Drinks Trade - AUTUMN 2020

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your news, your views Autumn 2020 issue 74


NON-ALC BEER It’s going to be huge

RUM RISING Is rum the new gin?

AUSTRALIA’S FIRST FAMILIES OF WINE Sailor Jerry has a Savage Apple

Taylor’s The Visionary 2014

Opal Nera’s new look




Robert Joseph is a British wine expert, consultant, marketer and producer. In 1984, with Charles Metcalfe, he launched the magazine Wine International and the London International Wine Challenge, also launched in Asia (China, Japan, Vietnam, Singapore, Hong Kong, India) and Russia. Robert was the wine correspondent for the Sunday Telegraph for sixteen years, until 2001, and is the author of more than 28 books, twice winning the Glenfiddich award for wine writing. Robert regularly appears on television and radio in the UK and overseas talking about wine. He is also a keynote public speaker at international wine trade conferences and events and hosts regular tastings for private groups. Robert was a great friend of the late Hazel Murphy AM and we are grateful for his contribution in memory of her on page 82.


Ken was born and bred in Brisbane and had what he calls a ‘non-trendy, perfectly happy childhood, in a family convinced alcohol meant instant condemnation to Hades. After completing Law at Queensland Uni, Ken was on a fishing break on the Great Barrier Reef when someone opened a good bottle of port. So commenced an obsession. After working in London, Washington DC and Sydney in banking law, Ken returned to Queensland and was asked to write some occasional wine columns, and his love for everything wine took over. He says he is a grave disappointment to his family. When told Ken was off to a ‘vertical tasting’, his mother muttered, ‘at least you’d think these people could afford chairs’. Later, she severely chastised him for drinking Pol champagne, disgusted he would drink anything made by a Cambodian dictator. Ken writes about wine and spirits for Drinks, Explore, AGT Wine Magazine, UK World of Fine Wine, Fine Group, www.tastingbook.com and www.spitbucket.com. When not writing, Ken is flyfishing for trout in NZ and bonefish on the flats of Cuba; or following a variety of he describes as, too-often dismal sporting teams – Queensland Reds rugby, Washington Redskins, Arsenal and our occasionally glorious cricket team. Ken discovers the new world of rum and reports the latest on page 64.

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Kirrily has spent 20 years working in the Australian beer industry. She is the Editor of beerstyle.com.au where her reviews see beer paired to music, fashion and art. Kirrily judges, MC’s and regularly hosts beer and food pairing masterclasses at various food and beer festivals around Australia, including hosting the Ariston Beer and Food Experience stage at GABS Festival in Melbourne/Sydney/Brisbane/ Auckland. She has worked closely with a large number of chefs creating incredible degustation events where guests can enjoy their own beer and food journeys. She is the Beer Ambassador for Dan Murphy’s providing her expertise across many of their consumer facing platforms, including its Beer Discovery Guide and Buyer’s Guides and its online and radio activations. Kirrily has run over 500 on-premise beer training sessions and is the current beer trainer for The Merivale Group. She writes about no and low alcohol beer on page 56.


Julie Ryan (MAICD, LLB(Hons), B.Com) is the Chief Executive Officer of Retail Drinks Australia, the national industry body for packaged liquor retailers, and also sits on the Board of DrinkWise, Thoroughbred Racing SA and on the Council of Alcohol Beverages Australia. Julie is a passionate and zealous advocate for liquor retail, and under her leadership, Retail Drinks has experienced significant growth and success in achieving key legislative and regulatory changes in multiple Australian states and territories. Retail Drinks has also delivered proactive, self-regulatory initiatives on behalf of the industry, including the globally-recognised and innovative Online Alcohol Sale and Delivery Code of Conduct. Julie reports on futureproofing retail in these uncertain times on page 72.

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10 Top Ten online news stories for the quarter by Alana House


68 Keeping Death and Company – an interview with David Kaplan and Alex Day of Death and Co. New York

12 Viewpoint – Chris Baddock, CEO, Australian Liquor Marketers INTERNATIONAL – USA 16 Wine and North America by Tony Battaglene, Chief Executive, Australian Grape & Wine 17 Aussies Abroad – Meet Grant Smillie, Founder / Principal The Botanical Group, LA 22 Sam Holmes, General Manager – The Americas, Negociants Australia on the American wine market 24 An Australian in New York – Gordon Little, Owner/Founder Little Peacock Imports

The CEO - Champagne Lanson

28 New Age Champagne – Champagne Jacquart 30 Piper Heidsieck – One champagne’s bold punt on the future 32 Riesling – The Quiet Achiever by Sharon Wild 50 The Fire and the Fury – Australia’s bushfire impact on our wine

73 Independent Advice – an interview with Michael David, Elizabeth Bay Cellars, Sydney THE REVIEW 76 Opel Nera 77 New Products

BEER 56 The Zero Heroes of Beer by Kirrily Waldhorn (Beer Diva)




61 Golden Rule Wins Gold – Bacardi Legacy Cocktail Competition winner

82 Vale Hazel Murphy AM by Robert Joseph


62 It’s all in the finish – introducing Angel’s Envy


64 Rum Rising by Ken Gargett

Casella Family Brands

72 Retail Drinks Australia Report

39 Hugo Gramp – The man behind the wine 35 Australia’s First Families of Wine 46


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REDISCOVER THE FAMOUS WINES OF THE LOIRE VALLEY From the centre of France to the shores of Australia

Find out more loirevalleywine.com





Editor’s Note


“In the little moment that remains to us between the crisis and the catastrophe, we may as well drink a glass of champagne.” — Paul Claudel

PUBLISHER The Drinks Association

Words written 100 years ago are my current sentiments exactly.


In the three months since the publication of the summer edition of Drinks Trade we have gone from crisis – the Australian bushfire season - to catastrophe, thanks COVID-19.

All enquiries to: The Drinks Association Locked Bag 4100, Chatswood NSW 2067 ABN 26 001 376 423

When we were preparing the content for this issue, the bushfire crisis was at the forefront of our thoughts. It captured the attention of the world and raised the voices of climate change advocates to a fever pitch. Read our report on the industry impact on page 50.

The views expressed in Drinks Trade are those of the respective contributors and are not necessarily those of the magazine or The Drinks Association. Copyright is held by The Drinks Association and reproduction in whole or in part, without prior consent, is not permitted.

Then with the rain came COVID-19. So far this week I have born witness to empty shelves at the local supermarket stripped of soap, toilet paper (please explain?), pasta, flour, rice and hand sanitiser. The new COVID-19 era greeting is the elbow bump. The government has been too slow to respond with community service announcements to advise us on what measures we should be taking. It’s all a bit of a mess. It’s our second Armageddon in two months. It’s enough to make you want to drink…

Other Drinks Association publications include: Drinks Trade Online.......................................................drinkstrade.com.au Drinks Guide................................................................ drinksguide.com.au Drinks Yearbook

EDITORIAL PUBLISHING EDITOR Ashley Pini...................ashley@hipmedia.com.au

Between the crisis and the catastrophe, we received the sad news of the passing of Hazel Murphy AM, one of the greatest advocates of Australian wine the industry has seen. When I asked Robert Joseph if he would write a few words in memory of her, not only was he delighted to do so, he was on his way to speak at a celebration of her life in London. Read his memory of the great Hazel, aka, Mighty Mouse on page 82.

EDITOR Melissa Parker...................................melissa@hipmedia.com.au DIGITAL EDITOR Alana House............................... alanah@drinks.asn.au PHOTOGRAPHER Tom Yao (front cover) CONTRIBUTORS Tony Battaglene, Ken Gargett, Robert Joseph, Julie Ryan, Kirrily Waldhorn (Beer Diva), Sharon Wild

DESIGN SENIOR DESIGNER Racs Salcedo...................... ryan@hipmedia.com.au

ADVERTISING NATIONAL SALES MANAGER Jenny Park........jenny@hipmedia.com.au

Produced and contract published by:

ACCOUNTS: accounts@hipmedia.com.au Suite 3, ‘Altura’, 11 Railway Street Chatswood, NSW 2060 Ph: 02 9492 7999 www.hipmedia.com.au | facebook.com/drinksmedia ABN: 42 126 291 914

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Speaking of great people in Australian wine, this edition pays homage to our wine pioneers and families who worked tirelessly and fearlessly to lay the foundation of the Australian wine industry. Today, Australian wine is some of the best in the world, and so we acknowledge those who paved the way and say thank you. Our Australian Pioneers in Wine report begins on page 35. For our International section we take a look at the USA. We speak to Grant Smillie, Gordon Little and Sam Holmes; all who are working in the US market. We also chat to two extremely impressive young and bright American businessmen, David Kaplan and Alex Day from Death and Co. in New York on page 68. I hope when I come to write the winter edition editor’s note, good news stories are sprouting all around. Until then I drink champagne; change that, Australian wine either from Tumbarumba, Hunter Valley or the Adelaide Hills, preferably family-owned and operated. Because as I am sure the late, great Hazel would agree, we get by with a little help from our friends.

Melissa melissa@hipmedia.com.au

LNAJS8019-05 BrokenShackles_TradePress_210x275mm.indd 1

18/3/20 4:45 pm

News 1



Top 10 in under 10 minutes HERE’S A ROUND-UP OF THE LATEST NEWS STORIES TRENDING ONLINE. VISIT WWW.DRINKSTRADE.COM.AU FOR DAILY DRINKS INDUSTRY UPDATES. Words Alana House 1. CORONA BEER VIRUS TRENDS ON GOOGLE Google Trends revealed a spike in searches for “Corona beer virus” during January. The deadly virus has nothing to do with Mexican alcoholic beverages and is suspected to have originated from a seafood market in Wuhan, China. However, Independent PR agency 5W Public Relations released findings of a survey that showed “16% of beer drinking Americans were confused about whether Corona beer is related to the coronavirus.” Constellation Brands dismissed reports that the brand is suffering during the coronavirus crisis, saying Corona sales are up 5%. YouGov data also revealed that positive buzz around Corona has increased in Australia. Laura Robbie, YouGov’s Aussie General Manager, told B&T: “We haven’t seen any negative impact on the Australian data for Corona as yet. At the moment, it seems that Australian consumers do not talk about Corona as a beer in a negative way. Instead, consumers have recently become more aware of Corona as a brand.” 2. AUSTRALIA’S MOST VALUABLE DRINKS BRAND XXXX blitzed the 2020 Brand Finance Australia 100 report, debuting at No.32, making it Australia’s most valuable drinks brand.

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The annual report reveals the most valuable and strongest Australian brands, while also evaluating the relative strength of the brands based on factors such as marketing investment, familiarity, loyalty, staff satisfaction and corporate reputation. “XXXX has performed well across a number of brand equity attributes,” said Mark Crowe, Managing Director, Brand Finance Australia. “It has high ‘brand loyalty’ and ‘value for money’ scores. It is performing very well across a number of customer metrics from familiarity to satisfaction. This has fuelled a very solid 7% growth in brand value, making it also the strongest brand in its category and, with a ranking of 32nd, the only beer in the Australia 100.” 3. KRAKEN RTD RANGE RELEASED IN AUSTRALIA The Kraken Black Spiced Rum has released two premium Kraken RTD varieties in the Australian market – The Kraken & Cola and The Kraken & Dry. Australia is the first market in the world to introduce the Kraken RTD products, with Proximo saying the release was “in response to strong consumer demand”. The Kraken & Cola and The Kraken & Dry both come in a distinctive 330ml glass bottle, with the premix made in Australia and specially formulated for the Australian palate.

4. ENDEAVOUR GROUP PREDICTS SUBDUED DRINKS MARKET Endeavour Group announced in February that total sales growth was 4.7% in HY20 in what the company has described as a “subdued” drinks market. CEO Brad Banducci said: “Trading in Q2 was impacted by subdued market conditions and competitor promotional activity, particularly over the Christmas and New Year period. “ Sales were also impacted by bushfires across many parts of NSW and Victoria in December. “The trading environment in drinks is likely to remain subdued in the shortterm; however, as the market continues to premiumise, there are areas of potential growth (craft, eCommerce) that we need to continue to capitalise on,” Banducci concluded. 5. DOUBLE DIGIT GROWTH AND A NEW BEER DIRECTOR FOR AMATIL ALCOHOL & COFFEE Coca-Cola Amatil’s Alcohol & Coffee division is celebrating its fifth successive year of double-digit EBIT growth in 2019. The result was led by a strong performance in spirits and RTDs, driven by Canadian Club and innovations such as Koyomi premix and Roku Gin. The company has also hired a new Beer & Cider Director, Ben Slocombe. Slocombe was Marketing Director of Lion Beer until


December 2017 and has more recently been Marketing Director of Blackmores. “It’s fantastic to have someone with his experience to help grow our beer and cider category,” Tobias Hoogewerff, Sales Director Licensed, said. 6. ARCHIE ROSE TO CREATE SPIRITS WITH SMOKE TAINTED GRAPES Archie Rose Distilling Co is collaborating with Tulloch Wines and First Creek Wines to trial a new spirit made using smoke tainted grapes. Following the recent tough vintage in the Hunter Valley, up to 80% of fruit has been written off due to smoke taint from nearby bushfires. Archie Rose Master Distiller Dave Withers said: “We’re really looking forward to seeing how the smoke taint plays into a 2020 brandy and potentially other spirits.” 7. WILL BOOZE PANIC BUYING BE NEXT? While drinks companies are reporting sales slumps due to the coronavirus, could panic buying turn their fortunes around? Many Australians have been going to desperate lengths to stock up on toilet paper, but others have been focusing on their wine cellars. Comments on social media included: “To those who depleted the supermarket shelves of toilet paper and pasta in preparation for the coronavirus – I have all the chocolate and the wine. Your move.” Another said: “You guys feel free to clean out Costco of toilet paper, I’m heading to Dan Murphy’s to clean out the red aisles.” Nielsen has been monitoring how the situation will affect e-commerce: “While it’s too soon to detect any meaningful shifts in online purchasing, we do expect online shopping to rise as people become


increasingly interested in reducing their exposure to others, as the virus appears to be spread via coughs and sneezes.” 8. BACARDI-MARTINI AUSTRALIA ANNOUNCES RESTRUCTURE Bacardi International has announced changes to its regional structure, with the company dividing North Asia Pacific into two, separating mature markets from emerging. As a result, Denis Brown, Regional President of North Asia Pacific has left the organisation. The company noted that BacardiMartini Australia had experienced continued growth for the last five years, which it said was “testament of Denis’ strong leadership and passion to partner with our customers”. “Denis has overseen the creation of Bacardi-Martini Australia after separating the from the Bacardi Lion joint venture with Lion, in 2016, and growth of Grey Goose and Bombay Sapphire and the turnaround in Bacardi, which has consistently grown volume for the last five years.” Moving forward, Australia and New Zealand will report to Regional President of Europe Francis Debeuckelaere. 9. BARS UNDER FIRE FOR CORONAVIRUS PROMOTIONS Venues have faced backlash on social media for their coronavirus promotions. Fitzgerald’s Irish Bar in Western Australia, posted a Facebook promotion for an event featuring bottles of Corona and free protective face masks. “There’s been a LOT of talk about Corona and to be honest it’s made us pretty thirsty…” the caption for the promotion read, alongside an image of a Corona beer bottle wearing a face mask. The original post also featured a line promising that it would be the “sickest


night of the year”, but that version has since been deleted. The post attracted negative attention online, with users commenting “this is too far” and saying it was “disrespectful”. However, others said it was “seriously the best advertising ever!” It follows a controversial promotion by a bar in New Zealand, which used the coronavirus outbreak to promote a deal on Corona beer alongside the tagline “while the pandemic lasts”. CEO John Lawrenson told The Spinoff: “I received a phone call from a colleague at Lion Breweries this morning. He said he was concerned about the perception of Lion, as the NZ distributor of Corona, and asked if I would consider taking the post down. He was very polite and explained his concerns logically and so I agreed to change the wording, but said that I would keep running the promotion.” 10. WHAT THE STARS DRANK AT THE OSCARS AFTER-PARTIES Piper-Heidsieck may have been the highest profile drinks sponsor of the Oscars after party, but the biggest (unintentional) celebrity endorsement on the night was for canned water. Best Supporting Actor winner Brad Pitt gleefully posed for the cameras as his statue was engraved at the Governor’s Ball, swigging a can of San Benedetto, an Italian mineral water. More than 8500 glasses of PiperHeidsieck Champagne were served throughout the night, with winners Laura Dern and Taika Waititi both spotted sipping glasses during their award engravings. Tequila Don Julio was the spirits partner of the Governors Ball, with mixologist Charles Joly prepping more than 12,000 specialty Oscars cocktails for the event.

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Viewpoint CHRIS BADDOCK HAS BEEN IN THE ALM HOT SEAT FOR CLOSE TO A YEAR, HAVEN TAKEN OVER AS CEO FROM SCOTT MARSHALL IN 2019. HIS EXPERIENCE BRIDGING THE RETAIL AND SUPPLIER DIVIDE BRINGS A UNIQUE PERSPECTIVE TO THE ROLE HEADING UP AUSTRALIA’S LARGEST INDEPENDENT WHOLESALER AND RETAIL GROUP. HE IS THE FIRST TO ADMIT THAT IT WAS NO MASTERPLAN. STILL, OVER THE PREVIOUS 18 YEARS HE HAS WORKED ACROSS BEER, WINE AND SPIRITS, MANAGED INDEPENDENTS, CHAINS, NATIONAL OPERATORS AND JOINED EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP TEAMS. NOW HE IS TASKED WITH TAKING ALM TO THE NEXT LEVEL. Words Ashley Pini What have been your initial challenges and focus since joining ALM? From the day I started here, a key driver has been to understand better what the retailer wants – primarily so I can better forge partnerships with our suppliers and deliver real solutions and better trading conditions for our stakeholders. I can now have conversations like, ‘Hi guys; if you truly believe in the independents, you need to work with us. Sitting in our office and saying how much you believe, but then going out of that office and doing something different, actually isn’t supporting the independents’. How can you address issues where retailers may not be working in their own best interests? We understand this sometimes happens. You do see retail to retail in this category (secondary wholesaling), a lot of which is purchased through big box. If I were an entrepreneur, I’d probably go and do it myself, so I’m not saying to our retailers, stop. I am saying that there are disadvantages to it because the less we put through our network, the less fuel we have to put back.. As a retailer, you also have to cost your own time versus working on your store? But I get why they do it. It’s our job to go to suppliers and put our position, which is, ‘if you can’t control your brand health, then you need to give us a better deal so that we

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can be competitive.’ If that can’t work, then as a last roll of the dice, if we have to, we will source elsewhere. Not because we want to, but because we have to make sure our retailers get the right price in the market. However, we always allow suppliers to allow us to compete.
 How else are you supporting retailers and helping build loyalty? We are there for the retailer and run the network to support them, so we make sure our core is strong. A part of that is continuing to drive the right private label for the consumer, and to work with suppliers on exclusives. This leads to loyalty in our stores, and avoids getting caught in the spiral effect of retailers offering the “lowest liquor price guaranteed.” There’s a real opportunity for supplies to come to the table and say; “let’s work together.” What other parts of your strategy are now coming into focus? A significant part of the strategy is digital. This involves cleaning data, it may be boring, but it’s critical. We are in the throws of doing that now, bringing to life the ‘proof of concept’ of our eCommerce platform. We are very excited by that. We’ll attach loyalty to that as phase two, and we’ll also manage the point of sale systems within the network.

Managing different point of sale platforms must be a challenge? Correct, absolutely is. But as data becomes more and more critical, you need your point of sale systems to connect to your digital platforms. One of the changes we’ve made is to make sure that we have a team of people who understand what strategies we need to put in place, as well as the required transformation piece. Another critical component of our strategy is the consumer and making sure we understand what they want from liquor retail. We are extensively surveying the consumer to make sure we are working with the most recent market information. My view is that the retail experience is more and more about convenience. We live in an instant gratification world, driven a lot by digital. Convenience is becoming critical, and this is where we are the strongest. Convenient shopping; the ‘Grab and Go’ proposition. Convenience and understanding your customers have traditionally been the strong point of good independent retailing. Is that where you see the most significant opportunities? Well, fair to say the most exciting things I’ve learned since joining ALM is that we have stores that are’ best in class’. The great stores in our network are as good as any store that

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you see. We are in everybody’s backyard. So again, there’s a consumer proposition and competitive advantage – which is convenience. But on top of that – it’s service; retailers who love serving customers, that get to know their customer well. Sometimes you watch and see there’s no verbal communication: the customer comes in on a Wednesday afternoon, gets a six-pack or a long neck, or whatever it might be, and the storekeeper sees the car and goes and gets the product out of the fridge. And by the time they’ve walked in, the transaction’s done. And that’s real customer service because it makes the customer feel special. How do you replicate that? For me, you can’t, unless you are the owner of the store.

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Is there an appetite to expand the Porter’s brand?
 Yes. Currently, there are 27 stores, and we believe we’ll have 39 by next year. Through our budgeting process, we’ll have a look through gap maps to see how many more stores we can lay down. I predict that’s going to be a lot more than 39, but I don’t want to put a number on it because we need to be scientific about which banners we suggest a new site joins. That includes both greenfield sites and some from our network.
 What were the key themes of your first conference? The theme of our conference was ‘purpose, passion, partnership’. It’s pretty easy to describe our purpose: championing

successful independence. Our passion is what’s worth fighting for, and the way we’re doing that is through partnership. When I talk about partnership, it’s about the retailer, supplier, and ourselves. And your biggest challenge to date? When it comes to challenges, I look more at opportunities. Managing stakeholders in this business is about communication. And the last thing I promised at the conference was I can’t please all the people all of the time, but I can guarantee that when I do not please you, I’ll tell you why. I’ll communicate. So if there’s something I can’t do, I’ll let you know why I can’t do it. When I closed the conference last year I said; ‘I’ve made a few promises, and now I have to deliver.

