LOW STRENGTH BEER AND WINE BILL: Three minor tweaks to New Zealand’s alcohol legislation will ensure that low strength beer and wine can be sold alongside full-strength competitors. The Sale and Supply of Alcohol (Display of Low-alcohol Beverages and Other Remedial Matters) Amendment Bill passed its second reading in Parliament and fixes an unintended consequence of a well-intentioned provision in the Act that stopped them being placed in the same area of supermarkets and grocery stores as regular strength alcohol, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. “Low-alcohol and non-alcoholic beer and wine alternatives are becoming a popular option, and enabling them to be displayed alongside regular strength alcohol within a store will help New Zealanders make a thorough decision when purchasing alcohol,” she says. The Bill’s changes are technical, narrow in scope and will not change the policy intent of the Act. www.foodtechnology.co.nz 41 RESEARCH INSTITUTE SUPPORTED: New Zealand Winegrowers’ proposal to establish a new wine industry research institute in Marlborough is being backed by the Government. Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce has confirmed that the wine research institute is part of an initiative by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) to support innovation in the regions. “The new institute will provide cutting-edge science, research and development to benefit the entire industry and its key stakeholders,” says New Zealand Winegrowers chair Steve Green. “Although the institute will be based in Marlborough, the research will have a national focus. Its reach will be global, providing world-leading research for commercial grape and wine production and positioning the hugely successful wine industry for future growth.” The Marlborough District Council set aside $75,000 this year and a further $150,000 in co-funding each year from 2017 to 2022 for the institute. GOLD MEDALS ANNOUNCED: A total of 91 gold medals have been awarded in this year’s Air New Zealand Wine Awards. Following three days of judging more than 1400 wines, Pinot Noir was once again the star performer with 17 golds, sourced predominantly from Marlborough and Central Otago but also Hawke’s Bay. Chair of judges and Master of Wine Michael Brajkovich says: “The top wines from other categories were exceptional, particularly from Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Riesling and Syrah, and the quality of Hawke’s Bay Merlot and Cabernet-based wines took a big step up this year hailing from strong 2013 and 2014 vintages.” In addition to the 91 gold medals, 268 silver medals and 973 bronze medals were awarded by the judges, bringing the total number of medals awarded across the 17 different classes to 1332. The ‘best of the best’ elite gold and trophy winning wines will be revealed on November 12.
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