Wine export copycat
Dalefold’s licence suspended
THE federal agency that oversees the nation’s thriving $20 billion wine industry has taken the unusual step of suspending a company’s export licence.
It comes after the company, Dalefold Wines, was caught selling wine across China that looked similar to Australia’s famous premium wine brand, Penfolds.
While the suspension remains in place, Dalefold may not export wine from Australia.
The agency, Wine Australia, is seeking further information from Dalefold before deciding the length of the suspension and considering whether the licence should be cancelled.
The suspension is an unusual step, with Wine Australia last cancelling a licence in the 2015-16 financial year.
This is the first time a licence has been suspended since new broadened regulatory powers were introduced in April.
There is scant information as to the ownership and company structure of Dalefold, other than that it is a wine manufacturer that buys grapes from other producers and creates its own labels that it then sells overseas.
Documents lodged with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission show the sole director is Liu Shuyun of Broadview, South Australia.
A website, dalefold.com, yesterday had images of wine sold under the Dalefold branding, with one in particular almost an exact copy of the classic Penfolds label.
Wine Australia said Dalefold’s activities in China were causing confusion in the minds of Chinese consumers and causing harm to the reputation of all Australian winemakers.
It had “engaged in activity that aims to leverage from the reputation of another wine brand in China through causing consumer confusion to the extent that is likely to adversely affect the export trade in all grape products from Australia by diminishing consumer confidence,” it said.
Angus McPherson, Treasury Wine Estates managing director for Australia and New Zealand, welcomed the move to suspend Dalefold’s export licence.
“This is a win for the Australian wine industry,” Mr McPherson said.
WELCOME: Treasury Wine Estates Australia and NZ boss Angus McPherson applauded the licence suspension.