researchers, technical people and students from around Australia to discuss the latest developments, outcomes and knowledge in viticulture and oenology.

27/08/2014: Blog: Clare Valley winery raises a glass to Chinese market
Taylors Wines has cemented its reputation in the highly competitive Chinese wine market, winning big at the 2014 China Wine and Spirits Awards (CWSA) and the 2014 China Wine Challenge. At the CWSA in Hong Kong, Taylors took out the trophy for the Clare Valley wine of the year for its 2010 Taylors Winemaker’s Project (TWP) Barrel Selection Clare Valley Shiraz. According to the company, Taylors was one of the best performing wineries at the show, taking home 21 medals including seven double gold and seven gold.

27/08/2014: TWE boss wins major shareholder backing for US push
Treasury Wine Estates' (TWE) chief Michael Clarke says he has the strong backing of the company's biggest shareholders, as well as both private equity suitors circling the group, to embark on an acquisition campaign in the US and reverse years of drifting by the business.

27/08/2014: 2014 Blackwood Valley & WA Boutique Wine Show entries now open
Western Australia's Blackwood Valley Wine Industry Association is calling on local wine producers and boutique wine producers with production of up to 250 tonnes to enter the 2014 Blackwood Valley & WA Boutique Wine Show. The wine show is specifically designed to recognise excellence in local boutique wineries and promote the outstanding wines produced in the Blackwood Valley wine region.

26/08/2014: End of winter signals end of ester hormone herbicide use
Budburst has commenced in most South Australian vineyards and the Wine Grape Council of SA is requesting broad-acre farmers, contract sprayers, local governments and other users of phenoxy herbicides for weed control be mindful of its potential damage to winegrapes and other horticulture crops.

26/08/2014: Blog: Hill of Grace Restaurant officially opens
Adelaide Oval’s Hill of Grace Restaurant officially opens to the public today, offering a fine dining experience while showcasing the best seasonal produce and premium wine the state has to offer. At last night's official launch attended by industry leaders, government officials and the media, a menu created by head chef Dennis Leslie and the world’s only complete set of Henschke Hill of Grace was unveiled.

26/08/2014: Australian Vintage signs distribution agreement with COFCO
Australian Vintage Limited (AVL) has signed a Chinese distribution agreement with COFCO Wine & Spirits Co Ltd. The agreement will see AVL, through its core brand McGuigan Wines, become the strategic partner for Australian wine throughout China within the newly established international wine division of COFCO. “There is currently an opportunity for Australian wine in China and it’s one of the most exciting emerging markets for the global wine industry," AVL chief executive officer Neil McGuigan says.

26/08/2014: Hardys reaches a century
South Australia's Hardys is celebrating a milestone this week and has announced its distribution to more than 100 countries around the world, with recent additions including South Africa and Mexico. Already the biggest selling Australian wine brand in the UK, Hardys is now available in 54 per cent of all wine drinking countries globally.

International Wine Industry News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10/09/2014: Norton's wine proving a hit with fans
The first bottles of British talk show host Graham Norton's signature wine, made with hand-picked Marlborough grapes, have gone on sale. Auckland-based Invivo Wines released the limited edition wine last week, named Graham Norton's Own Sauvignon Blanc 2014. Tim Lightbourne, Invivo Wines co-founder said more than 6000 bottles had been sold since its release and about 2000 of those were sold the first morning.

10/09/2014: NZ's Pinot at Cloudy Bay a 'world-class' event
French Pinot Noir seemed to be the pick of the bunch at this year's Pinot at Cloudy Bay event, but the "wild card" wine from Germany was a pleasant surprise to many. About 70 winemakers, viticulturists, restaurateurs, retailers and wine lovers gathered from New Zealand and abroad to taste and compare 18 exclusive Pinot Noirs from five countries.

10/09/2014: Italy's wine output predicted to drop after rainy summer
Italy’s wine production may slide about 14 per cent this year after a rainy summer brought overcast conditions and fungal rot, according to a forecast from the country’s association of wine industry technicians. Italian winemakers may produce 41.6m hectoliters this year from 48.16m last year, the Associazione Enologi Enotecnici Italiani wrote in a recent report.

