“Sod the wine, I want to suck on the writing. This man White is an instinctive writer, bloody rare to find one who actually pulls it off, as in still gets a meaning across with concision. Sharp arbitrage of speed and risk, closest thing I can think of to Cicero’s ‘motus continuum animi.’

Probably takes a drink or two to connect like that: he literally paints his senses on the page.”

DBC Pierre (Vernon God Little, Ludmila’s Broken English, Lights Out In Wonderland ... Winner: Booker prize; Whitbread prize; Bollinger Wodehouse Everyman prize; James Joyce Award from the Literary & Historical Society of University College Dublin)





28 January 2009


Constellation Repackages Its Green Hero

No Mention Of The Death Of Our River


Constellation, the genius transnational which decided to do away with the Hardy’s brand which was much beloved by Australians for generations, is using Australia Day to relaunch its Banrock Station brand in Britain.

The accent will now go more on Banrock and less on Station, probably indicating there will be less dependence on the tired old Murray Valley sheep station for fruit.

Constellation says the new bottle frocks “will reinforce the eco credentials of this top ten UK wine brand”.

The new design shows a tree growing from a wine bottle to reinforce the slogan ‘Good Earth - Fine Wine'.

The bottle image will also be featured on Banrock’s three litre bladder packs.

Today’s British press reports that the £63million brand “supports over 95 global conservation projects worldwide and has donated £2.3million from sales of Banrock Station over recent years”.

One can only wonder what the eco-conscious purchasers of Banrock would think if they saw the utterly decrepit state of the Murray Valley this summer.

Not a lot of green going on in our biggest valley, which has been gutted and hung out to dry by over-irrigation as growers struggled to supply the likes of Constellation with ever-cheaper grapes for products like Banrock.

While the entire Murray estuary dies, rendering former wetlands to poisonous sulphurous saltpans, Constellation continues its determined withdrawal from Murray Valley viticulture and winemaking, yet masquerades as an environmentalist hero in the Old World.

For up-to-date audio reportage of the state of the Murray's estuary, hit Bush Telegraph, the invaluable Australian Broadcasting Corporation Radio National country issues program. Scroll to Thursday 29 January 2009, and listen to the first half hour, or download it to your poddie.

It's very scary and very very sad.

No comments: