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News posted on Thursday, 23 June 2011

First Families raises a glass to Canadian market
The Australia’s First Families of Wine (AFFW) initiative has officially launched in Canada, with the members paying their first ever visit to Ontario to showcase their collective portfolio of wines. The winemakers and family members of 11 of Australia’s most prestigious winemaking families presented 60 wines to Canada’s trade, media and consumers, with a particular focus on iconic wines and regional heroes, reports The Shout.

Industry strategy focuses on wine to China
The Margaret River wine industry expects benefits to flow from a state-wide three-year industry strategy plan focused on developing export markets in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan and South Korea. And, as the state’s main wine exporter, the region also expects its fair share of $377,000 announced last week by Food and Agriculture Minister Terry Redman to help implement the strategy plan, reports The Augusta-Margaret River Mail.

Australian wines refresh like bottled sunshine
Back in the day when Australia's Little River Band and Men at Work topped the pop charts, very few of us would have expected wines from the Land Down Under to become household names. But wines from Oz, as the Aussies call it, have become so abundant now we tend to take them for granted, writes Steve Prati, senior manager at Cool Springs Wine & Spirits, in The Tennessean.

Wine Society seeks Young Winemaker of the Year: 35 and under
Nominations are now open for the 2011 Young Winemaker of the Year, an award which honours exceptional young winemakers in Australia and New Zealand. And for the first time, winemakers aged 35 or under will be eligible to take out the award, which previously held an age cap of 30 years.

Opening Thompson seedless grape offer of $250 highest ever (US)
The opening winery offer of a minimum of $250 per ton for this year’s green Thompson seedless grapes for crushing represents the highest price ever paid for the multi-use grape that has for decades been the foundation of the San Joaquin Valley grape industry, reports Western Farm Press. Nat DiBuduo, president of the Allied Grape Growers said an initial $250 offer ($240 plus $10 hauling allowance) has come from Constellation Wines.

Does your vineyard need a booster shot? (US)
Rather than crossing their fingers and hoping that the yeasts in their vineyards and cellars will achieve a desirable fermentation, most winemakers inoculate their musts with targeted cultured yeasts. Could inoculating vineyards with selected strains of naturally occurring organisms prove equally useful? “Yes indeed,” according to a supplier of these products. He claims that this technique can reduce water use and disease pressure, two subjects of great importance to all grapegrowers, Wines & Vines reports.

Vinexpo - US finds UK market a 'tough nut to crack' (UK)
US producers are finding the UK market a 'tough nut to crack' due to production costs, and a more rigorous UK pricing structure, according to US producers and exporters at Vinexpo. One of the top 10 Californian wine exporters, Evelyn Pool, vice-president, international sales & marketing of Hahn Family Wines, Napa Valley said UK is the toughest market in Europe by far compared to two years ago, reports Harpers Wine & Spirit.

Global wine sales boom despite crisis: industry (EU)
Drinkers worldwide are spending half a trillion dollars a year on wine and spirits, boosting exports from France, Italy, Argentina and even small producers like Brazil, executives at a major industry fair said this week. Experts at the Vinexpo trade fair in Bordeaux, the heart of the French wine trade said Italy had overtaken France in the volume of wine exports and flagged Argentina as a future top contender in the global market, AFP reports.

EU wines to get cheaper as India willing to cut duty (India)
Imported liquor is likely to get cheaper, with the government willing to lower import duty on alcohol from the European Union in return for easier visa norms and greater market access to Indian products there. India and the European Union (EU) are in the final leg of talks for a free trade agreement, reports The Economic Times.

Why is wine getting hotter? (US)
Winemakers perceive that consumers demand wine with a stated alcohol content that is different from the actual alcohol content, and winemakers are willing to err in the direction of providing consumers with what they want. What remains to be resolved is why consumers choose to pay winemakers to lie to them, blogs Felix Salmon from Reuters.

Wine: With an artistic tinge (NZ)
Owning a vineyard is often seen through rose-tinted glasses - echoes of Tuscan skies, rolling hills, the smell of lavender and richly coloured clusters of juice-filled grapes hanging on leafy vines. That's the fiction. The reality, as anyone who has been there done that will tell you, is quite different. Hard, repetitive, often-boring work are just some of the difficulties. Yet there remains the lure, the romance and nothing beats drinking a glass of your own wine in your own vineyard, writes John Hawkesby in The New Zealand Herald.

Kiwi wineries try out Austrian white (NZ)
Austrian wine variety, Gruner Veltliner now grown and made in Marlborough is proving to be a mouthful in more ways than one. More commonly known as Veltliner, the Austrian wine is a versatile dry style white and hugely popular in America, says St Clair's winemaker Matt Thomson, reports The Marlborough Express.

Wine Australia recognised for boosting Australian category
Wine Australia’s regional manager for Canada, Geoff McFadzean has been acknowledged for his commitment to promoting Australian wines in Ontario, Canada. McFadzean was awarded “Best Partnership” by the Liquor Control Board of Canada (LCBO) at its Elsie Awards event for his “determination, dedication and support” of promoting Australian wine in Ontario.