Australians drank, sprayed and toasted their way through more than 5.4 million bottles of champagne in 2012, cementing the nation's position as the seventh biggest market in the world for French bubbly with sales of more expensive vintage champagne brands now at record levels.
Chris Niccol grows about 18 hectares of red wine grapes at his farm in Badgerys Creek, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) west of Sydney. The vineyard may disappear under tarmac if plans to build an airport at the site go ahead.
The New Zealand wine industry has gladly gone back to the days when demand far outstripped supply and it could concentrate on producing quality, premium wine, and get away from the cheap wine market, according to Philip Gregan, chief executive of New Zealand Winegrowers.
Powell, 51, said he was "saddened" by events that led to his departure following contractual and commercial disagreements with Pete Kight, who has controlled the winery since 2008. Powell's son Callum is currently studying winemaking in France with Rhone producer Jean-Louis Chave and his wife Erin.
The use of genetically modified vines or yeasts in the vineyard and winemaking process was raised again at the "wine pioneers" panel section of the conference; a question and answer session, for the delegates to question five industry experts.
Palmer & Co., a 1920s-style bar, draws cocktail drinkers and oenophiles alike. Ten seasonal reds and whites, and 25 bottles of sparkling wines and Champagnes, are backed by hundreds of wines, spanning Argentina, Western Australia, Burgundy and Epernay.