BE PART OF AUSTRALIA’S LARGEST INDEPENDENT LIQUOR NETWORK • 2,700 stores & growing • Strong marketing support and targeted promotional programs • Investment into your store • Ongoing core range reviews, dedicated planograms and rebates for retail execution • Dedicated State Business Development and Retail Operations Teams • Unrivalled group buying power with Australia’s leading broad range liquor wholesaler (ALM) • Second largest retail group in Australia


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International Trends - USA

Wine and North America THE UNITED STATES MARKET CONTINUES TO SHOW SIGNS OF WEAKNESS IN THE FACE OF DOMESTIC OVER-SUPPLY AND THE ON-GOING TRADE TENSIONS WITH CHINA AND EUROPE IMPACTING ON EXPORTS. ACCORDING TO WINE AUSTRALIA DURING THE LAST 12 MONTHS, EXPORT VOLUME OF AUSTRALIAN WINE DECLINED BY 14 PER CENT TO 138 MILLION LITRES (15.3 MILLION 9-LITRE CASE EQUIVALENTS), LEADING TO A 15 PER CENT INCREASE IN AVERAGE VALUE TO $3.05 PER LITRE FOB. EXPORTS TO THE UNITED STATES WERE $352 MILLION DURING THIS PERIOD – OUR THIRD MOST VALUABLE MARKET OVER CHINA AND THE UNITED KINGDOM. EXPORTS TO CANADA ALSO SUFFERED A DECLINE, FALLING 13 PERCENT IN VALUE TO $183 MILLION AND 25 PERCENT IN VOLUME TO 55 MILLION LITRES (6.1MILLION 9-LITRE CASE EQUIVALENTS). THE AVERAGE VALUE OF EXPORTS INCREASED BY 16 PERCENT TO $3.30 PER LITRE. Words Tony Battaglene. Chief Executive, Australian Grape & Wine Australia has invested heavily in in-market promotions in the United States over the past 12 months. Last year, Australia delivered its most significant promotional engagement in the USA, spending AU$8 million on the ‘Far From Ordinary’ campaign that targeted both trade and consumers in several key cities and culminated in the Australia Decanted event at Lake Tahoe. ‘Far From Ordinary’ was made possible with funding from the $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support Package, aiming to lift awareness and understanding of the quality and diversity of Australian wine. On the trade war front, after finally concluding a phase one trade agreement with China, United States President Donald Trump is now turning his sights to Europe and is doubling down on his threat to levy more tariffs. While there was positive talk from both the United States and the European Union at the World Economic Forum, there are major obstacles to any agreement given the trade threats by President Trump and all his demands for striking a deal. These threats aim to decrease the trade deficit with Europe, shape policy on Iran, and negotiate a better deal. A tit-for-tat trade war with Europe would have immediate and significant impacts on the United States with Europe their most

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Exports to the United States were $352 million during this period – our third most valuable market over China and the United Kingdom.

important export market, bringing in some $469 million in 2018. Any disruption in that trade would place more pressure on producers and the domestic market. Across the border in Canada there are also important trade developments. On 12 January 2018, Australia initiated World Trade Organization (WTO) consultations with Canada concerning measures maintained by the Canadian Government within the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia governing the sale of wine. This request for consultations follows earlier WTO requests for consultations submitted by the United States pertaining to measures maintained by the Canadian province of

British Columbia governing the sale of wine in grocery stores. The WTO panel for Australia’s case was established in March 2019 and two hearing have since been held. The dispute proceedings are on-going and we expect the Panel to consider and make recommendations in its report closer to the middle of the year. We also understand that there has been some discussion in the Canadian Parliament in January following the publication of an “open letter” to the Canadian Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, calling for a negotiated outcome with Australia. However, we are not aware that this has resulted in renewed engagement from the Canadian Government, although the Australian Government has always made clear it is open to engaging bilaterally with Canada in an effort to resolve our dispute.


GRANT SMILLIE Owner/Founder, EP&LP, Los Angeles

FROM MELBOURNE DJ AND BAR-OWNER TO AUSSIE EX-PAT IN LOS ANGELES, GRANT SMILLIE HAS TURNED THE CITY OF DREAMS ON ITS HEAD WITH HIS DOWN TO EARTH BRAND OF AUSSIE HOSPITALITY. HE TALKS ABOUT HIS SUCCESS WITH LA’S MOST FASHIONABLE ROOFTOP BAR EP&LP AND HIS BURGEONING LA-BASED HOSPITALITY BUSINESS THE BOTANICAL GROUP THAT IS POISED TO OPEN ANOTHER THREE ESTABLISHMENTS IN THE AREA IN THE NEXT 12 MONTHS. When did you open EP&LP? It’s year five this year and things are still working! Have you opened any other establishments in the US? We are opening a café in four weeks called Strings of Life as well as working on another enormous project in Hollywood called Grand Master Recorders set to open in August. That will be about one and a half times the size of EP&LP. We have another venue we are doing in downtown LA which will come online in late NovemberDecember as well. Plus we are renovating Pony Fish Island that we still have in Melbourne. There we are going back to the drawing board and starting all over again. This year there are a lot of projects and a lot of spinning wheels but all good things.

You obviously have a lot of good people surrounding you assisting in that process? Absolutely. You are only ever as good as the people you employ - as much as you think you have the creative, the desire and the acumen to bring these things to life. You started your on-premise career in Melbourne but prior to that you were spinning discs as a DJ. Tell us a bit about that. Yes. That was 15 to 20 years of my life playing music. I got tired. It was taxing on the body and I never really got to go home. I saw a lot of lonely old men who were pretty wealthy and successful but didn’t see the need to progress beyond that DJ path. Not for everybody but for me personally that is what I needed to do. I guess the creative

part of writing music you can take with you into the hospitality trade such as what a space looks like and what are the design outcomes that fulfill human needs. I think this is where you can translate any creative business that is equal or otherwise into the hospitality space with a bit of thought and consideration. What learnings did you take from Australia into LA? What translated? Nothing! (laughs) If you are talking about what is different between Australia and LA or America it is absolutely everything from the most basic of things such as the pour is 45 ml instead of 30 ml to the perceptions of service. For example in Australia we have a person in a section who can do everything, in America they are very particular about their job titles

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International Trends - USA

and what they will and won’t do. The only thing that translates from a business perspective is the importance of the location. It needs to have something that is unreplicable. Pony Fish Island is in the middle of the Yarra River while EP&LP is the biggest rooftop bar in West Hollywood. That gave us a bit of inspiration and protection in the market place because they (rooftops) are difficult to come by. It took two years to get the permits to do what we did. It was a challenge but when someone opens up next door and it’s the brand new toy on the block everyone wants to go to at the potential detriment of your business, it allows you to have a more robust business strategy because people will still want to come. Even if they don’t dine with us they will come and have a drink after their meal or beforehand. We end up being a catch- all to every other business in the area. What are the most important factors about keeping a venue successful long term when so many fall by the wayside? Again it’s location, location, location. Beyond that, I think sometimes you can become complacent. It’s about maintaining that energy and excitement that was there when you first opened and making sure you reinvest in your venue because hopefully your venue gets beaten by the ‘animals’ that we call our consumers just through sheer volume. If you let it fall away then it doesn’t keep that same shine and interest that people bought in with you in the first place. It is really important to evolve your business and make sure it feels different, even if someone

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hasn’t been for six months they can come back and look around and say there is something new, interesting and different here. More so for the locals, because they come often and they want to see an evolution of the space. Otherwise, they will move on and migrate. And then I guess the third part is we go out of our way to find the best people. You need the best people you can possibly afford and then spend more because it will come back in spades. Everyone’s got different budgets, and some want to rip every dollar out of their business. I think that is pretty unrealistic and naïve to think you can rip out the coffers every year and not give anything back. Did you have any unexpected challenges/surprises when you arrived in LA? Would you have done anything differently if you knew what you know now? Yes. I wouldn’t have done it. (laughs) No, that’s not true. Dave Combes, my business partner and I had three or four phone numbers in our Rolodex that were locals on the ground. We were relying on third party contractors to build our venue. We had to build every single contact from the ground up, and some were dodgy as shit. If we had on-ground knowledge it would have helped. Then there was the budget. It is always going to go over, it is just a question of how much. In terms of the locals - in Australia, you want people to interact at a bar. You want them to bump into each another and strike up a conversation. Americans tend to want their own real estate and their own

booth and don’t necessarily want to talk to other people. We needed to make sure we got the blend right of what the Australian way is and the way the Americans have always had it. That’s interesting about the real estate grabbing because that is starting to feed into the Australian on-premise market here now. Yes, it’s a real estate thing but at the same time you have to be mindful that it doesn’t come at the cost of the locals because you don’t want a bunch of dropkicks coming in and spending one-time money at the expense of people who would otherwise sit down every Saturday night. You have to be mindful – is it a land grab or is it a long play? Are there any noticeable trends in America that would be of interest to the Australian on-premise market? We are finding provenance is taking hold with tequila and mescal such as small-batch and family-run places, especially here in California. Our number one selling spirit by far is tequila with vodka at a distant second. People want to know more about where it comes from and the sustainability of that product. In Australia, unfortunately we grew up in a culture that was pretty terrible massproduced tequila, and now people are asking where it is from and why which is great What is your signature drink at EP&LP? Our number one selling cocktail sells at a ratio of two to one. We sold 55,000 last

year! It is called ‘Where Love Lives’ and is a mescal cocktail with damiana, passionfruit, guava, Thai chilli and lime. It is a take on a margarita with smoky notes at the front and sweet and sour notes at the back end. It’s quite a well-balanced drink. You would think it’s a bit too sophisticated for the general punter but tequila, mescal and California are best mates so it just flies off the shelves. Being the Aussie bar in LA, do you stock Aussie products? You know, it’s funny. When we first started, we wanted to be this Australian-owned venue that was American in its culture and DNA yet we were perceived as the Aussies over here anyway. When we realized that we realized we needed to make sure we integrated Aussie product. Pretty quickly we got the full Four Pillars range, and we promote that as one of the world’s best gins. Mr Black we always put in our Espresso Martinis even though over here they think that if you add coffee to alcohol you have rocks in your head. It just isn’t a thing here. We do a lot of wines from all around Australia and then a couple of local Aussie beers. It is hard for guys to get distribution here, but we do have Four Pines.

Describe your clientele? It is a mixed bag. We have a local mix. We have a definite base of Aussie tourists who want a soft landing when they come to LA and a similar kind of hospitality as back home. We get a lot of the event-based community that is just part of Hollywood. We have a rooftop cinema that we launched a couple of years ago as part of our rooftop programming that increased our footprint by 500 metres and seats 150. That allows us the opportunity to do launch parties for companies such as Netflix and Hulu and Paramount. You will see the odd celebrity coming into the venue who live around the area and don’t mind having a drink. Any given night could be anything. What do you love most about what you do? The creative part of it - walking into a venue, looking at it, having an idea and bringing it to fruition. Equally, picking the right people to make this vision come to life because I can’t do everything. You have relocated from your hometown Melbourne to Hollywood. What do you love about living in La La Land? It is Utopia over here. We are in winter now, and it’s 23 degrees. And then in

summer, it doesn’t get beyond 33 degrees. You can go skiing in the morning in the mountains and then be swimming in the ocean in the afternoon. It’s the lifestyle, the healthy vibe, the variety of people and the population. California has more people than Australia. It allows you to grow your business aggressively. On the downside, the traffic can be annoying at times; you pick your battles. Your drink of choice at the moment? We just partnered with a brand new beer company called Calidad. A friend of mine started it. It’s a Mexican-style lager brewed in Santa Barbara. My thing is doing collaborative projects. We just did an EP&LP special barrel-aged 1942 Don Julio, and we are finalizing a special LA release from Four Pillars. I just love something you can change five or ten percent, get involved in a process then I feel I can be passionate about it and have the confidence to stand behind it. What do you miss about home? Obviously, I miss family and friends of course, but after two days in Melbourne where I have been cold, wet and blown over I realize why I changed countries!

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A Drinks Trade Promotion





Perhaps the best decision Jacob Beam ever made was to sell his bourbon. He sold his first barrel of Old Jake Beam Sour Mash in 1795, just three years after Kentucky became a state.

In 1820, Jacob Beam handed the distillery over to his sharp-as-tack son, David Beam, who had the foresight to enlarge the distillery for future growth. He also renamed the bourbon Old Tub® to match the name on the distillery.

T. Jeremiah “Jere” Beam officially took over in 1946, just as WWII came to a close. He began shipping cases of Jim Beam to American servicemen stationed overseas. Though he didn’t know it yet, this would introduce Jim Beam to the globe.

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In 1854, David M. Beam had picked up where his father David left off. He relocated the distillery closer to the railways of Nelson County, KY under the name D. M. Beam & Company and began to transform his bourbon into national brand.

In 1960 Frederick Booker Noe II is nameed Master Distiller. Five years later, Booker would fill Beam’s one-millionth barrel. Later with bourbon in the midst of a downturn, Booker started to innovate, crafting small-batch bourbons such as Booker’s® and Knob Creek®.

In 1894, James Beauregard Beam, or Jim to his friends and family, took over distilling duties until prohibition brought it to a halt in 1920. To support his family, Jim Beam took a shot at coal mining and citrus farming. Fotunately for us, he wasn’t any good either.

In 1992, Frederick Booker Noe III became the 7th Generation Master Distiller. Like his father, he had a penchant for innovation, with creations such as the 2012 World Spirits Gold Medal winning Devil’s Cut® and Jim Beam Black®.


Our history is only half our story. The best is yet to come. There is a new generation of bourbon lovers to be introduced to the legend of Jim Beam extending its legacy beyond the present. Creating and enjoying premium bourbon will continue to be Jim Beam’s story. Jim Beam will go on creating this famous bourbon to share to the world. And the future starts now. Strap in for the ride because this will be Jim Beam’s biggest year ever. On top of Jim Beam’s 225th year, 2020 has also seen the filling of the sixteen millionth barrel since the prohibition. Locally the brand recognizes 225 years is a moment to not only celebrate where we’ve been but look ahead to the next 225 years

“My family has been bringing people together with our bourbon for generations, so now is the perfect time to raise a glass to our extended family – the fans who have been enjoying Jim Beam with us along the way,” said Fred Noe, Jim Beam’s 7th generation master distiller. with our extended Jim Beam family. Let’s just say we’ve got plans; upweighted media support, a packaging refresh on the RTD range bringing to life the brand’s updated visual identity, as well as continuing the family tradition of creating new ways of drinking bourbon. The Jim Beam brand will also be more present than ever, with sponsorships,

partnerships and experiential platforms across Australia’s most popular cultural and sporting platforms. Jim Beam’s 225th birthday campaign will celebrate how this bourbon over 225 years became, and still is, the conduit in bringing people together, into one big family. The Jim Beam family. Cheers to that Jim Beam. Happy Birthday!

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International Trends - USA


General Manager The Americas – Negociants Australia AMERICA IS THE SECOND BIGGEST MARKET FOR AUSTRALIAN WINE AFTER CHINA. IT IS A MASSIVE PREMIUM OPPORTUNITY FOR OUR INDUSTRY. SAM HOLMES, GM OF THE AMERICAS FOR NEGOCIANTS AUSTRALIA TALKS TO US ABOUT THE END-USE OF THE WET TAX, AMERICA’S DIVERSE DEMOGRAPHIC AND THE CHALLENGES AND REWARDS OF SELLING AUSTRALIAN WINE INTO THIS MOST COMPLEX OF EXPORT MARKETS. We introduced our wine into America that was cheap and cheerful with creatures and critters on labels. Is this still how the average American perceives Australian wine or is there a growing understanding for our regionality and premium offering now? I think it is correct to say we went through a cheap and cheerful phase and we paid the price for that later on when we were almost exited out of the market. The trade and consumers got sick of it. But I don’t think there is anyone who even remembers those days. The buyer or the Sommelier now might be a thirty-year-old and they were at university. Australian wine sales in America are on a high. How are they tracking? There is definitely growth, and we are definitely up, but we have seen the dollar drop back in the past five years back to 70 cents so the value of our exports to America will grow just through foreign exchange gain. A lot of the work on the market over the past few years, such as bringing the trade down (to Australia) and holding events has put us back on the map. The interest is back, and we are making inroads. What are Americans drinking in terms of Aussie wine? Chardonnay is big. It is not Shiraz. Cabernet is strong. Pinot Grigio. The Barossa is well known over there for Premium. What sells

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Our biggest challenge is Shiraz isn’t a category yet. That is going to be Wine Australia’s challenge and our challenge. How do we get Shiraz back on wine lists and back on shelves? That is going to take time.

well is the classics such as Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio and Cabernet. Where in the US are the most people enjoying Australian wine? Are there specific states that are more Aussie friendly? The usual suspects are California, New York, Illinois, Texas. That hasn’t changed for years, but you might see Georgia growing because Atlanta is becoming a more affluent place. Florida has always been a big market because of tourism. When you think about the states I have just mentioned, they are all sitting on the outside of America. Someone used to say it’s like when you cook beef; it’s well done on the outside and rare in the middle. These states are the more premium wine consuming states, and I don’t think that has changed in 20 years. What about Canada? How are Australian wine sales going there?

Canada has been a lifelong friend. They have never fallen out of love with Australia. They are very consistent consumers. It is not double-digit growth, but it grows and never declines. It is a solid market. They love Australian wine. They get it. It’s almost our twin country; it’s just colder. They consume like us. Vancouver is like Sydney. Toronto is like Melbourne. What are the biggest challenges Australian wine importers face dealing in the Americas? Canada and the US routes to market are extremely difficult. In the US, you have to work with an importer and a distributor in every state. It is difficult to get to your customer. It is very fragmented. You might have a really good importer and distributor in California, but that will not guarantee success in Colorado or New York. You are very reliant on your distributor partner to make a success there. For

All we ask is can they (the government) tip in the hundreds of millions of dollars they take from WET tax into marketing support. We are not asking to be subsidised. We are just asking could some of our money be spent on promotion?

but it is a big place. They speak English and have plenty of money. The opportunity is certainly there, and we would be mad not to chase it. Our biggest challenge is Shiraz isn’t a category yet. It’s not a thing. That is going to be Wine Australia’s challenge and our challenge. How do we get Shiraz back on wine lists and back on shelves? That is going to take time.

example, the distributors in the US might have a portfolio of two to 3000 different wineries with thousands of wines. It’s hard to get cut through. In Canada, there are government-controlled monopolies in most provences, so breaking in can be difficult.

What are the brands that really fly over there for Negociants? Jansz Tasmania is really growing – it’s growing the fastest. Our Y series is the right prices point, so that is the biggest range. Our Signature Cabernet blends are also in growth at the $40 - $50 bracket.

If I wanted to drink a premium Australian wine in say New York or LA where would you send me for offpremise and on-premise? Wine.com has been very supportive of Australian wine, and they would be the largest online retailer nationally and have helped a lot. In terms of a Dan Murphy’s equivalent, Total Wine and More has been a strong supporter. After that is the independent and individual such as Hidden Vine in San Francisco and Wine House in LA who have a passion for it. It varies state to state.

Do Americans buy into the Tasmanian pure and pristine ethos? Yes it resonates, particularly with the hipsters. Tasmania has a good reputation over there. The other funny reason Tasmania is known in the states is because of the Tasmanian Devil from the Disney Looney Tunes. It’s bizarre, but that was revealed through market research with the American consumer. What our importer and distributor have done well is opened it and allowed customers to taste it. America is always the shiny toy. Everyone wants to nail it. There has probably been more failures than there has been successes,

Have you seen a difference in market response because of the Wine Australia activations in the US such as last year? It made a difference last year. Our distributors ordered up wine for the programme, so we did get sales from it. Now it is how do we follow up on that? How do we keep going? Wine Australia is relying on the government to fund them again. It seems a shame to do it for two years and then stop. We need to give it a good five to ten years if we want real momentum. People will say why is the Australian government providing funds to the wine industry? We say – well actually it is our funds. We pay 29 per cent in WET tax so it’s not like we are asking for money that is potentially allocated to other sectors. This is over and above GST, the income tax and payroll tax. All we ask is can they (the government) tip in the hundreds of millions of dollars they take from WET tax into marketing support. We are not asking to be subsidised. We are just asking - could some of our money be spent on promotion?

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International Trends - USA


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How long have you had your business, Little Peacock Imports in the US? This is my ninth year. It’s been a major success then? (Laughs) We are still here; so that’s something considering when I look back and think of how many restaurants and stores or accounts we have had that have opened and closed in the time we have been in operation. I was not in the industry in the good times or the time of the bust. That was when I moved to America. The way everyone described it to me was that wine would sell itself. If you were a winemaker, you just came to the market and went out to lunch. Now the tables have turned.

directions. You have beer, cocktails and now pot since that has been legalized. They can be huge but making sure they buy wine instead of something else is a challenge.

What is the American drinking when it comes to the wine style? It depends where you are in the US. There is definitely a market for more adventurous wines and natural wines in the big cities. In the supermarkets, it is more conservative - Shiraz, Cabernet and Sauvignon Blanc. Every year I look at which wine we sold the most of, and it always gravitates towards Shiraz, Cabernet, Sauvignon Blanc and maybe Grenache. The other challenge I find here is they (retailers) confess they don’t know much about Australian wines, yet they get pulled into some new trend. For example, they will create a section on $30 plus Australian natural wines and will say how very up to date their Australian section is. Still, they will have no understanding of the classics such as Margaret River Cabernet or Mornington Peninsula Chardonnay for example. They can say they have a modern section, but it doesn’t pay any homage to the classics.

