BOLTING THE GATE AFTER THE UNICORN HAS BOLTED: “Wine Label Directory to strengthen Australian wine brand protection” – read the headline announcing the passing of the Wine Australia Amendment (Label Directory) Bill 2019. This provides a “key step in strengthening protection for Australian wine labels against fraudulent activity”.
HOW?? It is a bureaucratic measure which means every winery MUST register each and every label before it can be approved for export. Well, the labels already have to be approved, but now there will also be a register of the actual name of each wine. OK, so what does this do? – It only stops a company in Australia from plagiarising a name. It does not stop anybody overseas from using a name like “Benfolds Grange”, etc. Especially given that there have only been a handful of prosecutions in Australia over this issue in the last decade, compared to hundreds of cases/examples of piracy in China alone, let alone the rest of the world.
The article quoted: “A strong regulatory system underpins the consumer trust in the safety and integrity of our wine. We know that increasingly, unscrupulous operators seek to profit from imitating well-known brands around the world, and the directory extends our ability to combat this….. As Australia seeks to produce ever higher quality wine and diversify our export markets, this will provide trust and add value.” They should have added, “Provided that the miscreants are Australia-based and not operating overseas”.
I believe that this “great” new legislation is just more bureaucracy and in effect is a useful as rocking horse poo or to put it another way like, ‘Bolting the gate after the Unicorn has bolted’.
GAINING TRACTION: Wente Vineyards, in Livermore, California, has commissioned the world’s first autonomous electric tractors for its vineyards.
The manufacturer, Monarch Tractors, say that it is one of two available in the world and that it is cheaper and less noisy to run than a conventional tractor. The medium-sized unit is a “smart” learning tractor that can be operated “normally” or can be trained to perform certain duties/routines like drive down/along the vine rows in the vineyard.
Whilst it can operated from memory, it can also be controlled by hand signals or via a phone app. With a price tag of US$50,000 they will become a common sight in vineyards around the “New World” at least.
CHINA: According to an article in Bloomberg just before Christmas: “CHINA’S LOVE AFFAIR WITH AUSTRALIAN WINE ENDS IN A MESSY BREAKUP" – No, that is not right! It should have read: “CHINA’S LOVE AFFAIR WITH AUSTRALIAN WINE ENDS DUE TO EVIL DAD (Chinese Government) FORCING THE BREAKUP”.
Chinese wine drinkers have not fallen out of love with Australian wine, they just on the whole can no longer afford it due to the fact that their dictatorial Government feels like punishing Australia because we don’t “kowtow” to them and have our own national opinions on a raft of matters. Remember this and don’t punish Australian/Chinese or Chinese owned Australian wineries. The Chinese people and Australian wine still love each other hugely BUT the pernicious, pernickety old men in Beijing are picking on us because we still like the Yanks and won’t be a puppet state for the PRC. So, they are picking on our coal, beef, barley, seafood, wine and whatever they decide next. As a result our government should now be working hard to help us find new markets for our produce so that we don’t end up on the dole.
We produce world-class products and there are plenty of countries that we could develop markets in (with a little help from Canberra), so that we don’t have to rely so much on selling to the “grumpy old men” in Beijing. Perhaps we should also look at banning some Chinese products such as their cars, solar panels, etc., all on safety or quality grounds of course.
In any case, have a great week, stay safe and enjoy some fabulous Australian wine. I will!! Cheers! #chooseaustralianwine
This week’s wine is the ORLANDO 2015 BAROSSA VALLEY CENTENARY HILL HERITAGE VINES SHIRAZ (the younger sibling to the incomparable, Orlando Lawson’s Padthaway Shiraz). Since its launch with the 1994 vintage this wine has been a consistent, intense, but not OTT, BAROSSA SHIRAZ. It is more elegant and subtle than the “big beasties” that the Barossa used to make during the “Parkeresque” times, and has consistently been a sophisticated and elegant Shiraz.
The 2015 vintage keeps the style and tradition going with its deep, dense, dark, almost black colour. It has big, rich, round BAROSSA SHIRAZ aromas with plenty of vanillin oak. This wine is stacked with masses of rich, unctuous, superb flavours, but not overly big or bold and is balanced to perfection making it equally at home on its own or with rich food.
This is a brilliant BAROSSA SHIRAZ that I would be proud to serve to guests and friends. OUTSTANDING!!! #chooseaustralianwine