10/09/2014: Tasting the effects of wine closures (US)
The recent Wines & Vines Packaging Conference featured two tastings that showed how closure choice can affect wine quality. The first tasting was sponsored by Guala Closures and featured wines by PlumpJack Group's CADE Winery in Napa Valley. PlumpJack Winery general manager and CADE partner John Conover said the company had been open to alternative closures because the founding partners saw first-hand how unpleasant a corked wine was for its customers.

10/09/2014: What we lose in the quest for profits (US)
Is the wine industry losing some of the most exciting wines it has ever made in the quest for profits? Over the decades, US wine columnist Dan Berger has seen some major losses due to greed. He says it's the abandonment of vineyards that once made phenomenal wines, but never showed enough profit for their owners.

10/09/2014: Wines of Chile's UK director reveals marketing plans
Wines of Chile is planning a major consumer event for 2015 to raise awareness about the South American country as a whole, says new UK director Anita Jackson. The body is currently locked into a three-year marketing plan until the end of 2014, but Jackson has been asking producers, suppliers and importers what they would like the UK industry to focus on for 2015 and beyond.

9/09/2014: Craggy Range shortlisted for US award
For the second year running Hawke’s Bay winery Craggy Range has been chosen as a finalist in the Wine Enthusiast’s Wine Star Awards. It's one of five finalists in the New World Winery category and was a finalist in the same class in 2013 which was won by Penfolds.

9/09/2014: NZ wine industry has 'a lot to learn' from craft breweries
Craft breweries are opening throughout the country and in Wellington a popular central city wine bar recently made the switch to a beer bar. The wine industry and the loyal wine drinkers of New Zealand should take a leaf out of the craft beer industry book, according to Stuff.co.nz writer Christine Kernohan. She says the beer industry has seen enormous growth with a new and vibrant approach to its products, promotion and venues which means the wine industry can't afford to be stodgy.

9/09/2014: Six new Masters of Wine announced
Applications for the Institute of Masters of Wine program have increased 26 per cent for the next intake and the six latest MWs to pass the gruelling exams have been announced. Four women and two men make up the new cohort of MWs - two from the UK, two from the US, one from Germany and one from Sweden. There are now 319 MWs and in the past 10 years almost 50 per cent have been women.

9/09/2014: This year could be Bordeaux’s ‘last chance’ (France)
It won’t be another vintage of the century but 2014 could be “just what Bordeaux needs” says Gavin Quinney, an ex-pat grower and winemaker. With only some of the dry whites picked and the red harvest due to start around September 20, “it’s too early to say about quality, but if the weather holds it’s the sort of vintage we need,” Quinney says.

9/09/2014: A new frontier for custom wine labels (US)
US-based Terlato Wine Group has taken wine and art to the next level, employing the talents of expressionist painter Rene Romero Schuler to create a series of innovative wine labels. John Terlato, Terlato Wine Group vice chairman, said 21 bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon from Terlato Family vineyards in Napa Valley’s Stag’s Leap district will each feature an individual piece of Schuler’s art as a label.

9/09/2014: Dubai wine market ‘developing fast’, says sommelier
This week Muslim UAE is holding its inaugural Dubai Wine Week. Dubai is a relatively new market for wine but the trade is developing fast in terms of sommeliers and wine buyers who are becoming more competent and knowledgeable, according to Olivier Gasselin, Hakkasan Middle East & Shanghai head sommelier. He believes there is a huge appetite among consumer to discover more.

8/09/2014: Judging begins for 2014 New Zealand International Wine Show
Judging has kicked off today for the 2014 New Zealand International Wine Show. Now in its 10th year, the wine show has firmly established itself as the largest annual wine competition held in New Zealand. Each year it receives more than 2000 entries from producers around the world.

8/09/2014: Champagne harvest bubbles away (France)
The French harvest will soon get underway, with officials from Champagne and the Rhône Valley announcing that picking will begin early this week. Growers in Champagne are expected to lead the charge, beginning with vineyards in the Aube area. Picking is expected to begin today and will continue throughout the month in the rest of the carefully regulated appellation.

