'Three dolla koala' chases the yellow tail

'Two buck chuck' Fred Franzia launches a US$3 Australian chardonnay

By Robyn Lewis
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In a statement that might scare the pants off Australian winemakers and those who have worked for decades to elevate the status of Australian wine overseas, a US$3 Australian chardonnay is about to hit US supermarket shelves under the label 'Down Under'.

The Herald-Sun reports that its creator, Fred Franzia: "is buying up bulk wine from Australia ... which will be sold in the US for $2.99 a bottle under the slogan the 'three dolla koala'.

He wants to outdo the Australian wine Yellow Tail, which is sold throughout the US for between $US6-$8".

Here comes the scary bit (also from the Herald Sun):

"It's time that the American consumer paid the correct price for Australian wine. They've been overpaying for it," Mr Franzia said.

"We're trying to straighten out Australia, then who knows where the next country is, the next opportunity."

Tell that to Australian winemakers who work tirelessly to make premium wines - that some consider underpriced on global terms, for their quality - and who run the export gauntlet every year.

The other side of the argument is that ultra-cheap wines create an entirely new category and may assist in introducing new drinkers to the market, or to Australian wines.

We've yet to taste the wine but know what rhymes with 'down under'. Read the Herald-Sun article here and decide for yourself if this is a good thing for Australian wines or not. One suspects it's not quite what Brand Australia has in mind.

Send your views to feedback@visitvineyards.com or generate some discussion and post them on our forum »




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