What are the most significant regions for Australian wine in the states? New York is probably the best place in the country to find it. I find California a difficult market. There are hubs everywhere; Detroit; some retailers in New Jersey are doing a lot better with their Australian wine sections and really getting behind it; North and South Carolina have potential; Providence in Rhode Island has some nice little boutiques that have a good selection of Australian wines. There are definitely places that get behind Australian wine and support it. It might just be a guy who went to Australia and loved it and is in charge of buying for a store and will go out of his way to find Australian wines. In terms of on-premise, if we talk about New York, all the big Australian restaurants that were here have all closed. These would be the ones who would have multiple Australian wines by the glass. Now they don’t exist. The last one closed at the start of January. What has replaced them is coffee store chains selling avocado toast, and they are not good with wine. My view is we have lost Australian fine dining as a concept. It is no longer here. And often the Australians that have restaurants here do very little with Australian wine. How do you get more Australians back to fine dining? Michelin star Public, Burke and Wills, Flinders Lane, Kingswood have all closed. The guys that do it for some reason don’t want to be seen as being Australian. The Aussie pub, The Australian is closing after more than a decade in operation.

Are the Millennials a massive slice of the American wine market? They are big, and they will have money eventually, but they are pulled in multiple

What have been your challenges? We have a hybrid model. I am an importer and a distributor so because I can self distribute my portfolio here in New York.

*Public in Nolita NYC gained one Michelin star from 2009 to 2013 and closed in 2017 after 14 years of service.

I don’t have the distributor bottleneck of relying on someone else to sell my wines for me. Being based here is good. My wines are here. I am all the time showing wines. I also have distributors in other states, and we also have a distributor appointed in New York too because it’s a huge market. What is your favourite venue in New York to go and drink Australian wine? At the moment you can go to a number of places because the bushfires have galvanized people. One particular high-end restaurant did all Australian wines by the glass for a month, and the world didn’t fall apart because it turns out people still bought Pinot Noir by the glass that wasn’t from France! Can we learn anything from American wine retailing? It depends on where you are. In New York state, for example, there are no chains allowed. It is all independents. Twenty minutes west, you are in New Jersey, and it is all chains with only a small number of independents. I would say that wineries here are more engaged with their customer base than in Australia both from a cellar door and online perspective. They are really tapped into their customers. How big is the online channel in America? It’s substantial. I sell to online wine clubs. It’s a price varietal matrix. If it fits you can sell a couple of palates overnight. What do you love about New York? It is one of the best food and wine cities in the world. Everything comes here. If you miss a band, they’ll be back. What I miss about Melbourne is the level of relaxation. Here, everything is so cut-throat and hard. The days are long. In Australia it is more laid back.

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François Van Aal is comfortable here in Australia. It’s a market he understands well and, in his own words, is the place he spent…” possibly the best 18 months of my life”. He is referring to a Sydney-based work stint in the ‘90s, living in Rose Bay and enjoying the Australian way of life. “I had no money, but I was lucky as one of my friends had a job promoting to the nightclubs. It allowed me to see much more of the Sydney trade than I could afford at the time.” This time around, Van Aal is working with Young and Rashleigh and Australianbased brand principal, Laurent Valy, to set in place the plans for the new-look Lanson range – hitting Australian shores this coming June. You joined Lanson as president just over a year ago, how have you found the first year? It’s gone exceptional quickly. The first thing was to move to Reims after joining Lanson. I used to live in Paris, and I worked for Remy Cointreau for 23 years. Up until six years ago, Remy owned Piper-Heidsieck and Charles Heidsieck, so I was involved with champagne brands in terms of distribution and marketing.

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The Black Label is your Brut nonvintage and largest label? Yes, the Black Label is the Brut non-vintage and 80 per cent of our sales. It’s aged for four years, which is quite long. We prefer to age for four years for the non-vintage, and then up to ten years for the vintage. We also go up to between ten and twelve years for the Noble Cuvee and the Clos Lanson. That’s how we get a reputation for ageing our wines longer; we believe it adds more character, but also because we have a style that favours aging. Your first vintage was unusually hot in Europe – how have the grapes stood up to the temperatures? So, 2019 is one of the best years ever. The potential, the maturity, the quality, and the acidity of the grapes were fantastic. The quantity is down, but the quality is one step ahead of 2018, which was an excellent year itself.

How do you age the wines that long and keep your price point? Well, we are very proud and confident in the quality of Lanson, which is second-tonone. Our challenge is to reduce the gap in the consumer’s mind between the quality of the wine and their perception, often driven by price. Champagne Lanson quality is up with the best; it costs more to buy the best

A part of the Lanson manifesto, “At Lanson, we’re among those that believe in love. Love for the soil, for the terroir, of a job well done. A sustainable love. A love of sharing, of being together, of making people happy.” grapes, because to age, you need to. But for Champagne Lanson there is no compromise to quality. The work we are doing now is to communicate this to the consumer. Tell me about the plan for 2020? 2020 is the year of the relaunch of Lanson in terms of brand platform positioning and visual. It also means in terms of range. We are going to reduce the range from 15 products to 10 products with a rework to the packaging look and feel. It’s a five-year plan, and 2020 is just the start. In terms of the range, how will that affect retailers? That’s a good question. The new range that we’ve put forward for 2020, we will have ten cuvee, today it’s 15. We’re reducing and making it more simple. Out of the ten cuvee, seven will be exclusive to on-trade and independent wine retailers, an imagebuilding channel. And only three products will be for the off-trade chains. The new range is launching in June 2020. Can you tell me a bit about the Clos Lanson, and where it is situated? The Clos Lanson site is close to the cathedral in Reims. It’s 100 per cent chardonnay, biodynamic, and only one

hectare. We get around 7000 to 8000 bottles per year. Clos Lanson is 200 euros per bottle (AUD 310), so it’s high-end champagne and very special. It’s one of the three exceptional offers: Organic, Vintage, and Clos Lanson. And the extra age non-vintage? That was a range that we launched ten years ago for the 250th anniversary of Lanson. It wasn’t supposed to be long term, so we’re replacing that with the Black Reserve and the Blanc de Blanc core range, which means the consumers who want to go for the high end can move to the Noble Cuvee. Is there an extra focus now on the Green label? Absolutely. Today, I think that for global brands, especially in the luxury environment, and champagne is part of luxury, you must have global communication with the environment and sustainability at the heart of your strategy. You should be environmentally conscious and sustainable. You need to have social responsibility. I think any company should have that in their DNA, but it’s a very fine line to walk. With this trend, some brands have used that for commercial purposes, increasing-price, or increasing sales, without the legitimacy

and the authenticity of building a real strategy behind it. Today, sustainability is at the heart of everything we do. The visible part of the iceberg (strategy) is the Organic Green Label Cuvee from Lanson. We launched this four years ago, and although it’s a tiny part of our business, it’s an important part because, in terms of image, communication, and caring, we are making a statement. We believe that organic green label for the Australian market is a crucial asset for us to communicate what the values are of Lanson in respecting the planet, developing sustainable wine, and also showing that we have this know-how on treating wines in a biodynamic way. Over the last five years, we have put in place a program to help our 421 growers and suppliers to Lanson move to “HVE” (High-Value Environment), which is a step towards biodynamic. It’s not as constraining as biodynamic, but it’s a strong statement of intent. I think by 2030, in 10 years from now, all champagne will be HVE. HVE means the winegrowers recognize and work for long term sustainability and taking care of the land.

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Describe your first experience with champagne? After I left France, I worked as a bartender in the biggest French venue in Tokyo. It was a huge space with a big brasserie, café, restaurant, bakery, and patisserie and all the French community would come here. I was exposed to champagne every day and every morning. People were drinking it from 11 am to 11 pm. Finally, I was hired by a champagne brand. I worked five years for a main champagne house in Tokyo before I was approached by Champagne Jacquart, who were looking for an Asian-Pacific export manager. Now I come to Australia every year. This is my twelfth visit. What did you do before you came to Tokyo? I was at the University of Sorbonne in Paris studying international trade which has been very helpful. Today the European market is too mature, so if you need to develop, you need to go outside of Europe. All the markets are so different from Europe. I am really happy to be in this role. What is the biggest export market for Jacquart? The first one is the UK; the second is Europe, in general Germany, Scandinavian countries, Italy, Japan and Australia. Japan is the number three market after the UK/ Europe and the US, and Australia is the fifth for export. I have the chance to deal with two of the top five key markets outside France.

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What skills do you need in your role? All ambassadors are for the house first and then champagne in general. We are not competitors; we are neighbours. Jacquart is located in the heart of Reims ten metres from Louis Roederer. Ten metres on our left is Krug. Just behind us is Veuve Clicquot and next to them is Taittinger and behind Taittinger is Pommery. We are all close. Also, to be an ambassador, you need passion. Also champagne being a technical wine you need to be interested in the way it is produced, the policy of the house, the hand of the cellar master, all the techniques and the dosage, the ageing, the whole process from the harvest to the bottling to the corking. It’s a long process. For us, it’s five years just to make a non-vintage so it is something that you should be interested in. How long has Champagne Jacquart been in Australia? Ten years. And we are still growing and developing here. What do you love about your role? As a brand ambassador, you are always representing the style of the house and the brand. Drinking champagne is a good part of my day. It is a role that is taking care of all the aspects of exporting champagne. I am an ambassador, but I am also an export manager, so I am tasting with retailers and sommeliers and bartenders. You deal with a lot of people. In Japan, you can be dealing with a really serious sommelier and then a laid back sommelier in New Caledonia. This is the kind of situation that is interesting.

Shin Saito, Jacquart’s Asian-Pacific export manager and brand ambassador

Tell me about this visit to Australia? I was in Sydney then Melbourne; next is Brisbane and Cairns. After that, I go to South Korea. We just opened the South Korean market and the Taiwanese one. My objective in Australia is to get people more interested in the brand and tasting the product as we are launching the new label. It just arrived. What is critical to the success of a champagne brand in an export market? It is such an ultra-competitive market. In Japan, there are more than 600 importers of champagne. For us, the challenge is the same in any market. We are counting on the product quality. We have our own vineyards - 350 hectares dedicated to the brand that allows us to use the very first press of the

grapes only, so no second or third press in our NV. And we age for at least five years on lees. We are Chardonnay-driven, so we are mainly grand cru and premier cru. All those technical factors allow us to have a certain quality and balance that is important. Of course, we don’t have the marketing (budgets) of the big market leaders. We are medium in size. We are a young brand with a young team. I am one of the eldest, and I am not that old! Are you doing a drive to be first pour in on-premise? Yes, we have Di Stasio in Melbourne on pour. We have the Sheraton in Sydney. It took ten years in Japan to be present in five-star restaurants there, so we are still developing the market here. We are not

yet present in big places, but we have the right strategy. The next challenge will be the consumer. We want them to taste the product. That’s why we are grateful to Qantas for being in their business class and lounges so people can taste it on-board. It is a very nice listing for us and helping us a lot. How would you describe the style of Jacquart? We are a Chardonnay producer from the beginning so we are definitely looking for freshness on the palate. We are preserving the style of the grand chardonnay. After that, it is about balance and maturity. Beautiful acidity is important, and then there is minerality and a lovely creaminess at the end given by the five years on lees that gives maturity but not too much.

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One Champagne’s bold punt on the future PIPER-HEIDSIECK’S NEW CHEF DU CAVE, ÉMILIEN BOUTILLAT AT JUST 32 YEARS OF AGE IS YOUNG, ENERGETIC AND PASSIONATE. HIS EMPLOY BREAKS WITH THE TRADITIONAL MOULD OF OLDER MORE EXPERIENCED CHAMPAGNE MAKERS YET WITH HIM COMES THE ENTHUSIASTIC EMBRACE OF THE NEW. HIS MODERN OPINIONS AND TRAIL BLAZING IDEAS WILL GUIDE THE FAMOUS CHAMPAGNE BRAND ON A PATH OF INNOVATION WITH AN EYE FIRMLY ON ADAPTING TO THE LANGUAGE OF ITS FUTURE CONSUMERS. WE SPOKE WITH ÉMILIEN ON HIS RECENT VISIT TO AUSTRALIA FOR PIPER’S COLLABORATION WITH THE AUSTRALIAN OPEN IN MELBOURNE. Tell us a bit about your career to date? I was born in Champagne; my father is also a wine grower and winemaker so I grew up with him trimming the vines and walking the cellar. Then I decided to move out of Champagne and I studied not only the winemaking but also agronomy viticulture in Montpellier in the south of France. After a semester in philosophy, I wanted to learn from all the winemakers about their philosophies. I decided to work out of Champagne so I worked in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, as well as in Château Margaux in Bordeaux. Then I spent three years abroad working in the northern hemisphere and southern hemisphere so I was able to make two harvests in just one year. I worked in New Zealand, in California, in Chile, South Africa. I think I was missing Champagne and my friends and my family, so I decided to come back home and work in the Champagne world. I came back in 2012 when I was working for another company, a family-owned winery in Champagne, Champagne Cattier, and I was the winemaker for Champagne Cattier and Armand de Brignac. I’m happy to be a part of the team Piper-Heidsieck for more than one year because I started on the first of October 2018. I have also worked with some winemakers making red still wine and white still wine as well.

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You took over from Regis Camus in 2018, what are you hoping to achieve with Piper-Heidsieck? This year was my first year at PiperHeidsieck and I worked very closely with Regis. We did plenty of tastings together and we talked a lot about his philosophy, the style and the DNA of the blend that he made for Piper-Heidsieck. That’s something that’s important for me and we have a good relationship, so my goal at Piper-Heidsieck is to keep and maintain the quality which is already very high. We have a very high standard of excellence and we don’t compromise on quality, a philosophy we have had for a very long time. The wine excellence has been there for years and decades and Regis was elected the best sparkling winemaker of the year many times. So, it’s a lot to live up to? Yes! There’s a small pressure, but it’s a good pressure because now my boss wants me to have even more [awards]. I want to maintain that style and the wine excellence we have, and I want to also take care of every detail of the process to see if we can improve and we can always improve things. I want to pay attention to every detail to increase the quality.

And for me, everything starts in the vineyards, so the vineyards and the sustainable farming in the vineyards is important for me, for the future. I will spend lots of time there in our vineyards - but also with all the [wine] growers we are working with everywhere in Champagne. How would you describe Piper’s style today? Has that changed since the Maison was taken over by EPI? The wine excellence was there before and in my winemaking team there are some winemakers that have been with the House for more than 30 years. The wine excellence has always been there. What’s changed with Christopher Descours [EPI President] and the EPI Group is that the owner is really into wine and he really loves the brand so he probably will allow us to go further, deeper in terms of quality and no compromise at all. I think the quality was there already in terms of winemaking but now we can even do better. Piper has had a focus on special cuvées in recent times are there any in the pipeline that you can discuss and we can look forward to? We have a big range, not that big but a nice range at Piper-Heidsieck with a nice diversity of wine. It’s kind of a family to

me - all of them are very high quality Champagnes. Just like your family, you have a son and daughter but cannot pick the favourite one because they are all different. I like all the Champagnes we have in our range. The most recent range we launched is the Essentiel range and inside that range we have two cuvées; Essentiel Extra Brut and Essentiel Blanc De Blanc. It’s a range more dedicated to the wine connoisseur, to the restaurant, to the fine wine shop. We also make some vintages. The philosophy at Piper-Heidsieck is not to make a vintage every year. We only make Vintage when the quality is amazing; the quality of the grapes. When all the weather conditions are great, they produce perfect grapes, so that’s the philosophy. Yes, we do have nice things in our cellars but as you know in Champagne you have to be patient, so you will have to wait a few more years to discover the nice treasure we have in our cellar. Champagne as a region, is making changes to adapt to the warmer temperatures. How is Piper-Heidsieck addressing climate change? That’s very important to me personally global warming and what we can do to limit global warming and be sustainable in each step of our life. That’s also the philosophy at Piper-Heidsieck. We try to think globally and be as sustainable as possible at each step of the process. The process starts in the vineyards, so we are managing our vineyards sustainably. In fact, we have two certifications of sustainable viticulture. The first one is called HVE3 which means in French Haute Valeur Environnementale trois. This is a European level of sustainable farming. The second one is VDC and means in French, Viticulture durable en Champagne - sustainable viticulture in Champagne. This shows the two levels of sustainable farming and that’s what we have in our vineyards. I also work closely with all the growers we are working with in order to help them to move towards that direction in order to get them certified as well. I speak with the growers, we see what can be done, how we can help in terms of money but also in terms of technical advice. In fact, we want to keep the landscape of Champagne for the next generation, so we need to pay attention to every step. We also try to reduce waste;

to reduce the amount of water we need to produce the Champagne so really at each of the step of the process we try to reduce waste and think sustainably at every step of the process. Also, you can see [the effects of] global warming by the harvest dates. Over the past 30 years, the harvest date is becoming earlier and earlier. We harvest today almost one month earlier than what we used to 30 years ago so that’s proof of global warming, and it affects the balance of the grapes. It’s important to make the right decision when you decide to pick the grapes, so I go in the vineyards before the harvest and taste the berries and adjust the harvest dates according to the balance that I can taste and feel in the berries. Describe your vision of Champagne for the future. It’s linked to what I just said because for me, the main challenge is global warming and the environment. For us at Piper-Heidsieck but also for Champagne in general, we need to think about what we can do. What can we change? What can we keep in order to be more and more sustainable? Our philosophy at Piper-Heidsieck is to look at what we have always done – the tradition of making viticulture but also look at the future and see what we can do with new technology to be more efficient and faster in the way we do sustainable farming. We did invest in a company based in Champagne that are creating a ‘bot’ – an autonomous tractor - to go into the vineyards in order to help the growers to remove the weeds under the row of vineyards mechanically without any pesticides. The autonomous tractor will do the job all day long and will save time for the growers to focus on other tasks, so that’s something that will be very interesting in the future and will help to be more sustainable than what we are doing today. We will have to face that challenge and we will both rely on tradition and audacity in order to face our challenges. What is your favourite Piper-Heidsieck Champagne and why? That’s a tricky question! I think it depends on the moment - the season, the time of the day, it really depends on that because as I said it’s a family, so I love all the Champagne we have.

So, you don’t have a favourite? During summertime with a very sunny and hot day, I might want something really refreshing such as the Essentiel Blanc de Blanc or even the Cuvée Brut, or if I’m having a barbeque or a ‘barbie’ as you say here in Australia, with a nice piece of beef, I would go for the Rosé Sauvage because the pairing is just amazing with our audacious Rosé Sauvage. But for wintertime by the fireplace with a nice dinner with some mushrooms or something, I would definitely go for the Vintage 2008. It depends on the moment of day and the people you are with. Finally, can you claim the title of the youngest Chef de Cave in Champagne? Yeah, I’m definitely one of the youngest in Champagne but there are a lot of wine makers and growers as well in Champagne. I’m sure you will be able to find a younger wine grower than me but if you look at the Grand Maison of Champagne, then yes definitely I am the youngest Chef de Cave at one of the big houses and I am very proud of it! It’s proof of the confidence of my boss and of the brand so I’m very proud of that title. It’s also proof of the audacity of the brand - to trust someone like me, yes I am young but also I have great experience working in France but also abroad so I think that talent is not a matter of age, and I am very happy to be trusted as the Chef de Cave of Piper-Heidsieck.

