No guarantee’ over Oz wine deal

16 April, 2010

Australian Vintage has cast doubts on plans to merge with part of Constellation’s UK wine operations.

The deal? involv?es the sale of assests in Constellation’s Australian and UK-based wine operations to Australian Vintage, in return for a minority stake in the McGuigan and Nepenthe wine producer?.

But it could fall through if “a number of material issues” aren’t resolved, chairman Ian Ferrier said at last week’s annual general meeting.

“There is no guarantee discussions will result in a deal and the board will only pursue it if we can see long?-term? benefits for Australian Vintage,” he said.

Australian producers must to do more to promote single?-varietal wines in the UK, added Australian Vintage’s general manager Paul Schaafsma.

“We’re not taking the next step and capitalising on a straight variet?y,” he said.

Semillon is an ideal grape to represent a generic white Aussie style because “it doesn’t have the stigma of Riesling?”, according to Schaafsma.

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Reasons to be cheerful

I would like to think my outlook on things is generally optimistic. Perhaps that’s a natural consequence of working with something designed to give pleasure. But recently it has become increasingly difficult to ignore a creeping sense of negativity pervading the British wine trade.

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