• Australia takes on South Africa in new Tri Nations Wine Challenge

    On a visit to South Africa three years ago Roger Jones came up with an idea to highlight the wines from his three favourite wine countries, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand. Given his Michelin Star status he also decided to throw some culinary finesse into the concept. And that’s how the Tri Nations Wine Challenges was born. On Friday night the latest round was hosted at The Vineyard Hotel in Cape Town, with South Africa wining 4:2. South Africa are currently at the top of the table
  • We love Australian-made, unless there’s a cheaper option

    Our national day may be looming but we’re not very Aussie Aussie Aussie about buying Australian-made. Why not? Because up to now labelling on local products has been confusing and overseas goods have been viewed as somehow superior — not to mention cheap. Take cars. Thanks to our love for overseas-produced SUVs, it’s RIP for the Aussie-made family station wagon. And the bubble’s burst for local sparkling wine makers. We’re guzzling more imported champagne than the l
  • This year, the wine industry should drink like the 99%

    2017 is rolling in fresh and clean. Like every new year, this one brings with it that powerful urge to be off with the old trends and on with the new. What will this year bring for the wine industry? A look back over some recent trends may give us an idea. The 1990s brought us the rise of organic wine. As the USDA’s National Organic program went into effect, wine got an organic certification that consumers could look for as they began seeking out environmentally sound wine. As the organic
  • Penfolds win an encouraging sign for Aus businesses in China

    A court victory that will allow Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) to use its preferred transliteration for Penfolds in China is being seen as a landmark victory. The decision in the Beijing High People's Court found an intellectual property (IP) squatter, who had registered the "Ben Fu" trademark in 2009, failed to make genuine use of it. The court ruled the trademark be cancelled, allowing TWE to use the branding freely for its wines in China. "This decision … demonstrates China's commitment t
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  • New Zealand’s biggest wine event to hit wellington

    The global wine trade will converge on New Zealand’s north island later this month for the country’s “most significant wine event” – Pinot Noir NZ 2017. Held every four years, with the Sauvignon Blanc NZ event taking place in intervening years, the three-day event attracts a wealth of winemakers, influencers and journalists to Wellington to debate and celebrate the success and future of one of New Zealand biggest exports. The sold out event includes a line-up of spe
  • New Zealand needs brand new story

    As overseas consumers of New Zealand food become more diverse in their requirements, the need for a "NZ story" that compels them to continue eating and drinking Kiwi dairy, meat, fruit, wine and other edible exports is increasing. And this need has become more urgent as foreign competitors have ramped up their efforts to pitch their products in the same markets our primary sector supplies. Ireland's Origin Green initiative has a high profile among these rivals. Setting high standards for sustain
  • Grenache, the toughest grape in the world

    It survives in inhospitable terrain and its wines are too often undervalued. Grape vines of all kinds can cope with the most extraordinarily difficult and extreme environments. But few varieties of this tenacious plant are as tough as grenache, aka garnacha in Spain. It can survive, even thrive, in some of the dustiest corners of the wine world, roots plunged many feet deep into inhospitable terrain seeking out moisture. The wonder of grenache is that the meagre crops of fruit produced by vines
  • Bleasdale winery smashes multiple wine shows

    Asking a clutch of wine industry folk to discuss the worth of wine show bling and the veracity of various judging processes is the wine biz’s equivalent of a UFC cage-fighting championship. Everyone has a strong opinion. There are so many shows, trophies and medals doing the rounds that they have decreasing impact on communicators, and arguably consumers. But when one humble Langhorne Creekwine keeps popping up in the past year at multiple trophy ceremonies across the country you have to t
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  • Aussies pay the price for bad habits

    Australia has been ranked the third most expensive country in the world to buy drugs, alcohol and cigarettes, according to the Bloomberg Vice Index. The same “basket” of goods — tobacco, alcohol, amphetamine, cannabis, cocaine and opioids — will cost you just $US41.40 in Laos and a staggering $US1,441.50 in Japan. The index compares the cost of the basket of goods as a share of average weekly income, with the US used as a benchmark. In the US, the goods cost almost $US400
  • Agribusiness: Why We’re leading the way in SA

    You’ve probably heard the saying that Australia was built by “riding on the sheep’s back”.
    This may have been true up to the 1950s, but roll forward to today and we in South Australia are still an agribusiness-driven economy, you just have to look at the numbers. South Australian wine makes up 70 per cent of Australia’s premium wine exports. Exports of differentiated and processed food and wine is to exceed $3.5b this year. This year, Adelaide joined the Great Wine
  • Wine, Women and Subtle Sexism

