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Monday 21 August 2017

Margaret River winemaker starts an international stoush

The real deal
Imagine the uproar if a wine producer in Chile released a new product and called it Margaret River Chardonnay. 

That's exactly what just happened, except in reverse. And the Margaret River winery responsible is playing the publicity for all it is worth. 

Both Chile and Peru claim the delicious distilled spirit Pisco as their national drink, and both claim they invented it.There is a region called Pisco in Peru. 

Harmans Estate in Margaret River recently launched its own version of the distilled spirit and named it Pisco, earning, quite understandably, the ire of the South Americans. 

Winemaker Greg Garnish has been bleating to Today Tonight in Perth, saying: “We are copping a little bit of flak from the South Americans, particularly Peru. 

“A few death threats, which was quite interesting.”

He did not say who made the threats but added: “Pisco is, in our opinion, it is just a drink. It is a style of drink, being a distilled wine.”

Try telling the French that Chablis is just a grape drink; or the Spanish that Sherry is just a name. 

Sorry Mr Garnish, you have got this one very wrong. In my opinion, this is a bad look for both Margaret River and Australia.

The Peruvians have been using the name Pisco since 1764. Chile has had D.O.s (appellations since 1931). 

Why not call the Australian version by the generic name of aguardiente? Except that is not quite so fashionable, is it? 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the article Windsor. Why would a wine producer in Chile even contemplate calling a wine a Margaret River Chardonnay?
    It would surely be a Chilean Chardonnay – a grape variety which of course Chile already produces and already has a great reputation for – as do the French, New Zealanders, Californians and Italians.
    A Margaret River Pisco would hardly be likely to come from Chile – or even Peru – for that matter.
    And given that those two South American countries can’t resolve their own appellation arguments over the origin of Pisco it seems to us that the way is wide open for us to call our version of Pisco, a Margaret River Pisco.
    All over Australia we are seeing gin, brandy, vodka and whisky or even whiskey if you like, being manufactured without the Scots, Irish, Americans, Polish, Russians, Dutch, Italians or Fins getting all hot and bothered about it.
    If you know your Piscos, why don’t you give our Margaret River Pisco a try? We’re sure you’ll like it – and will recognise that it is a Margaret River Pisco and not a Chilean or Peruvian Pisco.
    And as a wine spirit it definitely falls into the Pisco category rather than the very generic Aguardiente group of spirits.
    I’m not taking the death threats too seriously, just more social media trolls getting themselves far too wound up
    And we’re happy to leave Chablis to the French and Sherry to the Spanish.
    Margaret River Pisco tells you exactly what we are making.