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RIESLING The quiet achiever IN THE PAST RIESLING HAS BEEN UNFAIRLY MISTREATED AND MISUNDERSTOOD. THE FACT IS IT IS A VARIETAL THAT PRODUCES WINES OF EXCEPTIONAL NUANCE AND QUALITY. YOUNG IT CAN BE FRESH, RACY AND ZESTY; WITH AGE, IT CAN REACH ETHEREAL HEIGHTS OF COMPLEXITY AND RICHNESS. JANCIS ROBINSON CALLS IT WINE’S GREAT UNDERDOG AND SAYS: TOP-QUALITY DRY RIESLING IS A TRULY THRILLING DRINK WITH MORE PACE AND VARIATION THAN WHITE BURGUNDY. Words Sharon Wild There is no doubt that Riesling had an image problem for a long time. It had a lot to do with the flood of cheap, nasty, wines that were labelled as ‘Riesling’, yet were made from anything but Riesling. It’s also the case that Riesling was touted as the Next Big Thing for an equally long time. And since Chardonnay’s rise to fame from the early 1990s, followed by aromatics such as Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris, Riesling certainly hasn’t been as front-and-centre a name as it used to be. On the surface, therefore, it’s tempting to take a doom and gloom approach towards Riesling and rant that it isn’t fair that this noblest of grapes is underappreciated, misunderstood, alwaysa-bridesmaid and blah, blah blah. Reframe perceptions, however, and the state of play of Rieslings is surprisingly positive. Label integrity laws instigated a couple of decades ago resulted in a slow but inevitable drying up of the aforementioned ‘Rieslings’ and the perceptions attached to them. Furthermore, given that Riesling is best suited to more marginal climates

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and terrains, large-scale production isn’t generally viable – thus quality tends to prioritise quantity. Plus, the variety shows its best with minimal winemaking intervention; allowing the time and place speak. Today, Riesling occupies approximately 2 per cent of Australia’s total vineyard area (approximately 3,200 hectares), and those areas are a treasure trove of distinctive and distinguished terroirs all over the country. It, therefore, isn’t appropriate to judge Australian Riesling by volume. Indeed, according to recent IRI Market Edge data, 60per cent of Riesling sales are in the Premium Category ($15+), and this sector has grown by 6.5per cent while sub $15 Riesling sales are declining. While Riesling isn’t exactly a prominent variety – and isn’t promoted much either – it’s more appropriate to judge it as the quiet-achieving noble variety that comfortably occupies a niche, premium market share. Australia’s capital for Riesling in terms of both production (around 50per cent of Australia’s total) and reputation is South

Australia and notably the Clare and Eden Valleys. Long-established, iconic Riesling brands like Leo Buring ‘Leonay’ Riesling (RRP$35) and Jacob’s Creek ‘Steingarten’ Riesling (RRP$40) are both as classy as ever as young wines, and both offer long-term cellaring potential in the best vintages. Hailing from more recent decades, Jeffrey Grosset’s ‘Polish Hill’ Riesling (RRP $60) is rated ‘Exceptional’ in the Langton’s Classification (VII) and his ‘Springvale’ Riesling is classified ‘Excellent’. If you can resist temptation, these Rieslings reward with cellaring. Jim Barry Wines has built a solid reputation for its Clare Valley Rieslings. The 2020 Halliday Wine Companion awarded it ‘Winery of the Year’. Their ‘Lodge Hill’ vineyard (RRP$25) is one of the highest in the Clare and produces Riesling that’s steely, minerally and extremely elegant. Their flagship ‘Florita’ Riesling (RRP$60), which was established by Leo Buring in 1962 and purchased by the Barry family in 1986, abounds with lime that’s framed by zesty,

citrus acid and it can age very gracefully. From the nearby Eden Valley, Peter Lehmann’s Wigan Eden Valley Riesling (RRP: $35) is sold with age (the current release is 2013) and is much awarded, including six-time winner of ‘Best Riesling in the World’ in the International Wine and Spirit Competition plus over 80 trophies since 2003. Pewsey Vale in the Eden Valley has a colourful 170-year history, and today the brand is comprised solely of four Rieslings from estate-grown vineyards. Pewsey Vale’s Contours Riesling (approximate RRP $35), for instance hails from old vines on the coldest site and is released after five years. Another producer whose focus is solely on Riesling from single sites (from the Clare and Eden Valleys) is the aptly named Riesling Freak. Founder and winemaker John Hughes crafts ten Rieslings in broad-ranging styles. John Hughes notes: “I personally think Riesling is in a growth stage in the market. Many Sommeliers in Australia champion Riesling, with most wine lists having Rieslings by the pour.” Riesling is a premier grape in the Canberra district also. Ken Helm of Helm Wines, for instance, has been championing the variety for over four decades and produces four super-classy, low-alcohol examples (a rarity in recent decades). He says of the region: “Canberra’s cool nights, warm to hot, dry days with very high sunlight hours produces Rieslings of intense fruit flavours, fresh acid and without high alcohol levels.” So passionate is he about Riesling that he founded the Canberra International Riesling Challenge (CIRC) 20 years ago. Since its inception, entries have grown from 170 wines, mainly Australian, to over 500 wines from nine countries today; making it the biggest international wine event in the Southern Hemisphere. A winemaking mentee of Ken Helm’s, Carla Rodegiero of Sapling Yard Wines, produces a Canberra Riesling (RRP$28) that’s also low-alcohol, pristine with racy green-apple acid. Amongst its local listings is Canberra wine bar Rizla which specialises in Riesling. Other Rieslings in the Canberra district worth seeking out include Clonakilla, Nick O’Leary, Eden Road and Lark Hill amongst a growing list.

I personally think Riesling is in a growth stage in the market. Many sommeliers in Australia champion Riesling, with most wine lists having Rieslings by the pour - John Hughes, the Riesling Freak. The vast Great Southern region of West Australia produces high quality, impressive Rieslings worth checking out. Forest Hill’ Block 2 Riesling’ (RRP$35) derives from the earliest plantings in Mount Barker (1965), and it’s zesty, racy and concentrated. Howard Park is also a benchmark producer of Riesling in the region. Their Mount Barker Riesling (RRP$35) also shows trademark grapefruit of the region and has a talcy minerality. From the continental influenced, high-altitude sub-region of the Porongorups, elegant Rieslings have emerged from the granite encrusted, ancient landscape, notably from Castle Rock Estate. Castle Rock Estate Riesling (RRP$23), won trophies for ‘Best Great Southern White’ and ‘Riesling’ at the Wine Show of West Australia in 2018. In the Frankland sub-region, much loved, single-vineyard examples are produced by Frankland Estate. Their ‘Poison Hill’ Riesling (RRP$42), with generous white peach fruit and tangy acid, contrasts with their ‘Isolation Ridge Riesling (RRP$42) with its floral and musk notes and fine citrus acid. Fine Rieslings are produced all over the cool-climate of Tasmania. From near Hobart are the Coal River, Derwent and Huon Valleys and near Launceston are the Tamar Valley and Piper’s River. Riversdale Estate Winery from the Coal River Valley, for instance recently won an impressive eight trophies at the 2019 Royal Hobart Wine Show; four of which went to their Cygnus Riesling 2012. Vigneron Rainer Roberts said at the time of the awards: “The unique

terroir of our vineyard allows us to take advantages of the long, slow ripening and retention of natural acidity, which is why we excel in growing cool climate wines like Riesling.” Other southern district producers making stand-out Rieslings include Moorilla Estate and Pooley Vineyards (the latter is Tasmania’s first and only fully accredited Environmentally Certified Sustainable Vineyard). From the northern districts, it’s hard to go past Piper’s Brook Riesling and Tamar Ridge. In Victoria, a highly accessible Riesling of consistent quality is Mitchelton’s Blackwood Park Riesling (RRP$22) from Nagambie Lakes district, north-east Victoria. Lovely citrus intermingles with saline elements, tempered by clean, sherbet acidity. The winery has been producing this wine for nearly five decades, and it’s Mitchelton’s most awarded wine. To the South West coast in Henty is Crawford River Wines. The vineyard features an unusually complex, mineral-rich soil base and benefits from cool sea breezes from the Southern Ocean. Crawford River Riesling (RRP$45) shows talc and lime characters, mineral complexity on the palate and a stone-fruit finish. It’s classified by Langton’s as ‘Excellent’. The emphasis of Riesling in Australia today is quality, not quantity. Many of the Rieslings mentioned are age-worthy; some for decades, and yet they retail between $20-65. No other noble variety offers such value for greatness; it will continue to quietly achieve.

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2141 Barossa Valley Way, Rowland Flat SA 5352 Telephone: (08) 8115 9200 | Open daily: 10:30am - 4:30pm Lunch: Thursday - Monday from 12pm | Dinner: Friday & Saturday from 6pm

w w w. s t h u g o . c o m Enjoy St Hugo wines responsibly

(Closed Good Friday & Christmas Day)

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Wine Pioneers

WINE PIONEERS AUSTRALIAN WINE HAS CHANGED OVER THE YEARS – GROWING INTO A GLOBAL POWER OF CONSISTENTLY HIGH QUALITY WINE THAT CONTINUES TO ERODE THE GRIP OF OLD-WORLD PRODUCERS IN MARKETS JUST ABOUT EVERYWHERE. TO A GREAT EXTENT, WHERE WE ARE TODAY RELIES ON THE PIONEERING SPIRIT OF WINEMAKERS AND ENTREPRENEURS WHO CAME BEFORE – EXPLORING, PLANTING, EXPERIMENTING AND (HOPEFULLY) PERFECTING THE UNIQUE EXPRESSION THAT AUSTRALIA GIVES THE WINE ENJOYED BOTH HERE AND OVERSEAS. The seeds for the current crop of world famous winemakers we sown long ago. Many of the best-known brands grew from humble beginnings and from a pioneering attitude that saw opportunity where others saw dust. Many came from the field of doctors; hand surgeons, MD’s and scientific, and others were new arrivals chasing the Australian dream. And then there was the late Len Evans, who played a pivotal role in the evolution of Australian wine, and was often referred to as the ‘Godfather of Australian wine industry’, and mentor to Sydney lawyer, James Halliday. Here we pay tribute to those that paved the way, building great brands and wineries and igniting enthusiasm for Australian wines everywhere. The future is bright for Australian wine with these pioneers having shown the way.

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Wine Pioneers



Casella Family Brands is Australia’s largest family-owned wine company founded in 1969, today led by Managing Director, John Casella. The family’s rag to riches story has been told many times over and is still one of the most remarkable in Australian winemaking history. Growing up amongst age-old vineyards in Sicily, Filippo Casella was inspired by his family’s passion for grape growing and winemaking. His dream was to make his own wine and build a family winery business for future generations. The story really begins in 1957 when Filippo and Maria Casella set sail from Italy to Australia to find a better way of life. They eventually settled in Yenda, in the Riverina region of New South Wales. There they grew grapes for local winemakers but with the desire to craft their own wines still very much an aspiration in 1969 on Farm 1471, Filippo Casella hand-built the first winery shed and the Casella family winery was born. Little did they know, Casella Family Brands would one day become Australia’s largest family-owned wine company. Growing up helping his parents in the family vineyards and winery, their middle son, John, learned the winemaking craft from a young age. He witnessed their hard work, generosity of spirit and sharing of wine, food and good times with family and friends. The hard work, tenacity and expertise that Filippo Casella instilled in his children, as well as his acute knowledge of winemaking, has stayed with John throughout his career to date.

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Wine Pioneers


In order to refine his already distinctive winemaking skills, John studied Oenology at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga, graduating in 1982. Never straying too far from his family and the winery they called home, he moved back to Griffith and further honed his skills as winemaker and manager of Riverina Estate where he was instrumental in raising their 4,000-tonne grape crush in 1983 to 25,000 tonnes in 1995. In 1995, John returned to his roots and became Managing Director of Casella Family Brands. His family’s winemaking philosophy to bring family and friends together at any occasion inspired his vision to create an approachable wine that everyone could enjoy. By doing so, he wanted to demonstrate that wine could be approachable; easy to choose, easy to drink and easy to understand. [yellow tail] wine was born.


Launching [yellow tail] in 2001, John forecasted to sell 25,000 cases. He was wrong. Sales were over one million cases within 13 months and by 2003, global sales hit five million cases bringing the iconic yellow-footed rock-wallaby John selected for the label, to countries all over the world. John has grown [yellow tail] to become the world’s number one most powerful consumer wine brand. Today, Casella Family Brands exports 11.5 million cases of the easy-drinking wine to 50 countries every

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year, accounting for approximately 13% of all Australian exported wine. In 2020, [yellow tail] has ranked #1 in Wine Intelligence’s Global Brand Power Index for the third year in a row.


John’s passion for Australian winemaking and love of the land his family now call home, has led to the expansion of the portfolio to include some of the country’s most iconic wineries. Honouring decades of family winemaking tradition, John’s desire is to showcase the regional excellence of Australia’s most famed regions and widely respected winemakers. John acquired the iconic Barossa winery, Peter Lehmann Wines in 2014. Over the years that followed, Brand’s Laira Coonawarra, Morris of Rutherglen and Baileys of Glenrowan also joined the Casella portfolio. More recently, John and the winemaking team launched a new brand The Magic Box Wine Collection, an enchanting and nostalgic collection targeted

at millennials. He also continues to build on his family’s own premium offering, Casella Family Wines. In 2019, John and the team celebrated a year of milestones; Casella Family Brands celebrated its 50th anniversary, Peter Lehmann Wines celebrated 40 years since it was founded by the now legendry Peter Lehmann and Morris of Rutherglen commemorated a momentous 160 years. This year in 2020, Baileys of Glenrowan will celebrate a remarkable 150 years of winemaking history. John’s pioneering spirit has resulted in a range of distinct and outstanding Australian wines that are enjoyed amongst friends and family all over the world. “Crafting consistently high quality wines is at the heart of everything we do. Our desire is to bring to the world a range of distinct and outstanding Australian wines that leave a legacy, and contribute to Australia’s reputation as a world class wine-producing nation.” John Casella, Managing Director

Hugo Gramp


Louis Hugo Gramp was born 19th September 1895 at Rowland Flat in the Barossa Valley. He was the last of nine children of Gustav & Johanna Gramp, and grandson of Bavarian immigrant Johann Gramp who planted the Barossa’s first commercial vineyard in 1847. He became Managing Director of the family business G.Gramp & Sons in 1920 when he was just 25 years of age. During his time as Managing Director since 1920 and Chairman since 1927, Hugo’s energy and vision resulted in enormous sales expansion and the erection of the main buildings and maturation cellars that exist at the Rowland Flat winery today. He increased the capacity of the winery to 3,500,000 gallons (15,911,315 litres) and expanded the sales by opening branches beyond Adelaide including Sydney in 1927, Perth in 1931 and Brisbane in 1936. This established Gramp & Sons as one of the leading winery businesses in Australia. On 25 October 1938, Hugo Gramp was flying from Adelaide to Melbourne with two other prominent wine industry members, Thomas Hardy and Sidney Hill Smith, to discuss new proposals vital to the industry that had been issued by the Federal Viticultural Council. The small DC-2 plane named ‘Kyeema’ that they were travelling on encountered heavy cloud on its approach into Essendon Airport and crashed into Mount Dandenong, instantly taking the lives of all 18 people on board. Hugo Gramp was

43. He is remembered as a man of elegance, great influence and the highest integrity, who was an ambitious business leader, a respected family man and a pillar of the burgeoning Australian wine industry. The first St Hugo wine was a 1980 vintage of Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon that was released in 1983 to honour the legacy of Hugo Gramp. As a connoisseur of fine wines, Hugo Gramp would have been proud of it, as it was a wine of such profound depth and complexity that it was immediately hailed as one of the wines of the year. From 1983 until 2011, St Hugo represented a single wine, its signature Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon. In 2011 the range was expanded to include other fine quality red wines from Hugo’s homeland of the Barossa including St Hugo Barossa Shiraz. The flagship St Hugo Coonawarra Cabernet has earned over 1000 wine show awards since its first release and has exceeded 30 vintages, but was not made in 1995 not 2011 in years when the vintage was deemed not worthy of the exacting high quality standards of St Hugo. St Hugo has earned a position in Langton’s Classification V and Classification VI of Australian wines, thus being recognised as one of the most highly sought after Australia wines in the fine wine secondary auction market.

He is remembered as a man of elegance, great influence and the highest integrity, who was an ambitious business leader, a respected family man and a pillar of the burgeoning Australian wine industry.

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Wine Pioneers

The Passion and the Pride Protecting Australia’s Family Wine Heritage

As the HEART AND SOUL of Australian wine, the families feel a very real RESPONSIBILITY TO PROFILE THE QUALITY OF AUSTRALIAN, FAMILY MADE WINE, from some of the land’s most iconic vineyards, from one region or many for the benefit of all. - Australia’s First Families of Wine. They are our national treasures, their stories are woven into the fabric of our wine-making heritage; yet they can also succumb to the fragility of the economic world. In unpredictable times such as these, consumers and the trade should consider our role in supporting our families of wine as they continue on our wine industry narrative for the future. Australia’s First Families of Wine is an inspired initiative that tapped into the collective strength of eleven of Australia’s oldest and most respected family -owned, multi-generational wineries. Collectively they boast 1,310 years of winemaking experience. They are also the custodians of some of Australia’s most revered vineyards. Generations have nurtured soils and vines over the decades and sometimes centuries to craft wines of unrivaled history and provenance. Then there is the future; the new generations who receive the knowledge and expertise from those family members who have come before them. With them they hold these stories and pass down their winemaking secrets. Without these transitions how would these wines continue to deliver each and every vintage? How could generations of consumers appreciate the beauty of these family produced wines and taste the passion if it were not for this personal investment? These wines are the product of passion and pride and of people who stake their name on its excellence.

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Drinks Trade celebrates and supports each of them on the following pages. We invite you to do the same.

BROWN BROTHERS From a Band of Brothers to a new generation

Brown Brothers was founded in 1889 by our great grandfather, John Francis Brown and after 130 years and four generations of Brown Brothers (and many sisters) later, we may be steeped in history, but we stomp our grapes for tomorrow’s taste buds. This is why we pioneered Prosecco and Moscato in Australia; blended Cabernet Sauvignon with Sumoll and called it Cienna - a new world grape variety developed by the CSIRO; and set up our micro-winery called the ‘kindergarten’ where there’s a lot of playtime and hardly any rules. As Ross Brown (third-generation) says; ‘We are a wine company with tradition, but we’re not a traditional wine company’. We’re proud of our wine, each other, and those  who came before us. Since 1889 we’ve been  in the  Milawa  region of the King Valley – that’s a lot of vintages. We have sipped a few Chardonnays in our time and discovered  some delicious new varieties, and thrown a few  experiments out the window.  Four generations of winemakers later, we’re still  as excited by a new release glass of sparkling;  or that 1980 Malbec that comes out of the cellar  on special occasions;

or the new  favourite  drop  we know we’re yet to create. While we’ve  collected a few laurels on our bottles, we’re not  even tempted to rest on them. Instead, we use  them to spur us forward; to push us beyond the  status quo; to keep our minds sharp and our  palates fresh; to keep us making wine for people and making sure it’s perfectly delicious.   Our mission is to create and share adventures in wine, so we invite you to join us in Milawa in Victoria’s stunning King Valley to discover something new. With Katherine, Caroline and Emma Brown all working full-time within various roles across the business and Ross Brown, Cynthia Brown and Eliza Brown representing the family on the Board, the future of the family business is in good hands.

CAMPBELLS WINES Family Pioneering-Spirit

Campbells is a fifth-generation family owned wine business celebrating 150 years of winemaking success in Rutherglen, Victoria. In the 1860’s, founder John Campbell arrived in Rutherglen, Victoria from St Andrews in Scotland in search of gold. After gold ran out on the ‘Bobbie Burns’ gold mine, John Campbell bought the land opposite and named his new property ‘Bobbie Burns’ thereby establishing what is now Campbells Wines. Five generations of Campbells in Rutherglen have since established what is now a respected name in the Australian Wine Industry. The pioneering and stoic Scottish spirit has seen the family overcome drought, phylloxera the great depression and many challenges in the family business. The character, history and tenacity of the Campbells family is evident in every glass with wines that are renowned for their balance and complexity. Campbells are famous for their world class Rutherglen Muscats and Topaques, crisp whites and full flavoured red table wines including Bobbie Burns Shiraz and The Barkly Durif. Jane Campbell as Managing Director and Julie Campbell as Winemaker now carry on the family tradition alongside the Campbells team. They are committed and very keen to progress their winery forward ever mindful of the solid foundation their father Colin Campbell helped to build. Campbells are a proud member of Australia’s First Families of Wine.

HOWARD PARK WINES A Great Southern Story

Howard Park Wines, run by two generations of the Burch Family, is a pioneering West Australian family-owned winery, producing a range of handcrafted fine Australian wines from the state’s premier grape growing regions - Margaret River and the Great Southern. Since its inception in 1986, Howard Park had been an early adopter of multiregional fruit sourcing; a champion of the

cool-climate Great Southern wine region and the world-renowned Margaret River, and inspired and driven by the notion that premium wine can only come from excellent fruit. This founding philosophy has ensured that Howard Park uses only the finest fruit from the Margaret River and the Great Southern; and has seen the Burch Family and their winemaking and viticultural teams build an intellectual database of regions, vineyards, blocks and clones in their hunt for the best fruit. Now their Margaret River vineyards, Leston and Allingham, and the Great Southern vineyard, Abercrombie, make up the cornerstone of Howard Park’s Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon production. The wines the Burch family create are not just celebrations of the two distinct regions from which they grow their fruit. They are also celebrations of the history and legacy of the family, with two of their iconic wines, the Abercrombie Cabernet Sauvignon and Allingham Chardonnay

being named after two special Burch family members, Walter Abercrombie and Muriel Allingham. Commitment to the original Howard Park values of continual improvement, excellence and innovation runs through every endeavour, and the last 30 years has been an era of both innovation and growth for Howard Park and the Burch Family – from the purchase of longstanding grower vineyards, Abercrombie in the Great Southern and Allingham in Margaret River, and the development of sustainability programs including the use of biodynamic and organic principles, to the large-scale in-house compost production, the establishment of an on premise nursery, successful implementation of a méthode traditionnelle sparkling wine program, and their children coming on board to take up key roles within Howard Park. A celebration of innovation and terroir is at the heart of Howard Park.

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Wine Pioneers


The Champion of the Clare Valley Certain names resonate strongly within the halls of Australian wine history. Jim Barry is one such name. Jim was the first qualified winemaker in the Clare Valley of South Australia, graduating with the 17th Degree in Oenology from the famous Roseworthy Agricultural College in 1947. Working for 22 years as winemaker at the Clarevale Co-operative, Jim Barry became a pioneer of Australian table wine, championing the planting of varieties such as Riesling, Shiraz, Cabernet and Malbec in the Clare Valley, at a time when fortified wines were still dominating the Australian wine landscape. He and wife, Nancy, established their own winery in 1959 and so began a family tradition of excellence and innovation in winemaking and viticulture. Jim and Nancy’s second son, Peter, assumed the reins of Jim Barry Wines in 1985 and has continued to build on his father’s legacy. Indeed, Peter demonstrated his own pioneering spirit in the early 1980’s, at the height of the vine pull, when he and his brother, Mark, set about producing a great Australian Shiraz, a wine we now know as the iconic and world-renowned ‘The Armagh’ Shiraz. Never afraid to take a risk, in 2006, Peter began the process of importing the first Assyrtiko vines into Australia from Santorini after a chance tasting whilst on holiday. The wine was released commercially in 2016, marking a ten-year journey to produce the first Assyrtiko outside of Greece. Today, Peter’s own sons, Tom and Sam, have taken over the day-to-day operations of the family business and have already shown their inherent drive to achieve excellence

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and champion innovation in the business. The boys have a genuine respect for the methods set down by their father and grandfather over the past 60 years, but are also determined to see the winery grow and evolve. Their most recent collaboration with Ernst Loosen of Germany’s Dr. Loosen Estate, epitomises their vision for the future. The LoosenBarry ‘Wolta Wolta’ Riesling pushes the boundaries of conventional thinking about Riesling. It is a wine unlike any that has been produced in Australia and is the beginning of another journey of discovery for Jim Barry Wines.


