The Adelaide Show Podcast putting South Australian passion on centre stage

392 – Leadership Drought: A Call to Wine Australia Amid Small And Family Winery Despair

Leadership Drought: A Call to Wine Australia Amid Small And Family Winery Despair - The Adelaide Show Podcast

Small And Family Wineries Urge Wine Australia To Set Rules And Designations To Help Consumers Identify Quality Wines And Ensure Sector-Wide Ethics.

Whether you drink a little bit of South Australian wine, or a lot, your decisions about what you buy and where you buy it from, make a big difference. We sit with three passionate people from the wine industry, today, and they have some tales of woe to share, some stories about labour of love they all carry out, and some messages to those of us who’d like to see a thriving sector of small, family-run wineries who bring texture and body to the glass and to many circles of the economy throughout our state.

There is no SA Drink Of The Week this week. Well, actually, there are four, but they are woven through the episode.

And in the Musical Pilgrimage, we feature a new song from Suedan, that is slightly related to our theme: Whiskey Did It.

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Running Sheet: Leadership Drought: A Call to Wine Australia Amid Small And Family Winery Despair

00:00:00 Intro


00:00:00 SA Drink Of The Week

Not one but four SA Drinks Of The Week this week. They are interwoven throughout the episode. If you would like to hear the tasting notes, you’ll find them here:

00:09:08 – Paulmara Estates 2021 “The Marriage” Cabernet Shiraz

00:47:27 – Ben Murray Wines 2021 Barossa Valley Shiraz

01:18:15 – Flinders Run 2021 Baroota Creek Cabernet Sauvignon

01:49:05 – Paulmara Estates 2021 ARETÎ

00:03:19 Paul Georgiadis, Emanuel Skorpos, Dan Eggleton

It’s a tough gig, being at the helm of a family-owned winery in Australia in 2024. China’s tariffs on Australian wine bit hard, causing a glut in supply, while the multinationals like Coles and Woolworths used their clout to create “fake” boutique wines that “magically” got shelf space and retailer support from, well, Coles and Woolworths. Meanwhile, our 2500 wineries and grape growers have been contributing to the coffers of Wine Australia in the hope that its role of supporting and regulating the Australian grape and wine industry would mean that someone was looking out for them and not ignoring the big bad wolves who are plundering the sector every day. But, if you’re surviving in this industry, maybe that’s enough because as one of the guests who couldn’t make it today was quoted as saying on the ABC recently, you don’t get into the wine industry to make money, you do it because you love it!

Who are our guests? We have Paul Georgiadis who, among other things, is the founder and owner of Paulmara Estates, along with his wife, Mara. We’re recording at Paulmara in Marananga today. We also have the man who suggested we hold this discussion, Emanuel Skorpos, the Principal Vintner at Flinders Run in the Southern Flinders, and Dan Eggleton, the cofounder and winemaker at Ben Murray Wines and Principal and Founder of Vinous Consulting.

I like naming elephants in rooms, so my first reflection is that we’re all blokes, sitting around this table. We haven’t excluded women, it’s more that Emanuel is directly connected to you all and this gathering developed organically from there. Had we more microphones, I would have arranged for Jane Richards to join us from Eight At The Gate Wines in Wrattonbully – she is an absolute dynamo – and I’m sure you all work with women in different roles. Can we acknowledge some before we move on?

The key theme of our discussion is that “mum and dad” wineries make up the bulk of those 2500 wineries in Australia, and it always hurts a bit when we see our Premier hobnobbing at a new Wolf Blass cellar door to celebrate government support for a business you’d think was hardly in need of extra help. Mind you, I did mention this to a winemaker friend of mine, who is also part of a family-run winery, and he confessed that he “gets it” because the levies that fund Wine Australia are based on volume and the big end of town contributes more than we do. Can we start here? What are the big pain points for family wineries right now, and where does the support of Wine Australia hit and miss, in your opinions?

Summarising the role of Wine Australia, goes like this. It’s role is to support and regulate the Australian grape and wine industry with its primary functions being Research and Development (R&D) (and sharing and commercialising results of that research), Marketing and Promotion to boost consumption of grape products here and overseas, Regulation and Compliance, especially when exporting, and User Pays activities. But I note this: Wine Australia operates under a Statutory Funding Agreement with the Australian Government, which prohibits it from engaging in political activities or acting as an industry representative. Its governance and operations aim to achieve the best possible return on investment for the Australian grape and wine sector. Does this mean it’s not the body that has any role to play in protecting us from the savagery of the duopolies, or in lobbying for government support to be directed to particular sectors, like “mum and dad” wineries?

While on the government front, state and federal governments are crowing about China’s ending of the industry-strangling tariffs it had placed on Australian wine, but I haven’t seen Emanuel popping the sparkling wine cork. Does this mean there is devil in the detail?

I am curbing alcohol consumption and opting for quality over quanitity. I am not alone. What do you make of this trend?

What’s your message for government? Is it harder for them to care, given how many of you there are vs there being just a handful of big, headline-grabbing operators?

What’s your message for consumers? Should they change buying habits? Do little changes make a difference?

01:57:17 Musical Pilgrimage

In the Musical Pilgrimage, we feature song by Suedan, from the latest album, Suedan Mountain Blues, titled, Whiskey Did It.

While our panel is still here, what impact is the explosion of distilleries having on the wine sector?

Here’s this week’s preview video

SFX: Throughout the podcast we use free SFX from for the harp, the visa stamp, the silent movie music, the stylus, the radio signal SFX, the wine pouring and cork pulling SFX, and the swooshes around Siri.

An AI generated transcript – there will be errors. Check quotes against the actual audio (if you would like to volunteer as an editor, let Steve know)

392 The Adelaide Show

[00:00:00] Steve Davis: Hello, Steve Davis here. Thanks for joining episode 392 of the Adelaide Show podcast. And this is a special one for you. Whether you drink a little bit of South Australian wine, or a lot, your decisions about what you buy and about where you buy it from make a big difference. And I’m sitting with three very passionate people from the wine industry today, here in the Barossa Valley, amid, you might hear occasional noise, and I won’t apologize for it.

It is vintage. There are people harvesting around us and all sorts of operations taking place and that is it. This is the reminder that this stuff we pop down to the shop and buy comes from the land and all that hands dirty, Sweaty work, noisy machinery, that’s all part of it. So, we can’t shield you from that, you’ll hear that as we go through our chat today.

And what we’re doing today is sharing some tales of, uh, woe, uh, some stories about the labour of love that these gentlemen all carry out, and some messages to us about how we can help. Uh, make the sector of small family run wineries more thriving as it is, uh, today because that sector of our wine industry does bring texture and body, not just to the glass, but also to the many circles of the economy throughout our state.

I’ll introduce our guests in just a moment. But I’ll also note that, uh, there is no SA Drink of the Week this week, because, well, we’ve got three wines in front of us, and we’re going to do our best to give them all a hat tip as we go through. Uh, the last segment, the Musical Pilgrimage, we’re featuring a new song from Suedan.

It’s close to this theme. It’s called Whiskey. Did It? So we’ll finish with that at the end. Right now, let’s, um, get some clean glasses out and let’s get ready for episode 3, 9 2.

[00:02:39] Caitlin Davis: In the spirit of reconciliation, the Adelaide Show Podcast acknowledges the traditional custodians of country throughout South Australia and their connections to land, sea, and community. We pay our respects to their elders past and present, and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.

Adelaide, Adelaide, Adelaide, Adelaide, Adelaide, Adelaide, Adelaide, Adelaide, Adelaide, Adelaide, Adelaide, Adelaide, Adelaide, Adelaide.

[00:03:19] Steve Davis: It is a tough gig being at the helm of a family owned winery in Australia in 2024. China’s tariffs on Australian wine bit hard, causing a glut in supply, while the multinationals like Coles and Woolworths have used their clout to create fake boutique wines that magically got shelf space and retailer support from, well Coles and Woolworths.

Meanwhile, our two and a half thousand odd wineries and grape growers have been contributing to the coffers of Wine Australia in the hope that its role of supporting and regulating the Australian grape and wine industry would mean that someone was looking out for them. And not ignoring the big, bad wolves who are plundering the sector every day.

But, if you’re surviving in this industry, maybe that is enough. Because, one of the people who was to be our guest today, but couldn’t make it at the last moment, Matthew Moate, was quoted as saying on the ABC recently, You don’t get into the wine industry to make money, you do it because you love it. We’ll see.

Oh, there’s a few cocked heads around the table in response to that. Who are the guests? Let’s talk to them now. We have Paul Georgiadis, first of all, who, among other things, is founder and owner of Paulmara Estates, along with his wife, Mara. Paul, welcome to Adelaide Show.

[00:04:45] Paul Georgiadis: Thank you Steve.

[00:04:46] Steve Davis: And we are actually recording this on your premises here in Marananga today as a part of the Barossa Valley and it’s beautiful.

[00:04:53] Paul Georgiadis: Thank you, lovely to have you here.

[00:04:55] Steve Davis: And you know it’s a Friday, it’s during work hours, there are people here tasting wine. There is a few people tasting, yes. So, uh. Is that irresponsible of them?

[00:05:04] Paul Georgiadis: Not really. I think, uh, wine is one of those things. It’s, uh, it brings joy to people and it’s medicinal.

[00:05:10] Steve Davis: Okay, alright.

Another one of our guests here today is the man who actually planted the seeds for this episode to even happen, uh, Emanuel Skorpos, the Principal Vintner at Flinders Run, which is a wonderful winery in the southern Flinders. Emanuel, thank you for making this happen.

[00:05:27] Emanuel Skorpos: Thank you, Steve, for having us, and it’s my pleasure to have organized this podcast today.

Looking forward to the, uh, dialogue that’ll come out, and, uh, The results from this coming to air.

[00:05:40] Steve Davis: All right. Well, we haven’t recorded it yet So, let’s see if you still hold that view when we finish and our other guest around the table today is Dan Eggleton Dan is well, I guess a winemaker and co owner of Ben Murray wines And also he is the principal and founder of Vinnis Consulting Dan, welcome.

[00:06:01] Dan Eggleton: Thanks, Steve, and thanks, Paul, for having us at this fantastic little place.

[00:06:06] Steve Davis: Now, I like naming elephants in the room to start with, and I want to just name one thing. We’re all blokes and we’re sitting around this table. Now, we haven’t deliberately excluded women. It’s just that you’re in the circle, Emanuel moves in.

And so we pulled it all together with more time and more resources. I would have definitely tapped Jane Richards on the shoulder from Eight at the Gate Wines down at Rat and Bully. Absolute dynamo. And I think before we get into our conversation proper, are there any women in the wine industry that you’d want to just acknowledge as?

As movers, shakers, people to note before we get stuck in.

[00:06:48] Paul Georgiadis: Yeah, look, I do. I mean, I, I, I consult in the industry as well with the Randall Wine Group and people like Fiona Donald who fly under the radar. Um, but they’re very good at what they do, and they’re always concerned about the community as well at the same time, because they’re trying to support the local growers, but also the industry.

But it’s been in the industry for a long time. I’ve worked with her in the Penfolds days, but people like her that fly under the radar, do their job, do it really well, but are really good for the wine industry. But she’s certainly one that I would take my hat off to. Great. Thanks, Lily.

[00:07:19] Dan Eggleton: Um, probably, um, pay respects to the late Joy Bowen who passed away yesterday.

Um, matriarch of the Coonawarra. Um, but, um, We’ve got amazing women, um, I just celebrated 30 years, um, being with my, my partner and wife, um, yesterday, so without her I would have nothing. Um, Tonya, so thank you. She’s a nurse. But, uh, in the wine industry, um, you know, where do you start? Nat Clegg on Jed and Pfeiffer.

V is fantastic. Um, Sue Bell. Let’s name, you know, probably 50 or 60. A hundred women that need to be celebrated, and we’d love to have them in this room, because, uh, regardless of what gender you are, we are all passionate about our industry, and that’s really critical.

[00:08:07] Steve Davis: And what I love about it is, there is no room for stereotypes, because Jane and her sister knock out some beautiful, heavy, feminine Fantastic reds.

They do the white stuff too, but the reds, oh my goodness.

[00:08:19] Dan Eggleton: Exactly, and the Wilson girls down in Langholm Creek, you know, how good are those wines?

[00:08:25] Steve Davis: Emanuel, any women close to you?

[00:08:27] Emanuel Skorpos: I’d come back off of what Dan said. I think we really need to pay tribute to the women in wine, which are our partners, our wives, who Support us daily in our endeavors to grow, produce and market and promote our products because without our wives, our partners, uh, and those women in wine, it wouldn’t be possible.

[00:08:52] Steve Davis: All right. Thank you. And of course, your daughter is coming up through the ranks.

[00:08:56] Emanuel Skorpos: She is. Kiara is now studying Oneology at Adelaide University, and we’re excited about her future and what she’ll bring to the table in due course.

[00:09:05] Steve Davis: Beautiful. All right. Now, in lieu of the fact that we’re not having a formal SA Drink the Week episode, I think I’d like to do the formality that we normally have there, which is to pay respects and to toast our late patron.

Gentlemen, would you mind charging your glasses to the Queen? To the Queen. To the Queen. There we are. Dan and I had to reach over seven tables here to get that clink. It’s a long arm. It is. And now, uh, just for the record, I currently have in my mouth, having just talked about your partners, uh, a wine called The Marriage.

And it is from Paulmara Estates. It is a barrel selection, 2021 Cabernet Shiraz. Um, just very quickly. Paul, what should I be looking for on my palate as I sip this?

[00:09:56] Paul Georgiadis: What I like you’ll be able to see is number one, on the nose, you should be able to pick up the varietal expression of Cabernet. I love Cabernet because it offers the structure on the palate.

So it actually carries the fruit right through the palate. Um, then you get the, once, once you’re sipping it, you get that real richness of plums and blue dark fruits on the palate. Um, and then just the oak is there to underpin it, uh, and enhance the flavor. It’s not there to over, overpower the wine. Um, I like purity in wines.