8/09/2014: Chile producers revive Malbec
Although Malbec is closely associated with neighbouring Argentina, the grape is taking on increasing importance in Chile as producers isolate old vine material for top end wines. Colchagua’s Viu Manent is widely regarded as the pioneer in the production of high-quality varietal Malbec from Chile, but explorative winemakers are now buying fruit from ancient vines in the south of the country to make high-priced examples.

8/09/2014: California water law could affect vineyard value (US)
Some Californian vineyards will be worth a lot less if Governor Jerry Brown signs a bill to regulate groundwater use. The bill is not an impending apocalypse for grapegrowers by any means. Nobody would get their water rights cut off immediately, or possibly at all. But it would create a huge philosophical change in the ownership of groundwater in California. "The only people who are exempt from this are single-family homes," Garrett Buckland, Napa Valley Grapegrowers vice president said.

8/09/2014: Beijing capitalises on domestic wine demand (China)
Chinese government austerity measures have hurt sales of fine wine but domestic producers are stepping up production to meet demand for more affordable drops. China is currently the world’s fifth biggest wine producer and, with the burgeoning middle class drinking more wine than ever, Beijing is keen to capitalise on the growing domestic demand.

5/09/2014: Entries open for Marlborough Wine Show
The Marlborough Wine Show was established in 2011 to demonstrate the significant sub-regional and style diversity of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc as well as showcase the region’s other grape varieties and respective wine styles. Under the leadership of Jeff Clarke, chair of judges, the event will review and assess entries using three panels of highly experienced judges to provide a relevant, credible platform for Marlborough producers to promote their wines.

5/09/2014: Vinexpo strengthens team with new directors
Vinexpo, the world’s leading wine and spirits exhibition, has appointed two new directors. Mathieu Vanhalst will head the sales team and Richard Guyon will lead the marketing department.

5/09/2014: Sonoma State University gets $250K for new wine centre (US)
Sonoma State University (SSU) announced yesterday it will receive a $250,000 gift from major West Coast wine and spirits distributor Young’s Market Co. to help fund part of the forthcoming new home for the institution’s Wine Business Institute. This brings fundraising for the $8 million project to $4.25 million, according to a university spokeswoman.

5/09/2014: Search is on for Sake Sommelier of the Year
The search to find this year’s Sake Sommelier of the Year is now on with entries open to win not only a £5000 (AUD$8734) prize but a trip to Japan to delve even deeper in to the world of sake. Organised by the Academy of Food & Wine Service (AFWS) in association with the London-based Sake Sommelier Associaton, the competition claims to be the only one of its kind held outside Japan.

4/09/2014: Low-cal is the way to go, says PM
Plant and Food Marlborough Research Centre's (PFMRC) low-alcohol, low-calorie wine research has won Prime Minister John Key's backing. Key was briefed by organisations working at the centre during his visit to Blenheim last week. PFMRC's Damian Martin outlined the Crown Research Institute's research into the wine industry. Much of that is being done in Marlborough where 77 per cent of NZ's grape tonnage is grown.

4/09/2014: Pinot tasting an international occasion
Seventy people will taste some of the most expensive and exclusive Pinot Noirs from around the world this weekend at the Pinot at Cloudy Bay event in Marlborough. The event, in its 15th year, attracts winemakers, viticulturists, restaurateurs, retailers and wine lovers from around the world and throughout New Zealand.

4/09/2014: Three steps to premium (US)
The US is seen as one of the most dynamic on the planet for wine sales and it’s certainly one of the biggest. 145 million American adults drink wine at some point in a given year, 90 million of them on a monthly basis. These numbers are impressive, but they don’t necessarily help us understand the US market any better or to unlock its still-significant premium potential.