The first overland route between Sydney and Melbourne (1838) passed through the land now known as Tabilk, following the tracks of Major Thomas Mitchell and his party of explorers in 1836. The Estate was originally part of a sheep station known as the Tabilk Run. Tabilk-tabilk, in local language, means “place of many waterholes”, and the extensive internal water system on the estate a testament to its name. In 1860 a group of Melbourne businessmen purchased the property to establish a winery and vineyard. The first 65 acres of vineyard plantings occurred later that year including the original Shiraz vines that survived the Victorian outbreak of phylloxera in 1877 and are still producing today, dating them as some of the oldest in the world. In 1862 the original Winery buildings and ‘Old Cellar’ were completed, with the next major development the excavation of the ‘New Cellar’ in 1875. In 1877 Tabilk Vineyard became Chateau Tahbilk with the ‘h’ added to aid sales in

Europe - and remained so named until this European moniker was dropped in 2000. Tahbilk was purchased by Reginald Purbrick in 1925 and it was the Purbrick family’s tradition of pride, hard work, pioneering spirit and a love of good wine that breathed new life into Tahbilk. It started with Reginald’s son, Eric Stevens Purbrick, who spent some early time at Tahbilk in the 1920s before taking on full time management and winemaking responsibilities in 1931. Eric guided Tahbilk through more than 45 vintages and was one of the first to place his faith in the future of Australian table wines. To further support his vision, Eric was at the forefront of varietal labelling in Australia, giving the homegrown industry the inspiration to break from European labelling traditions. Eric was joined by his son John in 1955, followed by John’s son Alister who, after graduating as an oenologist from Roseworthy College, took over the role as head winemaker and CEO. in 1979. Alister remains at the helm to this day. Tahbilk’s Priceless Inheritance continues with fifth generation Hayley Purbrick, (Alister’s daughter) joining the business in 2009, responsible for overseeing Tahbilk’s environmental, digital and business improvements. She has driven the achievement of Tahbilk’s ‘CarboNZero’ certification in 2012, one of the first wineries in Australia to achieve this important accreditation. Tahbilk is celebrating its 160th anniversary in 2020 and as Victoria’s oldest family owned winery, the family have a vision for the future as they look to 2025 – 100 years of Purbrick family ownership.


Pioneers from Grape to Glass The Taylor family has a long history of challenging the status quo, starting with their first plantings in the Clare Valley in 1969. “My grandfather went against convention at the time and planted Cabernet Sauvignon when the popular styles of the day were all fortified wines. His vision was ahead of its time, and it still guides us today,” third generation Managing Director and Winemaker Mitchell Taylor said. Today the third-generation who work in the business, aim to inspire this passion for innovation across the entire business. Under the mantra ‘respect the fruit’, the Taylors feel more than ever that the enjoyment a wine drinker feels when having a glass of Taylors wines starts in the vineyard. “Our goal is to instill in our business a ceaseless enthusiasm towards the craft and care of our wines - from grape through to glass - to ensure the experience a person has is one they will always remember,” MItchell said. This isn’t more apparent than in Taylors dedication to the screw cap closure, which began exactly 20 years ago, when Taylors and a group of other Clare Valley wineries decided to ditch the cork in favour of the new closure for their 2000 vintage release rieslings. “We’d put so much work into crafting these wines, it was crazy to think we were risking them by using cork. That’s why we were the first winery in the world to move to screw caps completely for reds and whites.” Today, Taylors uses the closure across all of its wines, including its ultra-premium release The Legacy, released in 2019 as part of the family’s 50th anniversary. The cap also features a world-first innovation in authenticity. Owners of this rare wine can scan the installed NFC (Near Field Communication) chip with their smartphone to check the authenticity of the wine and access cellaring notes through the dedicated Taylors Wines app. “It’s about completing the journey of the wine, from when it’s picked in the vineyard through to when it lands in the

buyer’s hands. Every step along the way is an opportunity to tell the Taylors story,” Mitchell said.


Five generations of Tyrrells in the Hunter Established in 1858, Tyrrell’s is one of Australia’s pre-eminent and oldest familyowned wineries with vineyards extending from their historic home in the Hunter Valley to Heathcote. It is headed up by fourth-generation family member Bruce Tyrrell, and fifth-generation Jane, John and Chris Tyrrell. Our wine business has been in the family for over 160 years, which is an amazing thing. We are lucky enough to make wine from vines planted by our great great grandfather in a time when they had no electricity or any of the luxuries we have today. It is an honour to work with these wonderful assets - Chris Tyrrell, fifth generation. There have been numerous monumental moments which saw the Tyrrells put the Hunter Valley on the world wine map. In 1963 Tyrrells released the iconic Vat 1 Hunter Semillon, now one of Australia’s most awarded white wines. Considered controversial at the time, in 1973 Tyrrells was the first Australian winery to mature Chardonnay in French oak and enter it into a wine show.

The Tyrrells have been through many phases of change over the last 160 years adapting to changes in the industry, the economy and the family members of the time. The consistent factor throughout time has been our love of the Hunter Valley and the wines that it makes. It runs through the veins of the family. We have been amongst the very few people lucky enough to work with something truly unique in the world of wine, Hunter Semillon, and have become close to the perfection of its style. In another 160 years, my wish is that the family is still here on our original land making wines that are of exceptional quality and distinctive to the Hunter Valley - Bruce Tyrrell, managing director. With the fifth generation, Jane, John and Chris, involved in the business, Tyrrell’s will continue to drive family as being pinnacle to the ethos of the company, with the simple philosophy of producing high-quality wine that people love to drink. The closeness of our operation, and the family nature of it, means we can consistently make wines that are relevant to the drinking public - Jane Tyrrell, fifth generation. I look forward to continuing to push the barriers of quality in viticulture and winemaking whilst never forgetting the deeds of the people that got us here - Chris Tyrrell, fifth generation.

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Wine Pioneers


Six generations of Henschke family winemaking HONOURING A PROUD HERITAGE AND CREATING THE FUTURE. The first commercial release of a Henschke wine was in 1868. Initially, first-generation winemaker Johann Christian made wines for his family and friends, however demand inevitably grew and wines were made for sale. Fourth-generation Cyril Henschke pioneered varietal and single-vineyard wines, with his greatest legacy being the creation of Hill of Grace and Mount Edelstone in the 1950s; shiraz wines from Eden Valley that have become an integral part of Australia’s fine wine story. In the early 1980s, fifth-generation Stephen and Prue became pioneers of viticulture in Lenswood, a sub-region of the cool-climate Adelaide Hills. The sixth generation, Johann, Justine and Andreas are all actively involved in continuing on the family winemaking tradition; they are mindful of their role as custodians of the Henschke vineyards and their need to nurture them for future generations. LIVING WITHIN THE AUSTRALIAN LANDSCAPE. As a current custodian of the Henschke vineyards, viticulturist Prue Henschke’s days are divided between various ‘gardens’. In the oldest garden, the Hill of Grace vineyard, the vines are over 150 years of age, among the most ancient in the world. The gardens include 109ha of vineyard,

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32ha of native trees and 150ha of bushland under conservation. Prue and Stephen Henschke’s philosophy is a holistic one – to ensure the created environment sits in a healthy balance with the natural landscape. The principles of biodynamics and organics enable them to create the best environment for plant growth; soil health has been improved by adding compost to build up organic matter, and plantings of local native species have been able to provide an ecosystem service to help with pest and disease control. HENSCHKE IS RECOGNISED FOR ITS RICH HERITAGE, INNOVATIVE SPIRIT AND COMMITMENT TO HANDCRAFTING EXCEPTIONAL WINES FOR OVER 150 YEARS. The Henschke Cellar Door, now housed in the original 1860s Grain Barn at the family property in Keyneton, was built from field-stone and mud by first-generation winemaker Johann Christian Henschke, a stonemason and wheelwright by trade. One of the remaining dry-stone walls built by Johann Christian has been preserved to become a feature of the Henschke tasting experience. Henschke offers an extensive range, with a focus on ultra-premium, singlevineyard and small parcel wines, beautifully handcrafted by fifth-generation Stephen and Prue Henschke, from sustainably grown vineyards using organic and biodynamic practices in the Eden Valley, Barossa Valley and Adelaide Hills. A selection of these are available for tasting at Cellar Door.


Building on six generations of Australian experience McWilliam’s is a family-owned and operated winery with 140 years of winemaking knowledge and passion passed down through six consecutive generations of winemakers, who have pioneered and championed the very best of New South Wales wine regions. It all began when Samuel McWilliam first settled on the outskirts of Corowa where he planted his first vines in 1877. After retiring from winemaking in 1891, Samuel left the ‘Sunnyside’ vineyard and winery in the hands of two of his five sons, John James ( J.J.) and Thomas, and his eldest of four daughters, Eliza Jane, who also turned her hand to the family craft, becoming one of Australia’s first female winemakers. It was J.J. (1868-1951) who continued the family’s winemaking tradition, eventually leaving Corowa and establishing his own vineyard in the Riverina region around 1896 and subsequently the ‘Mark View’ winery in 1904. In 1913, J.J. and his eldest son, Laurence John ( Jack) took up two adjacent irrigation blocks in the newly opened Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area near the village of Hanwood. Today, McWilliam’s has a rich portfolio of award-winning wines sourced from premium vineyards across the state’s cool climate landscapes in Hilltops, Tumbarumba and Canberra, and the expansive plains of the Riverina. McWilliam’s wines showcase regional specific characters, superior quality, impressive depth and full flavour expression.


Family Winemakers since 1849 As Australia’s oldest family-owned wine company, established in 1849, Yalumba is the embodiment of the pioneering spirit of one of this country’s first wine families. Fifth-generation Chairman, Robert Hill Smith, has recently welcomed the sixth generation, his daughter Jessica, into the fold and so his family’s involvement continues. Now one of the most recognisable brands in Australia, this wasn’t always the case, with early generations often facing adversity, which they faced with grit and passion to find the solutions to their many challenges. Their story began with Samuel Smith, a brewer from Dorset, England, who set sail for the far climes of Australia in search of a new life for his family. The year was 1847 when Samuel, his wife and children arrived in South Australia to a very different landscape from the one they had left behind. Heading north on a bullock dray, they settled in the small town of Angaston in the verdant Barossa Valley. Samuel found work as a gardener for George Fife Angas for whom the town was named. There began a tale of hard work and determination, with Samuel finding his feet quickly in his new world, leasing his first 30-acre property. Planting vegetables to sell, he also planted some grapevines, using cuttings given to him by the Angas family. Trying his hand in the goldfields of Victoria with his son Sidney, Samuel found gold and returned home to purchase a further eighty acres of land and some equipment. Naming his property Yalumba – an Indigenous word for ‘all the land around’, Samuel and Sidney planted the first official Yalumba vineyard and the rest, they say, is history. So followed four more generations of Smiths and then Hill Smiths (4th generation), inspired by the spirit, dedication, business acumen and talent for winemaking shown by founder Samuel, his son Sidney and his four eldest sons, putting Yalumba on the winemaking map. Navigating their way through world wars, family tragedies, the Great Depression, droughts and flooding rains, oversupply,

financial challenges and changing wine trends, the fifth and sixth generations of the family continue to drive the business forward in the modern era. The years of knowledge, experience, innovation and tales of adversity and success are inherent in each generation, including this one, as they steer their family business to the next chapter.


Modern thinking meets century-old traditions Since 1912 the Osborn family have tended vineyards in McLaren Vale, South Australia. Four generations have shaped d’Arenberg into a world-renowned winery, blending modern thinking with a deep respect for time honoured methods of winemaking and grape growing to produce wines of distinction. Back in 1912 Joseph Osborn sold his stable of prize-winning racehorses to purchase the d’Arenberg property in McLaren Vale, where he worked the land and planted the vineyards. Joseph’s son Frank left medical school to work alongside his father, choosing pruning shears over a scalpel. Over the years Frank increased the size of the vineyard and sold fruit to local wineries until 1927, when he decided to build his own winery and make

his own wine. In 1943 Frank’s son d’Arry returned from school at the age of 16 to help his father run the business, eventually assuming full management in 1957. In 1959 d’Arry launched his own label named in honour of his mother, Helena d’Arenberg. He created the iconic red stripe and a unique family crest that adorns each bottle. The Red Stripe was inspired by d’Arry’s happy memories of his school days at Prince Alfred College, where he wore the crimson and white striped school tie. Today, fourth generation family member Chester Osborn is at the winemaking helm, making distinctive wines using traditional methods in the winery and the vineyard. From entry level to iconic, all d’Arenberg wines are basket pressed with red wines foot trod during fermentation. Known for an eclectic portfolio of oddly named wines, the d’Arenberg wine range is considerable, with over 70 wines, made using 37 different grape varieties, you’re certain to find something you’ll love. In 2017, construction was completed on the d’Arenberg Cube, a five storey multi-function building set among Mourvèdre vines. The d’Arenberg Cube includes a new tasting room, restaurant, private tasting areas and state of the art facilities on each level.

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Wine Pioneers


Thomas Hardy and his wife Johanna


On Sunday, 18th of August 1850, the threemasted British Empire reached the fledgling port of Adelaide after 4 months at sea. It must have been a pleasant day, for Thomas Hardy notes in his journal, “went ashore in the afternoon in my shirt sleeves. Drank some ale first.” In those days Port Adelaide was still a fairly rough and tumble outpost, and with its many sailors, dockworkers,

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The British Empire, aboard which Thomas Hardy and his future wife, Johanna, sailed from Devon, England to Port Adelaide, Australia in 1850

travellers and new immigrants passing through, drinking houses and inns were not in short supply. Many still exist today, dotted around one of Adelaide’s most historic suburbs. There is little doubt that the young Hardy would have ventured into a few, but he would not have known then, that one day, those very taverns and pubs would be selling the award-winning wines that proudly carried his name.


Whilst the grand and imposing brick and sandstone buildings of Chateau Reynella are home to Australia’s oldest operating wine cellar, the Hardy involvement extends back less than 30 years. John Reynell was Thomas Hardy’s first employer in the new colony, however the adventurous, entrepreneurial Thomas spent only a few months with Reynell – but it is highly likely that the success of the

Above: The expanded Bankside cellars, 1874

Pen sketch of Tintara cellars by Fred Stoward Jnr. from discussions with Jack Stoward in 1952

Reynell vineyards, even in those early days, provided much of the inspiration for what would become Thomas’ destiny.


After his early days as a cattlehand and vineyard worker for John Reynell in the hills south of Adelaide, and then as a butcher feeding the hungry miners in the goldfields of Ballarat, Thomas eventually returned to the city which greeted him in 1850. In fact it is likely his first trip from the port to the city passed near the very spot where, four years later, he would plant his first vines and thus set the foundations for the Hardys wine success. In 1853, Thomas Hardy purchased a small parcel of fertile land on the banks of the River Torrens at what is now known as Underdale. Within a few years, Thomas Hardy had established one of the most remarkable horticultural endeavours in the colony. Where once there had been thick stands of bushland, Thomas established a thriving and highly innovative enterprise. As if predicting where his achievements would lie and his name would be made, his first plantings included rows of Shiraz and Frontignac grapes for winemaking and Muscats for drying. Also amongst his early varieties were Mataro, Grenache and Roussillon. He experimented with different types of trellising and pruning to maximise yield and make the most of the abundant sunlight. Within 10 years, Hardy had become renowned for his innovation and his esteem as a winemaker had reached the Old World. After 25 years of successful winemaking, the Hardy enterprise had outgrown

Bankside and in 1881, Thomas Hardy moved much of the administration to new premises in the city. Tragically however, in 1904 a devastating fire tore through the cellars, the homestead was saved however much of Bankside was left in ruins. The Hardy family continued to live in the homestead until 1927, however nowadays, except for a major road bearing the family name, there is very little evidence of the Hardys Wines birthplace on the banks of the River Torrens.


In 1861, inspired by a flourishing vineyard to the north of McLaren Vale, Scottish migrant, Dr Alexander Kelly joined with some of the colony’s most eminent businessmen to purchase a 700 acre (280 ha) tract of land in the region. The Aboriginal name ‘Tintinara’ was suggested but then shortened to ‘Tintara’. Built partly underground, the cellars were finished in 1863, and these buildings became the centre of Tintara’s winemaking operations, together with a small cooperage and storage rooms. Dr Kelly’s dream of becoming a successful wine entrepreneur was never realised and in 1873, the entire Tintara Vineyard Company was put on the market. Enter Thomas Hardy. Having heard about the demise of Tintara, he headed to the McLaren Vale to inspect the property on offer. After thoroughly inspecting every aspect of the operation, he could see the potential success of the venture where others couldn’t. He also saw cellars full of wine.

Thomas promptly purchased the winery and proceeded to then sell off the entire stock of Tintara wine. The profits from the sales actually exceeded the purchase price of the property! Within months, Thomas was making plans for new vines – planting varieties that were superior in both quality and yield. He also set about building workers’ accommodation, expanding the cellars and installing grape presses and extra tanks. Since the winery was built on a hill, the entire flow of juice, from crushing to fermenting and run-off, simply relied on gravity. Using a series of horse-powered ‘elevators’, trolleys, chutes, miniature ‘rail-carts’ and press tanks, the movement of grapes, juice and waste was virtually automated - an amazing achievement for the time. Today, the old cellars are merely a shell of their former self. The iron roof was removed and reused acquired at the mill cellars due to the shortage of iron after WWII, and the elements wasted no time in eroding much of the stonework and rotting the timbers.


Hugging the slopes behind the old Upper Tintara winery, sits one of Australia’s oldest and most recognised Shiraz vineyards – Nottage Hill. For more than 130 years, the name Nottage has been a treasured part of the Hardys’ history. Named in honour of Thomas Hardy Nottage, (a nephew of Thomas Hardy himself) who, in 1884 as a 15- year old lad began what would be a lifelong attachment

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Wine Pioneers

to Tintara. After 66 years of devoted service, Thomas retired as the manager of the Tintara vineyards but left an enduring legacy that is honoured by the vineyard that bears his name. However, the Nottage connection certainly did not end with Thomas’ retirement. Four generations of the Nottage family have been involved with Hardys and were just as much a part of the fabric of the winery as the Hardy family itself.

The recently restored Mill Cellars, adjacent to the Mill Cellars Tasting Room where Hardys wines are tasted and classified.


Thomas Hardy realised early on that the (Upper) Tintara winery was difficult to access, especially if he was to continue his highly successful blending techniques, which would require growers to negotiate difficult terrain with fragile fruit. Instead, he took the winemaking operations to them. After searching the region for a suitable location, he chanced upon the disused Mortlock Flour Mill in the almost deserted town of Bellevue. It was only a few kilometres from Tintara, but infinitely more accessible. He set about converting the mill into a modern winery, constructing ancillary cellars and storage areas. To further enhance the new winery (by then known as the Mill Cellars) he ignored the rumours of hauntings and bought the Bellevue Hotel, converting it into tea-rooms and a shop front for his produce, as well as his headquarters when ‘commuting’ between Bankside in the city and Tintara at Mclaren Vale.


With the purchase of the Tintara Vineyard Company in the McLaren Vale, and Thomas Hardy’s reputation (at home and abroad) for exceptional winemaking and blending, Thomas’s business needed new and larger premises. So in 1881, he proceeded to build substantial new headquarters, cellars and a bottling and distribution facility at 87 Currie Street in the heart of the city. This new building was named ‘Tintara House’.

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Original Tintara House, Currie Street, 1883


In 1893, Thomas Hardy watched as his extensive new cellars at Mile End were finally completed. The imposing two-storey brick and bluestone building had a frontage that spanned almost 60 metres and included subterranean cellars, winemaking facilities, bottling hall, distribution centre, offices and a landmark tower which contained Hardy’s prized blending tanks. Eventually the sparkling wine cellars would also be moved from Currie Street to Mile End. It was here that Thomas Hardy refined the art of blending for which he would become legendary, sourcing his grapes from the company’s own extensive regional vineyards as well as from specially selected vineyards of other growers. The new Tintara House at Mile End became a focal point for an industry that was quickly putting South Australia on the global winemaking map.

Sure enough, over time, the Tintara House and cellars needed to expand, and for more than 80 years, Mile End saw healthy growth with new offices and warehouses joining a modern bottling hall and research laboratories as Thomas Hardy & Sons Pty Ltd grew and evolved into one of Australia’s most popular and iconic wine brands. Success and popularity always come with a certain amount of burden and with all the operations having moved from Currie Street and most of the winemaking, blending, bottling and distribution emanating out of Mile End, the inevitable was eventually realised. Even the vast capacity of Tintara House at Mile End could not keep up with the demand for Hardys wines domestically and abroad. In 1982, with great reluctance (afterall, Tintara House was the last of the Hardy properties built by Thomas) the company decided to sell Tintara House at Mile End and move the entire operation to the newly

purchased Chateau Reynella – which, in a curious turn of fate, stands upon the very land that Thomas Hardy worked in the very first days of his new life in the colony of South Australia, more than 150 years ago, and is the site of some of the first commercial vines to be planted in South Australia. So, even though it was a difficult decision for the family to make, in a way it was almost as if the company was returning to its roots once more.