I don’t like wines to be overripe or residual sugar in them. I just, I like, because I think they have better ageability once you have purity in wine.

[00:10:34] Steve Davis: Well, I’m having a pure experience, I must say, because when you were talking about the nose, I went there, yes, you do get the Cabernet part. Um, on the palate, if you imagine, you know how people get dehydrated fruit strips?

Yeah. An adult version of that, with a little menagerie of red and blue fruits that have been condensed right across your tongue and suck in as I suck in, and then, I think the cabernet is responsible for this, everything is dusted clean within a few moments, there’s a little bit of lingering and then the tannins just come through, it’s like Cleaning the tables ready for the next setting.

[00:11:15] Paul Georgiadis: And right through, right through the pallet. And that’s what we like. It’s uh, and it’s, it’s 50 50. And it, it’s actually merged together seamlessly between Cabernet and Shiraz. So, um, the Shiraz is off 100 year old vines. Um, and the Cabernet is off about 60, 70 year old vines, just above the Marananga Church.

[00:11:30] Steve Davis: And this is great. You’re dead right. There is no sugar hit in this. No. This is, this is probably made beautifully to go with food very happily. Yeah. Um, alright, thank you. Gentlemen, quick comments on this wine. This is someone else’s wine you’re having here. It’s not yours. So, Emanuel, Dan, what do you think?


[00:11:46] Emanuel Skorpos: Lovely aromatics and, uh, an explosion on the palate. Well balanced. Lovely wine.

[00:11:54] Steve Davis: Dan?

[00:11:55] Dan Eggleton: Yeah, I, I thought it was a beautifully balanced wine. Um, great length, really good structure. That oak is well handled. And, um, I think. Quintessential. If that’s, if you speak of, uh, a style of Australian wine, that really speaks beautifully to that, and I think, well handled.

A deft touch. Thank you.

[00:12:14] Paul Georgiadis: Appreciate that.

[00:12:14] Steve Davis: And on that note, it probably is the maturing of the Australian wine palette, just, just to come back from that, that sweet edge. I mean, I do like, I won’t lie, I love a big fruity, provided there’s depth and texture there. I love that big fruit, but this wine is a little bit grown up.

And, uh, I would actually say it’s a marriage made in heaven. Thank you.

[00:12:35] Paul Georgiadis: It’s a, and it is the marriage, I mean, we should say it’s the marriage of, um, myself, Paul and Mara, but at the end of the day, it’s a marriage between Cabernet and Shiraz. Initially it used to be Coonawarra Cabernet, Barossa Shiraz, but we found that Barossa Shiraz would always overpower, um, the Cabernet from Coonawarra, so now we take it off our own vineyards, which is, that way we can, we only make it in the years that we find that the fruit seamlessly comes together.

[00:12:57] Steve Davis: Okay, so you told the Cabernet to pick on someone it’s own size. That’s right. Uh, actually, um, Nice move putting it.

[00:13:05] Emanuel Skorpos: Let’s be honest. That was very good. Let’s be honest. Cabernet, Shiraz, Shiraz, Cabernet. It’s Australia’s favourite blend.

[00:13:13] Steve Davis: Well it is, and historically it’s where we began, back in the early days.

Um, alright, actually I’ve got to get this other one out the way. I have over the years, because I love my English pronunciation, South Australian, I love my long vowels. But I’ve gone to Shiraz. I don’t say Shiraz. Should I not? Should I? Do either, any of you care? I like Shiraz, personally. Is it because a bit more showmanship?

[00:13:37] Paul Georgiadis: Possibly. I mean, it’s one of those things. I mean, there’s a lot of people that call it Shiraz. And it just, it sounds wrong to me. Wow. It’s just the way I hear it. Um, but I, you know, always say Shiraz.

[00:13:48] Dan Eggleton: It’s certainly better than calling it Syrah. I know. Which doesn’t happen. Which isn’t real. No matter who you talk to.

That’s a poor excuse, but um, Shiraz, Shiraz, as long as they’re buying it, I really don’t give a I totally agree.

[00:14:03] Paul Georgiadis: Someone in the US actually said to me, I was doing a presentation in the US, and they said, how come you Australians call it Shiraz, and we call it Syrah? I said, you have the feminine version of ours.

[00:14:13] Steve Davis: Wow. Ouch. Emanuel.

[00:14:14] Emanuel Skorpos: Shiraz. Shiraz. Shiraz. Definitely Shiraz. And, and the Syrah, uh, phenomenon, I think is, um, a bit airy fairy.

[00:14:25] Dan Eggleton: Well, Shiraz is the name of the region in Iran. Yes. You know, that, that’s, that’s where it is and that’s where it originated from. Exactly. Back in the day, so.

[00:14:33] Steve Davis: Alright. So, if I continue saying Shiraz, you’re not going to exclude me from the argument?

[00:14:37] Dan Eggleton: Not at all, not at all.

[00:14:38] Steve Davis: Okay. Especially if I’ve got my wallet out.

[00:14:40] Dan Eggleton: Well, let’s not, let’s not ring any Pinot Noir in at the moment, eh?

[00:14:43] Steve Davis: No, because we want proper wine.

Ah, now, now the key long time listeners to this podcast will understand that jibe. Um, now, the key theme of our discussion today is For want of a better term, mum and dad wineries, which make up the bulk of the two and a half thousand odd wineries in Australia.

It always hurts to see our Premier hobnobbing at say, Wolf Blass, New Cellar Door, Extravaganza, which the the government’s tips in money in to to make happen, because you kind of think Do they need that help? They’re such a big entity anyway. Um, so I mentioned this scenario that we’re talking about this today to another winemaker friend of mine who is part of a family run enterprise.

He confessed that he gets it. He gets the fact that some help goes that way because the levies that fund Wine Australia are all based on volume and the big end of town contributes more than we do. So I want to start here. What are the big pain points for family wineries right now and where does the support of Wine Australia hit and miss in your opinions?

Who would like to lead? on this. I’ll let you start on that one, Dan. I think,

well, Dan.

[00:16:07] Dan Eggleton: Yeah, um, over the last few weeks I’ve, um, engaged in some fairly deep conversations with CEO of Wine Australia, Martin Cole, with the CEO of Australian Grape and Wine, Lee McLean, uh, our local CEO here, Scott Hazelden, and, uh, I have remained fairly quiet until the ABC did their little expose on, um, label law and what have you that was being contravened and and it coincided with whispers of things coming out of China.

So at the end of the day, the conversation, particularly with Mr. Martin Cole, um, revolved around a number of topics on the conversation. I emailed to him a little 1400 word, um, dissertation in response to the one sector plan. Um, and part of that was the effective use of levies and where it was going and what have you.

And I highlighted to him that a majority of the levies, if we take not in dollar value, but quantum of levies being paid, are paid by small producers. The large producers are capped at a top rate. Ah. So, when we talk about large producers and, you know, those being either supermarket based or public entity or the like, Uh, and I think one of the world’s largest privately owned companies, Pernod Ricard.

Uh, there is a, an upper limit and it’s here locally with the Barossa. Um, it’s, I believe so, it’s um, at national level that it is capped at the top flight. So, it, it doesn’t have an end to, like, as, as a, an organization grows and makes value and makes money and returns to its shareholders, it actually doesn’t continue to uprate the level, it has a ceiling.

So, um, the conversation with both Martin and Lee revolved around how best to use those levies. And when you’re at a quantitative level, as opposed to a qualitative or value based, you end up eroding in the bad times. where the money gets used. I, I agree with what that person said, that we do need a commercial sector.

We do need to have the big people in the room. We do need to have the heavyweights. We, we need that effective because as a small premium boutique producer, if I don’t have people being educated from beer and bourbon to drinking an affordable bottle of wine, they won’t progress to buying my more expensive wine.

They won’t expand outside of their realm. But I think we need to be seeing better use of the levy dollar in the development of programs, marketing strategies, and, uh, the creation of domestic and export, um, marketing and messaging that is more aligned with where the bulk of our production is in terms of numbers of participants.

And that is us. It is the family owned operation. It is the nuts and bolts. It’s the person that maybe not employs a heap of people in their site, but has, by the second degree, direct contact with 50, 60, 70 suppliers, employees at other premises, contract facilities, the use of other agencies and what have you, our contribution cannot be diminished.

And the value we bring in being able to make beautiful handmade wines that represent what we have here in this country as diversity should be celebrated. And it should be celebrated at the highest degree. Absolutely. Absolutely.

[00:19:59] Paul Georgiadis: Yeah, totally agree with that. It’s, look, it’s hard because I look at it both ways as well.

Exactly what you said, Dan. Um, I work for the corporate world. I mean, I started off working for Penfolds or it was the Southcourt Wines back then for, for 18 years. So I was the Grow Relations Manager nationally, and I used to purchase 60, 000 ton of fruit. So now I saw how the corporate supported the small grower, uh, and I was probably one of the guys that, you know, I suppose was the catalyst to make sure growers got rewarded for the work they did in the vineyard.

So but all those individual growers pay levies. But they don’t seem to get anything in return for those levies. Yes, they can sell their grapes, but they’re forced to pay those levies. They don’t get an option. Um, but what do they get in return? If the industry, if the industry is in turmoil and there’s an oversupply, their grape prices go down.

Their costs keep going up, but their grape prices are going down. So I look at the grape pricing now in 2024, I was paying those great prices to growers as part of my role in 1995. So that, where the costs have gone way up, you look at inflation where it is.

[00:21:02] Dan Eggleton: And the return on a bottle has exponentially increased as well.

Taxation has gone up.

[00:21:08] Emanuel Skorpos: Electricity, labour, fuel, wages, everything is going up, up, up, up. And the poor grower And the small producers are wearing these costs and their income streams are barely And in most cases, not making ends meet.

[00:21:31] Steve Davis: Can we just dive into this bit because, uh, our esteemed guest who couldn’t make it today, Matthew Moate, was talking recently somewhere, you know, he talks all the time, and he’d love me to say that, um, about how, comparing the cost of tickets to concerts, music concerts, where you could have seen Elton John for 40 or 50 dollars 30 years ago, Matthew Moate, And now, well, I must confess, I did just go and see Taylor Swift in Melbourne with my daughters, uh, so yes, I’m a Swifty, do whatever you like, Matt, I am now, um, Your daughters are anyway.

I, I, I can’t, I actually don’t want to remind myself what we paid for those tickets, but if I think back on a good bottle of wine, over that journey of my journey in wine, back in the 80s, I would have been paying, Beautiful wine, somewhere between that 15 to 18, was a beautiful know your socks off. Benchmark. Yeah. Now, that’s maybe crept up to low 30s, thereabouts, mid 30s, 30 to 40, that range, is to, what, that’s not kept pace with everything else, what, how has this happened?

And what do you, I mean, you’re here representing small wineries. Yeah. Yeah. How do we explain this?

[00:22:51] Paul Georgiadis: It’s hard because the grower, look I’m fortunate because I’m in a position as a consultant as well in the industry, I sell, I also sell a few grapes, I make wine, I value add by selling it as bulk wine as well, we bottle it, you know, we sell it under Palmaro Estates, but not every grower has that opportunity to be able to do that.

Now those growers that just sell grapes, and I still buy grapes as a consultant for the Randall Wine Group, and I’m looking at those growers and saying, how do they survive? Because it costs you about 1, 000 a ton, let’s just say ballpark figure,

[00:23:19] Steve Davis: 1, 000 a ton to grow grapes. Okay, good, this is, this helps people visualize.

[00:23:24] Paul Georgiadis: Alright, so 1, 000 a ton, so if you, let’s just say now dry land areas, uh, it’s about 1, 000 a ton. Now, if someone’s going out there offering them 1, 000 a ton for a ton of grapes, so you’ve still got to harvest them.

[00:23:39] Dan Eggleton: There’s 700 bucks a tonne. There’s, yes. Or 700 bucks an hour. Well, exactly. If you can rattle it off.

[00:23:44] Paul Georgiadis: If you use a harvester. If it’s hand picked, it’s a thousand dollars a tonne. This year was a thousand dollars a tonne because it was such a low yield. So, I look at them and I can see them suffering and saying, well, how, how, but all they’re doing is surviving for the year. They’re hoping things will change.

Um, but that’s not the way we should look at it. Because, um, I think the survival of the industry means survival of the growers, because a lot of the good quality fruit comes from growers. It doesn’t only come from corporates, because corporates have a formula. They manage the vineyards. They have to do things on a program.

And it’s on volume. Yes. Whereas growers, they’re individual managers. They manage the vineyards to grow the best they can because they need the best returns they can get.

[00:24:22] Emanuel Skorpos: For them it’s about passion. Those growers who are pouring their blood, their sweat, their tears. Their daily grind is in that vineyard, with the aim to produce the best quality product they can, with the hope that they’re going to get a return on investment.

And it’s just not happening. The quality is there, in most instances. But the return on investment that these poor people on the land are having to endure, not one year, not two years, not three years, but in recent times, it’s consecutive vintages of getting smashed. And it needs to stop.

[00:25:03] Paul Georgiadis: Can I, sorry, can I just say one thing there too, is, we’re talking about levies as well, sorry for butting in here now, we’re talking about levies as well and where the money’s going.

In the 90s, when the industry was going really well. There was, there was a lot of AWRI programs that taught growers how to manage vineyards to grow better quality. All right? Whereas that’s all gone. We don’t see any of that anymore, so, yes, some growers can’t sell their fruit, and as a buyer, I look at their fruit, they say, I’ve got A grade fruit, can you come and look at it?

I go out there, look at it, and said, your conception of A grade, or your perception of A grade is different to what mine is. We’ve stopped the learning. So we’re not sharing enough information anymore. The departments aren’t out there encouraging growers to come in. We should all be on the same page about what constitutes quality.

[00:25:46] Steve Davis: Paul, that grower you’re imagining, who, let’s name them, no I’m only joking, um, that grower, if the, through Wine Australia there was a program to send someone out to help them, do you think they’d be, They’d be open to getting some guidance to improve that, or are they stuck in their ways and it’s A grade to me, bucko.