    The world of wine is still a long way from being an equal-opportunities employer. "The current estimation of women in the Australian wine industry is 8-10 percent," says Fiona Donald, senior winemaker at Seppeltsfield Wines. "How can this be when, at graduation, the gender ratio is 50:50?" Such accusations of sexism are, of course, levied at many industries, particularly in areas like engineering, aviation and the armed forces. Yet, the general perception is that wine is a "nice" or softer indus
  • Wildfires Sweep Across South Africa Wine Country

    Devastating wildfires are spreading throughout South Africa’s Western Cape wine region, causing extensive vineyard and property damage. The first fires began Jan. 3, threatening wineries including Vergelegen, Morgenster and Lourensford; another fire caused massive damage to wineries in the Dal Josafat region of Paarl. Unusually high winds with gusts of up to 60 miles per hour and exceptionally dry conditions have hampered firefighters’ efforts to control the blazes, with new outbreak
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  • Why grenache might be a better Aussie than shiraz

    Let's kick off the new year with a little heresy, shall we? I would like to suggest that Australia's most famous red wine grape, shiraz, might not in fact be the best variety for many of our most famous warmer-climate wine regions such as the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale. I would like to suggest that if you want a grape variety that most faithfully expresses terroir – that captures the unique combination of country, climate and culture in a glass – then in many cases, in many plac
  • Treasury Wine wins China trademark dispute

    Treasury Wine Estates has won a legal dispute in Beijing over its right to use the "Ben Fu" trademark in China, a transliteration for its flagship Penfolds brand, the company said on Thursday. The judgment, handed down by Beijing High People's Court, found that a Chinese individual who had registered the Ben Fu trademark in 2009 had "failed to demonstrate any genuine use of the trademark for wine or related business activities," Treasury Wines said in a statement. "This trademark will subsequent
  • Pinot Noir looks set to steal the limelight this January

    New Zealand wine producers are gearing up for a high level of interest in their Pinot Noir wines at the annual trade tasting event in London next week, following the news that tickets for the popular Pinot Noir NZ event in Wellington, New Zealand, have already sold out. Pinot Noir NZ only takes place every four years and the organisers have announced that tickets for the three-day event have sold out, more than three weeks before it takes place.
  • Marlborough viticulturist Ollie Davidson bound for Napa

    Ollie Davidson discovered it is a difficult task to pack 30 years of living in Marlborough into 272 kilograms of air freight, destined for the United States. The viticulturist is saying goodbye to the region as he departs for a new role in the US' most famous wine region, the Napa Valley, on Friday. "It's amazing how much you accumulate after living in the same house for 10 years," he says. Following several months of planning and numerous farewell parties, he and wife Bridget said they were ove
  • Buckingham Schenk adds Kreglinger Wine Estates

    Wine importer Buckingham Schenk is expanding its Antipodean portfolio by adding Kreglinger Wine Estates and its brands Pipers Brook and Norfolk Rise. Tasmanian label Pipers Brook garnered a reputation in the UK in the early nineties when its wines were distributed through a number of independents. Craig Durham, managing director at Buckingham Schenk, said: “We are really delighted to be working with Kreglinger Wine Estates who are highly respected by many in the trade. Australia has a repu
  • Australia among most expensive places for sinful habits

    Australia is the third most expensive place in the world to get hammered, according to Bloomberg research. Local revellers looking to ­indulge in an alcohol, cigarette or illegal drug binge will find themselves paying more for their night out than in any other country, barring Japan and Venezuela, with scarcity and high taxes causing prices to soar, particularly in island nations. The Bloomberg Vice Index, released late this week, compares a basket of goods, including alcohol, tobacco, canna
  • Sustainable practices make good wine at Mudgee

    A rare breed of sheep has been integral to the branding and sustainability of Short Sheep Micro-Winery.Owners and winemakers Sue Ridler and Tony Shadbolt purchased a block of land in 2001 and established the 4ha vineyard the following year, producing their first fruit in 2004. Initially they continued to live and work in Sydney and grew grapes and sold them to other winemakers, but in 2013 — when there was no value in selling the grapes — they made the decision to move and make their
  • Pinot Noir NZ 2017 attracts global leaders to Wellington

    An astounding selection of global wine imbibers and influencers will descend on the nation’s capital this month for New Zealand’s most significant wine event, Pinot Noir NZ 2017. The sold out event includes a line-up of 30 speakers from Japan, the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand, who are tasked with sparking thought-provoking discussions among 600 Pinot Noir lovers from 20 different countries. Spearheading the line-up are the world’s most influenti
  • New Zealand Annual Tasting coming to London

