Category Archives: Press releases

Press release — Champagne information bureau: expanded appellation

This is a press release issued by the Champagne Information Bureau, Sydney, on 26 March 2008

Press Release: The Revision of the Champagne Appellation

The INAO has reviewed and unanimously approved the report concerning the development of the geographic area of the Champagne AOC. The proposed new geographic area will now be subject to a public enquiry, which will allow everyone involved to put forward any appeals or oppositions to this project.

Timeline of the revision

2003 – INAO agreed to look into the Champagne AOC following a request to review Champagne’s geographic area from Champagne’s Syndicat Général des Vignerons de Champagne.

The 1927 legislation stated that the Champagne AOC convenes 634 communes (zone d’élaboration), out of which 319 are allowed to grow Champagne grapes (zone de production).

2006 – A group of five experts appointed by INAO audited current villages and potential villages which could be part of the future AOC.

13th March 2008 the five experts presented their findings and recommendations to the INAO’s national committee. Subsequently, the INAO accepted these recommendations and a public enquiry will be launched in the Champagne Region, allowing anyone concerned to put forward appeals and oppositions to the project.

Within the next 6 – 12 months the experts will study any appeals put forward in the public enquiry, and will present a new definitive report.

The INAO will then begin drawing up the new boundaries for the vineyards, which should be completed by 2017.

Press release + Q&A — Foster’s and Kilikanoon agree Seppeltsfield sale

Dear readers,

Foster’s has just announced the sale of the historic Barossa property, Seppeltsfield, home of one of the world’s great fortified wine cellars to a group of investors led by Kilikanoon Wines.

Reproduced below is Foster’s press release and a question and answer sheet issued by Nathan Waks, Managing Director of Kilikanoon Wines.

Foster’s press release:

27 August 2007


Foster’s Group Limited (Foster’s) and Kilikanoon today agreed the sale of the Seppeltsfield site in South Australia’s Barossa Valley.

The sale includes the historic Seppeltsfield site, winery, vineyards and visitor facilities, the rights to the Para, Trafford, Old Trafford, Solero and Mt Rufus fortified wine brands and the majority of Seppelt fortified wine stock currently on site. Foster’s has granted Kilikanoon an exclusive license for the Seppeltsfield brand.

The Seppeltsfield site is truly unique in the wine world, said Foster’s Chief Executive Officer, Trevor O’Hoy.“ Under Kilikanoon’s stewardship, this site will continue as one of the world’s great names in fortified wine and retain its place as a great South Australian tourism landmark.”

Seppeltsfield houses the world’s greatest collection of fortified wines dating back to 1878 in an unbroken tradition. We are proud to become the next custodians of this priceless national treasure”, said Kilikanoon CEO, Nathan Waks. “We will work hard to ensure that Australia’s already fine reputation in this area is enhanced and to rejuvenate the Seppeltsfield Village over time through sympathetic wine-related redevelopment”

Foster’s retains the rights to the Seppelt brand for table and sparkling wine, which will continue be based at the Seppelt Great Western winery, purchased by Benno Seppelt in 1918. “

We are committed to growing Seppelt and its reputation for Australia’s most awarded sparkling and regional wines, Mr O’Hoy said. “We are confident that under the Seppeltsfield name, a new and successful chapter in Australian fortified wine has begun.”

Under the sale agreement, Foster’s and Kilikanoon have entered long term lease and supply contracts over around 100 hectares of premium Shiraz and Grenache vines. In addition, Foster’s will continue to manage maturation stores and Kilikanoon will process grapes for both fortified and table wines for Foster’s at the site.

Foster’s is to be congratulated for having the respect for tradition embodied by Seppeltsfield, as well as patience in the sale process to ensure that a suitable party was found to maintain, and further develop, that tradition”, said Kilikanoon Chairman, Bruce Baudinet. “We look forward to a close ongoing working relationship”

The transaction is due to be completed over coming months. Details of the sale agreement are confidential but not considered material to Foster’s.

Seppeltsfield (Barossa Valley)
The Seppeltsfield property was purchased by Joseph Seppelt in 1851 and is today dedicated to the production of premium fortified wines. Its blue stone cellars hold around 9 million litres of fortified wines including stocks of the now famous 100 year old Para Liqueur Vintage Tawny. The 185 hectare property includes the National Trust listed historic homestead and approximately 100 hectares of surrounding vineyards.

Kilikanoon is a premium boutique Australian wine maker based in South Australia’s Clare Valley. Rated as 5 stars by James Halliday’s Australian Wine Companion and considered as “one of Australia’s best-run wineries” by Robert Parker, Kilikanoon was founded by winemaker Kevin Mitchell in 1997. Kilikanoon now exports to 25 countries. Its flagship wines such as “Oracle” Shiraz have had considerable success in major international and Australian competitions.

Details of Transaction
The sale includes the Seppeltsfield winery, Cellar Door, approximately 100 hectares of surrounding vineyards, the majority of Seppelt fortified wine stocks currently on site, fortified brands names including Para, Solero, Trafford, Old Trafford, Mt Rufus and an exclusive license for the Seppeltsfield brand for fortified wine.

Foster’s will continue to retain ownership of key fortified wine stocks on site which will form the basis of Foster’s fortified wines portfolio moving forward. Wines such as Penfolds Great Grandfather and Grandfather will continue to be managed and matured at Seppeltsfield, marketed and sold by Foster’s.