[00:26:09] Paul Georgiadis: I think there needs to be guidance, and I think they are open to guidance. I, I quite think, I mean, there was a grower yesterday, I said, I’d, your fruit’s stalled, I don’t think it’s going to reach baume specs, which doesn’t mean we can’t buy it. He goes, well, you’re the expert. And they go, well, but I don’t manage your vineyard.

So, you need someone to guide them through to get an understanding of what constitutes quality. How should I manage my vineyard on my site? Now, there was beautiful programs, um, quality assurance programs, but there was quality programs through the AWRI system. It was great, but now all we introduce is SWAR programs, so we can get the tick of approval, um, about sustainability, Wine Australia.

It drives me up a brick wall because all it does is people ticking boxes.

[00:26:48] Dan Eggleton: Yes. Take note of that. Let’s go back to that. Because that’s a whole basket of eggs that we can talk about. Um, Paul, I totally agree. The corporatisation, however, and I work corporate for years, you know, I’ve been involved in it on a global level, um, the corporatisation of the Australian farm is one of the biggest issues.

And, uh, before we started recording, we were talking about That the corporatisation of the farm in our country has been made possible because we don’t have rules of engagement. that need to be followed. So we go back to root cause. So I’m a great fan of root cause. You know, why aren’t my, my grapevines ripening?

Well, you didn’t prune them right. Why didn’t I prune them right? Because I wasn’t taught right. Why don’t I, why wasn’t I taught right? Because nobody’s got funding to, to teach me. And even if I’m sixth generation and this is the way my grandfather did it. Well, no, he didn’t because he didn’t have irrigation.

So let’s, let’s go back a few steps. Um, so let’s actually go back to what actually makes our industry amazing. We’re sitting here on your veranda. It is a cloudless sky. We have more sunlight hours. We have the best earth. We have the best conditions. We can grow grapes anywhere, anytime, with water. We can make amazing wine in any region.

We’re not geographically bounded by grou No. Look at what Ricotero are doing in the Riverland. Yeah. What Sam Brewer’s doing at Yarrin Wines in Griffith. What our good friend here is doing Emanuel at, you know, at Flinders Run in the southern Flinders Ranges. We’ve got people in, in marginal or top countries that are actually producing very, very high quality wines that are globally recognised.

Yeah. However, we also have an undercurrent of the ability, and it’s a free market economy, to be able to produce what you want, where you want, however you want, with whatever means you want, and then market it to a, a, a, a, a wanting or a, you know, we presume, a thirsty public, to the detriment of ourselves.

Totally. And so, there’s, it’s a two speed economy. It starts then. playing against us as small boutique, very focused producers, who are trying to go out there and say, I have a Barossa Shiraz. Shiraz? Shiraz? Ah, definitely not a Syrahh. But, I’m battling.

[00:29:21] Steve Davis: I swing both ways.

[00:29:22] Dan Eggleton: That’s a whole different conversation.

Um, Barossa ones have now got the trouble. But my Shiraz on a shelf is 30 to 35 a bottle. That two speed economy allows for a Barossa Shiraz to be produced from a large vineyard with large water. Making, in the corporate universe, for 9. 99. Wearing the same moniker, wearing the same designation, wearing the same information.

That’s where the issue lies in where we’re at with regards to levies and marketing.

[00:30:00] Steve Davis: This is a rich vein that I think we need to just exploit a smidgen more. You said we are in this situation because we don’t have rules of engagement. Can you share what you think a prototype of such rules of engagement would look like?

[00:30:18] Dan Eggleton: We spoke it a little bit, well, we texted whatever we did a little bit about it because it was

[00:30:23] Steve Davis: and by the way, we’ll reproduce those texts on the show notes

[00:30:28] Paul Georgiadis: It’s really following the European systems a little bit, isn’t it?

[00:30:31] Dan Eggleton: Modified. Yeah, modified. So we take all the good bits So, yeah, we make it non geographic.

Learn from history. We make it non geographic. We’ve got a very open, amazing environment for, for doing what we do, to produce a choice, to produce a luxury good, which is being rampantly commoditized in the same vein as bottled water. Bastardise. For what, of a different word? Absolutely. I was going to say better word.

I’m trying, I’m trying to be really politically correct here and restrained because if anybody knows me, I’m really good with a hammer. Your language is good. But at the end of the day, yeah. We have a globally recognised production of a choice, of a luxury good. We should be treating every single glass and bottle of our wonderful product, even if it’s in a cask, the same way our wives treat their Jimmy Choo Chews if they’ve got it, or their Prada handbag.

At the end of the day, we work our guts out for a moment in time to create a piece of art.

[00:31:39] Emanuel Skorpos: Yep, that is captured in the bottle.

[00:31:41] Dan Eggleton: In the bottle or the box or whatever. At the end of the day though, at the same stage, we also need to have some rules of engagement that allow people to make commercial grade products, which we desperately need in this country to underpin our business for the size of our nation.

For where we are, for our production capability and a desire for a product around the world. But we need, as premium producers, We need commercial to be good, but we want to educate. The consumer about what that is.

[00:32:15] Steve Davis: So I lived in Hungary for a few years and to Alexis. Yes. I’m about to go there Alexis, who’s one of our long-term listeners.

Yes. Have a drink now. He always has a drink. When I reference my time in Hungary, um, I’m

[00:32:27] Dan Eggleton: Hungary. Hungary, Hungary. Hungary. Oh, sorry, .

[00:32:30] Steve Davis: That wouldn’t stop you. Uh, the, to high there where you’ve got the star system, and I mean it sort of relates to the dryness, but are you suggesting. that we have some system that when you pick up a bottle of something called a Shiraz from Australia, there’s something else on the label that denotes whether it’s going to be a tail of a certain color or whether it’s going to be something worth keeping for the rest of your life.

[00:33:03] Dan Eggleton: We need a designation. We need to designate.

[00:33:06] Steve Davis: A quality designation. It’s not geographically.

[00:33:09] Dan Eggleton: Not geographically can be constrained. And I’m not talking, whenever I’ve brought this up with anybody else, particularly around grape growers and winemakers, there’s been a conversation that then moves to, oh but you’re talking about floor pricing.

No, no, no, no. The marketplace, free market economy, that will happen. People know the quality when they see the quality. But at the end of the day, we need to educate the consumer. And by educating the consumer that this is one star, grown for a purpose, to be fitting a certain product at a level, that’s where that consumer needs to be educated.

But if in the case of, you know, Paulmara, which is over and above where that is, and it’s five star, it should be, whatever the sky is. But, you know, I have a vision of a three dimensional matrix that if you achieve 75 percent in a quadrant on the matrix as it slides up the scale you go up or go down and it is self regulated, peer regulated, our industry shows maturity and is actually able to agree across our wonderful nation how that baseline works.

[00:34:26] Emanuel Skorpos: And The consumer has the ability to make that choice or that informed choice because that label, that product is identified within that quadrant scale.

[00:34:46] Paul Georgiadis: And price point. Can I say also though, it should relate back to the vineyard as well.

[00:34:50] Dan Eggleton: It’ll be all inclusive. Yeah. So there’s vineyard, there’s winemaking, there’s social, there’s environmental, there’s sustainability, all of those factors all come into it.

[00:34:59] Paul Georgiadis: Because I think if there’s, if there’s more information or if there’s more education in vineyard management and so forth as well, what constitutes quality, and if we talk about it relates to the scales, it just, and then it controls your production as well, because everyone’s there focused on quality because if we don’t.

In every, any region, doesn’t matter geographically where it is, if we all focus on growing the best we can, there’s going to be a natural reduction of yield.

[00:35:23] Steve Davis: So, 100%, as, I mean, marketing’s my day job. I’m thinking about resistance, uh, from players, who are going to be drawn in, And Mr. Wolf Blass and the people who now own his name, my wife used to work for them, etc.

etc. So, the red label, yellow label, that sort of stuff, which is going to be further down, we need the Nomen licature. Nomen licature. The naming. What’s it? Nomen licature. It’s the one word I’ve always struggled with all my life. You gotta drink more wine. Why do I bother saying? I don’t stick to charades. Um, we need it named in a way that doesn’t say poor quality, good quality.

No. That we describe more the purpose of this. So the lower end, hey, pissed. Or, or just a simple, easy, dry, you don’t need to know much about wine. It’s going to tick a few boxes.

[00:36:25] Dan Eggleton: Well in Europe we’ve got Van Der Paay. Yeah. We’ve got Villarge. We’ve got language that says, it’s not from a single side, but it’s a blend.

We’ve got crew. We’ve got premier crew. We’ve got grand crew. Exactly. We’ve got elevations. You’ve got it in Italy, up and down the Italian. A standard. Yeah, we’ve got a standard, and we have a designation. There’s enough of us that are in the industry that are paid marketers to do crap like this and come up with fancy names.

But at the end of the day, we make the best commercial wine in the world. It’s known. Yeah, even our lower end is still. So let’s start with that. It’s still good. Yeah, it’s great wine Let’s I’m not I’m not shooting the messenger. What I’m saying is educate the consumer because at the moment and Mr. Martin Cole, if you’re listening to this, I certainly hope you are when we discuss this it is your organization’s job as the regulator to ensure we don’t have two churches hitting the shelf And if we’re gonna call it out, we’re gonna call it out.

We’re gonna do that. And say, let’s not do that. I worked for Pernod Ricard in the heyday of their relationships with Waitrose and Sainsbury’s and what have you. And, like every corporate, They’ll play the game. They, they use the law to its advantage. Multiple labels, single tanks, things like that. It’s been known to happen and it happens globally.

And they can afford to pay for shelf space. And they can afford to pay for shelf space. Hang on. But let’s, let’s educate the consumer.

[00:37:53] Emanuel Skorpos: It is their shelf space.

[00:37:56] Dan Eggleton: Well, they own it.

[00:37:56] Paul Georgiadis: It’s their own, but then the corporates. Yeah. Pernod

[00:37:59] Steve Davis: Ricard. Yes, back then. South Corp Wines. Yeah. Wolf

[00:38:02] Paul Georgiadis: Blass, all those guys. And now Sue Buy shelf space.

Yes, yes. You know, so I know with Sainbury’s and Tesco’s, they’d go in, they’d pay a million dollars and say, yep, we’ve got the eye view,

[00:38:12] Steve Davis: but this is the inside running here because Yeah. Perona ARD can buy the shelf space. Woolies, they own, own the space. Space inside Dan Murphy’s etal.

[00:38:23] Dan Eggleton: So they’re a key shareholder, aren’t they?

They’ve put a degree of separation.

[00:38:27] Steve Davis: Oh, that’s right. And so. Look, my reading of the scenario, and I’m the outsider here, I’m just someone who’s loved wine for as long as I can remember. I drank wine before I drank espresso coffee, alright? That’s telling me, that’s showing you my priorities here. Uh, and look, as a seven year old, my palate, woof!

Anyway, um, I think consumers would be on board with this, because it’s very similar to when, if I go back to my single days, playing AFL 99 on the PlayStation, as I picked my team, for every player, I could see Um, there was a rating, there was a score for their endurance, there was a score for their accuracy, there was a score for this, and I could make my team fit for purpose.

And so if I went and I was choosing wine, instead of relying on my heuristic, which at the moment is, if the label talks about the winemaker’s dog, You know it’s going to be a pretty crap wine. If the wine actually talks about how long in oak and this, there’s a fairly decent chance there’s a proper winemaker somewhere in the realm.

And, and it’s a little bit hit and miss because as things mature they get more, you know, blah, blah, blah. It’s the industry. that needs to pull on the grown up pants to say, we owe this to our consumers, that the wine we’re about to taste next, which is the Ben Murray wine, Shiraz 2021, which, oh my goodness, is just, forget signing up for the Mars mission, I’m already out of this world, it’s amazing.

Um, that should not be on the same peg As, I don’t know, the bottom end one that the big commercials churn out at nine bucks a bottle. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:40:25] Dan Eggleton: And this wine is actually produced from a vineyard that, uh, from Paul’s Vineyard is a driving wood away. Yes. From across the road. And this is a family that has, I’ve known them for close to 30 years.

I was introduced to this family by the late great Colin Grant because they’re, um, related to them. And, uh, his son Michael was my next door neighbour for 11 years. And, uh, Michael and Louise Schubert grow amazing fruit just across the road here. And this year, In November, with fruit on vine, they lost the contract for that 80 tonnes over there.

My whole production of Shiraz from them is 10 tonne. I’m a small winemaker. I produce a bit over 50 tonne per annum for myself. and the fear that I had was that I will lose this amazing vineyard on this amazing site that has had Shiraz on it between other incantations courtesy of the, courtesy of the vine pool of the 80s.

But that’s had Shiraz growing on that land since settlement. It is now growing 20 year old Shiraz and that’s fantastic Shiraz. It’s Marananga Shiraz, it’s hand tended, it’s beautiful, it’s generational. But if they can’t sell the other 80 percent of their product, they don’t stay on that land. And Michael has 30 years been working at Moomba Gas to pay for that.

for that property to do it. So this is the reality of it. I sat this year between November and January with families, generational grape growing families, who while fruit was on the vine, were losing their income because of a corporate walking away. Walked away from the deal and signed a fellowship, uh, fellow corporate deal.

to look after them at the, at the loss of 80 families in this region when you can see the crop. Part of what I’m proposing is these rules of engagement is that cannot happen. That should never happen. And in this region, in the Barossa, sorry Emanuel, well buddy, but in the Barossa, if we take the Barossa, if we take the Yarra, we take Margaret The champion grape varieties, the region should never have a spare berry.

We should be so protective of our brand, what we do. That there should never be a spare berry.

[00:43:07] Paul Georgiadis: And that’s where we touched on it earlier. We should be a combination of an understanding of what, see wineries don’t engage with growers well enough now to offer them advice about what they’re looking for. And whereas when I was the Grower Relations Manager for Penfolds all those years ago, we’d be, all my team, and I’ll say my team, would work with growers so they get an understanding of what’s required.

