Bit­ter taste of snub

Queens­land pro­duc­ers slam wine choice

Stanthorpe Border Post - - NEWS -

MONEY talks, es­pe­cially when it comes to spon­sor­ship and ma­jor events.

Queens­land wine­mak­ers are up in arms af­ter they say they’ve been priced out of show­cas­ing their wines at the up­com­ing Com­mon­wealth Games.

Lo­cal pro­duc­ers say it’s an em­bar­rass­ing state of af­fairs when award-win­ning winer­ies within a stones throw of the Games’ Gold Coast home aren’t given equal op­por­tu­nity.

Sir­romet chief, and for­mer Gran­ite Belt wine­maker, Adam Chap­man, has hit out at the sit­u­a­tion.

“It’s re­ally em­bar­rass­ing. This would not hap­pen else­where,” he said.

“If the Games were in Ho­bart, they would serve Tas­ma­nian wine.

“If they were in Perth, they would use West Aus­tralian wine.”

The only wine com­pany that has so far se­cured a con­tract to sup­ply pro­duce to Games events is a Vic­to­rian com­pany Wine in a Glass.

Queens­land Wine In­dus­try As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent, Aus­tralian Wine­maker of the Year, Gran­ite Belt wine­maker and Com­mon­wealth Games ba­ton bearer Mike Hayes said the ask­ing prices were out of reach for most winer­ies.

“Some time ago the (Games) or­gan­is­ing com­mit­tee ap­proached Queens­land wines or some Queens­land winer­ies and asked about their avail­abil­ity.

“How­ever, there were some pack­ages... and the pack­ages I be­lieve - and I spoke to one of the ma­jor winer­ies and their gen­eral man­ager - they started at $500,000 to $1mil­lion, $2mil­lion and up to

$5mil­lion.

“Then you had to sell your wine at a dis­counted rate to be a part. Be­ing re­al­is­tic, there’s not many of us winer­ies here that can af­ford that.

“It’s crazy. Most of us wouldn’t spend that in 5-6 years in mar­ket­ing. We’re only small op­er­a­tors.

“It prob­a­bly would have been great if some­how the Queens­land Gov­ern­ment and the wine in­dus­try had got to­gether and dis­cussed a pack­age, or a sup­port pack­age to help us pay for this so we could be rep­re­sented,” he said.

A Games spokesper­son said they aim to use lo­cal sup­pli­ers where pos­si­ble and wine spon­sor­ship con­ver­sa­tions were on­go­ing.

PHOTO: PE­TER WAL­LIS

FRUS­TRATED: Adam Chap­man, chief wine­maker at Sir­romet, says it’s em­bar­rass­ing to see Queens­land and Gran­ite Belt wines snubbed.

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