4/09/2014: South African winery says Fairtrade status helped produce its first natural wine
South African Fairtrade producer Bosman Family Vineyards has produced an 'orange wine' to showcase its natural winemaking practices. The winery sees producing natural wine as an extension of its existing sustainable practices as a Fairtrade producer. It hopes to build on the increasing popularity of natural wine, particularly in Europe and the UK.

4/09/2014: Pernod Ricard optimistic about China despite 23 per cent drop
Despite taking a 23 per cent hit in China, according to Pernod Ricard’s year-end financial results, the company is still “extremely optimistic” about the potential of the Chinese market moving forward. Speaking at a press conference in London yesterday, Pierre Pringuet, Pernod Ricard's vice chairman of the board, said the company will face gradual improvement in the coming year.

4/09/2014: Survey reveals French are 'clueless' about wine
Seven out of 10 French people don’t know their Chablis from their Champagne according to a recent survey by Terre des Vins (Wine Country) magazine, a summation likely to ruffle a few feathers in a country known for its wine prowess. When asked whether they considered themselves to be knowledgeable about wine 71 per cent said “no” and of those, 43 per cent admitted to knowing nothing at all.

3/09/2014: Wine industry reflects economy, says PM
The wine industry is a model of New Zealand's economy according to the nation's Prime Minister John Key. He says it changed from a fortress into a responsive connected export industry, earning more than $1 billion a year and is on track to double that. "If you look at New Zealand and want to understand why it's done well over the past 30 years, look at the wine industry," Key told delegates at the Romeo Bragato Conference in Blenheim last week.

3/09/2014: Hong Kong Riesling Weeks competition winners revealed
Wines of Germany has announced the winners of its Hong Kong Riesling Weeks competition from across the on- and off-trades. The competition was held during the month-long celebration of Riesling, part of Wines of Germany’s worldwide marketing drive to promote the variety. The campaign was well supported with more than 70 outlets participating, a 30 per cent increase on last year.

3/09/2014: The demand for sustainability resonates industry (US)
Sustainability in vineyard operations and winemaking is nothing new. For many wineries it has been an integrated, albeit unspoken part of their operating philosophies for years. But the growing awareness and demand for sustainability from consumers has created new challenges and opportunities for the wine industry.

3/09/2014: Tuscan producers up in arms as authorities call for stricter regulations on vineyards (Italy)
Battle lines have been drawn in the wine producing areas of Tuscany as authorities call for stricter regulation of vineyards amid fears that intensive wine production is causing soil erosion and pollution. The region's governor Enrico Rossi formed new guidelines in July to make viniculture more sustainable and prevent production of the area's famous wines such as Brunello, Chianti and the Super-Tuscans, degrading its picture-postcard countryside.

3/09/2014: Bulk wine experts call for reform, but producers cite strong performance (Spain)
Spain's bulk wine industry is in crisis as the country still has large overstocks from the 2013 harvest, no longer has EU subsidies and needs urgent reform. While that's the opinion of bulk brokers and independent experts, producers have a more optimistic view and say the industry is delivering strong results.

2/09/2014: NZ wine and tourism join forces
The links between promoting New Zealand wine and tourism have prompted an agreement between Tourism NZ and New Zealand Winegrowers to formalise their joint promotion activities. The two organisations signed a memorandum of understanding at the NZ Winegrowers' Romeo Bragato conference in Blenheim on Friday. Kevin Bowler, Tourism NZ chief executive, said the agreement would see the groups work together to promote New Zealand as a visitor destination and premium wine producer on an international scale.

2/09/2014: Delegat's annual profit rises 3 per cent
Delegat Group, one of New Zealand's largest wine companies, increased its annual profit by 3 per cent as record volumes muted the impact of a stronger local currency. Profits rose $42.6m in the 12 months ended June 30 from $41.2m, the Auckland-based winemaker said in a statement.

2/09/2014: Bordeaux set for harvest rebound (France)
Bordeaux looks set to ease the pain of a weather-blighted growing season in 2013 by reporting a much larger harvest this year. The region's 2014 winegrape harvest is expected to be 52 per cent larger than last year which was the region's lowest since 1991, France's agriculture ministry said this week in its final pre-harvest forecast.

2/09/2014: Wines of Chile hosts first cool climate seminar in Hong Kong
Wines of Chile hosted its first seminar in Hong Kong exploring Chilean terroir and cool climate regions as part of a new push to promote the country’s wine quality in Asia. The seminar looked at regions including Casablanca, Leyda, Aconcagua, Zapallar and San Antonio as well as their key grape varieties - Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah. “Reflected in soaring imports, Chilean wines are becoming increasingly popular in Hong Kong for their pleasing combination of quality and value," Julio Alonso Ducci, Wines of Chile director for Asia said.

2/09/2014: Thai sommeliers threatened with jail
Thai sommeliers could be sent to jail for recommending wine to consumers after midnight if new laws on alcohol promotion are given the green light. Officials in the Thai city of Chaing Mai met this week with representatives from the hospitality industry to discuss the new measures. If the legislation were to go ahead, after midnight verbal promotion of alcohol including a sommelier recommending a wine to a customer could result in six months in prison.

2/09/2014: Antique Wine Co pushes ahead with Asia expansion
UK-based Antique Wine Co (AWC) said a multi-million dollar lawsuit in the US will not deter it from pursuing its expansion strategy in Asia, after appointing Hong Kong-based Jean-Philippe Guillot as its sales director for the region. Guillot will focus on improving AWC's private client contacts and sales particularly in the Philippines which the fine wine merchant has identified as a key growth market.

1/09/2014: Industry 'looks strong', says NZ Winegrowers chief
The New Zealand Winegrowers' chief executive says the industry is looking strong despite a year of challenging weather. The annual winegrowers' national conference was held in Marlborough last week with more than 500 growers, vintners and industry leaders in attendance.

1/09/2014: UC Davis scientists may have unstuck wine (US)
A chronic problem in winemaking is 'stuck fermentation' when yeast that should be converting grape sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide prematurely shuts down, leaving the remaining sugar to be consumed by bacteria that can spoil the wine. A team of researchers including UC Davis yeast geneticist Linda Bisson has discovered a biochemical communication system behind this problem.

1/09/2014: Rally crashes rev up German winegrowers
Driving and wine is never a good combination and that was proved when two rally cars plowed through vineyards in Mosel, destroying the vines. The first car crashed during a practice run for the ADAC Rallye Deutschland, the German leg of the World Rally Championship (WRC) series. The second car driven by Belgium's Thierry Neuville, lost control of his Hyundai i20 on a corner and barrel-rolled through row after row of vines.

1/09/2014: Milan agency reinvents the wine pouch (Italy)
Milan-based creative agency Reverse Innovation has come up with a novel take on the wine pouch in a bid to rid bag-in-box wine of its low quality image. The new design scooped an award at The Dieline Awards 2014, run by packaging design website The Dieline.

1/09/2014: Veuve Clicquot distances itself from Champagne tablets (France)
French Champagne house Veuve Clicquot has instructed lawyers to investigate a marketing hoax that used the group's branding to promote tablets that dissolve in water to create Champagne. Images of the Veuve Clicquot-branded tablets appeared on the internet late last month. Russian marketing agency Firma is believed to be the source of the product named ‘Shhh…ampagne’ and is described as a ‘packaging concept of soluble Veuve Clicquot Champagne tablets’.

1/09/2014: NZ wine industry pushes for sustainability
Most New Zealand producers have signed up to a sustainability accreditation system, whether it be the country’s own Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand (SWNZ) or certified organics, biodynamics or ISO 14001. But the situation on the ground is far from a one-size-fits-all model.

29/08/2014: Region reaches limit of vineyard land
More than 12,900ha of vineyards have been planted in Marlborough during the past nine years. New Zealand Winegrowers released its annual report last week which showed Marlborough is home to 22,903ha of vines – 84ha more than in 2013 and 12,959ha more than when records began in 2005. The second largest region was Hawke's Bay with 4816ha of vines planted, followed by Central Otago with 1979ha.