So that way they’re managing their vineyards fit for purpose. You know, so it’s to spec, to specifications. This is what we want. This is the way we want you to manage the vineyard. So there was always ongoing communication. For some reason, that stopped.

[00:43:42] Steve Davis: And on that, we’re coming to you Emanuel, but um, someone who may or may not have been mentioned earlier in my conversation, had an experience with treasury, um, just basically walking away again, dropping the price.

Uh, having one price beginning. And then coming back and saying, oh no, things have changed, kaboom, the grower, what, and yet the way you spoke, Paul, is there seemed to have been some loyalty back in the day when you were there that you would see things through. If you were a grape grower, and you took on advice, and the winery was involved, do you, would you expect that the winery then follows that through?

and doesn’t walk away at the last minute or not? Totally, totally.

[00:44:27] Paul Georgiadis: They should follow it through because at the end of the day, as a winery, you offer advice of how you expect them to grow the fruit. So it’s fit for purpose. We want you. Yes. Now, if there’s an ongoing relationship, the grower knows where they’re headed, so they can manage your vineyard to your specifications.

But if they don’t, if they can’t see a relationship, all they’re doing is treading water. They don’t know if they can sell their fruit. So all they do is the minimum amount possible.

[00:44:53] Steve Davis: Emanuel, you’ve been dying to I,

[00:44:55] Emanuel Skorpos: I, touching on what these guys, both, uh, Paul and, um, what Paul and, um, Dan are saying, you know, I’ll go back to my humble beginnings.

You know, we were getting 1, 975 a ton while we were selling fruit. And with our bonuses, I think it came to about 2, 375 a ton. You know, and back then Paul was Just got a rough number. Yeah, yeah, back then, back then Paul was, you know, grower liaison, as he said, for, for fosters, and he was up and active through the Southern Finders Ranges.

You know, we were supplying your lumber, I purchased another property which was supplying fosters. And, you know, the, the relationship there, you know, the grower liaison officer would come out to the vineyard, he’d inspect your pruning, he’d have a look at, you know, bud bursts, he’d come and have a look at how things were tracking along.

That no longer happens. Not like it did. That guidance, that support, and that element of, you know, you’re part of the team, doesn’t exist today. And in that corporate world, the grower is just treated as a number, if you want to call it that. And, you know, that relationship, that trust, uh, and, and that part of that teamwork is gone and the grower no longer has faith in the winery they’re supplying.

[00:46:15] Steve Davis: This speaks to a bigger issue, I think, at a society level of loyalty as a human species to each other, and we’ve been groomed, I think, to have very much a drive by. Nature to most of our relationships. Yeah. I mean, look at, I mean, I make lots of jokes about Tinder and my, my standup, et cetera. Tinder is a great example of people.

I’ve, I saw a bloke when we were recording. Not on Tinder, not on no . I, I, I was in the audience of the music essay awards many years ago. There’s a bloke in front of me on Tinder. I kid you not, he was flicking, um, the reject side. Like, the people he was looking at had less than half a second of his attention before he moved on.

How can you assess someone’s value in half a second? And then we see this writ large with wineries and winemakers. I’m just going to temporarily put a cork in it, so to speak, because I want us to talk to your wine here, the Ben Murray Wines, Dan. So don’t lose any of your threads of conversation. We’re coming back to this in a moment.

But, um, from a very much extensive someone’s bringing out the big guns behind the scenes. Um, but, um, Ben Murray Wines, Shiraz 2021. I want to tell you that when this came to my nose, I don’t know if you saw my face, I was puzzled. I was lost. It was, it was the most rare moments when suddenly your Google GPS has no idea where you are.

Um, which happens occasionally. Then I put it on my palate and I said to you Dan, I said, um, this is beautiful wine. I have absolutely no idea how to describe it. Can you talk us through this? Because this is amazing wine.

[00:48:16] Dan Eggleton: Ah, thank you. Um, yeah, I’m pleased to say that, um, the 2021 Vintage was actually, um, made in a car park.

It’s an under. So, yeah, I, um, we’ve only built our winery in the last, um, Two, three years. So, um, late 21, we, um, purchased the property on Presser Road at Tenunder and, um, moved there and built a winery. Prior to that, um, for the 15 years that, um, Ben Murray’s been around, um, we utilised contract facilities. Um, I made it after hours from my day job when I was, uh, a national sales manager for a large oak importing company into Australia.

Um It’s my second label that I’ve actually done. Um, and, uh, yeah, I swapped after hours winemaking for, for space at a winery. Uh, when that winery closed down, then, um, I had to find, find a spot and I found a, a mate that had a, A shed with a car park and, uh, I hand shoveled 38 tons through a one ton an hour crusher over the vintage, um, and had a, uh, there’s some guns here, um, talking of getting the guns out.

And, um, yeah, so it’s, it’s a labor of love, to be honest, it’s incredible passion. The, the Schubert family grow really good fruit, um, here just across the road from, uh, from where we’re sitting today, um, and that Shiraz. It’s machine harvested. It’s, it’s grown on a typical Barossa trellis. Um, it’s just in some great ground and I get to pick the eyes out of the vineyard.

Uh, it’s 30 to 35 days on skins, um, open fermented, wild yeast. Um, one day, one time a day, it’s, um, pumped over for about 45, 50 minutes on each of the ferments. Uh, and then post dry, it’s allowed to sit on skin for another. 20 or 30 days before I, um, press it to French Oak only, and French Oak hogsheads for 16 months.

Uh, and my influence has been spending a lot of time working throughout Europe. I’ve, I’ve made wine in, in Germany, I’ve spent time in, through central Italy, uh, working for three of the biggest French beverage companies, exposed me to amazing wine making and techniques and conversations and, uh, throughout California as well.

Uh, I’ve spent a lot of time. Um, with winemakers there. So, okay. Couple of global influence,

[00:50:48] Steve Davis: A couple of quick comments. I’m currently listening to Stephen Fry reading every single Sherlock Holmes book ever written. It’s amazing. One of them is called A Study in Scarlet. I think it’s the first one he ever wrote.

And this is the color of this wine in the glass. It’s beautiful and deep. The nose, I still, is an enigma to me, I can’t, I can’t penetrate it, I just give in to it. And on the palate, the best I can do to describe it is, imagine going to a lovely adult fun park, that doesn’t sound right, that doesn’t sound right, uh, a fun park with a big inflated slide that is dark blue.

And at the top, you thrust yourself down, and it gives, it, you sink into it, and it just gently takes you down this slope. That’s on the palette. At the end, there’s a servant who just gives you a quick dry off because there’s a little bit of tannin, just a touch of tannin at the end. It, that’s the experience.

I can’t name any more than that. It’s just. You’re a beautiful

[00:51:46] Paul Georgiadis: luscious fruit.

[00:51:47] Steve Davis: Gorgeous.

[00:51:49] Dan Eggleton: And, and it’s gentle handling, um,

[00:51:53] Steve Davis: I learned. Gentle handling by the way is my Tinder profile. But

[00:51:57] Dan Eggleton: the polymerization of tannins is really key and by extent fermentation you do that. But um, yeah, it’s a, it’s a beautiful side.

And it speaks volumes to the site.

[00:52:06] Emanuel Skorpos: So I, I’m gonna say it finishes with a nice raspberry note.

[00:52:10] Dan Eggleton: Oh, okay. Yeah. I, uh, you know, bright fruit. Yeah. Yeah. So

[00:52:13] Steve Davis: I, I get off raspberry note, I get off the slide and I go, ,

[00:52:18] Dan Eggleton: it’s a beautiful thing. But it’s about freshness. It’s about the Barossa doesn’t make dead fruit if you pick it at the right time and if you look after it, that’s the key and pH balance.

Yes. Like I, I made wines for a parkerized environment back in the day. Okay, 3. 9 pH, 70 percent alcohol, uh, The fruit’s dead. It was rote gritsa with alcohol, you know, at the end of the day, and if nobody knows on the podcast what that is, um, avoid, but it’s an old German, um, sort of dessert made out of grapes, and um, it was sweet syrupy soup, road based with alcohol.

But, for this, this is um, a more European style, it’s about balance, it’s about freshness. But you’re going back to

[00:53:01] Paul Georgiadis: vine balance, so everything relates back to vine balance. We’re going back to the vineyard again. And I, and I always, on Viticulture, and yes, we’ve got a winery, and we’re winemaking as well, but, 85 percent of the quality of what we make, is at your terroir.

It’s in your vineyard.

[00:53:15] Dan Eggleton: Absolutely. But it’s where I started. Yeah. I started in vineyards and that’s why I relate and I relate with my a lot of people don’t. And that’s the problem.

[00:53:24] Emanuel Skorpos: That’s where it begins. If you haven’t got it right in the vineyard, you can work all your magic you want in the winery, but the final product is not going to express the terroir.

[00:53:36] Steve Davis: Is the first rule of our rules of engagement to honour the vigneron.

[00:53:44] Paul Georgiadis: See, the Europeans do it, we don’t. We glorify the winemaker.

[00:53:48] Dan Eggleton: And as a winemaker as well with our own brand.

[00:53:51] Paul Georgiadis: Totally agree. But all we do is glorify the winemaker. But the day, if it wasn’t for the grower, yes the corporates grow as well, they grow grapes.

But the thing is, they grow grapes. We grow, we’re almost growing the wine. We grow passion. Yeah. And that’s the difference. And that’s why we’re in the industry. Here as small producers, we’re passionate about what we do. And that’s why we’re still in it.

[00:54:11] Steve Davis: I heard someone say that, When you’ve got the perfect grapes, the winemaker’s job is just not to stuff up those grapes.

[00:54:18] Dan Eggleton: I’ve said that numerous times. Absolutely. So 11, 11. 9 months of the year, a vineyard is growing a product. We get one moment to get it in a shed, smash it up, infect it, hope like hell we don’t stuff it up, and then babysit it in barrels or whatever we do with it. Until we get it in a bottle and hope some poor bastard is going to buy it.

But when I was, you know, during my experience of being the General Manager as a young bloke running Shield Estate for Eddie Shield and his family back in the day, Um, I changed their, um, their card title and their, um, role to Wine Grower. They weren’t vinerons. They were wine growers. They’re owner operators.

They were wine growers. And so Be careful with owner operators. They could be wankers.

[00:55:03] Steve Davis: Sorry. Hello. Is that appropriate in this, uh It is. Yes.

[00:55:07] Dan Eggleton: But it’s, uh, but that, that’s where it was, and that’s where, at that period in time, it, it, it separated from what they were doing in supply of grapes to where they were actually growing their own fruit for their own purpose.

And that’s the crossover. But going back to the conversation we were having earlier, We need to, as an industry, value add and elevate the position of that relationship, and we don’t do it. We’re dominated by a corporate, we’re dominated by a return to shareholder, we’re even saying that at the legislative end.

And so, we have the opportunity here as a one, two hundred and thirty year old industry, don’t forget Joseph Banks. Planted vines in Parramatta in 7891 or whatever it was. We’ve been making wine in this country not soon after that. On and off in various forms. We have a defined, long, variably, you know, the best history.

of viticulture in the world arguably and with the oldest vineyards surviving today.

[00:56:14] Emanuel Skorpos: Let’s go back because those vines got taken back to France during the Phylloxera time.

[00:56:19] Dan Eggleton: Exactly. And, and so let’s actually, let’s actually herald this and we’ve missed it. We’ve missed the opportunity to say We beat California.

The French hate the Americans because that’s where they got their root stocks from. But, where did they get the top work? Came from Australia. Came from Australia. Came from Australia. So, we’ve got to really bring that back, and I think our leaders, Mr. Cole, Mr. Maclean, Um, whoever wants to listen, we need to get that message back out, and that becomes a globally appetizing value add.

Education. Education. We’ve got to support the guy on the ground. And if we underpin that with rules, we’re set.

[00:56:58] Steve Davis: Do you know the analogy that’s here is we watch any movie, especially comedy movies, where we as the viewers can see what the situation is, but our character can’t see it. is blind, has a blind spot.

Yeah. And the comedy comes because they’re making the wrong assumptions, they’re focused here, and we’re watching going, no! Like a metadrama, behind you, behind you! And here we are, in this land that’s blessed at the moment with climate that’s perfect for these grapes. And that severing of an authentic connection between the winery and the wine grower vineyard on where I’m watching this now as a consumer thanks to you three gentlemen going it’s behind you like just take this seriously and you’re going to have to wear some cost maybe along the way you can’t just cut and run you’ve got to be in it for the whole game.

[00:58:06] Dan Eggleton: This is a generational game. It takes time to make good wine. I totally agree.

[00:58:11] Paul Georgiadis: I just, I just want to share a story that I had this year. It actually happened this vintage. All right. So there was a grower that he wasn’t really performing that well. He was growing reasonable grapes, but it wasn’t great. And I needed A grade.

So I’m going in there and I gave him all the directions of how to grow A grade. Starting at pruning, Working the way through. All of a sudden I said, I will buy your fruit as long as I can see it’s got potential to make agrate. Now he did all the work, absolutely everything, because there was no commitment for me to buy the fruit unless he did the work.

So there was a carrot. Okay. Right. And then I saw the vineyard, the way he managed it three weeks prior. I mean, sorry, early in the year, I offered him the contract. So yeah, I’ll buy all your fruit. No problem. All of a sudden four other buyers come in. Because now they’ve seen a vineyard. The horse is before the cart now.

Now they’ve seen a vineyard, they want to purchase the fruit. They didn’t want to do the work. They didn’t want to offer the advice. They didn’t want to take a risk of offering advice. But now they’ve seen a vineyard that looks like it’s going to make A grade. We want the fruit. So all of a sudden this grower’s in two minds saying, Well, I’ve been offered X.

I said, Hold on. Hello. I’ve given you all the advice, but you know what? I just said to the girl, you need to make your decision. I said, I want you to be in the best position possible. If someone’s offering you more money, just go with them. I don’t care.

[00:59:29] Steve Davis: But it cuts both ways.

[00:59:30] Paul Georgiadis: It cuts both ways, but you, you’ve got to be careful.