Foster’s will also lease-back the Seppeltsfield vineyard and process the majority of fruit ensuring ongoing access to high grade Shiraz and Grenache varietals. The sale will be finalised in coming months, and at that time, the existing Foster’s Seppeltsfield Cellar Door will cease operations.


Seppeltsfield Q and A

Q. What is being sold?
A.  The sale includes the following:

  • The Seppeltsfield historic site with its magnificent suite of heritage-listed buildings dating back to the 1850s
  • The complete range of fortified brands and attendant stock currently sold under the Seppelt brand, including the unique Centenary Collection of Para Liqueur Tawny (Port), in an unbroken tradition dating back to 1878 when Benno Seppelt first decided to lay down a puncheon of his finest tawny port, to be left to mature for 100 years…
  • Two wineries on the site- a modern 12,000 tonne capacity winery and the revolutionary 1880s gravity-fed winery designed by Benno Seppelt, both of which we hope to make fully operational for the 2008 vintage
  • Approximately 100 hectares of prime vineyard in the heart of the Barossa Valley, planted to (old bush-vine) Grenache, Cabernet, Touriga, Palomino and including several Icon Shiraz blocks (Icon blocks are destined for the highest range of table wines made by the Foster’s Group such as Grange and RWT)

Q.  Who are the buyers?
A.  The Seppeltsfield Estate Trust will buy the assets. The owners of the Trust include Kilikanoon Wines, Janet Holmes aCourt, Greg Paramor and Kilikanoon’s major shareholders Nathan Waks and Bruce Baudinet.

Q What is their vision?
A. To revive the Seppeltsfield Village, based around the unique and irreplaceable fortified wine collection. Over time this will include sympathetic redevelopment and adaptive re-use of many of the Heritage Buildings in line with the Seppelt family’s original wide-ranging food and beverage interests.  The well- known  musical careers of Kilikanoon partners, violinist John Harding and cellist Nathan Waks will ensure that the arts take centre stage in the future with a Seppeltsfield Festival high on the agenda.

Q. What happens to the Seppelts Brand?
A. Foster’s will continue to own and develop the Seppelts brand, based in Victoria with its great range of still and sparkling table wines, whilst licensing the name Seppeltsfield exclusively to the new owners for the continuing production of the fortified wine collection.

Q. What happens to winemaker James Godfrey?
A. James will continue to make the fortified wines on site for both Seppeltsfield and Foster’s to ensure that the tradition and quality of the wines are maintained. The Seppeltsfield Trust will employ apprentice and junior winemakers to learn the specialist art of fortified winemaking from one of the world’s finest exponents.

Q. What about the Foster’s wines currently stored on site?
A. Foster’s and the new owners are committed to working cooperatively on many levels including the storage and maintenance of the ancient Solera barrel systems. Their joint aim is to make Seppeltsfield a world centre of excellence in fortified wine production. This will include the Seppeltsfield winery processing and maturing a significant proportion of the Foster’s group’s fortified wines.

Q What happens to the Icon Shiraz?
A. Foster’s will lease back and manage the entire vineyard, with Seppeltsfield acquiring a limited amount of fruit, mainly for the fortified range.


Bruce Baudinet; Chairman (and partner) of the Kilikanoon group
“ Foster’s is to be congratulated for having the respect for tradition as embodied by Seppeltsfield as well as patience in the sale process to ensure that a suitable party was found to maintain and further develop that
tradition. ”

Nathan Waks; CEO (and partner) of the group
“Seppeltsfield houses the world’s greatest collection of fortified wines dating back to 1878. We are proud to become the next custodians of this priceless national treasure and will work hard to ensure that Australia’s already fine reputation in this area is enhanced”

Press release — Penfolds 2007 recorking clinics announced

This is great after-sales service for collectors of Penfolds red wines. The winemaking team, led by Peter Gago, opens, samples, tops up and recorks your 15+ year old Penfolds reds. If it’s thumbs up on quality, they top the wine up with the current vintage, recork, re-capsule and attach a signed certificate to the bottle. If it’s thumbs down? You get a new cork and advice to drink it now.

This is Penfolds press release: 


The 2007 Penfolds Re-corking Clinics are confirmed:

Newcastle — Tuesday 31 July 2007
Crowne Plaza, Corner Merewether Street & Wharf Road, Newcastle NSW

Cairns – Tuesday 14 August 2007
Cairns International Hotel 17 Abbott Street Cairns QLD

Canberra – Thursday 2 August 2007
Hyatt Hotel Commonwealth Avenue Yarralumla ACT

Launceston – Friday 17 August 2007
Country Club Tasmania, Tasman Room, Country Club Ave, Prospect TAS

Over the last 15 years over 50,000 bottles of Penfolds wines have been inspected, opened, tasted and topped up by Penfolds Winemakers to ensure their prolonged cellar development. It is an amazing after hours service. The Clinics give our wine friends confidence in their wine investment and encourages further interest in wine.

*Please note for Penfolds Recorking Clinics you must supply your own bottle of Penfolds wine 15 years or older, no other wine labels may be tested at these clinics. Registrations will close two weeks before each clinic. To register please visit <>