Coles Buys Punters Corner
The big supermarket liquor retailers continue to expand into the production side of the wine business.
Coonawarra brand Punters Corner (tastings) has been sold to Coles. Managing director David Muir told me: “After more than 25 years, and with no family members ready to take it on, I recently sold Punters Corner to Coles Ltd. We will continue to provide Coles with cabernet sauvignon, which will continue under the Punters Corner label.”
Muir says he has kept one vineyard with the Punter Corner Retreat accommodation on it, and Balnaves bought another vineyard.
Punters Corner was established by the Muir and Hance families in 1988 and a vineyard was planted on V&A Lane. The holdings were built up to a sizeable 110 hectares with purchases of other established vineyards. The winemaking and viticulture were under the long-term management of Pete Bissell and Pete Balnaves of the nearby Balnaves (tastings) winery. This arrangement will continue. Coles will initially take cabernet but may take other varieties in future. It has bought existing stock as well as the brand.
The spotlight shone brightly on Punters Corner in 2000 when its 1999 Spartacus Shiraz won the Jimmy Watson Trophy.
Woolworths, through its subsidiary Cellarmasters, owns a large winery in the central Barossa Valley named Dorrien Estate (tastings). The winemaking team, headed by Neil Doddridge, produces some very good wines, including Black Wattle, Dorrien Estate, New Eden and Langhorne Creek Area Blend.
Woolworths previously bought the Riddoch Coonawarra brand (tastings) from Katnook (tastings), under which it’s recently begun selling very good value for money $15 cabernet and shiraz. And Coles has in recent years developed a range of special wines produced by Giaconda (tastings), Clonakilla (tastings), Oakridge (tastings) and others.