    Following on from a successful 2016 when New Zealand (along with Argentina) topped the UK growth charts, the country is now keen to develop its presence in the UK market at its the annual trade tasting in London next week. New Zealand has managed to buck the trend of decline in the overall UK wine market thanks in part to the success of Sauvignon blanc, but now the country is keen to stress the diversity of its regions and grape varieties.
  • Moldovans revealed as the biggest drinkers in the world

    Brits may have a reputation for liking a tipple but they’re actually only the 17th booziest nation in the world, pipped to the top rankings by drinkers in a number of Eastern European countries. Moldovans are the world’s heaviest drinkers consuming the equivalent of 178 bottles of wine per person per year, shocking health data has revealed. And while Australians are the tenth most excessive drinkers, the United States doesn't even make the top 20, according to a fascinating new inter
  • McWilliams’s launches cny personalized wine labels

    In the run up to the Year of the Rooster, McWilliam’s Wines has teamed up with Park N Shop to design personalized wine labels with any purchase of two McWilliam’s wines. In the lead up to Chinese New Year which this year officially starts on 28 January, wine companies often cash in on the gift giving traditions with the wildly popular Penfolds recently releasing a limited edition ‘Rooster’ bottle, in honour of its former chief winemaker, Max Schubert and Massimo Ferragamo
  • Cellar door experience helps boost sales for small wineries

    Small winemaking businesses generated $1 billion in wine sales revenue in 2015-16, an average increase of 12%, Wine Australia figures show. While retailers and wholesalers generated 47% of income, cellar doors have become increasingly important sales channels, accounting for 27% of revenue. With food and wine tourism on the rise, many small wineries are now also attracting consumers to their region via on-site restaurants, cafes, tours and boutique accommodation, in addition to the traditional c
  • Australia’s Chateau Tanunda Revamps U.S. Operations

    The Australian winery Chateau Tanunda has announced a ground-up restructuring of its U.S. operations. This includes setting up a joint-partnership import company and hiring a U.S.-based representative to manage marketing and distribution. “This enables us to respond quickly to an ever-changing marketplace and offer significant cost benefits to our distributors,” says winery owner John Geber. “Whilst Shiraz is the Barossa’s traditional calling card, at Château Tanund
  • Austrade gets cautious after Ponzi Scandal in India

    Austrade had launched in February 2016 last year what the federal government said would be a detailed ­investigation into the agency’s promoting of the now collapsed A$10 billion Pearls Group scam, ­despite Indian authorities having been investigating it for more than a decade. Funded by the government, Austrade says it conducted no due diligence on any of the Australian companies it promoted overseas, or on the foreign companies it pushed to local businesses.
  • Delicious Gluten & Wheat Free Treats

    Have you dreamed about biting into a gluten-free Panini? Or salivated while watching someone else enjoying a hot pie you thought you could never have again? Choices, a specialised gluten and wheat free bakery, is taking everything you thought about gluten free eating and turning it on its head with innovative baked goods. Eating gluten free neednt be a flavourless chore for you with Choices. Think delicious gluten free pizza bases, pies, brownies and more to enjoy.
  • Small winemakers see strong growth

    Small winemaking businesses generated $1 billion in wine sales revenue in 2015–16, an average increase of 12 per cent, according to the Small Winemaker Production and Sales Survey 2016 results released today by Wine Australia. While retailers and wholesalers generated 47 per cent of income, cellar doors have become increasingly important sales channels, accounting for 27 per cent of revenue. With food and wine tourism on the rise, many small wineries are now also attracting consumers to th
  • Shopping at Algorithm Cellars

    There's no escaping algorithms, whether you're a Centrelink client, a social media user or a target of the fast-moving consumer goods sector. Some ghoulish god somewhere must know which algorithm wrote the algorithm for Centrelink. Or indeed just how many past generations of algorithms we’d have to traverse before we hit a human. Like a living being, made out of meat. The sort of thinking creature that would be driven to drink by the very notion of the algotime which Centrelink’s alg
  • Peter Stevens: Traceability key for China trade

    Food quality and food safety are huge concerns in China. New Zealand businesses must share those concerns if they are to continue growing the volume and value of their food and beverages sold to the increasingly affluent Chinese public. We might think New Zealand milk products, meat, wine, honey and so on are world-leading on quality and safety. But what actually matters is our capacity for maintaining and protecting the quality and safety of every shipment to China – and our capacity to a
  • From peak to peak – New Zealand’s pinot pioneer

