Sirromet winemaker Adam Chapman. Picture: Peter Wallis
Sirromet winemaker Adam Chapman. Picture: Peter Wallis

Not a drop of local wine at Games

QUEENSLAND winemakers have been snubbed by organisers of the Commonwealth Games despite repeated attempts to showcase their award-winning produce at events for visiting dignitaries.

Despite claims the Games would be a boon for local producers, the Commonwealth Games Corporation has rejected local vineyards' bids to supply wine to major events and caused other small businesses to drop planned sponsorship deals after insisting on charges of $2 million.

Victoria Carthew and Amy Peel enjoy a wine in the sun at Moffatdale Ridge Winery, owned by Jason Kinsella, in the South Burnett. Picture: Megan Slade
Victoria Carthew and Amy Peel enjoy a wine in the sun at Moffatdale Ridge Winery, owned by Jason Kinsella, in the South Burnett. Picture: Megan Slade

Winemaker Jason Kinsella, whose company missed out on a contract, said the failures were a "wasted opportunity" to help the emerging industry boost its profile.

"There won't be a drop of Queensland wine served at any Commonwealth Games event. It's very, very disappointing," Mr Kinsella told The Sunday Mail.

"When these Games were sold to Queensland taxpayers, we were told this was an opportunity to showcase Queensland to the world."

Mr Kinsella's winery in the South Burnett region was one of several in southeast Queensland that made unsuccessful bids to supply wine to the Games.

John Heslop from, Witches Falls winery. Local brands like Witches Falls, from Mt Tamborine, will not be included at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast. Picture: Jerad Williams
John Heslop from, Witches Falls winery. Local brands like Witches Falls, from Mt Tamborine, will not be included at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast. Picture: Jerad Williams

A series of emails provided to The Sunday Mail reveals Mr Kinsella's winery was provided incorrect information about a Department of State Development "meet the buyer" event for small local producers to bid for contracts with caterers.

Two other award-winning wineries, Granite Belt producers Sirromet and Witches Falls, were also both rebuffed by Games organisers.

"I'm all for a competitive tender but I really hope the tender has gone to another Queensland winery because it would be a real shame to see this Commonwealth Games without support for local product," Sirromet's Rod Hill said.

Adam Chapman, chief winemaker at Siromet, says local winemakers should have been given priority at the Games. Picture: Peter Wallis
Adam Chapman, chief winemaker at Siromet, says local winemakers should have been given priority at the Games. Picture: Peter Wallis

Sirromet's chief winemaker Adam Chapman said local vineyards could compete on price and quality with Australia's most renowned wine regions and should have been given priority.

"It's really embarrassing. This would not happen elsewhere," Mr Chapman said.

"If the Games were in Hobart, they would serve Tasmanian wine.

"If they were in Perth, they would use West Australian wine."

The only wine company that has so far secured a contract to supply produce to Games events is a Victorian company Wine in a Glass.

Sirromet and Witches Falls also entered discussions for small-scale sponsorship deals but walked away when told they would have to stump up $2 million and provide discount wine.

A GOLDOC spokesman said the Games aimed to use local suppliers where possible but did not address questions about why local producers were rejected.

Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington said the snub was a missed opportunity for the state.

"Queensland wines should be served at the games. Queensland businesses should get first priority," she said.

"It is a chance for Queensland to put its best foot forward on an international stage and may be the catalyst for a flourishing wine industry in Queensland to take on the likes of South Australia and Tasmania."

 

 

Adam Chapman, chief winemaker at Siromet, says local winemakers should have been given priority at the Games. Picture: Peter Wallis
Adam Chapman, chief winemaker at Siromet, says local winemakers should have been given priority at the Games. Picture: Peter Wallis

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