China fakes Australian premium organic wine
by Dr. John Paull
Perhaps fakery is the sincerest form of flattery. But a South Australian producer of premium wine was not impressed to learn of a Chinese look-alike of their top drop.
Henschke Wines use organic and biodynamic production principles in their vineyards. Henschke is based in the big-sky Eden Valley, with vineyards as well in the Adelaide Hills and the famous Barossa Valley, all within 100 kilometres of the city of Adelaide.
Henschke wines are offered with bottle prices ranging from AU$8.50 (€6.80) through to a ‘Hill of Grace’ 2007 at AU $595 (€478). Viticulturist Prue Henschke confirmed that Henscke wines are exported to China.
According to the Adelaide press, “an Australian wine” bearing the Henschke name and livery, along with a ‘Hill of Glory’ moniker, was promoted and sold at the Top Wine China fair held in Beijing in June 2012. This wine appears to be a knock-off of the genuine article, and the real Henschke Wines had no representation at the wine fair.
Australian intellectual property lawyer Michael Hamilton is reported as stating that taking legal action in China would be “absolutely impossible”, while Prue Henschke has declined to comment. Prue states that Henschke use no synthetic fertilizers and no herbicides. They rely rather on a three-yearly application of 100 cubic metresper hectare of straw mulch and compost. It is a viticulture management regime that is “better for the soil and the soil micro-organisms” says Prue, and under this regime “the soil has improved out of sight”, although the cost is higher than applying chemicals.
The Henschke web site shows photos of their application of the biodynamic preparations. The Henscke family fled from Silesia to Australia in 1841 to escape religious persecution. Their Silesian village of Kutschlau (Chociule, Poland) is not so far from another Silesian village, Koberwitz (Kobierzyce), where Dr. Rudolf Steiner launched biodynamic agriculture in 1922.
Australia’s annual wine exports account for AU$ 2.8 billion (€2.2 billion), with 2.5 million bottles exported daily and destined for over 100 countries. Meanwhile in China, wine consumption is growing faster (at 36 % in 2010) than their own wine production is growing (at 22% in 2010). China is without doubt an attractive market for premium Australian wines. The future will see Australian wine producers taking further steps to guarantee the authenticity and integrity of their vintages, and that is good news for China’s wine connoisseurs and bad news for China’s counterfeiters.
by Wolfram Römmelt for oneco
At the Geisenheim Research Centre (Rheingau), the Foundation Ecology & Agriculture (SÖL) presented the first exciting results from a comparative study that is still in progress. Next door, Peter and Angela Kühn reported on their practical experience of biodynamic wine-growing. more
by Wolfram Römmelt
Spoilt for choice was this year’s motto for BioFach visitors interested in wine. The juice of the grape grown organically enticed people into many of the exhibition halls. Variety and enjoyment were guaranteed. more
by Wolfram Römmelt
What is the situation for organically produced wines in France and Germany? A study recently published by the French market research institute Ipsos provides information on the image of German and French organic wines. more
by oneco-Redaktion, Barbara Böck
The results of Germany’s biggest competition for organic wines are decided. 219 wines convinced the jury members in the 3rd MUNDUS VINI BioFach International Organic Wine Award more
The mood in the organic wine sector is good. The sustainable methods used in organic winegrowing and dispensing with high yields produce fine, high-quality wines. Trade buyers can see for themselves what organic wine highlights the winegrowing trade currently has during BioFach 2011. more