    Escaping Cold War tensions in his homeland of Switzerland in the early 1980s, Hätsch Kalberer of Marlborough’s Fromm Winery, was one of the revolutionaries responsible for making one of New Zealand’s first commercial Pinot Noirs. As the story goes, Hätsch got a job as a hose dragger at Matawhero Wines, on his arrival to the wild and woolly Southern land, where he slowly learnt the art of winemaking. As the story goes, Hätsch got a job as a hose dragger at Matawhero Win
  • First wine grapes picked in Swan Valley

    Western Australia's oldest wine producing region is experiencing a later start to harvest this year, but winemakers are anticipating an exceptional vintage. Duncan Harris, from Harris Organic Wines in the Swan Valley, has picked his first grapes of the season, harvesting an early variety called Madeleine, also known as Sweetwater. Mr Harris said the grapes will be turned into a Flor Fino sherry, "which these days is called Apera". His next pick will be for Chardonnay, but like the rest of the re
  • Celebrating the best in local wine with music

    This year, Music SA joined forces with the Hot 100 Wines as the not-for-profit company paired local wine with music from South Australia’s wine regions through curated playlists that were played during the tastings. To do this, the team from Music SA chose music that reflected the cultural and aesthetic attributes for each region, so the Adelaide Hills’ playlist evoked folky forests and winter-like emotions while the music from the Fleurieu Peninsula featured beachy and upbeat music.
  • California wine country is hit hard by storms

    Wine country in Sonoma County was hit hard by recent storms, which have brought up to 13 inches of rain since Friday. Rolling hills and vineyards along the scenic route known as River Road were submerged Monday with just the tips of vines visible in completely flooded fields. The Russian River in Sonoma rose to its highest level since 2006, spilling over its banks and forcing the closure of schools and roads.
  • Better coverage key in vine sprayer

    Tasmanian vineyard, Goaty Hill has invested in new technology adding a Silvan Turbo SCRAM vineyard sprayer to its fleet. Turbo SCRAM technology delivers a range of benefits including better leaf coverage and a reduction in chemical use, according to Silvan. The company has patented the Silvan Centrifugal Remote Air Model (SCRAM) technology which was developed in conjunction with some of Australia’s major vineyards. Silvan said SCRAM provided unparalleled vine coverage with water and chemic
  • Authentic French-Style Pâtés, Terrines & Fruit Pastes

    Sure, enthusiasm is part of it. And excitement? Well yeah, that helps too. But passion? Passion is what separates the good food from the theres-a-party-in-my-mouth-and-everyones-invited food. And passion is what Julianne's Kitchen has in spades and has won awards from Sydney Royal Fine Food Show. All Julianne's gourmet goods are handmade in Hornsby by artisan producers, with no artificial flavours, colours or added preservatives. Pâtés, terrines, jams and fruit pastes - all made wit
  • Winemakers “must be active” to take advantage of FTAs

    With Free Trade Agreements (FTA) seeing tariffs on imported wines being cut in many key Asian markets, the Winemakers Federation of Australia has reminded its members that they need to be active in taking advantage. The Federal Government’s Free Trade agenda has seen competitive advantages given to Australian winemakers in Japan, South Korea and China, by reducing and in some cases eliminating existing import tariffs. Last week TheShout reported that the tariff paid on Australian wine impo
  • Spain’s top women winemakers

    From fearless bullfighters to its World Cup-winning football team, Spain is a country that celebrates the traditionally masculine qualities of physical strength, courage, assertiveness and confidence. For a woman, getting to the top of your game in the male-dominated wine world is hard enough – doing so in a macho country such as Spain is all the more impressive. While a number of the women on our list, including María José López de Heredia and Mireia Torres, were born
  • John Saker: Up next, Kiwi martinis

    Kiwi gins are everywhere. We also now make excellent tonic water in this country. Where to next? In a wine-producing country such as ours, the signposts all pointed to vermouth. That destination has duly been reached with the arrival on the market of two New Zealand dry white vermouths. The age of the all-Kiwi gin martini is upon us. Vermouth – wine stiffened with added spirit and laced with interesting botanical flavours – is nearly as old as wine itself. Variations have popped up i
  • Future Leaders 2017 applications now open

    Applications for Future Leaders 2017 are now open to those who are ready to step up and be next in leading Australia’s grape and wine community to future prosperity. Over the past decade, Future Leaders, funded by Australian Vignerons, Wine Australia and Winemakers’ Federation of Australia, has helped the Australian wine community prepare for the challenges of tomorrow by building today the capabilities of the next generation of leaders. The 91 Future Leaders alumni include winemaker
  • Beer vs wine: crowds pack breweries and wineries in WA

