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The curtain falls on the last act

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Does it matter who makes the wine? Should we care? Thoughts like these play no part in assessing wine in a row of glasses where colour, aroma, and taste are the guides, and the score is duly given. Yet news from a week ago requires a reflection on the emotion of taste as the report will add to the list of wines that will never taste quite the same again.

On the 6th December, 2021 Accolade wines opened its new headquarters in the Adelaide business district leaving behind the rambling, country cottage style office based in the southern suburb of Reynella. Accolade wines is a diverse winery group which contains numerous companies including several of great historic interest, the most important being Thomas Hardy. Hardy’s after taking over Reynella wines in 1982 later made their head office in the agglomeration of historic buildings on the marvellous Reynell property. For recent settlers the history is long as John Reynell built his farm there from 1838, likely planted vines in 1840 and dug the historic Cave Cellars in 1845.

The romance of wine is one thing and running a global wine business another though I do not see them as separate. Asking folk to pay $200 for a bottle is not about the worth of the ingredients. Of the many misjudgements I have observed in the wine business towards the top must be the decision by Southcorp (now Treasury) to cut costs by quitting the Seppelstfield wine village in the Barossa Valley at least partly due to the high maintenance costs of pleasing the National Trust.

Now that Treasury has learnt the magic of selling Penfolds wines for $3000 a bottle they could likely have achieved with Seppeltsfield what the Seppelts family did not.

I realise Reynella is a hard ask as the trail is cold though what about Thomas Hardy as surely it is worth more than those ridiculous, stamp label so loved by the Brits.

Now surrounded by suburbia suggests the Reynella site may not have been the ideal place to wine and dine the wealthy. Now from the high rise in Adelaide the marketing executives can look south and ask, how can we lift the emotion and romance of Hardys and Reynella. Surely their histories have some worth because at the moment what they make tastes just like wine.

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