29/08/2014: A night of celebration at the Romeo Bragato Wine Awards 2014
A Hawke's Bay Chardonnay has been awarded champion wine of show at this year’s Romeo Bragato Wine Awards. Produced by Phil Holden, the Vidal Legacy Hawke's Bay Chardonnay 2012 received the coveted Bragato trophy and the Bill Irwin trophy for champion Chardonnay.

29/08/2014: Sustainability vital to NZ, seminar told
Sustainable winegrowing is a direction rather than a destination, according to New Zealand Winegrowers sustainability committee chairman Gwyn Williams. Sustainability is a key component of New Zealand's wine reputation, Williams told a seminar at the New Zealand Winegrowers Romeo Bragato National Conference which commenced at the Marlborough Convention Centre Wednesday.

29/08/2014: Wine in China Conference 2014 to be held in Hong Kong
Following the success of the first Wine in China Conference last year, Meiburg Wine Media has compiled a fresh batch of topics and speakers for the 2014 Conference to be held in Hong Kong Wednesday 5 November.

29/08/2014: Winery gets $50,000 grant for chilli wine (New Mexico, US)
A New Mexico winery has received a $50,000 grant from the federal government to expand production of its chilli-infused wines. US Senator Tom Udall announced the funding during a visit to St. Clair Winery in Deming on Wednesday. The winery will now be able to boost revenues and grow its customer base for its chilli-infused line of wines by reimbursing production, marketing and distribution costs. Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/08/28/4102384/nm-winery-gets-federal-grant-for.html#storylink=cpy

29/08/2014: Vintners provide $10 million for new disaster fund (US)
Against a backdrop of fallen bricks and battered buildings in Napa, the regional winemakers' association on Wednesday revealed the largest gift yet to help the earthquake recovery effort. Napa Valley Vintners announced a $10 million donation to launch the Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund.

29/08/2014: Georgian winemakers ready to toast end of EU tariffs
Wine is an important part of both the Georgian economy and the Caucasus nation's sense of identity, with thousands of winemakers together producing more than 100 million bottles per year. Back in June, many corks were popped for a celebratory drink when crowds of people took to the streets of the capital Tbilisi to celebrate Georgia signing a free trade agreement with the European Union. The deal meant from 1 September, Georgian produce and products which meet EU standards would no longer be liable for tariffs when imported by EU member states.

28/08/2014: Prize-winning winemakers set to retire
After 18 years, 4000 cases of wine sold annually, a string of medals and four international awards, Wim Julicher and Sue Darling are putting their feet up. Preparing for their impending retirement, the co-owners of Martinborough's Julicher Estate have put their 18.6 hectare vineyard on the market. The decision to sell follows a year of international success for the business.

28/08/2014: NZ wineries should focus on quality over quantity, says online wine retailer
In just 30 years Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc has carved out a big name for itself and played a large part in putting New Zealand wine on the international map. This year exports reached a record $1.33 billion and the growth shows little evidence of slowing down. Melanie Brown, founder of newly launched online wine shop The New Zealand Cellar, created her website with UK wine consumers in mind and said the industry's goal should be to "never let our standards or quality slip".

28/08/2014: Industry professionals share tips on keeping wine safe during an earthquake (US)
Following the recent earthquake in Napa Valley, several industry professionals have shared their tips to help protect wines from tremors in the future. Smashed barrels, mountains of broken bottles and rivers of wine flowing into the gutter are the things nightmares are made of. While not much can be done against a quake registering 6.1 on the Richter Scale, there are some precautions winery owners can take to keep their wines safe during minor trembles.

28/08/2014: Wine trade bets on fruit flavoured wines (UK)
The wine trade is betting on fruit flavoured wines such as raspberry and grapefruit as an upcoming trend for the UK market. European countries including France have also been quick to latch onto the fruit flavoured wine concept as a way of attracting new and younger consumers who generally have a preference to sweeter tastes.

28/08/2014: Rhône wine no longer a 'tale of two Valleys', according to local producer (France)
Ask Rhône winemakers if there are common tastes and philosophies between the north and south of the Valley and most will say no. There are 5000 wine growers in the Rhône Valley covering more than 70,000ha. Stéphane Ogier, who produces wine just 40km south of Lyon, says the wines there are closely aligned to Burgundy, with its single variety (Syrah instead of Pinot Noir) and patchwork of tiny vineyards, all with distinct terroirs.

