Kendall-Jackson set to unveil Australian wine line

Kendall-Jackson set to unveil Australian wine line News Wine News
  • Thursday 2 August 2001

American wine giant Kendall-Jackson is set to launch Yangarra Park, a new line of varietal wines from South- Eastern Australia.

The first wines will appear in the UK in early September, and a roll-out in the United States will follow shortly after.

With Yangarra Park, Kendall-Jackson is hoping to tap into an unsaturated segment of the wine market - value-priced Aussie bottlings. It is coming out with more than 50,000 cases of Yangarra Park wines, all from the 2000 vintage. The line, which features a typical Australian quartet of Shiraz, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, will sell for the equivalent of US$10 (£7) a bottle. As early as next year, a line of reserve wines is planned.

Winemaking efforts for the first vintage were largely a team effort overseen by K-J winemaster Randy Ullom. Because the company owns no winery or fruit-bearing vineyards in Australia, bulk wines were bought from growers throughout southern Australia. This may change in the future - the company is currently keeping its options open.

'This is basically the same formula Jess (K-J founder Jess Jackson) used in California, and later in Italy and Chile. We're sizing things up. We may purchase vineyards or we may buy land and plant. But that means three or four years before there's wine,' a spokesperson said.

The company also said founder Jess Jackson committed to going into Australia only three years ago, but the idea to move quickly on Yangarra Park was fueled by the recent hiring of John Grant, an Australian and former Southcorp executive, as vice president of marketing.

'Bringing in John Grant just added fire to the Australia commitment.'

Whichever path is chosen, it will be Peter Fraser, a graduate of the enology school at the University of Adelaide who has worked the bulk of his career at Normans Wines Ltd., who will be in charge as winemaker.

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