By 1927 the activity around Mill Cellars had grown to such an extent that it had overshadowed the original Tintara winery. With better cellars and some of the most advanced winemaking facilities of the time, the decision was made to move most of the operations to the Mill Cellars property and rename the estate Hardys Tintara. From the open fermenting tanks and basket presses of the Hardys Tintara winery,

Hardys has picked up over 9,000 awards and continues to deliver quality recognised across the globe. a new wine region began to emerge – one that would eventually be revered the world over. One known today as McLaren Vale. And now, more than 130 years later Hardys Tintara remains one of the most technologically advanced wineries in the region, and is home to the largest premium red wine open fermentation facility in Australia. Yet, to this day, much of the original Mill Cellars and the remnants of the old Bellevue village remain and despite all the innovations and progress, you’ll still find wines being made using much of the equipment Thomas Hardy installed over a century ago – serving as a genuine and

functioning reminder of the ingenuity, enterprise and pioneering spirit of one of Australia’s winemaking legends.


This April, Hardys will unveil a packaging update which will be rolled out across the range including consumer favourites Hardys VR, Hardys Stamp and Hardys Tintara. The design will premiumise and unify the portfolio with strong and consistent visibility for the Hardys logo and crest on every bottle in the portfolio featuring the brand’s distinctive black and gold colourways.

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Bushfire Crisis

The Fire and the Fury

THIS SUMMER, WE BURNED. THE LATEST VINTAGE FOR THE AUSTRALIAN WINE INDUSTRY WAS UNPRECEDENTED BECAUSE OF THE RELENTLESS BUSHFIRE CRISIS BURNING OUR WINERIES, VINEYARDS AND IS SOME CASES DISTILLERIES. IS THIS A ONE-OFF OR WILL THIS BECOME THE NEW NORMAL? WHAT CAN WE LEARN, AND HOW CAN WE FUTURE-PROOF OUR INDUSTRY FOR SIMILAR CIRCUMSTANCES IN THE FUTURE? Yes, we have experienced fire before and dealt with smoke taint. According to Wine Australia, since 2003, $400 million worth of grapes and wine has either not been produced or downgraded because of smoke taint. This vintage saw grapes exposed to smoke for an unprecedented length of time. In the Hunter Valley, for example, it was late October 2019 to January 2020. In many cases, the grapes were in the postveraison stage and at their most vulnerable; ready for harvest. Red wines will be the worst affected because of the vinification on skins. Particular varieties such as the thinskinned Sangiovese and late-ripeners such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Nebbiolo are the most sensitive.

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You can look at the wine now and say it tastes great but the problem is in twelve months time it can taste like a terrible dirty ashtray - Bruce Tyrrell.

The impact has been felt across New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. The worst fire-ravaged areas included Tumbarumba, the South Coast and the Hunter Valley in New South Wales, while in Victoria it was the north-eastern Alpine regions East Gippsland, the Milawa and Rutherglen. Possibly the most profound

devastation was in the Adelaide Hills in South Australia where 30 per cent of the area burned with 60 growers and producers impacted. Firstly, it is not all doom and gloom with reports coming out that this vintage in some of Australia’s wine regions is shaping up to be a good one. Brian Croser told the ABC

Sources: Esri, HERE, Garmin, Intermap, incrment P Corp., GEBCO, USGS, FAO, NPS, NRCAN, GeoBase, IGN, Kadaster NL, Ordnance Survey, METI, Esri China (Hong Kong, (c) OpenStreetMap contributors, and the GIS User Community

that some winemakers char their barrels to get a similar effect from smoke taint, implying a small amount could potentially add character to the wine. * Even still at the other end of the spectrum, you can get a taste in wine that is akin to a wet ashtray and undrinkable. There is also debate as to whether these undesirable characters develop in the bottle and worsen with age. The only way to ascertain if the grapes are bad is to produce them and see. The Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) encouraged producers to experiment with small-batch ferments as a way of testing the grapes. In January, Wine Australia published a fire damage assessment advising that the actual footprint of affected vineyards amounted to 1 per cent or less than 1500 ha of the total 146,000 hectares under vine in Australia. The figure was arrived at by taking National Vineyard Scan data and combining that with fire footprint maps from fire-fighting agencies in South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales. Wine Australia stated it was doing everything it could to support industry members impacted and is working with the Department of Agriculture, Australian Grape & Wine and state and regional wine organizations and the AWRI. For more information of support visit https://www. wineaustralia.com/fire-recovery

A spokesperson from Wine Australia said was still too early to understand the full impact of the fires and smoke taint on Australian wine production for the 2020 vintage. Wine Australia has estimated that the combination of fire and smoke damage will amount to losses of around 4 per cent of our average national tonnage, or around 60,000 tonnes of grapes. The reality is that producing smoketainted grapes can potentially harm the long-built reputation of a winery. Many are considering whether producing is worth the risk. Unfortunately there is a price to pay. Such decisions are an economical disaster for producers and growers. In a bold move to protect the integrity of the Tyrrell’s brand, Bruce Tyrrell decided to discard 80 to 90 per cent of his 2020 Hunter Valley vintage. As far as impacting Tyrrell’s, Bruce explains they will feel the financial pain of this vintage next fiscal year when their direct to consumer releases go out and then about two to four years later when the age releases come out to trade. “The fruit we are salvaging we are confident will be OK, but we are not making any winemaker selections or single vineyard wines. “All the single vineyards have been affected, and they are the ones people keep and cellar, so we are not taking the risk. It’s bloody hard. I said to the boys at the end of

December that every decision we make is predicated by - will this damage the Tyrrell’s brand? With those top wines, there are no chances to be taken. We just can’t do it.” In terms of grapes, he said they have been through rigorous smoke taint testing with one of their important single vineyard block’s tested four times. When it went over a limit they didn’t pick the fruit. At the time of speaking to Bruce they had already parted ways with $7000 towards the testing process. The AWRI was inundated with requests for testing in New South Wales and Victoria. “When this is over it is important people don’t forget about it and walk away,” said Bruce. “I would like to see a map of where the damage is so when this happens again, and it will happen again, we can have a better handle on how to manage it.” Bruce is producing 40 to 50 dozen of each block of his smoke-tainted grapes for research purposes. He will donate ten dozen to the AWRI, and with these, they can monitor the effect smoke taint has on wine as it ages. “One thing I remember from the 1969 vintage (when the Hunter Valley experienced a significant bushfire event) a lot of the reds looked good when they were young, but in two to three years the smoke taint came out.

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Bushfire Crisis

There’s a lot of goodwill out there – if you want to help us, come and visit us. We are open for business. Second thing is buy our wine… - Angus Barnes. “You can look at the wine now and say it tastes great, but the problem is in twelve months’ time it can taste like a terrible dirty ashtray.” Meanwhile, Dr Ian Porter of La Trobe University is fine-tuning smoke detector equipment so nervous grape growers can know sooner rather than later if they are dealing with smoke taint. The work done behind the scenes places Australia at the forefront of global research in its tireless pursuit to develop ways to mitigate damage from fire and smoke in the future. As part of the development project, 16 of the smoke detectors have become available to wineries in Victoria for testing. The detectors will align to app technology that will alert growers early in the ripening period with a reading. If it is too high, then the grower knows not to continue investment in those grapes and can make decisions earlier and plan accordingly, saving costs for the winery. It is a global first but also difficult to finetune considering all the variables so is still a work in progress. The climate is changing, and winemakers are doing what they can to adapt. Bruce says the way they manage the vineyards fifteen years ago compared to today is very different. He says the game changer has probably been sunscreen. Five years ago they started spraying the neutral kaolin clay-based spray on their Semillon and Chardonnay grapes to prevent grape burn that imparts an unpleasant caramelized flavour to wine. It also acts to cool down the grapes. He said it was just like covering your kids in sunscreen and produces better

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Sources: Esri, HERE, Garmin, Intermap, incrment P Corp., GEBCO, USGS, FAO, NPS, NRCAN, GeoBase, IGN, Kadaster NL, Ordnance Survey, METI, Esri China (Hong Kong), (c) OpenStreetMap contributors, and the GIS User Community Produced by Wine Australia. Vineyard boundaries supplied by GAIA, Fire scar boundary supplied by PIRSA

quality grapes in the heat of the Hunter Valley summer. For executive officer of the NSW Wine Industry Association, Angus Barnes, the summer’s bushfire crisis in NSW has been all-consuming. He said the issue of smoke had permeated every region in NSW this vintage except for the Riverina. Most of the physical damage took place in Tumbarumba where the fires destroyed vines and infrastructure including sheds, winery equipment and tractors,

yet the smoke did more damage than the fire itself. “In a normal year NSW will pick about 500,000 tonnes of grapes. My suspicion is we are going to be somewhere between 8o and 150,000 tonnes down on that,” Angus says. “There are parts of the Hunter and Orange where the tests are clean, but the great bulk of regions have had tests that have come back with higher (taint) than we hoped.”

Hunter Valley with bushfire in background

The AWRI has been assisting by running workshops through the fire-affected wine regions and have pulled together a panel of smoke-sensitive palates and noses for producers to run their first presses and first ferments by. They have run workshops in the Hunter, Orange and Mudgee and about to do one in Canberra. Winemakers can then take their wine as it goes through fermentation and have the panel assess it. With these evaluation processes in place Angus believes there will be less tainted grape produced, and the wines with the smoke taint will be filtered out. When it comes to general industry support, Angus says the NSW government has been slow and methodical. The Victorian government came out very quickly with a $2.5 million package but according to Angus it was fast, good, but not well thought through, not good. To date the NSW Wine Industry Association has put together an action plan to the NSW government requesting support around the fire and

smoke such as the funding for testing and the technical support, for support for the future of the wine industry of NSW and thirdly to boost the tourism to the area. The association is keen to point out that there has been a lot of work going on behind the scenes to manage the message and get it right. They want to tell the truth about the impact but speak about the positives. For example, the wine on the retail shelf is not smoke-tainted. The last three vintages from the Hunter, for example, have been some of the best in history. He also wants to emphasize the effect this event has had on tourism to these areas. The NSW Wine Industry Association is working closely with Destination New South Wales, and its recent Learn to Love NSW campaign includes the wine regions and aims to encourage intrastate tourism into these areas that need it. “There’s a lot of goodwill out there – if you want to help us, come and visit us. We are open for business. Second thing is buy

our wine, either online from the winery or at bottle shops or restaurants. We need the trade to tell the general public of the positive story,” Angus stresses. Now we look forward to the regeneration and the healing that needs to take place. What we as an industry can do to support those impacted: • Support impacted wineries as much as possible through promotions in-store. • In on-premise support impacted wineries as much as possible by listing them on pour. • Donate to any of the myriad of charities focused on bushfire support. • Visit the areas and the wineries and encourage customers to do the same. • Spread the word to the customers and consumers to support. • Buy the wine. *Winemakers look to innovate and learn from this year’s bushfire vintage by Rebecca Puddy, abc.net.au

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THE ZERO HEROES OF BEER! WHEN MEGA-GINORMOUS SCOTTISH CRAFT BREWERY BREW DOG LAUNCHES AS A WORLD’S FIRST, AN ENTIRE BAR THAT IS COMPLETELY AF (ALCOHOL FREE… NOT WHAT YOU WERE THINKING!), IT IS A DEFINITE SIGNAL THAT OUR DRINKING CULTURE IS EXPERIENCING A SEISMIC SHIFT. OF COURSE BEER IS A MAJOR FEATURE WITH 15 TAPS POURING A RANGE OF 0% ABV, FULL-FLAVOURED BEER OPTIONS. THAT SAID, THEY HAVE ALSO SOURCED A NUMBER OF ALCOHOL-FREE CIDERS AND SPIRITS AS A COMPLEMENT TO THEIR BEER OFFERING. THIS IS A MAJOR INVESTMENT IN AN ENTIRELY NEW ONPREMISE OFFERING, AND PERHAPS A SIGN OF THINGS TO COME… Words Kirrily Waldhorn Given that over the past couple of years, we have been witness to a varying range of categories serving us zero alcohol alternatives, with the UK’s Seedlip probably one of the first to seriously hit the market and therefore have become one of the most widely recognized, Brew Dog’s move is not surprising. As a result, this has earned the founders of Seedlip & the Brew Dog gang, the reputation as being real innovators in what is evolving into the grown up version of the ‘AF’, ‘zero-alc’ ‘no-alcohol’ category. There are many varying factors why vast numbers of drinkers are steering towards zero-alcohol options. When those drinkers who are actively participate in alcohol free months such as Febfast, Dry July and Sober October, this can equate to a quarter of the drinking year. Many elect to participate in these programs to give themselves a rest from the booze and a much needed re-set, a conscious un-coupling from booze, if you like. When it’s as significant as three months a year, these abstainers are absolutely going

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According to a report produced by Fact.MR, the category is estimated to grow at a rate of 7% over the next few years with the global nonalcoholic beer market predicted to be worth close to $42billion AUD and up to 5% of the total beer category in value.

to be seeking a more palatable, more adult option than the standard lemon, lime and bitters, lime and soda or soft drink. Others steering away from alcohol simply can’t drink or choose not to for a whole plethora of reasons, and then there are our highly appreciated, much loved designated drivers for whom we have an obligation to do everything possible to ensure they last the distance, and get us all home in one piece (watching everyone else in their various

stages of inebriation is entertaining for only so long). When looking at global trends across the low to no-alcohol beer segment, drinkers around the world have spoken loud and clear. According to a report produced by Fact.MR, the category is estimated to grow at a rate of 7% over the next few years with the global non-alcoholic beer market predicted to be worth close to $42billion AUD and up to 5% of the total beer

category in value. These future forecasts are significant and cannot be ignored. Leading drink market analysts, IWSR also recently published a report stating that the beer category in the UK is leading the zero alcohol movement which, whilst only accounting for 2% of the beer market, is the fasting growing beverage segment, driven primarily by 25-34 year olds who have grabbed onto the health and wellbeing trend with gusto. That said, many other demographics are also embracing the concept of zero alcohol options within their repertoire. IWSR also highlight that product innovation is going to be a key driver in “propelling sustained interest in the category” and that “the real potential of this segment’s growth will be driven from the on-premise”. Locally, there are a handful of breweries, large and small, tapping in to the AF beer trend. When Carlton Zero hit the shelves about 18 months ago, it was soon followed by Heineken Zero. Both of these brands have dominated the sales of zero alcohol beer and we are yet to see other international brands such as Peroni, Kronenbourg 1664 or Budweiser who all have their own non-alcoholic versions, launch into the Australian market. Coopers, as players in the zero alcohol beer segment were definitely ahead of their time and have been producing their ‘ultra-light’ 0.5% (legally, alcohol free can have up to 0.5% abv) Birrell for quite some time, with it ranged primarily in supermarkets! With the advent of this new category within traditional alcohol channels, Coopers have had some great success by making in-roads into the off-premise trade. CUB, brewers of Carlton Zero told us, “The no alcohol beer category grew around 20 times in the first year after Carlton Zero’s launch, with about 75 cents of every dollar spent on no alcohol beer spent on Zero. Our current projections have no alcohol beer reaching 2% of total beer sales by 2025.”. Darren McKenzie, Category Manager – Commercial Beer at Dan Murphy’s has

seen that “local brands such Carlton Zero have sparked interest and reinvigorated the category in addition to global brands such as Heineken and Peroni entering the non alcohol arena within the Australian market”. For the Germans however, all this fuss about no alcohol beers seems quite ridiculous given they have been brewing 0% beers for years. The German Association of Brewers state that appx 1 in 15 beers consumed in Germany don’t contain any alcohol and the 1,500 breweries in Germany are producing between 400-500 alcohol free beers. Famous German breweries including Erdinger, Weihenstephaner, Holsten and Clausthaler are all distributing their alcoholfree beers in Australia. Europe was interestingly the inspiration for Australia’s first alcohol-free craft beer brand, Sobah. Co-owner of Sobah, Clinton Shultz, spent time in Europe where he found it commonplace to order non-alcoholic beer at a bar or restaurant. Launching in October 2017, Sobah produces a core range of three different beers all of which incorporate native ingredients as a proud nod to his Aboriginal heritage, including their Lemon Aspen Pilsner, Finger Lime Cerveza and a Pepperberry IPA. Complementing the Sobah core range is an ever-evolving line up of limited release beers, proving that Sobah are serious about being a player in the Australian craft beer market. They are also the first to create alcohol-free beers that would be at home in any crafty venue. Whilst there is a lot of noise and buzz around non-alcoholic beer in Australia, Clinton believes there is still a lot of work to be done around shifting the mentality of Aussie drinkers to truly embrace the AF movement. He goes on to say that pretty much on a daily basis when he is presenting the range of Sobah beers, he is greeted with, ““is that actually a real thing” or people, “just laugh”. However, whilst the first two years of business were spent working hard on “shifting those mentalities”, the last six months has definitely been a busier time in the business. Clinton puts this down to

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the awareness and growth in the overall health and wellbeing movement, almost piggy-backing the many ‘conscious-choice’ food options such as gluten free, vegetarian and vegan that have been well and truly embraced by Australians. He believes that as with food, “Australians have developed a more mindful perception of what we are consuming in the beverage space, though overwhelmingly, the majority of Australians are still fixated on socialisation having to involve the consumption of alcohol”. Darren McKenzie, Dan Murphy’s, tells us that he has seen non-alcoholic beer as being, “one of the fastest growing sub categories within beer over the past 12 months”. He goes on to say, “Whilst there has always been a core loyal base of customers, as new beer entrants enter the market so have new customers who are looking for beer alternatives. The customers is looking for ‘better for you’ options, and looking to moderate their intake”. So, who is consuming zero-alcohol beer? As we might have expected, the baby boomer generation has embraced zero alcohol options and generally healthier options overall as they look to extend life through better for you alternatives, Clinton

Shultz from Sobah also revealed that, the 18-30 demographic are “choosing not drink alcohol, which is driven by this age group being more health conscious and focused”. Those lagging in adopting zero-alc into their lifestyle… well, unlike the research coming out of the UK, in Australia, it appears that it’s the 30-50’s who are yet to really embrace this trend. Given these years tend to be highly social, driven around work, home and family, it’s not all that surprising that this demographic are holding on fully to their alcoholic options. Can the zero-alc, AF, non-alcoholic beer segment get to 2% of the Australian beer market? According to Darren McKenzie from Dan Murphy’s, “given the double digit sales growth within this sub-segment, against the backdrop of flat mainstream beer growth, it is not surprising that more brewers are looking at adding non alcoholic beers to their repertoire of products. It’s not only the large multinationals who are investigating in the sub-category, craft brewers are also developing non alcoholic and lower ABV product alternatives for their customers.” He goes on to predict, “We anticipate this trend to continue, adopting similarities to such global markets

as Europe who have been offering quality non-alcoholic beer options to consumers for decades, suggesting continued growth over the next 12 months and beyond, will increase customer penetration enabling the sub-category to surpass 2% share of total beer sales.” CUB are in agreement, stating, “Australians drinking habits are shifting and they’re asking for more options to modify consumption. We are giving consumers the freedom to choose what they want to drink, no matter what their lifestyle.” Clinton Shultz is also positive but still believes that there is a way to go in terms of changing stereotypes and removing some of the ‘Aussie’ stigma that can be associated with no-alcohol options. I think we can safely say that zeroalcohol beers are very much in their infancy in Australia and have plenty of scope for growth both within the On and Off Premise and that to write off the alcohol-free beer category, could be at a brewery’s peril. This is definitely an exciting, “watch this space” segment that by all predictions will be taking over some shelf & tap space in the very near future.

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Golden Rule wins Gold IMMEDIATELY UPON BEING CROWNED THE WINNER OF THE AUSTRALIAN CHAPTER OF THE BACARDÍ LEGACY COCKTAIL COMPETITION, ADAM DOW FROM DEAD RINGER IN SYDNEY SPOKE WITH DRINKS TRADE ABOUT HIS JOURNEY TO VICTORY WITH THE GOLDEN RULE COCKTAIL. Congratulations for making the best cocktail of the night with The Golden Rule. How do you feel? Numb. How tough is it to get this far in Bacardí Legacy? I have been working at the same bar for four years making classic cocktails everyday and getting better and better at my job so it feels like a reward for loyalty. The concept of the drink came to me at the after party for the event last year. I was upset at my performance at the Top 8 and I decided I was going to have another go. This time I prepared well. I called all the Bacardí Legacy past winners and got advice from them, including from Alex Boon, part of the Speakeasy Group who had won Global World Class, my boss Tim Phillips who had also won Global World Class and the others. I felt I left no stone unturned. What is the most challenging part of this competition? Coming up with a drink that has a story that resonates with everyone and is replicable. The bartender on the cruise ship has to be able to make it. It is a bit of a slog. I have another three months of campaigning to win the Global. There is a lot of pressure. Tell me about your inspiration behind the cocktail? My inspiration was Danny Meyers book, Setting the Table. For anyone who hasn’t read that and is in hospitality I very much recommend they do because it is a bible for service. The Golden Rule is treat others as you would want to be treated. It sounds obvious but it isn’t because you can’t treat every customer the same way and I guess that was the message I was getting across. For me it was tangible.

