Sunshine Creek winery was back at Vinexpo for the second time – but for the first time with a “stand- alone” booth.
Sunshine Creek is the venture of Chinese-born packaging magnate James Zhou, whom over many years has worked with Grant Burge, Philip Shaw (eds: a guest at the Vinexpo stand), Philip Jones, Pat Carmody and Mario Marson, and was looking for a site to produce wines under his own brand to sell domestically and overseas. Having found just the right place at Yarra Glen – Martha’s Vineyard (first established in the 1980’s) – the new label came to be just a few years ago, and today is producing Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and a Cabernet blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. A Heathcote Shiraz is also produced.
At Vinexpo 2015, the edgling winery from the Yarra Valley near Melbourne was bundled with a group of other Australian producers. This time, as the owner, Mr Zhou, had recently purchased Château Renon in Tabanac, the group decided to do a “two-in-one” stand featuring both French and Australian wineries side-by-side.
With such an impressive stand, Group Export, Sales & Marketing Manager, Benjamin Roberts, told Vinexpo Daily that the reason for this was to be able to host daily master classes covering both wineries.
“In Australia, our most popular products are our Chardonnay and Pinot Noir,” explains Roberts. “This year, it’s been interesting for us to see that our most popular product here is our 2013 Chardonnay. Everybody really enjoys the ‘old world’ style of this wine. It’s not tight and lean. It’s not a buttery, oaky gold medal award-winning wine. It’s probably got more structure and complexity, and people really seem to enjoy that.”
According to Roberts, there has been new genuine interest at Vinexpo from distributors in Poland, Denmark, Switzerland, Holland and Quebec. French buyers still, according to Roberts, shy away from Australian Chardonnays.
Photo: Benjamin Roberts – Group Export, Sales & Marketing Manager, Sunshine Creek