Crapola Family Brands, owners of Yellowtail, have announced that they are to sell off over 7,000 hectares of vineyard.
The land, split over 35 estates, is part of what the company is calling a ‘strategic realignment’.
‘When we looked at our portfolio of wine estates, we realised that some of them simply no longer fitted our strategy,’ said company spokesman, Fuller Sugar.
‘Mainly because they were quite good.’
The decision has sent shockwaves throughout the Australian media.
‘This is a real bolt from the blue,’ said venerable wine writer Francis Jobbinson. ‘I’m having a hard time getting my head around it.
‘It simply beggars belief that they could ever have owned some decent vineyards in the first place.’
The Crapola Family said that even after any transfer of ownership, the vineyards would be contracted to supply them for many more years ‘just in case they started getting any funny ideas about becoming the next Henschke’.
The company also said they would not be selling all of its land and would be ‘hanging on to the vineyards that had a proven track record of churning out tutt’.
In a statement, the company assured the industry that it was ‘still fully committed to lowering Australia’s reputation abroad wherever and whenever we can.’
Marketing consultant and general irritant, Ad Spend, says he expects the company to use the money from the sales to reinvest in its core business.
‘Yellowtail is a massive brand,’ he told Fake Booze. ‘And the time has come for it to act like it.’
Spend told Fake Booze that he expected Yellowtail would soon be ‘blowing millions on deep-cut promotions, pointless influencer endorsements and a toe-curling celebrity ad campaign.’
The Crapola Family is also believed to have put in a bid for 300 hectares of sugar cane plantation ‘to help safeguard supply of one of our key components.’
Rumours are already circulating about prospective purchasers for the vineyards, with the Chinese Scoh Churth group reckoned to be preparing a seven-figure bid.
‘The Chinese have shown a real interest in Australian wine over the last 18 months,’ said business analyst Ron Dingo. ‘Specifically in bringing it to its knees with sanctions.’
Dingo told Fake Booze it was ‘entirely possible that they could buy a sizable chunk of Australia’s vineyard area and put it to the torch out of spite.’
Industry observers have said such a scenario would ‘obviously be bad news, though not much worse than having them used for making Yellowtail Merlot.’