What makes a Legacy cocktail? I was reading an article by Tom Walker who won the Bacardí Legacy Comp. and was bartending at the American Bar in the Savoy at the time and he said, your cocktail needs to have a story and a reason to live on. All of the drinks that come up even in the Top 8 or Top 30 stage are all great drinks. Mine is a little bit of a rip on a daiquiri which was not my intention but just the way it came out – so there needs to be a point of difference but a point of reference. You can’t be making anything too weird because it isn’t replicable. What are you looking forward to with the Bacardí Legacy Global Cocktail Challenge in Miami? Competing on the global stage and representing Australia. I wanted to be Ricky Ponting when I grew up but instead I have the chance to be the next Fred Siggins. This is a job half done; I want to go over there and win the lot. What will taking the Global do for your career? For a start you get to go back to the Globals every year and you get to align yourself with the Bacardí brand. They are great group of people and they have great brands. What is your favourite cocktail? My favourite would be the negroni or the martini. I’m a pretty simple Aussie guy who loves sport and my mates. Adam Dow will represent Australia at the Bacardí Legacy Global Competition 2020 in Miami in May.

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It’s all in the finish FOR THE FIRST TIME, CULT KENTUCKY BOURBON WHISKEY, ANGEL’S ENVY IS NOW AVAILABLE IN THE UNITED KINGDOM AND AUSTRALIA; THE FIRST MARKETS OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES. OWNER AND FOUNDER, WES HENDERSON WENT ON AN AROUND THE WORLD TRIP TO LONDON, THEN SYDNEY AND MELBOURNE TO TALK ABOUT HIS ONCE LITTLE BOURBON BRAND HE FOUNDED WITH HIS FAMOUS DISTILLER FATHER, LINCOLN HENDERSON, NINE YEARS AGO IN THE BASEMENT OF HIS HOUSE IN KENTUCKY. It is always neat to be the first one who does things. It had been tried a couple of times before, but it wasn’t the right timing and timing is everything. You can have the best product in the world, the best people in the world, the best everything, but if it is not the right time it may not be successful. It was the right time. People were starting to be a lot more bourbon curious than they had been back in 2009 – 10. It was early in the bourbon up-swing, but we just nailed it. Right time and right place.

Looking back distilling was nothing that I ever expected to be doing. I grew up in the business, and I thought what my Dad was doing was cool. He was the master distiller at Brown Forman for almost 40 years. I never got too close to the business until much later in life. I got a lot of experience in running other companies and doing other things. Dad retired from Brown Forman and I had an idea that it might be fun to do a bourbon brand as a family. It was suggested to me by a friend of mine who asked me why I had never done anything with Dad. I didn’t have a good answer, and so the wheels started turning. I asked him to come along for the journey, and he agreed. We launched in 2011, and since then, things have been a blur. The challenge I had with Dad was I wanted him engaged and excited. At the beginning, we weren’t quite sure what we wanted to do. We talked about a number of things, and we definitely wanted to be different. We knew he would be excited about coming back into the bourbon world because he had such an amazing reputation. He created so many amazing products. If he was going to come out of retirement, it needed to be something special. We kept coming back to secondary barrel finishes. It had been done for years with Scotch and at Brown Forman

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Dad was a guiding presence. If you listen to the interviews with my Dad before he passed away, he talks a lot about the reason he did this was to work with us. He had created some of the top products in the world but he wanted to work with me and his grandsons. For the last six years of his life, that was what he was able to do.

It was early in the bourbon up-swing, but we just nailed it. Right time and right place. did it with Glenmorangie. No one had done it with bourbon. That was our jump point. When we started doing the finishing and saw the reception, it became a centre point. We became a brand known for being creative and innovative and super-premium with secondary barrel finishes.

The name is based on the angel’s share. We lose three to five per cent a year to evaporation so we say we are sharing that with the angels. What’s left they are envious of. They get theirs and we get ours. Also, you have to give to get. You have to give up that angel’s share to get really good bourbon. I tell people to drink it any way you like it. It is nice to try it in its native form initially which would be neat and then explore cocktails after that. Because we are so bartender centric, it is fun to watch the bartenders work with it and create things

He had already created some of the top products in the world but he wanted to work with me and his grandsons. For the last six years of his life that was what he was able to do.

themselves. My favourite cocktail in the world is the traditional Kentucky Mint Julep because it represents Kentucky and the Kentucky Derby. I typically drink my bourbon neat, but one of my favourite ways to drink it is in a bourbon sour. It’s not complicated, it’s not terribly sexy, but when it is done well, it is phenomenal. The reception in Australia to Angel’s Envy has been overwhelming, especially in the bartending community. The history of the brand is rooted in bartenders and the on-trade. We are very close and active in the bartending community. Not just from a transactional perspective but very personal and very deep connections. The minute we got here, we saw those connections. People already knew about Angel’s Envy and were asking for Angel’s Envy. I have been at a few bars in town where I have seen the bottle already on the shelf. People have bought it from the states and put it on the shelves. I am always excited when I see that. We are so happy to be here. It is just starting to sink in that the little company I started in the basement of my house is now a global brand. It is really a credit to the fantastic people I am surrounded with in the US and our two incredible whiskey guardians in Australia; they are such a talent. It is a great feeling. Angel’s Envy is now available in Australia and distributed by Bacardí Martini.

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IT IS NOT OFTEN THE INDUSTRY IS ALMOST UNANIMOUS WHEN LOOKING AT THE STATE OF A SECTOR OF THE INDUSTRY AND THE FUTURE OF THAT CATEGORY, BUT SUCH WAS THE RESPONSE WHEN WE TOOK A LOOK AT RUM IN AUSTRALIA. Words Ken Gargett Premiumisation. Everybody’s focus. Rum is the next gin. Rum will overtake gin. Even if this should happen, does that means instant premiumisation? I’m not convinced. The two issues seem discrete to me. It also neglects the fact that on an international basis, rum sales are roughly three times those of gin and, while both categories are in growth, gin is still growing at a much quicker rate than rum, though from a smaller base. There has been some debate as to whether rum has already overtaken vodka (we take the view that perhaps not just yet), but it should be soon, and it should also exceed brandy in the next few years at current progress. Whisky is still a long way ahead. Premiumisation. A work in progress, if ever there was one. As James France from Vanguard, who represents the Nicaraguan rum, Flor de Cana, notes, “as has been the

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case forever, Bundy owns dark rum, and Bacardi owns white rum.” That is likely to remain so for the foreseeable future despite best wishes and pipedreams from some producers; however, the rum industry was keen to talk premiumisation. James notes that “total rum is up 5.8% with far and away the largest growth coming from super-premium rums, which echoes the general trend of spirits to show growth in the premium sectors.” And Flor de Cana is an ideal example with their extraordinary ’30-Year-Old’ rum (or the ten bottle allocation, at least) reaching our shores. This brilliant rum sits comfortably next to the finest cognacs and whiskies, and the price reflects that. Despite that one-off, James is of the view, and I am in full agreement, that “aged rums are excellent value for money compared to other aged spirits, especially scotch and bourbon.” He is convinced “aged rum’s time will come. Probably sooner than

later.” Good news for rum lovers; indeed, lovers of quality spirits. Another strong proponent of rum standing up as one of the world’s great spirits is Richard Seale of cult Barbados distillery, Foursquare (rums you must try). He is concerned that a large section of the market has focused on what he terms “substandard” products, therefore delaying the march to elite status. “We do not need to start making premium rum; we have been doing it for more than 100 years,” quote, Richard Seale. Barbados is likely to make far more noise in the world of rum in the coming year than one might expect, as are the other three distilleries which exist on the Island, Mount Gay, Saint Nicholas Abbey and the West Indies Rum Distillery (WIRD). The reason is the push to put in place a geographical indication (GI) for Barbados rum. At the moment, three distilleries are keen while

WIRD is yet to get on board. Whatever happens, this is compelling evidence that distillers are tired of being seen as just pumping out an average product. They are keen to be seen as making a great spirit, be recognised, and importantly, keen to have it protected. WIRD wants more flexibility in the rules even though there is no restriction on method of production. The government of Barbados will not approve legislation until all four agree. From the latest international figures, published in January, the combined rum sector, which includes dark, light and spiced, sits fourth in spirit sales. Dark rums have been largely stationary while spiced rums have increased by 6.8% and light rums by 4.8%, which suggests a strong focus on cocktails. Where dark rums have shone is in the super-premium category with an increase of 2.4%. Sam Jeveons, co-owner of Nusa Cana rums, believes that rum is on the rise. “Better quality rums are on the market, and better conversations about those rums origins, styles, environment, labour, blending, ageing and dosage are being had.” Sam believes some of “the biggest selling rum brands of the past decades have failed to capture new audiences.” For him, the future is about “turning rum’s positive energy of today toward educating and engaging with the entry-level consumer of tomorrow.” In Sam’s case, for his white rum, it is “communicating Asian provenance and showcasing a forgotten style of rum production through its mission to ‘bring back the forgotten story of Indonesian rum’”. They are taking particular note of

As has been the case forever, Bundy owns dark rum, and Bacardi owns white rum.

the cocktail scene but acknowledge that this is a very different category, thanks not least to costs, to the sipping rum sector. Rum’s long and storied history gives it an excellent starting point for tradition and quality, but of course, innovation and improvement is essential. The world’s oldest licenced rum producer (1703), Mt Gay from Barbados, has a new master blender, Trudiann Branker. She is especially focussed on two of their rums, the Black Barrel and the XO, including increasing the opportunity for the overall age in both. Black Barrel is spending more time in heavily charred ex-bourbon barrels. XO now includes both older and younger material than previously, allowing for an expansion in the flavours. She has also included material from Cognac barrels. Interesting stuff, as I remember on one occasion when looking at the rum sector not that long ago, Mt Gay was all about the progress of their Eclipse, which would compete at a lower segment of the market. Trudiann is a firm advocate for the GI, insisting that Barbadian rum be made from water sourced in Barbados (as Foursquare’s Richard Seale has noted, surrounding islands are volcanic while Barbados consists largely of coral limestone and it makes a difference) and then aged on the Island, with no added colour or sugar. The new

GI would also require an age-statement to reflect the youngest material in the blend, surely something upon which all parties – and consumers – should insist. Trudiann is also keen that the market reevaluate the way it sees rum – which seems a beneficial idea, although how easy it will be to instigate remains to be seen. She notes that, historically, divisions in the category are by colour – white, gold and dark. Additions of colour, and/or sugar can lead to misleading impressions, and a number of the top producers are fighting against such inclusions. Trudiann would prefer to see rum reclassified into three different styles. These are; Rhum Agricole, which is made from sugar juice (look to Clement and Trois Rivieres); rum made from sugar cane syrup or sugar cane honey, which comes from boiling the cane juice (Zacapa and Diplomatico); or rum made from molasses, which is obtained during the sugar extraction process (Mt Gay and Eldorado). Trudiann goes much further with categories depending on types of stills and other forms of manufacturing. As worth discussing as this is, space prohibits. She would also like uniform rum regulations around all producing countries; an excellent concept but good luck! Andrew Shannon, from Campari, owners of another top-rated quality

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Caribbean rum producer, Appleton, notes, concerning spiced rums, that after “huge growth momentum it has come off a bit with growth in other categories such as gin taking the limelight. However, growth is still positive and is forecast to continue now that this category has begun to mature.” Andrew acknowledges the domination of Bourbon within dark spirits and Bundaberg within rum, but sees “the growth in dark spirits towards the super-premium and premium segments”. He likes the initiatives “which continue to breathe life into products in the category outside the dominant brand”, as well as efforts to educate new consumers and open up the sector. Again, he sees cocktails as an excellent entry point. Too early for any details but it seems safe to say that the super-premium category will feature some exciting new rums in the nottoo-distant future. Tanya Mah, brand manager for Angostura in Australia, the most awarded rum portfolio in the world, understands that for many drinkers, “good quality, affordability and value for money are the most important factors.” That said, Tanya is aware that Angostura inhabits the “higher

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end” of the sector and notes that by using their “premium and luxury sipping rums” to “actively target dark-spirits connoisseurs – such as whisky and cognac – instead of traditional rum drinkers, this is helping to grow the premium, super-premium and luxury part of the market. Rum brands like Angostura behave less like a traditional rum and more like a whisky or a cognac, and that means consumers are moving away from making choices based on the category of spirit and instead thinking about luxury dark spirits as a whole.” This is a sentiment that is also expressed by the team at Zacapa, another producer of superb rums. Tanya sees spiced rums as useful to “recruit new drinkers into the category… and to bridge the divide, attracting a younger audience and a more even gender split.” The ‘Bacardi 2020 Cocktail Trends Report’ is a useful document to ascertain the state of the industry. It is, as they say, “a reflection of what’s creating excitement this year for bartenders and consumers”. Global brand ambassadors and bartenders, those with their feet on the ground, provide the information. 43% voted dark rum as

the spirit that is ‘premiumising’ the most, followed by tequila (40%), gin (37%), mezcal (29%) and vermouth (21%). Remember that this is an international report – would our bartenders vote so highly for mezcal and vermouth? As mentioned above, Zacapa from Guatemala is another rum producer focused very much on premium offerings. Their Master Blender, Lorena Vásquez, has more than three decades of experience and is the person most responsible for Zacapa’s excellent reputation today. The ‘World’s Top 100 Most Valuable Luxury Brands’ named Zacapa. Lorena, who believes she has the best job in the world, has extended her efforts beyond simply great rum. She believes she makes the best rum in the world, and has worked tirelessly to assist many of the women in her community, especially the widows from earlier wars. More than 700 of them work in the petate weaving industry, preparing the bands which adorn the bottles of their ‘23’, thereby making an income well above the local average. To digress, if I have an issue with Zacapa, I would prefer that they change the name of the ‘23’, as they do use

Back home, we are seeing some craft distilleries dabble in rum, sometimes with superb results – Archie Rose, for example. Australia does have, of course, an incredible history involving rum – the Rum Rebellion, anyone? And we have been making it for centuries. rums as young as six years old in the blend – six to twenty-three, to be precise (although I am not so concerned that I plan to stop drinking it). One of Lorena’s most momentous decisions was to base the distillery’s ageing facilities at 2,300 metres above sea level – the house above the clouds – which contributes nuance to the final blend and ageing. They also use a form of solera, based on the Spanish sherry industry, which they call ‘Sistema Solera’. 2018 industry figures ranked Zacapa as the number one ‘ultra-premium rum’ in the world. Lorena has stated that “importantly, Zacapa does not act like a rum, it acts more like a luxury dark spirit as it is often consumed in moments where people would enjoy whisky and cognac, for example, as after-dinner drinks. Our aim is to be recognised as the best tasting super premium dark spirit in the world, as such we compete with super deluxe dark spirits in addition to other rums.” For me, this is undoubtedly true of rums like their

‘XO’ and ‘Royal’ (when served blind to friends, many mistake ‘XO’ for anything but rum, though they love it), but for me, it is impossible to mistake ‘23’ for anything other than good rum. Back home, we are seeing some craft distilleries dabble in rum, sometimes with superb results – Archie Rose, for example – and some are in their early days. Bundaberg rules the market with daylight second, third and fourth. Australia does have, of course, an incredible history involving rum – the Rum Rebellion, anyone? And we have been making it for centuries. Inner Circle was a legendary rum, made by CSR but almost never seen by the public as it was shared around the Board of Directors and a select few, mostly their lawyers, accountants and doctors, I believe. My father (lawyer) received his annual bottle at Christmas, for work done for the company, but as he didn’t drink, it was a bit of a waste. Most of it ended up in the Christmas plum pudding, if mum got hold of it, or drunk by his fishing mates on

their trips. I managed to salvage a single bottle, hidden in the back of the cupboard for a suitable occasion – perhaps our next Bledisloe Cup series triumph: it should be more than old enough by then. Long story, but Bundaberg ended up with the trademarks for both Inner Circle and Holey Dollar, two iconic brands. In 2000, Stuart Gilbert and friends managed to track down the last person responsible for CSR’s rum production, Malcolm Campbell, who had retired several years previously, but still had the original yeast in his fridge. He’d been carefully cultivating it for 15 years. After gaining control of the trademark (as well as the Holey Dollar rum trademark in 2004), the pair made a rum as similar as they could to the old Inner Circle, at the South Pacific Distillery in Fiji. It was wellreceived by judges and consumers. In 2004, Stuart purchased the Beenleigh Distillery, with the first rum made in November 2005. Some years later, Inner Circle was sold to Vok Beverages and in 2008, Stuart decided to establish Holey Dollar Rum. There are big plans ahead for Holey Dollar. Whether or not they come to fruition, it is yet another quality rum on the shelves. For many, rum will remain inextricably linked to image of Bundy and Coke. Bundaberg Rum is a successful product, our leading distillery, and for many Australians will be their entry into the world of spirits. For others, the push to the elite end of the market will mean that rum is well on the way to taking its rightful place as one of the world’s quality spirits.

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David Kaplan (left) and Alex Day

Keeping Death and Company AUSTRALIAN VENUE CO (AVC), ALONG WITH AVIATION GIN AND VANGUARD HOSTED ALEX DAY AND DAVID KAPLAN, THE SMART AND SAVVY DUO BEHIND NEW YORK DEATH & CO, ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL BARS TO EMERGE FROM THE COCKTAIL BOOM IN AMERICA. THE TWO SHOWCASED THEIR COCKTAIL PROWESS AT THREE EVENTS AT AVC VENUES - WOLF LANE IN PERTH, THE WINERY IN SYDNEY AND TRINKET IN MELBOURNE’S FLINDERS LANE. YOUNG AND HUNGRY, THEY WENT FROM FRESH OUT OF COLLEGE TO KICKING IT IN THE HIGHLY COMPETITIVE AMERICAN BAR SCENE. WE GOT THE GRIT ON THEIR SKYROCKETING SUCCESS. Tell us a bit about your backgrounds and where you came from? David: Looking back, it seemed a clear trajectory. My mum always wanted to be an artist, and my dad always wanted to be a chef. He was a businessman and mum was a pharmacist. I went to school for Fine Art, and I’ve only worked in hospitality. Everyone in my family is a fantastic host. They can throw together a party or a dinner at the drop of a hat. I grew up loving that. I’d rather be putting the party together than attending it.

Alex: Yeah you are really bad at attending. David: I went to school for Fine Art in Upstate New York, and I knew I didn’t want to be a working artist. I was doing large installations and gallery art. A lot of my stuff was based on how people act and participate in the art within a room that made sense for what we do now. I knew I wanted to do something where I had a little more control over the success of my career. I moved to Las Vegas straight after college and got a job in a big hospitality group there called

The Nine Group. Then I knew I wanted to open bars. I read a tonne. Every book I could get my hands on; Opening a Bar for Dummies, how to write your first business plan, everything about cocktails and spirits. Then I moved to New York where I met my business partner Robbie and a year after we started Death and Co. That was the year I turned 24. It’s just been this wild thing. Alex: I moved to New York for Oregon. I went to NYU and was studying European Studies; a very useful Major. I wanted to

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be a diplomat or go into academia, but I was working in bars. My first job ever was cooking in the kitchen. I fell in love with it. The smile on people’s faces as they enjoy their night was intoxicating for me. It was about fifteen years ago in New York when things started to change. There were a couple of bars doing meticulous cocktails and putting a lot of care and professionalism into it; and then there was a second wave, and that was Death and Co. I came in and sat down at the bar. I have told this story so many times that is seems like I made it up but it truly changed my life. Death and Co’s philosophy was the quality of the product and the experience, but there was a livelihood to the bar that spoke to the community. It was a place that was sophisticated, and I was determined to get a job there. David: Alex and I had a very similar upbringing growing up in these mountain towns. I grew up in Jackson Hole. We became fast friends. He got a job because he absolutely blew us away. Everyone at the bar knew who he was because he was incredibly bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and wildly passionate so clearly he was in the industry. I went to the bar that Alex was managing with our bar manager, Phil Ward, who was one of the most influential most recognised bartenders at the time. Phil opened Pegu, was head bartender at Flat Iron; he was a creative, brilliant, bizarre man. He didn’t want the responsibility or recognition. He is still quietly humming away in bars today. We went and had a tasting with Alex. Phil opened the menu that Alex put together and closed the menu. I said, you don’t even want to try a drink? After we left he said, anyone who can put a menu together like that we should probably hire. Alex: I was terrified mind you. David: That was that. We hired him, and a couple of years later Alex and I put together Proprietors LLC and established a full fiftyfifty partnership.

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People are attracted to Death and Co. because we are a true representation of the individuals within it.

Alex: It was pretty quick. Talk us through the partnership? David - I had the realisation that I wanted to get better at this thing that I loved doing. My real experience was opening Death and Co, which was a fantastic edifying incubator, but I felt there was only so much we could do and learn there. But if we started consulting to other people, then we could do a lot of it on their dime. So I thought this was a smart way to get better at this thing that we loved, get paid and selfishly apply those learnings to our operations as we grew. It has become a much larger thing that we envisioned in the early days. So as the ink was drying on my LLC papers and the formation of that company I got a call from someone in Philadelphia who said Death and Co. was thier favourite bar. They said, we want to do something exactly like it in Philadelphia. I said, well I have a consulting company, and we do just that!

