July 20, 2018 – Kent Town, South Australia

Dalefold Wines Australia Pty Ltd has been issued a suspension of its wine export license by The Board of Wine Australia. Wine Australia was formed as a statutory authority of the Australian Government under the Wine Australia Act of 2013.

The suspension of the export license of Dalefold Wines was immediate for an indeterminate amount of time. Wine Australia has a continuing investigation into the export business practices of Dalefold Wines which could result in its export license being permanently revoked.

Wine Australia received information in relation to a consignment of wine that was exported by Dalefold Wines on June 28, 2018. As part of its foundational guidelines Wine Australia is charged with “protecting the reputation of Australian wine and administering the Export and Regional Wine Support Package”. Wine Australia is charging Dalefold Wines with exporting three grape products from Australia to China without approval from Wine Australia and for not having a valid export certificate.

Australian Vineyard
A golden vineyard in Southern Australia

The Board of Wine Australia also noted that Dalefold Wines was in violation of section 44 of the Wine Australia Act of 2013 and the Wine Australia Regulations 2018. In issuing the suspension it was noted that Dalefold Wines was trading off the name and reputation of Penfolds Wine, exported by Treasury Wine Estates of Australia, by using labels and codes that were copycats of that brand.

Penfolds Cabernet-Shiraz Bin 389
Bottle of Penfolds Cabernet-Shiraz Bin 389

Under the Wine Australia Act of 2013, companies may not engage in practices that adversely affect the integrity and authenticity of Australian Grape Products. Dalefold Wines was also cited under the same statute for, “a deleterious effect on the successful promotion of the export of grape products from Australia by diminishing consumer confidence in the integrity and authenticity of Australian grape products in China, and cause harm to the reputation of all Australian grape products, relations with importers, current promotional strategies, consumer sentiment in relation to exported Australian grape products, or the marketability of Australian grape products relative to competitors.

Finally, Wine Australia determined that Dalefold Wines is not a fit and proper person for the purposes of section 9(3)(g) of the Wine Australia Regulations 2018.” Under regulatory authority the defendant, Dalefold Wines which is owned and managed by Chinese-born Shuyen Liu may appeal the decision. However, Wine Australia is still investigating other charges against the company.

Penfolds Wine is a leading exporter of wine to China, as such it has come under constant attack from wine counterfeiters, and companies that try to mimic the look, labeling and numbering of its wine products. Penfolds has continued to defend its brand reputation throughout the Chinese market by assisting in and initiating investigations in conjunction with Chinese Authorities. Dalefold Wines, a copycat wine exporter based in Australia falls under the jurisdiction of Wine Australia.

Wine Australia Suspends Wine Export License for Copycat #Wine Click to Tweet

The suspension of the export license of Dalefold Wines is the first issued by Wine Australia under its new regulatory powers that was bestowed on them in April 2018. Penfolds and other Australian wine exporters now have a potent ally in fighting against wine fraud, wine counterfeiting, and wine copy cats.

Outside of its regulatory authority, Wine Australia supports a competitive wine sector by investing in research, development and extension (RD&E), growing domestic and international markets, protecting the reputation of Australian wine and administering the Export and Regional Wine Support Package.

Wine Australia is funded by grape growers, wine makers and fees. The Australian Government provides matching funds for all expenditures related to RD&E.

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