Penfolds has shocked absolutely no-one by announcing that it is to launch its first ‘100% Chinese wine’ later this year.
Adelaide Hills, CEO of Treasury Wine Estates, who own Penfolds, said that the concept of ‘making Chinese wine, packaging it as vaguely Australian and selling it back to a confused consumer base’ had always been a ‘long term aim of the brand.
‘Or at least, it has ever since their government slapped a sodding great tariff on our booze two years ago.’
The wine – Sanctions’ Retreat Fu Kyu Xi Red – is described as a perfect combination of Chinese character and Australian know-how, with China supplying the grapes, labour and way round a punitive economic veto, and Australia supplying a centuries-old brand name and a place to bank the cash.
Fake Booze was unable to speak to winemaker Max Sherbet, since he was being ‘unavoidably detained in a padded cell for his own safety’.
However, sources at Treasury have revealed that the wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and the indigenous Chi Pas Fuk variety.
Like Grange, but different
About 60% of the fruit comes from vineyards in Ningxia and Heilan Province, with the rest sourced from abandoned bulk wine containers that have been cooking on the dockside in Shanghai for six months.
To preserve Penfolds’ reputation, Sanction’s Retreat Fu Kyu Xi will command a similarly premium price to Grange, only 90% cheaper.
When asked to explain the label, which shows a single raised middle finger, Treasury Wine Estates said that it was to ‘show that we think China and its government are number one.’
Brave new dawn
Critics have suggested that Fu Kyu Xi could dilute Penfolds’ stellar brand name and also confuse customers in one of its most important markets, but Treasury said this was a ‘total overreaction’.
‘To be honest, most of the people who buy our stuff frankly haven’t got a clue,’ said Ms Hills. ‘So if they don’t give a damn I’m not sure why we should.’
Australian Prime Minister, Scott Worrisome welcomed the launch, saying that he hoped it would be the start of a ‘new spirit of openness and co-operation between Australia and those freedom-curtailing bastards in Beijing.’
Penfolds head of marketing, Ad Spend, pointed out that China was currently ‘One of only about six countries in the world that isn’t yet making a Penfolds wine’ so the move was long overdue.
‘Our experience to date suggests that you can sell literally anything if you put the Penfolds name on it,’ he said. ‘So, you know… why not?’
Fake Booze found the rest of the phone interview difficult to follow, and suggested rescheduling for another time, but was told that the high-pitched whining sound it could hear was not, in fact, a dubious broadband connection, but ‘Christopher Rawson Penfold spinning in his grave’.
Click here to read about Penfolds’ plans to plant the world’s first vineyard on Mars.