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Summer heatwave and Rio Olympics boost UK wine sales

Hot weather and team GB Olympic success has boosted sparkling wine and rosé sales in recent weeks, show initial figures. And retailers expect more to come for Bank holiday weekend. Team GB’s record performance at the Rio 2016 Olympics coincided with an up-turn in British summer weather in August. And wine sales have risen as a result, according to Nielsen and early figures from several retailers.

Meet the Winemakers Behind California’s (Finally!) Cool Wines

California isn’t just a place, it’s a perspective. It’s 75 and sunny, avocado on everything, and the Beach Boys playing with the windows rolled down on a drive up the PCH. But if there’s one thing that hasn’t quite gelled with this picture, it’s California wine. Stodgy and expected, the steakhouse bottles of the ’90s were a far cry from the state’s signature free spirit; there is nothing “chill” about a trophy wine like Opus One. But a different style is finally taking hold, and it’s redefining what California wine is all about. Forget buttery Chardonnays and ginormous Cabs.

Bad weather takes toll on French wine production

French wine production is likely to be 10% lower this year than in 2015 because of frosty weather in spring and a heatwave now, officials say. A production of 42.9m hectolitres (hl) (944m gallons) is forecast for 2016, down from last year's 47.8m hl. The harvest is expected to be down by about a third in the Champagne region.

Dimbulla estate in the winner’s circle

The Clear Image Hunter Valley Wine Show, one of Australia’s leading regional wine shows, was held on August 19 and showcased a variety of high calibre winemakers and their products. Among these high quality winemakers was Dimbulla Estate, a young vineyard committed to pursuing the early European settlers experience and tradition of wine making.

The Veronicas, Killing Heidi To Play Winery’s Handpicked Festival

The Veronicas and a newly reformed Killing Heidi will play alongside local singer/songwriter Thom Lion for this year’s Handpicked Festival at Lake Breeze Winery in Langhorne Creek. Australia’s twin electro-poppers The Veronicas and classic 90s rockers Killing Heidi have been announced as Handpicked Festival’s headline acts on Saturday, November 12.

Pepper Tree Wines Pooch Picnic on Sunday

It will be a dog's day out at Pepper Tree Wines this Sunday for the annual Pooch Picnic. The picnic is a get-together for both human and dog alike, with the cost being a gold coin entry fee. All proceeds from the gate will go to Dog Rescue Newcastle – a charity group dedicated to rescuing, fostering and re-homing abandoned, neglected or abused companion animals.

Endeavour Drinks Group offers upside in disappointing Woolworths result

Woolworths Limited published its annual results on Thursday and although it was a disappointing result for the overall group, for the first time Endeavour Drinks Group was reported separately and it offered a promising result. Woolworths reported a full-year loss of $1.235bn, driven by $2.628bn of write-downs mostly linked to the underperforming Big W stores and its exit from the hardware sector.

Copycatter strikes top Australian wine website

One of Australia’s leading independent wine review websites, Winefront, has had its identity and its extensive library of wine reviews stolen and used to generate income for another party. The breach was discovered by co-owner, Gary Walsh, on August 24. His site operates as The offending site – - was registered with a major Australian affiliate marketing company at the end of July.

Cool climate wines drive growth for Matthew Clark

UK drinks distributor Matthew Clark has seen an uplift in sales of premium wines from cool-climate regions – a sign that consumers are increasingly seeking out lighter, fresher styles. Wines from regions and countries known for their cooler climates, including Austria, New Zealand, and Germany’s Mosel, have all generated double or triple-digit volume sales growth for the distributor in the year to 30 June 2016 (MAT).

California wildfires threaten grapes with smoke taint

Could Californian wine lovers be finding a touch of ashtray in their 2016 Cabernets? 'Tis the season to worry about smoke-tainted wines. Because it gets most of its rain in winter, California has wildfires almost every summer. It's always hot and dry, especially in the interior of the state, so the conditions are always right. And that means the conditions are always right for smoke taint.
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