How many consulting projects do you work on? David: We probably do about 20 to 25 consulting projects a year. We now have five full-time employees and a national team of eleven. We also have three Death and Co’s now - New York, Denver and LA, which we opened five weeks ago. So why does everyone want you? What is your secret? David: People are attracted to Death and Co. because we are a true representation of the individuals within it. They are creative; they have drive and ambition. One of my known dirty little secrets is that I have never been a bartender. Because of that, it was a very much an egalitarian process of ‘we are building this thing together’. As such, there has always been this ‘band of brothers’ thing

We think of our job as creating the fertile ground for that kind of creativity. We want to forge our path through our collectiveness. where we all push each other further. That happens with the service, with the culinary, with our brand of hospitality and with the cocktails. Alex: In addition to the exciting collaborative process, we have over 1000 original cocktails on the list at Death and Co, and they are all meticulously workshopped. They are thoughtful constructions, and that exists because we have this focused collaborative process that works for us. Tell us about the vibe and the ambience and the name? Alex: It’s incredibly dark.

Are you following cocktail trends or creating your own? David: It’s less about trends and more about personal interest. We had one bartender, Brian Miller, who was mad about Tiki, a rum nut. He now co-owns this fantastic Tiki bar in New York called the Polynesian. His love for Tiki influenced all the drinks that he did, but then it would inspire other cocktails. So everyone starts to pull ideas from everyone else. So more than trends, you would see personal narratives begin to be expressed in their drinks and then it’s the amalgamation of it. That is what creativity is. It’s the mix of all these things that may not be new but is reassembled into a new form and start to take a new life.

David: It looks like it has been there forever. We have this beautiful façade that is unassuming and incredibly recognisable. The interior is small and yes, incredibly dark.

Alex: We think of our job as creating the fertile ground for that kind of creativity. We want to forge our path through our collectiveness.

What is the capacity? David: We say 55 seats, seated only. We try and shove everyone in. There is no standing because of the pathway around the bar.

David: Some things I think you could safely call trends are the mini-drinks. It’s a great trend, and I love it. No ABV and low ABV are trending, but they also make sense.

Smaller drinks mean people can try more and drink slightly less, which is excellent. No and low I think we should be putting as much thought, care and creativity into our no-alcohol drinks to democratise the experience further. So are we interested in this because they are fun, shiny and new or because they give us a different tool to elevate our hospitality for the guest? Finally, where did the name come from? David: There is all of this fantastic prepropaganda, temperance movement stuff because you can’t be a fan of cocktails unless you are a fan of the pre-prohibition golden era of cocktails. I am a fan of this era, the late 1800s. The temperance movement started gaining speed, and they created a lot of fun and interesting propaganda. A lot of this at the time would depict death on the drunkard’s shoulders or this idea that if you were a man and a woman hanging out and canoodling after dark, then it led to drinking, gambling and death. You were keeping company with death. So we are tipping our hat and saying, yes we are Death and Company.

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These challenges have already had a significant impact on the retailing environment, with recently released data from the ABS showing retail turnover declining by 0.5 per cent last December. As such, there is a strong imperative for retailers to be reactive and agile in their response to minimise the effects on their businesses. For retailers who had already stocked up on their store inventory in anticipation of a bumper tourist season, make sure to get in touch with your suppliers to discuss whether you may be able to return this unused stock. If your cash flow is an issue, there may also be the possibility of securing extended credit terms with your supplier so make sure to ask this question as well. Staffing arrangements are also an important part of how to respond to these challenging times. For retailers in areas that have had significant customer downturn, the need to adjust staffing levels and shifts is something that business-owners must manage both quickly and carefully. In doing so, retailers should be aware of their obligations in regards to staffing entitlements, particularly during times of natural disasters or other unforeseen events. Retail Drinks recently distributed a comprehensive fact sheet to all Members explaining how best to support and

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These challenges have already had a significant impact on the retailing environment, with recently released data from the ABS showing retail turnover declining by 0.5 per cent last December.

communicate with their employees and remind them of their various staff-related obligations. For all retailers, there are also a wide variety of resources available at both a community and government-level designed to assist you in times of hardship. For instance, the NSW Government recently announced that licensees in bushfire-affected areas whose businesses have been destroyed or damaged are able to receive financial assistance. Similar offers of financial

assistance for bushfire-affected businesses may also be available through their local council or the Federal government. We would strongly implore all retail liquor business-owners to stay up to date with these offers and apply for financial assistance if you have been affected. Retail Drinks may also be able to help you with your business’ needs so make sure to ring our dedicated Member hotline on 1300 451 213 or email info@retaildrinks.org.au today.




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In 1966 there were only 25 people in the Liquor Storles Association (LSA). We would meet once a month at the Royal Automobile Club (RAC) in Macquarie Street. How did you become a liquor retailer? By accident; I had the best job working for David’s Holdings when I saw an ad. A fellow wanted to sell a liquor store. It was in a basement at number one Burton Street Darlinghurst, and you had to walk down steps into a dungeon. I bought the shop on 14th February 1966 - Decimal Conversion Day. By the end of the first year, we had turned over an enormous amount of alcohol. The following year I bought from the same fellow, his Rushcutters Bay shop in 1967 and then in 1969 I bought a building in Oxford Street. When you took the licence over in Burton Street, how many off-premise liquor licences were there in Sydney? Very few, there was one straight liquor store that was Jarman’s* at Edgecliff and a few others but other than the Italian importers at the markets who had bulk wine from Griffith and would fill up jugs, there was virtually no liquor stores as we know it. Melbourne had liquor stores, so a few of us would go down every couple of months. We became good friends with retailers there and became helpful to each other. If there were a beer strike in Melbourne, for instance, we would send them beer. If it were here we would send it up. If a supplier cut a retailer off for discounting, we would send them the product. Tell us the story behind you and Liquorland In 1972 I registered the name Liquorland, and I had several shops called Liquorland. Jack Jarman said a few of the guys are going to get a group together called the Big Ten or the Big Twelve, would you be in it? We ended up calling the stores Liquorland. In October 1980 Coles came to me and said we want to buy you out and that’s when they took it over. I got a lot of my friends into it, so when Coles did make the offer, they all came out of it very well.

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Tell us about when you first started Elizabeth Bay Cellars. We used to get a lot of deliveries, and I had a spare licence. I asked the landlord if I could take over the premise next to the grocery. Instead, we filled his grocery store with liquor. The premise where Elizabeth Bay Cellars is today was originally Primo’s restaurant. All the politicians would stay at the Sebel and dine there. Leo Schofield was a regular and Jeffery Smart paintings were on the wall. I still have all the books. When Nick and Rosa sold Primo’s, I bought it. Because you couldn’t move a licence, we extended it through the wall. That was in 1986. Then we dug the cellars out underneath. How have you seen retail change? Very much. There isn’t that co-operation that was often between store owners. We once all got on well and helped each other out. In 1966 there were only 25 people in the Liquor Stores Association (LSA). We would meet once a month at the Royal Automobile Club (RAC) in Macquarie Street. We would have a meeting and then have dinner in that beautiful dining room. It was very civilized, we became friendly, and we worked with people. There are so many new products people can’t keep up, and I don’t have space. I wish I could double or triple the space. With the range of products now it needs to be huge. Now the supermarkets have taken over. How do independents compete with the supermarket chains in today’s market? There was a lot of whining from the independents for years. I was at an Independent Liquor Group (ILG) meeting once, and I got on stage and said who doesn’t have $175 to know their business and improve it? All you have to do is go to the Australian Bureau of Statistics and find out the stats from your area. I know there are 1.6 people in every apartment in

We know the names of our customers and their dogs. We have a dog water bowl out the front and dog biscuits inside. The dog would drag the customers in; I get some fascinating people here. We know our customers because we know our community.

Elizabeth Bay. I know how 92 per cent of them travel to work. I know the percentage of those born overseas. I know the average income. 1.6 people per household mainly living in apartments don’t buy slabs of beer, so we spend a lot of money on refrigeration because they buy six-packs twice a day. That’s all you have to do to survive. Don’t sell to the customer what you want to sell. Sell what they want. And I say to my staff don’t be nice to me. I don’t pay your wages, the customer does. We know the names of our customers and their dogs. We have a dog water bowl out the front and dog biscuits inside. The dog would drag the customers in; I get some fascinating people here. What was the golden era of liquor retailing? As an industry, I think it has gone down. Once I may have received an order way up in Turramurra, and then I would phone the bloke up there. Can you help me out? He would say, sure I can help you out. I couldn’t go to Woolworths and borrow a case of Dom Perignon. At Christmas, they all rush to Dan’s and have trouble getting a park and then have to get in a queue, but they have the marketing budget and the buying power. What is the secret to your success? Common sense. The little things are more important than the big things. We know our customers because we know our community. *In 1966 Single Bottle liquor licences were introduced thanks to the lobbying of Jack Jarman who opened Sydney’s first liquor bottle shop, Jarman Liquor Supplies at 163 New South Head Road Edgecliff. Jarman successfully lobbied influential women’s groups through promoting the family benefit of having dad pick up his liquor on the way home rather than spend the evening in the pub.

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The Review

The Global Relaunch of ‘The Dark Secret’ THE FRANCOLI FAMILY HAS BEEN DISTILLING IN SOME SHAPE OR FORM SINCE 1875. THE FAMILY MOVED FROM CAMPDOLCINO TO GHEMME, A TOWN HIGH IN THE ITALIAN ALPS, SOON AFTER THE SECOND WORLD WAR, AND IT IS HERE THAT THE FAMILY SET ABOUT MAKING ITS MARK AS A HIGH-QUALITY DISTILLER FAMOUS FOR GRAPPA AND OPAL NERA. THE DISTILLERY WAS AN EARLY ADOPTER OF ENVIRONMENTALLY SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES, OFFICIALLY CERTIFIED IMPATTO ZERO® BY LIFEGATE, THE REFERENCE FOR SUSTAINABILITY IN ITALY WAY BACK IN 2006. LETIZIA FRANCOLI, GRANDDAUGHTER OF LUIGI FRANCOLI, VISITED AUSTRALIA FOR THE LAUNCH OF THE NEW-LOOK BOTTLE. The brand relaunch is being rolled out across all markets in 2020, with Australia receiving the first bottles this month. Starting with the 700ml, followed by the 500ml and the 1-litre variants in the coming months. Having grown up around the distillery, Leitizia Francoli particualrly likes the way the bottle colour changes, empahsising the purple hue that Opal Nera has in the glass. “The purple comes from the infusion of elderberries; as you pour from the bottle you

can see the colour change from black frosted glass to the colour of Opal Nera.” The striking new bottle comes with a unique code for consumers to crack. Playing on its mysterious point of difference, a code lies beneath the logo. It also sits on the bottleneck, which consumers can decipher using a sequence of letters and numbers that appear on the rim, revealing the words ‘dark secret’. The design coincides with Australia’s explosion in the popularity of Insta-worthy

liqueurs and aperitifs. Nothing changes with the liquid itself; the distinctive taste the result of a blend of spices including star anise and green aniseed, orange blossom, coriander, cinnamon, cloves, and lemons from Sicily. Nigel Brown, Commercial Director, Gruppo Francoli, says: “This is an elegant design solution that captures people’s attention. It is still recognisably Opal Nera but has been brought up to date so that it will appeal to the modern consumer. “It’s a sophisticated response that plays to Opal Nera’s distinctive qualities, making it stand out in a sea of conservative brands. We love the way consumers are now drawn in and taken on a journey of discovery, with layered packaging that engages bartenders and drinkers and makes Opal Nera a memorable experience.” Contact your local Spirits Platform Representative for stocking information.

LETIZIA’S SUGGESTION: OPAL MULE 30ml Opal Nera 30ml vodka 15ml lime juice Top with Fever Tree ginger beer and garnish with lime wedge.

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BEER AND SPIRITS CULTURE HOUSE Category: Berliner Weisse Beer Raspberry RRP: $20.00 per 4 x pack Tasting Notes: Culture House Raspberry Berliner Weisse is made with a combination of premium malts and Australian raspberries to produce a deliciously delicate beer that is bursting with zingy, zesty flavours, yet is easy going with a cleansing acidity and a dry spritzy finish.

THE KRAKEN BLACK SPICED RUM & COLA Category: RTD RRP: $22.95 per 4 x pack Distributor: Proximo Tasting Notes: Spiced rum and cola in a bottle. It’s not the first, but expect this to be a hit.

LOVER Category: Gin RRP: $55.00 Distributor: James Busby Fine Wines & Spirits Tasting Notes: Orange peel with a touch of sweetness, lemon and coriander with a backbone of juniper. Wins best packaging on the day

SAILOR JERRY SAVAGE APPLE (ON-PREMISE ONLY) Category: Rum RRP: $52.00 Distributor: William Grant & Sons Tasting Notes: A big bite of juicy red apple. Fun and approachable, you get notes of vanilla and cinnamon. The packaging is straight from the Sailor Jerry playbook and will stand out on the shelf. This is launched for the ON-PREMISE right now, but hold on for OFFPREMISE availability later in the year. 4 PINES DINGO PUP TRANSPACIFIC PALE ALE Category: Pale Ale RRP: $19.95 per 4 pack Comment: Sydney-based brewing company 4 Pines has collaborated with Golden Road Brewing in Los Angeles to make Dingo Pup. Both brew with a sand and surf philosophy and Dingo Pup brings the transPacific laid-back vibes together and has created a generously hoppy pale ale made with Australian Galaxy combined with American El Dorado hops. The result is fruity and refreshing.

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The Review WINES TAHBILK - ‘1927 VINES’ MARSANNE Vintage: 2013 RRP: $46.30 Distributor: The Wine Company Tasting Notes: Great bottle age - balanced and generous. Lemons and pears.

AFTER FIVE WINE CO. MONTEPULCIANO Vintage: 2018 RRP: $35.00 Distributor: Purple Hands Wines Tasting Notes: A growing varietal with full flavoured fruit forward palate and luxurious texture,

PRINCE ESTIVAC BLANC DE BLANCS BRUT RESERVE NV BLANC DE BLANCS Vintage: NV RRP: $21.99 Distributor: Eurocentric Wine Imports Pty Ltd Tasting Notes: FIne and elegant wine, persistent bubbles, light brioche and crisp balanced acid.

BREAM CREEK RIESLING Vintage: 2018 RRP: $31.00 Distributor: Fine Drop Wines (TAS), Fesq & Co (VIC/NSW/QLD) T: 02 9313 1888), Winery Direct (WA/NSW/SA) Tasting Notes: Lemon and limes, bright citrus and green apple flavours and balanced acidity.

BROCKENCHACK - ‘JACK HARRISON’ SHIRAZ Vintage: 2016 RRP: $58.00 Distributor: Brockenchack Wines Tasting Notes: Red and blackcurrent with blackberry, vanilla and spice, pepper. Great textural finish.

CASTLE ROCK ESTATE ‘PORONGURUP’ PINOT NOIR Vintage: 2018 RRP: $34.00 Distributor: Define Wine Marketing Tasting Notes: An elegant and silky pinot - displaying integrated oak structure, developing into a genuinely powerful finish.

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VIGNERONS D’ESTEZARGUES LA CUVEE DES COPAINS COTES DU RHONE COMME COCHON Vintage: 2018 RRP: $23.00 Distributor: Eurocentric Wine Imports Tasting Notes: Great value wine at $23. 50-50 Shiraz and Grenache from small vineyards throughout the Southern Rhone.

TAYLORS - PINOT NOIR ROSÉ Vintage: 2019 RRP: $20.00 Distributor: Taylors Wines Tasting Notes: Classic, fresh, crisp acidity and genuinely refreshing - Easter sales of Rose and chocolate.

TAYLORS - THE VISIONARY - CABERNET SAUVIGNON Vintage: 2014 RRP: $200 Distributor: Taylors Wines Tasting Notes: This is a treat, a high end wine developed through the Taylor’s family love of the cabernet style. Black ruby color. Mahogany wood, dark cherries dark chocolate. Sits alongside the great French brands and holds its own in this price point.

ROBERT OATLEY SIGNATURE SERIES - GRENACHE Vintage: 2019 RRP: $19.99 Distributor: Robert Oatley Tasting Notes: We are all talking grenache, so this was the pick. A lively and vibrant grenache that will develop well with time. Still very young. Classic berry flavours.

BERESFORD CHARDONNAY Vintage: 2019 RRP: $25 Distributed by: Vok Beverages Tasting Note: More great juice from the McLaren Vale. Stone fruit palate with a lemon twist. Generous palate - fruit and textures mouthfeel.

CHANDON - LATE DISGORGED ROSÉ Vintage: 2009 RRP: $115.00 Distributor: Moët Hennessy Australia Tasting Notes: Can Chandon take on the might and power of the Tasmanian sparkling winemakers. Their Champagne heritage would point to this being the case, and with this late-disgorged 2009 the runs are on the board. Genuinely a contender, this Rosé is a pale pink with fine bubbles, complex nose - fruit forward and generous.


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Events and Promotions BONNY OPENS IN FITZROY The newly launched Bonny in popular Brunswick Street Fitzroy comes with an attractive offering and an impressive team. Beermash Shayne Dixon and Edge Brewing Project Adam Betts along with ex Vue de Monde Josh Crawford and Michelin-trained chef Henry Sugar co-owner, Mike Baker, have created a cosy, intimate 60 seater featuring 27 taps of leading craft beers, natural Australian wines, unique cocktails and cold brew coffee. The grazing bar menu is Australian and Spanish inspired made with ethically processed Australian produce. “We’ve met our farmers, winemakers, brewers and distillers. We are passionate about sustainability, minimising wastage of ingredients, and eliminating one usage bottles and cans in the bar. For example, Josh makes his own soda and tonic waters, homemade lemonade, peach black plum hibiscus tea and stewed marmalade syrups”, said Adam Betts. His nonalcoholic cocktails made with bespoke tonics and sodas are particularly impressive. BOMBAY SAPPHIRE CELEBRATES VALENTINES AT THE NGV The partnership of Bombay Sapphire with the National Gallery of Victoria is the gift that keeps giving. This Valentine’s Day, Gin & Tonic heart-shaped popsicles were free and a big hit at the Friday Nights Gin Garden. Who needs red roses when you can have a blue Bombay Sapphire G&T heart-shaped ice treat? Checking out Crossing Lines exhibition where 1980s New Yorker art renegades, Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat are curated together in a world-first with a Bombay Sapphire cocktail in hand was a bonus.

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A RIVIERA-INSPIRED ROOFTOP PARTY WITH GREY GOOSE This summer, premium French vodka brand Grey Goose partnered with Captain Baxter in Melbourne’s St Kilda beach precinct to create the Riviera Rooftop inspired by the shimmering Cote d’Azur transporting guests to the French Riviera. The nautical theme included a Grey Goose seaside swing, beach umbrellas, deck chairs and pétanque as well as DJs, summer-inspired Grey Goose cocktails and beachside sunsets. The summer-long collaboration coincides with the recently released annual limited-edition summer Riviera bottle in collaboration with French fashion label Maison Labiche. INNOCENT BYSTANDER PAYS HOMAGE TO ITS STREET ART ROOTS Being a part of emerging art scene is in Innocent Bystander’s DNA. Fifteen years ago when the brand launched its first wines, the label made waves both domestically and abroad. It featured a street-art inspired design that was avantgarde for a Yarra Valley winery and set a new precedent for label design in the wine industry. Innocent Bystander stands by this connection with emerging street artists and so partnered with Can’t Do Tomorrow, Melbourne’s inaugural street art festival. It is also partnering with Circus Oz for their Melbourne Food & Wine Festival event Innocence Lost – wine, dine and debauchery in March, the Brisbane Street Art Festival and Sydney Fringe.

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Last Call


Hazel Murphy was one of a kind. That’s a phrase that’s often overused, but as anyone who worked with, or even simply met, Hazel it was true. We first met in 1985 soon after she took over the reins of Australian wine exports in the UK when they were worth just $1.4m. She had helped to market other things, including, if I recall correctly, trainers, but wine was a major challenge, not least because, on the one hand, there were Brits who knew of Kanga Rouge and Monty Python jokes about wine to lay down and avoid, while on the other there were people like the then head of Penfolds who absolutely did not believe there was any point in trying to persuade overseas consumers to buy anything from his country’s vineyards. Thanks to the support of people like Bob Oatley and Chris Hancock of Rosemount, who were hugely supportive in those early years, Hazel’s unerring ability to identify people who could help her achieve her goals - and her refusal to take no for an answer, ensured she got things moving in the first decade. Nothing was more effective, however than her decision to facilitate a trip - ‘the Wine Flight of a Lifetime’ to Australia by 110 assorted members of the UK trade. It was in February 1992, and I remember it well, because, Oz Clarke, Tim Atkin and I each were charged with looking after a third of the group. The travellers had to

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Hazel had, before the invention of the internet, understood the concept of social media and influencers.

make a modest contribution to the cost of the trip, but most of the tab was picked up by the wineries, all of which paid a chunk of dollars plus the expenses of entertaining the Poms. Among their guests were buyers from supermarkets and major distributors like Adnams and Liberty, but there were also people with a small wine shop or bar. What possible use, I wondered, would these people be to wineries looking to ship thousands of cases to the UK? How wrong I was. Hazel had, before the invention of the internet, understood the concept of social media and influencers. Everyone who was on the trip fell in love with Australia, and the

Wine Flight helps to explain why Liberty, previously an Italian-focused business broadened its focus to welcome so many Aussie wines. But the smaller retailers were, if anything, more influential. They became Australian evangelists, spreading the word among hundreds of their customers, each of whom introduced many of their friends, and so on. Small in stature, with a glorious, ready smile and a resistance to bullshit, Hazel was a British northerner to her fingertips. She was also created by nature to work in Australia and with Australians. She stood up to some classic ‘ocker’ behaviour from men who made the mistake of underestimating her, and she earned the respect and friendship of a long list of producers. Her legacy lives on, in Britain and in Australia and far, far beyond. We all miss her.



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