Speculation Casella acquires Shaw Family Vintners

This hasn’t been confirmed, but word has reached TKR that Casella has acquired Shaw Family Vintners (Ballast Stone), situated in Currency Creek, South Australia. If true, Casella will pick up 1200 acres of vines in Currency Creek and McLaren Vale. It will also have a winery to process the fruit from these acres and the 400 acres of Hawthorn Ridge and Reedy Creek vineyard in McLaren Vale it bought for $12.4 million last July. At the time of publication there was no response from Casella and a ‘no comment’ from the Shaw Family

It’s been said if I were a character in a book I wouldn’t be a superhero, genius inventor, ace detective or world-famous humanitarian. Eeyore (Winnie-the-Pooh, AA Milne) has been suggested as my fictional doppelganger. To quote:

“Oh, Eeyore, you are wet!” said Piglet, feeling him.

Eeyore shook himself, and asked somebody to explain to Piglet what happened when you had been inside a river for quite a long time.

True, I do sometimes feel the need to point out the obvious to the wine industry/trade, but only because it seems to miss or ignore it from time to time.

The World Happiness Report 2017 was released this week (the International Day of Happiness is 20 March). This is not some hippy-dippy-happy-clappy collection put together by dreaming folk wanting the best for all peoples.

The report explains: “Happiness is increasingly considered the proper measure of social progress and the goal of public policy.”

It’s a huge report, consisting of 188 pages full of complex formulas to measure numerous factors that the authors consider important to happiness. I can’t do it justice in TKR but it’s an eye-opening account of global social conditions.

The top 10 happiest countries are in order. The scores are complex, so I ask you to accept them without a long explanation.

Norway (7.537)

Denmark (7.522)

Iceland (7.504)

Switzerland (7.494)

Finland (7.469)

Netherlands (7.377)

Canada (7.316)

New Zealand (7.314)

Australia (7.284)

Sweden (7.284)

Australia is in a good place at ninth. The US comes in at 14th and UK at 19th. Looking at the top 20 export destinations for Australian wine by value in 2016:

Export country Rank Happiness rank
China 1 79
US 2 14
UK 3 19
Canada 4 7
Hong Kong 5 71
New Zealand 6 8
Singapore 7 26
Malaysia 8 42
Japan 9 51
Germany 10 16
Netherlands 11 6
Denmark 12 2
Sweden 13 10
United Arab Emirates 14 22
Thailand 15 32
Taiwan 16 33
Ireland 17 15
Finland 18 5
Italy 19 48
Belgium 20 18

6 of Australia’s top 20 export markets are in the top 10 happiness table rankings

5 are in 11 to 20

2 are in 21 to 30

2 are in 31 to 40

2 are in 41 to 50

1 is in the 50s

2 are in the 70s

Australian wine is very successful in China and Hong Kong, but there, wine is for the few. As can be seen, the happy factor is low in both places. In the chapter on China the report says:

“In the past quarter century China’s real GDP per capita has multiplied over five times, an unprecedented feat. By 2012 virtually every urban household had, on average, a colour TV, air conditioner, washing machine, and refrigerator. Almost nine in ten had a personal computer, and one in five, an automobile. Rural households lagged somewhat behind urban, but these same symptoms of affluence, which were virtually non-existent in the countryside in 1990, had become quite common by 2012. In the face of such new-found plenitude, one would suppose that the population’s feelings of well-being would have enjoyed a similar multiplication. Yet, as will be discussed, well-being today is probably less than in 1990.”

A case of material wealth not equating to happiness. In general, the wealthier countries are the happiest countries and Australia trades with all of them.

Good karma for the coming week.



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