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  • Jancis Robinson
Written by
  • Jancis Robinson
3 Jun 2009

News of recent developments that I strongly commend to you.

See for news of what Constellation are up to in their efforts to cut their losses. Not only are they laying off some of the most talented individuals in the Australian wine business, they are also planning to sell off South Australia's oldest vineyard, the 161 year-old Stony Hill vineyard in McLaren Vale (pictured). It was classified as a heritage site until, mysteriously, it was somehow declassified a couple of years ago...See this very informative news item about the issues involved.

If you're interested in one of the strangest wine laws in the world, see for a new slant on the scandal that is 'Cellared in Canada', whereby wines that contain only 10% of Canadian wine and up to 20% water are sold as though they were 100% produce of Ontario.  I have already highlighted this anomaly, most recently here, and had been hoping that when Constellation took over Canada's biggest wine company Vincor they might inject some probity and international standards into Canadian wine law, but I was obviously being naive.  What's new is that a prominent Canadian, film and tv producer Seaton McLean and now owner of the exceptional Closson Chase wine operation in Prince Edward County, is highlighting this blot on the Canadian vinescape.

And finally, a news roundup that does not, yet, seem to have any close connection with Constellation, though heaven knows they are powerful enough in the country from which it comes, South Africa.  See for news of a whirlwind of change swirling around the much-admired Marc Kent and Boekenhoutskloof. It's illustrated by a terrible picture of me looking extremely ill when I was suffering that flu virus that robbed me of my sense of smell for a month a couple of years ago.

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