Don’t bite off the hand that feeds you. What did he do? He sold most of the fruit to us, but then he, he, he sold some, which I wanted him to, okay. Cause I wanted him to, cause I want him to experience the other side.

[00:59:44] Steve Davis: So. The, the, the missing element, or the enigmatic element here is the T word of trust. Yes.

And this trust has to extend over the course of each year. And there’s going to be wobbly moments for everyone.

[01:00:00] Emanuel Skorpos: Loyalty both sides.

[01:00:02] Paul Georgiadis: It’s got to be. And the company’s, the grower’s got to do the right thing, but then the company’s got to do the right thing by them.

[01:00:07] Emanuel Skorpos: Loyalty both sides. We go back to the grower.

The grower spends countless hours, days, months out in that vineyard. He’s pruning in the winter. He’s on the tractor, or she, or she, you know, we’re on the tractor, we’re out in the vineyard, we’re doing the spraying, we’re monitoring the, the fruits development. And during the peak of summer, we’re out there harvesting that fruit.

[01:00:36] Steve Davis: Watching weather

[01:00:37] Emanuel Skorpos: forecasts, watching, watching weather forecasts all the time. I, so, you know, that blood, that sweat, and those tears are put into the development of that product. And I go back to what Paul said is that if you’re doing the right thing, and if your management practices are on, on point, Then what you’re producing is going to go into something of quality.

That’s right.

[01:01:01] Paul Georgiadis: And you should be rewarded for that. And corporates should protect you and reward you for it.

[01:01:05] Steve Davis: Yep, because if they’re playing the long game, and they can’t. Because at some point, there will be no more cookies left in the cookie jar. Exactly. Unless a co but then again, no. A corporation will roll in and pick up Mr, down here’s vineyard cheap, they’ll manage it enough, well enough, and that’s bleak.

They’ll still make a product.

[01:01:28] Dan Eggleton: But if we go to the other end of the scale though, let’s be careful where we take the argument, that for a very long time, and the data will show, that the Riverland was the highest yielding per hectare, dollar per hectare, vineyard region. in Australia. See, dollar per hectare.

[01:01:49] Steve Davis: You saw my eyebrows.

[01:01:51] Dan Eggleton: Dollars per hectare because there are, some of these growers are allowed to grow unlimited tons. Cheap water, cheap results. Still are. And still are. So, so let’s, let’s not, let’s not equate all of it back to, back to winemakers. Let’s equate it to the industry. And again, I’ll go back to the base rule, root cause, which we talked about earlier.

Rules of engagement. Let’s actually rewrite the rules on how this is done. We need, if you want to grow unlimited tons, and if your customer that you’re supplying, if you’re a vineyard and your buyer says, I don’t care how many tons you grow, bring the fruit in because it’s going into X product at X dollars.

We just need to make it, so be it. But let’s tell the consumer that that’s what it is.

[01:02:42] Paul Georgiadis: And that’s where the government offers tax deductions. for super funds to get into great production as a tax deduction and then they grow 30 tons per hectare and produce substandard fruit which causes over supply.

[01:02:57] Dan Eggleton: I’ve never seen anybody growing Z quality, uh, making A grade wine selling it at Z quality price but we unfortunately have the ability in this country to grow Z quality product. And sell it for whatever we want. And the consumer is left to their own devices to try and discern whether that thing is any good.

And unfortunately in the past, a lot of that has left our shores. A lot of that has gone into marketplace, and it has tainted what we do. And what we do really well. Totally. And that is where, again, Australia’s been tainted. Root cause.

[01:03:41] Steve Davis: We don’t have the rules of engagement, and we don’t have this lovely designation.

[01:03:48] Emanuel Skorpos: Again, those rules of engagement. The mums and dads of this industry need to be protected. The mums and dads who have invested in some generational family businesses, families in wine, they need to be protected. They need the governance of the industry. To put legislation in place that ensures the next generation is going to want to continue that tradition.

[01:04:18] Steve Davis: Alright. Now, gentlemen All my questions went out the window. Uh, you two, you three have driven us and I think it’s been a fascinating conversation. There’s a couple of things I wanna make sure we touch base on. One of them is in relation to any moves to set up designations. I’ve just finished reading, uh, start at the end by Dan Bingham, Dan.

took a non government supported cycling team in the UK to blitz the world just by starting again and reverse engineering. And one of his tricks, he came up through the Grand Prix world as an engineer, was the first thing you do is you grab that rule book, You look through that rule book, and you find any area where it’s not tightly defined, where you can get an advantage over others.

So, this call for having some rules of engagement, which is like a code of ethics, if you like, for wine, or a kind of whethics. Um, Is something, it, I just think, it’s like scaling Mount Everest to think it will ever happen. But maybe it has to. Maybe there’s enough pain out there to make enough people. I don’t know if, if wine growers and smaller wineries can withhold the allocated amounts of money they need to pay in their levies temporarily in form of protest, but something needs to happen for this to be brought to a head.

[01:05:51] Dan Eggleton: You can voluntarily withdraw your funding. Can you really? You can apply. So in the Barossa year, I can, I can apply to have my funding returned to me, however then, it excludes me from having a say in the operations of the Barossa.

[01:06:04] Steve Davis: And are you having a say in the operations of the Barossa

[01:06:06] Dan Eggleton: I am right now, aren’t I?

And I’ve had Mr. Hazeldine roll up to my winery. As the first CEO since I’ve had a wine label to actually stand there on, on the crusher pad and have a coffee with me as a small producer. Yeah. That allows me to have that moment.

[01:06:21] Steve Davis: In fact, that’s a great token of what we want to see. Of this Cross fertilization It’s like here I am the the viewer going for crying out loud behind you the other thing is

[01:06:36] Emanuel Skorpos: my concern just touching on that my concern is right now is The fact that China’s gates have opened is our industry and our industry leaders thinking that You know what?

Whatever’s happened has happened. It’s water under the bridge. China’s open. The pain’s going to go away. And it’s not going to go away. We’ve got four, four, and in some cases five, vintages of backlog to, to move. The industry at a global level is having issues. That backlog is not going to be taken up in five minutes.

[01:07:16] Steve Davis: Let’s talk about China now. China’s the elephant in the room. Uh, is there a Year of the Elephant? I don’t think there is. Um Yeah, I think there is. Is there?

[01:07:23] Dan Eggleton: I think there might be, yeah. Don’t know when it was. I think I was born the Year of the Goose, but anyway, because I’m in the wine industry.

[01:07:31] Steve Davis: Please Google it, because I’m pretty sure there is no Year of the Elephant.

It doesn’t strike me as a Chinese animal. Um, but I do want to bring China to the fore here, because I saw the glittering politicians just giddy with excitement at the end. To say that China has removed its tariffs. I also see, because I used to do wine lapping for export, many years ago. My vision back in the early noughties, was to come up with one wine label that could meet the needs of every market around the world.

I never got to see that through, and that was just at the point when the EU decided you needed the pregnancy warning in 27 languages, so I just hanged my head in. Just gave up. However, is there a Year of the Elephant, Paul?

[01:08:20] Dan Eggleton: There is, but it’s not the Chinese year. Not the, uh

[01:08:23] Steve Davis: Oh. Which country has a Year of the Elephant?

It’s Arabic. Arabic? Well, there you go. Thank you. So you learn something new every day on Adelaide Show Podcast. We like learning. We were going somewhere. So we’ve got our politicians getting beautiful headlines in the Murdoch press to say, look how good we are. We have seen Everything through. And then, I see Emanuelle on LinkedIn going, Hang on a minute.

That’s not the end of the story. Can you three illuminate me as to where do our small wineries sit now, that the tariffs have gone? I note, tell me if I’m wrong, but there are now new certification things that you have to go through to get into China. For our lovely Any Conspiracy listeners listening, there was some mention that during this tariff, time of tariffs, the crippling of many wineries allowed Chinese back buyers to come in and snaffle up some of our wineries, and now with the new certification, they get a lot of detailed insight into everything that goes on in our wines.

I’m not given to conspiracy theories, but I would like this dignified table to talk about The new era of China.

[01:09:44] Emanuel Skorpos: Given that I started China and marketing and selling wines into China in 2008, we enjoyed a, we enjoyed doing great business. We were able to forge relationships, we were able to market and promote those wines successfully.

I think looking back now, The problem that we as an industry did was we gave China the opportunity to take on OEM Australian wine brands and instead of focusing on the development and the marketing and promotion of our core brands we gave in to the quick buck and Developed the OEM wine business which allowed them the entrepreneurs in China to market and promote their own and sell their own Australian brand.

[01:10:36] Steve Davis: Define what you mean by OEM.

[01:10:40] Emanuel Skorpos: Essentially, buyer’s own brand. Uh, so, you know, we’re trying to sell our own wine, our own brands into that, into that market and essentially in competition with our own product. So, as an industry, I think we need to learn from those mistakes and say, Flinders Run is my brand.

Ben Murray’s is Dan. Paulmara Estates is Paul’s. That’s our product. That’s our label. That’s what we have for sale. And as an industry, I think that’s where we need to focus.

[01:11:20] Dan Eggleton: I think we’ll probably have a bit of backlash on a bit of that, mostly because now that the horse is bolted, you know, the gate’s open.

And there’s a lot of I can’t go to China and buy a hectare of land and plant a grapevine. Um, but we’ve, we’ve allowed that to happen. So, we’ve got to live with the situation we’re in at the moment. Um, going back to your original, your earlier point that, um, this is my, I just did my 34th vintage, I believe.

I’ve lost count. I’ve got enough grey hair. But, I, I’ve, the ability to be, for our industry to continue to do the same thing and expect a different result. Definition of insanity and we’re looking at it. This isn’t our first radio Let’s let’s go back again and and and have a look at how we can Reconstitute what we do as far as our offering goes It’s not the curative.

This isn’t a silver bullet and you’re right. There’s a lot of politicians very excited but politicians in essence A lot of it got into, got us into the strife. Well, they created it, yes. They created, they created the, the residency schemes that were tied to buying rural land and they tied a whole heap of other factors in.

Which might have

[01:12:36] Paul Georgiadis: wronged, I mean, at the day, I, as Australians, I think we share too much information.

[01:12:41] Dan Eggleton: We, well, we did that. We make it too easy. But again, if we had rules of engagement on designation, it would have eliminated that. If you, the Chinese investment into Bordeaux is renowned. It’s fantastic. It’s been the saviour of Bordeaux.

But if they go there and they want to buy first growth. They’ve got to pay first growth price. If they want to go in and invest in Bordeaux, they invest at the level. And it’s known. We allowed, for want of any other term, a willing and a very well cashed up and intelligent investment into this country to be made.

Read all the loopholes in our rulebook and go, How easy is this? We created our own issue.

[01:13:33] Steve Davis: It’s like they’ve committed 19 crimes.

[01:13:36] Dan Eggleton: Oh, that’s a bad pun. That’s another story. But at the end of the day, when I challenged our region, when I challenged I’m going to let that fly through to the keeper, that was terrible.

When I spoke with Scott Hazeldine, CEO of Barossa Australia, and I said, What is this region doing to protect itself from itself? The response was very political and it’s like, we’re working on it. I’m like, well, dude. It’s happening now. It’s going to happen. Now, I was doing business in L. A., into China, selling ultra premium wines.

I was guest of the Great Hall, I had a 400 person dinner with the Minister of Defence to show my wines on an open web link to people here in Australia in 2008 in Beijing at the Doyatoy Hotel, which is right next to the International Residences. We sold wine. To the Great Hall. No government assistance, paid our own ticket, had our own relationships.

And that was an incredibly valuable cultural experience where we did the research, we went there and we They had no interest in Boeing Vineyard. They had no interest in, in getting residency. They loved These people were beautiful people. I’m still friends with them today. They wanted to come and see kangaroos.

They wanted to see whether these beautiful wines were being made in this beautiful environment in this great part of the world. Yeah. It was aspirational. And we protected our brand position by selling that. That’s what we should

[01:15:21] Paul Georgiadis: be selling. Exactly.

[01:15:23] Steve Davis: That’s exactly what changed.

[01:15:25] Dan Eggleton: Um, the ability to then buy the dirt here at no restriction, by no rules of engagement, by no restrictions, by no obligation.

to produce at a level that then said, if I’m buying in the Barossa and I’m making this, this is what it is. It was free market.

[01:15:46] Paul Georgiadis: I can show you the vineyards they own and how they managed.

[01:15:50] Steve Davis: And what would I notice? What’s the difference between those vineyards and others?

[01:15:53] Paul Georgiadis: Yes, they just completely mismanaged.

And the reason being is they don’t understand viticulture. So with, with China is that they’ve been trying to learn as much as they can, but they don’t understand. The life cycle of a grapevine and what constitutes quality.

[01:16:08] Steve Davis: Don’t they just hire people to do that?

[01:16:10] Paul Georgiadis: Well, that’s what they do, but a lot of people stop working for them.

[01:16:13] Steve Davis: Right. And

[01:16:14] Emanuel Skorpos: it comes, it comes back to what Dan has said. No governance, no, no legislation. And I go back to one of my, you know, beating my drum that if your primary income stream is not derived from the land, you shouldn’t benefit from the tax breaks. Wow. Which will stop that foreign investment, which will stop people who are sitting in corporate worlds, investing in this industry, which has been part of, The glut we’re seeing.

[01:16:48] Paul Georgiadis: But the 2025 vision was supposed to get more money into the industry so we could grow at a faster rate. Now, was that done incorrectly? Yes, it was, because it brought the wrong players into the industry. But if you got the right players into the industry and had funds, because you still needed funding, whichever way we look at it, we needed funding to grow.

And the thing is, if we don’t, if we’re not open to change, we can’t grow.

[01:17:12] Emanuel Skorpos: But we need funding. Yeah, the funding is, the funding is a core component. But that’s where the government should have come forward and said, you know what, those mums and dads who are, you know, in some instances, generational businesses, let’s give them the incentive.

Let’s give them the tax break. Let’s provide them with the opportunity to grow rather than bring in those corporate investors who have taken over the industry.

