Wine HQ goes aggro badging
Funny thing held in Leigh St.
by PHILIP WHITE
While I believe many millions of expert twats on television and Facebook have derided it, I like Ken Cato’s South Australian logo with the door in Australia where South Australia used to be. It’s no Da Vinci cartouche, but already I see the odd Tweeter using it to frame their portrait for their avatar, which means it’s winning.
And anyway: television? Facebook? I quit Facebook when it started going really rotten back in the Cambrian, and I've never owned a television in my life.
I don’t think it’s quite as subliminally unforgettable as Cato’s Commonwealth Bank Vegemite Sao thing, but I do prefer it to the BankSA logo which always reminds me of an inflamed vagina as viewed by a dazzled or confused person and is not a Cato work. It’s interesting that the BankSA website barely uses its own logo, but there you go.
Hard on the tail of the new South Australia logo came last Friday’s strange thing in quaint old Leigh Street, in the city. Fuller Communications’ invitation called this the “Adelaide Wine Capital launch”. It seemed to involve the first exposure of the word Adelaide written by a computer with no sense whatever of the wonders of the well-wielded calligraphy nib.
|PR man Peter Fuller addresses the crowds from the balcony|
“Adelaide really is the wine capital of Australia,” the headline announced. That caught my eye. Darwin and Brisbane must have been really pissed off.
“Not only will the Wine Capital name start appearing on international maps,” it frothed, “the launch will spearhead a new tourism campaign – 365 days of Wine and Food – to help visitors explore the state’s wine regions as well as the many wine and food outlets in the city.”
This appears to me to be a blatant promotion of drink driving. Unless tourists drive themselves, or have the large sums required to hire one of the various winery tours specialists*, there is no way of visiting any of our wine regions.
I travelled recently from Kangarilla in the McLaren Vale region, to Bob and Wilma McLean’s Farm in the Barossa, and responsibly tried to do so by public transport of which there’s none at my front gate on the main road from the Adelaide Hills to McLaren Vale so that’s a bad start. What makes it even more twisty as far as necessity goes is that I wisely took my driver’s licence away from myself nearly 25 years ago, and officially removed myself from the driving chair. If you’re in this racket with any deliberation, you simply must never drive. Especially if one is a petrol head, as one feels responsible to be in a burgh whose government sponsors the official worship of the petrol-fed V8 engine with an annual 300 km/hr hoonfest through the city streets.
Strangely, this deadly outdated debacle is sponsored by an electrical goods company. If the cars were electric, I might show an interest.
|Some of the reporters of Adelaide attended.|
McLean’s Farm is on what I call the Barossa Tops, the upland beyond Mengler’s Hill, toward Angaston. My travail between the two jewel wine regions went car, bus, bus, train, lung infection, bus and car. For this hardened public transport expert, it took four-and-a-half hours. Except the lung slime from the people who caught the train at Womma or somewhere and coughed all over everything. That stayed a fortnight. She was a bewdy.
Which leads me to marketing South Australia, to get it, as they say, back on the map. Which is a place moving on into the future, further on up the track. I think we’ve got plenty of road maps. I believe they were invented by George W. Bush. What we need is an affordable public transport system so that one may partake of the alcoholic product this government is promoting without breaking its laws.
“Adelaide is the only Australian city that has seven wine regions and 200 cellar doors within an hour's drive (McLaren Vale, Langhorne Creek, Barossa Valley, Eden Valley, Adelaide Hills, Clare).” This came in the list of fatuous nonsense beneath another headline, “Why Adelaide is the Wine Capital of Australia.”
One wonders whether anybody from Fuller Communications has ever travelled anywhere other than by helicopter. Adelaide to Clare? One hour? It’s 150 kilometres, for Bacchus’ sake.
Geography aside, this document is unforgivably shoddy in its sense of history. It says of the late Dr Ray Beckwith that he “developed world first micro-biology technologies in the 1960s, preventing bacterial spoilage of wines”. Beckwith, who died last year, did his greatest work in the 1930s and 40s. This is not a secret.
“Max Schubert was the first winemaker in the world to mature Shiraz in American oak,” it continues, under “Why Adelaide is the Wine Capital of Australia.” What in the world do these wine experts think Australia’s winemakers matured their Shiraz in for the preceding 100+ years?
“Renmark winemaker Tom Angove invented the first bag in the box wine cask,” it trumpets, ignoring the fact that the bladder pack was a vinegar container used in Italy for many years before anyone in Australia pinched the idea. Better left as a vinegar pack, I always thought. Then again, maybe they have.
|During the Premier's speech, the drought broke for a brief time.|
“Host of first international wine trade event, Savour in October 2013 (sic)” is another of the reasons Adelaide is the Wine Capital. Who are these boofheads? Savour? The first international wine trade event? Have they ever heard of Vinexpo? Could somebody tell them that at the 1889 Exposition Universelle, a World's Fair and huge wine show and trade event, held in Paris to coincide with the opening of the Eiffel Tower, Harry Dove Young’s St George’s Claret, made at Kanmantoo, was awarded the gold medal for best wine in the world?
I could go on for hours about this nonsense. Those who actually count in the international wine scene pretty much presume that Adelaide is Australia’s wine capital. The reason we don’t preach about it is our embarrassment at the cruel truth of what a hokey, honky botch of uncertain, ill-informed peanuts it really is.
As I said at the top, I like Ken Cato’s new logo for South Australia, and thought it shone a stray glimmer of enlightenment on the government of Premier Jay Weatherill, a name nobody in government or media seems able to pronounce, but then they can’t pronounce Fleurieu, either, which might be why this beautiful peninsular wine region en route to Kangaroo Island was not mentioned in “Why Adelaide is the Wine Capital of Australia.” But they probably miss the Fleurieu on the chopper to KI.
Anyway, as there is no pubic transport, I cadged a ride to town from a mate (taxi home: $84) to attend this Fuller Communications thing in Leigh Street. They had security guards and Nazi ID tags, plastic tasting cups and a line of tables down the middle of the street, upon which many volunteer winemakers had brought a total of 365 wines to taste (limited to two bottles of each product). There were politicians and journalists and wine industry identities befitting the village this is, all standing with necks craned as Premier Weatherill read the Fullers’ “Why Adelaide is the Wine Capital of Australia” list from away up on a balcony.
He should have worn a laurel wreath, or waited til they finish the Coliseum. If, indeed, it was necessary at all. The whole damn thing was Caesarian in more ways than one, and most certainly premature.
|This is what was down that side lane. There was no Semtex in the striped bag. All photos by Philip White|
*FOOTNOTE: Contrary to the frisson of agitated village pump gossip this comment has triggered, it is in no way a slight on the winery tour professionals. The wine regions depend on such folks. But the fact is that most everyday wine enthusiasts cannot afford to hire a driver whenever they visit a winery. If however, they could avoid driving by using cheap, reliable, efficient public transport to arrive in their chosen wine region, they would then be more likely to spend the $100-200 fare they'd just saved on employing a local driver within the region. The DRINKSTER makes no secret of his admiration, for example, of Chook's Little Winery Tours in McLaren Vale: since Chook's excellent business opened, life in this district has changed dramatically for the better for all those who love their wine but won't blend it with driving. The amount of visitors' wine expenditure businesses like this create is truly phenomenal. The thought that some wineries actually expect Chook to pay them to deliver tasters to their door is just another indicator of how dumb and greedy some of the idiots in this business can be. They won't see me bringing mates to their cellars! More on this stuff on DRINKSTER in a week or two. In the meantime, if you're planning a trip to the Vales, call Chook (0414 922 200).