Tag team: Penfolds, ASC launch bottle sticker

By Jim Boyce

Peter Gago, chief wine maker at Penfolds, visited Beijing on May 22 and introduced an “officially imported” sticker to be used on the winery’s bottles in China. He spoke to a dozen people at the office of ASC Fine Wines, which has had an exclusive importing and distributing deal with Penfolds since 2004, and said the sticker will let consumers know that the bottles were “sent, shipped, cellared, and delivered properly.”

Penfolds Officially Imported Bottle Sticker“You don’t want to drink wine that’s done 18 circumferences of the world,” he said. “We all know about fraud, about counterfeiting, about parallel imports, so this is just terrific,” he added.

China is the first country where Penfolds is using such a sticker and I asked if the company considered it a particularly problematic market. Gago said Penfolds chose China because ASC had been “very proactive” and suggested the initiative.

Gago added that Penfolds takes numerous measures to protect its wine, from special printing on labels to placing indicators on corks, but most consumers are unaware of them. In contrast, the sticker will be easy to spot.

I joined a handful of people for lunch and an afternoon chat with Gago, and asked him about the local wine scene, the screw cap versus cork debate, Robert Parker’s then-upcoming China visit, and other topics. Expect full details in an upcoming post.

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