Monday, July 17, 2006

French Lose the World Cup but Win the Wine Cup

We all know which country won the World Cup but according to Australian wine makers it seems that the French are still on top in the wine business. The Australian news media outlet The Age asked leading members of the Australian wine industry (winemaker Chester Osborn, of d'Arenberg Wines; marketer Rob Geddes of WineStream; wine company CEO Darren De Bortoli; and winery owner Bruce Tyrrell of Tyrrell's Wines) who stands in the way of Australia achieving world dominion. Their answers might surprise you; they knocked me off my feet!

The greatest threat was generally considered to be Spain, although Italy got a half vote. A surprise to me, I would have said the USA given the potential that the US has to compete with the Australian products.

The quiet achiever was all over the place with New Zealand, France, Italy and Germany getting nods. My bias would be a toss up between New Zealand and Germany but that may change after we visit NZ in December.

The most admired player? Again a big spread with France, Australia, New Zealand and Argentina getting gongs. My gong would be for France if I was a whole lot more affluent. Otherwise I’ll stick with Oz with a little bit of Germany thrown in for the necessary sweet white.

It was for the most innovative player that things got just plain strange. France two, Australia and New Zealand one each. You climb the ladder like Oz has, with innovation as one of your major players, only to lose out to the guy who has fallen in front of goal ten seconds before full time! Excuse me for confusing Europeans, but this is just too weird because these comments are coming from Australian wine experts.

But the clincher was the score for the most aggressive player. The French got two clear points, the South Africans one and the last point split by Australia and France.

By my count that makes France the clear winner with 6 and half points. One has to wonder if the Australian wine industry really has its eye on the ball. The South Americans might not have done all that much in World Cup but watch them when it comes to competing in wine.


Mal said...


The only one who picked the South Americans as most dmired players was Bruce Tyrrell. I have met him on a number of occasions and he is a down-to-earth straight shooter and certainly no man's fool. He also happens to make bloody decent wines!

Great post and interesting article - I had not seen it - Thanks!

Mike said...


Thanks for the kind comments. I've never met Bruce Tyrrell, but its a small, small world. Murray Tyrrell's brother lived for a number of years next to my aunt and uncle in Dubbo, NSW.