There is plenty of bad news coming out of New Zealand at the moment, not that it does its Australian counterpart much good. One Kiwi retailer says the industry still faces a flood of wine that is having a huge effect on the market, with little chance of any change for the next 18 months. There is a corresponding flood of receiverships, with the Cape Campbell Wines Group, based in Marlborough, going into voluntary receivership, owing creditors millions of dollars. Cape Campbell has about 100 hectares of sauvignon blanc in the Awatere Valley and seven or eight employees. The unrelated Awatere Vineyard Estates, a large contract grower, went into receivership a month ago, and more recently Marlborough wine company Gravitas was also put into receivership.
More ominous is the receivership of the Australian ventures of Dan Phillips, owner of the Grateful Palate, who played a key role in the ‘discovery’ of the big Australian red wines that so entranced Robert Parker. Growers and other creditors of the group that produces wines under the alluring labels such as Bitch Grenache, Evil Cabernet Sauvignon and Marquis Philips have been told the group is in receivership, and the outlook is grim. This can only mean that sales of the wines have ground to a halt in the United States.