Banking on pinot
Barbara Banke, chairman and proprietor of Jackson Family Estates, is, or recently has been, in Australia. The principal reason for the visit was to attend horse sales in Queensland. She did mention in an interview she had also been looking at sites in Victoria and Tasmania suitable for growing pinot noir. Jackson Family Estates owns the Yangarra winery and vineyards in McLaren Vale and bought the Hickinbotham winery in 2012. In the past couple of years the company has expanded northwards from California to Oregon, concentrating on pinot noir production.
According to the Italian farmers association Coldiretti, Italy was the leading wine producer in 2016. Volume was up 3 per cent to about 50 million hectolitres. Exports were also up, totalling €5.6 billion ($7.9 billion). Exports have been good in the following markets:
· US: up 3 per cent
· France: up 5 per cent
· Australia: up 14 per cent
Whiskey a go-go
In the 1980s there were just two distilleries operating in Ireland: Midleton and Bushmills, both owned by Irish Distillers.
There are now 16 distilleries in production, with 13 more in the construction or planning stages, according to the Irish Whiskey Association (IWA).
Growth has been driven by the US thirst for Irish whiskey, which last year passed 3 million cases.
Asahi snaps up Euro beers
The Japanese are moving into European beer production on the back of Anheuser-Busch InBev selling brands as a result of its merger with SABMiller.
The Asahi Group has announced plans to buy five beer brands in the Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Poland, Hungary and Romania from Anheuser-Busch InBev for US$7.8 billion ($10.3 billion).
One of the brands is the Czech-brewed Pilsner Urquell, which in TKR’s opinion is one of the finest beers in the world.