[01:17:39] Dan Eggleton: But I go back to the original point though. It’s because we’ve had poor leadership. So, the government takes the cue from the industry. If the industry doesn’t speak to the industry, if the industry leaders don’t speak to the industry with any sort of alacrity, and they’re all just playing at the big end of town.

You’re always going to get left behind. Yes. So, so I keep going back.

[01:18:01] Emanuel Skorpos: No governance. No, you’re right. No leadership.

[01:18:03] Steve Davis: Okay. Uh, gentlemen, I’ve got my last few very short quickfire questions to go to before we do. I want to just try the Flinders Run, Baroota Creek, 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon. This is coming from your winery, uh, Emanuel, in the Southern Flinders Ranges.

And, uh, Might I say it was a godsend discovering your wine in a restaurant just recently in Port Perry. Thank you. It saved the night. It was an absolute joy. Um, this is an interesting expression of Cabernet Sauvignon because if I try one from Coonawarra, I put my nose in the glass and I am affronted in a nice way.

by Eucalyptus. It’s just like, woof! Gumtree. It’s magnificent. It is absolutely superb. Your expression of cab is a little bit different. It’s like I’ve walked into a beautiful pioneer homestead, and there’s some of those beautiful, um, aromas that arise from the weathered, the timber, and those notes. Very savory coming through.

But on the palate, I’m also finding that it is Classically in that Cabernet style, where it’s not throwing fruit at me. It is a savoury expression of cab, but it’s like, it’s like I’ve gone into this Pioneer homestead. There’s a lovely, Four poster, beautiful bed, complete with the big, uh,

[01:19:33] Dan Eggleton: We’re back in Tinder.

[01:19:34] Steve Davis: And I’m throwing myself into these deep red satin seats, and just floating in space. That’s Velvet in texture.

[01:19:45] Emanuel Skorpos: Yes. Yeah.

[01:19:46] Paul Georgiadis: I think it’s got beautiful varietal expression on the nose. It actually got a little bit of that methoxyporosine character coming through. But I call that What does it mean by the way?

It’s more that capsicum character coming through. Okay. So, but what I like about it is that I can taste physiological ripeness. Yeah. It’s not just that green capsicum coming through. It’s actually ripe. So what you want is, it’s the green that puts people off, which is quite tannic and astringent. Whereas that, it’s got beautiful palette.

It’s soft. Uh, but it’s got beautiful varietal expression and it glides along your palate quite nice and you’ve still got a taste at the end of it.

[01:20:21] Emanuel Skorpos: And we’re, we’re able to achieve that as the result of the three clones that are in there.

[01:20:27] Steve Davis: Yes. Tell me about the, send in the clones.

[01:20:29] Emanuel Skorpos: You know. Yeah. So, you know, we go back to that three, four years worth of research that I did walking specific vineyards.

You know, and we hand selected those three clones, and we’re now finding that those three are coming together, and, and the magic is there, you know, so, it demonstrates that that work and that time that I put into researching these three clones, you know, has paid off.

[01:20:57] Dan Eggleton: I love, um, Cabernet with that lanolin note, that really, you know, beautiful lanolin, jarrah.

Cedar. Cedar notes, um, good deft use of, um, oak, but what I see

[01:21:10] Steve Davis: That’s my homestead, the timber references.

[01:21:12] Dan Eggleton: Exactly, yeah, yeah, and I, I see, um, elements of Caves Road, Margaret River, I also see St Milliam in this, and it’s, and it is actually quite, uh, it’s plush, Without being, um, hollow over extract. Yeah. Yeah.

Or hollow. You know, we get, cabernet has a donut effect in the palate. Yes, it does. But this is a beautifully structured, you know, three dimensional wine. And I think, um, you know, it goes to highlight. Having tasted one. And if it wasn’t tasty, you wouldn’t know where it’s from. No. Again. You wouldn’t. Again, we go back to what I was talking about.

No geographical boundary. Yes. So let’s celebrate the best of where it comes from and how you can do it and how you can grow it.

[01:21:53] Steve Davis: This is great. So dear listener, southern flinders. I mean, you might not associate that with wine, but this is just beautiful, this drop. It absolutely salvaged my night recently at a restaurant.

[01:22:02] Dan Eggleton: It was an absolute godsend. Well there’s been vineyards in the Southern Flinders on and off for well over a century. Well there you go.

[01:22:07] Steve Davis: Yeah, it’s pretty amazing. Yeah, and I like your lanolin notes too, because I think the lanolin finish is a great Tinder profile I might use next. Um, I want to bring us, I want to bring us home with a couple of things.

One, I want to go back and close off the show. Paul, you mentioned that to raise a, I think you said a hectare of grapes, about a thousand dollars? Per ton. Per ton, sorry. Per ton. So, but then, we said, no, no, no, but then you’ve got to pick the things, and there were prices of between 700 to a thousand, 700 machine picked or harvested, and a thousand hand picked.

So just a note to Joe, from Ballycroft Vineyards, I helped him one day hand pick some grapes, As a friend, he’s a friend of the Adelaide show, I now know how much I was of value to him, so I’ll be dropping in on the way home to pick up my cheque, and that’s almost 2, 000 per tonne. Because you don’t get any value unless the thing’s picked.

[01:23:11] Dan Eggleton: That’s exactly right. You can’t make wine from it when it’s sitting on the vine.

[01:23:15] Paul Georgiadis: No. I mean, I was, I was down at Langone Creek this week and there’s, I said to a grower, I had an opportunity to buy for someone else and, cause I wouldn’t buy fruit at that price cause I, I feel it’s unfair to the grower, but at 500 a ton.

So I’m out there at 500 a ton and I said, do you accept 500 a ton? And he goes, I’m either going to pick it on the ground or I’ll take your 500 a ton. And I said, look, I will do my utmost to make sure if that fruit turns out, I will pay you a bonus. I’ll try to find a way. It’s not for my own brand, it’s for someone else.

[01:23:46] Dan Eggleton: So I’ll try my best. There’s 250 a ton being sold in the Barossa. Yeah. There’s 10, 000 tons that won’t get harvested this year. Unbelievable. Nationally, nationally. Discount disease, discount reduction through natural means. There will be some 8 10 percent of our national crop just will not get harvested.

We are, the critical thing, again we go back to the rules of engagement. We are 20% over vineyard in this country for demand. How much? 20. 20. Globally we’re at 23, 24. The Barossa region is closer to 30 percent over vineyard for demand. And if we take But if there’s rules of engagement. If there was rules of engagement We wouldn’t be.

We can change that, exactly. And beyond that, if we take other contributing factors to the malaise that we’re in at the 88 percent of our national export is driven by 34 winemakers. Yeah. 88%. Oh. So do the numbers. That’s skewed incredibly wrong. That’s over 79 percent of the retail space in our domestic country, here, is three entities.

[01:25:10] Steve Davis: That’s treasury.

[01:25:12] Dan Eggleton: Supermarkets. Supermarket business. But a supermarket that’s allowed to own wineries and bottling halls and vineyards. Vertical integration, public entity, corporatization. I don’t have any problem with that, but if they operate with the rules of engagement, that changes the scope and the landscape.

[01:25:32] Steve Davis: Exactly. And even in the land of capitalism, in the US, they have anti trust moments where someone has too much power. And It sounds like it’s ripe for that sort of ruler to be put against this industry. Because, you know, vertical integration, you know, good luck to you. I mean, Paul, for crying out loud, may yet manifest that, and, you know, he’s not going to decimate the industry in doing that.

[01:26:03] Dan Eggleton: We’re going to work for you. Is that what you’re saying?

[01:26:05] Paul Georgiadis: I doubt that’s ever going to happen, but, uh. The good thing about. Even those corporates, like Warren, if you call him a corporate, he’s still a private owner to a certain extent, um, but the thing is, he’s gone into regions and tried to make changes.

Yes, it’s more corporate style management, but if you talk about someone at that level that’s trying to go towards premarization, it’s him. He’s actually come in here in 2010, he moved into the Barossa Valley, he was predominantly McLaren Bole, moved into the Barossa Valley and tried to make a change and offered another competitor, another competitor in the industry to the large corporates.

So all of a sudden he employs me as an outsource model, as a grape supply manager for him. So I’m working with growers to improve their quality to grow product to specification. This is what we want. And then sells back to the majors as bulk wine. The thing is what he’s doing is keeping everyone else honest.

That’s what he’s doing because he’s saying well I’m gonna be a player here. I’m gonna buy fruit. I’m gonna encourage him to grow higher grade Which means their yields are going to be reduced And I’m playing with the major corporates. I’m competing against.

[01:27:11] Emanuel Skorpos: He’s promoting commercialisation

[01:27:15] Paul Georgiadis: and that’s what we’ve got to do.

We’ve got to promote that more and more in China now There’s a lot more the commercial players in the market while we were out of it.

[01:27:22] Dan Eggleton: We need to be better what we do

[01:27:24] Steve Davis: Okay, here’s my final raft of questions. The first one is, uh, a personal apology. By the way, we’re going to spend a little bit of time on your wine to finish off with, Paul.

My goodness, that’s Sorry, I shouldn’t have opened that. Uh, I am personally, and you might be shocked by this, I’m curbing at the moment my alcohol consumption. I have made a decision to drink less, but drink better. Uh, because A, my doctor told me I had to, and B, I just don’t drink to guzzle. I want to be enjoying what I drink.

Does that, how does that sit with you? I,

[01:28:08] Paul Georgiadis: I’ll start off by saying that. I say that to everyone when I’m doing a tasting, I always say that to my consumers. I said, I drink better, but drink less. I encourage people to drink in moderation, but appreciate what they’re drinking. Cause I said, wine’s about an experience, it’s not about consumption and abusing alcohol.

Wine is about an experience that you have, it brings friends in, it’s a communication point. I find it medicinal in some cases cause it relaxes you. Because especially if you had a busy day, you have a glass of wine. I’m not saying to drink in copious amounts, but have a glass of wine and it relaxes you.

You switch off. Yeah. And that’s what you’ve got to be able to do. So it’s good for your health. Um, and it, it really does open up things for negotiation, for relationships and all those sort of things. It’s a leveler. It’s um, I,

[01:28:51] Emanuel Skorpos: I, I think, you know, as palates evolve and mature, so does the product you’re drinking.

But I go back to Life’s too short to be drinking poor quality wine

[01:29:06] Steve Davis: You know, I love how you added about 17 words into that meme. That’s good

[01:29:11] Emanuel Skorpos: Life’s too short to be drinking cheap poor quality, you know, so, you know Enjoy what you’re drinking it’s about, you know relationships good food good company good Good wine.

[01:29:25] Paul Georgiadis: When did you start drinking? I mean, I started drinking with the family on the dinner table when I was a kid. Same. My parents always had a glass of wine on the table. We were allowed as children to sip a glass of wine and appreciate what wine’s all about on a family dinner

[01:29:37] Steve Davis: table. In Australia? In Australia.


[01:29:39] Dan Eggleton: Alright,

[01:29:40] Emanuel Skorpos: so Mine was on the island of Samos with my grandfather. Mind you though, the wine was a bit vinegar ish, you know, because he had an old barrel, it was in the shed, and it wasn’t real great.

[01:29:54] Steve Davis: They were doing the best to put you off wine.

[01:29:56] Emanuel Skorpos: Yeah, but, you know, let’s go back. We sat at the dinner table with the family.

And had a glass of wine.

[01:30:03] Dan Eggleton: Dan, what did you have your first Uh, my first wines were, uh, very ochre, very Aussie, um, and pouring cups for my mum and dad out of Coolabah cask. Where would you hide Coolabah?

[01:30:16] Paul Georgiadis: I was about to sing that song.

[01:30:17] Dan Eggleton: And I, uh And I thought, well, if they can If they’re getting me to Pour it for them.

This is, this is an era when I used to ride my push bike up the corner store and go get cigarettes for them, and, uh, I used to have a snip of it, and I thought, no wonder they drink it, because it makes me feel a bit bloody dizzy, so I thought, I’ll keep doing that.

[01:30:35] Steve Davis: Orlando Coolabah is so much better, so you can have a few drinks more or something.

Yeah, yeah.

[01:30:43] Dan Eggleton: So, it’s um, coming from a grape growing family, when it left the property, we didn’t know what it was. Like, as kids, we, we saw grapes leave. We didn’t know that McWilliams were turning it into, into wine. We didn’t know anything like that, and this stuff would show up in it. And when I first, to be honest, when I was a kid, when I first saw a bottle of Chardonnay on the shelf, I thought it was olive oil.

There you go. Yes,

[01:31:08] Paul Georgiadis: I got to say just one point there. My journey with Penfolds was the best because I, I always came from the, from the land with grape growing in my history with my dad and so forth as well. But when I joined Penfolds, I actually got to see the fruit fermenting in a tank. So I was tasting the wine as it’s fermenting, right?

So I’m tasting it and then I could see where the gaps were. So viticulturally, I’d go, hold on. There’s a gap here. There’s a hole. It’s lacking something. It’s lacking intensity. It’s lacking concentration. Then I’ll go back to the vineyard and say, well, what are we doing wrong? Right? So I’ve actually had the opportunity to be able to see it.

So that way I can go back to the vineyard and say, what do I need to change to, to improve the quality? Most people don’t get that. Bridging the two realms. People don’t get that opportunity. And now to me, I was gifted with that opportunity because I was working for that, for a company like Penfolds.

[01:31:59] Steve Davis: Before I tell you when I had my first drink. Is Grange worth the price?

[01:32:05] Dan Eggleton: Look, be careful what you say.

[01:32:06] Paul Georgiadis: I’m a Grange grower, and I ran that department. Is it worth the price? A price is what a person is prepared to pay.

[01:32:15] Steve Davis: See, politics happens even around the table.

[01:32:17] Dan Eggleton: I’ll tell you what, with all due respect, without products like that, regardless of provenance, regardless of everything else, We need them.

We need them. Yes. They’re a cornerstone to our industry. And, as you all know, we’re going there later.

