Top Bordeaux wine critic Robert Parker to retire

American wine guru Robert Parker, whose ratings could make or break Bordeaux vintages for the past 38 years, is to turn his power over to a successor on Sunday, his magazine announced. It will be the end of an era for the 68-year-old oenologist, who has however been retiring in stages, in 2014 leaving his British successor Neal Martin to rate “en primeurs” (futures) while continuing to evaluate top Bor-deaux vintages.

Reblogged 11 months ago from www.winebiz.com.au

Wine industry heads deny Sauvignon Blanc demand decline

Demand for New Zealand’s flagship wine is starting to dwindle in overseas markets as winemakers continue to rely on one variety from one region, a wine analyst says. However, wine industry heads claim that is not the case. Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is well-known for putting New Zealand wine on the world stage, but over the past few years there has been an “over-reliance” on the variety in some overseas markets, Rabobank wine analyst Marc Soccio says.

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McLaren Vale’s ‘Scarce Earth’ program releases new vintage

The McLaren Vale Scarce Earth program was first launched in 2011 and is now in its sixth release, with 15 McLaren Vale producers today releasing their 2014 Scarce Earth vintage wines. Given that ‘site’ – geology and climate – plays such a well-known and vital role in wine style, a group of local McLaren Vale winemakers and viticulturists launched the McLaren Vale Scarce Earth project five years ago with the purpose of exploring and celebrating this diversity through one of the region’s key varieties – Shiraz.

Reblogged 11 months ago from www.winebiz.com.au

Lovedale Long Lunch returns

The Lovedale Long Lunch will be back in full swing this year, showcasing a range of Hunter Valley food and wine on the 14th and 15th of May. Seven of Lovedale’s wineries will be teaming up with highly-renowned local restaurants and live entertainment for a progressive-style lunch over an entire weekend. Tatler will be offering some classic Hunter Valley Chardonnay and Shiraz together with a mix of cuisines and live entertainment.

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Frank Margan: A rebel from the days when wine meant sherry

Journalist, author, winemaker and restaurateur Frank Margan was a pioneering hero of modern Australian food and wine: a tireless rebel from an age when wine meant sherry and anything else was plonk or strangely foreign. Margan was born in Sydney’s south-west on November 26, 1931. His mother, Madelaine, urged him to try something safe and join the water board as a clerk. Margan lasted until lunch, when he took off, never to return.

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Aircraft pictures helping productivity of Coonawarra vineyards

Cameras attached to fixed-wing aircraft are providing data to viticulturists which is helping to identify canopy temperature – in order to improve water use and wine quality. The pilot project – which has been part funded by the State Government – is helping researchers learn how to reduce vine water stress and improve nutrient status so better irrigation decisions can be made. The Innovative Coonawarra Grape and Wine Incorporated Project is being undertaken at 21 vineyards.

Reblogged 11 months ago from www.winebiz.com.au

McLaren Vale winemaker Steve Pannell: the red baron

MAX ALLEN: I first met Steve Pannell 21 years ago — almost to the day — at the Tintara winery in McLaren Vale, south of Adelaide. It was the 29-year-old’s first vintage as red winemaker for Hardys, one of the country’s oldest and largest wine companies. The 1995 harvest was just drawing to a close; on the tasting bench in the winery were glasses of deep purple, raw young Shiraz. Pannell was like a kid in a lolly shop that day…

Reblogged 11 months ago from www.winebiz.com.au