Gold in the hills and Coles challenge to Dan’s

Gold in them there Hills

Last week’s TKR (October 13) carried a report on the proposed Terramin gold mine at Woodside in the Adelaide Hills. I had asked several wineries in the region for comment. Unfortunately, the comments I did receive in time for publication were: “It’s a long way from us so no comment”, and “I don’t really know a great deal about it”.

To recap, I put forward the suggestion that opposition to the mine could be a “not in my backyard” situation.

Two comments arrived too late for last week’s publication. The first came from Judy Kelly, ArtWine Cellar Door, Bird in Hand Road, Woodside:

“The Adelaide Hills Wine Region has passed your email on to me for comment as one of the affected parties. The proposed Terramin gold mine would be a disaster for this region. 

“From a viticulture and wine perspective:

“Serious potential issues with altered flows of the aquifers if they are damaged which could well occur as they would be blasting through the water table. 

“Contamination and run-off from mining activities. Elevated salinity of water by the merging of the water tables. Flooding surface and or underground.

“Dust on vines and fruit is a real and potential risk.

“Potential seismic activity (we are on a fault line).

“Tourism and aesthetics:

“The image of a clean green Adelaide Hills and a fast growing wine and tourism region would be severely damaged.

“The mine would be situated between Bird in Hand, Petaluma, ourselves and other major vineyard operations, New Era and Simon Tolley, orchards and strawberry farms (essentially in the middle of a food bowl).

“Adelaide has been classified as a Wine Capital of the World and the whole region of Mount Lofty Ranges is currently part of a process for a Unesco World Heritage bid which would give significant branding to the region.

“Economic impact:

“The region has seen in recent years extensive investment in new cellar doors and wineries, (Petaluma alone has invested $13 million in a new state of the art winery). Future investment in the area could be severely impacted by the limited availability of water and lost tourism appeal.”

The second comment came from Christophe Forel, chief executive officer, Haselgrove Wines:

“To be honest, I haven’t looked into the Terramin gold plan in great depth… however, given its planned proximity to both Petaluma and Bird in Hand, and the fact that it is in wine growing country, I am concerned about the impact that it could have on the aesthetics of the Adelaide Hills region. Any detraction from the beauty of our wine regions could have a negative impact on tourism, which in turn will impact negatively on an important revenue stream for our state.

“There are also uncertainties as to how the mine will affect water and soil quality, both of which are extremely important when it comes to viticulture and ultimately wine production. The potential increase in dust production is also a concern that could affect vine health.

“In a nutshell, the wine industry is extremely important to the South Australian economy. It is key that any decisions made regarding the Terramin gold mine site take into consideration the resultant impact on the environment, our valuable resources and the beauty and uniqueness of our wine regions.”

If at first…

If at first… how does the proverb end? Try, try again! It looks as if Coles is trying again to take on Dan Murphy’s.

Not having been that successful with the First Choice brand of retail stores, Coles has launched a new (or new to Coles) concept: Liquor Market.

Liquor Market (catchy name; 3 out of 10 for originality) will join the long-established Liquorland, Vintage Cellars and that other originally named chain, First Choice, in the Coles arsenal as it attempts to battle the successful Dan’s.

Being very clever, Coles is not only taking on Dan’s but Aldi as well (in TKR’s opinion). It is reported that the format has been developed after extensive consumer research on what consumers want from a retailer.

The Aldi angle comes from Coles saying it has kept the range simple and is using shelf-ready packaging. Add shelf talkers and product range displays and this amounts to fewer staff, lower costs and reduced prices. Very Aldi, we think.

We shall see what transpires.

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