New England ... Australia?

Have the Australians lost the plot by naming their new New South Wales wine region 'New England'?
27 August, 2008
Page 51 
== The Australia expert ==


James Halliday

journalist, writer, judge

The winemakers of Australia's most recently declared geographic indication (GI), New England Australia, were unwilling partners in the adoption of the name New England Australia . The region has been called New England f or 200 years or so (much of the rolling countryside has an English feel to it), and the original proposition was to simply use the historical name. However, it was suggested that objections could be raised from places as far afield as New England in the US and, simply to put the matter beyond doubt, the word "Australia" was added, making the name a seeming absurdity.

== The Australian producer ==

Christopher Carson

chairman

Constellation Europe

Not sure about losing the plot ... perhaps it's more a case of not focusing on the bigger issues . Whil e regional development is a natural progression for Australia and innovation is important, this does appear to be gimmicky (whil e I know it is a named area) and I fear that's the way the consumer will see it . And they have yet to be properly introduced to the more established cool -climate regions. Come on Oz, get stuck into the key issues and restore Australia's competitive advantage - put real value back into the category and tell us, are you over- or under-stocked with wine? That message is very confused .

== The multiple buyer ==

Pierpaolo Petrassi MW

senior product development manager

Tesco

It's actually named after the New England Highway which has been around as an alternative route into Queensland for over a century. The name is not unattractive and certainly memorable. It seems obvious the agenda is not to steal any thunder from the collection of viticulturally challenged north east US states. In many respects, Australia is still in the throes of addressing the issue of state regionality. We are probably some way off being able to use a defined new region to proactively market its wines here in the UK, but let's not forget this will be more significant for the important domestic market .

== The leading commentator ==

Jancis Robinson MW

Author, journalist, broadcaster

jancis robinson.com

I think it is charming and deeply flattering that the Australians are attempting to ride on the coat-tails of English wine's reputation and export performance .



Comment

Christian Davis

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