[01:32:33] Steve Davis: I look forward to that. I’m just going to stay overnight. Have you got a spare room? Only a room in this house. Um, I will just say, I forget what I was going to say. I know. In the realm of marketing, there’s this concept called anchoring.

And once you’ve set the price of what the top price is, everything else seems like a bargain. And so grains plays that role, and the others. Noble One, I lived in Napa Valley, I forget the price they were getting for their top wine, it was phenomenal.

[01:33:02] Dan Eggleton: Well, yeah, 30, 000 to 50, 000 a ton. And I’m disappointed in Australia, that we aren’t actually seeing, as Grange is 15, 000.

[01:33:12] Paul Georgiadis: That’d be the top, top, top. And I pushed it up there when I was working there.

[01:33:16] Dan Eggleton: So it’s hectare price now, and a lot of it, but at the end of the day Um, yes and no, it’s not. But if we’re, yeah, so one of my growers is a Hectare? Renowned grain grower. Yeah. But, um, at the end of the day, we need that. Yeah. And if we put rules in place The vineyard will actually receive commensurate to the product if we do it.

[01:33:36] Paul Georgiadis: Totally. And return per hectare works for growers who are that fastidious that will do the job regardless. There’s some growers that once you give them return per hectare, all of a sudden they become complacent and they switch off.

[01:33:50] Steve Davis: So you’ve got to be careful. Because there’s a danger for me listening in thinking that all, Growers are saints walking around with halos.

They’re as human as they’re in business.

[01:34:01] Dan Eggleton: They’re in business They’re there to survive. Yes, they will find a mechanism to make it work for them.

[01:34:06] Emanuel Skorpos: Yeah, if they can find that loophole

[01:34:08] Paul Georgiadis: Well, for sure. And so we need to work together. Yeah. I, I, wineries, growers need to work together. There’s gotta be open communication and trust amongst each other.

We, we mentioned that a few times. Interesting.

[01:34:17] Steve Davis: In my, in my mentoring sessions in marketing, one of the questions I ask people is, how does your small business impact the world in a positive way? ’cause we don’t actually stop and think about that much. When they do. It’s amazing. Everybody from the most cynical to the most open to it go, wow, I’ve never thought about it like that.

And to me it’s important. Because we do have an impact, and being clear about that impact gives you a reason to get up in the morning. Yeah. That’s beyond just cashing a check. Um, back to the first drink though, my first drink was actually my Italian neighbours. See, growing up in Marion in the 1970s, Nino, I think it was Nino.

Vineyard country then. Oh, surrounded by vineyards, yes. Um, we were part of the families that ripped them out for houses. Um, Had a bottle of Southwark, long neck, green. I grew up with that. But then, I think the first wine, I, I, I moved to Murray Bridge to work at 5MU, and that was my radio career started there.

There was a wine that really grabbed my palate, 666, I forget who made it. Was it Seppelt’s? Was it someone? No, I know that one. It was Seppelt’s. No, it wasn’t Seppelt’s. Black label, I can see it now. Yeah, sort of. Diamond shaped label.

[01:35:38] Dan Eggleton: Yeah, Leisingham with the diamond.

[01:35:42] Steve Davis: Leisingham. And it just opened my

[01:35:45] Dan Eggleton: How did the church let that out of Clare Valley with that number?

[01:35:49] Steve Davis: Yeah, exactly. It’s amazing. However, like all of the wines, when they establish their name, over time They start dropping the fruit quality to cash in on the brand. That’s a different story. But that was my, my, my, my journey then was through that process. And I, I don’t like Pinot Noir. I think it’s, uh, I actually, uh, it’s

[01:36:12] Dan Eggleton: Might ostracize some people here on this one, wouldn’t you?

[01:36:14] Steve Davis: Yeah, I apologize in advance, but, um, New Zealand is known as the, one of the leading lights of Pinot Noir. I couldn’t find anything that didn’t taste like water you’d wash socks in. Um, I’m not a white wine drinker either, but I’m open. to the fact that my palate has settled for those big reds. However, the last question’s proper.

This is not about me. It’s about you. It’s about the wine industry. It’s much bigger. So, here, here we go. Gentlemen, what is your message for Pinot Noir? Government. Firstly, because I do note it’s harder for them in some ways to care for the small wineries because there’s so many of you versus the big end of town where they can waltz in, make an announcement, rip at Murdoch and his press, give them a bit of hurrah in the sun, and off they go.

What’s your message to governments at different levels?

[01:37:13] Paul Georgiadis: I just think we should Bureaucratic systems, I just think we’ve got to make it easier for the business owner or the grower to actually, number one, employ people. It’s actually very expensive to employ people. Um, so the government seems to have controls about who you can employ.

Yes, the only people that actually want to work on the land now is our contractors that are probably coming from Vietnam or from Columbia, Cambodia or something. So It’s not easy to employ anyone. We’ve got quality control systems or sustainability that we talk about, you know, we talk about SOAR. Now, yes, there’s a certification program.

It’s, it’s 2, 000 to get certified. Now, where, where can I grow off on another 2, 000 and go through the whole process to be certified?

[01:37:55] Emanuel Skorpos: And hang on, all he’s doing is ticking boxes.

[01:37:58] Paul Georgiadis: So, but there’s no support coming out to the growers. So, I just think the governments need to be able to support the growers more to manage their business.

Not just saying, well you need to tick boxes so we’re quality assured. Support them. How to employ people. Making sure that there is the labour force there required for the grower. Number one. Number two is, you know, how I’m not saying to subsidise growers in any shape or form, but offer more education in the vineyard.

Now, through AWRI, through our departments and so forth, offer saying, well, okay, this is what we see. Rules of engagement, if we want to use that term. I love that term. Or, you know, this is how we should be managing our vineyards, to make sure that we supply the quality of fruit that’s required in our marketplace.

[01:38:40] Steve Davis: So, we want to move from butt covering to a place where You take a bung and it’s worth putting it in that barrel because there’s something of quality that you’re protecting.

[01:38:51] Dan Eggleton: Totally. Um, governments are the product of us. They work for us. We pay them. As a winemaker and grape grower, um, my peak body also is around because of me.

So, I actually want to have governments and ministers holding to account and accountability. Accountability is the key here. That’s right. The peak body that is funded by those of us that are toiling to give them their remuneration to make the rules, to participate. We don’t have accountability. Nobody is accountable for the 50 million that was pissed against the wall.

Nobody’s accountable for what happened at Lake Tahoe. Nobody is accountable for, or held to account, For the absolute disgrace of bureaucracy and diplomacy, missing with the China relationship. These are big things.

[01:39:57] Steve Davis: On this, I must note, we’re talking about different bodies, one Australia, obviously the one with major player in the room, I do know it operates under a statutory funding agreement with the Australian government, which prohibits it from engaging in political activities or acting as an industry representative.

Yeah. Is it toothless?

[01:40:21] Emanuel Skorpos: It collects. It collects money. It collects money, but has no real power.

[01:40:26] Dan Eggleton: No, but it’s the regulator. It’s the regulator, yeah. And it, and its accountability. R, making sure that it stops two churches happening, making sure that it stops wines leaving this country. That reflect badly on this country.

Yeah. And they’ve been negligent and asleep at the wheel for the last 15 years.

[01:40:45] Paul Georgiadis: Well, that’s what ruled our relationship with Americas because American, there’s a lot of wine that went overseas that tainted our image, reput and reputation. Totally. What Australian wine’s all about.

[01:40:55] Dan Eggleton: So whilst, whilst the times were good and the levies were pouring in the door, yeah, we didn’t have to worry about it.

But they were also the organization that were responsible for administering the $50 million grant. of which had a negative 14 million dollar return. So nobody’s held to account for that. So what I’m suggesting is that we change the rules of engagement and we hold to account people.

[01:41:21] Steve Davis: First of all, I think we’ve got the title for this episode.

Yes. And secondly, Emanuel.

[01:41:26] Emanuel Skorpos: Okay. So where I’m going to sit with this is that today we see a number of different organizations representing our industry. at some level. These organisations need to come together and be under one blanket. Wine

[01:41:45] Dan Eggleton: Australia?

Eliminate the duplication.

[01:41:48] Emanuel Skorpos: Eliminate the duplication.

We’ve got, you know, four, five, maybe six different organisations who claim to be the voice of our industry where essentially they need to come together under one body that represents and is the voice for this region.

[01:42:07] Steve Davis: And,

[01:42:11] Emanuel Skorpos: as Dan said, they need to be held accountable and be able to provide the guidance, the leadership and the structure to ensure that we don’t have this problem in the future.

But going back one step fur one step, you know, you trip over once You trip over once, that’s an experience. If you trip over the second time, you’re going to say, well hang on, you know, I’ve learnt the first time, I’ve happened the second time, this ain’t happening the third. If it happens a third time, well I’m sorry.

You know, how do we, how do you put it Dan? We’re our own worst enemy.

[01:42:52] Steve Davis: Wow, okay. This is my last question then. What’s your message for consumers, wine lovers, who are listening to this podcast? Because, uh, we, as much as you say the government is the product of us, the consumers, I mean, we, we have dollars. We can spend dollars.

and vote with. And, you know, Jane from Out at the Gate, I’ll be picking up more wine from her. I could live on her wine the rest of my life. Emanuel, of course. I’m working with Emanuel. Of course I want to be buying his wine. Um, we’ve got roles and responsibilities.

[01:43:29] Paul Georgiadis: For the consumers is support the little guy.

Because it’s, it’s the person that, you know, there’s a story behind every wine. You know, there’s the blood, sweat, and tears. We all mention blood, sweat, and tears going into the wine and what we do. But you know what it is, it’s the passion. The sweat. The work that you do to create what you believe because I think one make is that it’s a science and an art It’s an art form right we create something.

There’s a lot of passion. There’s a lot of hard work that goes into it Appreciate the work that goes into it and you know and then in the day, you know We all make wines at different levels and we charge different price points What we believe is the right compared to our marketplace and what’s out there.

Now, at the end of the day, just appreciate the hard work that goes into it, and support the little guy, who I always believe we over deliver. Like, we over deliver on price points because we have to. We don’t have the marketing dollars behind us to be able to charge more, um, but what you know, what you’re going to get in that bottle, what you’re going to pour into your glass is certainly going to be at the same or a level above what you’re buying at price comparative.


[01:44:36] Dan Eggleton: If I, um, from a Ben Murray point of view, um, fiercely independent. So I implore the consumer to go and shop independent. Yep. Shop at the independent retailer which is employing local people that isn’t part of a corporate and you will find the colour and light and shade of our industry and um, you know, enjoy the experience.

Um, maybe pay a buck more but um, get a whole heap more than that. Uh, for, buy direct from the small producer. Search them out. You’ll get a deal. I’ll, I’ll give anybody that’s listening to this 20 percent off they buy direct from me, you know, because I Have the margin, but also they’re coming to me, which means that I pay my own tax Conversely, I’ll take my hat off to a guy like John Casella.

Yeah So without Yellowtail, we would be in ten times a worse position I’ve been around long enough that in the 80s, if we didn’t have local heroes like Charlie Melton and Bob McLean and Robbo Callaghan flying to London and naming every yabby that they took there so that they could cook it at Australia House, the world would never have known what the hell Barossa was.

[01:45:54] Steve Davis: Actually, I’ve got to interject. Don’t lose your train of thought. Yep. But that Yellowtail, I’ve been in America where that was there. I can’t drink it. Are you saying, am I missing something? Is it actually a really good wine? Or are you saying there’s meeting a point?

[01:46:07] Dan Eggleton: There’s a place for it. It had a place.

It had a place in time and it achieved it. If we hadn’t have had the UK happen when it did in the 80s and 90s, we would have been swimming in it. If we didn’t have America happen off the back of Yellowtail, we would have been swimming in it. If we didn’t have China that happened, we would have been swimming in it.

Okay. Root cause. Too many grapes. Rules of engagement. Rules of engagement.

[01:46:30] Steve Davis: Rules of engagement.

[01:46:32] Dan Eggleton: Rules of engagement. But, from an independent small producer, that, you know, I make wine for people. It’s a good show about that, rules of engagement. I make um, I make specific wines for specific people. Yep. And they’re made to a price point.

Yep. But it’s within parameters of, you know, agreeable terms.

[01:46:51] Steve Davis: And I feel like I’m your people.

[01:46:53] Dan Eggleton: And? I also make wines from the best, arguably the finest vineyards in the Barossa Valley, and I’ll be releasing wines later, well, we’re doing en premiere in the middle of this year to be released next year, um, 800 to 1, 000 a bottle.

Wow. That, and these are stories, these are co productions between me as the winemaker and my fourth generation grape grower family, and this is The Other Point. When we’re talking the biggest regions in this country, when we’re talking about grape growing, we are in dire straits because I can tell you that a majority of grape growers in this country are over 60 years old.


[01:47:39] Paul Georgiadis: As long as we don’t, going back here now, rest on our laurels, that we’re a sixth generation Barossa grape grower. But it’s six generations of making mistakes, because we haven’t changed, we haven’t moved on.

[01:47:51] Dan Eggleton: We’re in danger of losing our intelligence in viticulture.

[01:47:56] Steve Davis: Emanuel, before I get your message for consumers, uh, Dan, that’s great, I might pop in to buy some of your wine at that point.

Special price. Uh, once I find the tasting room for two churches, which I believe is

[01:48:08] Paul Georgiadis: There’s a church up the road, but there’s only one.

[01:48:11] Dan Eggleton: I think it’s in Hawthorne East in Melbourne.

[01:48:15] Steve Davis: Emanuel, message for consumers.

[01:48:17] Dan Eggleton: Message for the consumer. I’ll read the back label. Sorry.

[01:48:20] Emanuel Skorpos: Message for the consumer is support regional.

Do your homework. Pick up that bottle. Identify what it is you’re, you’re, you’re purchasing. And where possible, yes, as Dan said, you’re going to spend an extra buck or two, but take the time. That extra buck or two you’ll find over delivers in what you’re, what you’re getting in the bottle. So, you know, a 35 bottle of wine from a small producer is most likely going to be a 50 bottle of wine.

