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Published:  23 July, 2008

By David Williams

Phil Laffer, the respected head winemaker for Orlando Wyndham, has launched a withering attack on his former rival at Southcorp, Keith Lambert, blaming the company's ex-CEO for spoiling Australian wine's reputation and for ceding too much power to the multiple retailers. Things are not as good for Australia as they were a year or so ago,' Laffer told Harpers. We are still suffering from the damage done to the Australian wine industry by Keith Lambert. He made it easier for retailers to push down margins and profitability, and he made people question the robustness of the Australian industry in general. It's going to take time to turn what he did around.' As well as Lambert's legacy, Laffer, who was in the middle of a two-week tour of the UK promoting Jacob's Creek, said that he was also concerned by the shortage of Chardonnay in Australia after the low-volume 2003 vintage. There's a distinct shortage of Chardonnay, and we're going to be short of it for the next two or three years,' Laffer said. Unless we have a very early vintage in 2004, we are fearful that we could have a stock-out of Jacob's Creek for a month next year.'