27/08/2014: Akarua purchases more vineyards in Central Otago
Central Otago's Akarua has announced a major vineyard purchase with the acquisition finalised last Friday. Akarua, established in 1996 by Sir Clifford Skeggs, is the largest family-owned vineyard in Central Otago with single estate holdings in Bannockburn.

27/08/2014: Contestants put skills to the test
Five of the country's top young viticulturists are vying for the title of young viticulturist of the year 2014 in Blenheim this week. The competitors from the country's major grape producing regions kicked off the annual national competition yesterday at Villa Maria Estate near Blenheim.

27/08/2014: Update: Napa quake expected to cost industry $4bn as wineries shut (US)
The earthquake that struck northern California on Sunday will lead to economic losses of around $4 billion, fueled by damaged wineries and shuttered businesses that rely on tourists. According to an estimation by Kinetic Analysis Corp, insurers are expected to cover about $2.1bn but projected total losses of twice that sum.

27/08/2014: Producers look to Maule region for 'top-end' Pinot (Chile)
Chile’s Maule region could become the latest hot spot for top-end Pinot Noir as two new projects promise to prove the quality of the area. Launching next year from Torres Chile winery will be the first vintage of a Pinot which was planted 24km from the sea in Maule’s coastal mountain ranges, while Ricardo Beattig, a winemaker at Viña Morandé, has been working on a personal project with his wife using 0.5 ha of Pinot planted just 2km from the ocean.

27/08/2014: Burgundy producer eyes London Stock Exchange
A Burgundy producer is looking to become what is believed to be the first French vineyard to be listed on the London Stock Exchange. Bouzeron-based Domane Chanzy hopes to raise up to £5 million by this float onto the Alternative Investment Market (AIM), which will enable the producer to expand export sales and develop its negociant business.

27/08/2014: France looks forward to bigger and better harvest
The French wine industry is expecting a better harvest this year despite drought and hail damage to some vineyards. That’s good news for growers after two disastrous years, but consumers won't be getting any benefit as increased volumes won’t be enough to bring down the price of wine. The Department of Agriculture has revised its forecast for the 2014 harvest, estimating the potential of wine production to nearly 47 million hectoliters, with summer rains promoting growth.

26/08/2014: NZ wine industry converges to plan for the future
This week more than 500 grapegrowers, winemakers and industry leaders will converge in Blenheim to attend the annual New Zealand Winegrowers Romeo Bragato National Conference. “There is an air of optimism in the wine industry and the conference theme ‘new horizons’ reflects this," NZ Winegrowers chief executive officer Philip Gregan says.

26/08/2014: Chilean producer trials native beech
Chilean wine producer Sebastian De Martino is trialling wooden maturation vessels made from the country’s native tree, the raulí beech. The wood was historically used for making large wooden foudres but has since been replaced by the use of stainless steel, concrete or oak vats in the country’s wineries.

26/08/2014: World Bulk Wine Exhibition expands to keep up with demand
The rise in popularity and importance of bulk wine in the global wine market is reflected in the World Bulk Wine Exhibition which is expanding to cope with demand from exhibitors. The sixth annual event to be held in Amsterdam from 24-25 November will see a quarter more exhibitors heading to the city's RAI exhibition centre. Last year's event was the biggest to date with 175 exhibitors from 16 countries attracting buyers from more than 70 countries.

26/08/2014: Update: Wineries assess damage following Napa earthquake (US)
Damages could be substantial to the US wine industry after Sunday's 6.0 magnitude earthquake shook Napa Valley, experts say. Blessed with prime weather for growing winegrapes, Napa is a centre for production and bottling of top-value Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Merlot from 1600 local vineyards. The quake damaged scores of buildings and shook vineyards preparing for what was predicted to be a generous harvest.

Research Findings

What's On in Australia

What's On Overseas