Because you’re getting that attention to detail, you’re getting that love and you’re getting that passion.

[01:48:56] Steve Davis: Paul, can you just show me the label of this last wine we’re trying to finish off this thing? It’s Arete. Arete. Arete by Paulmara Estates. Uh, we have the, what vintage is this?

[01:49:09] Paul Georgiadis: 2021. I thought I’d stick with 2021.

Okay. Because that’s what we’ve been drinking today. And it’s the, what, sorry, I’ll, uh. That’s right, he’s pouring some. It’s the Unicorn Year. Um, we just think with all the stars aligned. So I’m a very culturalist. When Mother Nature works with you, I reckon 2021 is the best year I’ve seen since 1991. So it’s 30 years, I’ve been in the game for 35 years, um, and I just think, and already, the term already in Greek, if you read the name, it sounds in search of excellence.

And to me, my winemaker and I sat together and we both selected the barrels and said, wow, this wine is amazing. And that’s why we came up with the term Adelaide. And I always say, and I think I said it earlier, things of quality have no fear of time. So if you’re making something the best you can, they’ll always have a place.

[01:50:01] Steve Davis: Things of quality have no fear of time. That’s a great Tinder profile.

[01:50:07] Dan Eggleton: I think it’s amazing. I’m just, I’m an Australian German, Anglo, crossover, family’s been here since 1840s. I’m sitting at a table with two Greeks. Bloody wine.

[01:50:21] Steve Davis: Well, I’ve got to take you through my, um Experience with this wine, okay? Uh, first of all, when it got up to my nose, have you seen Russell Crowe in The Gladiator, the movie?

The opening scene, he’s walking through a field, there is um, freshly harvested wheat crops, et cetera, and you see his hand going past it. Yeah, yeah. Swap that out. Imagine, you’re watching this hand move through, and it is a field bursting with flowers of the most vibrant colours you could imagine. Rich. You feel like someone’s photoshopped the heck out of it.

That is what meets my palette. Then, There’s a scene towards the end of, uh, 2001 A Space Odyssey where there’s this kaleidoscopic explosion of colours and all sorts of things on my palate. This just bursts. If you imagine The people at Starburst Confectionary coming up with a crazy kaleidoscopic ad, but without the sugar.

Um, that’s, that’s what, oh yes, we have to have an extra clinking of all glasses here. This is delicious, worth living for. Paul. Thank you. Hats off to you, mind you. Can we just peg, what’s the rough retail price? What’s it worth?

[01:51:56] Paul Georgiadis: Well, that’s 250 a bottle, that one.

[01:51:58] Dan Eggleton: Value for money every day.

[01:52:01] Paul Georgiadis: Thank you, Dan. I appreciate that.

I mean, as I said, when you put a price point like that on it, you want to make sure that you’re not having to lend it yourself. You know, but when we put it on, when we, the first one we made was 2020, this is the 2021, I sort of thought, 250, new producer. Are the consumers going to come to it?

[01:52:19] Dan Eggleton: It’s commensurate effort, you can taste it.

I can taste what I’d be buying.

[01:52:23] Paul Georgiadis: Yes. And, and the thing is the 2020 sold really well. Um, we came up with the 2021 20, there won’t be a 2022. 2022 was good enough for us. Um, so we’ll only make it in the years that we think the fruit is good enough to achieve that sort of level. Um, but we were pretty excited with it when we saw it and I thought, yeah, no, we’ve got something special that comes fully packaged and all that, but I still want the wine to do the talking.

It has to. Yeah. And, um, and to me it, it really, it, it tantalizes your palate. It speaks a place. Yeah. And that’s what I want. It’s that terroir.

[01:52:55] Emanuel Skorpos: And, and the wine has to speak of place. Yeah. You know, I, I, I did a tasting in.

[01:53:01] Paul Georgiadis: There is 2 percent carbonate in there. I

[01:53:03] Emanuel Skorpos: did a tasting on the Gold Coast and it was, it was asked of me, what am I smelling here?

What is, what is it I’m experiencing here? And I said, Southern Flinders terroir. Yeah.

[01:53:16] Dan Eggleton: The red earth. The red earth, sun, the sun.

[01:53:20] Steve Davis: So it does come through. The reason some of us are cynical about terroir is the fact that maybe we’re including the, those commercial mass produced wines in that process where that’s been sort of filtered out.

Um, this wine though, Paul, I dunno if you felt it, but I. Thrust my finger up your punt before of the bottle of this wine. Yes.

[01:53:42] Dan Eggleton: That’s why his eyes bulged .

[01:53:44] Steve Davis: It’s

[01:53:45] Emanuel Skorpos: you’re wearing glasses. That is, that’s, that’s another, that’s another Tinder profile.

[01:53:49] Steve Davis: Yes. it. Uh, that is the bottom of a wine bottle. And typically it hasn’t been all that reliable.

’cause there was a certain period of time where. Any person and their dog could buy glass, wine bottles, with that big deep punt which is a signal traditionally to wine buyers that this is going to be a solid wine because the winemaker has deemed this worthy of good glass, but this is worth that.

[01:54:15] Dan Eggleton: Do you know the science of the punt?

[01:54:17] Steve Davis: Tell me, because my finger goes up punts every day of the week.

[01:54:21] Dan Eggleton: That’s it, I get caught a punt regularly. Um, but the science of the punt, if you have a look at it Sorry, sorry gentlemen, keep it above the belt. Particularly a ribbed punt, um, was actually to allow for the Don’t lose it, Steve. Um, it was actually to allow the wines to collect the sediment around the punt and retain it in the bottom of the bottle when it was prepared for pouring.

For decanting, yeah. Yeah, so that it removed sediment prior to filtration. And looking at the sediment in the Palmyra wine, and knowing what mine is, and understanding also how Emanuel makes his wines, I don’t think any of the wines on the table today are over mechanized. So, they will have only natural, um, natural sediment management, so it’ll be the use of gravity and time, and the purity of the vineyard is showing through in all of those wines.

[01:55:17] Steve Davis: On that note. And, wow, what a silly punt I’ve been to have not known that all my life. Paul Georgiadis. Thank you so much. Not just for bringing this wine to the table, but for your insights. Thank you.

[01:55:31] Paul Georgiadis: No, thank you. I appreciate the opportunity to actually even talk, and actually, I suppose at the end of the day, give my views about what I think of where the industry is at.

I’m very passionate about it, and I really appreciate the time.

[01:55:41] Steve Davis: Thank you. Emanuel Skorpos from Flinders Run, and Laura, by the way, who will be driving you home safely after this. Uh, she’s part of this, but Emanuel, thank you for being part of this, and for making this possible. Episode actually happened.

[01:55:56] Emanuel Skorpos: My pleasure, Steve. You know, today has showcased three individuals and the wines they produce, the passion, the love for what we do. There are no boundaries. Uh, and every effort is going into ensuring we’re over delivering for the products we’re producing. But, I go back to what Dan said, we need to place those rules of engagement to protect our industry.

[01:56:24] Steve Davis: Dan Eggleton, my goodness, thank you so much for being the live dynamo to be pushing this concept of the rules of engagement, uh, because it’s a sane voice. It’s a voice for me as a wine consumer. I want listened Thank you, Dan.

[01:56:46] Dan Eggleton: No, thank you, and gentlemen, thank you for inviting me along, Paul, for hosting. Um, and yeah, I think, just, we’ve got a beautiful industry.

We’ve got an amazing industry that’s got great history. We need to protect it and we need to be a champion of it and um, you know, keep it real.

[01:57:07] Steve Davis: I’ll drink to that. Cheers to that. Cheers everybody.

And now it’s time for the Musical Pilgrimage. In the Musical Pilgrimage this week we’re going to feature a song by Suedan. Amazing duo in South Australia, if you haven’t heard them, fantastic with the whole cigar box thing going on. Their latest album is called Suedan Mountain Blues and I’m playing a track called Whiskey did it.

While our panel’s still here, before we’ve dissipated into the afternoon, it’s a glorious afternoon in the Barossa. My goodness, I mean, Daylight Savings is about to leave us. Well, we’ve got vividly blue skies, the green is as green as I can imagine green being around us. It’s incredible. Um, there has been an explosion of distilleries across Australia.

There is gin everywhere you turn. Whiskey is emerging. Is this a factor in your happiness and ability to thrive in this marketplace? How much of the alcohol purchasing wallet is evaporating from wine in lieu of these people? Who wants to go first?

[01:58:26] Dan Eggleton: I think, I think, um, there’s been a Really big push to, um, how to say it, uh, minimize, to create the evilness of alcohol, full stop.

Um, we need to get rid of that, to be honest. Um, the WHO has been dominated by, uh, um, almost a cigarette style campaign from the wowsers in the middle of America, unfortunately. Um, I celebrate. I celebrate diversity in beverage, um, we’re humans. We’re going to seek out pleasure. Unfortunately, it’s cheaper for kids to go and get a little baggie at a pub, which they don’t know is a pub.

What the content is, it’s cheaper to do that than for them to go and invest in a really good handmade bottle of whiskey or a bottle of gin. Um, in our case, as the wine industry, we used to be called the Australian wine and brandy industry. And brandy was a product, a byproduct, of making wine. And brandy is an amazing product in its own right and it’s done everything from medicinal and save people’s lives in, in wars and famines and what have you to, to being a pleasurable item.

So, I celebrate it. I think the excise issues in liquor in this country are ridiculous. I think it also should be used to osage and eliminate, um, the lowest and biggest osage. production of grapes in the country and turn it into medicinal liquor and, and uses of that nature and look after our rural community.

So, bring it on, I say, bring more diversity. Um, that again, the colour, the sound. That’s what we need.

[02:00:16] Emanuel Skorpos: There’s a time and a place for, for all of it. Yep. As pallets evolve, so does, you know, with age, pallets evolve. And whether it be a, you know, a, uh, a cheap bourbon, a 18 year old person getting drunk and having a wow of a time on a Saturday night, and as they get older, so does their palate, and so does their palate mature.

So there is a place for all of it. Bring it on, I say.

[02:00:40] Paul Georgiadis: I think it’s good for industry. It attracts more people in the region. At the day, it brings people in and we celebrate life. We always say, and as, you know, sellers of alcohol, drink responsibly. We’re always going to say that, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if they’re drinking spirits.

Does that include, you know, um, gins or, or, you know, I suppose, um, scotch or whatever it is. It doesn’t matter. It’s an introduction. To drinking responsibly and appreciating what you drink and that to me, that’s what it’s all about

[02:01:10] Steve Davis: my favorite singer songwriter Leonard Cohen said There’s a lot of hypocrisy around wine coming back to wine about Not being able to talk about the buzz that it gives you he said I can have a chateau blah blah blah blah that’s really expensive, but Yes, the flavors might be nice, but you know what?

There is a little buzz that comes with it. And so, apropos of nothing, this is just a random last thought before we listen to Whiskey Did It, in which Whiskey cops the flack. Um, what do we think? Do we, the law is, makes it difficult for us to honour the buzz, doesn’t it?

[02:01:48] Emanuel Skorpos: It does.

[02:01:51] Steve Davis: It does. And it’s not what I seek.

[02:01:53] Emanuel Skorpos: No. But it’s a lovely by product. It is a by product. It’s an unfortunate component that we all have to abide by, but it kills the buzz.

[02:02:05] Paul Georgiadis: But you know, at the end of the day, in vino veritas, in wine, there’s truth. I love wine because it actually brings out the real person. It does. You know, the truth comes out.

And I think at the end of the day, you know, in the early days, when wine was first, you know, on the negotiation tables, what did they do? They had a glass of wine before they go to the negotiation table because the truth came out.

[02:02:24] Dan Eggleton: Quien sabe lo que será, guay? It’s so much better to be drinking with other people that you can have that conversation with.

Yes. And it’s about community, and a lot of today’s society isn’t about community. Exactly. This is the medium. Whether it’s a beer or whiskey, it’s actually about communication, it’s about correspondence, it’s about having conversations. Totally.

[02:02:45] Emanuel Skorpos: This little, this little electronic device I’m holding in my hand is an evil thing.

It’s an evil thing. It’s a bloody telephone.

[02:02:51] Steve Davis: You better tell them what it is. I’m glad you clarified. Because it could be going back on Tinder.

[02:02:54] Emanuel Skorpos: It’s a bloody telephone. And the unfortunate part is, today, society is holding that bloody telephone in its hand, and rather than spending time amongst family, friends, great food and a good wine, your head’s buried in, in your telephone.

Put it down, pick up a glass of wine, enjoy the company you’re with, and enjoy the communication.

[02:03:14] Steve Davis: On that note, take it out of your hands and have a listen to this. This is Suedan with Whiskey Did It.


[02:03:20] Steve Davis: Whiskey did it. That is Suedan, and I think we did it. What a wonderful evening, or afternoon. Why did I say evening? It feels like it should be evening, but it’s not. Um, thank you to my guests. I hope you’ve enjoyed this chat. I hope it’s given some extra nuance to your journey in enjoying wine. I’ll put links to the wineries in the show notes.

And please, I encourage you to support them, and to think twice before you just waltz down to Dan’s and grab a bottle of Two Churches, because, you know, that is just not what’s helping the real people in this industry, who, just one final thought, are not only crafting wine with thought, But they’re paying wages.

They’re part of a local economy. They are what makes our society sustainable. Enjoy. Until next time, it’s goodnight from me, Steve Davis. Goodnight, Dawn.

[02:04:20] AJ Davis: The Adelaide Show Podcast is produced by my dad, Steve Davis. If you want to start a podcast or get some help producing creative content, talk to him.

Visit steve au.

[02:04:35] Caitlin Davis: Thanks, aj. I’m Caitlyn Davis, and I agree with everything my sister said, but there’s one more thing to say. If you’ve enjoyed this podcast, please leave a rating or a review ’cause that will make my dad really happy. Oh, and one more thing. If you really, really liked it, please help a friend put the Adelaide Show on their phone.

Thanks for listening. Listening.

Buzz Buzz. I wanna be.

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