    Visitor numbers are booming in WA’s South West as boutique breweries go head to head with the region’s wineries in a battle of the booze. Some of the biggest crowds packed the region’s breweries and wineries this week, where a tussle of the tipples was being fought. Margaret River Wine Association president Cath Oates said wineries had been doing a roaring trade amid “healthy competition” with brewers. “There is always a bit of friendly rivalry but I think the
  • Australian Vignerons will wind up if support fails to increase

    The national advocacy body Australian Vignerons, is in danger of winding up if support fails to increase in coming months. The organisation has written to stakeholders making it clear that unless support is forthcoming the board will have no alternative but to start the wind-up process.Wine Grape Growers Australia (WGGA) was formed more than a decade ago to provide a national voice for Australian grape growers. It has recently undergone a structural reform and change to trading name to ensure it
  • An urban Vino

    It’s somewhat fitting that a historian should want to set up shop in Dunedin’s historic precinct. However Brendan Seal isn’t establishing a bookbinders, art gallery or even a whiskey distillery, his vision for an urban winery is now a reality. Historically, Seal has been connected to the wine industry for the best part of two decades. After talking his way into a vintage at Villa Maria in 1997 and then heading offshore to Oregon, Seal landed back in Dunedin where he wrote his M
  • 2016 a good year for alcohol sales

    It was a good year for grog sales. Revenue at alcohol giants Treasury Wine Estates and Carlton & United Breweries grew by 19.1 per cent and 15.7 per cent last year. The growth catapulted the two into Australia's top 10 food and drink companies for 2016, as compiled by researchers IBISWorld and trade publication Food & Drink Business. Treasury Wine Estates (whose brands include Penfolds) came in at No. 9, and CUB at No. 10. They were joined in the top 10 by Japanese alcohol giant Kirin, w
  • Wine Stories: Mexico’s Wine Renaissance

    The Mexican wine industry is simultaneously the birthplace of North American wine and its newest frontier. It boasts the oldest winery in the New World and it is one of the largest growers of grapes in the Americas, but paradoxically makes only a tiny 20 million liters of wine a year. By comparison, the United States produces three billion liters. Mexico has over 100,000 acres of vineyards, but most of these are devoted to brandy production. Mexico, incidentally, is the third largest producer of
  • What makes a great wine festival?

    It was intended as a celebration of biodynamic wines; those otherworldly in scope, made according to lunar rhythms and something aligned with what practitioners like to call “the cosmos”. The man and his wife had booked into all four sessions on the day of the Return To Terroir biodynamic wine tasting, a regular marquee event of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. By the third session, it was clear he was not going to see a fourth. Too much wine had been consumed and he was asked t
  • The Wine Stories That Will Shape 2017

    This coming era is going to be crazy and sometimes painful. I’m talking politics, but our cultural choices, including wine, are at an inflection point, too. Drinking is often a political act, even when we don’t intend it to be, and today we face more complexity than ever: How natural is natural wine? What farming is actually sustainable, and what’s just lip service? Am I giving my money to a small producer or to a big company? Are we elevating once-obscure places, or just shovi
  • New head winemaker at La Crema winery

    La Crema winery in Windsor, which was purchased by Santa-Rosa’s Jackson Family Wines in 1993, has announced the promotion of Craig McAllister to the position of head winemaker. McAllister joined La Crema as the harvest enologist in 2007. Announcing the move, the winery stated McAllister helped to further develop La Crema’s collection of single vineyard chardonnay and pinot noir wines in his most recent post as associate winemaker. McAllister has also made wine for Wild Ridge, craftin
  • FTA boosting exports to Korea

    The start of 2017 saw two thirds of New Zealand’s exports to Korea become duty free, up from 46% in 2016. Trade Minister Todd McClay says more local food businesses looking to expand into Korea will benefit from the latest round of tariff reductions under the New Zealand-Korea Free Trade Agreement, signed December 2015. New Zealand has experienced strong results particularly in the food and beverage sector where exports to Korea have increased by over 16%. While New Zealand is ranked as Ko
  • Branching out secures future in wine industry

    The Smibert family at Coonawarra can see a positive future in the wine industry and are making their own luck. After buying a vineyard in the famous South East wine region a decade ago, the family plugged away as grape growers and sold their product to wine companies. Disenchanted with grape prices and quality judgments made by buyers, Brian said the family decided to embark on a new path four years ago. Brian and Jennifer’s son Angus, who holds an international business degree, came up wi

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